Blog Archives

Reviewing the “junk” or “spam” that comes into this blog…


Every so often instead of just trashing the entries that Akismet builds up during the course of the say, I take a quick review of where this stuff is coming from. Since I average about 9,500 of these bothersome bits a month, reviewing them is pretty much a waste of time, but it tells me what some people out in the blogosphere are trying to do.

Would you believe that this costs $1500.00?

For the most part they are trying to get free advertising posted as comments to blog entries. Last year the big pushers were porn sites, but this year I am swamped by women’s accessories – primarily Gucci leather products (mostly handbags) and various brands of ladies’ shoes.

Who do these people think this blog serves? Why do they think I’ll post this stuff?

I’d like to think the posters are wasting their time, but since I am sure this garbage is being put out by some kind of automatic list pushed across the web, I doubt that they are taking up anyone’s time at all.

Thankfully, Akismet has a great memory for spammers and removes them immediately. I recommend it highly.


The Spam Writers are getting out of hand… I’m sick of them.

The hardest part of maintaining a blog, aside from writing, posting and promoting articles to various search engines, has got to be keeping spam out of the Comments. I use a great piece of software called Akismet which does a very good job of sending all spam comments to a page where I can review them (occasionally, about .005% of the time, it makes an error and labels a perfectly good comment as spam, and I have to reclaim it) and then, in one pass, I delete them all without really reading them.

My list of potential removables that I have primed Akismet for are any comments which are really not concerned with the post being commented on, but which are actually pieces of advertising in disguise… tricks to get people to go to their web sites for commercial reasons. These try to look like real comments, but, oddly enough, the texts of each one is a copy of another I’ve already seen… it’s like one robot is writing all these in quantity to my site and, I would imagine, many others.

Here are a couple of samples:

I was incredibly pleased to derive this website. I wanted to thanks for your time for this great read!! I as a matter of fact enjoying every small bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

Thanks for honestly using permissible grammar. Approximately all sites were absolute gibberish. Astounding website & writing skills. You my friend have Talent! I just StumbledUpon this. Not bad. I’ll give it a thumbs up.

I enjoy reading a post that makes people think. Some genuinely exquisite posts on this internet site , thanks for contribution. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I right on enjoying every limited bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

That last one is my favorite. “Every limited bit of it.”

One of the things the spam blocking software does is show you the URL you would go to if you happened to click on the comment to see more from the person who is “incredibly pleased to derive this website.” The sites they would take you to sell all kinds of things: motorcycles, South American real estate, jewelry… and penis enlargement programs!

Today I eliminated over 60 spam messages which led to penis enlargement programs… at least half of them to the same user’s site, posted at comments on virtually every post I’ve put on this blog in the past two years. Some were even comments on ILLUSTRATIONS within posts (like the Web Poppers that I use in articles like this.)

While I am happy that these are kept away from my readers, I am very tired of seeing them pop up for elimination. I imagine other bloggers have similar problems. I could avoid much of this by limiting comments to approved subscribers… or by eliminating comments all together. Neither of these things do I want to do. I have always enjoyed the on line “conversations” one gets into with legitimate readers and I don’t want to change my policy.

It would be much better if these creeps heeded the anti-spam warnings I put near the top of my right column. Or maybe they would realize that their post like “Your well thought out ideas upon new approaches on this subject matter were insightful and an excellent help to us. Thank you for having time to write down these things as well as sharing your ideas” never shows up on Under The LobsterScope.

But they persist.

If any of them are reading this post, LAY OFF! Go comment on someone else’s page… perhaps one of those dating sites or a nice religion post. Or maybe a politician’s campaign website. You won’t get posted here.

I’m sorry to have to do this… I know my regulars will understand.

I am making changes in my comment policies since I seem to have some terrorists (the latest from Mason, Ohio… yeah, YOU) who attack my comment areas and rating stars. I have never minded people who agree or disagree with me making comments and upping or lowering the rating stars or thumbs up or down… but recently, some folks have been running through all my entries and trying to lower the ratings as far as possible… whether it’s on a piece of political commentary (which I would understand) or something as harmless as the obituary of a great soprano (which I find unbelievable.) Since I have put these rating gadgets on with no restrictions, it is my fault at base that scum has formed in the bathtub, so to speak.

Therefore, I am removing all rating systems. Furthermore, I am putting all comments on “no print til I check them” status and I plan to be highly critical of people who cannot discuss things they disagree with reasonably and with confirmable evidence. If I feel that comments are just promoting a stupid, undefendable argument, or if they are promoting a cause I can’t agree with, I just won’t print them

I never thought I’d have to do this… not in the six years I have been running the blog. But that’s how it goes.


Grayson: If I wanted Fox talking points I’d change the channel to Fox, not listen to the White House…

Alan Grayson on Robert Gibbs: He should be fired.

Did anyone hear Barney Frank’s comments on the Brown election?

There is a good article at Salon… here’s a small clip:
clipped from

By the time it happened Tuesday night, Republican Scott Brown’s victory in the race to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy was hardly shocking — polls had been predicting that outcome for some time by then. But there were some surprises on the night, perhaps none bigger than a statement from Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., in which he seemed to adopt a new, defeatist tone on healthcare reform legislation:

If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, that approach is no longer appropriate. I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform because I do not think that the country would be well served by the health care status quo. But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened.
  blog it

Joan Walsh on the Reid comments in Salon

In an article titled “A Democrat’s gaffe, the GOP’s shame
Harry Reid chose his words poorly, but equating it with saying a racist would have made a good president is idiocy“, Salon editor Joan Walsh goes after Michael Steele and the Repiglicans over what seems to be a manufactured controversy.

Reid’s comment is in an article in the Atlantic HERE, and the full text of Walsh’s article is HERE.

I present you with a small clip:

clipped from
Sure, it’s depressing that Democrats have a Senate Majority Leader who thinks it’s acceptable to use the term “Negro dialect,” even in private, off-the-record conversation.

But 70-year-old Harry Reid’s gaffe – he immediately apologized once it was revealed in John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s gossipy “Game Change,” and Obama warmly accepted the apology – has attained near-scandal proportion, pumped up by the right, the shallow MSM as well as a little bit too much debate among Democrats.
For Republicans to jump on Reid is both predictable and disgusting. The foolish Michael “Honest Injun” Steele is suggesting that Reid must resign.

I’m glad to know Steele doesn’t believe there is any kind of black dialect. I guess that’s why he titled his blog “What up?” told the Today Show in no uncertain terms “brotha’s still here” and said the Republican Party had to use hip-hop to reach black voters. No stereotyping there!

  blog it

Open Thread – Your Comments Today, 11/30/2009

It’s the last day of the month, the first day of the Major Senate Debate on Health Care, the Day Before Obama Announces Troop Increase in Afghanistan,and a day when there is a forthcoming Federal announcement to save mortgages for struggling homeowners.

If you have something to say, then place a comment now. I’ll be reviewing them to keep off pure advertising and will gey yhem up right away.

– Bill

What it means to be a progressive blogger in America…

Did you hear this one on the news this morning (Morning Meeting or Morning Joe, I guess. I got it on HuffPo)?

Progressive bloggers were in an uproar Sunday night after a White House “adviser,” speaking on condition of anonymity, urged them to “take off their pajamas” and get serious about politics.
NBC White House correspondent John Harwood relayed the quote during a segment he shot for Nightly News following a massive gay rights rally in Washington.

“For a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me today those bloggers need to take off their pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely-divided country is complicated and difficult,” said Harwood, who has solid sources inside the Obama White House and routinely talks with top administration officials.

Well, here I am out of my pajamas… as a matter of fact I’m sitting in the WiFi Cafe at Martin’s Supermarket in Martinsburg, WV. It seems that these “anonymous comments” were made during yesterday’s Gay Pride affair in Washington DC. Harwood pointed out later that:

the quote was not meant to convey any displeasure on the part of the administration for the gay community’s public advocacy.

“My comments quoting an Obama adviser about liberal bloggers/pajamas weren’t about the LGBT community or the marchers,” he wrote. “They referred more broadly to those grumbling on the left about an array of issues in addition to gay rights, including the war in Afghanistan and health care and Guantanamo — and whether all that added up to trouble with Obama’s liberal base…”

Well, that’s nice. The gay rights community is off the hook. I guess that leaves the rest of us to our grumbles.

But now, according to The Plumline:

The White House is strongly denying a report making the rounds that it views gay critics and bloggers as part of an “Internet left fringe,” with a senior adviser asserting to me that this sentiment “does not reflect White House thinking at all.”

And DanPfeiffer of the White House Communication Department stated:

“That sentiment does not reflect White House thinking at all, we’ve held easily a dozen calls with the progressive online community because we believe the online communities can often keep the focus on how policy will affect the American people rather than just the political back-and-forth.”

I think I’ll go along with Greg Sargent’s update in Plumline:

I should add that it’s entirely legit to be concerned about the administration’s gay rights record and the disregard some White House advisers (albeit anonymous ones) hold for the “left.” My point is that this quote, given the sourcing and second-hand nature of it, doesn’t seem like enough to get upset about.

Now if you readers think that progressive bloggers like me are on the opposite side of the Obama Administration, you let me know. I thought we were a vital assist.