Monthly Archives: August 2010

Here in West Virginia’s Second District, I’d like to spread a message from John Case…

Why am I supporting Virginia Lynch Graf for United States House of Representatives in the  2nd district, WV, during this upcoming fall election?

• Virginia Lynch Graf is a person of integrity; she takes no money from special interest groups.
• A life-long educator, she supports job creation, job retraining, and quality education – integral to economic success.
• Graf supports green energy, carbon capture from coal, protection of our waters.
• Graf will work to make tourism our # 1 effort for economic recovery throughout the 2nd district.
• Graf opposes mountain top removal and strip mining which are destroying our beautiful state.

And of course, I am SO ready to send Ms Capito, who was a complete flunky for Bush for the entire 8 years, HOME.

Best wishes — and Commit to Vote on November 2!

My thanks to John Case (for whom I’ll be subbing on WSHC FM on Friday Morning and Monday – Labor Day – Morning. Please tune in) for sending out this message.

Hard to believe… interviews of Beck Rally attendees and why they were there.

An appropriate quote on You Tube where I found this revealing video of interviews on the Mall:

“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

– Sinclair Lewis

Words to Live By… a new series.

“Guns are stupid. Duct tape is smart.”

– Michael Westen of Burn Notice

Gallup: Republican Congressional Ballot Lead Highest Ever, says TPM this morning…

“The Republican leads of 6, 7, and 10 points this month are all higher than any previous midterm Republican advantage in Gallup’s history of tracking the generic ballot, which dates to 1942. Prior to this year, the highest such gap was five points, measured in June 2002 and July 1994. Elections in both of these years resulted in significant Republican gains in House seats.”
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Gallup is reporting that the GOP lead in congressional generic polling is now 10 points — the largest lead for the party in the storied polling firm’s history. The poll asks respondents which party they would prefer to see in control of Congress. Republicans now lead Gallup’s generic ballot 51-41.
Gallup attributes the double-digit Republican lead in its latest polling to the massive GOP advantage in voter enthusiasm, a story we’ve been talking about all year. The newest Gallup numbers show Republicans with a staggering 25% advantage in voter enthusiasm. What does that mean in real terms? “Republicans are now twice as likely as Democrats to be ‘very’ enthusiastic about voting,” the pollster writes.
Gallup is one of America’s oldest pollsters and has a long memory when it comes to political questions. Digging in its own archives, the pollster puts the month of August into historical perspective when it comes to the newest numbers:

Gallup surveyed 1,540 registered voters Aug. 23-29. The margin of error is 4%.”

blog it

“Democrats have argued that there’s still a lot of time before voters head to the polls in November, and they say that further public discussion of what they’ve accomplished since President Obama was inaugurated will close the gap for the Democrats by Election Day. But Republicans say that it’s what the Democrats haven’t accomplished — namely, putting a big dent in the nation’s unemployment numbers — that will tilt things heavily in the GOP’s favor when all is said and done this year.”

I’ve been cooking…

…and I just finished making the sugar-free, vegan, organic carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting. It took me about an hour altogether, giving me a chance to unload, load and start the dishwasher as I waited for parts to cook or stand.

The original recipe is over at my Panhandle-Vegan blog where I am about to list the modifications I made.

I haven’t tasted it yet… I’m waiting for Elly to get home from School.

I have great confidence, however.

Quote of the Day – How the Big Russian stays in charge…

“If you get (permission), you go and march. If you don’t — you have no right to. Go without permission, and you will be hit on the head with batons. That’s all there is to it.”

— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, quoted by Reuters, defending a recent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Makes me very glad of what we’ve got here… that’s why I worry about the Tea Party and the seeming need to eliminate all but white, Christian Americans.

Ricky Gervais on Atheism…

I found this when I was searching YouTube for Mosque comments, of all things.

Now I know why I like Ricky Gervais so much…

Best quote:

“if there is a God, why did He make me an atheist?”

A new application for my Theatre friends to put on their web sites…

I got this from my Thomas Cott theatre mailing this morning… “talkbkr”, a way of getting audience comments from your web site.

From their promotional:

Talkback n – A theatre term referring to a situation in which an audience offers feedback to a production cast/crew.

This is your chance to offer an informal, anonymous talkback/feedback mechanism for your audience members. Put the name of your event below, along with a contact email, and follow the instructions on the next page.

Best of all, it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!

If you want it, go HERE. I’m going to see if Full Circle wants it set up for their shows.

Here’s another reason why I think religion needs to be stamped out…

‘Sinner’ singer given 39 lashes by rabbis
08/27/2010 02:45

Punishment for performance in front of “mixed audience.”

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RABBI AMNON YITZHAk (left) listens to Rabbi Ben Zion Mutsafi as he speaks of the leather strip with

A singer who performed in front of a “mixed audience” of men and women was lashed 39 times to make him “repent,” after a ruling by a self-described rabbinic court on Wednesday.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, founder of the Shofar organization aimed at bringing Jews “back to religion” (hazara betshuva), has made it his recent mission to fight against musical performances for both men and women.
His “judicial panel,” with Rabbi Ben Zion Mutsafi and another member, sentenced Erez Yechiel to 39 lashes in order to “rid him of his sins.”
In a video clip of the court posted on the Shofar Web site, Ben Zion said that those who make others sin (mahtiei rabim), such as artists who make men and women attend performances or dance together, have no place in the world to come.
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Yechiel, who said, “I accept upon myself the lashing for my sins,” was ordered to stand by a wooden poll with his head facing north (“from whence the evil inclination comes”), his hands tied with a azure-colored rope (“a symbol of mercy”), and served his “sentence.”

Quote of the Day – Career

“My name is John Stewart and I tell dumb jokes for money.”

– Daily Show host John Stewart in a documentary on the NY Times Crossword Puzzle that I was watching this afternoon.

I’ve never heard someone sum up their successful career as well.

Some Predictions for the Fall…

1. Joe Manchin will be the next West Virginia Senator. He ran the field in the Saturday Democratic Primary and I see no reason why he won’t take the Senate in the same measure that he took the Governorship.

2. Karzai and U.S. are heading to a major fallout. This week Karzai fired the major corruption attorney which we placed in the Afghanistan government because he was getting too close. How long can this last?

3. Christmas Sales will fall flat this year… jobs won’t pick up enough. If only America would realize how many unemployed sixty-plus-year-olds are willing to apply their experience at much lower pay than they had been getting, we could really get out of a lot of this.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – The Questionable Issues of Republican Politics

Jeff Stahler in the Columbus Dispatch:

How do you make a scared American?

– and –

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

How do you create a phony issue?

-and –

Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

How do you build on the public’s knowledge of American History?

– and –

Milt Priggee at

If you can’t do all these things to avoid REAL Issues, how can you be a Republican?

I saw a Praying Mantis in the garden yesterday as I watered…

…a change from the stinkbugs, bees and grasshoppers that I’ve been seeing. Is it mating time?

Perhaps Isabella Rosselini can give us some insight:

Love it!

Picked this up from Op Ed News…

As a blogger, I find this particularly displeasing (and a violation of Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech).

This is the opening couple of paragraphs, but the rest is worth reading (and responding to):

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Boycott Philly? Why Philadelphia’s Licensing and Taxing of Blogs is Creeping Fascism
By Darren Wolfe (about the author)

The recent decision by the City of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania to require a Business Privilege License ($50 a year or lifetime cost of $300) of blogs and that the blogs be taxed on any profits has generated a well deserved outcry from free marketers across the country.

Many have invoked Chief Justice John Marshall’s famous words, “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” They are right, this will be the end of independent blogging in Philadelphia and around the world when this spreads across countries.

The tax is actually the least of the threats to blogging the city is creating. The major threat is
the licensing. Once the precedent is established that blogs can be licensed the government’s control of the blogosphere will grow in small increments until it can shut us all down by simply requiring and then denying said license.
blog it

Read the rest HERE.

American Idiocy Gathers at Lincoln’s Memorial

In about 90 minutes from the time I’m entering this, Glenn Beck will be starting his rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King‘s “I Have a Dream” speech and the Teabag/conservative types will work for a return to the white America of the Reagan days.

This is a good day to keep the television off and read a good book.

What happens if “No One” gets elected in Nevada…

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For more than three decades, Nevada voters have had the choice of choosing “None of These Candidates” when they enter the voting booth. With a new Mason-Dixon poll showing Nevadans very unhappy with their choices in the U.S. Senate race, the ballot line might actually help determine the victor.

Nate Silver thinks Sen. Harry Reid (D) may “be hoping to get an assist from the ballot option this year, which is unique among the 50 states. Indeed, there are those who think his entire campaign may be predicated upon it. Mr. Reid’s job approval numbers, hovering around 40 percent in most polls, would ordinarily prevent a candidate from being re-elected. But his opponent Sharron Angle, whom Mr. Reid’s campaign has tagged for her ‘extreme and dangerous’ views, might not be elected under ordinary circumstances either.”
Major caveat: “None of These Candidates” cannot actually win the
election. If it were to win a plurality, the election would default to
the second-place candidate.
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So…. Harry Reid could “lose” and still “win”?

(Untrue) Quote of the Day

“The biggest advance of the abortion industry in America is the passage of Obamacare.”

Sarah Palin

…and the biggest advance in idiocy is Sarah Palin’s statement.

Radio Show’s over and we’re having coffee at Mellow Moods…

John Case and I are sitting here planning next Wednesday morning when we’ll actually be broadcasting from the Mellow Moods Cafe. This is the first time we’ve attempted a location  broadcast (although John used to do them some years ago from the Lost Dog… another coffee shop down German Street.)

We’ll bring an extra mike so we can interview folks here… but we don’t really know who will be on the list (except Mellow Moods’ Phil).

So tune in to WSHC 89.7 FM next Wednesday morning from 7:30 to 9:00 AM and listen in.

Quote of the Day – The Governor of NY on the Stabbing of a Muslim Cab Driver in NYC

“In the wake of the alleged hate crime against a New York City taxi driver, I must take this opportunity to remind New Yorkers that we cannot and will not allow bias and ignorance to infect our communities and deny our hard working, innocent residents the respect they deserve.

The potential for this kind of violence is one of the reasons why I have called publicly for a respectful and unifying conversation about the Park51 project. I continue to offer my assistance for an open dialogue that I believe will help to bring New Yorkers together.”

– Gov. David Paterson (D) using this opportunity to push his plan to get the Park51 project to change locations.

So I guess the Governor and the Mayor are on different planets. Me, I’ll side with the Mayor.

Glen Greenwald has a well-informed article on Yemen and the US in this morning’s Salon…

Here is his summation – it should encourage you to go in and read the rest:
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The campaign against the Park51 community center in Lower Manhattan is being condemned, rightfully so, because it is driven by a desire to stigmatize all Muslims and even institute a generalized war against Islam as American policy.  But far from Ground Zero, having nothing whatsoever to do with the warped right-wing fanatics driving that campaign, we’re increasingly engaging in actions perceived — understandably so — to be exactly the War against Muslims which, with our pretty presidential words, we renounce.  Escalation in Afghanistan, a sustained bombing campaign in Pakistan, all sorts of increased covert actions in multiple Muslim countries, the ongoing imprisonment with no charges of Muslims around the world, bellicose threats to Iran, and now a proposed expansion of our drone campaign into Yemen:  we can insist all we want that we are not waging a War Against Muslims, but it’s going to look to a huge number of people as though we’re doing exactly that.
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So here we are with another Muslim country to accidentally kill women and children in and make them love us. Thanks, Glenn.

One Web Day is September 22…

Under The LobsterScope will be participating again. You can too.

OneWebDay 2010 will be held on Wednesday 22 September 2010. The suggested theme for this year’s events is to emphasize three important aspects of the Internet’s existence that ensure it’s continuing health and growth as a public resource:

1)  The End-to-End Principle – the principle that allows any application on any user’s machine to directly connect and interact with any application on any other user’s machine, without hindrance.
2)  Open Internetworking – Openness is the overarching principle that has ensured the success and growth of the Internet to date. User access, choice and transparency are critical to the success of the Internet and must be incorporated as central features of current and future policy frameworks for the Internet.
3)  The Internet model – The Internet is successful in large part due to its unique model: shared global ownership, development based on open standards, and freely accessible processes for technology and policy development. The Internet model is open, transparent, and collaborative. The model relies on processes and products that are local, bottom-up, and accessible to users around the world.

Go to onewebday2010.organd find out how you can participate.
– BT

And now for the last post of the evening…My Wife Knows Everything vs. The Wife Doesn’t Know…

…perhaps you saw this on a news program. It’s from a race last Sunday at Monmouth Park:

… and, of course, MY wife knows everything, too. And she always wins!

Watching a “Thurber Carnival” Rehearsal…

I’m over at Full Circle Theater (Shepherdstown) tonite watching a rehearsal of Thurber Carnival, picking up a script and a (preliminary) lighting cue sheet and having a talk with Melinda, the Director.

I’m doing the lighting for this one and my Friday morning Radio Buddy, John Case, is in the cast.

The fuzzy picture has John in the second from left position (sorry about that, I used the camera in my laptop with rehearsal lights).

This show opens next month and I’ll have more on it later.

Fat Diabetic Vegan is now down 47 Pounds…

The last time I posted an update on my weight loss activities (back in June) I had lost 35 pounds. As of this morning, I’m now down 47 pounds, with 103 to go on my overall goal of 150 pounds.

So that means I’ve lost 47 pounds in just about 10 months. I know to many folks who watch those horrible nutri-whatever commercials on TV that that may sound like a lot, but when you start out at 385 pounds it is really only s small achievement.

I do feel a lot healthier and have more energy than before. And my blood sugar seems to be easier to control, so I won’t complain.

It is also 10 months or so since Elly and I adopted the Vegan Lifestyle (and I started my other blog, Panhandle Vegan.) Of course, this has a great deal to do with the weight loss… it has caused a complete change in my “eating lifestyle”, but that change had been surprisingly easy to pull off.

Someday I am going to head a post that says “Thin Diabetic Vegan is Down 150 Pounds.” It will be at least another year and probably more… so please bear with me.   -BT

Turn Off FOX…

Many of us already know that Fox News is biased — but it’s actually much worse than that. For years they have used lies, distortions, and race-baiting to divide this country. Recently, it’s gotten downright dangerous. Earlier this summer, a heavily armed man got into a gun fight with police after he was pulled over on his way to kill people at the Tides Foundation[1] — an obscure non-profit that Glenn Beck regularly demonizes on his Fox News TV show.[2]

Fox News is bad news for America — and it spreads, and is legitimized, partly through TVs in public places.

That’s why I’ve joined the TurnOffFox campaign — the first part of a larger campaign to diminish the influence of Fox. It’s about educating people about Fox and getting it turned off in stores, restaurants, and other public places.

Will you join me? It takes just a moment to declare your own household “Fox free”, and at the same time appeal to public establishments in your community to stop playing Fox. And you’ll get a FREE Turn Off Fox sticker when you do. Click here:

No other news organization that’s considered legitimate consistently wages smear campaigns based on lies and race-baiting. But for years Fox News has done exactly that, and the pattern has only gotten worse since Barack Obama entered national politics.

Here are just a few examples:

— A frequent Fox guest, Jesse Lee Peterson, said that the majority of Black people have poor moral character, and cited “what they did to the dome” after Hurricane Katrina as evidence.[3] Peterson has also used his platform on Fox to claim that 90% of Black people are racists — against Whites.[4]

— In a case of naked race-baiting, Fox host Glenn Beck called President Obama a “racist” who had a “deep-seated hatred for White people or the White culture.”[5] Earlier that week, Beck claimed that the President’s health insurance reform proposals were a form of “reparations” designed to “settle old racial scores.”[6]

— Fox host John Stossel argued that the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act — which prevents businesses from discriminating based on race, sex, and other factors — should be repealed.[7]

— Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity were the first to air deceptively edited and incomplete video of Shirley Sherrod’s remarks to the NAACP.[8] The video made it seem like Sherrod was confessing to using her position at the USDA to discriminate against White farmers, when she was really talking about the importance of overcoming prejudice. Sherrod lost her job over this misrepresentation, which Fox enthusiastically repeated without seeking the facts. Fox has since tried to pretend it had nothing to do with this smear — but Fox is the number one reason these kinds of distortions and smears have any part in our national dialogue.

The examples above aren’t even a tenth of Fox’s vicious lies and smears, and over the years they’ve just gotten more brazen.

The goal of Turn Off Fox is to reduce the number of public TVs showing Fox News, while spreading the word about Fox’s poison (and how it works) to those who don’t know.

Signing up for the campaign is just the first step. We make it easy for you to tell us about businesses playing Fox. If you’re willing to talk with them, we’ll provide you with straightforward materials that explain why they shouldn’t be a party to what Fox is doing. And if there are businesses you know that want to tell the world they would never play Fox, you can help them declare themselves a “Fox-free zone.”

As businesses Turn off Fox and stand up as Fox Free, and as we encourage our friends and family to do the same, we’ll help make clear, to people across the country, what Fox is about. And we’ll reduce their ability to do harm.

Please join me in signing up for the TurnOffFox campaign: