Moon sets on 2015

New ImageWORDPRESS SENDS stats every December.

The Unseen Moon welcomed 75,000 visitors in 2015. The busiest day was January 15 when I posted Just plain nuts. It looked at the goofiness of the United States, a favored theme here.

I get into politics now and then, and cultural issues too.

My top commenters were Kim G, a gay Bostonian, and Robert Gill, a straight Arizonan. Kim tilts to the left, and Robert leans to the right. I like that. The ballyhooed diversity.

The most-visited post, as it is every year, was Havana sex, etc. This has been the case since it was first posted after our anniversary trip to Cuba in 2012. This happens due to Google searches, of course. You naughty people.

By the way, Havana sex, etc. was the second of two posts about our Cuba adventure. I have since joined and deposited them on their own website, Cuba: a communist hellhole.

For those of you who think it’s a good idea for government to set things right and make people “equal,” I recommend a visit to the collectivist heaven in the Caribbean.

The top referring website was Mexpatriate — in the key of Steve. A tip of the sombrero to Steve Cotton. Gracias.

Other data reveal that most readers are not in Mexico but in the United States. I knew that already, and it’s why I discourage comments in Spanish.

Next month will mark the start of my 12th year doing this, first on the defunct Zapata Tales and, since 2011, on The Moon.

Being a former newspaper editor, it lets me keep my hand in the word-and-opinion game.

I appreciate everyone who passes by here, especially those who leave feedback, which most people do not. This is normal on blogs everywhere, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

I hope 2016 is a great year for all of you. Thank you for paying attention to an old coot who ended up atop a mountain in the middle of Mexico with time on his hands.

I never planned this. It just sorta happened.

Photo promo

camPEOPLE WHO’VE not visited my sister sites on Tumblr lately will be shocked and amazed at their recent entries.

The Eyes of the Moon collects black-and-white photos of, mostly, my town. You’ll find shots of hippies, nuns, indigenous folks, ancient churches and buildings, Colonial rooftops, beautiful women, cute kids, and so on.

In colorful contrast is Satellite Moon where you’ll find stuff like Hacienda videos and Jerry Lee Lewis and even Phobe Buffay singing Smelly Cat. And short yarns and revelations.

And no politics!

Censored and banned

WITH THE overreaching Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage is constitutional (the Constitution mentions anything related to gay marriage?) WordPress, like a number of other online outfits — Tumblr, Facebook, etc. — decided to fly the Gay Pride flag in riotous multicultural celebration.

The blowback was immediate and extreme on their forum, which I imagine caught the zealous, politically trendy, high-tech boys and girls who run WordPress completely by surprise.

flagPeople oppose gay marriage?! How is it possible?

They were flummoxed.

Did they realize their faux pas and zap the flag? Did they apologize and state that the flag’s appearance was temporary, which appears to be the case? Did they open their diversity-loving hearts to contrary opinions?

Answer: Not on your life, Bub.

They began closing the forum threads that complained and banning posters who wrote or supported them. This is akin to the outrage that a commencement-speaking invitation to Bill O’Reilly or any conservative would confront at New York University or Columbia.

Following is the forum post that got me — yes, me — banned:

I’m picturing a WP staff meeting of the top honchos. I see a group of gals and guys, most if not all Millennials, all tech-savvy, natch, and the door is shut, creating an echo chamber which, of course, means their own, identical ideas are always heard over and over again. Other ideas — contrary notions — do not intrude. If one does bust in somehow, everybody screams in unison to drown it out.

This means they assume their concepts, beliefs and ideals are universal.

One of these ideas is that gay marriage is a great thing. It never occurs to any of them that a contrary idea exists. Oh, they know that evil people out there, mostly in fly-over country, folks who chew tobacco and cud and intermarry with cousins, do not believe in gay marriage, but they dismiss these people out of hand as of no importance whatsoever. Surely, none of those hayseeds are WP customers.

Another idea that bounces eternally off the wall of the echo chamber is that Capitalism is a curse. They believe this in spite of getting a weekly paycheck from a corporation. Nobody ever said the echo chamber had to make perfect sense or even any sense at all.

Believing Capitalism and corporations to be a curse, they feel free to ignore basic corporate rules such as not angering your customers, and its flip side of doing all possible to have happy customers.

There is also the long-known concept of staying out of religion and politics if you don’t want to have a bonfire in your living room, a bonfire that — if not brought under control — can burn your house down.

I imagine this WP staff meeting of Millennials in their echo chamber, and I know that apart from computer code they are clueless about running a business. How else to explain this inexplicable, and almost impossible to remove, rainbow flag on the editor?

Even your yokel plowing a peanut patch in fly-over country to sell at the market knows the basic premise of not angering any more of your customers than necessary. He wants to sell dem peanuts, after all.

He restricts his religious beliefs to church service on Sunday morning and his political beliefs to the voting booth. He knows better than to wave them in the faces of customers who just might think otherwise.

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FYI: I ‘m okay with legal unions for gays, but the marriage word should be kept out of it. Only men and women should “get married.” Call me old-fashioned. I do not mind. You may feel otherwise, and that’s okay.

I will not ban you for it.

Tricky Dick’s truth

A FEW MONTHS ago I read my first political memoir. It was Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War by Robert M. Gates. Having never read a political memoir, I don’t recall why I started with Gates.

But I found it so interesting, I decided to plow on. Next up was In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir by Dick Cheney. Then came Donald Rumsfeld’s Known and Unknown Deluxe: A Memoir. After Rumsfeld I was totally out of control, so I read Decision Points by George W. Bush.

Bush’s book is less a traditional memoir than the others. He took a different tack, focusing a bit on his life but primarily on several important decisions he made as president, and elaborating on them.

Bush’s book is my favorite so far. It raised my opinion of him considerably. Of course, memoirs invariably paint a positive portrait of its author, but even with that as a given, I still came away thinking highly of Dubya, as I often have called him, which now shames me.

I left the United States when Bill Clinton was president, so I observed Bush’s years in office from afar, but that’s not difficult in these high-tech times. I’m ashamed to say that I long embraced the left-wing (I am a fully recovered Democrat) notion that George W. was something of a dimwit, a lightweight, and that Cheney was the de facto president.

Simply was not so.

Gates seems like a good guy. Cheney and Rumsfeld have reputations as right-wing hard-asses, but knowing far more of their lives makes them more human, especially Cheney even if he is truly a right-wing hard-ass, something I do not hold against him these days, having become one myself.

After Bush, I had considered reading RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon but at 1,400 pages I decided no and opted instead to read Nixon’s Leaders: Profiles and Reminiscences of Men Who Have Shaped the Modern World. I’m just getting into that, and Nixon’s telling me about Winston Churchill.

Churchill was a writer of histories. I tried one of his histories recently and found it turgid.

Possibly next in the memoir list will be Condoleezza Rice’s No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. The free Kindle sample sits in the sample file, one of the great aspects of the Kindle.

You may be thinking: What is it that inspired this post’s headline? Tricky Dick’s truth.  It was this quote I found in his chapter on Winston Churchill:

“The difference between politics before and after Watergate is striking … Today the chances of receiving much approval or esteem for accomplishments in public life are slim. The risks of glaring invasions of privacy are much greater, and the kinds of sacrifices and disclosures required for entering politics … have simply become prohibitive for many. This is bound to affect detrimentally both the quality and the number of men and women who are willing to present themselves for public office.”

nixonI have taken this position before, most recently in Newspaper days: Houston. I was quite surprised to see Tricky Dick parroting me. The quality of people in public life has fallen. This is true of both Democrats and Republicans,* and my former occupation — the news media — is responsible for that to a huge degree.

A nation reflects its leaders and the leaders are mediocre. The future looks very dicey.

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Bonus material: You likely noticed that all the memoirs mentioned are written by conservatives. Not to worry. A few days ago, occasional Moon reader and commenter Kim G. of Boston gifted me via Kindle with John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience. It is on my list, and I may actually read it, but I’m unsure when. It’s like gifting the Bible to the Devil. The Amazon book description reveals that Dean says conservatives are authoritarian and present a danger to democracy. We are evil people.

But I am sure that Barry Obama would agree with that.

Dean was one of the principals who tried to cover up the Watergate situation for Nixon. He admitted in court to forwarding hush money and confessed to obstruction-of-justice charges. He had earlier asked Nixon for immunity to the obstruction charges. Nixon refused, and Dean was fired. With this background it would be a bit hard to take his book knocking conservatives very seriously.

Smells of revenge.

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* Far truer of Democrats than Republicans, of course.