From Pine View Farm

June, 2009 archive


Grumpy Realist on theological coincidences as regards Mark “I’m David, she’s Bathsheba” Sanford:

Oddly, whenever I hear someone who claims to know God’s will it exactly matches what that person wants. It’s the strangest coincidence.


Down at the Farm 0

Power failure. The UPSs held long enough for me to shut the webserver down in an orderly fashion.

Meanwhile, when I went to check on the details of the power failure at the electric company website:

Read more »


Break Time 0

Off to drink liberally.


When Cooler Heads Prevail 0

Tom Tomorrow

Via Bartblog.


Ideas for the Fourth 0

From Bartblog:

Let’s make this Independence Day National Waterboarding Day! Here’s the way it would work: At each major public gathering on Saturday, July 4, 2009, have a crew there ready to waterboard all comers. Bring your conservative friends and relatives who deny that waterboarding is torture and challenge them to personally experience this ‘enhanced interrogation technique’ for themselves.

There’s more.


Coleman’s Lantern Burning Out 0

Minnesota Supreme Court rules that the winner of the election won the election.


Flowcharting Gay Marriage 0

A picture is worth a thousand words (click the graphic for a larger image):

Gay Marriage Debate Graphic

Via Delaware Liberal.


Return of Beyond the Palin: Post Mortem 0

Vanity Fair explores Sarah Palin’s career and campaign. I know that some persons are suffering Too Much Palin Syndrome (Palin-drome?); nevertheless, it is a fascinating article.

A nugget:

The narrative that the McCain campaign employed to explain Palin’s selection and to promote her qualifications—that she was a fresh-faced reformer who had taken on Alaska’s big oil companies and the corrupt Republican establishment, governing with bipartisan support—was never more than superficially true. In dozens of conversations during a recent visit to Alaska, it was easy to learn that there has always been a counter-narrative about Palin, and indeed it has become the dominant one. It is the story of a political novice with an intuitive feel for the temper of her times, a woman who saw her opportunities and coolly seized them. In every job, she surrounded herself with an insular coterie of trusted friends, took disagreements personally, discarded people who were no longer useful, and swiftly dealt vengeance on enemies, real or perceived. “Remember,” says Lyda Green, a former Republican state senator who once represented Palin’s home district, and who over the years went from being a supporter of Palin’s to a bitter foe, “her nickname in high school was ‘Barracuda.’ I was never called Barracuda. Were you? There’s a certain instinct there that you go for the jugular.”


Stray Thought, Rerun Dept. 1

Vincent D’Onofrio is looking more like Raymond Burr with every episode of Law and Order CI.


Advertising Fail 0

A local plumbing firm’s telly vision commercial includes a reference to their “family values.”

I guess that means they run around with other plumbing firms in the middle of the night.


They’d All Look Good in Orange 0

Richard Adams in the Guardian on Bernie Madoff as a distraction:

Sadly for Bernie Madoff, his fraud was straight forward: he stole money from investors and ran a Ponzi scheme. (His particular genius was not to promise fantastic, overnight profits, as is usually the way. Instead he offered solid long-term returns, less likely to attract attention.) But if he’d really been smart he would have got into selling collatoralised debt obligations, credit default swaps, mezzanine level revolving syndicated loans, tulip futures and all the rest. Then, if he’d really got lucky, he’d have got a bailout.


Fairport Convention 2


Wallops 0

In the early days of the US Space Program, Wallops Island, about 50 miles north of Pine View Farm, was a major testing site.

We used to go out back to watch the rockets go up during night launches.

It’s coming back to life:

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will hold a groundbreaking today on a launch facility that will test a new rocket designed to service the International Space Station once the shuttle retires.

This is a recent launch:


We Need Single Payer, Reprise 0

Imagine living in a society where reliable police and fire protection were available only to those who worked for the largest employers. In this fictional country, people with enough money might be able to buy personal protection – but perhaps not if they’d suffered a burglary five years ago, or once called 911 for a kitchen fire.


Substitute health insurance for police and fire protection, and you have one of the best – and least-heralded – arguments for universal health care, according to a small but growing number of economists.

Read the whole thing.

Also, read this and this.

And from The Nation:

It’s time to part ways with obstructionist Republicans and pass a strong healthcare bill with a majority vote, which is possible if efforts cease to get a handful of Republicans to cross over. Redefining bipartisanship at a time when the GOP has become a male, pale and stale party committed to deficit demagoguery and fearmongering is the common sense and, I’d even argue, pragmatic course. Instead of wasting time on recalcitrant GOP holdouts, do what Drew Westen, author of the terrific book “The Political Brain,” advises to pass meaningful healthcare change: “Focus on principles, tell compelling stories, move people emotionally and send clear messages.”

“Male, pale, and stale.” I love it.


Seminal Research 0

Actually, I hate that phrase. It generally indicates a lazy linguist.

But there seems to be no other way to characterize this.


Drink Liberally 0

Live charitably.

Drinking Liberally Center City at Triumph Brewing Company in, natch, Center City Philadelphia, 2nd and Chestnut, Tuesday at 6 p. m.

I’m threatening to be there this week.


We Need Single Payer 0

which probably ain’t gonna happen, so we need a public option.

Brendan (warning: mild language but not as bad as you hear at any school bus stop):

I realize this may be news to many of the 556 members of the House and Senate receiving government-provided health care, but here in this place called “Reality” we’re in the middle of a crisis that has been building for years, and which just got worse as GM moved into bankruptcy, shedding thousand of jobs, including the “termination of health benefits and jeopardiz[ing] retirement benefits for current and former employees and their families.” We have millions without care, and a lot more who are routinely denied coverage by an industry that puts profits over the people it’s supposed to serve. And now you guys are signaling that maybe we won’t get a public option after all? You have to be shittin’ me.


Sales Tax Craziness 0

Details here.


Get Ready for the Noise Machine 0

Media Matters:

In covering the Ricci case, reversing Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s decision, media should not promote the myth that the reversal represents a “historic rebuke” or that Sotomayor’s Supreme Court reversal rate is “high.”

The bottom line is that the Supreme Court does not accept cases unless it thinks there is a legal issue worthy of consideration. This means that any case it accepts has a good chance of being reversed.

Further down the page, see the bottom line (emphasis added):

. . . it also would not be unprecedented for the court to reverse a ruling reached by a justice before his or her elevation to the Supreme Court. As an appeals court judge, Chief Justice John Roberts was a member of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which, in its July 2005 unanimous ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, alBaswed a military commission to try Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Guantánamo Bay detainee.

Roberts was confirmed as chief justice several months later, in September 2005. Then, in 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision on a 5-3 ruling.

Moreover, contrary to the myth that it is unusual for the Supreme Court to reverse federal appellate court decisions, data compiled by SCOTUSblog since 2004 show that the Supreme Court has reversed more than 67 percent of the federal appeals court cases it considered each year, except 2007, when it reversed federal appeals court cases 61 percent of the time.



Why is my telly vision subjecting me to an advertisement for a homeopathic remedy for doggy pain?

Homeopathy is crap. But it appears to be really lucrative crap.