Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for March 2011

Let's Play a Game – You're The President

President Obama

In light of so many saying Obama as started a conflict without Congressional authorization I thought we might try a hypothetical and see what you all think.

I want you to assume you are President Obama. You are weighing your options on a rapidly moving Libyan conflict. And while you are weighing your options the Senate, the body that advises and consents, jumps ahead of you and unanimously passes a resolution for a Libyan no-fly-zone, one that would be unilaterally enacted. Two weeks later the Libyan rebels, a good number of Arab states, the UN and your advisors are also now calling for a no-fly-zone. So you agree. As the UN is voting or shortly after you call over Congressional leaders and advise them of your decision. Saying OK I agree with your vote two weeks ago, except I decided I could not do it unilaterally nor do I want to be the lead dog for very long. Then within 48 hours of the decision per the War Powers Act you send an advisory letter to both Houses of Congress letting them know and laying out your case for this action. ( not sure you really needed to lay out the case since they had already vote yea)

Everyone is in FIRST PLACE!!!

Opening day today Mooseses.  Every team in in first place.  The boys of summer take the field today in an annual ritual of renewal.  Who will throw a no hitter this year?  What rookies will come into their own?  Which players will fall to tragic injury or decline?  Who will make an astounding comeback?  Which owner will have the most obnoxious moment?  Which team will exceed expectations?  Which will tumble below them?

Happy Opening Day to one and all!

Use this as an open thread for anything baseball related.  Best baseball memories and stories.  Your hopes and dreams for this season.  Favorite players and hated villains.

We’re all in first place at the opening of the next chapter in the long unfolding story made up of stories that is baseball.

Barack goes to Harlem and other thoughts


Just in case the sturm und drang of negative voices carping at the POTUS from the right, from pun-idjits and from the self-appointed green-hued purists of the purportedly left persuasion are beginning to wear on anyone’s nerves (’cause they are on mine) just wanted to share a little anecdotal joy.

A "Revolution of Greens" Needed to Curb Food Price Crisis

Crossposted from the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet.

Food prices have soared to record highs and are projected to increase further in the coming decade, pushing millions of people into hunger – and fueling political unrest around the world.

Niger: At the Grand Marche Outside NiameyBut diversifying food production to include local and indigenous vegetables can help communities boost their self-sufficiency and protect vulnerable populations from price shocks.

Abdou Tenkouano, director of AVRDC– The World Vegetable Center’s Regional Center for Africa in Tanzania, highlights important policy recommendations in his chapter, “The Nutritional and Economic Potential of Vegetables,” in the recently published State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet. The accompanying policy brief is available here.

Vegetables can offer a sustainable solution for a diverse and balanced diet. Growing vegetables can help address the “hidden hunger” of micronutrient deficiencies that affects some 1 billion people worldwide, and also brings multiple benefits for farmers. “Vegetables have shorter cycles, are faster-growing than cereal crops, and require little space,” says Tenkouano.

Sleepless: A Lifetime of Insomnia

I’m not literally sleepless.

That’s not how it works, of course.

Everyone sleeps.

Eventually, anyway.

I’ve been meaning to write a diary about insomnia, but I had intended to do it first from a clinical perspective for the Mental Health Awareness group. I thought a personal account might be interesting to some, though, as a primer of sorts – or for a strange-ish perspective.

Insomnia is “common,” but mine is not. My insomnia was diagnosed long before any of my other issues – that’s because it is a rather rare form of insomnia. It has been present since I was an infant and a part of my reality for as long as I can recall. It is called idiopathic insomnia, seemingly to reflect the fact that it has no known cause, and is found in less than one percent of the population.  

Bobby Jindal's Strange 2003 Coalition, Part 2

This is the second part of two posts analyzing Louisiana’s 2003  gubernatorial election, in which Republican candidate Bobby Jindal  narrowly lost to lieutenant governor Kathleen Blanco. It will focus on racial dynamics in the 2003 election. The previous part can be found here.

Race and Bobby Jindal’s 2003 Run

In my previous post, I began analyzing the electoral coalition that voted for Mr. Jindal. As a map of the election below indicates, he drew support heavily from the New Orleans suburbs, while doing extremely poorly in the rural north:

Bobby Jindal's Strange 2003 Coalition,Part 2

More below.

on gaga: how being in the news is not news

[Warning: I will actually be criticising white people, lady gaga and several sacred cows of white culture]

Lady Gaga is all the rage.  She loves her some gay people and she even sings a song that takes up the banner of gay rights – “Born This Way”. 

Before anyone derails this into a conversation about music (it’s not), my taste (I have none), why I don’t like gaga (I think she’s talented enough), any theory of me being anti-LGBTQI (wrong again, camel-breath) or my dislike for white people (I am white and harbor no such thoughts) – be clear: this is about the institutionalized cultural appropriation has been served up to and consumed by cis-gendered, heteronormative white audiences.

These are the lies we are told in order to maintain division and inequality by those who profit from our ignorance and cruelty toward each other.

(Posted at SexGenderBody)

Fukushima Open Thread: "Creeping Disaster"

Unlike most incidents which threaten lives or public safety the Fukushima Daiichi crisis is unfolding slowly but seems headed towards an unpleasant range of potential outcomes:

“We are experiencing an ongoing, massive release of radioactivity,” says Wolfram K├Ânig, head of Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection. “And everyone should know by now that this isn’t over by a long shot.” Nuclear expert Helmut Hirsch says: “All I hear is that people are wondering whether this will turn into a meltdown. But the thing is, it already is a partial meltdown.” The difference, in this case, is that Fukushima is a creeping disaster.

How Dangerous Is Japan’s Creeping Nuclear Disaster? Der Spiegel 28 Mar 11

Work on restoring the stricken site, despite heroic efforts, has been virtually halted by unexpected obstacles and prohibitive radiation levels in and around the plant, especially near Unit No 2:

Tokyo Electric Power Company announced on Monday that a puddle of water was found in a [service] trench outside the No. 2 reactor turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Sunday afternoon. It said the radiation reading on the puddle’s surface indicated more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Radioactive water in external tunnels NHK 29 Mar 11

TEPCO has no specific explanation for these levels; at 1000 mSv/hr a fifteen-minute exposure would consume even the higher radiation limits set for workers during this incident.

Libyan Democratic Forces Push West [Updates]

With surprising speed the Libyan Democratic Movement is sweeping westward towards Tripoli.

As of 0300 GMT Monday, Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte- said to be the big battle before Tripoli – is reported to be in Democratic hands. Democratic forces have therefore crossed 570 km from Benghazi and are now only 159 km from Misrata and 450 km from downtown Tripoli.

As more land and people and military equipment comes under the control of the Democratic movement it remains to be seen who will be standing with Gaddafi in coming days.

HIV / AIDS and Mental Health: An Overview

I’d like to discuss HIV/AIDS as it pertains to mental health, since I think it’s a topic that deserves more emphasis. I think it’s fairly intuitive that living with a disease like HIV/AIDS would be likely to have an adverse impact on one’s mental health. This goes for living with a lot of illnesses, especially life-threatening ones, but I believe there is still a special social stigma attached to HIV/AIDS which makes the reality of coping with it in a sometimes cold and judgmental world all that much harder. For the purposes of this diary, I will not be delving heavily into signs/symptoms or statistics for the populations affected. Rather, I want to focus on the mental health concerns that go along it.

As one might expect, depression and anxiety are prevalent amongst people with HIV/AIDS. The psychological strain of dealing with the condition itself can be intense, and the added burden of trying to cope with social stigma only increases the risk of developing mental health problems. Common responses to an initial diagnosis of the disease are denial, anger, sadness/depression, fear/anxiety, and general stress. Even for those who have never suffered from a life-threatening illness, I think it’s pretty easy to understand why someone would have those reactions. Sympathizing is, perhaps, a relatively simple task – truly empathizing is not. It is impossible for someone who does not have to live with HIV/AIDS to “understand” how these patients feel.