From Pine View Farm

January, 2007 archive

S(pl)urge 0

Are you a realist?

Do you know the difference between truth and lies?

Do you believe that those who lay their lives on the line should do so for truth, not for lies?

Do you know what the Founders intended?

Have you read the Constitution of the United States of America and understand what it says?

Then click here.


It really doesn’t have anything to do with “Liberal” or “Conservative.”

Someone’s calling him- or herself a “Conservative” (or a “Liberal,” or whatever) does not give that someone a right to lie,



like a blankety-blank mattress.


Bumper Stickers 7

I like number 28 best.


And This Is How My Son Came To Spend a Tour in Iraq 0


Bush Leagues 0

Kieth Olbermann exposes the lies: “You showed me the same baby twice and said it was twins.”

With a tip to Dan Froomkin.


Happy Belated Birthday to Me 9

Just got back from celebrating at Tangier. Second Son came down from Joisey to join us.

Drinking conservatively is not an option.

The highlight, though, was meeting another Slackware devote.


Teddy Roosevelt on Freedom of Speech 0

Via Dick Polman (emphasis added):

“The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”


Meltdown 2

Wow! Check this out:



Contradictions 0

Austin Cline on Bushism:

One of the most curious ideological contradictions to be produced (or perhaps merely revealed) by the Republican War in Iraq involves the expressed need to stifle liberty at home in order to spread liberty abroad. If you look around, you’ll find this contradiction arising time after time in a variety of situations. The failure of all other stated reasons for invading and occupying Iraq has generally forced Republicans to rely almost exclusively on “fighting terrorists” by spreading the values of liberty and democracy abroad. Many of these same Republicans, however, have never been good friends of liberty at home, and they see their war as a means for reinforcing their power over others’ liberties in America.


Peas in a Pod? 0

George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

And unlikely pair, but so argues Henry Porter in the Guardian:

There is a striking likeness in the expressions of George W Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran as they confront each other over the issues of uranium enrichment and dominance in the Middle East. It falls somewhere between the chastened and defiant playground bully.

This is unsurprising: though not political equivalents, the two are really quite similar. Both had little experience of government or international affairs before being carried to power on a tide of populist, religious conservatism. Neither travelled abroad much, but they both had certain views about the world and the destiny of their nations. They had all the answers, yet there was also a dangerous lack of seriousness in them which has now earned them both the scorn of their people and rebuffs from their elders.

A fascinating analysis of fanaticism and failure, well worth a read.


S(pl)urge: Updated 0


On the Media dissects it with the help of Bill Arkin.

Go their site or listen here.

I’ll link to the transcript when it becomes available.

Addendum, 1/31/2007

The transcript is here.


Slime, Slimy, Bankrupt 0

Nothing emphasizes the moral, spiritual, and intellectual bankruptcy of a certain segment of the right wing more than their quick resort to playground name-calling.

The Post calls them on it:

IT’S BECOME a fad among some conservatives to refer to the junior senator from Illinois by his full name: Barack Hussein Obama.


Mr. Obama has never tried to hide his past or his family name: He has written about being educated at a predominantly Muslim school. His father, a non-practicing Muslim, was Barack Hussein Obama Sr. His grandmother is Sara Hussein Obama.

The senator, however, does not use his middle name. Those who take pains to insert it when referring to him are trying, none too subtly, to stir up scary images of menacing terrorists and evil dictators. They embarrass only themselves

But I don’t think the Post is quite accurate in claiming that “(t)hey embarrass only themselves.”

In order to suffer embarassment, persons must first have standards and be capable of shame.





Royalty . . . 2

. . . is for the pig snouts birds.

In the Greater Philadelphia Co-Prosperity Sphere, a visit from Prince Charles is currently inflicted on the populace.

He is the first English royal visitor since Prince Edward, who couldn’t tell his Biddles from his scrapples:

The prince spoke of “eating biddle for breakfast and meeting so many citizens named Scrapple,” said the Daily Evening Bulletin.

(Once you Habbersett, you will never Rapa again.)


Boom! 0

Phillybits has a sound that the younger generation has never heard.

Sonic booms.


Dick Cheney-Style Hunting . . . 4

. . . doesn’t go down well in Pennsylvania:

Dozens of domestic turkeys were staked to bales of straw and used as live targets at an archery contest, according to authorities who charged a sportsmen’s club with violating animal-cruelty laws.

The birds were secured at their feet but able to flap their wings as participants who paid $12 got three attempts to hit one with an arrow. Those who drew blood won the birds, said Christine Wilson, a Lancaster County assistant district attorney.


Razzies 0



And I Thought Philly Fans Were the Most Fanatical 0

A young Argentinian footie fan who decided to celebrate his love for Boca Juniors by having the team’s logo tattooed on his back paid the price for not adequately researching the body artist’s own allegiances.

The tattooist was, unknown to the unnamed teen, a follower of rival club River Plate, and accordingly substituted a penis for the Boca Juniors’ crest.

Maybe he can sue for breach of contract.

Then there was the guy whose dry cleaning was late. He sued for contract of breeches.


Doctor Poulan 0


Fans settling down to enjoy a Doctor Who US rental DVD were treated to scenes from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, UK tabloid The Sun reports.

According to the paper, “a manufacturing blunder led to footage of a maniac hacking off limbs appearing midway through an episode seen by hundreds of families”. The Doctor Who episode in question was New Earth – the first installment of series two – dispatched by Netflix postal DVD rental service.


Looking Up Up Over 2

Not just in Australia. Misbehavior at Michaels nets 30 days for a clumsy mope:

According to court records, the woman was in Michael’s Arts & Crafts, where Allen repeatedly bumped into her, especially every time she “went to bend down or reach up.” After she saw his cell phone, she suspected he was taking photos up her dress. She subsequently recorded his license-plate number and called police.


Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh 5

For some reason, even though the company in question is actually a fairly decent outfit, I can’t get worked up over this headline.

Mild winter cuts salt use, hurts Phila. company

Especially today, when it’s 12 bleepin’ degrees Fahrenheit out there.


Lunchtime Conversation 3

When my son was in elementary school, the lunch room monitors would roam the cafeteria.

If they judged that a table was talking too loud, they would start shaving minutes off of recess.

This makes that look tame:

A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria.

No one was hurt, but the principal of St. Rose of Lima School explained in a letter to parents that if the lunchroom is loud, staff members cannot hear a child choking.

And for all that the reason sounds compelling, I have to think there’s something more going on here. After all, there doesn’t seem to have been a rash of cafeteria choking incidents in elementary schools.

Except perhaps here.

Looks to me like another case of grown-ups blowing it and penalizing the kids.

But what do I know? I’m 400 miles away messing with a computer.