Monthly Archives: July 2011

Last Four Weeks to order Web Poppers at $39.95…

… then I am going back to it’s original purchase price of $75.00.

But since I really need help supporting this Blog (and the weekly Podcast that goes with it) I’ll keep the sale price on until August 27th…

So I’m selling the basic set of my Web Poppers, a collection of small images, averaging 72 x 72 pixels, that are based on Bill’s picture font designs and other sources. They can be used to illustrate posts or to comment on any number of issues. You’ve seen me use them frequently on this blog – I hate posts without pictures!

Each set is delivered on CD with 300 of the most popular JPEG images that I use in my own blogs, Under The LobsterScope and Panhandle Vegan. I have been getting great responses to these for the past year and the number of requests that I release them has been substantial.

So here they are.

The complete set originally cost $75.00, but for the next five weeks they are going for $39.95, all taxes and shipping included. Every set that is sold helps support this blog… and believe me, we need it.

Some samples from the 300:

To purchase, click HERE.

Oddly enough I agree with about 75% of what Ben Stein said this morning…

Check it out and see how much you agree with HERE.

Bueler? Bueler?

Quote of the Day – from someone who was there when we got it right

“What the GOP seeks is a banana republic: a toxic blend of right-wing populism, anti-intellectualism, debt defaults, and an end to the ladder of economic opportunity.”

-Paul Begala

This is from Begala’s article in the Daily Beast entitled “How Republicans Screwed the Pooch“… this, of course, is from the point-of-view of a member of the Clinton administration who was there when the same kinds of problems were  solved two administrations ago.

Whenever you hear the Republicans (and especially the tea partiers) say that the Democrats never learn from their mistakes, point them to the balanced budgets with surpluses extending out into the foreseeable future that Clinton handed Bush and his Band of Scary Men, who got us into debt andunfunded war within a year. And remember what they left Obama with.

Begala’s article should be read by everyone.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Dancing on the (Debt) Ceiling

Going to focus today on some great cartoons summing up the fruitless “debates” that this polarized Congress go through as the GOP tries to end Obama‘s Presidency…

Mr. Fish in Truthdig:

… and when we’re done, we’ll decide how to spend what we have left…

- and -

John Deering in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:


Waiting to see who wins as we all go over the falls…

- and -

Dan Wasserman in the Boston Globe:

Notice how well they listen to each other…

- and -

Dick Locher of Tribune Media Services:

… if we would all get with it….

- and -

Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald:

…and it l0oks like they are getting it.

Muybridge Backgrounds End This Week…

If anyone out there has one they really liked, let me know and I’ll put it up. Drop me a note at btchakir@mac.com titled Muybridge Request.

- Bill

The Idiots are “debating” all day…

… but are they coming up with anything? The Senate has  kept the Boehner Bill from getting voted on…. the House has voted down the Reid Bill (which he Senate hasn’t even voted on and which they can’t agree on an up-and-down vote… in which it would pass… or a 60 person vote…which it would fail.)

The Senate is coming to a decision at 1:00 AM… I don’t know if I want to stay up this late and find that nothing takes place.

I wonder if this Congress has any idea how stupid they appear to the rest of us in America? If they did, this would probably not be happening.

Tar and Feather the Politicians…

Ralph Nader signing books at Barnes & Noble Un...

Ralph Nader - "The Spoiler" - if it were not for him, Gore would have been President and we would probably not be in this position right now.

 

As we go through the weekend with both Democrats and Republicans more concerned with which side “wins” or “loses” than with the concerns and complaints of the general public, we rapidly approach the August 2nd Deadline.

So, perhaps they will give themselves a one week extension to figure out how to end this… perhaps even REALLY compromise on a solution. I tell you what would end this now… a consortium of the richest folks in America… called by a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates perhaps… who INSIST on returning to the tax levels they were at under Bill Clinton (when they all made significant monetary advances anyway). Greed, however, is stronger than Good, so I don’t think anything like a voiced opinion by wealthy folks will ever happen.

We are also getting to the extremes… and that brings out people like Ralph Nader (the Spoiler) who is now pushing for a primary challenge to Obama to bring out progressives and liberals dissatisfied with the President’s concessions to the Right. And , of course, the unchangeable Tea-Party Congressfolk can still do plenty of damage before the 2012 elections… the first time Americans can repair the mess they made for themselves in 2010.

If there were a way to just keep the politicians, the corporations, the lobbyists and pigs like the Koch Brothers out of all this and have a national referendum on raising the debt ceiling  and sharing the tax burden mor equitably… a referendum that would stand as law…  we might see a different world. But that will never happen, either.

We are in a deep and slippery-sided pit and climbing out seems damn near impossible. If they cut my Social Security payment and I can’t afford to do this blog anymore, I’ll be heading to DC with my pup tent and sleeping bag, with signs and my megaphone, and I would ask everyone in the same situation to join me.

Goings on in Shepherdstown this weekend…

This is the last weekend of the CATF and I’m told there are still tickets available for some of the plays.

 CALL THE BOX OFFICE TODAY!  800-999-CATF (2283)

There are still shows tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. RACE, unfortunately is sold out (although some people hang around the box office to see if there are cancellations or last minute non-attendees.)

Speaking of RACE, tomorrow (Saturday) at 4:30 PM at Reynolds Hall, the last CATF Free Lecture, this one on RACE and racial issues, will be held. Free means Free… and these things fill up. No reservations.

Tomorrow Morning from 9:00 to Noon you’ll find me and my friends at Morgan’s Grove Market. There’s going to be fresh local corn and other garden output for sale… plus baked goods, crafts, and other things. Plenty of free parking… just west of Morgan’s Grove park. Live music from 10 to Noon. Exercise classes and more. C’mon by. C’mon and buy.

Small Electronics Recycling

Corner of German & King Streets, at ‘The Wall’

104 N. King Street
Shepherdstown, WV
limit: 1 television per person. Bring in your old tape recorders, cd players, etc. Clean up your house!
—-

Sunday Farmers Market (behind the Library)… it’s the beginning of big produce season. Do your grocery shopping locally. 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

The Heat Keeps Up…

Looks like the extreme heat is going to keep up for the next few days according to the Weather Channel. The rain they predicted (scattered of course) for last night didn’t occur here in Shepherdstown, WV, so we have still more garden watering to do before we lose our fruits and vegetables (and sunflowers…beautiful sunflowers) to the awful weather.

To some, this is proof that Climate Change is actually happening as announced by the majority of scientists specializing in this stuff. Rush Limbaugh is, I hope, running around in this oven with a sweater on to prove his point. With any luck he’ll collapse from the heat (and blame his fall on Obama.)

As long as the AC is on, I’m spending most of my time in here watching the Republicans shaft Boehner on C-Span.

Muybridge Backgrounds Ending Next Week…

I know some of you have asked me to get rid of moving backgrounds… but I’m giving the Eadweard Muybridge animation samples one more week before they are gone forever (I change then 2 or 3 times a day.)

If you want to see the post I started these with, go HERE.

Most Disgusting Quote of July – have you heard this one?

Referring to the mass murders in Norway and the murderer’s views on immigrants:

Pat Buchanan joins the Ranks of the Inverted

“With her native-born populations aging, shrinking and dying, Europe’s nations have not discovered how to maintain their prosperity without immigrants. Yet the immigrants who have come – from the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia – have been slow to learn the language and have failed to attain the educational and occupational levels of Europeans. And the welfare states of Europe are breaking under the burden.[…]”

As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.”

- Pat Buchanan in an OpEd on World Net Daily.

Of course, Pat Buchanan is the main reason I don’t even turn Morning Joe on any more. If MSNBC had any sense, they’d ship him over to Fox who would welcome him in with open arms.

Congress pledges to work all weekend to solve Deficit Problem. I pledge to stop laughing as soon as I get off the floor.

We know for, what is now, a fact that the children in control of the House are going to pound their hands and feet on the floor to avoid compromise and the Democrats in the Senate, without seeing what the House may pass, has already vowed to vote against it.

John Boehner seems more concerned with shifting control of the Tea-Party loaded House back to his office… this, of course, he does by promoting Tea-Party principles… and Harry Reid and friends are working hrd to make sure Republicans are responsible for the Economic cesspool we are in.

President Obama seems to be staying on top of the fray… but that doesn’t mean anything is being accomplished. Then, there’s the possibility of the 14th Amendment brou-ha-ha to come into play… although Obama is indicating it won’t.

Rich and Greedy folks like the Koch Brothers are sitting on their money piles and holding off any attempts to get them to pay their fair share. Control freaks like Grover Norquist are waving signed copies of the no-tax pledges that have gotten Republicans to sign over their heads and yelling “small government” (as we continue to pursue our role as World Policeman at a cost of Billions of Bucks a day.)

And now they have indicated they will work the weekend in Congress to solve the problem… something they have not been able to do in their string of regular 3-day weeks (gee… they have to travel on Mondays and Fridays.).

I no longer wish to pay congressional salaries unless they actually come to a positive compromise. Nor do I think we should support their staffs. And if they don’t come up with this compromise.. and protect the lower and middle classes… in time for the August 2 collapse, they should be ejected from their offices as well. Let them sit out in the rain predicted for Saturday and figure out how they are going to justify their jobs.

Not sure I can do the Podcast this morning…

BlogTalkRadio appears to be down at present. If it isn’t up by 10 AM, I won’t get to the Under The LobsterScope podcast today… stay tuned for more info.

- Bill

UPDATE: WE’RE CONNECTED AGAIN. GO TO  BlogTalkRadioHERE .

Murdoch gives more to Democrats than Republicans?

RT4_Keynote_Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Why is this man smiling?

Harry Shearer dropped an interesting stat on Le Show this weekend: last month Rupert Murdoch’s organization gave significantly more in campaign donations to Democrats than it did to Republicans. Of approximately $50,000 in contributions, $32,000 went to Democrats… and primarily those associated with committees relating to the judiciary… as if Rupert had predicted in June the problems he’d be in in July.

However, it also appears that in the last couple of years Murdoch’s empire has given somewhat more to Democrats than to Republicans across the board. As Shearer pointed out, if the Fox News fans realized this, wouldn’t they protest?

Hmmmm.

Bill Clinton for Treasury Secretary?

Chris Matthews brought this idea out on Hardball yesterday and, the more I think of it, the more I think it’s a good one.

For one thing, he has been through the crap with Congress before. For another, he managed to get a surplus and left Bush with it to destroy.

And don’t forget, he is being listened to by a lot of people… I only wish Obama was listening to him more.

Transcript and video HERE.

Good play, Chris.

Beginning the last few days of July and waiting for this @#^&* Congress to do something about the debt ceiling…

Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti

We’re getting awfully close to that August 2d Deadline (1 week from tomorrow) and it doesn’t look like the House and the Senate AND the White House can get together on ANYTHING (especially without using whatever they do as a 2012 election strategy event.)

I’m beginning to hope none of these clowns ever get elected again and we return the country to King George the Third and let him raise the ceiling (what? He’s dead? Crap!)

Doing some history research, I came across the book “Democracy for the Few” by Michael Parenti which was published in 2008 and updated in 2010 (incidentally he gets into my personal peeve of Monsanto with it’s poisoned farmlands and manipulated seedlings in his section on the corporatization of the country.) Taking us back to the Founding Fathers and the Constitutional Convention, Parenti shows us that things are not so different now as they were then… the control of proceedings was held by the wealthy who responded with fear when demands were made by the masses, and gave in as little as possible:

… or, to put it more bluntly, the rich used politics to manipulate the people.

So the Republicans now want a plan which raises no taxes and which will be debated, without solving the problems, right up to the elections at the end of 2012, meanwhile ruining our credit and bond ratings with other countries (and with Social Security which it could conceivably wipe out since the surplus funding we are told over and over again will hold Social Security safe until 2035 in the same Federal Bonds which are being devalued.

Obama has done more than the Republicans, and much more than his Democratic allies, to move to the center and find concessions which would help all levels of our society. Democrats have tried negotiating from Biden’s committee on down only to be faced with opposite leadership walkouts (“I’m taking my bat and going home”) and regular upping of the agreeable compromises (btw, there are NO agreeable compromises here.) Republicans seem to have two needs to fill here: 1. Support their Corporate Funders, and 2. Make sure Obama is not reelected in 2012. In other words, to hell with the American society.

I don’t know what entertainment is forthcoming on C-Span 1&2 this week… I don’t know if I can watch any more of this.

I have to get ready for a middle-class uprising.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – The Debate gets us Nowhere because…?

Tony Auth in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Watching our Congressional Leaders negotiate with the President on raising the debt ceiling has given me a really negative opinion of the House…

- and -Chan Lowe in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

… For one thing, they listen to the least politically knowledgeable people…

- and -

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

… and the spend so much of their time trying to get through legislation which does not add to the solution of the major economic problems…

- and -

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

…and many of the right wing folks, led on by their radio stars, try to make us think there is no real problem…

- and -

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

… so, wouldn’t it be nice if they had real leaders who responded to all of us?

 

We haven’t heard about former Democratic campaigner John Edwards in a while…

… then this turned up on the Atlantic Wire:

The Federal Election Commission ordered John Edwards to pay $2.3 million back to the U.S. Treasury from his candidacy in the 2008 presidential primaries. In a routine audit, the FEC says the campaign received $2.1 million more in federal matching funds than it was entitled to, which it now must repay, as well as $141,000 in what The Wall Street Journal calls “stale-dated checks.” The Edwards campaign committee still had $2.6 million in its coffers as of June 30. A lawyer for Edwards is disputing the ruling.

Looks like this will just about wipe out the bank roll. I wonder what he’ll do with the last .3 million (oh, I imagine the lawyer gets it.)

Last Five Weeks to order Web Poppers at $39.95…

… then I am going back to it’s original purchase price of $75.00.

But since I really need help supporting this Blog (and the weekly Podcast that goes with it) I’ll keep the sale price on until August 27th…

So I’m selling the basic set of my Web Poppers, a collection of small images, averaging 72 x 72 pixels, that are based on Bill’s picture font designs and other sources. They can be used to illustrate posts or to comment on any number of issues. You’ve seen me use them frequently on this blog – I hate posts without pictures!

Each set is delivered on CD with 300 of the most popular JPEG images that I use in my own blogs, Under The LobsterScope and Panhandle Vegan. I have been getting great responses to these for the past year and the number of requests that I release them has been substantial.

So here they are.

The complete set originally cost $75.00, but for the next five weeks they are going for $39.95, all taxes and shipping included. Every set that is sold helps support this blog… and believe me, we need it.

Some samples from the 300:

To purchase, click HERE.

Off to Morgan’s Grove Market…

… but it looks like rain coming.

I’m getting a late start today… slept until 8 AM after getting up and down all night.

After I walk the dogs I’m heading over to the market to see how Ruth and evryone else are doing. Hope I see you there.

We’re supposed to have fireworks tonight…

…but we are currently being hit by a string of thunder storms passing over us toward Hagerstown. The Fire Department Carnival, which is supposed to present the fireworks at 10:45 PM,  hasn’t announced a cancellation yet… if they do, tomorrow night is the rain date.

The Weather Channel, however, is predicting a 70% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow and tomorrow night. Shepherdstown Fire Department has not listed another rain date…yet… so maybe we will or won’t have fireworks this year. These are the ones I really like, since Elly and I can sit on our back deck and not have to leave the house or find parking.

Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

Under The LobsterScope needs your help to keep going…

…but there’s something in it for you (beyond the daily goodies put out for your enjoyment):

Support this blog with $5.00 or more…

…and get “Bill’s Barnhart Ornaments,” a great image font,based on authentic turn-of-the-century ornaments in the Barnhart Bros. & Spindler specimen book, e-mailed to you immediately.

So many of you have been following this blog since 2004 that I feel like a member of a huge web community.

I have enjoyed bringing you The Cartoon or Cartoons of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the animated Muybridge backgrounds, the Blogrolls to the best sites in America and beyond… They are all a joy to put together. Often we get the breaking political stories before you see them anywhere else. And our wide open communication channels with readers can’t be beat.

Well, as you must know by now, I need YOUR help to keep it going. I’m hoping you will make a small contribution, by PayPal or credit/debit card, in support of Under The LobsterScope. You’d be amazed at how much $5.00 can do to help me bring more and more to these pages. And it is probably the LOWEST donation requested by any publication… interactive or not.

But there’s a real reward for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE):   a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Barnhart Ornaments (I send you the True Type versions for both Macs and PCs by email). I regularly sell this font for $29.95. (See the Sample Below.)

You should know, however, that even a contribution of only $1.00 adds to the ability of this unemployed blogger to find things for your benefit, and gives you my heartfelt thanks. By clicking on the DONATE button below, you tell me that Under The LobsterScope makes a difference in your time on the web.

Thanks,

- Bill T.

I loved Nick Kristof’s column in the NYT this morning…

… called “Bonuses for Billionaires….”

If you’d like a very funny summary of the values of Republican/Teaparty thought on busting the deficit, check it out HERE.

Quote for the Day – Women should have free access to birth control…

According to Salon:

Free birth control should be offered to all American women as a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The report, released Tuesday, detailed services that should be classified as preventative medicine under the act and as such should be fully covered by insurers.

“… currently, nearly one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control, and that’s why the United States has a far higher unintended-pregnancy rate than other industrialized countries.”

- Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America

Although this is likely to open up a can of worms, it is certainly worth considering.

You can sign a petition HERE.

Here’s an evening quote to ponder – from someone who seems like a total schmuck…

From: Allen West
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Allen West joins the Ranks of the Inverted

Look, Debbie . . . let me make myself perfectly clear . . . you are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. . . You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

- Excerpts from an email by Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

If you’d like to join the rest of us who are protesting the sexist behavior of Allen West, go to Emily’s List and sign the petition.

And what caused this attack on Wasserman-Schultz/ here is a summary from The Christian Science Monitor:

Wasserman Schultz offended West’s sensibilities Tuesday when she went after “the gentleman from Florida” on the House floor for supporting the now-passed “cut, cap, and balance” legislation, which requires deep cuts in federal spending. She noted that West represents thousands of Medicarebeneficiaries, as does she, and “is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a member from south Florida.”

She also complained that the legislation “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas.”

Standard rhetorical fare, especially for a national party chair. But West took offense, and turned the dial up a few notches.

Well, that sure sounded vile, despicable and unprofessional to me… and btw, representatives are not allowed to directly address other representatives in the House… they may only address the chair, which Wasserman-Schulz did.

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