From Pine View Farm

January, 2013 archive

Global Warming Minutiae 0

Today it’s 79 Fahrenheits according to the electronic sending unit on my deck.

Saturday it was 27 Fahrenheits.


Toys for Tots 0

It’s not about freedom. It’s about sales.


Maker Myth-Makers 0

Paul Krugman reminds that, when it comes to Republicans, watch what they do, not what they say,

So when Mr. Romney made his infamous “47 percent” remarks, he wasn’t, in his own mind, saying anything outrageous or even controversial. He was just repeating a view that has become increasingly dominant inside the right-wing bubble, namely that a large and ever-growing proportion of Americans won’t take responsibility for their own lives and are mooching off the hard-working wealthy. Rising unemployment claims demonstrate laziness, not lack of jobs; rising disability claims represent malingering, not the real health problems of an aging workforce.

And given that world view, Republicans see it as entirely appropriate to cut taxes on the rich while making everyone else pay more.

Now, national politicians learned last year that this kind of talk plays badly with the public, so they’re trying to obscure their positions. Paul Ryan, for example, has lately made a transparently dishonest attempt to claim that when he spoke about “takers” living off the efforts of the “makers” — at one point he assigned 60 percent of Americans to the taker category — he wasn’t talking about people receiving Social Security and Medicare. (He was.)

In a similar vein, Guardian columnist Ha-Joon Chang explains that the folks who flatter themselves that they are the “makers” are actually the takers.


Paint Your Wagon 0

Stay classy, Texas.

For the second time in the past several months, vandals struck the Obama mural on a building on the southern edge of Midtown (Houston–ed.) that served as local Democratic Party headquarters during the presidential campaign.

Splashes of black and red paint mar the 10-foot image of the 44th president in the 3700 block of Travis near West Alabama. The mural had been restored in October after vandals had defaced it with splashes of paint. That previous vandalism was also discovered on a Monday.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Welcome lost strangers with courtesy:

Friends of Diaz, of Duluth, told Channel 2 Action News that he and others were trying to find a friend’s house, but their GPS instead led them to the home on Hillcrest Road, off Indian Trail Road.

After seeing the car in his driveway, Sailors came out of his home, went back inside, then came out again with a gun and shot in the air, Yeson Jimenez, 15, told Channel 2. Jimenez said he and his brother were in the car with Diaz, along with a female passenger.

Diaz tried to drive away, but Sailors shot again, striking Diaz in the head, according to police.


I got a dollar to a doughnut that there’s an element of “driving while brown” in this, too.


Facebook Frolics 0

Wingnut Board of Education Dept.



Samuel Butler:

It is tact that is golden, not silence.


Palinontology 0

Best headline yet on Fox not picking up Palin’s option.


Of Beating Heads and Brick Walls 0

Republicans are again talking about reaching out to minorities and women. Dick Polman explains why the effort will fail, like every similar effort since the beginning of the odious Southern Strategy. A nugget:

Over and over, rinse and repeat; Republicans persist in believing that pretty words and better communication will fix its systemic problem. What they never seem to realize is that minority voters don’t give a fig about words. For nearly 50 years, they have merely watched the GOP in action. Hence the disconnect.

Republicans. Watch what they do, not what they say.


Pro-Life (Only until Birth) 0

Thom wonders about the paradox.


Windfall for the Wedding Industrial Complex 0

When Maryland merchants talk about the recent legalization of same-sex marriage, they sometimes talk of broad, lofty themes: Equality. Justice. Civil rights.

But there’s another practical concept at work: Dollar signs.

The financial motivation was on display Sunday at the second annual Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo at the Tremont Suites Hotel & Grand Historic Venue in downtown Baltimore, where dozens of vendors competed for the attention of dozens of couples whose weddings now carry the official blessing of the state of Maryland.

How long until the “reality” show? Tentative title, “My Big Fat Gay Wedding.”


Skunkweed by Any Other Name . . . . 0

Ta-Nehisi Coates tears the sheet off the Republican gut-out-the-vote efforts:

I’d like to double-down on that point. Efforts to disenfranchise black people, have always been most successful when they worked indirectly. After the initial post-war Black Codes were repealed, white supremacists turned to less obvious modes of discrimination–poll taxes, grandfather clauses and literacy tests.

These were cloaked under a colorblind argument–“We don’t discriminate against black people, we discriminate against people who can’t read the Constitution.” By “read the Constitution,” they meant “recite the Bill of Rights by heart.” And they’d ask you to do this after reducing your school funding to a pittance. I say this to point that this is not a “new” racism. This is how it scheme went before the Civil Rights movement, and this is how the scheme works today.


(…..) 1

Write your own title.

I’m sure you can think of several.

I know I did.

Couldn’t use any of them.

Vandalism in Mahanoy Area High School boys’ bathrooms has resulted in toilet paper being issued by request as needed, a policy that one parent believes is embarrassing for students.

Karen Yedsena, Mahanoy City, spoke during the public portion of Thursday’s school board meeting, asking about the policy.

“I’m asking about the high school and why the boys are not allowed to have toilet paper except if they go to the nurse or the office to get it,” Yedsena said.

The boys’ bathrooms in the high school do not have toilet paper due to vandalism. Any boy needing the bathroom tissue must ask for it and sign it out.

It seems that the drains have been repeatedly stopped up with paper.

I’m thinking, switch suppliers. Maybe give the kids newspaper.

The classified section would seem appropriate.

All seriousness aside, administrators seem to be desperately punishing everyone for the sins of the few.

Not that persons in charge have ever done anything like that before.

Clearly, students have the administrators on the runs.

Via the Tampa Bay Times.


Facebook Frolics 0

Facebook in the agony column.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Brendan explains how it works.



Kurt Vonnegut:

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.


Everybody Must Get Fracked 0

Randy Moyer, who trucked brine from wells to treatment plants and back to wells, now suffers from dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, difficulty breathing, swollen lips and appendages, and a fiery red rash that covered about 50 percent of his body. The Portage resident believes he’s sick from the chemicals in fracking fluid and from radiation exposure. He cites unsafe and unregulated working conditions on well sites, no oversight about safety clothing, breathing masks, or chemical suits. The sites are treated like any other construction site, all that’s needed is a hardhat and goggles. But when working with radiation and toxic chemicals from deep underground, adverse health effects are never far behind.

Watch a bit of the interview.

The accompanying story is here.

Via the Beaver County Times.


The Voter Fraud Fraud 0

Thom reviews the history of the Electoral College and its roots in chattel slavery, as well as Republican efforts to use the voter fraud fraud to institutionalize actual election fraud.


WordPress says it has fixed the bug that was messing up scheduled posts with video embeds. This post is also a test of the fix. If the embed doesn’t work, click here to view it.


The bug appears to have been exterminated.


News of the Weird 0


Dis Coarse Discourse 0

In a sensible column about the senseless who-shot-john over Beyonce’s rendition of the national anthem at the Inauguration, Tony Norman embeds this nugget:

In his seminal 1961 work “The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America,” the late historian and theorist Daniel J. Boorstin coined a term that described perfectly the postmodern synthesis of politics and the entertainment-friendly choreographing of reality. Boorstin called these non-spontaneous moments that were supposed to look spontaneous “pseudo-events,” because they were elaborate simulations of real things projected onto a larger canvas. These events are tailor-made for broad dissemination in what Boorstin called an “age of contrivance.”

Sounds like a book worth reading.