From Pine View Farm

2018 archive

Meta: Stats 0

I just reinstalled a statistics plugin.

I removed it when I was trying to troubleshoot the issues I was having back in February, issues which, with the help of my most excellent hosting provider, seem to have been resolved for several months now. At the time, I was getting about 600-700 unique visitors a day (not too bad for a small blog in the backwaters of the inner webs, AFAIC).

I was talking with my friend today about completing the day’s blogging (since I mostly do what I call “drive-by” posts–Hey! this looks interesting–I shoot for eight or nine posts a day) and she wondered how many persons visit this site. I told her that, right now, for the above-mentioned reason, I don’t really know, but feeding the blog helps me keep sane during this time of danger to our polity.

As I said, I don’t know right now how many visitors I have, but I do care, because I hope that some persons find my ramblings useful, interesting, or, at least, diverting.

And Now for a Moment of Sanity 0


“The Best People” 0

Dick Polman takes on a personnel matter.

The “Clean Coal” Con 0

The Mouthpiece 0

Image of Donald Trump on his phone in front of

Via Job’s Anger.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Get a drop on politeness.

According to a witness, the victim dropped a handgun and it discharged. The victim was hit in the left collarbone area.

The brief report does not say, but I suspect the weapon in question was a large calibre rapid-fire stupid.

The Voter Fraud Fraud 0

Elie Mystal points out that Kris Kobach is a courting disaster.

Moscow Nights 0

If the embed doesn’t work, follow this link.


Averell Harriman:

Conferences at the top level are always courteous. Name-calling is left to the foreign ministers.


How very quaint.

Tales of the Trumpling: Snapshots of Trickle-Down Trumpery 0

Now it’s “partisan” to condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.

As I said a few days ago, they aren’t even trying to pretend any more.

The Waffle House Meets the Wafflers 0

Image of Waffle House and Capitol.  A sign reading

Click for the original image.

Twits on Twitter 0

The bullies’ pulpit.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Suffer the children.

Sucklers at the Public Teat 0

What Noz said.

Iran Contrary 0

Via Mediaite, which has commentary.


Neil Simon:

If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.

Facebook Fakebook Frolics 0


Consumer champion Martin Lewis, Britain’s Money Saving Expert, has declared he is suing Facebook for defamation over fake adverts featuring his face that repeatedly appear on the under-fire social network.

“Within the last year, the social media site has published over 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts which are regularly seen, likely by millions of people, in the UK,” complained Lewis. “The most prevalent are get-rich-quick schemes currently titled ‘Bitcoin code’ or ‘Cloud Trader’, which are fronts for binary trading firms based outside the EU.”

More at the link.

Everybody Must Get Fracked 0

Well, almost everybody.

White Coffee (Updated) 0

The Des Moines Register’s Daniel Finney tells a story. Here’s how it starts:

A tall, fat man walked into the Starbucks at Clive off of University Avenue near a Half Price Books at 6:16 p.m. one day last week.

He wore a gray hoodie, baggy pants, a ball cap pulled down to cover his eyes and about five days’ worth of growth on his face.

He picked up two newspapers — retail value: about $5 — and sat down at a table. He purchased no food.

A Starbucks employee cleaning countertops and taking out the trash said, “Hello.”

The man nodded but did not speak.

He proceeded to read the newspapers he had not paid for.

Follow the link to see how it ends.

Addendum, Later that Same Afternoon:

At Psychology Today Blogs, Stephen Greenspan offers some thoughts.

Facebook Frolics 0

Sunday’s New York Times had another article about Facebook and its effects on the discourse. The article focused on ethnic and religious divisions in Sri Lanka and a series of hate crimes and lycnhings.

As the briefest thumbnail, the authors examine how Facebook’s algorithm, designed to promote engagement with Facebook and consequently more on-line time for users, has a side effect of promoting hate speech; the authors theorize that this is because posts that incite strong negative emotions tend to be the posts that generate the most views. )To put it another way, hate sells.) They also discuss the obstacles Sri Lankan authorities encountered in trying to get Facebook’s attention to the issue.

The article is quite long, but I think it is worth your while. An excerpt:

We came to understand that Facebook’s algorithm-driven newsfeed, by pushing out whatever content drew the most engagement from users, does more than amplify existing prejudices or boost extremists.By pushing out content charged by negative, primal emotions like anger or fear — which, studies show, perform best on the algorithm — the platform can change how people see the world and relate to one another. In countries with weak institutions but where Facebook use is widespread, that can allow misinformation to run rampant. And in societies with histories of deep social distrust, it can turn deadly.