The Widdershins

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Good morning Widdershins!

Because of technical glitches which I can’t even understand – the comments closed in the previous thread. So here’s a very super duper quick post of no importance whatsoever, so we can keep commenting.

Aside from, you know, the awful hurricane in Texas (Ted Cruz and John Cornyn want federal aid…… let that sink in), Dump has pardoned the evil Joe Arpaio (so the media is falling over itself screaming “But Marc Rich!” because false equivalencies and “Clinton did it” is their natural state), Nazi Sebastian Gorka was “fired” from the White House (he claims he resigned) and last heard from, he was in talks with Breitbart to work there. Because, naturally.

What fresh hell will this weekend bring?

Discuss amongst yourself!

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Good Monday Widdershins!

Our blogmistress had some real life issues come up so I’m covering here at sort of the last minute.  Because of that and not having a lot of time this is mainly going to be a link dump post.

From this WaPo piece, it seems like the “ugly American” tourist is making a resurgence.  Only this tourist was in Germany and thought it would be cute to do a Nazi salute.  Color him clueless since he seemed not to know that the salute is a crime in Germany and he got busted-literally.  Someone saw him do it and beat the crap out of him.

An American tourist gave the Nazi salute in Germany — so a stranger beat him up, police say

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Peter Cvjetanovic would like you to know that he’s really, really not a racist mkay.  No, seriously.

You can read that HERE. By the way he’s also a precious 20 years old.  Whatcha wanna bet he’s still on mom and dad’s health insurance?

 

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There is a new hashtag that is going viral, #ThisIsNotUS and you can check out a HuffPost article on it.

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From Business Insider here is an article with some background info, on the hit and run driver in Charlottesville, James Fields, again a 20 year old.

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David Frum in The Atlantic says it’s time for Republicans to “leap from the boat” that is the S.S. Trump. And I thought they were all so comfortable there.

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The occupant of the White House, appeared to be his usual clueless self when he made his statement after the events in Charlottesville happened and it took his staff making the rounds of the news shows the following day to attempt some damage control.

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The last link I have for you today is to an article about the photographer who captured the image of the car slamming into the counter-protesters.  That was his last day working for the newspaper.

 

Welp, that’s all I have for you today.  Hope you check out the links.  Of course this is an open thread.

 

 

Good Monday, Widdershins. I hope you had a good International Women’s Day. I saw quite a few women wearing red at my client site last week in honor of “A Day without a Woman.” It was inspirational. I think there are several more actions planned from the organizers of the Women’s March, so stay tuned!

Now to the title of my post. This comes from some research I’ve been doing on the human brain, and the way it works to keep us alive and protect us from threats. This won’t be a super-science-y piece – more of a meditation on the state our country is in, and how it’s possible for sub-human cretins like Drumpf, Bannon and their minions to win even one vote, much less 60-odd million.

As I’m sure many of you know better than I, there are older, more primitive parts of our brains that only exist to make sure we quickly and instinctively respond to threats. From an evolutionary perspective, these parts of the brains are extremely important. They initiate the “fight or flight” response, which actually also includes a “freeze” as well, giving us microseconds to decide either to go to war, or to retreat.

After millions of years of evolution, we actually developed the capability to process these responses and evaluate them. Ah, the frontal lobe! Human beings develop this part of the brain in young adulthood. At least, some human beings do.

…It organizes responses to complex problems, plans steps to an objective, searches memory for relevant experience, adapts strategies to accommodate new data, guides behavior with verbal skills and houses working memory. Its orbitofrontal circuit manages emotional impulses in socially appropriate ways for productive behaviors including empathy, altruism, interpretation of facial expressions. Stroke in this area typically releases foul language and fatuous behavior patterns [bolding mine].

My argument today is that Drumpf and his supporters have either not developed their frontal lobes, or they have developed them, but are unable to use them. Their amygdalae are in charge, causing them to respond unthinkingly to perceived threats without the calming influence of the orbitofrontal circuit. This inability to counter the constant screaming of “Danger, Will Robinson!” makes them extremely susceptible to manipulation by other like-minded people, who deeply understand the constant state of anxiety in which these primitive brains exist.

In other words…they are stupid. And because they’re stupid, they’re evil.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t blink anyone! You might miss a major development from the White House. The Drumpfster Fire Shit Show is showing no signs of slowing down. No amount of Russian hooker urine can extinguish it. It’s the Chernobyl and the Fukushima meltdowns combined and the fallout will span the globe. Although not if you ask a Republican. Everyone is just great if you ask a Republican! Everything is going according to plan…

In a matter of a day Drumpf held an emergency situation room meeting in the middle of a dining room and fired/accepted resignation/encouraged retirement of a man named Flynn. First, the Mar-al-Lago disaster. Picture it: Drumpf, Japanese Prime Minister Abe, wives 16708703_10154983688274761_4762941159713180703_nand friends, are having a wonderful $20,000 (give or take) dinner surrounded by dozens of their closest friends/donors. When suddenly news arrives that North Korea (which would within the next 24 hours assassinate the rightful heir to their throne by two female assassins who poisoned him with a dart in the middle of a Malaysian airport!!!!), anyway, before a 007/Jason Bourne assassination of a perceived rival and brother, North Korea’s demented leader launched a missile towards Japan. So naturally, Drumpf and PM Abe go into full Presidential mode by hunkering down at their dinner table, cell phone flash lights activated, figuring out how to respond. Their dozens of closest friends/donors are witnessing this, taking photos, posting to facebook. Because an international crises as reality television is where we are right now. This is all perfectly normal! All the Republicans think so! HRC’s e-mail server: bad. Classified documents about a rogue/crazy country that may start a nuclear war disseminated and discussed in a crowded room: good. Nobody wanted to miss the entrée. When you paid thousands of dollars for access, you better get a good show.

Oh, and let’s not forget Rick. Rick is The Man. Rick carries a briefcase with him that contains the nuclear codes. Rick is posing for photos with guests. Rick is The Man!

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And then, if you can believe our lives, that wasn’t even the craziest thing that’s happened all week. The crazies thing that’s happened all week (writing this on Tue night) is we are finally getting real evidence of Russia setting up a Kremlin satellite office in Washington DC. I won’t go into the Michael “Lock Her Up!” Flynn details because we are watching this shit develop in real time. But as of now, Rethuglicans still don’t think there’s any reason to investigate anything. Paul Ryan, McTurtle, Chaffetz, all say there’s nothing to see here and let’s move on. Rand Paul says it’d be crazy for Republicans to investigate other Republicans. And it’s hard to argue with his logic! Give this for Rand Paul: he’s not lying. He’s not pretending that there are any principles at stake. It’s all about party loyalty. Which was an interesting thing I realized when I was talking to a Republican friend on Monday. She doesn’t really care about Trump one way or the other. She just cares that a Republican is in power. She detested “Barry.” She thinks McTurtle “is a pussy” who allowed Barry to get away with everything. Hillary is the biggest criminal ever. So there we are. For many people who still support Drumpf, it’s really just about Republicans being in charge.

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And Mike Pence is being built up as the victim in all this. Supposedly Pence had no idea Flynn had spoken to the Russians about lifting the sanctions. LOL. Is this just the beginning of setting up Pence as a man of principle who would make a great POTUS-46? And do you know who else is the victim in all this? Michael Flynn if you believe this nonsense.

In any case, so far HRC’s only comment on this topic was a re-Tweet of a comment by Philippe Reines.

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I get a feeling that the only person who might be enjoying all this insanity is HRC and maybe Obama.

I also think that considering Hillary Clinton’s vast criminal network and the trail of murdered bodies she has left behind over the decades, Michael Flynn is lucky to still be alive.

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In the meantime, do not unbuckle your seatbelts. There is a lot more of whatever this is to come. Even as I write this CNN says they have names of Trump campaign officials who spoke to the Russians, but not releasing names yet because they are waiting for comment from the White House. And Drumpf’s staff, which includes a former contestant from his show, getting into a physical altercation with a reporter. Or maybe not. Apparently a secret recording was made but it may have been edited before being played for some journalists. This is our life, welcome.

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I leave you with a song I’ve been listening to for a couple of weeks, since I’ve discovered this remarkable young singer. Troye Sivan is 21 year old South African/Australian and this song, “Heaven,” is a balm for the soul. He wrote it about the pain and joy of coming out as gay, for all the people who have done it before him and for those who will do it in the future. “Without losing a piece of me, how do I get to heaven? … So if I’m losing a piece of me, maybe I don’t want heaven.”

 

 

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As I sat down to write Wednesday morning’s post on Tuesday night, I realized by the time it published it would already be out of date. The dizzying speed with which Bannon and Trump are trashing our democracy is impossible to process and stay up to speed on. In just 10 days they’ve managed to create multiple constitutional criseses [sic]. Aside from the original sin of conflict of interest we don’t know the full extent of because Trump has not and will not release his tax returns (WikiLeaks says they plan to find them and release them… the irony of that can not be avoided, to paraphrase Angus King’s comment to steinJames Coffey at a Senate hearing after Comey said he does not comment on ongoing investigations when asked about FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in our elections). But since then Trump/Bannon’s multiple executive orders, that anathema he and other Republicans screamed at Obama about for 8 years, have created nothing but chaos in our system. The biggest one, of course, was the refugee executive order. Throwing people’s lives into chaos by refusing previously vetted refugees into the country, but also by refusing people with green cards into the country, they revealed – well, it’s hard to tell. Incompetence or malice? Perhaps a combination of the two. Bannon and another Trump aide Stephen Miller wrote the executive order and forced it to be signed without consulting with any other agency, or even Congressional Republicans. Though Congressional aides helped write it….without telling their bosses. That is a big deal. I wish I could see the expression on McTurtle’s face when he learned of his aides secrecy. It would be funny if the secrecy also wasn’t terrifying.Senate Luncheons

To add to the chaos, Border Patrol defied a judge’s ruling that people detained be allowed to see a lawyer. That is a very big deal as well. We now have the judicial branch being openly defied by the administration and part of its security force. Federal Marshalls would have to go in and force Border Patrol to follow court’s orders. Imagine how that would play out. Because I can’t.

Which brings me to this: for many months now Democrats have been waiting and begging Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to save us from Trump. Throughout the insanity of the campaign Ryan and McConnell became almost sane. But in truth they were just sane compared to Trump and that’s not a fair comparison. In fact, Ryan and McConnell are fucking scum. We have been waiting for them and the Republican Party to come in and paul-ryansave us all from Trump. That didn’t happen during the election. The Republican Party never turned on Trump, no matter how awful he became. Even John McCain (when will be get used to the fact that the war hero died when McCain ran for President?) didn’t fully turn against him. McCain just refused to talk about him, which isn’t the same thing. So no, McCain and Lady Graham won’t save us either. The endless articles being written about how Trump will alienate Republicans enough that they will turn on him are as tiresome as the endless articles about what white men want. It’s nonsense. Nothing Trump does will ever make the Republican establishment turn on him and impeach him. Nothing. McConnell and Ryan are not biting their tongues. They are not cowards who just need a little bit of encouragement and courage. They are not spineless – they are soulless. They want everything Trump is doing. They might be annoyed at some of his methods. But they want what Trump wants. That’s the truth we have to face.trump-nixon

So where does that leave us? I honestly have no idea. I’m sorry for the downer post. I’m sure the comments that follow over the next couple of days will fill us with even more dread as Bannon/Trump continue their destruction of America and the world around us. I do fear, however, that Trump’s Presidency will not end peacefully. I don’t know how big the violence will be or who it will be directed against, but I think that is the only way this can end.

Please tell me that I’m wrong!

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Good Boxing Day, all. I hope you had a mostly politics-free holiday. We managed to avoid it at the party we go to every year, which was good – I am pretty sure at least one of the attendees voted for Drumpf. (Ugh!!!)

And now, unfortunately, it’s time to return to the ever-scarier world that is being forced down our throats by an antiquated, racist electoral system that disenfranchised millions of voters, and a weak-willed incumbent President who is too afraid of appearing “partisan” to do anything to stop Drumpf’s takeover of our democracy. It’s a disgraceful end to his historic presidency. Tragically, he was even too afraid of seeming “partisan” to stop James Comey’s torpedoing of Hillary Clinton in the final days of the Worst Election Ever. I thought he was playing eleven-dimensional chess on Pluto, brogressives – could he not have foreseen that if Hillary did not win, his entire legacy, and indeed, our entire country as we know it, would not survive?

A slight digression here: I admit, I still don’t get the terror Obama evinces at being called “partisan.” This country has two political parties, the platforms of which are polar opposites to each other. If Americans didn’t want a Democrat in office, they wouldn’t have elected Barack Obama twice. But, instead of labeling all of the good things he did as the direct result of Democratic action and Democratic policies, Obama accrued all the glory to himself and his awesomeness. He never made the argument for Democrats versus Republicans; never made that clear case that Republicans want to trash the middle class, and their policies do so; and Democrats want to build up the middle class, and their policies do so.

Even my stepmother, who worked very hard to swing Virginia to Obama in 2008, is chastened at how empty Obama has left the Democratic bench and how eviscerated Democratic organizations are in the states. In 2012, he spent almost $1 billion of Democratic money to get himself elected, but the Senate and House were left very vulnerable indeed, and due to many factors, including throwing 5-6 million Democratic voters off the rolls, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and unethical voting practices in states with Republican governors, we are now moving towards a one-party government – and it’s the really, really bad party. May I just pause for a moment and yell:

WE. TOLD. YOU. SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read the rest of this entry »

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The problem with the Russians is that they are always fighting a world war. No matter what it is. An actual World War or the Eurovision contest. The public and the government treat the two with equal ferocity and dedication. When the Soviets formed a human shield around Stalingrad in 1943 they beat back the Nazis with the same fanaticism with which they try to defeat foreign pop singers, especially the transvestites. Wall-to-wall coverage on the news, front page headlines, celebrity coaches, personal visits and encouragements from members of the government – all the way up to Comrade Putin – it’s literally all the same thing to them. There is always an enemy at the gate, ready to destroy Mother Russia and all that is Holy about it. Sometimes the enemy carries a machine gun, sometimes a microphone. But to come in second is to come in last.

So when the mighty Soviet Union fell, something Vladimir Putin once declared to be the greatest tragedy to befall His people, it brought with it festering and oozing scars of humiliation and anger. USSR fell not because it was incapable of functioning, but because the West destroyed it.  The West – and Reagan specifically – happily embraced this view of events. But they underestimated just how deeply these events cut the Russian people.

The West – and America as its face – have always been the Enemy of Russia. As much as the Russian public is obsessed with American money, culture, fashion, etc., it also views it as a perversion of purity and righteousness which Russia represents to its people. It is very much like Gollum and The One Ring. It hungers for The West and hates it in one breath. This belief among the general public that the West generally and America specifically are always trying to destroy Russia should not be underestimated. It’s why the Russians love strongment leaders like Putin. These leaders are the forces who will protect the people from Western interference. Because the West wants all that is Russian: to take it, eat it, consume it and destroy it like it destroys everything. The West is an agent of greed and sexual perversions – and Russia is always under attack. They believe these things with the sincerity of saints.

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Russia’s rejection of The Other has over the years taken on odd forms.  For example, in his day Tchaikovsky’s music was seen as too European, his embrace of Europe suspect.  The real champions of Russian music in the 19th century were The Mighty Handful, consisting of Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Cui, Balakirev and Borodin.  They deeply resented the fact that Tchaikovsky was conservatory trained and attacked formal education of music.  Though they tolerated Tchaikovsky himself, Rimsky-Korsakov once wrote that “Tchaikovsky’s Conservatory training still constituted a considerable barrier between him and us.”   (None of the Five received a formal education in composition.)  To this day Russia – a deeply homobigoted country – refuses to acknowledge that Tchaikovsky was gay.  Russia – also a deeply racist country – refuses to discuss that Alexander Pushkin, its greatest poet, was half black.  These ideas are revolting to them, too Other.

So as we learn more details about Russian interference in American elections, we must understand that this is Russia’s war for survival. The attempt to reverse decades of what they see as humiliations at the hands of the West – and America specifically. Russia is like a Holy Land, its people its righteous pilgrims, and the barbarian Western hoardes are at the gate.

The news of Russian interference on Trump’s behalf (and they are now attempting to take down Angela Merkel too), isn’t news to anyone who paid attention before November 8th. Hillary Clinton discussed it in the 3rd Presidential debate on October 19th.

CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear…

TRUMP: You’re the puppet!

CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…

TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.

CLINTON: … that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

WALLACE: Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: And I think it’s time you take a stand…

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.

CLINTON: I am not quoting myself.

TRUMP: She has no idea.

CLINTON: I am quoting 17…

TRUMP: Hillary, you have no idea.

CLINTON: … 17 intelligence — do you doubt 17 military and civilian…

TRUMP: And our country has no idea.

CLINTON: … agencies.

TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.

CLINTON: Well, he’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely…

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way.

But for reasons that will spend decades trying to understand, the story never found traction in the media or among the patriotic Americans who supported Trump. John McCain and Lindsay Graham were silent. The New York Times did not cover the story above the fold of its print edition, like they covered FBI’s announcement that they were looking at Anthony Wiener’s computer with 3 stories above the fold in a single edition. I suppose we should be grateful that finally people are taking notice, although Mitch McConnell prefers not to drag Trump into it.

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This was a very long game played by Putin. One really should try to admire it, if one was not the victim of it. Putin will have Trump’s election engraved on his own tombstone. “Here Lies Vladimir Putin, Wrestler of Bears, Shirtless Horseback Rider, and Conqueror of America.” Putin is making Russia Great Again. With the assistance of Julian Rapist Assange and Glenn “Leftwing Dictators are grrreat and Putin totally has nothing to do with this election” Greenwald. Bernie Bros reposting fake news stories on social media and the American news media that never met an e-mail it didn’t like to speculate about. Soviet leaders spent decades trying to bring Red Russia to Blue America. Putin has finally succeeded.  Putin has put a momentary numbing balm on Russia’s persecution mania.

Note that the color Blue in Russia represents homosexuality. That depraved Blue America has taken on the color of Red Mother Russia means so much to them. Hail Comrade Putin! We thought we would all have to learn Chinese in the new century. I suggest people start taking up Russian instead.

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Our 2016 Ticket!

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Busted: Glass ceiling

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She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

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