Dependable Erection

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


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Thursday, June 29, 2006


I am absolutely speechless.

In his letter, Moneta said McFadyen was suspended because there were concerns whether his presence on campus posed a risk to him or others. But Stephen Bryan, Duke's associate dean for judicial affairs, reviewed the case and decided that McFadyen did not violate university policies regarding abuse, endangerment and disorderly conduct, according to Moneta's letter.

According to Moneta, McFadyen said the e-mail used language from the book "American Psycho," a novel by Bret Easton Ellis — later made into a movie — about a serial killer.

"He acknowledged the joke, especially given the context of the time, was not funny," Moneta wrote.

Moneta said McFadyen accepted responsibility for an error in judgment.

"I think he learned a valuable lesson in how words can be interpreted and misinterpreted," Moneta told the AP Thursday evening.

Glen Bachman, McFadyen's attorney in Durham, said his client was looking forward to moving on with his life.

"I don't know if things will be back to normal for any of these boys," Bachman said. "He just wants to be able to return to Duke, and he's just looking forward to getting back in school and getting back to playing lacrosse and getting on with his education."

you can read the email in question here.

Those of you who work for a living, here's a little experiment. Send an email to one of your co-workers that uses the exact same language as Ryan McFadyen's email of March 14. Especially if you happen to be employed at, say, Duke University.

Then, argue that you should be allowed to keep your job because you've learned a valuable lesson in how words can be misinterpreted.

There's only one lesson to be learned here, and that's the meaning of the word privilege.

Continue reading Wow

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A trial I would pay to be a juror on

Thompson, 59, is charged with four counts of indecent exposure, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If convicted, he would also have to register as a sex offender, and his $7,489.91-a-month pension would be in jeopardy.

Thompson's former court reporter, Lisa Foster, wiped away tears as she described tracing an unfamiliar "sh-sh" in the courtroom to her boss. She testified that between 2001 and 2003 she saw Thompson expose himself at least 15 times.

"I was really shocked and I was kind of scared because it was so bizarre," said Foster.

She testified that during a trial in 2002, she heard the pump during the emotional testimony of a murdered toddler's grandfather.

The grandfather "was getting real teary-eyed, and the judge was up there pumping on that pump," she said. "It was sickening."

Continue reading A trial I would pay to be a juror on


The big news today of course is that the Supreme Court essentially upheld the Texas gerrymander engineered by Tom (Bugkiller) DeLay.

There are a couple of reasons for everyone, regardless of your politics, to be concerned by this decision.

First, the Court definitively ok'd the partisan political gerrymander. Although it's been a part of American political life for nearly 200 years, gerrymandering has always been considered at least slightly unsavory, and redistricting for the naked purpose of shutting your opponents out of potential representation, as happened in Texas in 2002, was made to appear rare.

Not any more. Today's decision completely legitimizes this practice.

The second issue is, i think, even more troubling. And that is the separation of the decennial census from the redistricting process. What Tom DeLay attempted to do in Texas, for pretty much the first time in US history, was to get his cronies in the Texas legislature, with their newfound Republican majority, to redraw the Congressional districts after they had already been redrawn following the 2000 census. The sole purpose of this redistricting was the concentration of political power.

That this was upheld by the SCOTUS should signify a major shift in the nature of the political game.

You can expect that the states in which Republicans hold legislative majorities will soon be engaging in their own redistricting before the 2008 elections, in order to change the Congressional map. Democrats who hold majorities in state legislatures who do not realize this and act accordingly are signing their own death warrants.

Continue reading Gerrymandering

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Happy Birthday . . .

to my favorite radio station, the most dangerous station in the nation.

Continue reading Happy Birthday . . .

Monday, June 26, 2006

World Cup All-Name Squad

While everyone recovers from Italy's last second, controversial victory over Australia today, it's a good time for the All Name squad to be revealed.

Similar to the earlier EPL All Name squad, the sole criteria is that i like the sound of the player's name. Performance, either team or individual, has nothing to do with it.

Given that there are a larger number of teams in the Cup competition than the EPL, i've picked about 35 or so honorable mentions, in addition to the full 23 member team.

Here they are:

Honorable mention

Goal Keepers

Julio Cesar - Brazil
Kossi Agassa - Togo
Shaka Hislop - Trinidad and Tobago
Ali Boumnijel - Tunisia


Fabricio Coloccini - Argentina
Jervis Drummond - Costa Rica
Emmanuel Eboue - Cote d'Ivoire
Tomas Ujfalusi - Czech Republic
Jorge Guagua - Ecuador
Rio Ferdinand - England
Abdulaziz Khathran - Saudi Arabia
Ricardo Osorio - Mexico
Mariusz Jop - Poland
Milan Dudic - Serbia and Montenegro
Carlos Puyol - Spain
Dmytro Chigrynskyi - Ukraine
Vladyslav Vashchuk - Ukraine
Carlos Bocanegra - United States
Steve Cherundolo - United States


Ze Roberto - Brazil
Bastian Schweinsteiger - Germany
Torsten Frings - Germany
Thomas Hitzlsperger - Germany
Otto Addo - Ghana
Shinji Ono - Japan
Ho Lee - Korea
Phillip Cocu - Netherlands
Hedwiges Maduro - Netherlands
Xabi Alonso - Spain
Niclas Alexandersson - Sweden
Tranquillo Barnetta - Switzerland
Hakan Yakin - Switzerland
Densill Theobald - Trinidad and Tobago


Andre Titi Buengo - Angola
Aruna Dindane - Cote d'Ivoire
Bosko Balaban - Croatia
Alex Tachie-Mensah - Ghana
Atsushi Yanagisawa - Japan
Omar Bravo - Mexico
Boa Morte - Portugal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Sweden
Daniel Gygax - Switzerland
Moustapha Salifou - Togo
Yassine Chikhaoui - Tunisia

The Reserves


Roberto Abbondanzieri - Argentina
Gianluigi Buffon - Italy
Aldo Bobadilla - Paraguay
Quim - Portugal


Scott Chipperfield - Australia
Pascal Chimbonda - France


Ze Kalanga - Angola
Petit - Portugal


Love - Angola
Fred - Brazil
Roque Santa Cruz - Paraguay
Stern John - Trinidad and Tobago

Yes, there are more goalkeepers on the bench than most teams would carry. But who could i leave off among Abbondanzieri, Buffon, Bobadilla, and Quim?

Finally, the starting XI, the best of the best, the 2006 World Cup All Name Squad


Pascal Zuberbuehler - Switzerland


Lebo Lebo - Angola
Yahya Golmohammadi - Iran
Massamasso Tchangai - Togo
Oguchi Onyewu - United States


Kaka - Brazil
Yaya Toure - Cote d'Ivoire
Jerko Leko - Croatia
Zinedine Zidane - France


Razak Pimpong - Ghana
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink - Netherlands


Continue reading World Cup All-Name Squad

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

NC 86, Hillsborough, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging

Rain Garden, under construction

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Operation Forward Together

Nine days ago, Operation Forward Together was announced.

70,000 US and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad. 9pm to 6am curfews. Checkpoints everywhere.

The results?

State of emergency declared in Baghdad

The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Friday after insurgents set up roadblocks in central Baghdad and opened fire on U.S. and Iraqi troops outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered everyone off the streets of the capital from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

U.S. and Iraqi forces also fought gunmen in the volatile Dora neighborhood in south Baghdad.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle southeast of the capital, the U.S. military said.

The military also said two U.S. Marines died in combat in volatile Anbar province in separate attacks on Wednesday and Thursday, and a soldier died elsewhere in a non-combat incident on Wednesday.

At least 2,517 members of the U.S. military have died since the
Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

A car bomb ripped through a market and nearby gas station in the increasingly violent southern city of Basra, killing at least five people and wounding 18, including two policemen, police said.

A bomb also struck a Sunni mosque in Hibhib, northeast of Baghdad, killing 10 worshippers and wounding 15 in the town where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was slain this month, police said.

At least 19 other deaths were reported in Baghdad.

Throughout the morning, Iraqi and U.S. military forces clashed with attackers armed with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and rifles in busy Haifa Street, which runs into the Green Zone, site of the U.S. and British embassies and the Iraqi government.

Coming up next - Operation Shut Down Baghdad and Shoot Anyone Caught Out On the Street On Sight.

Continue reading Operation Forward Together

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Beautiful. Fucking beautiful.

Tell me again why we're staying in Iraq through the end of the worst administration ever?

Continue reading Beautiful. Fucking beautiful.


I haven't been following the case of the young woman, Katherine Lester, dubbed the "MySpace Teen" by all of our media that closely. I don't really know if, for example, Nancy Grace or Joe Scarborough or any of the other screaming heads on the tabloid shows have been making a big deal about it, and i don't really care to find out.

But i do have two daughters of my own, and they'll turn 16 and 21 this summer. And i admit there is always a half second of wondering, when the phone rings, what kind of totally unanticipated trouble is awaiting when i answer it.

Fortunately, it's more often someone calling from DiscoverCard wanting to know why i haven't taken advantage of their latest 5.99% offer than it is the police or the US Customs department to tell me my daughter has been picked up in Tel Aviv on her way to meet someone she's met online and who she's planning to spend the rest of her life with.

I have no idea how i'd react if i did get that call. But i don't think it would be like this.

(Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark) Reene said that in court, Lester had a positive attitude and appeared to be receptive to the efforts to help her. Counselors will explain to her the impact of leaving the country and talk about the different culture she would face in the West Bank, Reene said.

"There are so many things she needs to fully understand," he said. "We want to take every available step to inform her, give her the opportunity to make the best decision."

And i'd sure appreciate it if someone like Mark Reene would let me know clearly what he was doing, instead of using all of that bullshit happy talk code for what is more than likely just plain old brainwashing.

Continue reading Codetalkers

Go vote

Wool E. Bull is on the ballot for the Mascot Hall of Fame.

He's currently in second place. Let's put him over the top.

(warning - the mascot hall of fame website is excruciatingly slow.)

Continue reading Go vote

Monday, June 19, 2006

How about that!

Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes. Maybe i'll get a chance to see Lord Stanley's Cup this time.

Continue reading How about that!


The headline:

Deputy Secretary of State quits for Wall Street

the money quote:

For several months, Zoellick has been speaking to Wall Street firms about a position.

While drawing the salary that you pay.

Continue reading Sweet

Happy Juneteenth

Continue reading Happy Juneteenth

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Beaver Lodge 1504 elects a new Beaver Queen

It's hard to know how to categorize this post. (not that i've gotten around to creating categories for this blog yet anyhow.)

Is it another example of how Durham is a great place to live? Is it an animal rights activity? Pop culture gone wild?

Here's the backstory, part 1.

Durham has a lot of flowing water. There are so many branches of the Ellerbe Creek that it's hard to name them all. And despite this being a fairly urban area, there's all kinds of wildlife living here. Redtail hawks, owls, rabbits, snakes, deer. And beaver. The beaver pond behind the old K-Mart on Avondale Dr. just north of the interstate is one of the largest east of the Appalachian mountains. If you know where to look you can find at least five dams holding back the flow, and the beaver lodge in the middle of the pond is at least fifteen feet in diameter.

Part 2.

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is in the process of widening the aforementioned interstate from 4 lanes to 10 lanes in the vicinity of the old K-Mart. As mentioned, there are many branches of the Ellerbe right here, some of which cross the interstate. NCDOT did some rerouting of the creek, installing new culverts to carry the creek from one side of the interstate to the other. But they didn't think about the beaver when putting in the culverts, and the smart rodents figured out that the middle of the culvert was a pretty good place to put in a dam.

Of course, water started backing up, and getting close to people's yards. A couple of people complained about DOT's work, thinking that poor drainage was to blame. DOT investigated, discovered the beavers' responsibility, and proposed a solution. About a year and a half ago many residents living around the flooded area received a letter from DOT asking for their preference in dealing with the beavers. The options included shooting the beavers, dynamiting the beaver lodge, or trapping the beavers and euthanizing them. (It's against the law in NC to relocated a captured beaver.)

My neighbors reacted indignantly to these options, and after much discussion with various county officials, a plan was formulated to modify the beaver dam in such a way that the water level would recede to an acceptable depth, without having to destroy the beavers.

OK, that's the backstory.

Out of this grew Beaver Lodge 1504. And last night they hosted the second annual Beaver Queen Pageant.

Over 200 people gathered in the meadow behind the Duke Park bathhouse to watch the six contestants vie for the crown, competing in the traditional swimsuit, evening wear, and talent competitions.

June Cleaver Beaver, Anita Whacker, Wally "Legal Eagle Eager" Beaver, Jeannette Beaverette, Harriet Beofur, and Gayla Furlip were the entrants. Durham PD's own community affairs specialist and listserv and real-life hero Sgt. Dale Gunter headed up the judges panel.

June Cleaver Beaver got the proceedings under way with a stunning swimsuit entry.

The highlight of the swimsuit competition, for me, was Wally's entry.

In addition to the contestants, the audience were also treated to entertainment from the Preiss Family Singers, who performed (Somewhere) Over the River, (Somewhere over the river/Skies are blue/ And the streams that you dare to dam/Really do flow true.), and Oh, Give Me a Home (Oh give me a home/That is shaped like a dome/Which I built out of sticks, leaves and clay), accompanying themselves on the ukeleles, a special lapdance performance from Beverly Woody, the 2005 Beaver Queen, and the seldom performed Dance of the Seven Beavers.

In the end, June Cleaver Beaver was awarded the crown, and will represent Beaver Lodge 1504 in numerous events throughout the City of Durham over the next year, including the annual NC Pride Parade, and the Durham Christmas Parade. May her reign be glorious.

For a complete photographic rundown, click here.

Continue reading Beaver Lodge 1504 elects a new Beaver Queen

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

After scrambling the last two weekends on the road to find some interesting marquees, it was good to come back to the Triangle, where seemingly every preacher feels it's his or her duty to share their thoughts with the entire community.
A couple of my favorite churches updated their marquees this week.

That was found on Guess Rd.,in Durham.

And this all-time classic, which i never thought i'd live to see on a church marquee in real life, can be seen in Hillsborough, where business 70 and the bypass split.


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging - travel edition

Christ Community Church, East Islip, NY


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging - travel edition

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging - (early) travel edition

Doe, with roses, Brookhaven, NY

Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging - (early) travel edition

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another great baseball name

No, it's not Jason Grimsley.

Lastings Milledge has been ripping it up for the Mets since his callup a few weeks ago. I can't wait to hear Jon Miller call his name on Sunday night baseball.

Continue reading Another great baseball name

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging - travel edition

Huntington, New York


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging - travel edition

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging - travel edition

Flowering chives, Brookhaven, New York

Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging - travel edition

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fascinating stuff

From the AP:

Panel: N.C. should pay for 1898 race riot

RALEIGH, N.C. - A state-appointed commission is urging North Carolina to provide reparations for the 1898 racial violence that sparked an exodus of more than 2,000 black residents from Wilmington.

The 500-page report that was produced after six years of study also said the violence, which killed as many as 60 people, was not a spontaneous riot but rather the nation's only recorded coup d'etat.

"There is no amount of money that can repair what happened years ago and compensate for the loss of lives and the loss of property," said vice chairman Irving Joyner, a professor at N.C. Central School of Law.

The commission did not provide any cost estimates, although compensation advocate Larry Thomas of Chapel Hill estimated that the economic losses calculated today are "probably in the billions of dollars."
Along with compensation to victims' descendants, the commission also recommended incentives for minority small businesses and help for minority home ownership. It also recommended that the history of the incident be taught in public schools.

More here.

I confess, i know virtually nothing about this event. I've had a few conversations with people who do know a lot about it. This is a significant development. How it will be acted upon by the legislature, of course, is indeterminate, but i think it's a pretty good guess that no significant reparations will be paid.

Wonder when the state's newspaper of record will decide to put this story up on their website? Although, to be fair, they have acknowledged their own role in fomenting this event on occasion.

Meanwhile, read more about the commission and its report here; more resources here, and here.

Continue reading Fascinating stuff