From Pine View Farm

January, 2010 archive

Corporate Personhood 0

Via Will Bunch.


Footloose 1

No longer fancy free.


Changelings 3

As I have mentioned, there has been much gnashing of teeth amongst some Lefties because President Obama hasn’t turned out to be a fierce fighter for things that are politically impossible. (He is subject to wrath which, by rights, belongs to the U. S. Senate, which has turned inertness into an art installation.)

Much of this results from projection. President Obama’s campaign slogan was “change.”

Persons have poured into to that word whatever they wanted without paying attention to what he actually said.

Lefties poured into it, among other things,

  • single-payer healthcare (which I support but which he said during the campaign was, in his opinion, a non-starter),
  • withdrawal from Iraq (which he promised and is working on),
  • closing that symbol of shame, the prison at Guantanamo (which he is working on but which I think he should have just done, and done quickly, so that it was fait accompli),
  • withdrawal from Afghanistan (which would be directly counter to what he said during his campaign, desirable though it may have become–I certainly would like to see my son withdrawn).

Righties, deciding he is a scary black man, poured into it from their own paranoia a bunch of stuff which I won’t even attempt to list. In their construct, he is, rather than a slightly to the left of center middle-of-the-road American pol, an amalgam of Abbie Hoffman, Karl Marx, Albert Schweitzer, and Che Guevara from another planet in some kind of parallel universe.

Now, some lefties, because he hasn’t done stuff he didn’t promise and is fighting a calcified Senate to do what he did promise, have been, dumping on him. (Where they get the idea that the way to get stuff done is to dump on their friends is beyond me. Mithras expresses my puzzlement succintly. John Cole dissects the illogic of it deftly.)

Certainly, I did and do support President Obama, but I did and do not delude myself into thinking that we agrees on lots of stuff. I wouldn’t have his job for the world and I’m glad he wanted it.

And given the track record of Republicans (and anyone who thinks that track record would change if they got back in is from LalaLand–I want to gag everytime I hear Republicans fulminate about “fiscal responsibility,” as if they would know a responsible fiscal if it bit them), I would have voted for a dead rat had it headed the Democratic ticket.

And, honestly, what you really rather have President McMaverick and Vice President Beyond the Palin?

Much of the discontent on the left goes back to not blanking listening to Obama the candidate in the first place (and the rest goes back to forgetting that successful progressive change in America has almost always been fiercely and unrelentingly fought by them what has).

Patrick Frank, a Facebook friend and a friend on Facebook, in a comment in a Facebook conversation, described what Obama meant when he talked of change as well as anyone I’ve read (quoted with permission):

“A lot of the change Obama was talking about had to do with ending the bitter partisanship in DC and around the country and bringing people of good will together to solve problems. With the rise of the neo-fascist tea bag movement, as well as some on the left who see compromise as sellout, we see schism actually on the rise, as opposed to receding. (others may disagree with this analysis)…This widening gulf is deeply unsettling to many Americans…That’s my take…More later…”

And, by God, President Obama has tried mightily to accomplish this change, the change of which he spoke. But Republicans have no interest in “bringing people of good will together to solve problems.”

No mistake: the partisanship in Washington comes from the Republican side of the aisle and to the extent it has grown on the Left, it has done so in reaction to the Right.

Governmental dysfunction: it’s a Republican thing.


Ducks on a Pond 1

Very pretty swimming round . . .


Well, geese, actually.

For contrast, here’s picture taken from about the same position about three days ago.

Blue Heron

And a detail from today:




Albert Einstein, from the Quotemaster:

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!

And a bonus, also from the Quotemaster. Solzhenitsyn:

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.

Read more »


Dustbiters 0

In honor of my birthday, the FDIC shutdown a bunch of banks:

American Marine Bank, Bainbridge Island, Washington

First Regional Bank, Los Angeles, California

Community Bank & Trust, Cornelia, Georgia

Marshall Bank, Hallock, Minnesota

Florida Community Bank, Immokalee, Florida

First National Bank of Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia


Scary Headline of the Day, Reprise 0

This story seems to be rapidly going from page five worthiness to the comics pages.

The latest is that the gentleman in question, though born abroad, may have been born to an mother who is an American citizen and is therefore is a citizen by definition.

But neither of them realized it.

Now his mother is trying to find something to prove that she is an American citizen.


The Mild, Mild West 0

The spirit that conquered the plaintives.

H/T Karen for the link.


Antisocial Networking 0

Meeting Facebook to Facebook:

A fistfight between two gangs of girls that had been organized on Facebook erupted in gunfire last night outside a Southwest Philadelphia High School, leaving two young men and a 17-year-old girl wounded, police said.


“It started with a dispute on Facebook,” said (police Lt.) Walker.


Britain Has No First Amendment 0

I’m pretty much a civil liberties abolutist (give to the ACLU here), so I must say that this is wrong.

Delightful, but wrong.


White Death 3

(Virginia) Gov. Bob McDonnell has declared a state of emergency for southern Virginia due to an approaching winter storm.

Inches, actual inches, are possible.

(Yeah, I know, areas that aren’t used to snow aren’t prepared to handle it and shouldn’t be expected to. There is no good reason to stock up on trucks and salt every year for something that happens only every few years or so.

At the same time, this “declaring states of emergency” stuff before there is an emergency seems to be a little silly.)


Must. Buy. Bread. and. Milk.


Chicken and Kidney Beans 0


1 can red kidney beans
2 chicken breasts cut into pieces or equivalent
1/4 cp. olive oil
1 sm. (red) onion, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery, sliced
2 or 3 mushrooms, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/2 tbs. dried minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles or 1 can diced tomatos and 1 small can diced chiles
1 sm. can tomato sauce
1 can chicken stock
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground pepper or more to taste
bay leaf
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in skillet and brown chicken in oil. Remove chicken to dutch oven or heavy sauce pan.

2. Saute garlic and ground pepper in skillet in remaining oil for a couple of minutes, then add vegetables and saute until onion is translucent.

3, Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices, and anything else that strikes your fancy to mixture in skillet. Bring to simmer.

5. Pour vegetable mixture over chicken in dutch oven and add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until chicken is done, approx 1 hour, but it won’t hurt it to cook longer as long as there’s plenty of liquid. Serve over rice.


This is a variation of the Chicken and Kidney Bean Casserole recipe from Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook, revised ed., p. 161. It’s so much a variation that Mr. Claiborne would not recognize it.

But it’s good.


iPad (Updated) 0


Addendum, the Next Day:

Andy Borowitz chimes in here.


Under Covers 0

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
This Is Spiteful Tap
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Via TPM.


Close Encounters of the Automotive Kind 1

All drivers, men and women, young and old, rated themselves over the “average motorist”, especially when this average motorist fell into the over 65 age category.

Young men felt the most superior.

Middle-aged men rated themselves as better than similarly aged drivers, and far superior to younger and older motorists.

Older drivers – aged 65 plus – felt most superior when they compared themselves with motorists of the same age.

One of these clowns nearly speared me Tuesday.

He had the stop sign, but didn’t use it.


The Most Annoying Woman in the World 2

“Hi. I’m Jane from Verizon.”

RoboJane has found my new phone number.

The Do Not Call list doesn’t work, because I have a “business relationship” with Verizon (it’s called a “telephone line”).

So I will be subjected to Verizon’s marvelous marketing campaign, which appears to be based on tormenting subscribers with phonecalls from RoboJane until they sign up for Verizon FiOS just to make her go away.

News for Verizon: Every phone call from RoboJane strengthens my resolve never to sign up for Verizon FiOS. Or Verizon TV. Or anything else from Verizon except for a landline for the 911 call I hope never to have to make.


Connectionedness 1

I was running errands, so I was requested to pick up parsnips.

As I wandered the produce department, i realized I wouldn’t know a parsnip from a parking ticket. I had been told parsnips would be near the carrots. They were, if being along the same wall qualifies as “near the carrots.”

So I whipped out my cell phone, fired up teh Google, and giggled some parsnip pictures.

Viola. Problem solved.


Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go 0

On the bright side, durable goods orders increased slightly.

Separately, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to 470,000 last week, after rising for three weeks in a row.

Economists had forecast claims dipping to 450,000 from a previously reported 482,000 for the prior week, which had been elevated due to the processing of a backlog of applications from the holidays.

Moral: Don’t ask economists to pick the number of the day. (I know, that’s not fair. Economists and meteorologists are the only two disciplines graded on their ability to predict the future, rather than to explain the past.)


Scary Headline of the Day 0

Flight school operator in Norfolk charged as illegal immigrant

(The link to the individual story isn’t working right now. Link is now working.)

EIght column inches in, on the runover page, you learn that he illegally entered the country twenty years ago

when he was eight years old.

No mention of whether he entered with his parents or smuggled himself in.

Afterthought: No, I’m not saying there’s no issue here. It was a screw-up in background checking to let him set up a business at the airport–not because he’s illegal, but because the background checkers didn’t do their jobs very well.

But it’s not a preferred position (top right) front page screw-up. It’s a page five screw-up at best.


Just Plain Stupid (Updated) 3

This was just asking for trouble.

Addendum, January 29:

The rest of the story: The teacher agrees it was stupid. Apparently, he had not seen the film in some years.