Category Archives: Internet

Swing state polls…

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:

North Carolina: Obama 45%, Romney 45% (Elon University)

Ohio: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

Our first view of what’s coming with the storm…

Elly’s job at Hagerstown Community College is off for two days as HCC has announced closing due to the approach of Sandy.

The rain has already started here this morning and we are soon expecting the wind.

Hope you are all keeping an eye out if you are in the storm track and please take care of yourselves. here’s a chance that we’ll lose power and the blog will be down, but as long as I can I’ll keep it up.

 

Friday Morning Humor – What if Men were treated like Women?

I found this yesterday and, believe me, this is a clear statement:

There you go, Ladies… pass it around.

This was in the NY Times this morning and it left me horrified…

This morning’s NY Times had this article which I found both disgusting and horrifying. After talking about the anti-woman proclivities of Republican candidates today, seeing what attitudes against women can turn into can be mortifying. If you can’t stomach anything as bad as the title suggests,  avoid reading it now.

Officer Held in Plot to Cook Women and Eat Them

By

The police officer referred to the woman as Victim-1, recording details like her date of birth, height, weight and bra size. He made note of certain materials, like chloroform and rope.

And then the officer, Gilberto Valle, a six-year veteran of the New York Police Department, saved the document on his computer, titling the file “Abducting and Cooking (Victim-1): A Blueprint.”

In one of the most disturbing and unusual arrests involving a police officer, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation took Officer Valle into custody on Wednesday after they uncovered several plots to kidnap, rape, cook and eat women.

“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus,” he wrote to a co-conspirator in one electronic communication intercepted by law enforcement authorities. “Cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”

When the co-conspirator asked how big the officer’s oven was, Officer Valle replied, “Big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”

Two law enforcement officials familiar with the inquiry said the officer’s estranged wife recently contacted the F.B.I. to report that Officer Valle, 28, viewed and kept disturbing items on his computer. The couple has a daughter, age 1.

The criminal complaint suggests that Officer Valle, who worked in the 26th Precinct in Manhattan and lives in Forest Hills, Queens, never followed through on any of the acts he is accused of discussing.

His lawyer, Julia L. Gatto, said the officer committed no crime. “At worst, this is someone who has sexual fantasies,” Ms. Gatto said at a hearing on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

“There is no actual crossing the line from fantasy to reality,” she added.

But a federal prosecutor, Hadassa Waxman, said Mr. Valle had communicated with three co-conspirators about his plans to commit a crime, and at one point used a police car while dressed in uniform to conduct surveillance of a woman, approaching her in “an intimidating fashion.”

Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman ordered Officer Valle to be held without bail on charges of federal kidnapping conspiracy.

The evidence consists largely of e-mails and instant messages in which Officer Valle was “discussing plans to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and eat body parts of a number of women,” according to the complaint, which describes two episodes in which Officer Valle discussed abducting women. In each case, it appears that the women knew the officer vaguely. And in at least one case, the officer used the National Crime Information Center to get information about a third woman.

In a search of the officer’s computer, federal investigators discovered “files pertaining to at least 100 women,” according to the complaint. Some of them were his classmates from high school, a law enforcement official said.

“The F.B.I. has identified and interviewed 10 of these women, each of whom has confirmed to the F.B.I. that Valle is known to her,” the complaint said.

A law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said investigators feared that Officer Valle might soon carry out one of his plots.

In February, Officer Valle offered to kidnap a woman on an unnamed person’s behalf for a price: “$5,000 and she is all yours,” the officer wrote to that person, according to the complaint.

Officer Valle appeared to be under the impression that the person he was communicating with intended to rape the woman, according to the complaint.

“She will be alive,” he wrote. “I think I would rather not get involved in the rape. You paid for her. She is all yours, and I don’t want to be tempted the next time I abduct a girl.”

While the complaint does not identify the woman in question, F.B.I. agents later learned that cellphone tracking devices indicated that Officer Valle had made or received calls on the block in Manhattan where the woman lived.

On July 19, Officer Valle sent an instant message to the co-conspirator, indicating that he was meeting with Victim-1 three days later, according to the complaint. The victim, who was interviewed in October by the F.B.I., said she had met the officer that day “at a restaurant for lunch,” according to the complaint. What happened during or after the lunch was not disclosed.

A dating profile, which a law enforcement official confirmed belonged to Officer Valle, suggested an engaging and gregarious young man. He wrote that he had attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the University of Maryland, College Park. (At the court hearing on Thursday, the officer wore a red T-shirt affiliated with the university.)

“I can find the humor in any situation,” he had written, adding that he had “an endless supply of hilarious short stories from work that can’t be made up.”

@ NY Times 2012

 

On the Republicans and their sophisticated views on Rape…

The Friskey has published a Handy Dandy Guide with a great chart. Isn’t it amazing how these men don’t seem to ever have asked a woman what being raped and/or getting pregnant from it means? The Friskey comments on the gentlemen in the chart:

“I have such a hard time remembering which conservative politician said what ridiculously offensive thing about rape. They’re all old and white and most of them are in some state of partial baldness. They all look the same! And they all sound basically the same too, given that woman-hating bile spews from their open pie holes. Alas, they are all individual people, who hold or have held positions of power within government, and aspire to inflict their beliefs upon your life.”

You know, there are people who listen to and agree with these terrible concepts and who admire all five of these Republicans. You can bet Mitt and his buddy Ryan are included in these.

I will be amazed when someone comes out with the statistic after the election of how many women voted Republican. It is as if they would enjoy being treated like cattle.

If you plan on copying posts from this blog for use on other sites…

So many people re-use the things I publish (which is something, for the most part, that I appreciate) that I thought some understanding of copyright rules are in order. I have therefore put the link to my Creative Commons License on the title bar so you can review those rules.   – Bill

Morning report on swing state polls… With afternoon update

Here are the latest polls from the battleground. These will be updated when more numbers are available:

Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 49% (Gravis)

Michigan: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Foster McCollum)

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

New Hampshire: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

New Hampshire: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Lake Research)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 44% (Time)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (SurveyUSA)

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 46%, Romney 44% (Lake Resaearch)

Virginia: Obama 50%, Romney 43% (Old Dominion

University)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Virginia: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)

Wow. Four different pollsters give Ohio to Obama. The word on early voting is that it’s 2 to 1 in Obama’s favor.

Only 12 days left to the official election day.

Some words about this blog and me…

I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.

I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.

While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.

I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.

As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.

Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.

Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.

I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.

If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.

– Bill

 

It looks like last night’s debate was Obama’s triumph…

Although I don’t think Mittens made any huge gaffes, he did tell a pile of obvious lies and Obama seemed to catch him on them.  I was reading Andrew Sullivan’s online live commentary as the debate went on, and his summations in the last few minutes pretty much made the event understood:

10.35 pm. After the first truly epic implosion in the first debate, Obama has clawed his way back in the following two, in my view. He has marshalled his arguments as potently as possible; he brought the themes of his candidacy together compellingly. His advantage on foreign policy will not, I think, diminish; it may well strengthen. And that is only just. After eight years of the most disastrous, misguided, immoral and a catastrophic foreign policy, Obama has brought the US back from the brink, presided over the decimation of al Qaeda, the liberation of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and restored America’s moral standing in the world.
For Romney, he made no massive mistakes. No Gerald Ford moments. And since the momentum of this race is now his, if now faltering a little, a defeat on points on foreign policy will be an acceptable result. But this was Obama’s debate; and he reminded me again of how extraordinarily lucky this country has been to have had him at the helm in this new millennium.
He’s flawed; he’s made mistakes; but who hasn’t? If this man, in these times, with this record, against this opposition, does not deserve re-election, then I am simply at a loss for words. I have to believe the American people will see that in time.
10.34 pm. Obama’s closing statement was his best few minutes in all three debates. Romney’s seems a little desperate and now he – the man whose running-mate is Paul Ryan – is saying he is more bipartisan than Obama.
10.30 pm. So Romney just blames the entire economy on Obama alone. This litany of “the economy sucks throw him out” is the crude but effective big lie.
10.27 pm. “Governor, the people in Detroit don’t forget.” The lies this man has said tonight have been more numerous than I can ever remember in any debate. The man does not have the moral character to be president, in my opinion.

I think Obama, aside from appearing presidential and in control of his information (and correct in presenting his record, as well.) Romney, as Obama said, tried to “Airbrush History.”  The best turnover Obama brought around was when Romney claimed Obama had made an “Apology Tour” of the middle east, and the president cleared up his trips and and made it clear that the charge Romney has made was his “biggest whopper.”

Romney has seemed to abandon neoconservatism by endorsing Obama’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and agreeing on many other of the president’s foreign policy actions.  Obama made sure to point this out. It seemed like Romney was congratulating the President of the United States.

Obama really came out as one who deserves a second term.He was clearly the Commander in Chief and Romney didn’t look like he would fill that role in the same way.

 

A quote for the day… from 68 Nobel Prize Winners

68 former Nobel Prize winning scientists have endorsed Barack Obama for the Presidency. Their feelings were published in “An Open Letter to the American People.” Here is a quote from that letter:

“America’s economic future, the quality of our health, and the quality of our environment depend on our ability to continue America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention. As winners of the Nobel Prizes in science, we are proud of our contribution to the extraordinary advances American science has made in recent years. But we’re deeply concerned that without leadership and continued commitment to scientific research the next generation of Americans will not make and benefit from future discoveries.

“President Obama understands the key role science has played in building a prosperous America, has delivered on his promise to renew our faith in science-based decision making and has championed investment in science and technology research that is the engine of our economy. He has built strong programs to educate young Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and programs to provide Americans the training they need to keep pace with a technology-driven economy.

If you believe, as we do, that America’s future is bound in essential ways to science and innovation, we urge you to join us in working to ensure the reelection of President Obama.”

You can find the entire letter here. I would urge you to read it… and pass it around.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – OK, the campaign is almost over but Romney has made an impression…

Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News:

And Monday night we’ll hear his foreign policy ideas…

– and –

David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star:

Then again, Romney seems to present the Voter’s Right To Choose.

– and –

David Horsey in the L. A. Times:

Is there anything Romney won’t switch positions on?

– and –

Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune

Winning and Losing causes great party differences…

– and –

Matt Bors in the Portland Mercury:

And he keeps up his attempt to get women’s votes…

 

 

Here’s a small audio project for you and your iPhone:

I found this on Boing Boing the other day and it seemed to me an awfully clever idea: How to make a sort-of speaker for your iPhone.

It uses the cardboard toilet paper roll center that we usually just throw away. You just cut a slit in the middle that’s big enough to stick your iPhone in (speakers down, of course) and when you play music or radio or podcasts it’s like having an amplifier.

Try it. It takes about five minutes, Here’s what it looks like:

Love it.

 

So what is the chance of Obama winning right now?

Bob Cesca published Nate Silver‘s graphic projecting the election winner which appeared in the NY Times. I’d like to reproduce it as well since it seems to show the start of a legitimate bounce for Obama after the last debate.

Here is Nate Silver’s most recent projection:

Monday’s debate (the last one) may give another push to Obama if he pulls of a victory as he did in the second round. And remember, the election is only 18 days away. Focus on both campaigns will become very tight in the next few days.

Some National Poll results for this morning:

Here are the latest national polls of the presidential race:

Hartford Courant/UConn: Obama 48%, Romney 45%

Public Policy Polling: Obama 48%, Romney 47%

Rasmussen: Obama 48%, Romney 48%

OK… very close on the National front. First time I’ve seen a polling result from my long lost home state, Connecticut (I say “long lost”, but I mean “very much missed.”)

 

Update on Battleground State Polls…

Here’s the afternoon update. Hey, Obama comes in ahead in Florida. Didn’t I say that would happen the other Day? And what do you think votes by women will do? Nothing, apparently, in North Carolina.

Colorado: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 46% (EPIC-MRA)

Michigan: Obama 44%, Romney 41% (Denno Research)

North Carolina: Romney 52%, Obama 46% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)

Want the details on the Romney Ryan Tax Plan?

Nobody seems to know what the plan entails… Romney and Ryan say they have it, but never spell it out in debates or speeches. I wonder why that is?

To find out more about the plan click HERE.

Here’s a sign of the new embodiment of journalism…

Newsweek will discontinue it’s printed edition  with the December 31st Issue. All of Newsweek’s information and branded publications will be on line after that, making it the leading news publication to make its entire presence on the web.

The all digital format is being adopted after more than 80 years in print. Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. It will be a paid subscription site (like the NY Times) and will be available on both tablets and the Web, with select content available on its current bl9g, The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast, which depends on Newsweek’s editorial content, now attracts more than 15 million visitors a month.

Tina Brown is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Baba Shetty is CEO of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co.

 

If you’ve heard about employers telling employees how to vote or their jobs are on the line…

… then perhaps you’d like to know where they got that idea.

Well, they got it from Mittens last summer.

In a June 6, 2012 conference call posted on the anti-union National Federation of Independent Business’s website, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney instructed employers to tell their employees how to vote in the upcoming election. In a phone call, after making a lengthy case that President Obama’s first term has been bad for business, Romney said:

I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees.

Obviously, the Romney campaign is complicit in corporate attempts to influence employees’ votes that have made headlines in the past few days.

On Sunday, In These Times broke the news that Koch Industries mailed at least 45,000 employees a voter information packet that included a flyer endorsing Romney and a letter warning,:

“Many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences [of a bad election result], including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.”

In the June call, Romney went on to reassure his audience that it is perfectly legal for them to talk to their employees about how to vote:

Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well. 

He’s correct that such speech is now legal for the first time ever, thanks to the Citizen United ruling.

Beyond Romney’s statements on the call, it’s unclear whether his election operation is actively coordinating workplace campaigning by businesses. Romney press secretary Andrea Saul did not respond to In These Times’request for comment.However, the conference call raises troubling questions about what appears to be a growing wave of workplace political pressure unleashed by Citizens United.

Here’s Romney presenting this crap to businesses:

In case you missed it, here is last night’s debate…

The whole video is below:

Feel free to post your comments.

 

Gosh… did you see the news about recovery of a missing Roy Lichtenstein painting?

Famed Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s “Electric Cord” was painted in 1961.  If you weren’t an active viewer of pop art in the 60s, you have most likely never seen it. Why? Because in January 1970 art dealer Leo Castelli sent it to art restorer Daniel Goldreyer for cleaning. It was never seen again.

Lichtenstein, of course, is best known for his paintings based on printed cartoon images. The black and white electric cord painting was announced missing in 2006 by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the artist’s legacy. The Foundation published an image of the black and white work on the front of its holiday card and appealed to its community for help locate the work.

The late Roy Lichtenstein

Last summer, the painting was discovered at the Hayes Storage Facility in New York, where it was being stored by the Quinta Gallery art gallery of Bogotá, Colombia, on consignment from restorer Goldreyer’s widow, Sally Goldreyer. Apparently someone connected with the restorer’s consignments asked her to sell the “Electric Cord” for him. She claims that she offered to sell it to the Quinta Galeria, but refunded the gallery’s deposit when she found a missing notice for the painting posted on the Internet. It was not something she had been aware of.

“Electric Cord” has been returned to Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Leo Castelli’s widow.

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.

 

I’m wondering if Halloween is turning into a sexually demonstrative holiday…

Have you seen some of the Halloween costumes, both for kids and adults, that are popping up on the web looking for buyers to turn on? I’m finding them amazing…what was always, to me, a kids’ holiday with a spooky, witches and ghosts attitude seems to be changing radically.

The first costume I saw that made me look for more was this kid’s costume:

The idea that mothers are going to let their young ‘uns out as contraceptive packages surprised the hell out of me… not that I didn’t think it was hilarious.

Then again, there are adult costumes that are making me wonder what folks are looking to communicate.
Perhaps there are too many things in our society that aren’t getting enough attention… or the conservative attack on a woman’s right to choose has results that appear unnatural.

I’m not about to think of Halloween as an obnoxious holiday… it never has been during my life.

It does seem that some folks are having lots of fun with this. I’m not sure if the penis here is for kids or adults. Whatever, it certainly seems happy.

Can you picture moms and dads in the costume shop with junior shopping for this year’s appearance. And then there are girl’s costumes, too. A used feminine napkin is something I would never have imagined as something to walk the neighborhood looking for candy as.

When you think of it, there are many similar things which could be turned into Halloween costumes and some designer somewhere is having an emotional roller coaster ride.

How we see members of the opposite sex is something that expresses an unusual opinion. Men are, perhaps, looking for ways to make a statement as to how he sees the woman in his life. A joke? An insult? A confused thought? Who can tell?

Then, of course, there are costumes looking for some kind of action. Does it make you wonder what occurs during the free mammogram? One can guess.

There is, however, a view of the man/woman relationship as a plug-in idea… and energy will probably be passed on. This is pretty neat, but still highly suggestive.

So… I hope at the end of the month you have an interesting and revealing Halloween.

 

Saturday Morning and I’m getting ready for the 11 o’clock show…

Our regular schedule at WSHC (89.7 FM) is back this week, so my show, Talk To Me, is on from 11 AM to 1 PM and I’ll be taking calls from listeners at 304.876.5369. Remember, if you are not in our listening area (which unfortuneately ony covers about 50 miles around Shepherdstown, WV) you can listen live on the web site: http://897wshc.org.

As usual, I am putting together the list of songs I’d like to play on the show, but I expect my regular callers and more will call in with hard to find requests (which I usually pull out of the air) and their music, as usual, outplays mine. It’s really worth listening to if you have a desire to hear work from the 40s, 50s or 60s. Those are the years most of the requests fall into.

I also expect Ralph Petrie to show up around noon for one of my favorite parts of the show, The Petrie Dish. Ralph brings in his historic music list which really educates all of us on the history of rock ‘n roll.

I love the Saturday show and I hope you might as well.

 

I’VE GOT THE MORNING RADIO SHOW ALONE…

John is away this morning so I have to do the Winners & Losers show alone from 7:30 to 9 on WSHC (89.7 FM). To listen on line live from anywhere go to http://897wshc.org.

Elly, of course, is upset that she has to get up so early to take me into the station. John usually picks me up on his way in.

So right now I’m putting my music list together. I’ll be taking requests for music at 304-876-5369 if you want to hear yourself on the air.

 

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.

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