From Pine View Farm

June, 2007 archive

The Enemy Below 10

No, not Dick Cheney.

Just one of the best war movies ever made (and the book was better). And I stumbled on it tonight. (Yes, I have seen Saving Private Ryan. No, I haven’t seen Das Boot.)

The only better WWII movie I ever saw was Beach Red. (And, once again, the book–in this case a poem, was better.)


Summation 0

Andrew Sullivan.


Citizens Benighted 0

I mentioned “Citizens United” earlier.

I get frequent calls from “Citizens United.” (See Note below.)

Tonight I actually answered one.

The caller said that she was conducting a poll for “mumble.” (No, she didn’t mumble. I just can’t remember what she said.)

After asking me a heavily biased question (something about “the latest outrageous proposal from the Hillary Clinton campaign,” not that I am a Hillary fan, but I can recognize bias when I hear it) the caller asked me whether I would listen to a short message.

I asked her if she represented Citizens United. She said, “That is the organization that I represent.” (Her “mumble” cited above in no way resembled “sit-i-zens you-night-ted”; Caller ID is your friend.)

I asked her if this were the same Citizens United responsible for the lying Newt Gingrich commercial about the recently defeated immigration bill (see the link at the very beginning of this post).

She claimed ignorance.

I said, “As far as I am concerned, your organization is nothing more than a lying Republican Front and I expect you never to call me again.”

We will see how well they respect the wishes of citizens disgusted.


Note: I probably get all this Republican lies propaganda because of address changes resulting from my father’s death.

My father served as campaign manager for Bob Bloxom, a fine man who represented the Eastern Shore of Virginia well as a Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates, earning the nickname, “Conscience of the House.” My father served as his campaign manager because of his respect for Mr. Bloxom, not because of Mr. Bloxom’s party affliation.

Mr. Bloxom was eventually stabbed in the back by wingnut supporters of George “Macaca” Allen, Embarassment of Virginia, for not being sufficiently wingnutty. Subsequently, he was appointed Virginia Secretary of Agriculture by two Democratic Governors. My father, by the way, had as much use for the Current Federal Administrator as he had for dock weed.

He expected public servants (oh, I forgot, George DubbaYou is not a servant, he is a king) to serve with at least a pretense of integrity.

I will share one story.

We were sitting at home back in 1973 watching news reports of the Saturday Night Massacre. My father disappeared from the living room for fully 45 minutes. I figured out later he–who had voted for Nixon twice–was sending “impeach Nixon” telegrams (yeah, I’m old–you can’t send a telegram any more) to all our representatives incongruously assembled.


Indictment 0

Ted Sorensen summarizes the accomplishments of the Current Federal Administrator (I shamelessly stole this from Steve over at All Spin Zone.):

We remain essentially a nation under siege. The threat of another terrorist attack upon our homeland has not been reduced by all the new layers of porous bureaucracy that proved their ineptitude in New Orleans; nor by all the needless, mindless curbs on our personal liberties and privacy; nor by expensive new weaponry that is utterly useless in stopping a fanatic willing to blow himself up for his cause. Indeed, our vulnerability to another attack has only been worsened in the years since the attacks of September 11th—worsened by our government convincing more than 1 billion Muslims that we are prejudiced against their faith, dismissive of international law, and indifferent to the deaths of their innocent children; worsened by our failure to understand their culture or to provide a safe haven for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees displaced by a war we started; worsened by our failure to continue our indispensable role in the Middle East peace process.

We have adopted some of the most indefensible tactics of our enemies, including torture and indefinite detention.

We have degraded our military.

We have treated our most serious adversaries, such as Iran and North Korea, in the most juvenile manner—by giving them the silent treatment. In so doing, we have weakened, not strengthened, our bargaining position and our leadership.

At home, as health care costs have grown and coverage disappeared, we have done nothing but coddle the insurance, pharmaceutical, and health care industries that feed the problem.

As global warming worsens, we have done nothing but deny the obvious and give regulatory favors to polluters.

As growing economic inequality tarnishes our democracy, we have done nothing but carve out more tax breaks for the rich.

During these last several years, our nation has been bitterly divided and deceived by illicit actions in high places, by violations of federal, constitutional, and international law. I do not favor further widening the nation’s wounds, now or next year, through continuous investigations, indictments, and impeachments. I am confident that history will hold these malefactors accountable for their deeds, and the country will move on.


Politicking of Hatred 0

It’s pretty well-documented that a (probably) Rovian rumor skewered John McCain’s quest for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2000.

Steve over at ASZ points out how the politics of hate takes victims long after the campaign is over.


Trapped by the World Wide Web 0

Oh, my.

According to Delaware River and Bay Authority police Cpl. Joseph DiStefano, at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, Branden M. Tingey walked into the men’s room of the Polidoro Italian Grill near New Castle and hid in the ceiling until the restaurant closed.

When he decided the place was empty, Tingey went into the manager’s office where he tried to break into the safe.

The problem was, DiStefano said, Tingey apparently didn’t know how, and turned to the restaurant’s computer to search for instructions. The search was interrupted when the restaurant’s two managers, who had been in another part of the restaurant doing paperwork, walked in, police said.

Well, it’s the dumb ones who get caught.


News 0

The dumbing down . . .


Ann Coulter vs. Elizabeth Edwards 3

Jon Swift tells it like it was.


The Rule of Law 0

Daniel DiRito has a very thoughtful post over at ASZ about the rule of law and the damage that the Bush gang has done to it.

I commend it to your attention.


Fruits 0

I was working at home today, and, I usually do when I work at home, I had the radio on.

I must have heard six stories about the IPhone. Now, I have a confirmed dislike of fruits, but this feature almost convinced me to consider it (except that it comes with Southwestern Bell Cingular AT&T:

via Phillybits.


Three O’Clock 0

Brendan recounts his recent encounter with the local gendarmarie.

It will help you think twice about that “your home is your castle” junk.


Rehab for Second Life? Not Yet 2

The American Medical Association today backed off calling excessive video-game playing a formal psychiatric addiction, saying instead that more research is needed.

A report prepared for the AMA’s annual policy meeting had sought to strongly encourage that video-game addiction be included in a widely used diagnostic manual of psychiatric illnesses.

AMA delegates instead adopted a watered-down measure declaring that while overuse of video games and online games can be a problem for children and adults, calling it a formal addiction would be premature.

In a word, crap.

Not every bad behavior is an addiction.

Sometimes, it’s just bad behavior.

Calling bad behavior “addictions” accomplishes one thing. It gives the persons indulging in those behaviors an excuse to say, “It’s not my fault.”

Give me a break.


Lies, Lies, Lies 1

From Newt Gingrich.

And this surprise us how?

From FactCheck dot org (which, by the way is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania; it doesn’t have a political ax to grind and debunks liars across the political spectrum). Follow the link to see the lies dissected:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made false claims about the Senate immigration bill in a TV ad for a conservative group. He said it “will put…potential terrorists and gang members on a path to U.S. citizenship,” which is contrary to the language of the legislation.

Actually, the bill grants authority to deport any alien who “at any time has participated in a criminal gang.” And as for terrorists, the measure also gives the government authority to deny temporary visa status to an illegal alien if “there are reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United States.”


Little Ricky Slips Off the Hook Again 0

Republican efforts to squelch free speech come back to haunt . . . Delaware?

A group of women who where preemptively tossed out of a Delaware book signing involving former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have settled their civil rights lawsuit against the Delaware State Police.

The four were forced from the Barnes & Noble on Concord Pike in August 2005 by an off-duty trooper working security after a member of Santorum’s group overheard the women discussing their opposition to some of the Senator’s policies and asked they be removed.

The women filed suit, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, last year alleging their free speech rights were violated.

As part of the settlement announced by the ACLU today, the state police will pay $15,000 for the legal fees and costs of the plaintiffs and adopt new policies and training programs for officers on the free speech rights of protesters.


As part of the settlement, the two staffers who requested the women be ejected — Ellen Melrose and Becky Barrett-Toomey — will also send the plaintiffs a letter of regret and pay them $2,500 in damages, the amount they were paid by the Santorum campaign, through a PR firm, to assist at the event.

And where’s Little Ricky through all of this?


Irony 1

One of the tenets of modern American conservative thought is distrust of Big Government.

But in that terminology, Big Government translates into those aspects of government that are designed to help the helpless, the lost, the wounded, such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and (gasp!) Welfare in all it’s forms (except, of course, for welfare for the rich).

At the same time, many of these same folks who call themselves “conservative” put great trust in other Federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investitagation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Military (note that 50% of the current Federal budget goes to the armed services).

Let us look at the record:

When was the last time, for example, that the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education was found guilty of overstepping its bounds?

Yeah, right, Google all you want, it ain’t there.

When was the last time the Federal Bureau of Investigation was found to be overstepping its bounds? That’s right. Every time you turn around.

And the CIA? A history of abuse.

And how about the Department of Torture Vice President’s Office. Oh, yeah, I forgot. There is no Vice President’s Office.

I suggest to you, Gentle Readers, that the conservatives’ distrust of government is well-placed. Sadly, though, they are distrusting the wrong part of the government.

They should be distrusting the parts they like–the military and militaristic parts, because those are the parts that have historically demonstrated that they are, indeed, untrustworthy.

Sadly, though (and I know this, for I am a good shot), you get more rocks off shooting guns and fantasizing about torture than you do helping people.

Yeah, big government can’t be trusted.

Well, part of it can’t be trusted. My mother’s Medicaid works just fine, thank you. The part that can’t be trusted is the part that claims it’s purpose is to protect.

It didn’t protect those poor souls in New York City. But it quite happily denies American citizens their rights.


The Rats Desert the Sinking Ship 1

They’ve had enough of the lies.

But, remember, these are the same rats who followed the Pie-Eyed Piper into the abyss.

President George W. Bush’s Iraq war policy suffered a second blow in as many days on Tuesday when another senior senator from his Republican party publicly called for U.S. troop withdrawals.

A day after Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar declared that Bush’s “surge” policy of adding troops was not working, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio sent Bush a letter “expressing his belief that our nation must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our gradual military disengagement from Iraq,” Voinovich’s office announced.

They have to stand for election again. They have realized that a platform of lies ultimately becomes a shakey pizza–whatever happened to Shakey’s Pizza platform indeed.

Ya know, the truth will catch up with malefactors eventually. It’s just that, sometimes, eventually can be a long, long time.


Oh, My 1

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Well, maybe I could have, but I was doing the cooling tower thing all day and I don’t have the energy.

This is worth seeing, as it captures the full hypocrisy of the Current Federal Administrator and his minions: Phillybits.


Tagged 6

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I’m a good housekeeper. Everytime I get divorced, I keep the house.

2. The first time I drove 100 miles an hour, it was in a 1965 Ford Fairlane with a 289 V-8 on Smith Beach Road (now called Savage Neck Drive). Now, that was an engine.

3. I will not cook with any form of wine or alcohol that I am not willing to drink straight up. “Cooking sherry” is for cleaning toilets.

4. Stop signs are difficult to steal. It can take up the three Saturday nights to get away with one.

5. Curry is a gift from God.

6. Guilt is for suckers. Do your best, hold up your head, and soldier on. (Of course, if you don’t do your best, guilt is for you, but then that’s your problem, isn’t it?)

7. I had one date in high school. And it wasn’t a very good one.

8. I hate computers.

Oh, and now I have to tag eight people–I don’t think I have eight people to tag, at least not eight people who would notice me.

But I will do my best and to hell with the rules (whose rules are they, anyway?)

Not Always Mayberry

Karen’s Rant Page

My Turn


That’s 8 divided by 2 and all you get.

Oh, yeah:

9. To hell with the rules.


Arrogance 0

I was listening to Le Show yesterday (an activity I recommend highly).

The host pointed out that the Vice President (President of Vice?) had dedicated himself to increasing the power of the executive branch.

A branch which, the host pointed out, of which the Vice President denies being part.

How altruistic of him.



Welcome (Updated) 0

To my new server. It’s working.

I couldn’t face another cooling tower today, so I spent the day messing with MySQL and WordPress.

I think everything came over okay, but please let me know if anything doesn’t work right.

Adendum: Later that same day:

I think my two or three regular readers will notice a significant performance improvement.

I’ll work on getting all the newsfeeds and stuff working later. Right now, I’m in I-Hate-Computers mode. I even called Opie for tech support and, between us, we managed to get everything working. (Thanks, Opie.) But, like in real life, neither one of us could figure out exactly what was broke or exactly what fixed it. We were yakking on the phone and hitting keys and it started to work.

In the meantime, here is some information about the new box: It runs

XAMPP for Linux 1.6.2, which includes

MySQL 5.0.41, PHP 5.2.2, Apache 2.2.4, and PERL 5.8.7 .

The operating system is Slackware Linux 10.1

The computer is a Pentium III 1000 gHz computer with 528 MB RAM, two IDE harddrives and one SCSI harddrive, a SCSI tape drive, a CD-ROM drive, and an external USB DVD-RW drive.

(aside to Opie) It was a surplussed Checkpoint Win2000 server.

And now back to the regularly scheduled flame wars.