From Pine View Farm

August, 2009 archive

New Entry in Blogroll 0

From time to time, I tinker with my sidebar. That thing over there


that almost no one (spellcheck won’t find missing words) looks at after the first visit.

Usually the tinkering takes the form of adding or removing a plugin (like that “Deep Tho’ts from John Handey” thingee that every once in a while rolls over and plays dead) or changing the order of stuff (as when I moved the “Search” window higher, which I did because I use it frequently to make sure I’m not repeating myself or to remind myself of exactly what I might have driveled on about in the past).

Some while ago, I gave the blogroll a major trim and restyling, reflecting more my changing interests since I first set it up than anything about who might have been removed from it. I tried to do two things: cut it down to a manageable length and reduce the number of big, well-known sites that most folks are likely to have bookmarked anyway, unless they were sites that I regularly visit myself.

Today I added a new link to the Blogroll. I wouldn’t usually mention that, except that this blog is particularly creative.

I’d suggest starting with this post.


He calls himself a libertarian. He seems saner than most libertarians I’ve known personally, most of whom could give how-to lessons on dogmatism to Jesuits.


We Need Single Payer 0

Judith Stein at Neiman Watchdog:

Before Medicare, 50 percent of everyone 65 or older had NO health insurance. Now, as a result of Medicare, almost all older people are insured. Medicare, which is national, government-run health insurance, succeeded in insuring older people where private insurance failed. Further, until the Bush Administration privatized Medicare with huge subsidies to private “Medicare Advantage” and Part D plans, Medicare was also remarkably cost-effective. It’s private Medicare, not the traditional, public program, that’s bleeding taxpayers of billions of dollars.

Traditional Medicare has been a success, fiscally and morally. It took on the job of insuring health coverage and care to people that private insurance had abandoned. Since 2003, on the other hand, private Medicare plans have cost tens of billions of dollars that have gone to support the private insurance industry, not to providing health care. In addition, private Medicare plans have too often engaged in marketing abuses and restrictive coverage practices.


And Now for Something Completely Different 0


Have They No Shame? 1

Have they no sense of decency?

No. Of course not.

Shamelessness. No sense of decency.

It’s Republican tradition.


Dustbiters 0

Ain’t no more:

The countdown continues.


Stray Thought 0

If spamming is so lucrative, why can’t spammers hire competent translators?

Received in my spam trap account:

Geeky ramble follows


Follow the Money 0

It’s not about the cost of medical care. It’s about the cost of affording medical care.

In the last 10 years, the healthcare insurance industry has increased their profits by 450%..


“Just Like in the Movies” 0

It’s a little rambling, but it’s worth the five minutes.


Fee Enterprise (Updated) 0

Via Susie.

Addendum, Later That Same Day:

More here.


Another Day, Another Lie 0

They just can’t stop.

One wish these sorts of denunciations weren’t necessary, but a spokesman for the American Medical Association writes in to rebut the RNC’s suggestion that “GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system.”


A Sweetheart in Every Port 0

When I worked for the railroad, a porter passed away and two wives–one from each end of his run–appeared to claim the Railroad Retirement Death benefit.

He had nothing on this fellow.

Police in the Indian city of Mumbai say they have arrested a man for forgery and polygamy after he married at least six women over the past two years.

According to the Beeb, in his defense, he’s claiming he married only three times.

Which reminds me of the sailor who always ordered wine for his dates.

Read more »


Pluck and Ingenuity, Indeed 0

Desperation is more like it.

In a maneuver that signals both the pluck and ingenuity of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California’s desperate finances, officials have been frantically preparing this week for a two-day sell-off of items drawn from every corner of the state’s pack-rat bureaucracy.


Ghost Doctors in the Sky 0

Christopher Swann at Retuters. Read the whole thing.

The genius of the U.S. healthcare (system) is in providing the illusion of value and security. For their own sake, Americans must be encouraged to set aside jingoistic claims about having the best care system in the world and look more honestly at its short-comings.


Every Time I Think It Couldn’t Get Worse . . . 0

. . . it does.

Chris Broughton, the man who brought an assault rifle and a handgun to the Obama event in Arizona last week, attended a fiery anti-Obama sermon the day before the event, in which Pastor Steven Anderson said he was going to “pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell”, Anderson confirmed to TPMmuckraker today.

I’ve never read the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek, just in English.

But I don’t think Jesus Christ would buy into this approach. Sounds more like the gospel according to Jereboam to me.


We Need Single Payer 1

Listen to the commenter point out the deeply hypocritical nature of the Senator’s response.

The government is damned answer. Health care should be a right, not a profit center.


Profiles in Gall 0


The former president of Lehman Brothers has filed a legal claim seeking $233m (£145m) in remuneration from liquidators of the bankrupt Wall Street bank, whose collapse 11 months ago wrought havoc in global financial markets.


Law and Order: Minor Case 0

Companion story here. (There’s a 30-second commercial at the beginning of the video.)

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

It really isn’t surprising the NBC would feature this. The Law and Order franchise is NBC’s bread and butter.


Yeah. Right. 2

I was looking for a defunct website at the Internet Archive and stumbled across a place that had squatted on the name of the site.

That page redirected to one of those fraudulent sites that pretends to scan your computer for malware so it can trick you into buying their anti-malware product. Most of the time, their product is actually more malware.

I clicked “Cancel” scan and it pretended to scan anyway while popups cascaded. One give away was that the phony scan’s progess bar moved faster than a scan from a local disk would have allowed, let alone a scan over the net (and I have used internet AV scans from reputable vendors such as Trend Micro and Symantec. It then told me that I had oodles of trojans, viruses, and other assorted baddies on my C:\ and D:\ drives.

This box runs Ubuntu Linux with Fluxbox. I don’t have C:\ and D:\ drives; I have sda1* (a very small boot drive) and sda3* (everything else). I don’t have a “My Documents” folder.

Here’s what it claimed to see:

False Virus Results

Here’s what’s actually there:

False Virus Results


*sda1 means “SCSI (or SATA) Disk A, Partition One.” sda3 means “SCSI (or SATA) Disk A, Partition Three.” There is no sda2. You’ll have to ask Ubuntu about that.


How To Confuse Who Did It with Who’s Trying To Fix It 1

This is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start.

I’ll put it this way. Somebody burns down a house. Someone else comes along and tries to rebuild the house.

That does not change who set the damned fire to begin with.


Tomorrow Should Be Interesting 0

After all, Friday is commonly the day when banks bite the dust. That gives the FDIC and the receiving bank, if any, the weekend to allow the dust to settle.

The U.S. added 111 lenders to its list of “problem banks,” a jump that suggests rising bank failures may force the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to deplete a reserve fund that shrank 40 percent this year.

A total of 416 banks with combined assets of $299.8 billion failed the FDIC’s grading system for asset quality, liquidity and earnings in the second quarter, the most since June 1994, the Washington-based FDIC said in a report today. Regulators didn’t identify companies deemed “problem” banks.

We’ve gone from MBA’s to MBE’s–Masters of Business Embalming.