From Pine View Farm

September, 2010 archive

Responsible Fiscals, Contract on America Dept. 0

The Philadelphia Inquirer sees through the smoke:

Republican leaders have heard the public’s anger at Washington, and they’ve come up with an election-year prescription: increase the federal debt.

You won’t find “more borrowing” listed as an agenda item in the House Republicans’ pandering “Pledge to America.” But sending the country deeper into debt is integral to their plan.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) and his crew want to extend tax cuts for all taxpayers regardless of income level, which would add nearly $4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. It is a formula for extra borrowing from foreign governments, to be paid by generations of future taxpayers – the very problems that supposedly motivated the GOP’s action plan.

Read the whole thing.


Segway Segue 0

Someone had to say it.


Responsible Fiscals 0

Have you noticed that all that fabled government waste always seems to be in someone else’s jurisdiction?


I’m Not the Only Person Who’s Fed Up 0

With pro (and big-time college) sports.

Except for the Phillies, who in what seems to be a tour de force have had no one arrested, no one suspended, and no one called to testify before Congress in recent memory.

Across the Big Pond, discontent also blossoms:

Sportism was a religion. We never questioned that the team which finished top of the old footballing first division was the best that year because in the world of sport everybody got what they deserved. The proof was there for us all to see – Nottingham Forest could win the European Cup, Wimbledon could win the FA Cup, if they tried hard enough.


So what happens when those very foundations of your existence are shaken to the core? When you begin to realise that not everybody has been playing by the rules? Trauma, that’s what. We sportists have just experienced a summer of unparalled trauma. First, there were the shocking allegations that Pakistan’s cricketers might not have been playing cricket at all – that they were deliberately bowling no-balls to assist betting syndicates. I have not watched a cricket match since.

The turning point: Sports stopped being “sports” and began to be “entertainment.”


Stray Thought 0

We are tired of “hearty soups.”

We’re going to start our own brand:

“Pine View Farm Puny Soups.”

For small appetites.


And Now for Something Completely Different 0


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Another burst of courtesy:

Officers were called to the first block of Leader Drive in the Newark Oaks community about 11 p.m. to investigate a report of shots being fired, said Senior Cpl. Trinidad Navarro, a New Castle County police spokesman.

Upon arrival, officers found a 2000 Dodge Neon that had been parked in the street damaged by gunshots.

But wait! There’s more! Up the road a piece:

(A) boy was struck by the fragment Sunday night in Reading. Police say a man fired a gun into the floor and a bullet fragment went through to the first floor, striking 2-month-old Michael Johnson in the head.

According to the story, the gun magically went off by itself.


Stuck with Stuxnet? Dump Windows. 0

The stuxnet malware is getting lots of gee-whiz coverage in the news lately.

This, from the Christian Science Monitor, is typical:

The Stuxnet malware has infiltrated industrial computer systems worldwide. Now, cyber security sleuths say it’s a search-and-destroy weapon meant to hit a single target. One expert suggests it may be after Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

One thing that is hardly mentioned in most of the stories is this:

It’s a Windows virus. It works only on Windows computers. Here’s what Symantec has to say about it (emphasis added):

We’ve been analyzing W32.Stuxnet, which is a threat that uses a legitimate digital certificate from a major third party and takes advantage of a previously unknown bug in Windows; ultimately, it searches for SCADA systems and design documents. The findings of our analysis are being documented in a series of blog articles.

Also, take the golly-gosh-gee-Batman-It’s-the-Joker coverage with several grains pounds of salt.


Light Bloggery 0




George Bernard Shaw:

You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.


Nutshell 0

From the lead to a story in the most reactionary paper in Virginia, offered without comment (emphasis added):

Five members of the Kansas-based hate group Westboro Baptist Church . . . .


Parking Wars, Reprise 0

I used to tell my classes, when they decided to go into Philly for the night, where to go, where not to go, and to be sure to park legally, because “Philly’s a tough town on parking.”

Philadelphia police say at around 3:00 a.m. Sunday, two (tow truck–ed.) drivers got into an argument about territory. After heated words, the argument became physical and that’s when police say McDaniel got into his truck and struck the other man who drove for Siani’s towing.

He’s charged with homicide.


Spill Now, Pay Later 0

The Buccaneer Petroleum sea food diet.

See food. Don’t eat it.

Earlier this month, a white truck from Alabama carrying live blue crabs from Louisiana pulled up to the rear of United Crab & Seafood, a worn takeout joint in a Maryland Eastern Shore suburb roughly five miles northwest of Baltimore. The delivery irritated John Ernst, United’s 54-year-old managing partner, causing him to wince, curse and eventually, laugh at the misfortune that has befallen him since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded last spring.

“Sent a whole truck up with 20 boxes,” Ernst scoffed. It’s a paltry shipment compared to the usual 75 boxes that Ernst said he received every day before the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico halted the steady flow of Louisiana blue crabs that were the lifeblood of United’s business.

Quibble: “Five miles northwest of Baltimore” is not on the Eastern Shore. Baltimore and environs is on the Western Shore, meaning the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.


“Hippie Punching” (Updated) 2

Susie Madrak managed to get the term “hippie punching” into the news this week.

I’ve never quite been sure what “hippie punching” means, other than a sort of misdirection play, sort of a modern equivalent of “shoot the messenger” that might be expressed as

    When you don’t want to deal with the cause of a problem, blame the hippies.

Never mind that no hippies have been seen in the wild since 1969 and that many of the persons who use the phrase with themselves in the role of “hippie” not only were not hippies, but also have never seen one–indeed, their activism is quite the opposite of anything hippie–but let them have their little fantasy.

As of today, the Urban Dictionary has only one definition, added three days ago from what is clearly a rightwing perspective (the user who posted it uses a nom de innertubes of DA+IRS+IS+GONNA+GETCHA+SOON).

With that out of the way, what Mithras said.


Noz defines the term for me. From the comments:

“hippie punching” is when democrats gratuitously attack their liberal base, perhaps for the misguided reason that it somehow helps their credibility with “regular” americans.

End Interpolation.

Read more »


A Question of Size 0

Bob Cesca muses on Republican efforts to make “government small enough to fit into your bedroom.”

The Republican fascination with manipulating the sex lives of others continues to befuddle me.


Vain Dance 0



Stray Thought 0

The road to perdition oft leads through tradition.



George Bernard Shaw:

Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.


The Entitlement Society 0

Eric Zorn reports in the Chicago Trib:

(University of Chicago law professor Todd Henderson) posted a now world-famous jeremiad to his blog griping that he and his wife, a physician, “are just getting by” on a combined income that “exceeds the $250,000 threshold for the super-rich” who will owe more in taxes under Obama’s plan.

The nanny, the lawn service, the maid service, the private school for their three children, the cable TV … “If these cuts don’t work, we will sell our house,” he bleated.

I am somehow unable to feel Professor Henderson’s pain. Never having been elevated to ranks of the privileged, I cannot grasp the horror of having to vacuum one’s own floors, of having to rear one’s own children, or of having to push one’s own lawn mower.


“Dumb” Is Not a Generational Issue 0

Columns like this are a waste of time.

They are, at best, intellectual jello. A moment of sweetness with no lasting value.