Monthly Archives: May 2011

Have you ever heard of Neal Boortz?

Avoid This Creep

Waiting for C-Span to start broadcasting the House debate on raising the Debt Ceiling, I found the political station showing something called The Media Research Center “Dishonors Awards” (if you aren’t aware of the MRC, it was started by the far right-wing creepiness pushing “celebrity”, Brent Bozell). At the point I tuned it in, this program, which is aimed at insulting and ridiculing anyone on the left (or even the center, it seems), someone named Neal Boortz, who, it seems is some kind of radio talk show person who has been working, by his statement, for 40 years. He very easily mocked every talk show host, radio or television, who didn’t agree with extreme right politics.

As he claimed that people like Keith Olbermann, Bob Schiefer (see what I mean about “center”) and Tavis Smiley lied about Tea Party members who have been documented as insulting, spitting at and yelling accusations at Democratic Congressmen and Senators, he managed to use more words that I don’t even want to reproduce here… but which could be seen as a boomerang coming back to criticize himself.

As I said, I have never heard of this Neal Boortz before and, since I don’t listen to extreme right wing radio, I hope I never have to again. If he is one of your heroes, then put his statue up on your shelf with Rush Limbaugh‘s and Glenn Beck‘s and have a joyous worship service. I’m going to go wash my hands and get rid of the poop the TV clicker transferred by bringing in this program. C-Span should be ashamed.

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Quote of the Day (perhaps the Quote of the Month) from a Congressional Idiot:

Rohrabacher joins the Ranks of the Inverted

“Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rain forests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases? Or would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?”

 – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R – California

Rohrabacher was questioning Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s climate change envoy, on whether the nation’s climate policy should focus on reducing the more than 80 percent of carbon emissions produced by the natural world in the form of decaying plant matter.

And was he serious about this question… it seems like he was. So let’s cut down the rainforests and turn the world into an oxygen-depleted desert. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that forests soak up more than 1/3 of the world’s carbon emissions… and maybe we would do better to not cut down any more forests…ever.

Responding to a NY Times article on Rohrabacher’s statement, a Dallas, TX, reader commented:

Rep. Rohrabacher may not be that far out of the GOP thinking on the environment. It was his fellow Californian Ronald Reagan who claimed in 1981 that: “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.”

Is the lack of thinking problem endemic to California? Or to Republicans? Or just to Congressmen in general? As Mark Twain said:

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” 

If you missed this week’s Podcast, you can hear it at BlogTalk Radio…

Just go HERE.

We talked about Apple Computer‘s announcement of iCloud, the shortage of some generic medications in hospitals, the loss of memory with age, The loss of groundwater as seen from space by the GRACE project. and other things… If you sign in and listen, you can also add comments which will be available to all listeners, a list that grows every week.

btw: I’m getting a new cell phone, hopefully in the next week, which will improve the AWFUL sound quality of my current podcasts. And maybe I’ll have a music intro by next week.


– Bill

A petition worth signing… make sure everyone can vote, not just the friends of Republicans!

Stop Vote Suppression!

Now that they control a majority of statehouses across the nation, Republicans are attempting a bold power grab to disenfranchise voters and repeat the Florida election debacle of 2000.

Right now, states with Republican governors or new GOP majorities are ramming through bills designed to make it harder for people to vote.

They’ll stop at nothing to steal the Presidency.

We have to act now to stop these bills from becoming law. The Democratic Governors Association is the only organization devoted solely to electing Democratic governors who will veto any and all attempts to limit voter rights. Use the form at the right to stand with the DGA and demand that Republicans stop their politically-motivated attempts to suppress votes.

 

Go HERE.

My podcast goes live at 10 AM…

Working on it now…hope you will tune in… if you can’t it will be available all week at the BlogTalkRadio site:

Posted in Word from Bill | Edit

If you want to call in during the live show, the number is 1 (661) 554-9186.

Wow… I forgot to put in this title… sorry.

“Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the legs that go first, it’s remembering the word for legs.”
Larry Gelbart

Another problem I’m having as I get older, reinforced by my turning 65 last week, is the slow dissipation of my memory. It started a few years ago with the memory of names… first of television and movie actors who I would see on screen and know that I knew who they were, but I was unable to come up with the name. A couple of hours later, while driving home, the name would pop into my mind.

That was bad enough… but then I started forgetting the names of students when I was teaching, or actors that I had directed a couple of days after the play was over, or people who I had known for a long time. Then I started to forget certain words, while I remembered their definitions. Weird.

I don’t remember dates and appointments (but, then again, I never used to, either) so I am completely dependent on the Calendar app in my computer, which I check with regularity and update constantly. I often carry a little blank page book with me to write down things that come up in conversation that I want to remember, or ideas for projects I may want to do or articles for this blog. Taking notes becomes more and more important.

To try and hold off the increasing loss of what seems to be verbal memory (I have no trouble remembering how to DO things or how to get to places I’ve been before) I am dedicated to doing five or six crossword puzzles a week… and of those I take on the most difficult: reprinted volumes of NY Times Sunday Puzzles. This keeps me coming up with words and names and solutions to word puzzles, puns and the rare bottom-of-the-list dictionary definitions that don’t always fit the common use of a certain word.

Names are a problem for me on crosswords as well… but I find that gaining two or three cross letters pops a remembered name into my mind fairly quickly. If that happened in everyday life occurances (“isn’t that A___o_ K______?” says my wife. “Yes, it’s Ashton Kutcher,” I come back with) some of my problems would get smaller… but they wouldn’t quite go away.

And there’s the blog. As long as I keep writing and using words, no matter how many times I consult a dictionary or a Thesaurus or a copy of Stage Directions magazine, I keep them all somewhere in my head.

I’m told it doesn’t get better… but I’m working hard to hold off oncoming darkness.

Here’s something for Memorial Day: Dance at the Jefferson Memorial and get arrested!

This happened last week. Did you know you can’t dance in a public place? Can’t kiss your girlfriend either.

Welcome to America.

I don’t usually give such coverage to Libertarians… but this is something that really bothers me. I don’t care if there are demonstrators doing what we really saw as demonstrating in the 60s and 70s… public spaces like National Monuments should be open for such demonstrations as long as there is no violence, no interference with others getting to go to or pass through the area, and no profanity or pornography, etc. This little police action… plus the shutting off of a Press camera (freedom of the press should extend to public places)… is more than irritating. It is frightening.

Adam Kokesh is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War and former US Congressional candidate from New Mexico. Adam has testified before Congress and has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, and ABC. As a Marine, Adam was sent to Fallujah in 2004 and received the Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Commendation medal as a sergeant. Kokesh attended graduate studies in political management at George Washington University and holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Claremont McKenna College.

Have a nice day off…

Support The Troops…

Bring Them Home.

Project planning for, probably, a year from now…

I’ve started to work on a proposed theatre project which, if it comes to more than just planning and proposing, will be the first time I’ve done something like this in years.

As all of you know, given my series of animated backgrounds on this blog, I have been investigating the life and career of Eadweard Mubridge, his photo and animation experiments and his trial and acquittal on murder charges. While going into Muybridge-iana on the internet, I came across Philip Glass‘s “opera” of a couple of years ago, The Photographer, which is about Muybridge. Like most Glass pieces this is made up of highly repetitive musical signatures… this also includes some words by David Byrne. It’s three act (but short) structure includes signing, mime and orchestral variations… and I see it with projections of Muybridge animations as they would have been seen on a Zoopraxiscope.

I realized, however, three things:

1. No local community theater is likely to touch this idea… it is far too experimental and is not and audience draw. Therefore, finding a place to present it is a problem…

2. Since I want it presented at no charge, raising the money to pull this off is another thing to deal with…

3. Finding the musicians (a small ensemble, including a violinist and a keyboard artist), performers (2 sopranos and a mezzo), a conductor and a choreographer will probably require getting Shepherd University involved, and I’m not sure they will.

One thing at a time, however.

Elly and I went to look at Folly today… Folly is an outdoor performances space that was built some years ago by our friend Al Thomas, out in the woods outside of town. This would be a great place to do the project:

This is fascinating… what a spot.

I’ll comment on the project as I go along… at least as long as it might happen.


 

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Some Questions Regarding Republican Primary Candidates

Tony Auth in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

What sets Tim Pawlenty apart from the other Candidates?  Nothing.

– and –

Jeff Danziger in the L.A. Times:

Who do the Media Controllers on the Right want for a Candidate? Someone with their weight on issues.

– and –

Don Wright, Tribune Media Services:

Who do the ordinary Republican voters want? Who knows?

– and –

Milt Priggee in the Puget Sound Business Journal:

How do we know if a Candidate is in the race or not? Hard to tell…

A lttle computer history… what was predicted for software in 1977?

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

– Albert Einstein

Here is the word from a television broadcast and a VERY young Bill Gates 34 years ago:

I’d write more, but I’ve got to get over to one of our many thousand software stores and pick up some stuff that costs more than my computer (gee, if we could only get all of this in a hand-held telephone!).

The weather held out for the Morgan’s Grove Market this morning…

… with a passing rainfall not happening until after the 12 noon close. All-in-all it was a beautiful day at the market. Plenty of fresh vegetables and plantables… 2 new baking folks set up in two different pavilions (what do you call those fabric things? Tents? Rooftops?)… and the Speakeasy Boys, local favorites, playing the blues and country-tinged music for the crowd.

Elly recruited two more people for the Community Garden… people who made up their minds to take a plot or two after seeing the garden from the Market platform and visiting with her while she was planting.

This was a pleasant way to start Memorial Day Weekend Saturday. Play at Full Circle tonite.

Gil Scott-Heron died yesterday at 62

“You can go into [Allen] Ginsberg and the Beat poets and [Bob] Dylan, but Gil Scott-Heron is the manifestation of the modern word. He and the Last Poets set the stage for everyone else.”

Chuck D

No matter what side you are on, recognizing the greatness of an American poet is something we don’t often do.

Here is the one he is best known for:

And here he talks about making it:

R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

Memorial Day Weekend Begins…

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a GIFT. That’s why it’s called the present.”
— Bill Keane

Memorial Day weekend has begun. From now through Monday we’ll be celebrating the founding of our country and the sacrifices made by soldiers in wars and conflicts.

Tomorrow morning we’ll be at Morgan’s Grove market from 9:00 Am to 12:00 Noon. Tomorrow night, Elly and I are going to Full Circle Theater to see Last of the Boys, a play by Steven Dietz.

Also, at some time this weekend (probably tonight), we’ll be going to the Old Opera House to see a film I’ve been waiting for:  Pom Wonderful presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold by Morgan Spurlock.

Monday I’ll be hosting Winners and Losers for John Case on WSHC (89.7 FM) from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM. To listen on your computer if you are out of our limited broadcast range, go to http://www.897wshc.org/listen_live/index.html.

Have a great weekend, my friends, and if you are at any of the things in Shepherdstown I’m going to, say “Hi”.

– Bill

Morning Humor from Ben Hoffman at The Drudge Retort:

Judge finds right-wingers unfit to vote

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that right-wingers are not mentally competent to vote, affirming accusations of sane people around the country.

The ruling by Judge Harry A. Jefferson of Federal District Court dramatically changes the political landscape in America.

Before the judge’s decision, right-wingers disrupted the hearing with outbursts about socialism, communism, and fascism that seemed to have no contextual relevance. It was found that most of them didn’t know what those words meant. That prompted deputy marshals to order the right-wingers out of the courtroom. Several complained that their First Ammendment Rights were being violated.

It remains possible, legal experts said, that prohibiting right-wingers from voting could have Constitutional issues. “Our goal has always been and always will be allow all sane people to vote,” said Benny K. Mount, a United States attorney, speaking to reporters outside the courthouse. “Allowing insane right-wingers the right to vote, however, is not what our founding fathers had in mind for our country.”

Right-wingers looked haggard and confused after the decision. “The judge is obviously a Marxist,” commented one. “Sarah Palin will save us. She’s really smart,” remarked another. “Where is the Denny’s,” asked another.

Now I feel much better.

A statement to remember from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

Mayor Bloomberg and his niece, Rachel Tiven

Speaking in support of gay marriage, Mayor Bloomberg uttered a 4 word phrase that I think should be spread on T-shirts and tattoos everywhere:

“Near-equality is no equality.”

Speaking at The Cooper Union, Bloomberg added:

“We are the freest city in the freest country in the world — but freedom is not frozen in time… I see the pain that the status quo is causing, and I cannot defend it”

Bloomberg was presented to the audience by his niece, Rachel Tiven, who is gay.

CNBC Anchor Mark Haines dies at 65 (gosh… I’m 65!)

The founding editor of CNBC‘s Squawk Box morning show, Mark Haines, has died at age 65. Rather than me going into it, here’s the announcement from CNBC:

Mark Haines...on My 24th

Farewell, Mark Haines.

A quote for this morning… from my favorite Atheist Commentator

Ken Ham is currently hawking his new book, Already Compromised, in which he whines about the way universities — even many bible colleges — don’t take the Old Testament absolutely literally. This leads, of course, to students actually examining evidence and arguments outside the Bible, which inevitably leads to…atheism.”

– P J Myers in Pharyngula

Here’s one of Ken Ham’s dribblets:

In Genesis 6:19-20, the Bible says that two of every sort of land vertebrate (seven of the “clean” animals) were brought by God to the Ark. Therefore, dinosaurs (land vertebrates) were represented on the Ark.

Gee… where did they go?

Drama Desk Awards Announced…

From Stage Directions magazine:

2010/2011 DRAMA DESK AWARD WINNERS
Outstanding Play: War Horse by Nick Stafford
Outstanding Musical: The Book of Mormon
Outstanding Revival of a Play: The Normal Heart
Outstanding Revival of a Musical:    Anything Goes
Outstanding Actor in a Play Bobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker With the Hat)
Outstanding Actress in a Play: Frances McDormand (Good People)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Norbert Leo Butz  (Catch Me If You Can)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Brian Bedford (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: John Larroquette (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)
Outstanding Director of a Play: Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart)
Outstanding Director of a Musical: Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Choreography: Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Music: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Book of a Musical Adam Mathias (See Rock City & Other Destinations)
Outstanding Orchestrations: Larry Hochman & Stephen Oremus (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Musical Revue: Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway
Outstanding Music in a Play: Wayne Barker (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Outstanding Set Design: Derek McLane  (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Costume Design: Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner (Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical)
Outstanding Lighting Design: David Lander (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Brian Ronan (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play: Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers (Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo)
Outstanding Solo Performance: John Leguizamo (Ghetto Klown)
Unique Theatrical Experience: Sleep No More

The Drama Desk (www.dramadesk.org) was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theatre and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theatre in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955 and it is the only critics organization to honor achievement in the theatre with competition between Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

Ed Schultz Apologizes to Laura Ingraham… who apologizes to no one…

As I started watching the Ed Show tonight on MSNBC, Ed came out and did a long apology to Laura Ingraham, to MSNBC, to his wife and family and to his audience for making a low and insulting statement, apparently as an improvisation, on his radio show.

This was the statement:

President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday, but you know, like this right-wing slut — What’s her name, Laura Ingraham — Yeah, she’s a talk slut.

“You see, she was back in the days, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas.  But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.”

In his statement, Ed said he had been trying to get Ingraham on the phone to apologize in person, has left a message stating his apology and will continue trying to reach her.

Ingraham responded with cool understatement and claws extended.

“I was surprised to learn that Ed Schultz actually hosted a radio show,” she said.  “Is it available only on line.”

Ingraham added a remark about “men who preach civility but practice misogyny.”

Of course, Ingraham is famous for insulting Obama and his family… like this graphic on her web site:

Separated at Birth

Irish pop group Jedward

Then there was her statement on Nancy Pelosi in November of 2009:

“Nancy Pelosi basically did everything except sell her own body” (to pass health care reform bill).

There was her comment about how “black people” love ribs, followed by another statement on Michelle Obama back in November of 2010:

“Michelle’s lunch was baby back ribs. Afternoon snack, more ribs. Bedtime snack, the last three ribs!”

To date, I’ve never heard Laura Ingraham apologize to anyone… and, you know, she IS a talk slut.

Quote of the Day – Another Republican objects to the Ryan Budget

Olympia Snowe

“I am going to vote no on the budget because I have deep and abiding concerns about the approach on Medicare, which is essentially to privatize it.”

– Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Sure, she’s close to being a liberal Republican… but she doesn’t make Ryan very happy.

From our sister blog, Panhandle Vegan:

Fighting the Battle of the Fruit Flies…

It’s that time of year… getting warmer outside but still not so hot that we have to close up the house and turn the Air Conditioning on. That’s something we avoid until the last minute.

The problem, however, is that, in this weather, the fruit flies start to swarm around the vegetable and fruit scraps waiting to go out into the garden and make our cooking area very unpleasant.

This morning we started our campaign which was 100% successful last year over a couple of days. We built fruit fly traps which draw the little devils in by the gross and get them out of our way.

We start with a small Ball jar. Into that we put about 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, a little water and a few drops of dish soap. Some people add a piece of banana to the mix – something fruit flies love – but I haven’t found it necessary.

On top of the jar we stretch tightly a piece of plastic wrap, or a small sandwich bag, and seal it around the neck with a rubber band. Then we take a toothpick and poke about 7 or 8 holes in the top.

That’s it.

Put the Jar (or 2 or 3 of them) in the infestation area and pretty soon the problem will be gone… and you can count the number of bugs either floating on top (new captures) or lying dead on the bottom. I’m up to around 60 with one jar which I set up about 3 hours ago.

A jar with the vinegar/soap mix lasts a couple of weeks and then can be refreshed with a new mix. Keep the traps going until the problem disappears or the start of heavy air conditioning season (you may have to overlap the two.)

If you missed today’s Podcast…

… you can listen to it at your leisure (and drop in comments that I am likely to get back to.) Just go HERE.

OK, I’m not Harry Shearer…yet… but I think I get a little better every week. I hope you think so, too.

Doesn’t require any special software…just your regular internet access.

Did you get this message from Nancy Pelosi last night?

I did. here it is:

Nancy Pelosi

Victories like this are what happen when we fight together to protect our core Democratic values.

Congresswoman-elect Hochul’s victory in a staunchly-Republican district has shocked the political world and sent an unmistakable sign that the American people will not stand for the Republicans’ reckless and extreme agenda to end Medicare.

This is our third straight special election victory in New York — and it is truly one for the ages. All of the Republicans’ right-wing outside groups with their secret money and dishonest attacks were no match for the combined strength of grassroots Democrats.

Thank you again for fighting to protect and defend Medicare and bringing us one step closer to regaining our Democratic House Majority.

Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader

Hopefully, this is the start of taking back the House from the crazies.

My new podcast is at 10 AM… I’m getting ready.

Image representing Blog Talk Radio as depicted...

Having missed my time yesterday on my birthday because I was playing my new Canjo and ignoring time and the world, I am now ready to get it on today… actually in just over an hour.

Hope you will tune in… if you can’t it will be available all week at the BlogTalkRadio site:

Posted in Word from Bill | Edit

If you want to call in during the live show, the number is 1 (661) 554-9186.