Blog Archives

Now that the Political Season is 0ver…

After the most expensive and longest and most frustrating presidential campaign in our history, we can now get back to0 the important stuff. To me, of course, that is the Arts, especially Visual Arts and Theatre. To kick off my searches and good feelings, here’s some verse by Kurt Vonnegut that my pal Joe Bratcher uploaded to Facebook:

I agree with you, Kurt. We have enough investment bankers, corporate execs and politicians already. Artists we need more of.

We hear so much about truth when talking about candidates’ statements…

… but is Obama/Biden or Romney Ryan the more truthful team? The Dems are the losers on lying… but the Republicans cannot seem to achieve overall truthfulness. Politifact evaluates their percentages of truthful expression as follows:

So if having candidates you can believe is important, then there is no question of which team to support.

 

I REALLY need your help to continue the blog…

…and, of course, I have a free gift for donations of $5.00 or more…

…you get my popular picture font:“Bill’s Victorian Ornaments” These images created from traditional and period sources are very usable at any size in designs and publications. The font comes for Mac and PC, and I usually sell it for $29.95. It’s my way of saying “Thank You” to offer it to $5 or more donors. Believe me, October is becoming a low income month and I HAVE to get some contributions to keep going.

So many of you have been following this blog since 2004 that I feel we’ve built a huge web community.

I have enjoyed bringing you the Cartoon(s) of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls of 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. I offer your participation at all times and appreciate the hundreds of subscribers who sign up every year.

Without  YOUR help to keep it going, I’m in big trouble. 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 annual subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not. I often receive larger contributions and I certainly appreciate those.

Remember, for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Victorian Ornaments and the knowledge that this blog will continue onward.

(I send you font versions for both Macs and PCs by email, and include a typeface keyboard directory.
See the Sample Below.)

I should note that even a donation of $1.00 gets my thanks and helps to keep this blog going. 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.

 

Thanks for your contribution, Joe Bratcher

My thanks to
Joe Bratcher for donating to Under The LobsterScope. Thanks, 
Joe .

Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Victorian Ornaments  font is on the way!

- Bill

If you’d like to help us out at Under The LobsterScope (and we hope you will), go HERE.

Related articles

 

My great thanks to Sheila Vertino for contributing to the blog…

My thanks to
Sheila Vertino for donating to Under The LobsterScope. Thanks, 
Sheila .

Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Victorian Ornaments  font is on the way!

- Bill

If you’d like to help us out at Under The LobsterScope (and we hope you will), go HERE.

 

I REALLY need your help to continue the blog…

…and, of course, I have a free gift for donations of $5.00 or more…

…you get my popular picture font:“Bill’s Victorian Ornaments” These images created from traditional and period sources are very usable at any size in designs and publications. The font comes for Mac and PC, and I usually sell it for $29.95. It’s my way of saying “Thank You” to offer it to $5 or more donors. Believe me, October is becoming a low income month and I HAVE to get some contributions to keep going.

So many of you have been following this blog since 2004 that I feel we’ve built a huge web community.

I have enjoyed bringing you the Cartoon(s) of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls of 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. I offer your participation at all times and appreciate the hundreds of subscribers who sign up every year.

Without  YOUR help to keep it going, I’m in big trouble. 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 annual subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not. I often receive larger contributions and I certainly appreciate those.

Remember, for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Victorian Ornaments and the knowledge that this blog will continue onward.

(I send you font versions for both Macs and PCs by email, and include a typeface keyboard directory.
See the Sample Below.)

I should note that even a donation of $1.00 gets my thanks and helps to keep this blog going. 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.

Keeping this blog going requires your help…

…and I will give you a free gift if you make a donation of $5.00 or more…

…you get my popular picture font:“Bill’s Victorian Ornaments” These images created from traditional and period sources are very usable at any size in designs and publications. The font comes for Mac and PC, and I usually sell it for $29.95. It’s my way of saying “Thank You” to offer it to $5 or more donors.

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(s) of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls of 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. I offer your participation at all times and appreciate the hundreds of subscribers who sign up every year.

I really 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 annual subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not. I often receive larger contributions and I certainly appreciate those.

Remember, for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Victorian Ornaments and the knowledge that this blog will continue onward.

(I send you font versions for both Macs and PCs by email, and include a typeface keyboard directory.
See the Sample Below.)

I should note that even a donation of $1.00 gets my thanks and helps to keep this blog going. 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.

Keeping this blog going requires your help…

 

…and I will give you a free gift if you make a donation of $5.00 or more…

…you get my absolutely most popular picture font:“Bill’s Broadway DECOrations” These images created from many traditional and period sources are very usable at any size in designs and publications. The font comes for Mac and PC, and I usually sell it for $29.95. It’s my way of saying “Thank You” to offer it to $5 or more donors.

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(s) of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls of 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. I offer your participation at all times and appreciate the hundreds of subscribers who sign up every year.

I really 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 annual subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not. I often receive larger contributions and I certainly appreciate those.

Remember, for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Broadway DECOrations and the knowledge that this blog will continue onward.

(I send you font versions for both Macs and PCs by email, and include a typeface keyboard directory.
See the Sample Below.)

I should note that even a donation of $1.00 gets my thanks and helps to keep this blog going. 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.

 

A view from the far left…

 

…from Sam Webb, National Chairperson of the Communist Party:

 

“…I don’t believe that the Republicans even care if the economy rebounds. A sluggish economy in their view is their only path to the White House in this election cycle. If confronted, they will deny it, but if you judge them by their actions in Congress, it seems apparent that sabotage of the president’s economic plans is at the top of their agenda. It is the thin reed on which their return to power and domination rests.

“To say that Romney and his fellow Republicans are consciously undermining the economy for the purpose of winning this election is probably hard for many Americans to swallow.

“Even with their skepticism of politicians and the political process, many American people still believe that there are bounds beyond which neither party would go to accomplish its aims. That is not the case in this instance in my opinion. No matter what the cost and pain, Romney and the Republicans are hell bent on undermining any recovery of growth rates and jobs in order to emerge triumphant on Election Day.

It may bother you that Webb is a Communist, but he is an American Communist which means he has more of a left side political agenda and is strongly related to worker’s employment and unions. This is something the right has no concern with.

To see the rest of his article go HERE.

 

I really need your support to keep this blog up to date and functional…

 

…and I will give you a free gift if you make a donation of $5.00 or more…

…you get my absolutely most popular picture font:“Bill’s Broadway DECOrations” These images created from many traditional and period sources are very usable at any size in designs and publications. The font comes for Mac and PC, and I usually sell it for $29.95. It’s my way of saying “Thank You” to offer it to $5 or more donors.

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(s) of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls of 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. I offer your participation at all times and appreciate the hundreds of subscribers who sign up every year.

I really 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 annual subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not. I often receive larger contributions and I certainly appreciate those.

Remember, for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Broadway DECOrations and the knowledge that this blog will continue onward.

(I send you font versions for both Macs and PCs by email, and include a typeface keyboard directory.
See the Sample Below.)

I should note that even a donation of $1.00 gets my thanks and helps to keep this blog going. 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.

 

Thanks to Mary Ellen Heinemann and beverle bloch for their contributions to this blog…

My thanks to Mary Ellen Heinemann and beverle bloch donations to Under The LobsterScope. The two of you contributed on the same day and raised my spirits immensely.

Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Box Specials  font is on the way!

- Bill

If you’d like to help us out at Under The LobsterScope (and we hope you will), go HERE.

Wedding rehearsal day… Have to make sure it’s not done wrong.

Today Bud and Rachel (known as Will and Rachel to their friends… his mother and I seem to be stuck on Buddy) will rehearse tomorrow’s wedding, then we will have the Rehearsal Dinner which we will be paying for.

We had breakfast here at the Hilton with my daughter Cassandra and her husband, Matthew. I understand my other daughter, Penny, and her kids are now in the hotel somewhere as are my mother and my sister. These Hiltons are making a lot of money off this one family!

More later…

Here we are in Milwaukee…

 

After a 14-hour train ride with no sleep, we are now at the Hilton hotel in downtown Milwaukee. Actually, I just woke up after sleeping for about five hours.

Our son met us at the RR station and got us over to the hotel. Then he took off again to have his Bachelor’s party with his friends.

We’ve had no Wi-Fi until we got here…so I’m sorry not to have kept up with you.

Tomorrow is the wedding rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner… more to come…

I’m going back to bed.

 

Today we leave (via Amtrack) for Wisconsin… Changing trains in Chicago.

 

OK. We’re in the middle of packing and getting ready to take off for Milwaukee. I’m getting clothes together and my pills and other medications, my computer and everything else I need to get to Buddy’s wedding. The dogs have been put in a nearby kennel for their “dog vacation,” and I miss them already.

The pain from my broken bones has gotten so much better that I think I will get through this trip okay. We have arranged for wheelchair transport at the railroad stations, one where we change trains in Chicago and the when we get into Milwaukee, so I should be able to get around with luggage.

Let me warn my regular readers at Under The LobsterScope that I may be missing some posts as we travel. The railroad stations already list that they don’t have Wi-Fi and I’m not sure what the situation will be at the hotel.  I will try to get at least one post a day out, preferably with pictures. This should have many interesting scenes worth showing on the blog.

We will be on the road from this evening until Tuesday morning after which will be back in West Virginia and ready to start my regular schedule. I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

 

How do we deal with American illiteracy?

Perhaps you are disturbed, as I am, that there are large numbers of Americans appearing in this political season who cannot interpret either the needs of the nation or the words of various experts in how to fill those needs. It is very apparent in the repetition by average Americans of things they hear from sources like Fox News, or even CNN and MSNBC, without evaluating whether they are true.

This has a lot to do with literacy, defined by ProLiteracy.org as “the ability to read, write, compute, and use technology at a level that enables an individual to reach his or her full potential as a parent, employee, and community member.” The statistics?

  • 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
  • An additional 30 million 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
  • Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
  • The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
  • In the U.S., 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
  • An additional 30 million 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
  • Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
  • The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
  • Adult low literacy can be connected to almost every socio-economic issue in the United States.
  • Low health literacy costs between $106 billion and $236 billion each year in the U.S.
  • Seventy-seven million Americans have only a 2-in-3 chance of correctly reading an over-the-counter drug label or understanding their child’s vaccination chart.
  • Low literacy’s effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.

Got the idea? How do you think the result of these statistics show up during the election season? Take a look:

This is not something that can be corrected in the short term… mores the pity. It requires long-term support of education and the increased employment of teachers. It mandates aiming the majority of our youth to college education as opposed to the military. It means encouraging reading and writing on continuing upgraded levels.

It also requires a massive reduction in the influence of current television programming, something that is the least likely to happen anytime soon.

 

 

Why Social Security is doing fine… and how it can do better (Republicans take notes)

That’s the situation. The next time the Republicans accuse Social Security of adding to the deficit, play this for them (and tell them to put back the money Bush stole from it.)

Romney, btw, wants to cut a hunk out of Social Security – but he doesn’t need it.

Even a Conservative sees the reality of lobbyists…

“Lobbying is a form of legalized bribery.”

- Christopher Buckley

Here is a former speechwriter in the Reagan White House (and a fine American satirist) who made this statement on Morning Joe this morning. Interesting that he also favors President Obama over Mitt Romney… although he is upset that the Bowles-Simpson report was walked away from by the Administration. In reality, libertarian Buckley was dropped as a conservative National Review writer for endorsing Obama in 2008.

However, in commenting on his political involvement:

“My last name happens to be Buckley. That’s my only connection with politics.”

The most powerful number in the nation…

A quote from the Mashed Potato Bulletin… and one I can’t help but agree with:

I tell the students in my class at the City College of New York that “five” is the most powerful number in the nation. For as we have seen, five votes on the Supreme Court can pick a president—voters notwithstanding—and five votes could redefine our understanding of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution—precedents notwithstanding.

So… as the President comes forward to hope that the Health Care law remain unjudiciated by the SCOTUS, we have to sit on our seat edges to see if they want to be the third legislative house.

What can we do when the Court defies the Constitution they are supposed to preserve by interpretation?

And what are the main complaints the Repiglicants have concerning the Affordable Care Act

In an article called “More good news about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): CBO says it will save money“, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (a great blog, btw) brings one of the most important results of “Obamacare” to plain view: The Congressional Budget Office shows it will save money:

Remember, without the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. was experiencing health care cost inflation of about 15%annually.

You might not know it if you read conservative blogs, watch Fox News, or listen to the Republican candidates for president — all of whom seem to have their fact panties on wrong — but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the bill will reduce federal spending, still, even after accounting for recent changes in law and changes in the economy that will increase costs of the bill’s provisions.

Yeah, Obamacare saves money.

The new law will  not eliminate the problem of people not having insurance coverage to guarantee access to health care, a sad result of Republican efforts to cut the bill’s effectiveness.  But it’s a great first step to making America better, healthier, and economically more sound.

I guess you haven’t heard about the savings of the ACA from the garbage the Repiglicants are spreading in their goal to have the Supreme Court tear it down.

Now, certainly, the ACA could have been better… it could have been a single payer program which would have wiped the greed of insurance companies off the dish, leaving us with security for all.

Perhaps this could happen in a second Obama term. If he doesn’t make it in… if the Dems don’t retake the House and hold onto the Senate, we’ll probably never know.

If you’re an aging diabetic like me, with an increasing dependance on Medicare and, possibly, Medicaid, you will have a certain view of the efforts to kill ACA. If you are not, or are not related to someone who is, consider yourself very lucky (and probably in the minority.)

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On

btchakir:

http://doubledippolitics.com/2012/03/10/gop-destruction-of-middle-class-and-unions-rages-on/

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On | Double Dip Politics… btw, Ye Olde Soapbox has been added to the Blogroll.

Originally posted on Ye Olde Soapbox:

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On

 

BY ANNABEL LEE

 

“Big Labor Plots 2012 Revenge” screamed the headline on Politico.com. Naturally, the headline aroused my attention as I was reading. What were the labor unions planning? Was this some massive resistance movement or gathering being planning of which I was not aware? Was this some breaking story about a labor push back against the nonsensical collective bargaining stripping laws? Was it a new resurgence of union membership working to prevent harmful right-to-work state statutes? What could labor unions be planning that led the conservative Politico.com to post such a headline? 

The article begins by speaking about labor unions being weakened. The political muscles are still there, despite GOP attempts to break the unions. The author, Robin Bravender, listed Scott Walker’s recall election, political donations to the Democratic Party, and ballot fights removing power from the unions. None…

View original 267 more words

Ayn Rand an Illegal Immigrant

btchakir:

Ayn Rand

My thanks to Bruce The Economist for bringing attention to this as we see the conservative elite clamp down on possible voting immigrants…

Originally posted on Brucetheeconomist's Blog:

Date: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Earlier this month was the birthday of Ayn Rand, the controversial philosopher and novelist, who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1926. Regardless of what one thinks of her ideas, there is no denying that she was a great American. When the American intelligentsia was playing footsie with Soviet communism, Rand unabashedly defended liberty and individual rights, America’s core values, famously declaring: “[The] United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”

But this proud naturalized American, who arguably did more than any contemporary figure to restore the faith of Americans in America, might have been hounded out of the country if one of our current crop of Republican hopefuls had been president when she arrived. Why? Because Rand lied and bent every rule to gain…

View original 6 more words

Bernie Sanders vs. Citizens United

Just a few days after Los Angeles California voted in a resolution that did not let Corporations be considered individuals, Bernie Sanders has proposed a Constitutional Amendment which will wipe out the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.

Here it is:

Sen. Sanders’ proposed Saving American Democracy amendment states:

SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

SECTION 2. Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

SECTION 3. Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.

SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.


Whether or not this will get anywhere has yet to be seen… but at least we can count on Bernie to keep it in front of the field during the upcoming elections.

Prediction: Obama will retake Presidency

Cover of

Lichtman's Book

From Washington Whispers in USNews.com:

Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election, has a belated birthday present for Barack Obama: Rest easy, your re-election is in the bag.

“Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose,” says Lichtman, the brains behind The Keys to the White House. [...]

Lichtman developed his 13 Keys in 1981. They test the performance of the party that holds the presidency. If six or more of the 13 keys go against the party in power, then the opposing party wins.“The keys have figured into popular politics a bit,” Lichtman says. “They’ve never missed. They’ve been right seven elections in a row. A number that goes way beyond statistical significance in a record no other system even comes close to.”

It’s July Fools Day…

We’re getting ready to celebrate the 4th with Congressmen everywhere sucking down hotdogs and beer and telling us all how they love America and will get our budget balanced and get the evils out of government. Then they get into their Koch Brothers paid cars and head for the next community cookout so they can check it off on their itinerary.

Meanwhile, we decide not to spend too much this weekend. There’s a good chance these dipshits will let the government close down and my Social Security check won’t be there in August, so I have to save cash now (gosh, does this mean I’m helping to lower the economy further because I’m not buying anything?) for basics through the end of summer.

And while I know there’s no fool like a July fool, I’m afraid the fool is me because I didn’t prevent these guys from doing all this (but now you’ll never catch me buying a Bounty paper towel.) You didn’t either.

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