From Pine View Farm

Mammon category archive

Medicare Disadvantage 0

Thom and Matthew Cunningham-Cook contemplate the con. (Warning: Some occasional minor audio glitches.)


The Pusher Men 0


Based on my experience from a lifetime of fighting against being a fat little kid (I was scrawny little kid till I had my tonsils out in second grade, then I became a fat little kid who wore “Sears husky”–remember Sears?), if you want to lose weight, lift weights and ride a bicycle.

It works, it’s fun, and it’s cheap.


Are You Being Served? 0

A local television newsperson describes how he and several of his colleagues were targeted by telephone scammers claiming to be process servers, but who were actually identity thieves.

The story goes on to say that, according to the Better Business Bureau, this scam is one of the hot new things.


Merchants of Death 0

Title:  Speaking of parents who should be held responsible for their kid's massacres . . . .  Image:  Man and woman labeled

Click for the original image.

John Kander has more.


Mean Tweets Xecrable Xcretions 0

He had the courage of his evictions.

(I first heard the most appropriate term “Xcretions” on the Start Me Up podcast, one of the five or six podcasts that I listen to regularly.)


Fly the Fiendly Skies 0

Goat to Rat:  Aw, a good old lemonade stand.  I'll take a cup.  (He drinks.)  This tastes like water.  Rat:  The lemon and sugar are extra.  Rat turns to Pig:  I learned it from the airlines.

Click for the original image.


Deepfaked 0

You can read the news story here.


The Galt and the Lamers 0

Thom looks at what would happen if Glibertarians got their way.


It’s All about the Benjamins 0

Thom points out that Libertarianism arose from an attempt by real estate firms to stop rent control and that it just doesn’t work in real life.


In line with what Thom said. a previous Republican governor of my state leased local transit tunnels to a third party, and it has not worked out well.

He sacrificed the public good for private profit.

As far as I can tell, today’s Republican Party no longer believes in the concept of the public good.

What it believes in is private greed.


Artificial? Yes. Intelligent? Not So Much. 0

The New York Times reports on a internet user who used “AI” to compose a false and misleading obituary just to get clicks (and advertising revenue), spreading lies and drowning truth along the way.

Just go read it. The “intelligence” may be “artificial,” but the stupid is real.


Cooked Books 0


Once We Had the “Know Nothings.”
Now We Have the “Do Nothings.”

Farron discusses Republicans’ refusal to deal with issues.


The Crypto Con 0

Emma and the crew react to a crypto con artist’s claim that God made him do it. Listen to him closely: he’s clearly describing a Ponzi scheme. (Warning: mild language.)


The “Elite” Misdirection Play 0

Michael in Norfolk conjugates the con.


Courting Disaster 0

Image of the five

Click to view the original image.


The Snaring Economy 0

Sarah Hunter Simanson explains what life is like if you’re trapped in the “gig economy” by circumstances beyond your control.

It’s not pretty.


The Artful Dodgers 0

At The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, David Mills explains the “Texas Two-Step,” a strategy available to corporations to avoid accountability for their actions. Here’s a bit:

Koch Industries owns Georgia Pacific, which faced over 60,000 lawsuits from people exposed to the carcinogen asbestos either in their factories or in the products they created and sold.

Settling all these cases could have cost the company a huge amount of money, given how much was known so long ago about the effects of asbestos and how brutal is the cancer, mesothelioma, it causes. And the legal fees, holy cow, they’d be huge too even if the company won every case.

What does unscrupulous corporation do when faced with such possible losses? Does it man up, as people used to say? Does it take responsibility? No. It uses a legal maneuver called “the Texas two-step,” created in Texas because it’s Texas, that lets the company split off a new part of itself, making that part solely liable for the lawsuits.


Merchants of Death 0

At the Portland Press-Herald, Fred Egan makes a persuasive case that our domestic bullet-based bloodbath is bankrolled by the Benjamins. A snippet:

Last year, more than 42,000 people died from gun-related incidents, and twice as many were injured. Mass shootings reached a multiyear high, with school shootings now the highest on record. In 2020, guns became the No. 1 cause of death for Americans under the age of 19. The 400 million guns in circulation have not made us safer.


Why isn’t common sense being applied to gun laws in this country? Follow the money. The sale and lucrative aftermarket of 400 million guns carries a lot of influence into the pockets of many of those responsible for our gun laws.


Diamond Jamie 0

At The Philadelphia Inquirer, Will Bunch offers an explanation for the statement by Jamie Dimon, longtime CEO of JPMorgan Chase, that Donald Trump was a good president and is qualified to serve in that role again. Here’s a bit; follow the link for Bunch’s reasoning.

Dimon’s selective memory seems to begin and end with Trump cutting taxes for him, his corporation, and his golfing buddies.


How the Nonprofit Profited 0

Mike and Farron follow the money.


I’m so old that I can remember when the NRA was primarily a proponent of gun safety for hunters, not a marketeer for merchants of death.

Indeed, when I was a teen, I attended one of their gun safety classes. That’s one reason what I know that guns are not toys. (The other reason is that we had guns in the house and, natch, my Daddy taught me well.)

You do not play with a gun and you never point one–loaded or unloaded–at any creature unless you intend to do harm–something of which our current generation of gun nuts seems unaware.