Monthly Archives: December 2010

The essential oldie

Auld Lang Syne – with thanks to the great Scot, Robert Burns (who would be stunned to find that, in this 21st century, an American empire ignored history and took soldiers and weapons to the ‘graveyard of empires’. To Afghanistan. And that today, this New Year’s Eve, is the 86th day of the tenth year of our apparent suicide.)

40,000 in the new year

Attitude is everything

It appears that sometime in the next few days I will hit 40,000 views.

At present, I’ve only 143 to go. 

Happy New Year to me.

UPDATE: Two o’clock on Jan. 1 and 25 to go!

To you from me

Happy New Year to friends both old and new and especially to blogfriends I’ve met right here. However deeply flawed I may think your alliegances and political positions, I appreciate that you take the time to express them and allow me to express mine. In both the personal and political, dialogue is everything. Listening is critical. Learning is our reward.

So, again, Happy New Year readers, Happy New Year.

Clearing brain-fog and neglecting da’ blog

Tomorrow is a new year. I am not setting myself up for guilt with resolutions I’ll not keep; instead, today I am trying to clear out old business – unanswered letters, unpaid bills, the smaller unfinished things on the eternal to-do list. If I succeed, will it bode well for the New Year or will I just make a bigger to-do list? And does it matter?

A few things to be strive for (these are goals, not resolutions) in 2011:

  • Lose weight. (Natch. I’m a woman. That’s what we do.)
  • Be a better blogger – learn more about categories, tags and driving traffic.
  • Use my time more efficiently and to better effect and, as part of that, organize my reading (this is an old one)

A pretty thin list – no great expectations for Moe. Less disappointment that way.

I’ve been the most unbloggy ever these last weeks. That will change after this weekend.

Time for the silly season again. Clap your hands!

The MSM is once again embracing Christine O’Donnell as a news story because she, once again, is being investigated  for misuse of campaign funds. It’s a pretty old story; this is just a new chapter. But now – as if she were a remotely serious person about whom Americans should care one whit – here she is, back on all the morning teevee shows smiling and being sweet and saying that the Vice President of the United States and George Soros are out to get her.  I am not clear as to the reason – perhaps they think she’s too cute or something.

The woman has run for the Senate three times and doesn’t know the rules. The woman is just out having fun and doesn’t care about the rules and when Good Morning America calls, it’s like they’re asking her out and buying her an ice cream soda.

I know this is a cheap shot. But it’s irresistible.

This headline at Raw Story brings us to a study conducted at University College London in the UK. Here’s the headline:

Conservatives have larger ‘fear center’ in brain

” . . . conservatives’ brains have larger amygdalas than the brains of liberals. Amygdalas are responsible for fear and other “primitive” emotions . . . If the study is confirmed, it could give us the first medical explanation for why conservatives tend to be more receptive to threats of terrorism, for example, than liberals. And it may help to explain why conservatives like to plan based on the worst-case scenario, while liberals tend towards rosier outlooks.

“Geraint Rees, the neurologist who carried out the study, heads up UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and was originally asked half-jokingly to study the differences between liberal and conservative brains for an episode of BBC 4’s Today show that was hosted by actor Colin Firth. But, after studying 90 UCL students and two British parliamentarians, the neurologist was shocked to discover a clear correlation between the size of certain brain parts and political views.

Ms Moe’s pet peeves

“Thank you Bill, that’s a great question.” says this morning’s guest on CSpan’s Washington Journal, in response to a batshit dumb question.

Courtesy and manners are essential to a functioning society and I am a big fan of courtesy and manners. But treating Bill with excessive cordiality is simply not necessary. Courtesy in fact is contra-indicated.

So please either ignore him or answer his stupid question as best you can. Don’t thank the fool.

Said with authority; embraced in ignorance

You know that old “Canadians come to the US for health care because ours is so excellent and they can’t get a face transplant in Ottawa” trope? That one? We hear it all the time; it’s practically a Republican talking point; it’s certainly a talk radio/FOX News talking point.

This chart appears at The Daily Dish and comes from here.

The author says: “Look, I’m not denying that some people with means might come to the United States for care.  If I needed a heart/lung transplant, there’s no place I’d rather be.  But for the vast, vast majority of people, that’s not happening.  You shouldn’t use the anecdote to describe things at a population level.  This study showed you three different methodologies, all with solid rationales behind them, all showing that this meme is mostly apocryphal.”

And he’s funny too

For some time, I’ve enjoyed going to Political Irony for a compilation of political humor – lines from late night teevee, newspaper cartoons, internet cartoons – fun stuff. Just now I checked out the blogger his/herself at the ‘about’ page and found this, which transcends the stereotypes of political positions we are all so fond of and which tracks my own beleifs pretty well.

Q: What is your position on typical hot political issues?

A: I am strongly in favor of a single-payer health insurance systems; I’ve lived in several countries that have them and have seen the benefits firsthand. Single payer would save tremendous amounts of money, improve the economy, and save lives.

I think people have the right to own guns, absolutely. But I also think that government should ensure public safety by requiring gun safety training. (I’m not totally with him on this one. I don’t think the right is absolute – I think government has an obligation to register and license and to limit the types of guns individuals can purchase.)

I am pro-choice. I am against abortion, but believe it is absolutely none of the government’s business.

I am strongly in favor of allowing same sex couples to marry, but that constitutionally it is an issue to be decided by the states. However, marriages in one state must be recognized by all other states.

I believe in the separation of church and state. For example, each church has the right to decide if they want to perform marriages for same sex couples. But I also believe that giving tax breaks to churches violates the constitution. At the very least, even if you do give tax breaks for church donations and for the church building itself, businesses owned by churches should be fully taxable. Otherwise you are asking taxpayers to subsidize organized religion, which is hardly a separation of church and state.

I think we should end the embargo on Cuba and start to normalize relations with them. Government has no right to tell me not to visit Cuba, or anywhere else.

I think all recreational drugs should be decriminalized and taxed, just like we do with alcohol and tobacco.

I think software patents are wrong, and that copyrights should be limited.

I think giving corporations the rights of people (but none of the responsibilities) was a huge mistake from which we may never recover. The [most recent] Supreme Court ruling that corporations can spend unlimited amounts on political speech is deeply flawed.

It’s cold here too. Really.

The cold continues here in sunny SW Florida – even tourists who’d normally say ‘oh this is nothing‘ are a bit unhappy. The local Goodwill is doing a brisk business with visitors buying warm coats and scarves. Today’s temps: 30 degrees to 61 degrees; Tomorrow:  35 to 61; starts to warm up on Wednesday with 46 to 66.


And they can carry a t-u-n-e !

“The U.S. military now has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has in its foreign service . . .”

From Nicholas Kristof’s column in today’s NY Times on the absurd, bloated, other worldly-sized US military. 

Most of us know that we spend more on our military than pretty much the entire rest of the world combined, but did you know:

• The United States maintains troops at more than 560 bases and other sites abroad . . .

• The intelligence community is so vast that more people have “top secret” clearance than live in Washington, D.C.

• The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined.

Christmas in Kabul

I’m sure Santa managed to visit many of our troops in Afghanistan, but I fear there are others who are otherwise engaged. Because, after all, today is the 80th day of the tenth year of the war in Afghanistan.

The war on Christmas

Seems there were warriors on one side only. So it’s been called off. Everyone may now head home.


The most tender – and strangely sad – Christmas song

Blogging vacation

I am apparently on a blogging vacation. Didn’t plan time off, but the combination of  Christmas and teh dreaded unbloggy conspire, so I may as well enjoy it.

My shopping is done, the presents are wrapped (a lifetime first!); I just made a trifle for our Christmas Eve at my sister’s house. There’s not much prep left to do. So I shall curl up and do nothing.

Meanwhile . . . can’t let today go by without this one. (Starbucks commercial first, sorry.)

So why do they get quoted all the time?

The amazing Washington Times. Treated by the larger media as the ‘other’ voice of DC – the assumption being (incorrect as it happens) that The Washington Post is the liberal voice so of course there must be a conservative voice. So sayeth the sayers, which is how we always get to hear from the stars at The Washington Times in the same breath as any mention of The Washington Post.

Anyone who’s been here more than 90 days know that I like to beat this particular horse over and over. And so, to be redundant – cuz I can – let’s take yet anotherr look at those circulation figures.

The Washington Post daily readership:  582,844 souls (as of September 2009,  according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations,)

The Washington Times daily readership: 37,000 souls. (On October 5, 2010 (page A2), the Times printed that their current circulation was 37,597, down from 49,907 a year earlier; which includes 8,844 free copies and 28,753 paid copies.)

I love that equivalency thing.

And by the way, the Unification Church (the Moonies) have spent almost $2billion – that’s TWO BILLION DOLLARS – keeping this rag afloat.

Eclipse tonight for Dorian’s birthday!

The remarkable congruence of a total lunar eclipse with the Winter Solstice occurs overnight tonight – actually early early early Tuesday a.m. where I am. At which point it will be Dorian’s birthday (Dorian was supposed to be a co-blogger here at the outset, but after a few posts he was distracted by something he calls a ‘job’. Whatever that is.)

Here are the times for anyone who’s interested in watching the once-in-456-year-event:

Partial eclipse starts:
Pacific 10:33 pm
Mountain 11:33 pm
Central 12:33 am
Eastern 1:33 am

Pacific 11:41 pm
Mountain 12:41 am
Central 1:41 am
Eastern 2:41 am

Total eclipse ends:
Pacific 12:53 am
Mountain 1:53 am
Central 2:53 am
Eastern 3:53 am

Partial eclipse ends:
Pacific 2:01 am
Mountain 3:01 am
Central 4:01 am
Eastern 5:01 am

And meantime, Happy Birthday buddy!

Even Santa couldn’t pull this off

Today, December 20, the US Postal Service will deliver over  800 million pieces of mail. That’s 800 million pieces of mail.

Damn Feds, can’t do anything right.

Christmas may now commence

The deed is done. With the help of now six-year old Logan and his mom and friends Ed and Steve, the tree at Moe’s house is raised, lighted and decorated. (I will admit that, much as it was last year, some ‘repositioning of ornatmentation’ (as a Pentagon bureaucrat might name the operation) did occur after Logan left.

Logan says "God bless us every one"

This year, Logan has other important things to do besides decorate my tree – like step onstage as Tiny Tim in this year’s production of A Christmas Carol! (If he doesn’t get too tall, he might get the part again next year.)

New babies make me happy!

Hello world. Anybody got anything to eat?

The Washington DC niece has come through once again. A fine job – good work by all involved. Meet a young lady who carries her grandmother’s middle name – and I am sure she will carry that with grace.

Will FOX News give Jon Stewart his own show?

I just picked this up at Talkandpolitics  (where he’s blogging up a storm today!) – Shepherd Smith and Chris Wallace on FOX News acknowledging Jon Stewart and agreeing with him on the disgraceful behavior of the Republicans in the US Senate, who stopped an effort to provide health care to 9/11 first responders.  I know Smith is only FOX News lite, but Wallace is the real thing and though he is a bit reluctant at first, he finally jumps in with full blown condemnation.

It passed. Can Lt. Dan Choi have his job back please?

DADT is no longer the law of the land. It’s over. The Senate just decided that with 65 votes. About frackin’ time.

UPDATE: Just called a 68-year old friend and told him it was now safe to go back into the Army. (Though I’m guessing that Vietnam was enough for him. He did his part.)

A better Friday Christmas oldie

This is before the famous version with David Bowie  . . . Crosby’s voice is stronger in this one.

Friday Christmas oldie

I’m running out of time! Brenda Lee will have to do – this was actually popular at one time. 

Poor CNN

Tonight is Larry King’s last show and I think 25 years deserves respect, so I turned on CNN preparing to watch this last show in real time. I’ve seen relatively few over the years, but whenever I did, I appreciated how he stepped back and never made the show about himself.

And that is how I came to see some of the new 8pm show, Parker/Spitzer. These are two smart knowledgable people – and the show sucks. I don’t know if CNN has noticed but Parker communicates from every pore that she is bored and finds the guests just not worthy of her attention – almost Cokie Roberts level bored.

(At least it seemed so during the ten minutes I saw. On the other hand I’ve often enjoyed her columns, but the woman lacks an on-air personality.)

None of this matters of course. But what the heck, Christmas is coming no matter how hard Harry Reid tries to stop it and nobody is paying any attention. So I can say whatever I want.

How very medival

The Vatican should probably seek some marketing advice. Really.

The bush league of the punditocracy

A conversation on the teevee this morning about an idiot statement by Sen. Jon Kyl who apparently questioned the Christian faith of Harry Reid. Dumb and dumber.

The jibber jabber on Morning Joe has been quite reasonable. But then I heard that Christian ego in a sweater, Joe Scarborough, say “This is the most sacred holiday for Christians.”

No Joe, it is not. Not even close. I’m neither a practicing nor believing Christian like you, but I do know this – Christmas is NOT the most sacred Christian day. That would be Easter, the day that celebrates the central event of Christianity. Christmas is the most sacred of holidays for Macy’s.

The ’round table’ of regulars nodded sagely, as they always do, because a job is a job.

Named after Forrest Gump?

Forrest and the feather - adrift

Been meaning for some time to mention how much I enjoy the regular news round-ups over at A Feather Adrift. She selects some choice bits from the day’s news and usually has a few good words to say on each. Worth a visit.

And the beat goes on . . .

Upon being told that he now has a girl cousin, Lucas said “What? I have a what?”

An old friend found

After my Dad’s recent death, I found myself in touch with a number of people I hadn’t talked to in some years. One old friend directed me to this video – the Nantucket ‘Diddy’ Bag man here was part of my life growing up (at one point, he was my sister’s boyfriend!).  Look at what Charlie has invented! (Buy one here!)