The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘“the Holidays”’ Category

Howdy Widdershins,

We have survived Thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone got stuffed! Now the season of Christmas music begins. Honestly, if anyone is fighting a War On Christmas, it should be over Christmas music. It’s everywhere. Every TV commercials. Every TV show will have a Christmas special. Every store and gas station is playing the same dozen Christmas songs, although it’ll be one of a billion different versions. Speaking of which: anybody that records a Christmas album at this point is just an ass. Like seriously, a royal ass. There is nothing left to say about “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” New Christmas albums should be made illegal. Anybody that attempts to record one should be sent into space, one way.

This is an open thread, as always.

I can hardly believe it, but it’s Thanksgiving next week, Widdershins! I hope you’re all going to take some time to relax. Two viruses – the pandemic and the Republican virus of vaccine and mask resistance – have cast a pall over holiday gatherings this year. The pandemic is the one affecting Thanksgiving for me. I am thankful that my family is all vaxxed, AND, that I am seeing my aunt and uncle from Baltimore for the first time since the Rona reared its ugly head. We’ll still need to get negative PCR tests before we can go inside my brother’s house for Turkey and Tofurkey Day (my sister-in-law is vegetarian), but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Despite the wretched Rittenhouse verdict, we had a lot to be thankful for this week. President Biden signed the BIF and Speaker Pelosi got the Build Back Better bill signed in the House. Now, the bill goes to the Senate, but thanks to the reconciliation process, only Democrats need to vote for it. Despite Manchinema saying they’ll wait for the CBO report to say how they vote, the report is coming soon, and I don’t think they’ll make a lot of trouble after what happened in New Jersey and Virginia. Oh, and remember how McConnell insisted a couple of months ago that he would absolutely, totally, NOT vote yes on raising the debt ceiling on December 15? Looks like he and Chuck are talking about it now. Something tells me Chuck will get what he wants.

I hope you all will indulge me as I take a minute to marvel at what the Democrats have accomplished so far. The Party has had full control of the federal government only since February 3, 2021, when Schumer and McConnell agreed on power-sharing in the Senate. Given that metric, it’s been nine and a half months.

We have been so traumatized and terrified by the hostile maladministration of Rethugs that we are not used to any good news coming from government sources. I believe this trauma, in combination with our blatantly fascist media, are what’s preventing us from appreciating the revolutionary nature of this time in our political history. There has not been a truly significant investment in the 99% since the Affordable Care Act – and even that was weak sauce compared to what’s being passed now. I can only compare the current furious activity to the New Deal, without the racism of that legislation. And Democrats are doing it all with a majority of 1 vote – the revolutionary, first Black and Asian woman Vice President Kamala Harris. (PRESIDENT Kamala Harris for a few hours this week! Incredible!)

I have often said that the job of President of the United States is the hardest job in the world. 350 million souls, so many of them suffering due to social and economic inequality; and the rest of the world, looking to Biden for leadership, aid and partnership – with a few countries trying to destroy him and America from the inside. Imagine coming into that job after almost 27 years of Rethug destruction, plus a global pandemic that has been botched almost beyond repair, with a forever war to end in Afghanistan and an ongoing attempted coup added in for good measure!

Leaders talented enough to take on this job successfully need two traits in combination. One is, the ability to communicate a shared purpose that people can believe in; and the other is the ability to build the right team to drive it forward.

I think Pelosi and Schumer have been able to wrangle the Democrats into passing these historic bills not just because they too are very talented leaders (they certainly are!), but also because Biden has convinced Congressional Dems that his purpose is the right one. (This doesn’t count the Squad, of course, but they’re DINOs.) His purpose to me is quite simple: let’s join the 21st century so China and Russia don’t destroy us. He’s looking ahead strategically and seeing how many of our people are mired in poverty, illness and incarceration without access to the Internet, child care, education and healthcare. This state of the Union makes us less competitive on the world stage, holding us back from making progress on difficult problems like climate change and clean energy. Every initiative Biden has put forward has been consistent with this purpose; whether it’s the American Rescue Plan, which included an increased Child Tax Credit that has already cut child poverty by 50%; or the BIF, which includes billions for clean water and renewable energy; or the Build Back Better Act, which in its current form regulates the cost of child care, provides four weeks of paid parental and sick leave for all American workers, provides free universal pre-K for all 3 and 4-year-olds, and boosts Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, as well as containing $500 billion to address climate change. Women’s rights are far from forgotten – the latest annual budget proposal drops the Hyde Amendment for the first time since 1976, as well as the less-known Weldon Amendment that works in tandem with it, and includes historic amounts of funding for Title X and access to abortion. And let’s not forget the executive orders he’s signed to mandate vaccines in workplaces through OSHA, and block the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For more details, this poster on Twitter always has receipts.

Biden’s ability to build a stellar team is on display all day, every day. From our marvelous VP Kamala Harris, who (despite getting the Hillary treatment from the media) is succeeding on multiple fronts, to his diverse and talented Cabinet, Chief of Staff and Press Secretary, all of his team are on point, on message and doing what needs to be done.

There is plenty of bad that’s going on in this world, but today, I’m thankful for what the Democrats have done for the American people. And today and every day, I’m thankful for all of you Widdershins who have kept me going through good times and bad, for lo, these many years.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Open thread as always.

Thanks to the extremely rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that happened on 12/21/20, we find ourselves in a brand new age: the Age of Aquarius.

For the past two centuries, Jupiter and Saturn have been meeting in earth signs—Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo—but this winter solstice they will meet in an air sign, Aquarius, for the first time in 200 years. Earth signs are associated with the material, like money, physical resources, and external achievements, while air signs are all about the realm of the mind, connecting with others, and advancements in technology.

Jupiter and Saturn are associated with authority, and their alignment can be a harbinger of political and social change. This conjunction ushers in a new societal ethos that slowly moves away from materialism and toward Universalism and new ideologies. “Aquarius is the sign of teamwork, it’s the sign of society, it’s very progressive and it’s very humanitarian,” says Register. “During this pandemic people have been living in their own little worlds, and I feel like those walls are going to be coming down soon and people are going to realize that if we want change to happen we can’t go at it alone.” 

I am looking for any reason to hope, and this one seems like as good a reason as any; giant celestial forces moving giant celestial bodies around the universe, bringing them the closest they’ve been in hundreds of years. How could these massive forces and energies not have an impact on us, even though we’re light years away? I choose to believe they do, and that this impact is positive and strong enough to begin to cleanse our world of the poison of Trumpism.

Sending you all love, hope, joy and spiritual (sadly, not physical!) togetherness in Aquarius, this holiday season and beyond.

Open thread, as always!

Happy holiday weekend Widdershins

And also a happy fourth of July to you.

It’s great that it falls on a weekend.

If you’re going to be out and about be safe.

And if you’re going to be home and having a cookout watch that grill for any flareups.

Discuss anything you feel like discussing, if anything at all.  Perhaps just cook, r-e-l-a-x, and take it easy.

Open thread.

Good holiday er something widdershins

According to the good ole Farmer’s Almanac, winter started on the 21st of December.

Seasons of 2019 Astronomical Start Meteorological Start
SPRING Wednesday, March 20, 5:58 P.M. EDT Friday, March 1
SUMMER Friday, June 21, 11:54 A.M. EDT Saturday, June 1
FALL Monday, September 23, 3:50 A.M. EDT Sunday, September 1
WINTER Saturday, December 21, 11:19 P.M. EST

Can’t prove it by me since we got to a comfortable 67 ° and I cut the a/c on just to “move the air” a bit.

Nevertheless let’s look at some songs for winter. Oh and this will also be the weekend post.

 

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And last, on a classical bent:
Franz Schubert: Winterreise “Gute Nacht”

 

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Okie doke.  Add some of your own selections if you wish and naturally open thread.

 

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