From Pine View Farm

2011 archive


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.


TSA Security Theatre 0

Thom Hartmann tells what happened when he said, “I’ll take the grope,” then explains what he thinks is motive for the kabuki.


Colorblind Blindness 0

White folks, including me, aren’t very good at talking about race with not-white folks. I know that one way I tried to deal with it in the earlier days of desegregation was to ignore ignore it–that is, to be silent.

I have learned that that amounts to ignoring history and reality.

I never pretended that I was somehow “colorblind”; being colorblind does not follow from growing up in a Jim Crow world. Rather, I didn’t know how to bring the subject up in personal terms (though I must say that, thanks to some of my friends, I’m getting better at it).

I have, indeed, been troubled by those who claim that they are “colorblind,” especially when they support policies that clearly are not. For example, persons will claim that they are against affirmative action* because they are “being colorblind,” in the face of the truism that perpetuating existing inequities created through discrimination is ipso facto discriminatory, because it lets the effects of discrimination live on.

At Psychology Today, Monnica Williams attacks the myth of racial and ethnic “colorblindness.” A nugget:

Let’s break it down into simple terms: Color-Blind = “People of color — we don’t see you (at least not that bad ‘colored’ part).” As a person of color, I like who I am, and I don’t want any aspect of that to be unseen or invisible. The need for colorblindness implies there is something shameful about the way God made me and the culture I was born into that we shouldn’t talk about. Thus, colorblindness has helped make race into a taboo topic that polite people cannot openly discuss. And if you can’t talk about it, you can’t understand it, much less fix the racial problems that plague our society.

Whites tend to view colorblindness as helpful to people of color by asserting that race does not matter (Tarca, 2005). But in America, most underrepresented minorities will explain that race does matter, as it affects opportunities, perceptions, income, and so much more. When race-related problems arise, colorblindness tends to individualize conflicts and shortcomings, rather than examining the larger picture with cultural differences, stereotypes, and values placed into context. Instead of resulting from an enlightened (albeit well-meaning) position, colorblindness comes from a lack of awareness of racial privilege conferred by Whiteness (Tarca, 2005). White people can guiltlessly subscribe to colorblindness because they are largely unaware of how race affects people of color and American society as a whole.

Be careful when you hear someone espouse “colorblind” policies. It’s more of the code. It means they don’t want discrimination to go away.


*The EEO enforcement folks where I used to work were adamant that “affirmative action” does not mean selecting the unqualified over the qualified; it means, after the unqualified are weeded out, giving preference to a member of a protected class.

Where I have seen affirmative action improperly implemented–and I have seen that often–it has happened out of managerial misunderstanding or, much more common, incompetence.


Facebook Frolics 0

Achtung! You vill comply!


The Santa Plot 0

Courtesy of the Miami Herald.


States Rights*: Conviction of Convenience 0

It’s most curious how Republicans are agin’ that intrudin’ fedrul guvmint right up until they are for it.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging the validity of a Virginia statute that keeps his name from appearing on the primary ballot.


*”States rights” decoded: Let my segregation aloooooonnnnneeeee.



Ruth Gordon:

Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts.


Planting Long-term Land Mines 0

Anyone who thinks permitting uranium mining in Virgina should read the recent article in the Denver Post about what uranium mines leave behind.

A nugget:

It is a dead place — boned with black, sentinel tree trunks, veined with unspeakably polluted water, laid bare under a paste-white sky. There is no sense of space or time; only pure, absolute quiet.

It is one of my favorite images — “Uranium Tailings No. 12,” taken at Ontario’s Elliot Lake in 1995, part of photographer Edward Burtynski’s troubling series documenting the ravages of mining. The most disturbing part of the work is the beauty apparent in all that ugliness. The molten orange of water tainted by nickel tailings, the taupe and gray shades of soil — smooth and tender looking as skin — swept clean of living mess.

Anyone who has flown over West Virginia knows the devastation of mountain-top removal (the one bright side to the comparison might be that coal at least doesn’t have a half-life).

Only the mining company will benefit. Everyone else, including likely the miners and their families, will pay for centuries the penalty for allowing the depredation.


Twits on Twitter 0

A fellow left his employer, taking his twits with him. Now his ex-employer is at twits end:

PhoneDog Media LLC, sued in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming that Kravitz’s Twitter list was a company customer list and demanding damages. Legal experts told the paper that the case will set precedent regarding ownership of social-media accounts and the relationship of popular Twitter users to companies.

You may think he left them twitless.

You would be half right.


The Road to the Iowa Caucuses 0

Clowns from broken down clown car hitching a ride in the wasteland
Click for a larger image.


I’m a Southern Boy. I Know the Code. 0

If you want to know the code, PoliticalProf is a good place to start. A nugget:

Code means using words that sound neutral but in fact have explicit racial or other discriminatory content. In the South, where I grew up just as segregation came to an end, and where Ron Paul grew up in the profoundly racist era of Jim Crow, code is the way polite people express racist attitudes and support policies that have racist effects. It is also a tool that can be used to encourage people who do not perceive of themselves as racists to support plans and programs that are nonetheless racist in their implementation—and were usually intended to be implemented to racist effect.

Via Contradict Me.


Facebook Frolics, Gunnuttery Dept. 0

Be certain to be polite when using Facebook:

A southwestern Pennsylvania man has been jailed on attempted homicide and other charges accusing him of trying to shoot his wife because he believes she spends too much time on the Facebook social networking site.



Steven Wright, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did all the money go?


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Always be polite at Christmas dinner.

The gunman who shot dead six relatives before killing himself at a family Christmas celebration in Texas was dressed as Santa Claus, police say.

After all, the more guns, the merrier the Christmas.


Re-Seg 0

They never stop trying, do they?

Six decades after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “separate but equal” schools for blacks and whites, segregation is growing because of charter schools, privately run public schools that educate 1.8 million U.S. children. While charter-school leaders say programs targeting ethnic groups enrich education, they are isolating low-achievers and damaging diversity, said Myron Orfield, a lawyer and demographer.

“It feels like the Deep South in the days of Jim Crow segregation,” said Orfield, who directs the University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Race & Poverty. “When you see an all-white school and an all-black school in the same neighborhood in this day and age, it’s shocking.”

After all, despite the proverb, familiarity breeds friendship, which militates against hate, and we can’t have that, now, can we?


Penn State Proceedings 0

Jerry Sandusky’s insurance company cuts and runs:

The insurance company for Jerry Sandusky’s charity, Second Mile Inc., wants to be excused from paying for his legal defense, a bill that could easily reach six figures if all criminal charges and litigation against him goes to trial.


While the insurance policy does provide for legal costs, the company’s filing in U.S. District Court in Williamsport maintains that paying for such costs “arising from sexual assault, molestation” or abuse is “repugnant to Pennsylvania public policy” and so should be barred.

I do not consider it an overreaction to speculate that this indicates the accountants think he’s toast.


Unlikely Legacy 0

As a result of the Penn State pederasty case, the past few weeks seems to have produced a rush of persons admitting that they were sexually abused as children.

Jennifer Marsh, hotline director at the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, said she had had to add more counselors to handle the growing call load. Online text contacts, which guarantee more anonymity, have rocketed 54 percent.

Many callers mention Penn State and Syracuse and they often seek advice on how to report potential molesters or stop abuse, Marsh said.

“We haven’t seen anything like this before in terms of response on the hotlines,” she said.

Calls to the Childhelp national child sexual abuse hotline are up about 20 percent since charges were filed against Sandusky at the start of November, said Michelle Fingerman, the hotline’s director.

Calls by adults who were victimized as children are up by almost a third, she said.

“We’re just picking up the phone more often, and the calls are longer. They are really more intense,” Fingerman said.

Americans attitudes’ about sex are seriously bent. We are unable to talk about “it,” while at the same time we make celebrities of persons (think Paris Hilton) simply for being able to do “it,” as if no one else ever has or will.

These attitudes help keep victims silent and abet victimizers (and their attorneys), who play on them to keep victims cowed and docile. In a recent column, Monica Yant Kinney described how predators (and their attorneys) use shame to exact silence.

Evil flourishes, not in the locker room showers or in the vestries, but in the silence.


The Ghost of Christmas Past 0

Teabaggers demonstrating that


Got Mo’ Gitmo 0

One of the perpetual intellectual and moral failures of the “Progressives” who continually rail against the President, doing stupid stuff like calling on persons “to primary Obama,” is their inability to tell who did what to whom. They seem to expect that, since President George the Worst acted like a dictator, President Obama should do the same.

At Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog, JM Ashby reminds us why the concentration camp at Guantanamo is still open.

Hint: It ain’t the President’s doing.

  • President Obama signed an executive order on the day he took office in 2009 to close Guantanamo Bay
  • This is the fourth time since 2009 that Congress has voted to block the closure of Guantanamo Bay
  • Congress has voted overwhelmingly, in a bipartisan fashion, each of those four times to block the closure of Guantanamo Bay



Freeman Dyson, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies.