The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘9/11


Frost on a fence

Good afternoon Widdershins.  I hope this is turning out to be a wonderful Saturday for you.

Yes that’s supposed to be frost on a fence post and in the grass.  Let’s face it:  how do you get a good shot of that?  By this time next week we should have our first frost according to the wx guys and I believe one day we’re not supposed to get out of the upper 50s.  Of course with weather it’s all subject to change so who knows!  After the week we’ve had with all of the high drama concerning the government shutdown and the potential default on the debt, let’s take a look at some of the lighter things I found on the internets.  I’ve got a couple of good videos that I think you’ll enjoy.  Remember, it’s light Saturday – no heavy lifting required.

People do the darnedest things…

And when it comes to doing naughty things with their naughty bits (sigh) it seems it’s the guys who are the ones getting caught in some embarrassing, and possibly medically dangerous situations.

It appears that folks are doing this with such frequency (and doing it badly?) that they are being forced to contact 911, the fire department or whomever to receive assistance from the results of their, shall we say, hijinks.  I am more than certain that our dear chatblu could tell us a tale or two from the e.r.  One of the consequences of having to call in the fire dept, paramedics or whomever to rescue you from your own bad practices is that it ties up valuable resources that could be used for, oh , that fire down the street perhaps, or the two car accident where the jaws of life are needed for that instead of for extricating you from some foreign object or vice versa.

These types of calls got so bad in one London Fire District that they started a public “shaming” of folks who made such calls.  NBC News wanted to know if there are that many similar calls in the U.S. but “the kinky topic is so taboo in America some top U.S. emergency workers won’t discuss the behavior. ”

Except in Los Angeles.

“L.A. Fire Department medical director Dr. Marc Eckstein acknowledges that 911 operators do receive a small number of sexually bizarre rescue pleas and do dispatch ambulances, including instances in which they must assist men with heavy steel rings lodged around their private parts.”

In some of those scattered cases, Eckstein said, the firefighters, paramedics or emergency medical technicians use bolt cutters or, when necessary, the blazing torch of a plasma cutter to burn the rings off of the men’s penises.

“They have to be careful because the plasma cutters cause a lot of heat and sparks,” Eckstein said, adding he could not provide statistics on the number of such calls.

A spokesman for the NYFD simply said: “I don’t have any statistics to that kind of claim or inquiry in New York City,”  Similarly a spokesperson for the National Association of EMS Physicians just said:  ““I’m just not sure where to go with this.”  Indeed.  However, no such hesitancy on the part of the London Fire Brigade.  The brigade started a campaign called “Fifty Shades of Red” after the novel Fifty Shades of Grey.  The believe the novel has, ahem, “inspired” some folks and they have the stats to back it up.

The brigade reports that it responded to 416 stuck-body-part calls in 2010-11, another 441 in 2011-12 and 453 in 2012-13. Among those emergency requests for assistance, 79 people were wearing handcuffs they could not remove.

To help fuel the agency’s gentle request to just stop doing these things, the brigade has added a dose of public shaming, often taking to Twitter to share some of these ambulance requests from people who have become oddly entangled.

 In their campaign to “shame folks” they’ve used twitter, as in this case:

A woman rang to get help for her husband, who was locked in a titanium chastity belt. Keep those keys handy! #fiftyshadesofred #nonemergency

— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) October 11, 2013

Third Officer, Dave Brown, said:

“Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out could be prevented with a little common sense. I don’t know whether it’s the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up. I’m sure most people will be Fifty Shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them.

And then there was the one that David Letterman had to do a Top Ten List on (you can go there to watch the video):

Top tip from us today: don’t put your penis in a toaster. Read our most unusual incidents here:

— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) July 29, 2013

Enough of that silliness.  I have some of my own youtubes to add.

This is a bear at the Animal Ark in Reno NV who plays one mean game of tetherball.

This next one is a collection of kittehs who love to steal their dog buddies’ beds.  And naturally the dogs go along with it, but sometimes not gracefully.

These next two vids are of an encounter between a guy on a dirt bike and a ram in New Zealand.  It would seem that this is not his first encounter with it.  The video runs around two and half minutes.

Next, the guy and a friend of his decide to strap a GoPro camera on the ram and take a look at things from the ram’s perspective!

After those, I’m not so sure there might not have been a big pot of mutton stew made.  😉

Okay Widdershins, I’ll be around however there will be several good footballs games going on that I’ll be checking on.  My Tigers do not play until 6:00 pm CDT.

Allons les Tigres!

Good morning Widdershin friends. Here’s hoping the first smile you see today is your own.


Let me begin this morning by saying nothing in this post should be taken in any way to lessen the horrors we witnessed last week in Boston — from the deaths to the disfigurements to the months and years of rehabilitation for the victims. The events as they unfolded truly were acts of terror, but unless they are put in perspective they are stultifying if left in isolation without comparison. A little perspective is what I offer today.

Since 9/11 we’ve had twelve years where we have waged a War on Terror. Waging a war on a tactic is quite possibly an unending war of indeterminate duration — quite different than anything this country has ever faced. No one can tell us when or if we can ever declare victory and in the ensuing twelve years, every person who has carried out an act characterized as terror has either been an American or has had permanent residency status.

All told in 9/11 we suffered approximately 3,000 U.S. deaths. In waging wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, increasing Defense Department appropriations by $500 Billion a year (recurring), untold hundreds of billions on “black ops” through the CIA and NSA, increases in Homeland security, replacing equipment, caring for veterans, and paying interest on all the money borrowed to wage wars on credit cards, the cost of this “War on a Tactic” can’t be effectively calculated beyond Trillions of dollars.

Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmer authored a book called The Three Trillion Dollar War, but many say that’s not close. I’ve seen estimates as high as $6.0 Trillion, but few estimates are lower than the $3.0 Trillion figure. When you consider the future medical costs and disability payments for veterans  in the years ahead at $900 Billion, personally I tend to favor the higher end estimates of $6.0 Trillion.

The death of 3,000 souls is gut wrenching, but for a moment consider in the same twelve years there have been approximately 360,000 deaths from guns, 576,000 deaths from hospital acquired infections, between 480,000 and 960,000 deaths from misdiagnoses, 432,000 deaths from the flu, or 57,600 deaths from workplace accidents. All of these pass without so much as a whimper as an afterthought on the frailty of life. If anything, there isn’t a call to spend another nickel on addressing any of these and in most cases, the wrongheaded austerity crazed Congress wants to cut spending if not eliminate the spending altogether.

Boat LandPerspective is important — especially due to the fact that when you boil politics down to its essence, it is about setting priorities. Twelve years ago, as shell-shocked and traumatized as the nation was, we allowed ourselves to be blindly led into the Afghan War and lied into the Iraqi War under the guise of fighting a “War on a Tactic.” Terror is a tactic, not a combatant, not a country, and certainly not a set of recognized beliefs.

Over the last week, the conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck have worked overtime to conjure all manner of dark conspiracies (I will not link to either of these miscreants). And of course, the network for those with enlarged amygdalae, Fox News has all but declared war on Islam — beating the drums to indict the world‘s 1.6 Billion Muslims by the acts of an infinitesimally small number of jihadists. To analogize, it is the equivalent of painting the world’s Protestants by the acts of Westboro Baptist Church.

If not for the use of future oriented words like “could be, might be, likely to, speculated that, thought to have,” Fox News would have been nothing more than dead air this past week.

We fell prey to this scaremongering and mob mentality twelve years ago, let’s hope through twelve years of warring on a tactic we have at least gained a little perspective.

This is an open thread.

Congressional Polarization from 1879 to Present

Congressional Polarization from 1879 to Present

In the sixties we were numbed and dumbstruck by watching two brothers and an eloquent preacher senselessly gunned down while war splayed itself in our homes every night at the dinner hour. In 1972, we collectively held our breath for two years hoping against hope that Watergate was just another petty break-in. In 1980, we mourned John Lennon and in 1981 watched a President survive an assassin. In 1986, we watched seven souls taken as the Challenger exploded in crystalline skies. On September 11, 2001, we experienced vulnerability and violation to an extent we had never known before — so much so, we were led into a war and were lied into another one.

All of these events affected the collective zeitgeist, but somehow we climbed out of the miasma of grief and carried on — after a time. The common thread is that we allowed ourselves time to process the events and in turn, enjoyed the palliative benefits of reflection.

Then we have Columbine, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, scores of others, and then Newtown. Monday we watched as a madman used bombs to kill, dismember, and maim in Boston.

We weren’t allowed that processing and soothing time of reflection on Monday. The blood hadn’t yet dried in the streets of Boston before the minstrels of hate goaded us out of our stupor by 8:00 p.m. on cable news. Five hours — is that the new standard of freedom from vituperative name calling before hostilities reignite?

This week, barely four months after twenty 6 year olds had their tiny bodies ravaged with exploding bullets, the children’s parents were being called nothing more than “political props” by opportunistic politicians. The unpardonable sin of these grief-stricken parents, they dared to have an opinion on gun safety.

As 91% of Americans wanted something to be done, the U.S. Senate dared tell these grieving parents there wasn’t anything this government wanted to do. Not that there was nothing we could do, not that it was too hard to do, not that it was the least we could do, just — there was nothing this government wanted to do — the status quo will do nicely, thank you very much.

We have allowed these minstrels of hate to anesthetize us to what used to be unspeakable horrors. The inaction on guns is prima facie evidence of their success.

The danger presented by failing to reflect on the gross inhumanity of the aberrant is that eventually we come to expect so much less of humankind. Our ideals of humanity become every bit as hardened and dispirited as the events themselves.

I find it appalling that we now have a formulaic national mourning service — call in the families and the politicians, go the yellow pages and find every denomination in town, book some great music, pick the appropriate media anchor, and there you have it. An hour and a half later the world can go back to the way it was before the travesty du jour interrupted the daily divisiveness that passes as news and commentary.

While keeping ourselves safe is paramount, steeling ourselves against accepting such horror is just as important. The chances we will personally face the horrors of Newtown or Boston are infinitesimal, but the daily deluge of divisiveness and polarization is a certainty.  The only unknown is whether we will continue to accept it.

This is an open thread.

Nine Eleven (9/11) is always a time of dread for me — it is a depressing time of year.  I don’t claim any special connection and I can’t imagine the plight of those who lost loved ones, but the savagery of the event hit me so hard that within thirty-six hours, I had a massive, full-blown, outrageously disgusting case of shingles over my face, forehead, and scalp.  Simply nasty and a slow six weeks of painful recovery.

This year for some reason it has seemed worse.  Perhaps because of all that has happened in my life this year, but for whatever reason, negativity just seems to permeate the world when you turn on the news or go rambling around the internet on the googling machine.

Truthfully, I’m jonesing for a little positivity and optimism.  If you are along for the ride, the only fare is continuing to read.

My appalachian hometown was struck by a vicious F-3 tornado in March.  People were killed, all the businesses and every government building along a picturesque small town Main Street were destroyed.  It was like a tragedy you see on teevee about places you have never been — not a place where you grew up.  Sadness gripped just about everyone — churches were demolished, homes where scattered to the wind, families ravaged by loss, hope seemed sucked from the souls of just about everyone.

Okay, Prolix, just about now would be a good place to start the happy, positive, optimistic stuff!

People picked themselves up.  The federal and state government helped.  Charities helped.  Anonymous donors helped.  The hugs of strangers helped.  School children from hundreds of miles away collected pennies and dimes to show they cared.  The innate goodness of people was on display amid the rubble of devastation.

People are slowly building back.  One such rebuilding is the Freezer Fresh — it is a small, as in maybe 900 square feet, fast food drive-in.  It has been a fixture in this little mountain hamlet since the 1960’s — long before any golden arches were even a hint in these hills.  With the rebuilding, it will probably outlast the clown’s super-sized robo-food.

Unlike the oxymoronic name — Freezer Fresh — the Freezer Fresh was THE hangout.  It was where all the newly licensed drivers went on the first night of having the family Gran Torino out for the first of hundreds of “go-around the Freezer Fresh” trips.  It was a right of passage to be seen behind the wheel circling the Freezer Fresh looking way too kool.

The Freezer Fresh was the place where all the little league teams got their ice cream rewards for a job well done instead of today’s ribbons and medals.  In the back parking lot was where many clumsy boys learned how to slyly inch their arms around equally clumsy girls.  There are no accurate census figures on how many future ice cream consumers were spawned courtesy of two-strawed chocolaty peanut butter milkshakes.

Quite literally, the Freezer Fresh was where you could get a banana split.  It came in a little robin-egg blue canoe-like plastic boat.  The banana was split down the middle and in between there were three dollops of perfectly swirled soft serve vanilla ice cream topped with pineapple, chocolate, strawberries, and liberally sprinkled with salty crushed peanuts.

You could get a hamburger all dressed up or a hot dog slathered with chili, cole slaw, onions, relish, and cheese.  There was also high-end dining — a tenderloin sandwich carefully thawed from the jaws of the freezer and ever so precisely poised on a steam rejuvenated white bread bun.

The Freezer Fresh reopened today (I’m writing this Thursday).  It looks essentially as it did in the picture taken prior to the ravages of the tornado.  Let me tell you, people are positively giddy with anticipation.  I’m imagining a traffic jam of heretofore unheard of consequence for this little burg.

Where’s the optimism, the hope, the positivity?  It’s right here — no matter how bad the economy, how luridly vicious the politics, how sad the events in the Middle East, how maddening and confusing the world is today — there’s always the goodness of people, the unyielding spirit of stick-to-itiveness, the uncompromising polite friendliness, and the eternal optimism of knowing the future is mercifully doled out one day at a time.

Happiness would lose its meaning if we had not sadness by which to judge it.  In this week of annual 9/11 sadness I am heartened to know my personal definition of happiness just got a little richer along with those dollops of perfectly swirled vanilla ice cream.

This is an “all skate” open thread.

Ten years after that fateful day whatever confidence we had as a nation and as a world power began to seriously erode.

 Discovering after the fact that warnings had been issued then summarily ignored was merely the first step. What followed over the next 10 years was a series of lies that went even further in undermining any faith we may have held when “the powers that be” sent our troops scurrying to complete a mission that whose exit strategy was unclear.  Using that catastrophic event as an excuse to ride rampant over our rights as a citizenry, we soon discovered that we were being duped.   Big time.

Using 9/11 as a shield, a simple minded man urged the invasion of country that had nothing to do with this travesty. Almost 10 years later we are still stuck in the mire of these decisions with no end in sight. The loss of life to both the troops and the civilian population of that country, along with the unnecessary devastation and deprivation they endured, was based on a lie.  A lie that holds no one accountable.

As a result “fear” has burned itself into our national conscience.  We are subjected to body searches and wiretapping.  The government has legalized the eavesdropping of its citizens. Cameras follow us everywhere.  We view our own government with suspicion.  Conspiracies abound.f Politicians play on our insecurities. Trust has evaporated.  By giving up some of our civil liberties we opened the door for more to be taken without protest because it was so easy to achieve.

The assault we experience has come largely from within.  No other country can do to the U. S. what its own government has wrought.  A loss of confidence in a system built upon the Constitution that has been rendered obsolete in some quarters.  Power rests in the hands of a few.  Democracy is no longer the ideal but has given way to authoritarianism disguised as “patriotism” when even a free press has all but disappeared.  The executive branch of government has risen above the other two equal measures of governance. 

The aftermath of 9/11 has brought us Abu Gharieb.  The inclusion of torture by way of law.  The insanity of duct tape and color coded warnings.   The obfuscation of facts.  The creation of Gitmo.  The lack of due process.  The continuation of global slaughter and destruction.   An instability throughout the world that appears unable to right itself.

The same people who chose to ignore the original warnings navigated us into this disaster.  The very same ones who plunged us even further into the present conditions we live with today.   We face financial ruin and global hatred because of the actions and inactions of those whose agenda overcame commonsense.   We distrust our leaders.   We fear our neighbors. We doubt ourselves.

This alone offers the conclusion that we are no safer today then we were on that brilliant Tuesday in September 2001 as the world watched in shock and awe at the violence that found its way onto our shores.  No safer today because the decisions that followed, and continue to do so, leave us more vulnerable as a people than ever before.

“Mission accomplished”?   Only if you believe that what happened on 9/11 from without led to the decisions made from within to topple a nation built on an ideal that appears to be fading.    What occurred on that fateful day has changed us forever.

It need never have happened.

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Blog Archive

April 2019
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
21 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya