From Pine View Farm

March, 2019 archive

Still Rising Again after All These Years 0

David Atkins looks behind Donald Trump’s “nationalism” and sees America’s original sin. An excerpt:

Trump consistently governs and speaks as if white conservative Americans are the only real Americans and the only ones who make the country work. And he consistently speaks about the rest of the world as if non-whites were culturally and biologically incapable of success. This is white supremacy at its core.


Life in the Bubble 0

Phil Reed reviews recent research as to whether “social” media promotes “digital bubbles” and political polarization.

He finds that the research to be inconclusive but tends towards a yes. Here’s a bit; follow the link for the rest, including summaries of several studies.

Why does this effect occur? There are many potential reasons. It may have to do with the algorithms used by social media to signal content of potential interest, or receiving opinions that are similar to one’s own is reinforcing – it supports and generates such behaviour.


Raising the Barr 0

Man mowing lawn as two women talk.  One woman says,

Click for the original image.

. . . but, so far, reading it has been Barred.


Salting the Stew 0

Donald Trump in boat floating a sea filled with sharks labeled

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“An Armed Society” Meets “Tales of the Trumpling” 0

Politeness in the time of Trump:

WSB reports that Banks was Facetiming with his girlfriend when he knocked on the wrong door.

He then walked away and was confronted by 32-year-old Darryl Bynes out on the balcony.

Police said not long after, he shot the teen.

“I heard him say, ‘Sorry, I’m at the wrong house.’ Then the man said, ‘No you’re not. N****, you at the right house.’ And he shot two more times,” Banks’ girlfriend told WSB in an interview.

WSB reports that Bynes initially claimed he shot Banks in self-defense, but officers said he shot the teen from his balcony as Banks was coming down the stairs and trying to get away.


The Return of the Poll Tax 0


“Ins” and “Outs” 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Elizabeth A. Segal explores tribalism. After explaining that humans lived for centuries in small, homogeneous groups because geography and (lack of) means of traveling and mixing with others mandated it, we evolved with a predisposition to identifying with our “tribe.” But there is downside. Here’s a nugget (emphasis added):

We are built to be tribal. But sometimes that tribalism goes too far. The worst type of tribalism is groups aligned to destroy other groups, such as through ethnic cleansing and genocide. We have heard the word tribalism used a lot today in reference to our politics. Today in our political world we have “bad tribalism.” Bad tribalism is group identity that fosters bullying and scapegoating of others not like you. Bad tribalism joins people out of anger, jealousy, and spite, not for collective well-being. The unfortunate irony is that bad tribalism is easy to provoke, but not healthy to maintain. Staying angry is stressful, and large doses of stress is bad for our health.



Thomas Pynchon:

Why should things be easy to understand?


Facebook Frolics 0

HUD has filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of facilitating housing discrimination through the tools it gives to advertisers. Here’s a bit from the report:

In the charging document, HUD accuses Facebook of unlawfully discriminating against people based on race, religion, familial status, disability and other characteristics that closely align with the 1968 Fair House Act’s protected classes.

HUD also alleges Facebook allowed advertisers certain tools on their advertising platform that could exclude people who were classified as “non-American-born,” “non-Christian” or “interested in Hispanic culture,” among other things. It also said advertisers could exclude people based on ZIP code, essentially “drawing a red line around those neighborhoods on a map.”

The story goes on to report that Facebook is claiming that it has been working in good faith with HUD to deal with these issues.

Read more »


“Not Okay” 0

Dick Polman.


Discriminate! in the Name of the Lord 0

The Austin Statesman cuts to the heart of those religionists, almost all or whom proudly dub themselves as “Christian,” who would legalize discrimination on the basis of religion. You know, those folks who don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, just to mention one example.

A snippet:

Refusing to serve someone because of who they are is discrimination, plain and simple. Wrapping such action in talk of religious freedom betrays a central commandment of Christianity: Love your neighbor as yourself.


The Stalker 0

Donald Trump standing on 5th Avenue pointing gun at person labeled

Via Job’s Anger.


Disaster Belief 0

David wonders whether Donald Trump fully comprehends that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

A surfeit of politeness.


Freud would have a field day with this one.


Tales of the Trumpling: Snapshots of Trickle-Down Trumpery 0

Trumpled at the wrestling match.



Rex Stout, in the voice of Archie Goodwin:

The answer was really simple, but of course that’s one thing we use our minds for, finding complicated reasons for dodging simple answers.

Stout, Rex, The Doorbell Rang (New York: Bantam, 1992), p. 129-130.


Know Them by the Company They Keep 0

Title:  Other Trump Collusion.  Image, Donald Trump with his arm around figures representing the gun lobby, white supremach, climate deniers, billionaires, and big oil.

Click for the original image.


Getting the Wind UP 0

I reckon he’s never heard of “batteries.”


“Signs of the Times” 0

Tony Norman.


Gunning for the Gold 0

The Booman tries to figure out why the Trump administration and Education Secretary Betsy Amway DeVos have chosen to target the Special Olympics. (Even though the Trump administration has since backed down on the Special Olympics, I think the Booman article is still worth a read.)

Of course, the explanation could be much simpler. It could just be Republicans being mean for the sake of mean.