Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

On the National Narrative of Morality

We tend to think of morality as being what is good and right, but of course that’s not necessarily the whole definition. More specifically, it can be defined as conformity to conventional and generally accepted rules of right conduct. Which makes sense, naturally. Society – the majority – supposedly determines cultural/national mores. Yet I don’t understand, then, how it is that the Republican party is so widely viewed as the party of morals and values. Whose values?

Only about 15% of American believe that abortion should be illegal in all cases, yet pro-forced birth Republicans pretend to speak for what is right and moral in regard to reproductive rights, and people seemingly let them get away with it. They represent clearly, in my view, immoral viewpoints on a plethora of topics and issues, and yet somehow it’s Democrats and liberals who are more frequently perceived as having loose morals? Republicans generally support revoking a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, promoting or overlooking institutionalized racism, cutting spending for public works and programs that help disadvantaged people, opposing fair pay, preventing LGBT marriage and equality, dissolving unions, privatizing pretty much everything, preventing a large percentage of the population from having access to health care, letting corporations run wild at the expense of the public, maintaining and in some cases even strengthening the death penalty…

Late Night Poetry Jam

Evenin’, Moose.

I will admit that I’m not much of a poet, though I love poetry deeply. There are a lot of reasons I don’t share poetry here. One is that I haven’t actively written poetry in years. In fact, I burned my “collected writings” in the late spring of 2006. (Perhaps best if I don’t go into why.) The other reason I don’t share poetry here is that I’m a bit embarrassed. Like I said, I’m no true poet. When I do write, I tend to be melodramatic to the point that it makes me shake my head when I go back and read.

Still, the Moose is a bit slow of late, and I’ve shown my ass here plenty of times – so why should I be embarrassed by a bit of bad poetry? And I know we’ve got poets here (I am looking at you in particular, John and Peter). So let’s see it, folks. Good poetry, bad poetry, and everything in between. Sonnets, epics, haikus, whatever. Serious, depressing, cheerful, or cheeky, I wanna see some writing here. Feel free to make up goofy shit on the fly! No one has an excuse not to post at least ONE silly limerick or haiku. 😉

Spotlight Mental Health: Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

This diary is basically a republishing of a paper I wrote awhile back. The original paper — written when I was 20 taking a graduate class in my undergraduate program — was over twice the length of what you’ll find below the fold. I trimmed it down and reused it for a paper at my current university, and that’s what you see here.

I am sharing this diary about pediatric bipolar disorder (which is not listed separately from BD in the DSM) because I think most educated people have at least a rudimentary idea of what bipolar disorder is. Pediatric bipolar disorder is less talked about because it is less accepted and therefore more controversial. This makes sense for plenty of reasons. For one thing, the criteria being used to diagnose it are often different or fewer than those formally listed in the DSM. Many people believe that bipolar disorder never fully manifests until late adolescence or early adulthood, and will not accept a “pediatric” form of the disorder as being valid. Further, it is very controversial because of the generally accepted notion that bipolar disorder requires pharmacological intervention, and the medications used to treat it can cause a plethora of adverse cognitive and physiological side effects. The idea of giving these medications to children in their formative years is disturbing to many (including myself, due to intimate personal understanding of how dangerous these medications can be even for adults). Then, of course, there is the argument that bipolar disorder may be over-diagnosed, and that to label a child with such a debilitating, chronic illness is inappropriate.

I have my misgivings about the way bipolar disorder is diagnosed in children, but after years of off-and-on study of the topic, I have come to the conclusion that the early manifestation of the disorder is, though rare, a reality. I also have doubts about the degree of “rapid cycling” described by some authors in the field. Still, it makes for intriguing reading. If you have a few free minutes, follow me below the fold for a review of the current literature.

Libyan Security Takes on Protesters with a Heavy Hand

Human Rights Watch reports that security forces in Libya killed 24 protesters Thursday during anti-government demonstrations. Inspired by demonstrations and uprisings in other nations, opponents of Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libyan leader since 1969, called for demonstrators to continue the protests and named Thursday a “Day of Rage.”

Deadly protests continue to rock Libya. According to Human Rights Watch, Libyan security forces have killed 24 protesters at anti-government demonstrations during the past few days, and many others have been wounded in the spreading unrest in the North African country.

The organization said in a statement that hundreds of peaceful demonstrators had taken to the streets of the Libyan cities of Baida, Benghazi, Zenten, Derna, and Ajdabiya on Thursday, the the day opposition activists had called for an anti-government “Day of Rage” on social networking sites. The human rights group, quoting several witnesses, said Libyan security forces shot and killed protesters to disperse the crowds.

Los Angeles Times

Spotlight Mental Health: Intermittent Explosive Disorder

This is a series I’ve been thinking about starting for months. I thought it might be interesting to try and promote regular discussions about mental health. I know I’m biased toward the topic, but it strikes me as something we could all benefit from learning more about. Additionally, the more mental health issues are publicly discussed and explored in a rational manner, the less likely people will be to stigmatize and demean those with mental health concerns. I don’t think any of our regular moose have issues with prejudice against the mentally ill, but it can’t hurt to bring the topic up here. Each installment (written very sporadically I’m sure) will spotlight a different mental health condition. DSM criteria will be provided, and I will give a brief review of current literature. I thought it would be good to start with a lesser-known disorder, so maybe this diary can provide you with some information about a condition with which you are not completely familiar: Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Please hit me with any thoughts you have, and feel free as always to wander off topic. 😉


This is a pretty substance-free diary. I was just looking at some pictures (Hubie’s, I think) being posted in another thread, and noticed that some of you seemed to be reminiscing or missing places you’ve left. They say, cliché as it is, that home is where the heart is.

If that’s true, then here is my home, my heart:

Fire and Ice

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (from any civilized blue states, at least), there lived a young girl named sricki.

She was a strange child, wanting often to be left alone by the other boys and girls – alone with her books, or alone to roam the filthy wet ditches and hot Southern streets of her town, climbing trees and plodding through puddles wherever she found them. When her friends would come calling, sricki would beg her mother to talk to them, to tell them that she could not come out and play, because sricki wanted to be by herself, alone with her thoughts (which seemed to her sometimes strange and other times magnificent, but always fascinating).

She was not entirely unlike other girls. Sricki liked pretty things, too, like unicorns and ponies, and she would spend hours drawing them and daydreaming about them and wishing she could live where they roamed.  But she also liked dragons and real life reptiles and insects, for which she was made fun of often when she was found on the playground, crouched alone behind the tires, playing with bugs and drawing her daydreams in the sand.

What was strangest about sricki, though, was not her tomboyishness or her solitariness or her daydreaming, but her moods. They were mercurial from the very beginning, but she was especially prone toward periods of melancholy, so that even at a young age, people told sricki that she had sad eyes and often asked whether she was about to cry. But she didn’t cry much, so she laughed in answer to such inquiries and shook her head and thought no more of them. She laughed a lot, too.