Dependable Erection

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

John Hope Franklin - 1915-2009

Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma where he was often subjected to humiliating incidents of racism, he was later instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of such a world.

As an author, his book "From Slavery to Freedom" was a landmark integration of black history into American history. As a scholar, his research helped Thurgood Marshall win Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that outlawed the doctrine of "separate but equal" in the nation's public schools.

"It was evident how much the lawyers appreciated what the historians could offer," Franklin later wrote. "For me, and I suspect the same was true for the others, it was exhilarating."

Franklin broke numerous color barriers. He was the first black department chair at a predominantly white institution, Brooklyn College; the first black professor to hold an endowed chair at Duke University; and the first black president of the American Historical Association.

Above all, he documented how blacks had lived and served alongside whites from the nation's birth. Black patriots fought at Lexington and Concord, Franklin pointed out in "From Slavery to Freedom," published in 1947. They crossed the Delaware with Washington and explored with Lewis and Clark. The text sold million of copies and remains required reading in college classrooms.

Late in life, Franklin chaired President Clinton's Initiative on Race and received more than 100 honorary degrees, the NAACP's Spingarn Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Fare well, good sir.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Today's reading assignment

Still on my break, but you should read this:
Durham citizens, neighborhood groups, and local officials worked hard to reduce billboard blight along our highways and in our city. There have been a many, many letters to the editor from Durham citizens who oppose electronic billboards and a only a few supporting the billboard industry, with most of those coming from the Friends of Durham/Chamber of Commerce camp. Some of these letter writers have blamed local government for the deterioration of billboards in Durham. The fact is that current ordinances allow billboard companies to make annual improvements in order to maintain their billboards, but the industry has allowed its billboards to deteriorate anyway. These billboards may be ugly, but don't blame current ordinances or local government.

The Chamber's efforts on behalf of the billboard industry to overturn the current ban on electronic billboards, despite citizen outcry, begs the question: Why are the City and County giving the Chamber $128,000 in taxpayer subsidies/year so the Chamber can turn around and lobby local officials on behalf of outside interests that contribute little to our local economy or quality of life?

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Monday, March 09, 2009


Yeah, i'm on a break, but i couldn't let this bit of idiocy pass unnoticed:
To outsiders, this fixation on dates may seem odd, but it has both cultural and political explanations. Numerology and the calendar have ancient and honored roles in China, Elizabeth Perry, a China scholar and professor of government at Harvard University, said in an e-mail interview. Even today, while Americans identify most major events by their location (the Boston tea party, the Alamo, Gettysburg, Oklahoma City), Chinese people tend to rely on dates.

The May 4 movement, which mixed anti-imperialism with a call for democracy and human rights, is best known to most Chinese as “5/4.” The 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and crackdown are universally shorthanded into “6/4.”


July 4th.


Memorial Day.

Hell - there's ample evidence that the Oklahoma City bombing didn't happen on a random date. Those Chinese, they're just so different from us.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009


I've been writing DE for about 38 months. Most of the last two years, i've posted every day, often multiple posts each day.

That hasn't left me a whole lot of time to reflect on what exactly it is that i want DE to be, or to keep the look and feel up-to-date with new technologies.

So, for the month of March, i'm going to be mostly doing that. Expect to see an occasional post if something really catches my eye, but for the most part i'll be tinkering under the hood, trying out new tires and the like, and with any luck will emerge in April with the dogwoods with an even more Dependable Erection.

See you then.


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Sunday morning church marquee blogging

Morehead City, NC


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