Dependable Erection

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dear Governor Romney

I don't think that "Orwellian" means what you think it does.

"I believe it crosses a very bright moral line to take sperm and eggs in the laboratory and start creating human life," Romney told reporters. "It is Orwellian in its scope. In laboratories you could have trays of new embryos being created."

In fact, i don't think that "embryos" means what you think it does, either.

Continue reading Dear Governor Romney

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Should i join, or should i not join?

I came across this link for the North State blogroll earlier while browsing.

Rules for Membership:

1) You must be Born in, or now live in, or once lived in, or would like to live in, North Carolina

2) You must not be ashamed to admit to #1

3) When using the term Barbecue, it shall only refer to Pork Barbecue cooked in either the Eastern NC or Lexington Styles. This term shall never be used in reference to chicken, beef, other animals, grilling equipment, and under NO circumstances shall it be used as a term for a backyard cookout.

4) Must update your Blog once a month.

5) The North State Blogs shall never collectively take sides on any disputes between members about which is the best College Basketball team or Nascar Racer. (Individual members are encouraged to take their own stands on this view.)

5) All shall affirm that no other doughnuts can compare to those heavenly creations made hot and fresh at Krispy Kreme.

6) All Must be a fan of the Andy Griffith Show.

7) Must Place a link back to this page on your Blog. (Using the logo or Blogroll are entirely optional.)

Let's see.

1) Thirteen years.
2) It's obvious, isn't it?
3) I'll have to get back to you on that.
4) So far, so good.
5) No problem. There's no such thing as a best Nascar Racer anyway.
5) I can affirm that. But i don't care.
6) I know the words.
7) No problem.

So i guess that being able to count to 8 is a handicap? And i'm not sure what else you'd call what i do to a beef brisket besides barbecue.

What a dilemma.

Continue reading Should i join, or should i not join?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bush to mark first Katrina anniversary

From the AP:

President Bush marks the anniversary of the hurricane that still haunts his presidency with worries a new tropical storm could bring the first test of his promise that the botched post-Katrina response will not be repeated.

As Ernesto cut a path through the Caribbean, Bush prepared for a visit Monday and Tuesday to the region that is little recovered from Hurricane Katrina's devastating strike last August. Forecasters believe Ernesto, which grew into the first hurricane of the season Sunday and then weakened back to a tropical storm, will emerge with some force into the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

. . .

Bush's trip is his 13th to the Gulf Coast since Katrina, and his first in over three months. The highlights this time are a pair of speeches, one each in Mississippi and Louisiana.

He wasn't bringing any new aid announcements or fresh policy proposals. Instead, the president was hoping the addresses would persuade local residents and doubters elsewhere that he remains committed to seeing the region rebuilt better than before.

Bet he also isn't bringing that stupid guitar with the goddamn presidential seal on it with him either.

Continue reading Bush to mark first Katrina anniversary

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Stone Chimney Rd., Varnamtown, NC

Here's a special bonus. Not technically a marquee, just a concerned Carolinian sincerely worried about the spritual well-being of motorists passing by his home. Who wouldn't be motivated to stop telling God those fibs?


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bonus traffic circle blogging

In my neighborhood called Duke Park here in Durham, we've got a small traffic circle at the intersection of Glendale and Markham Avenues. We lobbied the city for a long time to get some sort of traffic calming measure installed there, and this seems to be doing the job.

It's also turned into a great space for public art, generally of the guerrilla kind. Few of the installations which have appeared there over the past year or so have been overtly political.

Until now.

Both Christa and Joe have done a fine job of blogging the circle, and i didn't feel like i had anything extra to contribute.

But the new installation is pretty powerful stuff, and is generating a lot of discussion on my neighborhood listserv, and is timely to boot, what with a number of citizens groups in Durham and Orange counties starting to join the growing nationwide movement to ban the continuous chaining of dogs in our area.

So, here's the latest installation for you to marvel at.

You can contact the County Board of Commissioners in Durham to ask them to pass legislation banning the continuous chaining of dogs. Their contact info is here.

Continue reading Bonus traffic circle blogging

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

Thursday, August 24, 2006

There are idiots . . .

. . . and then there are real fucking idiots.

The FDA today approved the sale of "Plan B", the so-called morning after pill, to women 18 years of age and older, without a prescription.

That's the good news.

Then there are the people who opposed this decision:

But opponent Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said Plan B's wider availability could give women a false sense of security, since it isn't as effective as regular birth control. Wright also worries that adult men who have sex with minor girls could force the pills upon them.

"Statutory rape is a very serious problem. This decision is going to allow statutory rapists to rely on this drug to cover up their abuse," Wright said.

Let's unpack that sentence, shall we? If you're a young woman, say 15 years old, raped by an older man, Wendy Wright thinks that you should become pregnant in order to provide evidence of this crime. But that if you take the pill, or, in Wendy's example, have the pill forced upon you by your rapist, that will "cover up" the "abuse" and the guy will get away scot-free.

Would it be OK to ask just what the fuck the Concerned Women for America are concerned about?

Continue reading There are idiots . . .

Didn't see that coming

From the BBC:

Flight alert 'not terror related'

Suspicious passenger behaviour that led a US airliner to return to Amsterdam does not seem to be terrorism related, the Dutch justice minister says.

Northwest Airlines flight 42, bound for Mumbai (Bombay) in India, changed course over Germany and returned to Schiphol airport on Wednesday.

"Up until now, it does not appear to be terror related," Piet Hein Donner told the Dutch ANP news agency.

Police arrested 12 of the 149 passengers on the flight.

Two Dutch F-16 air force fighter jets escorted it back to Schiphol.


Passengers aboard the plane said US air marshals acted after a group of young men of Asian appearance began fidgeting with mobile phones and plastic bags.

"The 12 are being interrogated," said a spokesman for Dutch prosecutors.

He was unable to give details of the suspects or possible charges they might face.

The same flight departed for Mumbai, India's financial hub, on Thursday morning.

Security levels at airports across the world were raised two weeks ago after British police said they had foiled a plot to blow up a number of transatlantic flights.

Several security alerts since then have seen flights diverted, passengers removed or planes searched.


Continue reading Didn't see that coming

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's not really a draft, dammit.

Marine Corps to start involuntary troop recalls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Marine Corps will start ordering what could be thousands of inactive service members to return to duty in the coming months to counter a steady decline in the number of such troops who volunteer, the service said on Tuesday.

Col. Guy Stratton, head of the Marine Corps' manpower mobilization plans, said the service is short some 1,200 volunteers over the next 18 months to fill roles in the war on terrorism. The total shortfall fluctuates regularly, he said.

Stratton said President George W. Bush authorized the Marine Corps to issue involuntary recall orders to members of the Individual Ready Reserve, part of the non-active force. It will be the Marine Corps' first involuntary recall since the invasion of
Iraq in 2003.

The authorization limits the number of Marines who can be activated involuntarily to no more 2,500 at any one time, out of a pool of about 35,000, Stratton said. The length of each activated service member's duty is capped at 24 months but will likely last 12 to 18 months.

Under a general contract, a Marine serves four years on active duty and four in reserve. While on reserve, Marines may volunteer to return to active duty to fill needed roles.

But the number of Marines volunteering outside their active-duty service requirement has been steadily declining for two years, according to Stratton, who said could not offer an explanation.

The Marine Corps' authority to involuntarily recall Marines for jobs in the "Global War on Terror" -- a war whose parameters remain largely undefined -- has no expiration date.

"The authority is until GWOT is over with," Stratton said. "Until we're told to do otherwise, we'll use it."

Let me give Col. Stratton a ticket to the clue parade. Maybe his Marines are smart enough to realize that the risk of getting their fucking heads blown off in the "Global War on Terror" (a war whose parameters remain undefined, to put it gently) outweighs whatever benefits might accrue to nameless heroes.

At least the adults are in charge of our country again.


Continue reading It's not really a draft, dammit.

Things you probably shouldn't brag about

Have these folks no shame?

(via cd)

Continue reading Things you probably shouldn't brag about

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Beach

There's nothing like the beach. Jonathan Richman said it the best (not unusual):

Well now the beach be one of the best things we got
Cause it's not what you have on, it's what you have not
No more silly clothes for you, no more shoes no necktie too
And the beach be one of the best things that we got

Continue reading The Beach

(belated) Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Sabbath Home Rd., Holden Beach, NC


Continue reading (belated) Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Guess Rd., Durham, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A useful email message

I get way too many emails a week.

Yet, perhaps as a manifestation of some hitherto unknown form of OCD, i delete almost none of them, and, except for the most obvious spam, try to find time to not only scan the subject headers, but to read most of them.

Today's inbox contained a small gift, the words of a writer and thinker with whom i never had more than a passing acquaintance, Mr. Wendell Berry.

A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another
pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life.

Unpack that thought for a bit.

A people who are entirely lacking in economic self-determination,
either personal or local, and who are therefore entirely passive in
dealing with the suppliers of all their goods and services, including
political goods and services, cannot be governed democratically--or
not for long.

Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky, a poet of personal responsibility.

Good to meet you.

Continue reading A useful email message

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging

Future pickles

Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging

Thursday, August 10, 2006

George W. Bush - Anti-Fascist Leader

Speaking briefly on a visit to Wisconsin, Bush said the foiled plane plot was "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."

Fascism - A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

Hmmm. Which fascist government is George Bush going to be defending us from next? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia?

Who is he kidding? A bunch of guys who might have been planning to blow up some planes, and now we're at war against fascism?

Man, i thought lefties tossed that word around a lot.

Here's another great quote:

British police foiled a plot by would-be suicide bombers to simultaneously blow up several planes flying to the United States, arresting 24 people days before they could attack, officials said on Thursday.

Disclosure of the alleged plan to smuggle bombs on aircraft disguised as drinks immediately brought drastic new security measures and chaos at airports on both sides of the Atlantic.

British security sources said they had been watching the suspects for eight months, and London police's Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson described their goal as "mass murder on an unimaginable scale."

You know, the Nazis killed what, 12 million people? Stalin, 20 million? The destruction of the native population of the Americas, 50 million?

That's what i call unimaginable.

Continue reading George W. Bush - Anti-Fascist Leader

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to

Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary last night, to secure the nomination to run for the Senate in November. As others have noted, Joe's non-concession speech, with it's out-of-place halftime metaphor is going to be remembered even less fondly than his New Hampshire concession speech following the 2004 presidential primary.

But here's the part that really showed me how seriously out of touch Joe is.

"For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," Lieberman said.

But that's the whole point, Joe. All those people who came out to vote yesterday, over 40% turnout for an August primary, it's their party. They're the Democratic Party in Connecticut. Not Joe Lieberman.

Not any more.

Of course, Joe's new party is his party. The Lieberman party, a party of one.

Like all events in human culture, the significance of this election will be made known by how subsequent events turn out. But i think there are two main ways of viewing this election, one cautionary, one celebratory.

First, the cautionary. In a "liberal" state, with a clearly defined distinction between the candidate's positions, a nearly perfect campaign run by the challenger, extraordinarily high turnout, Lamont barely eked out a victory, winning by about 10,000 votes out of 280,000. For those of us looking to force our government to start figuring out to end a wasteful and counterproductive war, that's a sign that there's a lot of heavy lifting still to do.

But incumbent Senators are rarely defeated in elections, especially primary elections. Now we know it can be done. And maybe this election is the crack in the dam that will let those of us who know in our hearts that this country can be made right again that we cannot be held back much longer.

There's been a lot to celebrate this week. Corrupt Republicans like Tom DeLay and Bob Ney have had the bright light shined on them, and they're scurrying for the corners like roaches. We've won an election that 90 days ago was unthinkable.

A quick scan of the headlines shows how daunting the task is, of wresting power from those who only know how to sow destruction and fear in their bid to retain it. But it can be done. Last night showed that much, at least.

Continue reading It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to

Sunday, August 06, 2006

August 6


Eventually, we'll stop killing each other. Why not start today?

Continue reading August 6

Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Rose Of Sharon Rd., Durham, NC


Continue reading Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Ren & Stimpy : : My Little Pony as

The Ramones : : ????

Continue reading Analogies

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday afternoon garden blogging


Continue reading Friday afternoon garden blogging