30 June 2009 · Comments Off on QOTD · Categories: QOTD

Grumpy Realist on theological coincidences as regards Mark “I’m David, she’s Bathsheba” Sanford:

Oddly, whenever I hear someone who claims to know God’s will it exactly matches what that person wants. It’s the strangest coincidence.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Down at the Farm · Categories: First Looks

Power failure. The UPSs held long enough for me to shut the webserver down in an orderly fashion.

Meanwhile, when I went to check on the details of the power failure at the electric company website:

More »

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Break Time · Categories: First Looks

Off to drink liberally.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on When Cooler Heads Prevail · Categories: First Looks

Tom Tomorrow

Via Bartblog.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Ideas for the Fourth · Categories: Political Theatre

From Bartblog:

Let’s make this Independence Day National Waterboarding Day! Here’s the way it would work: At each major public gathering on Saturday, July 4, 2009, have a crew there ready to waterboard all comers. Bring your conservative friends and relatives who deny that waterboarding is torture and challenge them to personally experience this ‘enhanced interrogation technique’ for themselves.

There’s more.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Coleman’s Lantern Burning Out · Categories: Political Theatre

Minnesota Supreme Court rules that the winner of the election won the election.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Flowcharting Gay Marriage · Categories: First Looks

A picture is worth a thousand words (click the graphic for a larger image):

Gay Marriage Debate Graphic

Via Delaware Liberal.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Return of Beyond the Palin: Post Mortem · Categories: First Looks

Vanity Fair explores Sarah Palin’s career and campaign. I know that some persons are suffering Too Much Palin Syndrome (Palin-drome?); nevertheless, it is a fascinating article.

A nugget:

The narrative that the McCain campaign employed to explain Palin’s selection and to promote her qualifications—that she was a fresh-faced reformer who had taken on Alaska’s big oil companies and the corrupt Republican establishment, governing with bipartisan support—was never more than superficially true. In dozens of conversations during a recent visit to Alaska, it was easy to learn that there has always been a counter-narrative about Palin, and indeed it has become the dominant one. It is the story of a political novice with an intuitive feel for the temper of her times, a woman who saw her opportunities and coolly seized them. In every job, she surrounded herself with an insular coterie of trusted friends, took disagreements personally, discarded people who were no longer useful, and swiftly dealt vengeance on enemies, real or perceived. “Remember,” says Lyda Green, a former Republican state senator who once represented Palin’s home district, and who over the years went from being a supporter of Palin’s to a bitter foe, “her nickname in high school was ‘Barracuda.’ I was never called Barracuda. Were you? There’s a certain instinct there that you go for the jugular.”

Vincent D’Onofrio is looking more like Raymond Burr with every episode of Law and Order CI.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on Advertising Fail · Categories: It Is To Laugh

A local plumbing firm’s telly vision commercial includes a reference to their “family values.”

I guess that means they run around with other plumbing firms in the middle of the night.

30 June 2009 · Comments Off on They’d All Look Good in Orange · Categories: First Looks

Richard Adams in the Guardian on Bernie Madoff as a distraction:

Sadly for Bernie Madoff, his fraud was straight forward: he stole money from investors and ran a Ponzi scheme. (His particular genius was not to promise fantastic, overnight profits, as is usually the way. Instead he offered solid long-term returns, less likely to attract attention.) But if he’d really been smart he would have got into selling collatoralised debt obligations, credit default swaps, mezzanine level revolving syndicated loans, tulip futures and all the rest. Then, if he’d really got lucky, he’d have got a bailout.

29 June 2009 · Comments Off on Wallops · Categories: First Looks

In the early days of the US Space Program, Wallops Island, about 50 miles north of Pine View Farm, was a major testing site.

We used to go out back to watch the rockets go up during night launches.

It’s coming back to life:

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will hold a groundbreaking today on a launch facility that will test a new rocket designed to service the International Space Station once the shuttle retires.

This is a recent launch:

29 June 2009 · Comments Off on We Need Single Payer, Reprise · Categories: Political Economy

Imagine living in a society where reliable police and fire protection were available only to those who worked for the largest employers. In this fictional country, people with enough money might be able to buy personal protection – but perhaps not if they’d suffered a burglary five years ago, or once called 911 for a kitchen fire.


Substitute health insurance for police and fire protection, and you have one of the best – and least-heralded – arguments for universal health care, according to a small but growing number of economists.

Read the whole thing.

Also, read this and this.

And from The Nation:

It’s time to part ways with obstructionist Republicans and pass a strong healthcare bill with a majority vote, which is possible if efforts cease to get a handful of Republicans to cross over. Redefining bipartisanship at a time when the GOP has become a male, pale and stale party committed to deficit demagoguery and fearmongering is the common sense and, I’d even argue, pragmatic course. Instead of wasting time on recalcitrant GOP holdouts, do what Drew Westen, author of the terrific book “The Political Brain,” advises to pass meaningful healthcare change: “Focus on principles, tell compelling stories, move people emotionally and send clear messages.”

“Male, pale, and stale.” I love it.

29 June 2009 · Comments Off on Seminal Research · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Actually, I hate that phrase. It generally indicates a lazy linguist.

But there seems to be no other way to characterize this.