From Pine View Farm

November, 2022 archive

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Yet another incident of passing politeness:

“On scene, the complainant stated a male was driving a white Nissan Armada and pointed a gun at him, and his 5-year-old daughter, during a road rage incident,” the probable cause statement says.


Dis Coarser Discourse 0

Arnie D. Fielkow and Tracie Washington, writing at, have a history of political disagreements. However, writing at, they report that there is one thing on which they do agree. Two snippets:

Never in our lifetimes have we experienced the level of hate, anger and hostility over our politics, economy, foreign policy, and even the meaning of democracy. Incidents of antisemitism, racism and bigotry are at frightening levels, and legitimate questions are being raised regarding what America is and really stands for. Respectful discourse has almost become a relic of the past and many are afraid — with good reason — to even express personal views.


Clearly, the actions and dog-whistles of certain political leadership have empowered and legitimized bigots. Most thought neo-Nazis and the KKK were in the past, but frighteningly they have publicly re-emerged with new allies from QAnon, the Proud Boys, and others. Who would have ever thought that our nation’s Capitol would be attacked or, maybe worse, that some would try to justify one of the worst days in US history? Is this really the America we all want?

Meanwhile, Will Bunch offers a theory as to the underlying cause; follow the link for his complete essay:

The antisemiti, the homophobia, the violence … this isn’t the American right flexing its muscles out of strength. Quite the opposite. The forces of 400 years of white supremacy culture are like a wounded bear right now — lashing out, and extremely dangerous because its proponents know they are a seriously endangered species.


Cored Values 0

Michael in Norfolk notes that Republicans, particularly evangelical they-call-themselves Christians have redefined “freedom of religion” to “freedom to religion.” A nugget from his article:

For many years now, the Christofascists and their puppets within the Republican Party have defined “religious freedom” to be an unfettered ability to inflict one set of religious beliefs on all of society . . . .

(Broken link fixed.)



Steve Allen:

Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences.


“Look in the Mirror, Boy” 0

A reader of the Portland Press Herald channels Pogo in her letter to the editor.

(Syntax error corexxted.)


The Dodge 0

Two bank robbers holed up in a hotel room counting their loot.  One looks out the window and says,

Click for the original image.


“Republicans Don’t Need Evidence” 0

Farron contemns the right-wing’s “litter boxes in school” lie and their gullible dupes, symps, and fellow travelers who buy into it.


Twits Own Twitter 0

Elon Musk standing next to a poster bearing the Twitter bird and reading,

Click to view the original image.


I spent many years as a corporate trainer, doing mostly management training. Based on how Musk has been exercising his stewardship (sewership?) of Twitter, I venture that he could benefit from the “Basic Supervisory Skills” course that I used to teach to newly promoted supervisors.

I also had the privilege to work for a number of good bosses who were an absolute pleasure to work for (and with, because a good boss knows how to make you feel as if you are working with him or her, not just for him or her); I also had three really bad ones.

I would not nominate Musk for the former category.


Devolution 0

Methinks my old Philly friend Noz is on to something that is indeed rather disquieting.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Yet another responsible gun owner (sic) traverses the turnpike with politeness.


Watch What They Do, Not What They Say 0

For example.



Bob Monkhouse:

Silence is not only golden; it is seldom misquoted.


Some Musings 0

I’ve been amused and I’ve been bemused.

I’ve certainly been demused. Most of the news these days is demusing.

I’ve even been emused by ejokes.

Why can’t I be cmused?

I’ll have to muse on that.


The Hiatus 0

Pig:  Well, guys, I'm off to enjoy a relaxing vacation to revive my soul and lift my spirits.  Goat:  Where are you going?  You don't even have luggage.  Pig:  I'm just getting off social media for an hour.  Rat:  I didn't know that was an option.

Click for the original image.


It’s All about the Algorithm 0

At the San Francisco Chronicle, journalism professor Edward Wasserman argues that algorithms employed by “social” media to “attract eyeballs” and “promote engagement,” may serve to foment hate and hate-fueled violence by feeding those inclined to hatred and bigotry more of the same. He argues that, in too many cases, this has lead to hate-fueled violence and offers multiple examples thereof.

He also notes that the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, “when the internet was young,” shields internet platforms from liability for user-generated content.

Then he looks at the difference between then and now (emphasis added).

Shielding internet services from liability for their postings became law in the Communications Decency Act, enacted in 1996 when the internet was young. Back then, the platforms could plausibly argue they were passive messaging boards where users posted what they wanted others to see, acting on their own and offering operators little opportunity to intervene. The services themselves had, or sought, no more control over what was posted than phone companies had over what callers said to each other. Hence the immunity written into the act as the infamous Section 230.

Nowadays, the argument (in a lawsuit he refers to elsewhere in the article–ed.) goes, the entire business of internet services has undergone a radical transformation. No longer docile whiteboards, social media are mega-businesses built on aggressively monitoring and manipulating user behavior — dangling incentives and promoting content with pitch-perfect lures, all to maximize the time users spend online and goose the ad revenue their engagement brings in.

I commend his article to your attention. And, remember, “social” media isn’t.


Extra-Special Bonus QOTD 0

Vincent Price:

Ladies and Gentlemen, as responsible parents, you never think of allowing your children to play with poison. And as responsible Americans, it’s your duty to protect them from the dangers of the poison we call prejudice.

Here in America, racial and religious hatred does exist, sustained by the political adventurers and plain crackpots who are willing scrap the democratic way of life to attain their own ends. Prejudice in America is centered in their addled philosophy.

But unless we guard ourselves and our families, it can find its way into our into our own lives. Then the poison would do its work, undermining America’s unity, sabotaging our prestige abroad, and wrecking our ideal of individual freedom. In your family life, you can effectively carry on a campaign against prejudice.

Our youngsters grow up with a pride in their country. Teach them that part of that pride is our tradition of accepting or rejecting people on their individual worth, not on the basis of race or religion or color. Remember, freedom and prejudice can’t exist side by side. If you choose freedom, fight prejudice.

Vincent Price recorded those words as the closing remarks for a radio show that aired over seven decades ago (they were aired multiple times). Note that these shows aired shortly after the Dixiecrat Party fielded a segregationist candidate to oppose Harry Truman in the presidential election of 1948. I challenge anyone to prove Price wrong.

Of course, his remarks on “our tradition of accepting people on their individual worth” gloss over the dark side of America’s history, but they also hold aloft the best of what some refer to as “the American ideal.” And his comments about “political adventurers . . . who are willing scrap the democratic way of life” may be truer now than when he said them.


Locked and Loaded 0

Caption:  Guns & Ammo.  Image:  Assault rifle with a magazine loaded with hate. self-pity, extremist politics, grievance, racism, misinformation, anti-semitism, and LGBTQ fear.

Via Juanita Jean.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Once more, we are reminded that “responsible gun owner” is an oxymoron.


Fly the Fiendly Skies 0

They grow fiendlier every day.


The Numbing of America 0

E. J. Montini is not sanguine.