From Pine View Farm

2006 archive

The Decider 0

My first boss was a very easy man to work for. It was a high-speed, high stress environment. We worked, on average, an hour of overtime each workday and four hours each Saturday, just to keep up.

I asked him once, “Denny, how is it you are such a good boss?”

He said, “Whenever I am faced with a decision, I think of what my first boss would have done. Then I do the exact opposite.”

Good advice for whoever succeeds the Current Federal Administrator.


Surge in Iraq 0

Warning: Harsh pictures of real life. And death.

With a tip to Hullabaloo.


Time Magazine Punts 0

Good grief.

The Man of the Year is Me–er, you, er us. Or whoever.

My Daddy cancelled his subscription to Time because he didn’t like it when they sort of acted sympathetic to the civil rights movement (thankfully, he changed and grew).

I don’t subscribe to Time and Newsweek because, if I did, I wouldn’t have anything to read when I go to the doctor’s office. I can catch up on them there quite nicely, thank you.

Yet, with all the big stuff that happened this year, all the Kings and Queens and Rooks and Bishops and Knights and even Pawns on the international stage, this is all up with which they can come?



Sweeping Truth under the Rug 0

And this surprises us how?


General Odom on Iraq Myths 0

General Odom (Lt. Gen., USA, ret., former Director of the NSA) enumerates six myths about Iraq, and proceeds to demolish them.

Below is his list of “Truths” that contradict each of the myths. Follow the link to see his reasoning. Each of these items is used to excuse the Current Federal Administration’s misguided adventurism in entering Iraq, phenomenal incompetence while there, and bull-headed determination to fix things by doing the same thing harder.

I did quote his reasoning for “Truth No. 3,” because it speaks directly to the immorality of this whole darn endeavor:

Truth No. 1: No “deal” of any kind can be made among the warring parties in Iraq that will bring stability and order, even temporarily.

Truth No. 2: There was no way to have “done it right” in Iraq so that U.S. war aims could have been achieved.

Truth No. 3: The theory that “we broke it and therefore we own it,” with all the moral baggage it implies, is simply untrue because it is not within U.S. power to “fix it.”

The president’s cheerleaders in the run-up to the war now use this theory to rationalize our continued presence in Iraq, and in that way avoid admitting that they share the guilt for the crime of breaking Iraq in the first place.

Truth No. 4: The demand that the administration engage Iran and Syria directly, asking them to help stabilize Iraq, is patently naïve or cynically irresponsible until American forces begin withdrawing – and rapidly – so that there is no ambiguity about their complete and total departure.

Truth No. 5: The United States cannot prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Truth No. 6: It is simply not possible to prevent more tragic Iraqi deaths in Iraq.

How grievously the politicians and pundits, the hypocrits and hype-artists, who foisted this fraud upon us, have stained our society, our sons and daughters who serve honorably, our sacred honor.


George Bush’s Vision for America 0

An innocent American, wrongfully detained Iraq, details his experiences. This is what the Current Federal Adminstrator thinks of your–and of my–rights as a citizen (New York Times–registration may be required):

Detainee 200343 was among thousands of people who have been held and released by the American military in Iraq, and his account of his ordeal has provided one of the few detailed views of the Pentagon’s detention operations since the abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib. Yet in many respects his case is unusual.

The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.

But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Mr. Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Mr. Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents.

At Camp Cropper, he took notes on his imprisonment and smuggled them out in a Bible.

“Sick, very. Vomited,” he wrote July 3. The next day: “Told no more phone calls til leave.”

Nathan Ertel, the American held with Mr. Vance, brought away military records that shed further light on the detention camp and its secretive tribunals. Those records include a legal memorandum explicitly denying detainees the right to a lawyer at detention hearings to determine whether they should be released or held indefinitely, perhaps for prosecution.


UnAmerican Activities 0

Clearly, the best way to preserve freedom is to stifle it. Sheesh.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich last night defended his call to limit freedom of speech to combat terrorism, comments that last month provoked strident criticism from liberal groups.

Gingrich said the threat of biological or nuclear attack requires America to consider curbs to speech to fight terrorists, if it is to protect the society that makes the First Amendment possible.

We cannot protect our freedoms by destroying them.

To quote the greatest actor of all time, “What a maroon.


Damn! and I Use T-Mobile 3

Cell phone frolics:

Virgin mobile, in what is either utter desperation or a brilliant PR coup, has identified a new trend in Christmas shopping that manages to combine boobs and mobile phones.

The firm has issued a press release in which it claims that its “national network of retail trend spotters” has spotted a number of women using their camera phones to photograph themselves wearing the saucy lingerie they want to be given for Christmas. Said pics are then emailed to boyfriends who might otherwise buy the wrong colour pants, or something.


Christmas Sing-a-Long 0




Give Me a Break: Urge To Slash Tires Dept. 3

Give me a break subcategory:

From suburban lawns to postage-stamp city decks, it’s a bigger-than-ever Invasion of the Inflatables this holiday season.

Billowy Christmas penguins, taller than NBA star Yao Ming, have put down stakes alongside red-capped SpongeBobs saluting mammoth Grinches and nutcrackers that loom like pine trees.

Nationally, sales of the novelties, which cost between $20 and $200, are expected to top $500 million this year, up from $100 million in 2003, said Pam Danziger, whose company, Unity Marketing in Lancaster County, tracks consumer spending.

Inflatables are the country’s fastest-growing category of outdoor Christmas decorations, said Danziger, who conceded their charms.

Charms? Charms? Charms?

Oh, brother.


Legacy II 0

More useless than antlers on a trout:

The Republican-controlled Congress’s decision to adjourn a week ago before completing many of the spending bills that finance the federal government will reverberate in ways large and small, such as understaffed U.S. attorney’s offices, delayed renovations at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut and a scuttled global nuclear energy exchange.

Republican leaders left behind just enough spending authority to keep the government operating through mid-February, less than halfway through the 2007 fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Democrats have signaled that when they take control of Congress in January they will extend that funding authority for the remainder of the year based largely on the previous year’s spending levels, which will result in many cuts in programs.


Bush’s Poodle 0

From the Guardian:

The British government never believed Saddam Hussein posed a threat to British interests and warned the US that toppling him would lead to “chaos”, according to a Foreign Office diplomat closely involved in negotiations in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Damning repudiation of the government’s public claims in the run-up to the war is contained in secret evidence to Lord Butler’s committee on the abuse of intelligence over Iraq by Carne Ross, a diplomat at Britain’s UN mission in New York.

His evidence, in which he says the government privately assessed that Iraq possessed no significant quantity of weapons of mass destruction, has been published on the Commons foreign affairs committee website. Mr Ross gave evidence to the group last month but some MPs had been reluctant to have it published.

With a tip to Harry Shearer’s Le Show.


Legacy 0

Andrew Sullivan.


Good Fortune 0


Freedom of Speech 3

I said here that freedom of speech cuts both ways.

Apparently I was wrong.



Frank’s Vindaloo Beef Curry 0

This is not authentic, but it’s good:

1 cp chopped onions
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 lg. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced, or equivalent garlic powder or minced garlic
3 tbs ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp basil
2 tsp vinegar
2 lbs. top round or flank steak, cut in 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 cps beef stock or water and one beef bouillon cube
2 tbs lemon juice

Saute fresh vegetables in dutch oven until onions are translucent.

Add spices and vinegar and stir.

Add meat and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned.

Add stock. Cover and cook over slow heat until meat is tender. Add salt and lemon juice.

Server over rice. Accompany with lime pickle or chutney (for the faint of heart), puri, and cucumber and sour cream salad.


1. Add additional spices, such as paprika. No one will notice.

2. Add a dried habenero pepper for extra pep.

3. Use chicken instead of beef.

4. Marinate meat in red wine; reserve marinade and use in place of vinegar (makes a sweeter dish).

Derived from a recipe in the Best Cookbook in the World.


Quick and Easy Cheesy Cornbread 7

1/2 stick butter
1 cp yellow cornmeal
1 tbs flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 grated cheese or more to taste
1 cp cold milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place butter in 9×5 or equivalent pan and place in

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients, then add milk and egg and beat until blended.

When butter is melted, remove pan from oven and pour batter into center of
melted butter.

Cook for approximately 20 minutes at 425 F.


1. Add 1 tbs white vinegar to milk to simulate butter milk (may need more

2. Leave out cheese for plain cornbread

3. Add 1 sm. can chopped jalapeno peppers for jalapeno cornbread

(Derived from Southern Living’s “Outer Banks Cornbread”)


Internet Christmas Radio Rocks 0–“Music that doesn’t suck.” It’s a great mix of the expected and unexpected. for the stream (Winamp and XMMS compatible).


Jim’s Christmas Music: for the stream (Winamp and XMMS compatible). If you are sick of hearing Burl Ives every 20 minutes, check out Jim’s.


Iraq Study Group 0

Dick Polman analyzes the report and what it implies about the Current Federal Administration.

The Bush team and its defenders have frequently sought to blame “the media” for the woes in Iraq, essentially by arguing that domestic morale has been sapped by journalists who report the bad news while ignoring the good. Bush himself has complained about this since the autumn of 2003, when he said: “we’re making good progress in Iraq. Sometimes it’s hard to tell it when you listen to the filter.” He complained again this past March, saying, “People resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an IED explosion,” and, as always, the Fox News team seconded the sentiment. Sean Hannity said there has been “a total and almost complete focus on all the negative aspects of the war.”

But Baker and his ISG colleagues demonstrate in their report that blaming the media is a fraudulent exercise. They take no issue with the journalists’ reporting of the violence in Iraq; their beef is with the Bush war team – which, as a matter of official statistical policy, has consistently sought to minimize the violence in Iraq…and has done so in order to protect the Bush administration’s ideological agenda.


Krispy Kreme, WMD 3

Apparently the USA DHS has nothing on the Brits:

“Imagine our confusion when the guy serving us advised that we could only buy ring doughnuts, not filled, circular doughnuts. A moment or two’s wrangling in broken English and we discovered that he thought we were outbound passengers.

On further questioning, apparently the liquid contents of a filled doughnut fall foul of the new restrictions on liquids in carry on luggage. Quite how the authorities imagine that a terrorist could blow up a 747 by rubbing two Krispy Kremes together was a bit beyond us.