Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Nov. 29th through Dec. 5th

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.



  1. Good morning, 39 and cloudy in Bellingham. RonK and I enjoyed a quiet dinner out last night in honor of our 48th anniversary, and we both needed a nap before and after! We’ve created a busy life together, and now our challenge is to keep life interesting but at a slower pace.

    Bill Gates is seeking an “energy miracle”……an important focus for his visionary and investment skills.

    Bill Gates lays out vision for clean energy at Paris climate conference

    In the Monday kickoff to the historic climate conference in Paris, Bill Gates unveiled a new role as a global recruiter for billionaires willing to push clean-energy ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace.

    The Breakthrough Energy Coalition lists more than two dozen members from 10 countries that span the globe from India to Africa to Saudi Arabia. In addition to Gates, they include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

    The coalition will partner with 20 countries that have pledged to increase their spending in clean-energy research and try to greatly speed up a global transition away from fossil fuels.

    • I hope that Gates and his partners have a sense of urgency. If this were 1977 and we had a few decades to work on President Carter’s initiatives it would be one thing. But we squandered the 80s and too much of the 90s and the 00s. Time is running out.

  2. Morning all – well, early afternoon here now. I really hope Gates is dead serious and enlists his megamillion peers – perhaps they can at least be a counterweight to the megarich who are putting roadblocks in the way of renewable energy efforts around the world. Dee, thanks for the reminder that today is World AIDS Day – as you and I were discussing earlier, younger people now have little clue of the terror and waves of death that swept us all in the early 80’s as the epidemic became known and peaked.

    Looks like my tax problem that I talked about a couple of weeks ago – couldn’t file electronically – probably really are from someone fraudulently filing a return, using a colleague’s SSN to file and listing me as a spouse. It’s very discomforting to think that someone at the university likely did this, but the accountant (works for my colleague who’s also caught up in this) thinks that the IRS will straighten it out, it will just take a while. sigh.

    Have a great day everyone.

    • That is awful about your tax issue! I have heard of people doing that and I know that it can be sorted out but what a PITA!!

      Yes, I hope Gates and people he enlists can provide a counterweight to the fossil fuel bajillionaires. I saw a lot of naysayers and people dissing Gates for his contribution to the current state but hey! If we are going to demand purity from those who want to help, we are being shortsighted. The past is past … what is important is that everyone rolls up their sleeves now and pitches in.

  3. I got 3 donations today for the Children’s Shelter! Still nowhere near my goal, but 3 in 1 day is my best day ever.

    • Need to go find your diary and comment in it or something so I can find it again. I can’t give much nor anything at all until next week, but I do want to give something when I can.

  4. Good morning, meese! Wednesday …

    It is 32 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 35. The forecast calls for morning snow and it looks to be about 30 minutes away.

    Only good news today!

    The Supreme Court denied Texas’ delaying tactic in the DAPA/DACA immigration case. Texas wanted a 30 day extension to file replies and the Solicitor General asked that it be reduced to 8. And it was. That increases the chances that the case will be heard this term and that the 5 million people whose lives are on hold because of the nativist federal judge in Texas may get some relief.

    The police chief in Chicago was fired. This will only be good news if the incoming chief comes in with a bucket of clues. You lose all credibility when you sit for 13 months on evidence that would indict a police officer and allow other officers to destroy evidence in a massive coverup. Chicago has paid out half a billion with a b in settlements over the past decade and someone needs to push some people into early retirement, institute a training program, and change the culture. The Illinois Attorney General asked for a Justice Department investigation of the police force.

    A 5-year transportation bill was agreed to in Congress. It includes new reporting requirements for trains carrying volatile materials.

    You can find the bad news on your own!!

    See all y’all later!

  5. Good misty December morning, Moosekind! It’s a foggy, foggy day in NoVa, 49 F. now, going up to 60 F. The fog won’t lift until 10 a.m.

    Jan, that is indeed excellent news! I hope Justice investigates the h*ll out of the Chicago Police Department. Corruption appears to be endemic. Good news about the Supreme Court too.

    In my little world, my Web guy has once again messed up. He seems to prefer .pdf files, but even though I send him files that have everything in the right place, he manages to screw it up. He also sticks in random punctuation instead of the punctuation I’ve used. Well, he won’t get paid until he makes the changes. Wish I knew how to do this stuff myself, I would be so much more careful with it.

    Here’s hoping bfitz will get some sun today for her solar array, that cooler weather will happen for Geordie, that Denise is feeling better, and that the snow won’t be too much of a drag for Jan! May princesspat’s flowers continue to bloom and another democrat’s walks achieve their goals. Back later.

    • This is the problem: “I would be so much more careful with it”.

      You would starve as a web designer because you would tweak it and make it perfect and then tweak it some more until, in the end, you would earn about $0.05 per hour. :) The first web site I developed for a client, back in the 90s, was text only and pretty simple but it still took hours to set up and enter the content. I had given the guy a fixed price and invited him to send me documents to “put online”. I think I ended up earning about $0.000001 per hour in the end.

      I think you will be glad to have the look of your site under your own control. Don’t forget to have your current web content downloaded before you change over. I am going to guess it won’t automatically convert it to the new hosting language for you.

      • Thanks for the advice, Jan! The guy explained to me that there was a problem with the headers. Okay, I understand that, but it’s disappointing. When I was posting stories every sabbat to GOS, I could jolly well have introductory sentences where I wanted them, above the header.

        Current web content—that’s just it. After a year of the current web site I’ve decided that a lot of it doesn’t work. What does work is about one-third of it. There are categories I want to eliminate altogether, like the front page blog, the “news and reviews,” and the comments, which were so horribly spammed I had to turn them off.

        • The content I was thinking of is “your words” more than the web site itself. I am going to assume that you have them elsewhere, then? When I decommission a web site, I download the content and then I usually take screen caps of each page so that I remember what was on each one. That is the part that you will have to recreate. Even if you don’t lay it out the same way, you will not want to miss something.

          • OK, thanks. Yes, I create everything offline first because I’m paranoid about losing stuff in the ether. In a case of “ether-or,” I’ll go with, “Or create everything in Pages first, then upload it.” :)

  6. 43 and raining here in Saugerties. Glad to have good news.
    Will add to it

    Zuckerbergs to give 99% of their Facebook shares to charity.

    Glad to see the youthful tech elite are doing philanthropy differently

    At 26, Zuckerberg signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away the majority of his wealth, along with other tech leaders including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Such gestures fostered some goodwill for the tech elite, especially amid widespread anger over the widening wealth gap in the Bay Area brought on by a burgeoning technology workforce.

    Philanthropy experts said Zuckerberg’s charitable gifts reflected a generational shift.

    In the past, the well-off waited until they were old or dead before donating substantial amounts to charity. David Packard, the Hewlett-Packard co-founder, created a foundation with his wife in 1964, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. But it wasn’t until he died in 1996 at 83 that the bulk of his wealth was transferred to the foundation, making it a philanthropic powerhouse.

    “The way Gen X and millennials practice philanthropy is very different from the World War II generation and the baby boomers,” said Marian Stern, adjunct assistant professor in philanthropy at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. “Millennial donors are less patient. They want to use their money and they want to see changes now. It’s not surprising, given they’ve grown up in a fast-moving world.”

    Last year, Gates said he admired that Zuckerberg had already started giving back and noted that other tech leaders were doing so as well.

    Would rather see this than the use of right-wing money to set up voter suppression and attacks on women and people of color.

    • People on Twitter were dissing this and the Bill Gates initiative. You know what? No donor will ever be perfect but donating to something that has the potential of helping people versus donating to Republicans is a BHD. Purists make my brain hurt.

      I have been reading with no small amount of Schadenfreude about how poor Jeb! and his moneyed interests can’t seem to cut through the noise to convince GOP primary voters that he is the guy. It seems like Money only works to pull away from the pack when it is the Only Money. Now, every rich guy with a few billion dollars burning a hole in their pocket is finding a candidate to sponsor. Heck, why not? If you can buy a president, how awesome is that?? The old guard in the Republican Party has no way to stop the obscene money spigots they themselves opened up. In the states, there was not as much competition: Kochs pretty much bought up all the governorships. But the presidency has a lot of people competing for puppetmaster. Grab popcorn!

      • I figgered purist folks would be dissing. That’s what they practice – day in and day out – whine and cheesy remarks.

  7. I’m home waiting for my package from my brother. The iMac has morphed into an iPad, and UPS tried to deliver it yesterday. A signature is required, and for some reason they can’t notify me an hour before they get to my neighborhood, so I’m staying home to wait. I could get started packing for next week while I’m here. And clear out the dvr. Woke up with some 70-sounding music in my head, like Bob Seeger or something. No idea where that came from. I didn’t like the ‘70s the first time, I tend not to revisit the era.

  8. 30 heading for 40 and YES! clear in Fay., AR this 1st Wednesday in December. Good news is good to get – thanks for posting it. :) Still trying to wrap up my problem travels, but should get them dealt with today. Hope it’s a lovely day in Moosylvania. {{{HUGS}}}

  9. Good morning, 45 and cloudy in Bellingham. I’m starting to recover from our T Day fun, but now thoughts of Christmas are engaging my sleepy brain. I may visit the mall today for the few items I can only buy there because the sales are good. I enjoy finding the rest of the few gifts we give now at my local Fairhaven stores, especially the bookstore.

    Yesterday was another unpleasant day trying to unravel why my bank keeps returning a credit card payment request. I pay most of my bills online now and this one credit card is the only difficulty, so the bank says it’s the cc companies fault and cc company blames the bank. If yesterday’s fixes don’t stay fixed I’ll send a cashiers check and close the account. I spent several hours dealing with this yesterday and I’m done!

    I’m glad to see this article at the Wa Post today. The simple truth re Trump seems to be hard for many journalists to address.

    Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist

    Let’s not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.

    Some will think this an outrageous label to apply to the frontrunner for a major party’s presidential nomination. Ordinarily, I would agree that name-calling is part of what’s wrong with our politics.

    But there is a greater imperative not to be silent in the face of demagoguery. Trump in this campaign has gone after African Americans, immigrants, Latinos, Asians, women, Muslims and now the disabled. His pattern brings to mind the famous words of Martin Neimoller, the pastor and concentration camp survivor (“First they came for the socialists…”) that Ohio Gov. John Kasich adroitly used in a video last week attacking Trump’s hateful broadsides.

    It might be possible to explain away any one of Trump’s outrages as a mistake or a misunderstanding. But at some point you’re not merely saying things that could be construed as bigoted: You are a bigot

    • I hope your bank listens to you! It is a pain to cancel a credit card, especially if you have it hooked to many different online places, but they deserve to lose your business if they won’t fix the problem for you!!

      Trump Watching is becoming the new online entertainment. We are all rubbernecking to see what he does next, convinced … and then quickly dissuaded … that he cannot possibly say anything more outrageous than the last thing! He is the perfect Fox News candidate because he repeats all their nutso conspiracy theories and they feed each other.

      Trump, Rubio, and Cruz are now in a statistical dead heat. If Cruz is the guy who survives the scrum, our work in the general election will be easier in some ways and more difficult in others. Our front runner thumps him pretty well but those polls mean absolutely nothing at this stage because too many people have not settled on a candidate. If someone asked a Rubio supporter who they would support in a Cruz v Clinton general, what do you think they will say? I am not sure but I am pretty sure it won’t reflect how they will vote.

  10. Morning all! Still too warm down here but we’re promised a cooling trend starting tonight so I’m hopeful I will be snuggling down in bed at night under a warm blanket soon. I don’t really know why, but the sensation of being warm under a blanket when it’s chilly outside and in the house (I don’t heat the house at night above 60 normally) is just so wonderful to me.

    I’m glad to see Carson fading in the polls, but appalled that Trump is riding high, although given the craziness of the Republican voter base, I’m not sure who else they would turn to. Hopefully not that fascist Cruz – I try not to use that word lightly, but he is genuinely alarming to me. More journalists and opinion writers need to start getting real about Trump’s racism and bigotry – that was a good start in the Post, thanks for that!

    OK, off to straighten up the house for the cleaners coming this afternoon – have a great day everyone!

  11. Some interesting developments in Chicago – Rahm is bringing in Deval Patrick (who is from Chicago) to help him pull his chestnuts out of the fire.


    Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will serve as a senior adviser to a task force scrutinizing Chicago police following the shooting of a black teenager, the Chicago mayor’s office said Tuesday.

    Patrick is a Chicago native who served as an assistant attorney general in the civil rights division under President Clinton.

    Patrick will advise a five-member panel reviewing police accountability, oversight, and training, the mayor’s office said.

    • I saw early rumors of that last night and I had not realized that Deval Patrick was a Chicago native. I hope that his panel is more than lip service.

      A city like Chicago, which has a lot of very smart people who know how to get things done, could be a model for fixing what is wrong with policing. I can’t believe that the taxpayers prefer to flush hundreds of millions of dollars away on lawsuits rather than spend that money on rooting out untrained, unqualified, and dangerous police officers.

      • 3 confirmed fatalities and a possible bomb according to Laura Clawson who’s live blogging it over at DK.

        • death toll going up – no final confirmation yet but SBPD is holding a press conference shortly. (And of course the shooting at a women’s health clinic in Houston, a Hispanic one at that, is not headline news. sigh)

      • and in non-headline-making news:

        Houston Feminist ‏@The_HFM · 14m14 minutes ago
        There has been a shooting in #houston at Clinica Hispana, a women’s health clinic. #hounews

    • Yeah, we’ve already beat the “average one mass shooting for every day of the year” mark. The white “militia wannabees” are America’s worst terrorist problem and have been since white folks invaded these shores.

  12. on an awful day, here’s a song about the important things in life, it’s called Lifening, I picked a version with Gary’s banter at the beginning, because it’s cute:

  13. It’s 2 o’clock in the morning—have been up since 1 a.m. Can’t sleep. Too much bad news? There’s a muscle twitching in my cheek too. Wonder what this means.

    Can’t believe we live in a country where daily mass murder is commonplace. And we just offer thoughts and prayers instead of demanding that the NRA stop oppressing us. Of course, even if we did rise up and demand it, the bought-and-paid-for Congress wouldn’t do anything.

    • I went to sleep early – was trying to watch the the news and fell out – just got up to let dogs out and saw the headlines.

      Oh dear – the “white guy” has a non-European name, and seems to be Muslim. This is also being described as someone “going postal” – workplace dispute.

      I’m reading comments that this is “Obama’s fault”
      Other people are trotting out the – “if the people in that room were armed….it would have been stopped” meme.

      I can’t make heads or tails of it atm – I should probably try to go back to sleep.

      So sad for the families of the victims.

      • The story didn’t get any more clear this morning. I am not going to worry about the reaction to the names of the people who shot up the social services facility; it is no different from the victim blaming the right does when a person of color is shot dead by police. They will latch onto anything that they can highlight that will feed their narratives.

        The bottom line is that there are too many guns in America and it is too easy for people with grudges, political or personal, to shoot things up. :(

    • Diana, I woke up too early also and I am blaming a too spicy supper eaten too late and maybe too much intense electronics right before bedtime.

      I have been working on setting up some Kindles I got on Black Friday and went to bed with my head buzzing with how to organize things and learn the new technology. I woke up with Kindle screens in my brain and a code fix for a non-existent problem.

      Now I am up and I will skip most of the news as too depressing and code fix some real problems.

      I hope you fell back asleep.

  14. Good morning, meese! Thursday …

    It is 34 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 40. Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast.

    I am going to try to ignore the larger meaning of the San Bernadino shooting because there is so much that is unknown. I will say this: early reports of “3 white gunmen” led Republicans to a lot of thoughts and prayers … if the early report had been “gunmen of Middle Eastern descent”, what would the initial right-wing reaction have been? Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) took a lot of crap for this Tweet:

    Chris Murphy ‏@ChrisMurphyCT 12h 12 hours ago
    Your “thoughts” should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your “prayers” should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.

    A writer from ThinkProgress, Igor Volsky, retweeted Congressional “thoughts and prayers” along with how much money each of those people got from the NRA.

    I wish people cared more but this Tweet says it all:

    THAT is why Senator Murphy, from Connecticut, is so frustrated.

    Today the Senate votes on the House bill that will repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood. It will pass via reconciliation (50+1 votes) and be sent to President Obama for his veto. Meanwhile, the must-pass-by-Dec-11th omnibus appropriations bill is being loaded up with poison pills and Congress may have to kick the can down the road to Dec. 18th to keep the government open while the details about the level of hostage taking Nancy Pelosi will allow are hammered out.

    I wish I knew how to get voters to understand how representative government works and to realize that when you vote for people who hate government you end up with a Congress that does not function properly.

    See all y’alls later!

  15. Wading through what is being reported – now.

    Two dead were the shooters Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27. There seems to be confusion about her status – because she does not use his surname – that is a traditional in certain Islamic practice.

    The pipe bomb in the car seems to have been a fake.
    This was not just instant rage and shoot out – here’s hoping investigators can get to the root of it.

    The victims were a very representative mix of Americans in San Bernardino – of all races and ethnic and religious backgrounds.

    Was looking at some of the names reported of relatives of people who were shot (not killed)- names like Salihin Kondoker who was interviewed – his wife Anies was shot – she will recover. And Chris Nwadike – who was sitting at the table with Farook. To the best of my knowledge – Nwadike is a Nigerian name. I saw Latinas and Asian Americans carried out wounded.

    I’m afraid that the voices of the right are now going to demand that all American Muslims be investigated.

    • Yes, it feeds their narrative. “People with odd names are ruinin’ ‘Merica!!!” I am sure the same thing happened when the country was overrun with O’Reillys and Scalias and Alitos. Except then we did not have right-wing toxictalk radio and 350 million guns floating around and permission to be angry all the time.

  16. Good morning, Moosekind! Brilliantly sunny here for a welcome change, 39 F. now, going up to 48 F., and very windy.

    You know, if I were to write a novel about a ruling oligarchy that allowed mass murder with guns as a method of population control, with characters who didn’t know when they left home in the morning whether they would live to return home that night—people would call it science fiction. But it’s just everyday life in the USA.

    Dearly Beloved says the twitch in my cheek is from lack of sleep. I’ll try to get a nap later. Plans today include going to the gym, buying whole nutmegs and cinnamon sticks at the Indian store for the potpourri party on Saturday, and shopping for nail polish because I can’t find where my nail polish and perfume have been packed away.

    Here’s wishing a good day to people…hope there are no horrific incidents today. Wasn’t this supposed to be the season of peace and goodwill?

    • I think you are on to something with the Oligarchs story but I see it playing out more along the lines of creating a dispirited populace who desperately want a better place to live but who can’t compete with the wealthy who have bought our Congress. So people vote, their votes are nullified by the states who have gerrymandered their districts so tightly that only Republicans are sent to Congress and the people’s interests are ignored. Rinse, lather, repeat for election cycle after election cycle and finally people say “my vote does not matter” and give up. Meanwhile, mass shootings and rising sea levels and income inequality (keeping us working 3 or 4 jobs to make ends meet) discourage us even further and we just say “to hell with it”.

      Fox News wins, Koch brothers win … civilization loses. The End.

  17. The new iPad finally arrived last night. I could have come to work yesterday. Still figuring things out. I don’t know why not all the songs that are in my iPod show up when I log into iTunes in this. But I have the coolest brother in the world.

    There was music playing in my head when I woke up — Fleetwood Mac (really??? wth??), and I listened to happy poppy INXS on the way in, because I needed happy, poppy. But the song I’m sharing with y’all is from my boys, called “Peace on Earth”. I’ve actually almost never listened to it because the lyrics are…too painful, but I think after yesterday, people might like this

    Heaven on Earth
    We need it now
    I’m sick of all of this
    Hanging around
    Sick of sorrow
    Sick of pain
    Sick of hearing again and again
    That there’s gonna be
    Peace on Earth

    Where I grew up
    There weren’t many trees
    Where there was we’d tear them down
    And use them on our enemies
    They say that what you mock
    Will surely overtake you
    And you become a monster
    So the monster will not break you

    It’s already gone too far
    Who said that if you go in hard
    You won’t get hurt

    Jesus could you take the time
    To throw a drowning man a line
    Peace on Earth
    Tell the ones who hear no sound
    Whose sons are living in the ground
    Peace on Earth
    No whos or whys
    No-one cries like a mother cries
    For peace on Earth
    She never got to say goodbye
    To see the colour in his eyes
    Now he’s in the dirt
    Peace on Earth

    They’re reading names out over the radio
    All the folks the rest of us won’t get to know
    Sean and Julia, Gareth, Ann and Breda
    Their lives are bigger, than any big idea

    Jesus can you take the time
    To throw a drowning man a line
    Peace on Earth
    To tell the ones who hear no sound
    Whose sons are living in the ground
    Peace on Earth

    Jesus this song you wrote
    The words are sticking in my throat
    Peace on Earth
    Hear it every Christmas time
    But hope and history won’t rhyme
    So what’s it worth?
    This peace on Earth

    Peace on Earth
    Peace on Earth
    Peace on Earth

  18. 24 just before dawn – made ice scraping difficult – heading for 55 this bright sunny day in Fay., AR. As to the shootings – well, the carnage is nothing new. We’re just seeing it as it happens. Modern technology is allowing us to see the evil that’s been around us maybe forever. I read somewhere that the words were mistranslated – it wasn’t “Peace on earth, good will to Men” it was “Peace on earth to Men of good will” – I’m still waiting for the Men of goodwill part mostly. My “song of the day” has a little more hope for the future, starting from the verse that weighs me down:

    In despair I bowed my head
    There is no peace on earth I said
    for hate is strong and mocks the song
    of Peace on Earth, good will to Men

    Then pealed the bells both loud and deep
    God is not dead nor doth he sleep.
    The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail
    with Peace on Earth good will to Men.

    Meanwhile, I pet my kitties and am blessed when one hops into my lap. I watch the bird feeding station – had a dozen cardinals, a bunch of sparrows, several rock doves, a black-capped chickadee, two Downy Woodpeckers, a tufted titmouse, a wren, and several juncos this morning. I check the Hillary News diary, keep an eye out for Kossack In Need diaries, and play in the pootie diary over at DK. And I send out what energy I can scrape up for that Peace on Earth. {{{HUGS}}}

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