From Pine View Farm

November, 2013 archive

Wars and Rumors of War 0

Tony Norman wonders why, amongst all the fuss about the phony “war on Christmas,” no one seems to care about the war on Thanksgiving.

That’s why I’m astounded that many of the loudest voices against the watering down of Christmas have given some of America’s biggest retail outlets a pass for making their underpaid, non-unionized employees work on Thanksgiving, the biggest family-oriented day of the year.

If you’re looking for ways to engage your Tea Party-loving brother-in-law in an argument that actually means something, ask him what he thinks of the fact that several relatives and quite a few friends aren’t having dinner with their families because they have to work Thanksgiving shifts at Kmart, Target, Sears and Wal-Mart.

The last place you will find me on Thanksgiving is at a big box store, or any store, for that matter.

We are going to have a quiet dinner and take a nap, while being thankful we are not fighting crazed shoppers bent on acquiring this year’s must-have, next year’s must-donate.


Perhaps the lack of uproar reveals what Americans truly revere.

Read more »


Football uber Alles 0

Because, when push comes to shove, winning isn’t the only thing.

Winning is everything.



Sir Walter Scott:

It is equally a fault to believe all men or to believe none.


Cooch and the Cuckoos, the Final Countdown (Updated) 0

The Virginia State Board of Elections certified state Sen. Mark Herring (D) as the winner of the Virginia attorney general race on Monday.

The board confirmed that Herring won by a slim 165-vote margin, beating Sen. Mark Obenshain, the Republican candidate in the race.

In Virginia, there is no such thing as an automatic recount, but I expect that Obenshain will request one before the 10-day time limit expires.

Just imagine what would have happened if the Republican Party had gutted out just a few more votes.

Addendum, the next evening:

The forces of reaction and patriarchy never give up.


Finger-Pointers 0

Juliana Breines wonders why we blame victims and concludes that it’s selfish self-protection. A nugget.

Victim blaming is not just about avoiding culpability–it’s also about avoiding vulnerability. The more innocent a victim, the more threatening they are. Victims threaten our sense that the world is a safe and moral place, where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. When bad things happen to good people, it implies that no one is safe, that no matter how good we are, we too could be vulnerable. The idea that misfortune can be random, striking anyone at any time, is a terrifying thought, and yet we are faced every day with evidence that it may be true.

Read the rest.


It Never Stops 2

A letter to the editor in my local rag calls out another liar.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Snuff out smoking, politely.

A Nashville bar owner claimed self defense over the weekend after fatally shooting country music singer Jerald Wayne Mills, 44, in connection with an argument over smoking.


Old Tea, New Bags 0

Not Birch Beer, birch tea. Robyn Blumner:

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the John Birch Society, author Claire Conner of Dunedin can tell you. The radical right-wing group that was briefly a player in national conservative politics in the 1960s is back, under a different name: tea party.

The Koch brothers’ daddy was a Bircher.

They continue the tradition, but with more skillful P. R.


Return of Beyond the Palin 0

“Snowball Snooki.”



A Website Is Not the Same Thing as a Law 0

And a glitchy website does not mean a glitchy law.

The first time I rolled out my website back in the members dot AOL dot com tilde username days, it was glitchy, and I did not have the benefit of high-paid consultants to add extra glitches.

Really, grow up, people.

Let Wendy Wolf explain:

Recently, people who couldn’t afford health insurance were asked to use one word to describe how being uninsured felt. Overwhelmingly they said, “Scared.” Scared about not getting care when they needed it. Scared about medical debt that could bankrupt families. Scared about being unable to afford a prescription or recommended therapy.


Yes, the marketplace website rollout was a debacle — but it is making steady progress so that Maine people are finally getting enrolled. Yes, dealing with the cancellation of existing policies that people hold will require the thoughtful action of policy makers to address their concerns.

However, 75 percent of Americans agree that our health system needs to undergo fundamental changes or be rebuilt completely. Despite its shortcomings, Obamacare is still the best starting place for that change.

More stuff to help you grow up at the link.


As someone who must buy his health insurance on the open market, I predict that the Republican decision to tag the ACA as “Obamacare” will haunt them for years, as affordable health insurance is indelibly associated with President Obama and with the Democratic Party.

If you wonder why they are determined to destroy “Obamacare,” there is your reason.

Can you say, “Foot. Shoot.”?


Stray Thought 0

It’s amazing how much neat stuff you can get done when you don’t waste your weekend watching football games to see 11 minutes of action per three hours viewing time.


Twits on Twitter 0

Republican twits.


Misdirection Play, 2016 0



Walt Kelly:

We gotta make democracy safe for the world.


Twits on Twitter 0

Spongy twits.


Periodic Fables 0

I pay attention to terms of service and licensing agreements (not that I read all of them all the way through). I read the “What This App Wants” when I look for software for my cell phone (and have chosen to forgo some apps as a result). I follow tech news.

I know that the internet is a public place and try to govern myself accordingly. Anything I say here in my little backwater of the inner webs is something I would say among friends on a sidewalk without caring that I could be overheard.

I know that most stuff on the internet that calls itself “free,” at least outside of FLOSS world, isn’t. Especially in smartphone “app” world, a “free” app may want access to your contact list or browsing history, so it can sell your information to spammers marketeers, or to your GPS location (I keep my GPS turned off most of the time) so it can send you ads when you enter a store, and so on.

So, when I saw this story, I couldn’t help wondering what exactly the authors of those apps want.

Whatever it is, I suspect that Miss Grundy would not approve.


The Secesh 0

One more time, the next time someone romantizes “The Lost Cause,” ask him or her just what exactly was the cause that was lost.

If you aren’t sure yourself, listen to this.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

More evidence that intelligence tests should be required for gun ownership.

Authorities said Texas state Rep. Drew Darby (R) tried to take a .38 caliber Ruger pistol with six rounds of ammunition through security at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, according to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

When the gun was spotted by security, Darby reportedly told an an officer it was his, that he had a concealed pistol license and had forgotten it was in his bag.


You’re too stupid to realize that you’re packing?

You aren’t qualified to touch a gun.


Bad Fence, Bad Neighbor 0

The bad neighbor: why, the one who built the fence, of course!


The Pusher Man 0