Monthly Archives: February 2012

Funniest Quote of the Day (from All Hat, No Cattle)

“As of today, Rick Santorum will be assigned Secret Service agents. This is the first time Santorum has agreed to use any kind of protection.”

–Conan O’Brien

If all we had was a funny line a day, we might get through all this crap. Thanks, Conan.

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Davy Jones has died…

Davy was still performing this past week.

David Thomas “Davy” Jones (30 December 1945 — 29 February 2012) the English rock singer-songwriter and actor best known as a member of The Monkees, died today in Florida of a heart attack at age 66.

I remember first seeing Davy my senior year in prep school when I went to New York and saw him as the Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart‘s “Oliver.” I had seen him in the role on Ed Sullivan and was really thrilled to see him in person.

You can go to the following link to see the performance on Sullivan, singing “I’d Do Anything” with Georgia Brown and the cast of “Oliver”, 1964: http://youtu.be/P-fLLuQgIss

WASN’T THAT GREAT?

I’d also like to steer you to his audition for The Monkees back in ’66. It starts at around 6:07 on the video (but the other Monkees auditions are worth watching as well.)

A Quote on Gas Prices…

We’re hearing the primary campaigners accuse President Obama of personally seeing to it that gas prices have gone to extremes (I saw one station at 3.95 a gallon in Charles Town yesterday). Well, I think we should hear what the President has said on the subject:

“You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas — and I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling. We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.” -Barack Obama

Frankly, if any of those yo-yos (Newt, especially, who is left with not much else to push than this) could actually get gas down to $2.00 a gallon they have enough congressional support to do it now.

Have you wondered why they don’t?

World’s Best Graffiti III – Art in the Street

Here’s a few more for Leap Day:

Have a nice day!

Ever wonder why the majority of Mormons are Republican?

Here are some clips from the Salt Lake Tribune:

The founders of the Republican Party saw Mormons as their enemies.

And the first Mormon leaders didn’t have much nice to say about the GOP, either.

You would never know it now — one recent poll showed three-quarters of LDS faithful lean toward the GOP — but the two groups had an acrimonious start, fueled largely by the early Mormon practice of polygamy.

So how does this affect Mitt Romney as he runs for the Republican nomination?

As Mitt Romney presses his bid for the Republican nomination for president, lost on many Americans is how his Mormon faith played an important role as foil in the early days of the Grand Old Party — and how its first candidates catapulted to power in part by whipping up anti-Mormon sentiments.

“If you like irony, you’ve got to love history,” says Utah historian Will Bagley. “Polygamy made Mormons into a national punching bag during the 1850s.”

The Republican Party launched in 1854 as an anti-slavery party and quickly seized on growing concern with Mormons in the Utah Territory taking on multiple wives.

Early Republicans did not distinguish between slavery and polygamy and attacked Mormons in their first Party Platform in 1856. Republicans elected to Congress used their influence to wipe away Church control over the Utah Territory and backed a law that disincorporated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

LDS Church leaders, for their part, harbored ill will toward the Republican Party, urging followers to back the Democrats.

“We call upon you to stand firm to the principles of our religion in the coming contest for president,” read a letter from LDS Church President Brigham Young and other leaders as published in the abolitionist newspaper, The National Era, on Nov. 20, 1856. “Our duty is plain. There are two principal parties in the country — one is for us, the other against us.”

That doesn’t mean that Democrats were pro-Mormon… they weren’t. Senator Steven Douglas was notably anti-Mormon and spread the fear that they would separate Utah from the country under Church government.

If rumors of Mormon troubles are true, then “the Mormon inhabitants of Utah, as a community, are outlaws and alien enemies, unfit to exercise the right of self-government,” Douglas said, according to a New York Times account of his speech at the time.

Lincoln’s winning the White House in 1860 and the Civil War ending slavery, left polygamy as the one concern that still resonated with Americans. P Republicans over the next several decades attacked the LDS Church over polygamy and suspicions that Mormons were attempting to form their own sovereign country in the Mountain West. Oddly enough, this fight was driven by the members of Congress from Vermont, the birthplace of Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS.

Vermont Rep. Luke P. Poland later amended that law to order that all civil and criminal cases in the Utah Territory be handled by the U.S. District Court and dismiss any other judiciary system in the state that he feared were simply church puppets.

Poland’s hope was that the federal courts would then go after polygamists, but it wasn’t until the 1887 Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act — sponsored by Republican George Franklin Edmunds— and the subsequent Edmunds-Tucker Act that Mormons with plural

Jailed Polygamists

wives were prosecuted. Around 1,300 men were eventually jailed under that act.

The law also was successful in disincorporating the LDS Church, forcing Mormons to take their battle to court. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled against the faith but Congress took a step back when Mormon leaders issued a proclamation in 1890 banning polygamy. That also was a turning point for the icy relationship between Mormons and the GOP.

What started the turn away from the Democrats was their inaction in the establishment of Utah as a state. The Republican Party of Utah was founded in 1891 and became the leading organization pushing for statehood, which happened in 1896.

It wasn’t until the 1970s however that social issues like abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment and gay marriage (all of which they were against) drew the Mormons to conservatism.

Church apostle Ezra Taft Benson, who supported the right-wing John Birch Society and served as Agriculture secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower, helped further push his fellow Mormons into the conservative camp.

A report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in January showed that about 74 percent of Mormons lean toward the Republican Party and 66 percent of them call themselves conservative.

“Clearly, the Republican Party has taken the mantle of religious freedom and that bodes well for Mormons,” says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who converted to the Mormon faith and the GOP.

“Principles of the Republican Party align with what Mormons believe,” the congressman added, though he quickly noted that there are many Democrats who are also devout Mormons.

Mitt Romney now assures everyone that there will be no influence of the LDS Church over his policies if he becomes the nominee. It is hopefully the case.

What caused the Housing Bubble Burst?

 

“The bubble burst in housing because people couldn’t pay their mortgages because of $4 a gallon gasoline.” – Rick Santorum

 

Gee… I thought it was the big banks making unsupportable loans to unqualified people.

Liar, Liar, Pants (not) On Fire

Thanks to The Smirking Chimp for this one:

I thought my head was going to explode last night when I saw this on Rachel Maddow‘s show. (Kudos Ms. R.)

So I want to share and hope you will share it as well.

So here we go. BTW… not a word of what you are about to read is true. Not one word of it. All easily verified. But you wouldn’t even know it happened if your only source of news is your morning paper. Okay .. first what Father Rick Santorum said:

“In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly. And the bracelet is: ‘Do not euthanize me.’ Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized – ten percent of all deaths in the Netherlands – half of those people are u involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital. They go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness.”
— Former senator Rick Santorum, at the American Heartland Forum in Columbia, Missouri, Feb. 3, 2012

Needless to say folks in the Netherlands are appalled. The person saying it wants to run the biggest country on the planet. And finally, that no one over here seems to care.

Here’s the actual cut from Maddow’s show:

Is there nothing this asshole won’t say?

Just brought my first load over to the new house…

…not a lot. Just my tools and tool tables, some folding chairs, Elly’s bicycle and some glass lamp covers to install upstairs (Elly’s project). I’ve also got a bent mailbox outside that I have to fix… then I’m going home to pack more stuff and take care of the dogs.

The pups don’t realize it, but we are installing one of those electronic devices to keep them in the yard using a transmitter and zapping collars. It turned out to be easier and cheaper than putting in a new fence. We have 30 days to try it out, train the dogs to it and make sure it works.  Does anyone out there have experience with this that you would share?

Figured I’d take my photograph sitting in the new house while I post this. The house is pretty empty, but there is a nice light coming in from the windows and I don’t look that bad.

OK…time to go. Can’t waste more time.

Oscars 2012: the full list

In case you are like me and went to bed last night instead of staying awake to see that The Artist (as I predicted) won Best Picture, here’s the complete list of Oscar winners:

An Oscar statue

Best cinematography

Robert Richardson, Hugo

Best art direction

Hugo

Best costume design

The Artist

Best make up

The Iron Lady

Best foreign language film

A Separation

Best actress in a supporting role

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best film editing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best sound editing

Hugo

Best sound mixing

Hugo

Best documentary feature

Undefeated

Best animated film

Rango

Best visual effects

Hugo

Best actor in a supporting role

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best original score

Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Best song

Man or Muppet, The Muppets

Best adapted screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best original screenplay

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best live action short

The Shore

Best documentary short

Saving Face

Best animated short

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Best director

Michel Hazavanicius, The Artist

Best actor in a leading role

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best actress in a leading role

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best picture

The Artist

Two weeks of moving start today…

Elly and Me?

We closed on our “farmette” on Friday, and now we will spend the next two weeks moving, emptying the townhouse and getting it ready for sale (say, are you looking for a nice townhouse in Shepherdstown, WV? Let me know.)

Home for Chicks

The thought of entering a life as somewhat of a farmer has been entering my consciousness as I plan to repair the very old chicken house on the property so we can go out in April (or earlier) to get a dozen or so live chicks. Sure looking forward to eggs by the end of the summer.

If this makes the blog come out at odd times of the day in the next week or so (no internet connected to the new house yet) then we will have to live with it.

Quote of the Weekend… did you hear Santorum on TV?

Commenting on the relationship between Church and State, Santorum said this while referencing John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech:

“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up. What kind of country do we live in where only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up. And that should make every American [throw up].

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute.”

That was not what Kennedy said or meant. Here’s JFK‘s statement:

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source — where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

According to Kennedy: “The Constitution is very clear” on the separation of Church and State.


If this doesn’t show why we should keep Santorum as far as possible from this office then nothing does.

The Daily Scoop: Better-educated Republicans doubt climate change; believe Obama’s Muslim

I’m really impressed by the concept “smart idiots effect” which turns up later in the article (when Mashed Potato Bulletin switches over to Salon.) I had always thought that educated Republicans were reachable about Climate Change, but now I find it questionable. What do you think?

Mashed Potato Bulletin

I can still remember when I first realized how naïve I was in thinking—hoping—that laying out the “facts” would suffice to change politicized minds, and especially Republicanones. It was a typically wonkish, liberal revelation: One based on statistics and data. Only this time, the data were showing, rather awkwardly, that people ignore data and evidence—and often, knowledge and education only make the problem worse.

Someone had sent me a 2008 Pew report documenting the intense partisan divide in the U.S. over the reality of global warming.. It’s a divide that, maddeningly for scientists, has shown a paradoxical tendency to widen even as the basic facts about global warming have become more firmly established.
Read more…

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Cartoon(s) of the Week – and what a week it was!

A note before we look at this week’s selections.

I’ve been doing Cartoon(s) of the Week for over 5 years now, and I spend a great deal of time working on the selection. I review 40-75 cartoons every week, look for themes that are carried through them and pick the best artists and most significant captions. It’s a significant amount of work, and I know many of you look forward to it each week.

If you time that with the regular review of other blogs  to add to the significant blogroll I present for your interest and the editorials I research and write up, doing Under The LobsterScope is a considerably active unpaid job.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working on this and have really liked hearing from hundreds of readers like you, both in comments and in e-mail and membership registrations. It is, however, an expense to keep going and I hope you will make a small contribution to keep it alive.

If you go HERE you can see the current thank you gift I send back for donations of $5.00 or more… a gift that I usually sell for 6 times that amount. Take a look and see if you can come in and join the folks who have helped keep this blog going.

Thanks,  Bill.

______________

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Why aren’t they campaigning for what the people need?

-and –

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Are you wondering where political concerns are inserting themselves?

-and –

Matt Bors of United Features Syndicate:

Focus, focus, focus.

-and –

Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

It’s great to see their relationship to foreign policy…

-and –

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

…and what could be more local?

-and –

Drew Sheneman in the Newark Star-Ledger:

Keeping an eye on Birth Control…

Culture Wars…

We are entering another month of the ongoing political culture wars next week, without really looking at the concerns of jobs, economics, climate change or any of the other real problems that need to be addressed.

Tuesday will be the Michigan and Arizona primaries, so the TV pundits are focusing on those states and in so doing are revealing some new cultural phenomena. For instance, in Arizona they are considering a new law that bans college teachers from cursing but allows students to carry guns. Got that? Gun violence good, language violence bad? And then… what is a naughty enough word to get a teacher fired? Will they be listed in the law?

The biggest insertion of cultural conflict into the process is, of course, religion. Between candidates who have been spoken to by God and encouraged to run, to major religious groups protesting established birth control legislation but supporting the penetration of vaginas to discourage abortions, the promotion of religion over secular politics is frightening… and disgusting.

These politicians are ready to scrap what we know of the scientific proof for climate change in order to promote more industries that pollute the air (listen to the righties cheer) or to ignore what is necessary to reduce the unbelievable growth of population. Don’t they see what is going on here?

I turn to the world of intellectual comedy to backup my views of religion, science and atheism (a belief area that I belong to… but like most atheists don’t try to inflict my beliefs on other people using the replacement of secular law.) Here’s Eddie Izzard:

Even if you don’t agree with Eddie (or me), I hope you were at least entertained… and will think about how to get away from the culture wars and back to solving our real problems.

(BTW, Eddie Izzard will soon be appearing in a new version of Treasure Island playing Long John Silver. Can’t wait.)

I haven’t seen anything as politically humorous as this…

I saw this in The Political Carnival and couldn’t stop laughing…


VIDEO: Virginia delegate’s wife refuses sex with him after vaginal ultrasound bill discussed on TV

That War on Women? Well, it looks like the womenfolk are fighting back.

Good news when all we hear about are Republican billionaires…

Bill Maher entered himself into the big-time world of large political donations on Thursday when he announced he was donating a million dollars to a pro-Obama Super PAC. It remains to be seen how Bill Maher’s more liberal guests will react to the news when his “Real Time” returns on March 2.
Isn’t it time for the rest of you rich. Democratic TV stars to get into the mix?

World’s Best Graffiti II – post from a lazy blogger.

Today was the closing on our new (old) house and I just didn’t get to the blog. To make up for it, here’s a few more of the great graffiti images that Cecil sent me:

 

 

But, Bill, are there any more?

Why, yes… they’ll be coming later.

 

 

Masterworks of Political Art

This was over at queerty.com.

Rick Santorum made entirely from gay porn stills:

… of coursed, if elected, Rick will do away with gay porn stills. It will be an amendment to the Constitution.

Morning Funny…what will we do for laughs when Santorum is all gone?

Tom Tomorrow’s THIS MODERN WORLD is particularly funny this week, with “Sex Talk With Rick Santorum.” Make sure your young folks get to see this… it’s for their own good! Here’s a panel:

See the whole strip HERE (thanks to Truthout.)

 

Thanks to Michael Zagarella for supporting Under The LobsterScope

My thanks to Michael Zagarella for today’s donation to Under The LobsterScope. Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Cast O’ Characters 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.

Barney Rosset has Died at Age 89

The founder and editor of Grove Press and the publisher of works by D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Samuel Beckett, William S. Burroughs and so many others who had been rejected by the American Publishing establishment, has passed away at age 89.

Rossett, who started his company ion the ground floor of his New York brownstone, grew it into a powerful publisher. From an article 4 years ago in Newsweek, John Gall wrote:

Rosset‘s publishing house, Grove Press, was a tiny company operating out of the ground floor of Rosset’s brownstone when it published an obscure play called Waiting for Godot in 1954. By the time Beckett had won the Nobel Prize in 1969, Grove had become a force that challenged and changed literature and American culture in deep and lasting ways. Its impact is still evident — from the Che Guevara posters adorning college dorms to the canonical status of the house’s once controversial authors. Rosset is less well known — but late in his life he is achieving some wider recognition.

“Last month, a black-tie crowd gave Rosset a standing ovation when the National Book Foundation awarded him the Literarian Award for ‘outstanding service’ to American letters.

“This fall, Rosset was also the subject of a documentary, Obscene, directed by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O’Connor, which featured a host of literary luminaries, former colleagues and footage from a particularly hilarious interview with Al Goldstein, the porn king. High literature and low — Rosset pushed and published it all.”

He published a magazine, the Evergreen Review, distributed art films, and by the late 60s, added a book club and two film theaters in the Village. As a producer, he imported the controversial film I Am Curious, Yellow, which

was seized by US Customs in January 1968 and Grove had to arrange for critics to view it at the United States Appraisers Stores in New York City under an agreement that they would not “publicize the contents.” These same critics were expert witnesses at the subsequent trial in May. A jury found the film to be obscene, but the Court of Appeals overturned the decision, and for the rest of the year it was shown to packed houses by reservation only at the Evergreen Theater on East 11th Street

– Loren Glass in the L.A. Review of Books.

Watch out for Lesbian Communist Girl Scouts…

Did you know that Girl Scouts were dangerous? According to Indiana state representative Bob Morris (Republican, natch), the Girls Scouts of America is a radical organization that promotes homosexuality and abortion, is a front for Planned Parenthood and is out to destroy American values.

Of course he is being roundly ridiculed for his position, even within his own party… but he won’t back down:

“My family and I took a view and we’re sticking by it. My girls are no longer Girl Scouts. They’re now going to join American Heritage Girls.”

Bob "Call Me Stupid" Morris

Morris said he made his discoveries after talking to some knowledgeable constituents and conducting “a small amount of Web-based research.” He concluded that the Girl Scouts encourage sexual activity endorse feminist, lesbian and Communist agendas. He pointed out that First Lady Michelle Obama is honorary president of the Girl Scouts of America  and that

“should give each of us reason to pause before our individual and collective endorsement of the organization.”

Planned Parenthood has released a statement denying any connection to the scouting group. The Girl Scouts of America did not address Morris’ individual claims, but said:

Michelle Obama with Girl Scouts

“Regarding Representative Morris, if the freshman representative wishes to discredit the contributions that hundreds of thousands of Indiana women and girls have made through the Girl Scouts program over the last 100 years, then he’s entitled to his opinion. Not only is Rep. Morris off the mark on his claims, it’s also unfortunate in his limited research that he failed to discover that since 1917, every First Lady has served as the honorary leader of Girl Scouts including Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush.”

This is REALLY the year of the CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN FOLLIES… What do you think will come next?

Wednesday Night Graphic Amusement…

My friend Cecil sent me a ton of these, for which I thank him. I can only put a few up tonight, but more will come later in the week (Cec, there are soooo many of them!).

WORLD’s Best Graffiti:

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOW!

Thanks to Beverle Bloch for supporting Under The LobsterScope

My thanks to Beverle Bloch for today’s donation to Under The LobsterScope. Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Cast O’ Characters 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.

Peter Corum’s Plan for Morgan’s Grove Market…

Peter Corum

It was more than a free lunch at the Bavarian Inn today… It was Peter Corum and his team announcing the exciting plans for the Morgans Grove Market area that he started up last summer. This time the goal is to create an Agriculture/Arts/Community campus that will serve many interests locally and do it year round.

Peter called this a “Charette,” which Webster’s defines as:

a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

Represented were the architectural firm he has been consulting, various arts and

Participants speaking

humanities “businesses,” agriculture folks, local development people, etc. My wife represented Sustainable Shepherdstown.

Over the course of about two hours just about everyone in the room spoke, made suggestions, pointed out various organizational needs and, in general, gave Peter hands down support on the project.

A really good range of attendees

Now we’ll have to see what comes next with the local and county government, the state and

all the other committees which will get in the way (sort of like the solar LLC discussion we had the other night at Town Hall.)

Well… we support Peter and Under The LobsterScope will keep an eye on this project and report good or bad news to you.

Lunch, btw, was great.