Dependable Erection

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Heh heh

Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Does Not Seem Amused

WASHINGTON A blistering comedy “tribute” to President Bush by Comedy Central’s faux talk show host Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.

Earlier, the president had delivered his talk to the 2700 attendees, including many celebrities and top officials, with the help of a Bush impersonator.

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

i hear that's the problem with the left, we have no sense of humor.

Continue reading Heh heh

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Guess Rd., Durham, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More on Delany

My friend Lina tells me that Delany had a hand in a couple of episodes of the Wonder Woman comic back in 72 or so.

One of them (#202) gets high marks, but she didn't like the other one (#203) at all.

Looks like i'll be hitting some comic book stores in the next couple of weeks.

Continue reading More on Delany

Off the table

God forbid we should talk about a windfall profits tax.

Continue reading Off the table

Monday, April 24, 2006

Are you people nuts?

Do you want to have a fucking nuclear war with Iran?

I didn't think so.

So, the next time the phone rings, and it's AP/Ipsos, tell them you abolutely love the way George Bush is doing his job, OK?

For the children.

Continue reading Are you people nuts?

Samuel Delany comes to Durham

So it's been something over 30 years since i picked up a brand new, still smelling of ink copy of Dhalgren while buying books for the spring semester at Ariel Bookseller in New Paltz. It was massive (879 numbered pages), it had that cover (an impossibly huge red-orange sun setting [it was clearly setting. there was no way that could be a dawn] behind the crumbling skeletons of three skyscrapers and several lesser buildings, three men standing almost unnoticed in the lower left hand corner, it was a Frederik Pohl selection (reflecting "the taste integrity and discrimination" of that esteemed author and editor), it claimed lineage with Stranger in a Strange Land and Dune, it was the "MAJOR NOVEL OF LOVE AND TERROR AT THE END OF TIME."

It was a buck ninety five.

It was about "a nameless young man with no memory."

It began in the middle of a fucking sentence.

It ended in the middle of a fucking sentence.

(Yes, i am one of those readers who checks the last page of the book before i buy it, to see if i can figure out how the writer is going to connect the dots from beginning to end.)

It took me the whole semester to finish it. I was taking major drugs back then, barely 19, and on the verge of realizing that college was probably not a good idea at the time.

I still own that first printing, first Bantam edition. It's been taped back together several times. It's the only book of mine to survive my own personal New Orleans disaster of 1977, which ended with losing literally everything i could not carry on my back.

I wanted to live in Bellona. I wanted to be able to have wild sex with just about anybody i met also, like Kidd, or the Kid, or the kid, as he is variously called throughout the text. I wanted to eat canned food of unknown provenance with my fingers, drink beer for free at a noisy bar and leave my notebook with the bartender, knowing that it was safer there than anywhere else in the universe.

Like i said, college was not a good place for me at that point in my life.

I went out and read everything Delany had published up to that point, a habit which has pretty much continued till today. Except for The Mad Man. I couldn't finish that one. Somewhere in the boxes of stuff that i've accumulated over the decades is a crumbling page from the New York Times circa 1985 in which Delany discusses the rituals and dramas of his family's holiday dinners in Raleigh, North Carolina and New York City as a child, part of a series in which several semi-famous people did similar things.

I've asked my bookseller friends to find a way to bring Delany down to Durham whenever one of his many classic SF novels gets reprinted, or he publishes another of his almost neutron star dense semiotic explorations of one important text or another. I practically begged another friend, who has some decision-making authority in the Durham Reads Together series to make Delany last year's pick. In hindsight, James McBride's The Color of Water was probably a more appropriate choice.

All to no avail.

Till now.

Samuel Delany and John Kessel (NC State prof, Nebula Award winner and no slouch when it comes to slinging the post-modern hash himself) discuss "Science Fiction as a premiere platform for talking race, sex and politics" at Duke University, Sunday afternoon, April 29, part of the North Carolina Festival of the Book. The biggest cultural event in the entire 13 years i've lived in Durham, with the possible exception of Iggy Pop at the Cat's Cradle in 2001, and that doesn't count because it's in Carrboro.

Did i mention i'm going to Florida on the 26th, and i'll be back on May 3rd?

Now, you might think that an event like this (which admittedly is not an esseff event per se, but does have two of the keenest minds in contemporary science fiction in the same room at one time) might actually be made available via webcast or some hi falutin' technology like that. It's not like webcasting wasn't predicted in science fiction in, oh, nineteen oh fucking nine or somesuch by EM Forster in the long story The Machine Stops. Admittedly, old Edward Morgan was not that impressed with the technology, but i would find it kinda useful this weekend after all.

Maybe next year.

Continue reading Samuel Delany comes to Durham

Sunday, April 23, 2006

What do you find abhorrent?

If you're Duke University President Richard Brodhead, it appears that what you find abhorrent depends on just who you're having the conversation with.

On Thursday, as reported by the Durham Herald-Sun, Brodhead told the Durham Chamber of Commerce:

Whether the accusations prove to be true or not, other acts of misbehavior attributed to the lacrosse team were "abhorrent," Brodhead said.

"It's not the kind of behavior we have the habit of condoning," he said.

Speaking to a group of alumni on Saturday, as reported by the Associated Press, here's how the exchange went:

Kent Bishop, who said he lettered in lacrosse in 1960, asked Brodhead about lifting Seligmann's suspension, citing a timeline offered by the defense team they have said indicates the player did not have enough time to participate in the 30-minute assault described by the accuser before leaving the party.

"I think that would simply be Duke following the rule of law and more importantly, supporting a student apparently, or maybe obviously, falsely accused," Bishop said.

Brodhead replied, "If these students are guilty of what they've been charged with, they're guilty of something abhorrent. If they're innocent of what they've been charged with, then it is abhorrent that they should have been held guilty for it in the press.

Okay, Dick, which is it? Did the Duke lacrosse players practice behavior that was abhorrent to you, before we even consider whether or not they are responsible for the alleged sexual assault? Or is that just something you say to the good folks of Durham to get them to think that you actually give a fuck about what goes on east of Buchanan St. and north of Markham Ave? And if you really think that the lacrosse players acted in an abhorrent fashion, and engaged in behavior that the University is not in the habit of condoning, why couldn't you stand up to the alumni and tell them how you really feel?

Are those contributions that good that they're worth being a shill for?

Continue reading What do you find abhorrent?

Didn't see that coming

Reuters: Attacks continue after new Iraqi PM appointed.

Continue reading Didn't see that coming

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Old NC 10, Hillsborough, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

What planet are these people from?

I mean, really? Are university administrators and defense attorneys so unlike the rest of us that they are incapable of parsing reality? At the end of an otherwise interesting Herald-Sun piece, in which a number of attorneys and retired judges give opinions about the handling of the Duke rape case, we find this gem:

(Veteran defense attorney Mark) Edwards said he was baffled by the fact that someone took photos before, during and after the alleged rape victim danced for lacrosse players.

"That's a little weird to me," Edwards added. "Why would you be taking photos if nothing happened? Were they being taken to set up a defense?"

Could you really find taking pictures of a bunch of strippers at your team party that incomprehensible? Don't people take pictures of, like, everything these days? Aren't camera phones so fucking ubiquitous that they ought to be outlawed? Are these people really that clueless?

Continue reading What planet are these people from?

Even more crunchy goodness from Dick Brodhead

Brodhead and some of his Duke administration cohorts, as well as a couple of students, addressed some Duke and Durham community members last night. (Sorry, i had a neighborhood potluck dinner to host, and missed the big event.) Brodhead also addressed the Durham Chamber of Commerce earlier in the day as well.

The Herald-Sun has the details:

Earlier Thursday, at the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce's 100th annual meeting, Brodhead got two rounds of booming applause when he told business and industry leaders about the university's stance.

Whether the accusations prove to be true or not, other acts of misbehavior attributed to the lacrosse team were "abhorrent," Brodhead said.

"It's not the kind of behavior we have the habit of condoning," he said.

Well, habit as in addiction to narcotics? Or habit as in, we kinda do it all the time without really giving it much conscious thought at all? Because, Dick, it's exactly the kind of behavior that Duke has been tolerating from its undergraduates for, what, 30 years? 40 years? What city in the clouds did you just beam down from?

He praised the community for making Durham what it is today and for helping Duke to flourish.

He said it pains him to see the national media attention fixated on a story line that Duke is populated with ultra-rich students in a cultural oasis surrounded by a backward Southern city.

He said it is difficult for Duke administrators to explain that errant notion to the 40 percent of undergraduates who receive an average of $25,000 in scholarship money that makes it possible for them to attend the university.

Or you could have mentioned that Durham is a vibrant, diverse, and culturally enriched city with 20 times the population of your isolated little faux gothic university and more going on in it on any given day than many of your undergraduates will experience in a lifetime.

But it's all about dispelling the myth that Duke is for rich people, isn't it? Why, 40% of your undergraduates receive about 60% of the cost of attending your university in financial aid? So that means that 60% of them are footing the entire $40+k bill on their own, doesn't it? And even the ones receiving aid are, on average, kicking in over $15k per year, which is still a bit more than the cost of the state university education my daughter is getting up at Boone.

Come on, Dick, come on down to Joe and Jo's and have a beer with the little people once in a while. The windows in that ivory tower must be getting very dirty.

Continue reading Even more crunchy goodness from Dick Brodhead

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Evoking my father

My father died almost 11 years ago. He was not a man of large appetites or outlandish tastes. I don't think i ever saw him drink wine, and only an occasional beer or a sip of Johnnie Walker. The first time he tried one of my homebrews he said, "too flat." He liked steak, hamburgers, raw onions.

For a while after he died, i would have conversations with him in my radioless truck on the way to work, asking him for advice on my deteriorating marriage or some such. To be honest, his advice wasn't much better from the other side than it had been when i was growing up. "Keep your eye on the ball." I heard that one a lot. "Figure out what you like to do, and do your best," was another one I got pretty often.

He married late for his generation, nearly 30, and was already 31 when i was born, having been conceived during that magical summer when the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Championship. I don't really have many memories of him when he was still under 40. It's possible, likely even, he was more rambunctious as a younger man, but as a father he was out the door for work at 4 am most mornings, back by 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon, and parked on the couch watching a ballgame during spring and summer.

I'm at the age myself now where most of my memories of him take place. Every now and then i do something that calls him to mind so strongly that it feels like we're sharing the experience. Taking the kids to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time, driving my older daughter up to college a few years ago, or watching my younger daughter in goal for her high school soccer team. I don't know that i understand him any better for the experiences, but i can feel his elbow in my ribs, and both the pride and disappointment he felt when my dreams didn't turn out to be his dreams.

Another thing he liked were fudgsicles, although he pronounced them fudge-ickles. I liked Mr. Softee better, or a Marino's lemon italian ice, digging through the rock hard chunk until i could turn it over in the cup and scrape off the sticky, semi frozen syrup that had migrated to the bottom.

But i stopped in Loco-pop's tonight on a whim because the light at Anderson had just turned red and i've been meaning to check them out for over a year now, and they had a Mexican chocolate popsicle that i think would have made my father feel like he was a 6 year old kid again had he been around to try one. Cause that's how it made me feel, and that's the best damn two dollars i've spent in a long time.

Continue reading Evoking my father

OK, now I'm confused

The latest article up on the N&O site has some more details about the alibi information of Reade Seligmann.

It's not the photos of the stripper at the party. As Bill Frist can probably tell us, diagnosing someone's condition on the basis of photos or videos is probably not a good idea.

It's not the cell phone records, or the swiped door card. If i give you my cell phone to use, or my card to swipe, it still shows up on the records as my call and my card.

No, it's this line:

the cell phone records show Seligmann called for a taxi at 12:14 a.m., and that according to sworn testimony he left in the taxi at 12:19 a.m.

The only person taking sworn testimony at this time is Nifong, for the grand jury.

If there's exculpatory testimony before the grand jury, why would they hand down indictments? Something doesn't add up in these news reports.

Continue reading OK, now I'm confused

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Reading between the lines

Interesting article on the latest developments in the Duke rape case in today's N&O, especially if you like to read between the lines.

Seligmann’s lawyer, Kirk Osborn, said Tuesday after his clients pre-dawn arrest that he would make no comments beyond averring his client’s innocence.

Cotter said Tuesday that police searched Finnerty’s dorm room Tuesday night and said he believed they also served a search warrant in Seligmann’s room in the Edens dormitory. Cotter said it is unusual for authorities to serve a search warrant on someone who has already been indicted.

The warrant had not yet been returned to court officials early Wednesday afternoon.

Cotter said he does not know what evidence Nifong has beyond the accuser’s identification of the men she said attacked her.

Finnerty, who was with his father, Kevin Finnerty, in a routine court appearance Tuesday, has left Durham, Cotter said.

Cotter said Finnerty is innocent and the only way the charges against his client will be resolved is through a dismissal of the case or an aquittal at trial.

“I don’t think there’s any chance in hell that there’s going to be a guilty plea in all this,” Cotter said.

Notice what's missing?

No mention of the alibi evidence that defense attorneys were leaking to the press yesterday. Why do you suppose that is?

Notice what's new?

Defense attorney Cotter denying that there's any chance his client will plead guilty. Wow. Has there been any suggestion until now that anyone is even considering a guilty plea? The defense has been contending all along that no crime was even committed. So why all of a sudden the need to deny that his client might plead guilty?

full disclosure - Bill Cotter represented me some years ago in a court proceeding. Details on request.

Continue reading Reading between the lines

McLellan resigns

How'd you like to be his therapist?

Continue reading McLellan resigns

More on Brodhead

i was asked in conversation last night (hey, would it kill you to leave a comment? how will i ever get to put one of those cool "Advertise Liberally" banners on my blog if you won't leave a comment, huh?) just what about Brodhead's statement i found condescending and arrogant. After all, it's basically a bunch of mealy-mouth platitudes about the criminal justice system being allowed to work, which is not a whole lot different than many of us in Durham are saying anyway.

Well, first of all, Brodhead leaves out a lot of stuff, like condemning the behavior which we know occured at 610 N. Buchanan, and other residences occupied by Duke students in Durham. John Schelp, in an email which circulated on a number of Durham listservs yesterday, pointed this out:

"We also move from unfocused speculation about 46
members of the team to the court of law where the
guilt or innocence of the individuals charged will be
--Duke president Richard Brodhead (4/18/06 post)

"The personal immorality of the lacrosse players --
the drunkenness, the sexual degradation, the racism,
the violent threats, the conspiratorial silence --
deserves decisive denunciation by leaders within the
Duke community. These were not trivial, little
--Rev Paul Stallsworth (4/17/06 Herald-Sun)

And as i gave Brodhead's statement a close reading, trying to nail down the condescencion, i think i found it in this little phrase: "other Durham leaders."

Bill Bell, for all his faults (and he is, after all, a career politician, which many consider to be a flaw in and of itself) is a true Durham leader. Twice elected, most recently with something approaching 85% of the vote, Mayor Bell has the respect and trust of the Durham community. He has said the right things at the right time in this case.

Dick Brodhead, on the other hand, is the President of Duke University. He was appointed to his position by the trustees of Duke University, of whose 36 other members besides himself, precisely one is listed as being a resident of Durham.

I'm not saying it's impossible for the President of Duke University to become a leader in Durham. I am saying it is not a de facto position, that Duke's President, by virtue of that office, automatically gains leadership status in Durham. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of Durhamites whose opinions and knowledge of various situations in and around town, carry more weight than Brodhead's. Duke is not, for all the intensity of emotion this case has generated, the 900 pound gorilla in Durham's living room. Most of us manage to live our lives quite nicely without even noticing that Duke is even there. If you live within a couple of blocks of campus, your interactions with the University are likely to be of the kind that Rev. Stallsworth alluded to above. For the rest of us, well, Duke runs a pretty good hospital which we hope to never have to attend, there are free soccer matches in the fall against some pretty good competition, women's basketball games often have tickets available, once in a while there's an interesting speaker on campus (but not nearly as frequently as the Regulator bookstore, for example; not to mention the parking situation on campus is absolutely atrocious for townies. Count on as much time getting out of the parking deck s you spent listening to whomever), and for those of us still younger in the spirit than the body, there's some good music at the Duke Coffehouse on a regular basis. Some people like the new Nasher Art Museum; to me it's just a funny looking house in the woods.

Quite honestly, there's not much that Duke contributes to Durham culturally, outside of WXDU, and the financial contributions are probably a wash, when you consider that Duke doesn't pay taxes on its land, and its students probably use a bit more than the per capita in city services, especially law enforcement.

So Brodhead simply has no claim to the status of "Durham leader" on a par with the Mayor, or even NCCU Chancellor Ammons, whose board of trustees is made up of approximately 50% Durham residents. He can aspire to leadership in Durham, and he can even achieve that goal, but not by issuing statements like the one he made yesterday.

Continue reading More on Brodhead

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dear God

Can't you please find something more important for cable news to deal with than the Duke lacrosse rape case?

Like maybe nuclear war with Iran?

Wouldn't that keep Joe Scarborough from mistaking Duke University for the city of Durham? Please, just this one little favor for me?

I promise i'll start praying regularly if you'll just keep Nancy Grace, Rita Cosby & Bighead Joe out of my town.


Continue reading Dear God

That was so last century

One hundred years ago today.

Continue reading That was so last century

Brodhead strikes (out) again

Note to editors: Richard H. Brodhead is president of Duke University.

For the past month, Durham and the nation have followed the allegations of a serious crime involving members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team. The emerging story has taken new twists and turns virtually every day. In this situation of inflamed passions and painful uncertainty, I have emphasized the importance of not rushing to judgment and allowing the legal system to establish the truth. I’m grateful that other Durham leaders, notably Mayor Bell and North Carolina Central Chancellor Ammons, have urged patience as well.

Today the case has taken a new turn: the grand jury handed down indictments against two students who have since been arrested. District Attorney Nifong will now have an opportunity to present his case, and we will learn on what basis he has pressed his charges. We also move from unfocused speculation about 46 members of the team to the court of law where the guilt or innocence of the individuals charged will be established. It is worth reminding ourselves that in our system of laws, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Many lives have been touched by this case. It has brought pain and suffering to all involved, and it deeply challenges our ability to balance judgment with compassion. As the legal process unfolds, we must hope that it brings a speedy resolution and that the truth of the events is fully clarified.

In the meantime, we have important work to do. The Duke and Durham communities must restore the bonds this episode has strained and learn whatever lessons it affords. Building upon the progress that has been made over the past decades, we must work to create a community that assures respect and dignity for all.

i am so happy to hear that Brodhead is "grateful" to Mayor Bell for urging restraint.

If Brodhead had made "restraint" a more prominent part of the Duke process, then maybe the University wouldn't have needed to spend $3 million buying up party houses near campus in an effort to keep his students out of trouble.

Brodhead uses words like restoring bonds and creating community, but his statment betrays an arrogance and a sense that he'd really, really, rather be preparing for his month-long vacation on the Costa Brava than dealing with the little people of Durham.

Continue reading Brodhead strikes (out) again

Your media at work

Throughout Monday, there were many more reporters on the sixth floor of the courthouse than the 18 members of the grand jury panel. Reporters tracked the district attorney's movements in minute detail. Just after noon, Nifong emerged from his office and walked across the hallway to the bathroom.

Reporters surrounded the bathroom door in a crowd that included five television cameras, three still photographers, sound men with boom microphones and at least a dozen print reporters. At the sound of flushing, the group tensed, raised cameras and prepared. Nifong did not emerge with news.

God, i can't wait till CourtTV shows up for the trial.

Continue reading Your media at work

Monday, April 17, 2006


Two sealed indictments prepared in the Duke LAX case. Details should become apparent tomorrow.

The good news, i think, is that the defense attorneys have tried this case in the press so well, that it'll have to be tried in court elsewhere than Durham, and we'll be spared clueless national media personalities scrambling for adjectives other than "gritty" to describe Durham.

Continue reading Indictments

Hat tip time

Big thanks to Claire at Red Beret Design for all her hard work on the site redesign. Now if i can only get my ass in gear to build a blogroll . . .

Continue reading Hat tip time

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Groundhog day

The story that writes itself.

Continue reading Groundhog day

Easter Sunday church marquee blogging

Roxboro St., Downtown Durham, NC


Continue reading Easter Sunday church marquee blogging

Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

America's pastime

Dick Cheney threw out the first pitch at the Washington National's home opener today.

Crooks and Liars has the video.

Continue reading America's pastime

Sunday, April 09, 2006

To Be Continued, or Damn, I love this town

So this weekend was the big documentary film festival, as well as our local artwalk, and today could hardly have been a better day to be outside walking through the dusty, under construction streets of Durham.

We had family in town to entertain, and they had a great time visiting studiios and makeshift galleries with us. I fired up the grill in late afternoon to start dinner, when the phone rang.

The kids from the To Be Continued Brass Band were in town for the showing of the documentary made about their struggle to get back together after Hurricane Katrina scattered its members across the country, and, with nothing much to do between the end of the festival and their trip back to NOLA in the morning, were going to come to our neighborhood park for some barbecue and tunes.

What an unbelievable thing to do. Alas, my camera stayed home, but some photographer friends were there, and with luck, some pictures will appear here in the morning.

Check these guys out if you get the chance.

Photo by Todd Owen

Continue reading To Be Continued, or Damn, I love this town

President of what country?

George Allen is widely expected to seek the Republican nomination for President in 2008. He was in Durham yesterday to address the Conservative Leadership Conference, the ifrst of what threatens to be an annual event sponsored by the John William Pope Civitas Institute.

As reported by the Herald-Sun, Allen had a few things to say that, while not exactly interesting or ground breaking, define the conservative position clearly:

"Our strategy in the war on terror needs to be we win, they lose. There is no substitute for victory," said Allen to resounding applause.

I suppose if you're fighting the battle for good over evil in Narnia you can get away with bullshit like this. But in the real world where hundreds of people are being blown to bits weekly in Iraq, many of them by our erstwhile allies in the GWoT currently being waged in Mesopotamia, such demagogy is less than worthless.

The second mission: becoming "the world capital of innovation." Allen addressed the country's need to create more jobs in science and technology in order to compete with countries like India. He also stressed the need for the development of new energy sources. "We need more energy to be made here in America," Allen said.

OK, let's let this play out a bit, shall we. How and when did this country cease to be the world capital of innovation? Why? Is it possible that our Republican policies of encouraging corporate profits to be used to build second and third houses and buy 140 foot yachts, rather than invest in advanced research facilities, is a little bit at fault? We need to create more jobs in science and technology to compete with fucking India? While Republicans and conservatives around the country are waging battles to have intelligent design and other anti-scientific dogma made a basic part of our curricula in public schools everywhere, a self-styled Republican conservative has the balls to say we need to compete with India on jobs? That's just code for saying our workers are still making too much money, and we need to bring wages down to third world levels, or our capitalist decision makers are going to keep sending jobs overseas.

At least the former chair of the NC Republican party was honest when he spoke:

"It's really simple: to be a good conservative, you need to be a good Christian and vote Republican. That's all you have to do," said (Frank) Rouse as the audience laughed and cheered him on.

If George Allen wants to be President of the United States, he's gonna have to not only distance himself from George Bush (not only does news coverage of the conference avoid mentioning the current President's name, but neither does the website of the John William Pope Civitas Institute in its conference materials), but he's going to need to find a way to create some space between him and the Frank Rouse's of the world, whose policies are directly responsible for the inability of the US workforce to compete globally in the technological arena.

Continue reading President of what country?

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

N. Roxboro St., Durham, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Is the scandal spreading?

From The Onion sports department:

Duke University Equestrian Team Hoping To Avoid Investigation Into Their Sex Scandal

DURHAM, NC—Mere weeks after members of their university's lacrosse team were accused of sexually assaulting exotic dancers, ranking Duke polo and equestrian team members are downplaying rumors that they repeatedly engaged in acts of exotic sexual misconduct during the infamously out-of-control parties held at the team's off-campus barn.

"We've done nothing wrong, veterinarians will find no evidence—DNA or otherwise—showing that horses have been assaulted, and of course no charges have been filed," said senior Nat Hennerty, captain of Duke's equestrian squad and a two-time Most Valuable Rider, in a prepared statement to the press Tuesday. "I urge the media, the alumni, and the people of the community to remember that we at Duke are an elite university and disregard any obvious hearsay."

"Especially anything regarding suspicious bruises or abrasions suffered by the men of the team, allegations that certain horses have not been cantering normally as of late, or photos supposedly showing Duke student-athletes wearing nothing but English riding boots and engaged in sexual congress with tranquilized horses while whipping them with riding crops," Hennerty added.

While no formal accusations have been made, students claim the outrageous behavior of Duke's elite equestrian squad has become campus legend.

"I've never been to one of their parties, but everyone at Duke has heard the rumors," said a sophomore who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she wished to protect herself from possible retaliation by the "privileged elites" who make up Duke's top-tier riding clubs. "Everyone's drinking, the lights in the stable go down, someone gets some saddle soap and a curry-comb…. pretty soon everyone's bareback, they're playing 'strip dressage,' strange lathered-up fillies are prancing around… It's only a matter of time before someone becomes Catherine the Great."

Although no Duke equestrian sports team has ever come under official scrutiny, an informal examination of team medical records shows that Duke riders are four times more likely to suffer unusual injuries, such as broken bones from startled horses stepping back onto riders' feet, deep horse bites in or around the groin area, or massive internal trauma along with explosive perforation of the colon. Duke teams also lead the nation, and organized horsemanship in general, in the sudden destruction of large livestock for unrecorded or sketchily documented reasons.

Despite the rumors and mounting evidence of mount abuse, few in the university believe that the team will be subjected to the possible disgrace of a joint university/SPCA investigation.

"These guys were brought up to believe that they can have any horse or woman they want, and that's unconscionable—but a formal investigation would tear this campus apart," history professor Woodrow Peterson said. "After all, the Duke University community barely tolerated the systematic sexual abuse of two black women at the hands of its students. If word got out that valuable horses had been treated that way, this place would explode."

thanks to JS for alerting me to this.

Continue reading Is the scandal spreading?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Beautiful, fucking beautiful

the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in an interview with the BBC that if a unified government was not formed soon, a sectarian war could erupt in Iraq and that such a war could engulf the entire Middle East.

It's almost as if immanentizing the eschaton has been the plan all along. Because the only other explanation is that the people running our government are the stupidest people in the whole fucking world.

Continue reading Beautiful, fucking beautiful

Late Friday afternoon garden blogging

Dogwood, through a screen

Continue reading Late Friday afternoon garden blogging

Sorry, couldn't resist

Like a moth to flame, or a 20 toothed biker to Sturgis in August, i find headlines like this one irresistible.

New Red, Blue Rings Found Around Uranus

Obligatory "why were they even looking" joke goes here.

Continue reading Sorry, couldn't resist

Thursday, April 06, 2006


You know, the more Richard Brodhead says about the whole lacrosse/rape episode, the more he shows that he really is in way over his head. Duke and Durham deserve someone better.

Continue reading Unfit

Read this

Carl Kenny shares the most overlooked perspective on the Duke lacrosse scandal.

Continue reading Read this

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And about damn time, too

Duke Coach Resigns; Season Canceled

Duke University's lacrosse coach resigned Wednesday and the school canceled the rest of the season amid a burgeoning scandal involving allegations that three players on the highly ranked team raped a stripper at an off-campus party.

"Coach Pressler offered me his resignation earlier this afternoon, and I accepted it," said Duke athletic director Joe Alleva. "I believe this is in the best interests of the program, the department of athletics and the university."

Three weeks late, but a step in the right direction.

Continue reading And about damn time, too


This isn't gonna help Duke's lacrosse team at all. Students have been expelled from schools for far less. Let's hope that Mr. Brodhead has enough sense to do the right thing, quickly.

According to the warrant, which was unsealed today, a confidential source sent investigators a copy of the e-mail, which they believe originated from McFadyen's Duke University e-mail address. It was sent at 1:58 a.m. on March 14, about a half hour after the woman, an employee of an escort service, told police she had been raped at the party where she had been hired to perform.

"Tomorrow night, after tonights show, ive decided to have some strippers over," the message read. "However there will be no nudity. i plan on killing bitches as soon as the walk in and proceeding to cut their skin off."

The message goes on to read that he would find the act sexually gratifying.

Joe Cheshire, from what i hear, is a pretty good lawyer. But his spin on this email is, to my ears, pretty damn useless.

Continue reading Ouch

Searching for Brian Doyle

I thought it would be interesting to see what the White House has had to say about DHS Deputy Press Secretary Brian Doyle in the past, so i ran this Google search.

Surprisingly, it drew a blank.

But the sponsored links on the right side of the page were interesting.

Continue reading Searching for Brian Doyle

Lipstick on a pig

The News and Observer reports that the initial rollout of the North Carolina lottery "fell just short" of projected sales in its first week. Lottery director Tom Shaheen is quoted as describing a "very huge, successful startup."


Lottery sales, especially for the scratch-off games, go nowhere except down after their introduction. They'll spike occasionally when the jackpots reach the upper 8 or 9 figure range, as office workers pool their 10 spots to buy a couple of hundred tickets at a time, dreaming of retirement in St. Thomas, but generally, opening week is as good as it gets.

Just watch as the lottery advertising budget starts eating up more and more of lottery revenues. In the end, the schools end up with squat.


Continue reading Lipstick on a pig

More popcorn?

Who knew schadenfreude was so addictive?

Between this and Bugman DeLay slinking off into the sunset i can almost forget about Duke's second half collapse last night.

Continue reading More popcorn?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Opening Day

You know, it would be fitting if Cleveland - Chicago gets rained out tonight. Opening Day should be just that.

Continue reading Opening Day

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Fayetteville St., Durham, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging