From Pine View Farm

May, 2014 archive

The Adventure of the Empty House 0

According to James Howard Kunstler, it’s not just a Sherlock Holmes story; it’s life in these United States (as politicians are wont to say) today. A nugget:

That is, first of all, a place of far less influence on everybody else, in a new era of desperate struggle to remain modern. That fading modern world is the house that America built, the great post World War II McMansion stuffed with dubious luxuries in a Las Vegas of the collective mind. History’s bank has foreclosed on it, and all the nations and people of the world have been told to make new arrangements for daily life. The U.S. wants everybody to stay put and act as if nothing has changed.

Do read the rest, especially the to-do list at the end. Frankly, there’s not an item on it that I can take exception to.

The Entitlement Society, Men Are Pigs Dept. 0

At Wednesday’s DL, we naturally discussed the Santa Barbara shooter and his strange manipulative belief that he was entitled to sex with any and every woman just because he wanted it.

The women who were present at our gathering told scary stories from their own experiences. The bit that took me most aback was their agreeing that they do not wear skirts when they go out to clubs with their significant others; too often they have walked across the floor to a table or the restroom only to have strange men stick hands up their skirts just because the men felt entitled to feel up any woman within reach.

If you wonder whether “rape culture” is a real thing, think about that for a moment.

Gina Barreca comments:

Every girl remembers the first time she was degraded sexually in public. It is not, as the movies would have us believe, a wonderfully cheerful moment of sensual awakening and blossoming womanhood.

Follow the link. Read the rest.

Update from the Foreclosure-Based Economy 0

This golf course development is in the trap.

So much for that title search thingee.

Homeowners in Statesville’s Fox Den subdivision say they were stunned last year to learn their properties faced foreclosure over money the community’s developer borrowed a decade ago.

Attorneys say it appears the loan, which is still tied to the homeowners’ properties, was not discovered during title searches when the homes were bought. About 16 homeowners and additional land in Fox Den are affected by the foreclosure, according to attorneys.

Afterthought:

The more news I read, the more I wonder whether some “real estate developers” are just one three-piece suit away from duping rubes at a carny.

Quagmires 0

One US soldier in Afghanistan to another:

Via Job’s Anger.

The Tunes They Are a-Changing . . . 0

. . . and the Booman suspects he knows why (emphasis added):

Jonathan Chait wants to know why it is suddenly so popular for Republicans to tell the public that they are not scientists and therefore are unqualified to have an opinion about whether or not climate change is actually occurring. It’s because they lack even an iota of moral courage. It’s because they are paid liars. This is not complicated and it shouldn’t even be debatable. Outside of a very small handful of genuine dunces who actually managed to get elected despite having personal beliefs about science that would make John Calvin blush, every single Republican who is either denying climate change or saying that they can’t make up their mind about it is actually just being dishonest. For money and career.

In related news, Bill Maxwell totals the cost of denialism.

Captivated by Competition 0

ISO SNW–Sexy New War 0

Dan Simpson explains supply and demand, but for one small error.

He’s got it backwards. This is not supply and demand, it’s demand and supply.

My impression of the growth of the U.S. military command for Africa, AFRICOM, created by President George W. Bush in 2008, is that its activities around the continent are a clear example of supply-driven actions — America pointlessly in quest of wars and enemies.

Read the rest.

Susie Sampson’s Sister Lets It Go 0

QOTD 0

Henry van Dyke:

Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.

Dustbiter 0

Another bank bites the dust, because, natch, bankers are financial geniuses. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be bankers, now would they?

My father was a banker, one of integrity. Were he alive today, he would be ashamed to admit his profession.

And Now for Something Completely Different 0

Via Tuxjam.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

A clean lifestyle is a polite lifestyle.

A person was hospitalized Thursday evening after a gun was accidentally fired inside a home in rural Vacaville while the owner was cleaning it, officials confirmed.

The unidentified victim suffered a gunshot wound to leg from a bullet that went through one of the walls of the home in the 5200 block of Winding Way, near Midway and Meridian Roads, around 7:15 p.m., said Solano County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Snedeker.

This sort of event is not an accident. It’s garden variety stupid. This is yet another person too stupid to touch a firearm.

Facebook Frolics 0

Now that’s the ticket!

“A House Divided against Itself . . .” 1

Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice posted this so I don’t have to (and, frankly, I had not realized it in its entirety-that’s why I read stuff, to learn–but she is spot on: there are those who divide us to gain their own ends).

If the Past Predicts the Future . . . 0

If decisions Steve Ballmer makes for the LA Clippers are as good as the ones he made at Microsoft, the Clippers are headed for the cellar and destined to remain there for a long, long time.

Shelly Sterling reached an agreement Thursday night to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion in what would be a record deal if approved by the NBA, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations.

Plumbing the Depths 0

Last refuge of a scoundrel.

Summer Blockbuster Coming Soon 0

A Belt at the Belt 2

Michael Austin is professor of psychology and a professing Christian. The Christianity that he professes is the kind of Christianity that I grew up with, one that focuses on love and forgiveness, not on hate and vengeance.

At Psychology Today Blogs, he explores the essential hypocrisy behind the “Myth of the Bible Belt” by contrasting the Christ of the Bible with the Christ of the Bible Belt.

The South may be the most religious part of the United States if church attendance and a verbal profession of Christian belief are the sole criteria for religiosity. However, if we take a set of criteria from the New Testament, then this may be a myth. As far as I can tell, the central criteria in the New Testament for an authentic Christian faith begins with a profession of faith, but then essentially includes the following:

  • love of God
  • love of one’s neighbor (no matter their religious beliefs, or lack thereof)
  • transformation of one’s character
  • care for the “least of these” (i.e., the poor and marginalized) in society.1

If the criteria from the New Testament are applied to our behavior, then atheist high school students wouldn’t receive text messages that say “Hey, Satan.” And atheists wouldn’t lose their family and friends because of their lack of religious faith. To reject someone or cut them out of your life because they are an atheist is one of the least Christian things one can do.

Read the rest, then read Matthew 6:5.

QOTD 0

Daniel Boorstin:

Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion.

There Will Be a Hot Time in The Old Town Tonight 0

Just read this.

Read it now

No one can be more skeptical of home-schooling than I (mostly because of the predilections of some home-schoolers), but, really, wow.