From Pine View Farm

August, 2009 archive

Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go 0

570,000 is a decrease from last week.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to 570,000, and those collecting long-term unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level since April, government data showed on Thursday.


Continued claims fell to 6.133 million in the week ended August 15 from 6.252 million the prior week. That was the lowest since the week ending April 4 when they were 6.045 million.

In other news, GDP didn’t fall as much as expected.

It could have been worse has become a bright spot.


By Their Words Shall Ye Know Them 0

Bet she wishes she could relive those ten seconds.

“Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope,” (Topeka Congressperson Lynn) Jenkins said to the crowd.


RIP Power, Privilege, and Justice 0

Dominick Dunne passes.

His interest in crime, which led to his show, Power, Privilege, and Justice, on CourtTruTV, grew out of the murder of his daughter.

Power, Privilege, and Justice was one of the few shows on commercial television which spoke to, rather than down to, the viewer (well, these days, a lot shows actually speak up to the viewer–one does hope the viewer is smarter than the shows; the alternative is despair).

The last scheduled new episode, about Hans Reiser, creator of the ReiserFS (Reiser File System) for Linux and Unix and wife killer, is slated for this Friday.

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Happy Fourth Birthday to Me 0

Four years and lots of electrons and changes ago today . . . .


RIP Jim 3

When my father died, he became the go-to guy for taking care of Pine View Farm.

His word was all I needed.

If he recommended someone, the person he recommended could be trusted implicitly, as could he.


A Word on Ted Kennedy (Updated) 0

I was never a big fan of his, but he certainly redeemed himself from his early mistakes and, after them, lived a life of integrity.

I do not know anyone who hasn’t made mistakes.

I know lots of persons in both public and private life who haven’t lived lives of integrity.

Addendum, the Next Morning:

Kiko’s House has more.


Over There 1

Captain First Son, USA, is once more in Afghanistan.


We Need Single Payer 0

Medical-insurance prices for adults of working age will rise more than 10 percent again this year, says Aon Consulting, after collecting prices from Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp., and dozens of other private and Blue Cross health insurers.

How is that possible, when the Consumer Price Index is flat, and prices for food, clothing, and other basic goods have been falling?

“It’s unsustainable,” said Joseph Reilly, head of Aon’s Northeast health and benefits advisory practice in Parsippany, N.J., which advises big employers on what benefits to buy, and what to cut.


But managers aren’t eating all those costs. “Employers might see a 5 percent increase,” Reilly explained. “They’re passing the other 5 percent on to the health-care population” – that’s the public – through higher co-payments, higher drug payments, higher employee contributions.

After all, someone has to make up for all the money those CEOs lost in the stock market.


And Now for Something Completely Different 0


Cry Me a River 0

Terrance Heath at the Huffington Post:

What we’re seeing from the health care town halls, what we’ve seen from the “birthers” and what we saw during the campaign is essentially what I call “Tyranny of the Tantrum,” which many parents encounter at the onset of the “terrible twos.”


That’s what the town halls have devolved into — the tyranny of the tantrum. The behavior we’re seeing is basically the extreme of the Republican base kicking and screaming because they believe that if they throw a big enough tantrum, they can hold off change, turn back the transition period already begun, and keep things the way they are — or go back to the way they were.


Neither can we turn back the clock (nor should we) to a time when the president and most of the Supreme Court (to name two seats of power), were guaranteed to be white — something many townhall screamers, birthers, and McCain/Palin rally attendees would like to return to, whether they say as much or not.

He’s right, you know.


Why We Are in Trouble 0

Dick Polman:

A respected survey firm, Public Policy Polling, has unearthed a statistic that gives us yet another dimension on the ignorance that pervades our nation. The pollsters have been probing the “birther” phenomenon, the refusal of so many Americans to believe that Barack Obama was born on American soil. They solved part of the mystery the other day. Get ready for this one:

Ten percent of Americans don’t know that Hawaii is a state.


. . . And She Never Read the Part about the Good Samaritan Either 0

Just the part about not taking care of the sick and the helpless.

But it was (Congressperson Michelle–ed.) Bachmann’s (R-Loonybin–ed.) fervent call to utilize prayer and fasting to beat back health-care reform efforts that was the true highlight of the call.

“That’s really where this battle will be won — on our knees in prayer and fasting,” she told the listeners. “Remember: faith without works is dead. So we’re asking you to do all of it: pray, fast, believe, trust the Lord, but also act.”


Quarters for the Meters 0

Off to drink liberally.


The Rewards of Making Stuff Up . . . 0

Repeating incredible lies is its own reward.

It is a perverse aspect of our discourse that, the bigger the lie, the bigger the speaking engagements and the more uncritical column inches one gets.


We Need Single Payer 0

In words and pictures:

In other news, Terry Gross interviews an American who lived in Europe and has first-hand experience with European health insurance. Follow the links below to listen or read the transcript:

Journalist and author T.R. Reid set out on a global tour of hospitals and doctors’ offices, all in the hopes of understanding how other industrialized nations provide affordable, effective universal health care. The result: his book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.

Reid is a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post — in whose pages he recently addressed five major myths about other countries’ health-care systems — and the former chief of the paper’s London and Tokyo bureaus.

A nugget from the transcript:

Turns out we have them all right here in the United States. If you’re a Native American or a veteran you live in Britain. They get government health care and government hospitals from government doctors and they never get a bill.

If you’re an employed person sharing your health insurance premium with your employer, you live in Germany. That’s the Bismarck model that was invented in Germany and used in many countries.

If you’re a senior and you buy Medicare insurance from the government and go to private doctors, you live in Canada. That’s the Canadian model. As a matter of fact, the Canadian health care system is called Medicare, and when Lyndon Johnson provided it for our seniors in 1965 he borrowed both the model and the name from Canada.

And if you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who can’t get health insurance, well, you live in Malawi or Madagascar or Mali or something, because if you can pay for health insurance you get it, or maybe you can line up at the free hospital sometime.


Off-Roading 0

Public Option

Story here.


Birthwrongs 0

Skippy quotes a Politico commenter who pretty much nails it:

besides, we all know what this is really about, as nobody cared about any presidents birth certificate until we elected a black one.

It’s all about the hate, the bigotry, and the odious Southern Strategy of the Party of Old White Men, Rich Folks, and Haters Republican Party.

Growing up white under Jim Crow, I heard all kinds of rationales about why white folks were superior and needed to keep black folks in line to preserve Our Way of Life(TM). A lot of the arguments involved “mongrelization” (for heaven’s sake, look around you: mongrelization was apparently quite all right when worked it in one direction, just not in the other. Jesus, deliver me from the hypocrites and liars, especially those who invoke Your Name.)

Aside: My parents were children of their times, but thank God I didn’t hear that stuff at home. They taught me through example to be equally polite to everyone and to treat everyone with respect.

Somewhere I have a copy of George Fitzhugh’s Cannibals All, a justification of chattel slavery written shortly before the Civil War. I bought it for one of my courses in Southern History, my field of study in college. I was never able to read it, not because I was or am any kind of enlightened angel, but because it must be one of the worst-written books ever published.

It’s still all about bigotry, plain and tall.





Nucking Futs 0

Oh, God.

This is sick-making.

According to an ad I just saw, it’s headlining the local TV news tonight. (Otherwise, I’d have ignored it.)

(No, I shan’t watch it. I never watch it. I prefer to get my news from persons who don’t spend a fortune on hair spray.)

Why are wingnuts so enthralled with male anatomy?

Never mind. I don’t want to know.


The Internet Is a Public Place. So’s Your French Cellphone. 0

Experts say the recent ruling by the top French court — to accept phone exchanges as legitimate proof of adultery — will make it easier for the French to get divorced. Previously, husbands and wives often had to wait for years to escape a marriage if they could not prove that their spouse was misbehaving or mistreating them.

Therefore . . .

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