From Pine View Farm

August, 2016 archive

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Historical politeness is the politest kind.

Authorities in Alabama say a man was practicing with his crossbow in his front yard when he accidentally shot a United Parcel Service driver in the chest.

And, in more news of the polite . . . .

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.


There Are None So Blind as Those Who Will Not Look,
Sit with Colin Kaepernick Dept.

At Psychology Today Blogs, Sam Louie looks at the kerfuffle about Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem at a blanking football game for Pete’s sake. A nugget:

Get out of Jail free cardJust like the racial divide facing our country, opinions on his behavior also broke along racial lines.

This from WTHR-TV Sportscaster Bob Kravitz in Indianapolis:

“I found it interesting, but completely understandable, that when I posed the Kaepernick question on Twitter, the responses broke along racial lines.

From whites: “If you don’t like America, go somewhere else. Leave. We’ll help you pack.”

As a white folk who has associated mostly with white folks but thank heavens not entirely because that’s how America works, I can state quite confidently that white folks don’t get it.

I try to get it, but I know I don’t not really but I promise to keep trying.

But, Christallmighty, as long as cops who kill black persons for being have an automatic “Get Out of Jail Free” card, there is no “liberty and justice for all” and the “American Dream” remains a farce and a con.

I’ll stop now, for all I have left is profanity.


Facebook Frolics, You Will Be Assimilated Dept. 0

At The Guardian, John Naughton contrasts two visions of the internet: that of Tim Burners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web (that is, hypertext mark-up language or HTML) and that of Mark Zuckerberg, who wishes to assimilate you, and you, and you into his Zuckerborg. Here’s a bit.

It’s not the inaccuracy that grates, however, but the hypocrisy. Zuckerberg thanks Berners-Lee for “making the world more open and connected”. So do I. What Zuck conveniently omits to mention, though, is that he is embarked upon a commercial project whose sole aim is to make the world more “connected” but less open. Facebook is what we used to call a “walled garden” and now call a silo: a controlled space in which people are allowed to do things that will amuse them while enabling Facebook to monetise their data trails. One network to rule them all. If you wanted a vision of the opposite of the open web, then Facebook is it.


Both Sides Not 0

Dick Polman calls out corporate media’s false equivalences. The gist:

In order to treat his (Donald Trump’s–ed.) drive-by name-calling and her (Hillary Clinton’s–ed.) substantive indictment as equal, you have to be cognitively brain dead.


Facts Are What People Think 0

Writing at my local rag, Joshua Zingler suggests that Donald Trump is a symptom of stupid. A nugget:

I’ve been told repeatedly that political correctness is a problem, so I’ll drop the pretense – right now we believe a lot of really stupid things.

Beliefs are not all unique and equal snowflakes; some of them are just totally unfounded.

Forty-three percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Trump supporters believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. Sixty-one percent of Trump supporters think Obama was not born in the United States. Neither is true.

These types of views are not endemic to Obama. Only 35 percent of Trump supporters are worried about the consequences of global warming. A full 25 percent of Republicans (and 15 percent of Democrats) indicated that they were more likely to not vaccinate their children than to vaccinate them.

The consequences for governance from such mistakes are profound. Unfounded opinions get represented like all the others.


Facebook Frolics 0

The Woman in the Silver Mercedes.



David Lynch:

This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top.


“Trump Automatic” 0


Only in It for the Money, Reprise 0

Lifeguard holding life preserver and labeled

Click for the original image.


The Track Record Matters 0

Via Delaware Liberal.


A. Workers in China 0

Q. Who polishes the Apple?

El Reg reports

. . . according to watchdog group China Labor Watch . . . the Cupertino giant has asked the companies that assemble its products to cut their own costs, and those demands have led them to cut back on worker pay and factory conditions.


“Currently, Apple’s profits are declining, and the effects of this decline have been passed on to suppliers. To mitigate the impact, Pegatron has taken some covert measures to exploit workers.”

Follow the link for the complete story.


Only In It for the Money 0

Wendell Potter doesn’t try to hide his disgust at Aetna’s antics.

Health insurers . . . once again are demonstrating that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important to them than making their rich shareholders even richer.

If that means making it more difficult for low- and middle-income Americans to get the medical care they need, so be it. “Too bad, so sad,” to use a phrase one of my former colleagues used to say when people complained about the way health insurers routinely screw their customers.


In fact, it is Aetna’s government business (Medicare and Medicaid–ed.) that is the only segment that is growing. Aetna and most of the other for-profit insurers have been losing private-paying customers on a regular basis for some time. But not to worry. As long as Uncle Sam has the Medicare and Medicaid faucets wide open and flowing straight into the insurers’ bank accounts, they couldn’t care less.

Read the rest.


Down the Stretch 0

Election Phenomena (Less than three months to go, but hey who's counting). Frame One:  One of these things is not like the other one:  One man says,

Click for the original image.

Via Kos.


You Too Can Be on Television! 0

At Science 2.0, Edzard Ernst explains how to become a charlatan.


No Place To Hide 0

If you use Windows, you should read what the Electronic Freedom Foundation has to say about Windows 10 and privacy (more accurately, perhaps, Windows 10 or privacy). Here’s a tidbit:

The trouble with Windows 10 doesn’t end with forcing users to download the operating system. Windows 10 sends an unprecedented amount of usage data back to Microsoft, particularly if users opt in to “personalize” the software using the OS assistant called Cortana. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of data sent back: location data, text input, voice input, touch input, webpages you visit, and telemetry data regarding your general usage of your computer, including which programs you run and for how long.


Microsoft has tried to explain this lack of choice by saying that Windows Update won’t function properly on copies of the operating system with telemetry reporting turned to its lowest level. In other words, Microsoft is claiming that giving ordinary users more privacy by letting them turn telemetry reporting down to its lowest level would risk their security since they would no longer get security updates1. (Notably, this is not something many articles about Windows 10 have touched on.)

But this is a false choice that is entirely of Microsoft’s own creation.

Follow the link for the complete article. Click the EFF link on the sidebar to learn more about the EFF.



James Allen:

The internet and the false sense of anonymity that comes with it seems to bring out the worst in people.


And Now, a Musical Interlude 0


“Paranoia Strikes Deep” 0

Shorter Lewis Beale (something I’ve said myself on several occasions): Richard Hofstadter was right.


Paradise Lost 0

Danae:  Hey, Lars, can we talk to you about this God particle thing?  Lars:  No, and stop calling it that!  Danae:  Sorry.  Boy:  It's the Higgs-Boson, Danae.  Danae:  Why is it such a big deal?  Lars (appearing as alien in little flying saucer):  It is too dangerous.  Every time we give you something good, you've made it into something destructive.  Danae:  This is going to be another rant about the internet, isn't it?  Lars:  It was supposed the make you smarter!

Click for the original image.


A Bundy Bund Update 0

Frivolous legal maneuvers come to naught.