Random Blather

Feverish Ravings of a Middle-Aged Mind

Douglas Moran

Douglas Moran
Austin, Texas,
June 25
Low-level Technical Weenie
TechnoGypsy, family dude, technical writer, frisbee golfer, movie buff, political junkie, gadget fiend, computer nerd.



Officially Infallible!

Updated below.

Pope Benedict released a letter the other day regarding new reports from Ireland about widespread sexual abuse among the clergy.  This information comes on top of the already-revealed ugliness about the same behaviors in the Church as a whole… Read full post »

MARCH 22, 2010 3:32PM

Thought for the Day: Broadsheet



I've made no secret of the fact that the whole concept of Salon's "Broadsheet" simulataneously baffles and irritates me.  Why are "women's stories" segregated into their own section?  What constitutes a "women's story", anyway?  Why are certain stories that seem obvio… Read full post »

sweeny todd

Would you buy a pre-owned surgery from this man?

I was reading digby the other day, as I am wont to do, and I ran across a quote from Dr. Rand Paul, Rep. Ron Paul's son and a current candidate for public office in Tennesee:

Well, right now… Read full post »
MARCH 15, 2010 7:18PM

Thought for the Day: John Edwards


No one should be stuck in a mess like this, in public yet . . .

One thing that I keep thinking as I read the various articles that are now coming out with the release of Rielle Hunter's interview in GQ (Hunter is the women with… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 8, 2010 6:05PM

Phrases I'm Weary Of

 Updated below

Fair, shmair!

We get the government we deserve.  Who do you mean, "We," Kimosabe?  I don't think I've ever gotten the government I deserve.  I contribute money, fill out questionaires, answer pollsters, call, write, and email my Senators and Congressmen (… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2010 1:26AM

WTF is Going On with Gaia?

For the last week, here is a list of "major" earthquakes.  (For comparison, the Haitian earthquake was 7.0, and the Loma Prieta earthquake [I was there] was 7.1.)

  • 2/22, Tonga:  6.0
  • 2/26, Ryukyu Islands, Japan:  7.0
  • 2/27, Chile:  8.8
  • 2/27, Argentina:  6.3

Bear in mind that… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2010 2:35PM

Scaling Up Democracy



The remarkable thing is not how badly it works, but that it works at all.

The other day I was reading a post on Andrew Sullivan's blog about our government, and how it was really designed for a country that's way, way smaller--two orders of magnitude smaller,… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2010 7:36PM

Cheney's Ills

  cheney  george-washington-1782-painting

Which one would you rather have "dedicating his life to government"?

Maybe it's because my Dad died at the age of (just barely) 63  from colon cancer, but I find it hard to follow the rule "don't speak ill" when it comes to--let's be diplomatic--famous people of ques… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2010 1:28AM

What Are Films and TV Shows Telling Us?



If it's not you, is it really, ya know, you?

(This post may or may not contain spoilers for Avatar, The Island, Surrogates and "Dollhouse".)

One fun thing film buffs sometimes do is to try to find any correspondence between films, and the environment in which the… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 19, 2010 7:13PM

Random Political Thoughts

Updated below

None of these are enough for a complete post, but I wanted to get them down anyway.

The Republicans really, really, really enjoy calling the Democratic Party "Democrat Party" because, you know, it has "rat" at the end, and they like honking off Democrats.  Now it's unbelievably co… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 18, 2010 3:26PM

It *Is* Terrorism, You Boneheads!

* Updated Below *

When 9/11 happened, even though it was terrifying and I thought it was horrible, as it was 3000 miles away I had a little trouble connecting with it.  Maybe I'm just dense, but sometimes I need to be whapped in the face with stuff. 

Well,… Read full post »

Lot's of folks have pointed out that Supreme Court Justice Alito committed a propriety breach by visibly disagreeing with President Obama during the State of the Union speech last night:

But what I've been wondering is, where were the other guys?  I've looked at this video a number… Read full post »

JANUARY 27, 2010 2:27AM

To Hell With "Comity"


A bit more of this if you please, Senators

I don't give a good god damn about "Senatorial Comity."

I don't care about their rules, their traditions, the fact that the Senate is "the greatest deliberative body in the world."  I don't care… Read full post »

JANUARY 26, 2010 2:18PM

Obama: Let's Review

Obama has been president now for just over a year.  Let's do a brief review:

  • Gitmo is still open
  • People are still being subjected to "indefinite detention"
  • "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is still official military policy
  • The economy is still in the dumper
  • Unemployment is higher than before
  • There's no
  • Read full post »

  lady justice

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided in the cmapaign finance case, Citizens United vs. FEC, that non-individual entities--corporations, public advocacy groups, and so on--could spend as much money as they durn well pleased on campaigns.  Personally, I think this is a horrible ruli/… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2010 2:13PM

Why I'm Frustrated


After a year, a lot of people are lamenting that health care looks dead.  The Democrats are running around Capitol Hill (metaphorically; if most of those clowns really ran, they'd drop dead) like their hair is on fire, while Republicans are jumping for joy.  Over a one-off/… Read full post »

JANUARY 15, 2010 5:38PM

Thought for the Day: Spare Me the Bush


The face of disaster, not disaster relief

Look, I know that we want to be bipartisany and all, and that the government wants to look good by using "all the means at its disposal," but even in the face of the huge disaster in Haiti, do we reallyRead full post »

JANUARY 14, 2010 2:46AM

Get to Work, News Pashas!

Lots of people focus ire on the "mainstream media."  For not pressing Bush enough; for spending too much time on what amounts to political celebrity gossip (or as Glenn Greenwald refers to it, modern Versailles gossip); for acting as stenographic mouthpieces for political bile; for many other re… Read full post »

JANUARY 13, 2010 10:04PM

Thought for the Day: Strange Bedfellows

The background:

David Boies is a well-know left-wing lawyer.  He has representer Napster against the record companies, Michael Moore against the U.S. Treasury Department, and all of us (really!) against Microsoft, among other things.

Ted Olson is a well-known right-wing lawyer.  He has defe… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 12, 2010 7:55PM

Don't Mess with Comedians

Last night, Conan O'Brien obliterated his own network--well, his network for now, anyway--with a routine that can call up all those overheated adjectives that lots of other folks will use; you know, like "blistering," "devastating," "scorching," and whatnot.  I'm not a big Conan fan, but I certa… Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2010 4:43PM

"Broadsheet": I Just Don't Understand

I don't understand Salon's Broadsheet.

I mean, in one respect, I do:  it generates hits, and it's popular.  But other than that, "Is a puzzlement."


Here's the Broadsheet intro, from October of 2005:

So here we are, carving out a new niche

Read full post »

 You would think that I've seen enough. That I've prattled on enough about the bizarre crap we all see every day.  You know:  the signs that say "Slow:  Children at Play" that no one puts the colon in (even a semi-colon would help), and so it looks like "Slow children at… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 27, 2009 8:15PM

The TSA's Flying Circus

air terror
The shoe bomber's spirit of stupidity and ineptness lives on.  Unfortunately.

Look, I don't want to get blown up in a plane.  I travel a lot, and I certainly don't want to be on a plane that explodes, crashes into buildings, ditches in the ocean,… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2009 2:53PM

The Spirit of the Season

Every year, the news groups, the blogs, the google groups, the email lists are full of talk about it.  It's a matter of discussion at the community center, in the places of worship, at your friends' homes.  There are all kinds of different theories, but it never seems to make much… Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2009 12:47AM

Media Condescention Writ Large

Bloggers like Glenn Greenwald and digby have written frequently on the topic of how the mainstream media--especially the inside-the-beltway opinion crowd like Cokie Roberts, George Will, David Broder, and their ilk--have a fairly set narrative when it comes to both the left/progressive wing of the po… Read full post »