From Pine View Farm

April, 2014 archive

The Fat of the Land 0

I’ve been on a few trail rides. Most were on Quarter Horses and one was on a Tennessee Walking Horse. The most spectacular one was in Bryce Canyon National Park; we were on the plateau north of the canyon itself and could see the Yellowstone highlands off to the south.

I considered my trail rides successes, as I did not fall off the horses, not even once.

Never, though, did the wrangler need for me to saddle up on a Clydesdale.

Via my local rag, print edition.


It’s Bubblicious! 0

The San Jose Mercury-News reports that house flipping is making a comeback, no doubt because it worked out so well the last time.


A Greater Power 0

Man worshipping gun over altar.  Bystander:  Once they made it legal to carry guns in churches, it was only a matter of time.

Click and scroll for a larger image.


The Rich Are Different from You Me 0

They get the card for getting out of jail free.

Leonard Pitts, Jr., cites Matt Taibbi’s latest book:

Get out of JailWe have, Taibbi argues, evolved a two-track system under which crimes committed while wearing suit and tie – or pumps – are no longer considered jailable offenses. Taibbi said recently on “The Daily Show” that prosecutors have actually told him they no longer go after white-collar criminals because such people are not considered “appropriate for jail.”

Who is “appropriate”? Do you even have to ask?

Black people. Brown people. Poor people of whatever hue.

More at the link.


Cliven Bundy–Republican Id Reprise 2

Historiann takes a look at the imbalance of power. A nugget (emphasis added):

Bundy’s truculence and the response of his mostly-white armed defenders would be unimaginable if most of them weren’t white men. The racialized and gendered nature of gun ownership and gun violence–something I’ve written about in my first book as well as through most of the six years this blog has existed–is historically very deep and completely naturalized in the United States. I’m not the first person to wonder about the outcome of the standoff with BLM officials would have turned out if the Black Panthers instead of an overwhelmingtly white ad-hoc militia had come to Bundy’s rescue? Or if it were a crowd of Latina farm workers and their children positioned in front of militia guns? The respect afforded armed white men in this country is astonishing and astonishingly unexamined.

Do read the rest.

I just ordered her book.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Pack your heat politely.

According to investigators, Francis was at the bar with George-Harvan, her aunt, and her aunt’s new husband just hours after their wedding.

Police say they were arguing about who would be the designated driver when the bride is accused of taking a gun from her husband’s truck and firing at Francis.

Lawyer J. Lauson Cashdollar says George-Harvan simply tried to move the gun when it went off.



Frederick Douglass, courtesy of PoliticalProf:

The slave auctioneer’s bell and the churchgoing bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heartbroken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master.


Light Bloggery 0

I’m taking the day off. QOTD will hold down the fort.



Evelyn Waugh:

Manners are especially the need of the plain. The pretty can get away with anything.


Still Running XP? Don’t Want To Spring for a New Box? 0

Linux Voice offers a nice set of tutorials to help you get started with Linux.

It’s easier than you think.


I contributed to Linux Voice’s Indiegogo campaign and also subscribe to the magazine. It’s nice bit of work. They also offer one of the funnest Linux podcasts you will find.


R. I. P. Demos 5

Shaun Mullen writes the obit. A snippet:

. . . it will take historians many years — if not necessarily generations — to conclude that the defining event of the early years of the 21st century was not the 9/11 terror attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the election of Barack Obama. It was the death of American democracy.

This catastrophe has not occurred because of those events. Yes, the attacks, wars and election all have had enormous ramifications, but the death of American democracy, a slow-motion process that has taken years to become apparent, is a result of the corruption of capitalism by powerful oligarchs who have been enormously successful in milking the positive aspects of that once vaunted economic system for their own gain while not just allowing, but encouraging the negative aspects to run rampant.

Read the rest.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

More accidental politeness.

Columbus police are calling a 4-year-old shooting a 7-year-old boy a horrible accident. ABC6/FOX28’s Rob Wells reports the firearm was left in plain view while the house was full of adults and children Friday.

“It was just an accident everything is all right,” the grandfather of the shooting victim told ABC6/FOX28 News. He said he hadn’t been to the hospital yet to see his grandson. The grandfather did say the boys’ parents are with him at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Gun nuts are drunk on their guns.

This is an accident just as a DUI car wreck is an accident.


And in other news of the polite, remember, it’s who you know . . . .


Cliven Bundy–Republican Id 0

Edit: This post is over two years old. Links are broken. Stuff happens and life goes on. The post itself stands.

After idolizing Cliven Bundy for a week, the Republican establishment and its propaganda machine (also known as Fox News) is now backing away from him with all indeliberate speed. Just what did he do?

He let the cat out of the bag, and it’s one damned ugly cat.

Cliven Bundy is the voter that Nixon’s odious “southern strategy” was designed to woo and succeeded in wedding to the Republican Party. He’s the fellow down the street with the stars-and-bars decal in the rear window of his pick-up truck; he’s your cousin who is convinced that President Obama was born in Kenya; he’s your co-worker who claims that climate change is a plot by scientists to get research grants; he’s your boss who believes that there is or can be such a thing as “reverse discrimination.”

He is the Republican base.

In Wingnut World, Cliven Bundy’s error was not in what he said. It’s that he said it at all.

Now the Wingnut noise machine is backing away from him because, as the Gloomy Historian explains, to use the catch-phrase of the day, associating with him is “bad optics” (follow the link for the rest):

So why is open racism, as espoused by Cliven Bundy, bad for Fox and the Republicans? Simple economics. The vestige of middle class America, safe from the world in their tucked away suburbistans, forms a plurality if not majority of conservative voters. They like to believe they are above vulgar racism and shy away from open declarations such as Bundy’s. Suburban conservatives and their even more remote cousins in exurban McMansions are the beloved demographic of advertisers, the Americans who have slightly more income than required for subsistance. I’ll admit it looked like this bulwark of polite society seemed to have been overrun with the emergence of the tea party and it’s myriad racist appeals, but Fox did manage to gloss that over and pretend did not happen to reassure the skittish suburbanites who do not want to support an openly racist party. But it keeps popping up.


School Daze 0

This story nagged at me all day yesterday (more detail at the link, emphasis added).

A Bayside High teacher was forced to strip while a school nurse checked for scabies in December 2012, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday.

Donika Anderson-Wagner was pulled out of her classroom on Dec. 14, 2012, after a parent told a school employee that one of Anderson-Wagner’s students had contracted the skin-burrowing mites, according to the lawsuit.

The disease is spread by prolonged skin-to-skin contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The school employee sent an email to Assistant Principal Bermina Nickerson at noon that day saying the student indicated the scabies came from her teacher.

Bayside High School is just up the road a piece.

Natch, no evidence of infection on the part of the teacher was found, but she was still humiliated by her employer for no good reason. Why a doctor’s note would not have been sufficient baffles me.

My mother was a teacher (if you want your own version of hell, trying having your mother as your Algebra II teacher, but that’s another story) and my Ex was a school nurse. The principal of my high school was in the same bridge club as my parents (in fact, when my mother passed away, he was at the funeral–the last living member of that bridge club). I know a little bit about how schools (at least used to) work.

I cannot fathom a school administration demeaning a teacher in such a manner (I do have a theory–kudos to anyone who can figure it out in the comments). The best I can make of it is that management went off half-cocked, deciding to humiliate a member of the staff on the contents of a questionable-at-best email.

If you want bad performance from your staff, one sure way to get it is to treat your employees like dirt.



Samuel Johnson:

Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things.


Dustbiter 0

Another blanked bank. All gone is


Republican Rebranding 0

Steven M. predicts that the right-wing will pick Cliven Bundy up, dust him off, and make him their BFF once more when memories of his racist remarks recede. A nugget:

But will the right-wing media continue to keep its distance if there’s another attempt to bring him to justice? No. Let me tell you what the right-wing noise machine’s line will be in that case: Cliven Bundy was a martyr to political correctness. Yes, that’s right: Sean Hannity and others will ignore his decades of defying the law and say he was fined/arrested/deprived of his cattle because of what he said about black people. He’ll be a free-speech martyr.

Do read the rest.


Groundsweepers 0

Supreme Court bulldozer pushing dirt in on black man in a hole.  Caption:  It's time to level the playing field.

Via Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog.


Home on Derange 0

Below the fold because it autoplays on some systems.

Read more »


Chartering a Course for Disaster 0

Attempts to destroy public education continue apace in Florida. John Romano reports:

Charter schools are growing rapidly in Florida. Enrollment has nearly tripled since 2004, suggesting that parents have embraced this concept of non-traditional school choice.

At the same time, charters are also failing rapidly. Florida had the second-most school closings in the nation last year. In Pinellas and Hillsborough counties alone, nearly 30 charters have opened and closed in recent years.

Charter growth is clearly not a problem.

Charter accountability, on the other hand, might be.

So do you:

      A) Say it’s time to monitor charter applications more closely?
      B) Say the plan is working and continue on the same path?
      C) Say “Yippee!” and make it even easier to open charters?

If you chose C, you just might be a state legislator.

This is a logical consequence of a societal decision made some 30 years ago, coincident with the deification of MBAs, that there is no such thing as the public good, that accumulation of wealth is the only standard for judging any effort.