thoughts on jeremiah wright and barack obama

In no particular order:

1) What happened on September 11, 2001 *was* a direct result of US foreign policy. Does that mean that your cousin/nephew/friend from college deserved to die in a pile of flaming rubble? Of course not...but let's not pretend that mucking about in the affairs of far-away lands doesn't have consequences, OK?

2) Black people in the US have a hell of a lot to be pissed off about. If you actually need me to elaborate on this point, I doubt I will change your mind, but there it is.

3) To believe that the US government engineered the HIV virus to wipe out black people requires both a profound overestimation of the competence of the US government and an equally profound ignorance of biology; each of which, sadly, are incredibly common among liberals and Christians, respectively.

4) Anyone who voted for George W. Bush has no fucking business criticizing Obama for his association with a pastor based on the wacky pronouncements of said pastor. (Shorter this: JERRY FUCKING FALWELL!!!)

All of that said, I share RW's frustration, and I agree with the spirit of Gino's remarks (if not necessarily the content), but the prize on this one goes to Thoreau:

Poor Barack Obama. He’s between a rock and at least 2 hard places when it comes to religion. For a while we were treated to right wing whispers about how his religious Achilles Heel would be found in an Indonesian mosque. Then his Christian minister was a liability. Then he found himself in trouble for being part of the allegedly secular elite, with his comment on “bitter” voters who “cling to religion.” Now his Christian minister is back in the news as a liability.

Not Christian enough, too Christian, not Christian enough, too Christian. Maybe those wacky deist Founders had a good idea about religion and public office ... maybe, just maybe, that “no religious test” clause is rooted in some deeper wisdom regarding religion and public office.


albert hofmann, rip

Dr. Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD, died today of a heart attack at the ripe old age of 102, just over 65 years after a bit of carelessness in the lab (wear your gloves, kids!) made him famous and Jimi Hendrix possible.

A phenomenally talented chemist, (LSD is just one of his many accomplishments) Dr. Hofmann was also possibly one of the sanest voices in the field of psychopharmacology. While critical of what he viewed as reckless use of LSD among the 1960's counterculture, he nonetheless was troubled by the demonization of the drug and advocated for--you know, science and stuff--thinking it might be interesting and possibly even instructive to understand just how these sorts of things work, an attitude I find disturbingly lacking in the field these days. But that's a rant for another time (not to mention ground I've covered before)...

Here's wishing Dr. Hofmann an eternity of magical bicycle rides, wherever he is.

ADDENDUM--Nick Gillespie says what I wanted to say last night, but much more eloquently:

Blowing peoples' minds is never an easy thing, and not always a good thing, but Hoffman is an inspiring figure, in large part because he never lost his taste for scientific inquiry and rational analysis while expanding the borderlands of human consciousness.

this is not an endorsement (nc dem primary, us senate edition)

Wow...5 minutes of Kay Hagan's interview on the WUNC during lunch was all it took to convince me to vote for Jim Neal next week.

What a twit.


dept. of completely unsuprising

Per Barry and his commentors, so far, Durham Magazine (sorry, no link until I get my free copy) doesn't seem to be getting to an awful lot of people that, you know, live in Durham...


the government that governs poorly may as well be entertaining

I wish there was a way where we could have Obama as president and Bill Clinton as First Lady.



Cruel spring trees unleash
Arboreal bukake
No towel offered


the best sentence I've read this week

"[She] writes with the obscurantist condescension of the expensively ill-educated."

Quote from here. The context is relatively unimportant (to the appreciation of the sentence, that is), and a story that I really don't feel like getting into, but by all means feel free to follow the links if you haven't heard about it already.


what i've been doing with my spare time lately

(Unfortunately, embed is disabled on the video I wanted to use, but you can still watch it here the old-fashioned way.)

If you are in or around Durham, NC, this weekend, come check out Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at Duke Chapel, Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 4pm. Tickets are $20 (free for students). Come early if don't have a ticket already.


abandon all hope

Ever notice that when you finally give up on something, it has a way of working out?


"or am i so sane that you just blew your mind?"

Sometimes I imagine the digital archaeologists of the future discovering an archive of Mike Gravel videos and thinking he might have been some sort of prophet.