Dependable Erection

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's more sad than anything . . .

"It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Hypocrisy), commenting on the receipt of the Starr Report documenting President Bill Clinton's sexual indiscretions, in 1998.

hat tip to Doc Zombie

Continue reading It's more sad than anything . . .

Friday, September 29, 2006

See the hypocrites . . .

. . . them-a-gallang-deh:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Six-term Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida will resign from the U.S. Congress following allegations he sent inappropriate e-mails to a 16-year-old male congressional intern, Republican sources said on Friday.

Foley, who represents a district in southern Florida, has served as chairman of a House caucus on missing and exploited children and was a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax and trade policy.

Continue reading See the hypocrites . . .

Thursday, September 28, 2006

These people suck

And they hate what America has always stood for.

YEAs ---65
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)


i hope they never find themselves on the business end of a broomstick pleading for the protections afforded by civilized nations.

On the other end, maybe i hope they do.

Continue reading These people suck

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A busy day

Yesterday, was one of those remarkable days for me in Durham, all the more so for how casually everything unfolded.

The artist Georges Rousse has been in town building a few installations in some otherwise unused spaces. So we did the tour of his work, with, literally, a couple hundred or so other folks, from Durham and around the Triangle. If you don't know his work, Rousse builds these pieces that flatten space into two dimensions, but only when viewed from specific angles.

This is an art project that, quite literally, you can walk through and be a part of.

The Rousse website linked above has a lot more details about how the project unfolded in Durham, all the volunteers needed to put it togeter, and all that good stuff. Kudos to Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus for making this happen.

Then i took a break for a bit, and watched Aston Villa thump Charlton Athletic in the Premiership, 2-0. Picked my daughter up and we had some falafel and kabobs for a post-sunset dinner at Baba Ghannouj on Main St. on our way to see the Last Poets (yep, these guys), perform an exhilirating set at a pretty much packed Carolina Theater.

All in all, a day more packed with cultural influences than any i ever spent in New York.

Continue reading A busy day

Rosh Hashanah

With all that i've been doing this weekend (see the next post), i've forgotten to wish Sen. George Felix Allen (R-Macaca) a happy new year. I'm hoping he invites me to his Yom Kippur pig pickin' next weekend also.

Continue reading Rosh Hashanah

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Roxboro St., Durham, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Score one for the artists

From the BBC:

Top novelist acquitted in Turkey

A court in Istanbul has acquitted the best-selling Turkish novelist, Elif Shafak, who had been accused of insulting Turkish national identity.

Ms Shafak, 35, had faced charges for comments made by her characters on the mass killings of Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Turkey rejects Armenia's claim that the killings constituted "genocide".

The EU welcomed the court ruling, but urged Turkey to scrap a law that makes it a crime to insult "Turkishness".

The trial was seen by the EU as a test of freedom of expression in Turkey, which began membership talks with the 25-member bloc last October.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also welcomed the verdict and signalled that the government would consider amending Article 301 of Turkey's penal code. It envisages up to three years in jail for "denigrating Turkish national identity".

"The ruling party and the opposition can sit down together again to discuss this issue as laws are not eternal," Anatolia news agency quoted Mr Erdogan as saying.

Ari Fleischer could not be reached for comment.

Continue reading Score one for the artists

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Willie Nelson

Uhh, the guy's 73 years old, for Pete's sake. If he hasn't stopped smoking pot now, do you think busting his ass again is going to make a difference?

Continue reading Willie Nelson

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Cutchogue, NY


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thank God he's infallible

Mr. Habemus Papemus himself took some baby steps today towards immanentizing the eschaton.

Questioning the concept of holy war, he quoted a 14th-Century Christian emperor who said Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things.

A senior Pakistani Islamic scholar, Javed Ahmed Gamdi, said jihad was not about spreading Islam with the sword.

Turkey's top religious official asked for an apology for the "hostile" words.

In Indian-administered Kashmir, police seized copies of newspapers which reported the Pope's comments to prevent any tension.

A Vatican spokesman, Father Frederico Lombardi, said he did not believe the Pope's comments were meant as a harsh criticism of Islam.

In his speech at Regensburg University, the German-born pontiff explored the historical and philosophical differences between Islam and Christianity and the relationship between violence and faith.

Stressing that they were not his own words, he quoted Emperor Manual II Paleologos of Byzantine, the Orthodox Christian empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The emperors words were, he said: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Benedict said "I quote" twice to stress the words were not his and added that violence was "incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul".

So, after giving the words the papal imprimatur, his popeness then stressed, twice, that the words were not his.

"See, i had my fingers crossed behind my back too," he giggled.

Besides, it's not like anybody was ever forced to convert to Christianity on pain of death, or anything like that, right?

Continue reading Thank God he's infallible

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Mangum St., Durham, NC


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Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

Forty years ago

they boldly went where no one had gone before.

Happy Anniversary.

Continue reading Forty years ago

Bull Durham Blues Festival

Tonight is the first night of the annual Bull Durham Blues Festival at the old Durham Athletic Park. Headlining the show are Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins, with the Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Band.

You don't have to know that these guys were part of the Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf bands to know that this is going to be one amazing set of music. All you have to do is say the names out loud and listen to the way they sound coming out of your mouth.

Go ahead, try it.

Hubert Sumlin.

Pinetop Perkins.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.

If there is a better name for a performer in the history of the blues than Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, i can't think of it. That name ranks alongside Durham's own Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Big Mama Thornton at the top of the pile.

The Blues Festival runs two nights, and it's gotten a bit pricey at $35 a ticket, so i generally only go for one night. Last year was a tough choice, with Bo Diddley headlining one night, and Ruth Brown the next. Between them they've got something like 120 years in the music inudstry.

I eventually decided to catch Bo Diddley's set, as i'd seen Ruth Brown back in 98 at the festival. He's what, 77, 78 years old? And still an electrifying performer. There was a moment toward the end of his set. My friend Peter's teenage daughter was lying on the blanket, half asleep. Bo was pounding out the rhythm on his square guitar, and i nudged her awake. "You don't want to sleep through this," i told her. I was thinking of a moment to come, maybe 50 years from now, when Bo Diddley and i have long since passed from this earth, when she might be sitting with a teenage grandchild, and on the radio, or however our kids and grandkids will be listening to music then, might come some mid 21st century rendition of that beat. You know how it goes. Bum ba bum ba bum, ba bum bum, bum ba bum ba bum, ba bum bum.

"Bo diddley bo diddley, where you been?
Said around the world, now I'm back again."

And i wanted her to be able to say to this as yet unimagined child, "Hey, that's the Bo Diddley beat. I saw him when he was almost 80 years old and i was a kid."

Imagine it. How many years of Western music do we have stored away going back to the earliest transcriptions of sacred chorales? Six hundred years, a thousand? And in all that time, how many people have had a beat named for them? There's no Beethoven beat. There's no Aaron Copeland beat. There's certainly no Philip Glass beat.

But there is a Bo Diddley beat.

Bum ba bum ba bum, ba bum bum.

Earlier this summer, former Durham resident and musicologist Scott Ainslie did a set on a Sunday evening at the amphitheater behind the Sarah Duke gardens. Scott's a pretty engaging entertainer, and even though he's actually presenting a lecture on the history of the blues and southern popular music while he's performing, you don't realize it until a couple of days later. He pulled a genuine one string cigar box and broomstick guitar out of his bag of tricks, and started describing how it was made, and how it was played. He mentioned that it had a lot of names in different parts of the south, but that in certain parts of rural Georgia, it was called a diddley bow. And as he picked, up with his fingers, down with his thumb, you could hear the beat start to form.

Bum ba bum ba bum, ba bum bum.

"Hey, Bo Diddley.
Bum ba bum ba bum, ba bum bum.
Hey Bo Diddley."

"My love is bigger than a cadillac.
I try to show you but you drive me back."

So, tonight.

Hubert Sumlin.

Pinetop Perkins.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.

I hope it doesn't rain.

Labels: ,

Continue reading Bull Durham Blues Festival

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Walking Durham

Congratulations to Durham and to the City Council for approving the Durham Walks plan by a 7-0 vote at last night's council session.

A couple of folks signed up to speak in opposition to the plan, so a number of us stuck around till the end of the session to speak in favor of it. Alas, the opponents had gone by the time it was called on the agenda, so we didn't need to speak. Would have been interesting to hear what exactly the basis for opposing the plan might have been.

Basically, it's a blueprint for how to spend bond money over the next 20 years making Durham a safer, more attractive, more walkable community. Walking is good.

Get out of your damn car once in a while and take a walk around your town.

Oh, right, there's no sidewalks in 2/3 of the town. And when there are sidewalks, they're right up against the roadway.

Well, that's why we've got this new plan.


Continue reading Walking Durham

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The Chimp is dead.

Long live The Chimp.

Continue reading Passings

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Highway 70, Durham, NC


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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Unintended consequences

They'll get you every time:

Afghanistan's world-leading opium cultivation rose a "staggering" 60 percent this year, the U.N. anti-drugs chief announced Saturday in urging the government to crack down on big traffickers and remove corrupt officials and police.

. . .

In an indication of the alarming extent of official complicity in the trade, a Western counternarcotics official said about 25,000 to 30,000 acres of government land in Helmand was used to cultivate opium poppies this year.

The official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said police and government officials are involved in cultivating poppies, providing protection for growers or taking bribes to ensure the crops aren't destroyed.

He said the Taliban — which managed to nearly eradicate Afghanistan's poppy crop in 2001, just before their ouster for giving refuge to Osama bin Laden — now profit from the trade.

In some instances, drug traffickers have provided vehicles and money to the Taliban to carry out terrorist attacks, he said. But added that the ties seem to be local and that there is no evidence of coordination between drug lords and the Taliban leadership.

Continue reading Unintended consequences

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging

Sunflowers, post Ernesto

Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging