From Pine View Farm

May, 2018 archive

Geeking Out 0

Earlier this week, I broke my Debian install. I was running Debian Sid (testing) and ran an update and lost my GUI environments. Sid is a testing version; if you run a testing version, you have to expect stuff to happen. Plus I had been having quirky stuff happen for quite some time, so I suspect the issue was mine and not Debian’s.

I was too lazy to troubleshoot the problem, so last night I reinstalled Debian Stretch. Since I had my home directory on a separate partition, all my personal files and settings were preserved, as I simply reinstalled the OS to the root partition. Consequently, once I reinstalled and started programs, they behaved as previously configured.

Here’s a screenshot of the new install running the Plasma desktop (Debian gives the option of installing one or more desktop environments; I chose Plasma and MATE):


Click for a larger image.

A Musical Interlude 0

The Days of Whine and Poses 0

All the News that Fits 0

In the context of a larger article about the comeuppance of Roseanne Barr, Gina Barreca muses cherries are in the eye of the cherry-picker:

What about the First Amendment? “Fox News has said Roseanne Barr has a First Amendment right to post disgusting racist tweets,” explains my friend Bruce Alter, “but that NFL players do not have the right to kneel during the national anthem. In fact, they all have a First Amendment right to do so. On the other hand, their employers have the right, absent government action or contract restrictions, to ban such actions. As the saying goes, where you stand depends on where you sit, but it depends even more who owns that chair.”

By the Numbers, Reprise 0

It’s the racism.

This is the United States. In white America, there’s always an undercurrent of racism.

The study, conducted by researchers at two California universities and published Wednesday in the journal Social Forces, finds that opposition to welfare programs has grown among white Americans since 2008, even when controlling for political views and socioeconomic status.


The findings suggest that political efforts to cut welfare programs are driven less by conservative principles than by racial anxiety, the authors conclude. That also hurts white Americans who make up the largest share of Medicaid and food-stamp recipients. President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans have proposed deep cuts to both programs.

Follow the link for more numbers.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Functional politeness:

It all started around 9:30 Tuesday night, with a call for a gunshot victim at Sheetz on Perry Hwy. in Summit Township.

Troopers say the victim shot himself while checking the function of a gun. No word yet on where the gunfire happened.

Well, I reckon it functioned as designed . . . .

By the Numbers 0

Graphic:  From Jan 1 2018 through May 18 2018 there were 101 mass shootings, 163 killed, 480 wounded.  Guess how many of the shooters were MS-13 or Black Identity Extremists?

Via Job’s Anger.

The Bully’s Pulpit 0

David unpacks the fuss over Roseanne.

In a related piece, Melissa Burkley explains why referring to black people as apes is racist, in case you don’t get it already.


Mark Twain:

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

Twits on Twitter 0

Sporting twits.

Also, in an extra-special bonus, twits who feel the burn.

A Tune for the Times 0

Flagging Interests 0

In The Sacramento Bee, self-described conservative Josh Edblow calls out right-wing “snowflakes” (his word) for their position on the American flag, the NFL’s new rule restricting player protests, and NFL players’ right to protest. Here’s a bit:

Fellow conservatives will argue that free speech is about government action while the NFL is a private business. They will point out that the league policy gives players the option to remain in the locker room during the national anthem.

They express contempt for those on the political left – “snowflakes” – who use boycotts, shout-downs and other intimidation to squash dissent or differing viewpoints that might offend or insult some group. They criticize businesses that give in to “snowflakes,” and sometimes even pull advertising.

Yet at the same time, these conservatives defend the NFL because they agree with the reason behind this specific policy. This is philosophically inconsistent. Would they feel the same way if some other NFL policy required players to address transgender persons by their preferred alternative pronoun? Not likely.

The Art of the Con 0

Josh Marshall suggests that the fire hose of news and absurdity from Washington is not an accident; he goes on to suggest that it furthers the con and enables would-be autocrats to auto their crat behind the fog of breaking headlines. A nugget:

Attacks on the press, a new conspiracy theory a day, new stories daily that are so ludicrous and unbelievable that saying them seems as much an act of aggression as an effort to convince. This is part of the study of authoritarianism. But it is also the stuff of the con. Con-men convince you to do stupid things or give them your money because they’re distracting you. You’re looking over there when they’re robbing you over here. More than anything else Trump is a con-man because he learned these tricks in business, in literal cons.

Follow the link for the complete article.

Republican Family Values 0

Two ranks of ICE officers forming the letters

Via Job’s Anger.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Politeness takes practice.

According to a report, the family friend and Sydney were practicing shooting targets at Sandy Ridge Road with a lever action 22 rifle.

Sydney had just shot the rifle and walked down the hill to check her target. While Sydney was heading down the hill, the friend noticed she had left the rifle loaded with the hammer cocked back and he attempted to secure the device.


Anne Bronte:

No generous mind delights to oppress the weak, but rather to cherish and protect.

All That Was Old Is New Again 0


Arms Race 0

Reg Henry muses on American gun culture. A snippet:

In this moment of despair, when the choice appears to be between doing nothing, or doing something that foolishly poses as doing something, let me offer an irreverent thought that goes to the heart of the matter: Concerning all those thoughts and prayers for victims of gun violence, to what god are they addressed?


The core problem is that a sizable number of Americans have made a golden calf to worship. But that graven image is not golden; it is made of shining gun metal. As long as the almighty gun is put on a pedestal in our culture, praising the Lord and passing the ammunition in the general context of our world only perpetuates the suffering.

Do please read the rest.

Suffer the Children 0

That’s not scripture.

That’s Republican policy.

No Rest for the Weary 0

At the Hartford Courant, Emory University Professor Benjamin Reiss discusses the fascinating story of how sleeping in public became taboo and how that taboo results in differential treatement of the disadvantaged. A snippet:

Writing in 1939, the sociologist Norbert Elias described sleeping — like other bodily functions such as evacuating waste — as an activity that Europeans of the 18th and 19th centuries decided must be undertaken in private in a “civilized” society. Historian Sasha Handley has recently shown that around this time, middle-class homes began to feature a novel architectural arrangement: the bedroom. Dozing in public increasingly became an affront to refined sensibilities, a reminder of the body’s basic functions that were supposed to be tidily managed behind closed doors.