Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Virtual Postcard of Turkey: Konya Eregli

Since Oct. 29th was Turkish Republic's Day, we thought we'd salute my late father Mehmet Gokbudak's country with an image from Konya Eregli, the town where he was born in 1921. Two years later, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk formed the Republic of Turkey, with Ankara as its capital.

My late grandfather Fuat Gokbudak, who alas does not yet have a Vikipedia* page, represented the Konya province in the Turkish Parliament during its early years. But, Fuat bey is mentioned as a member of the first parliament.

*-Vikipedia is the Turkish version of Wikipedia

Friday, October 25, 2013

Futbol Notebook: Trabzonspor Wins at Home

Marc Janko, an Austrian player, and his Trabzonspor teammate Olcan Adin (Turkish player, pictured) each scored a goal as Trabzonspor, which plays in Trabzon, Turkey, a large city in the eastern Black Sea, which is a good 20-hour bus ride from Istanbul, defeated Legia Warsaw from Poland at home by a 2-0 margin.

Here is our fourth and final list of Europa League play (see "The Daily Vampire" for more scores):

Trabzonspor (Turkey) 2 Legia Warsaw (Poland) 0

D. Zagred (Croatia) 0 PSV Eindhoven (Neth.) 0 (tie)

E. Frankfurt (Germany) 2 M. Tel Aviv (Israel) 0

Ferreira (Portugal) 0 Dnipro (Ukraine) 2

Elfsborg (Sweden) 1 Esberg (Denmark) 2

Florentina (Italy) 3 Pandurii (Romania) 0

Futbol Notebook: Good Day for Valencia

Valencia scored a 5-1 victory over St. Gallen (France). The Spanish team won in part because of two goals from Argentinian national Frederico Cartaba, who had two goals.

Amazingly enough, 23 other soccer games were played in the Europa League yesterday, here are some partial scores:

Liberec (Czech) 1 Seville (Spain) 1 (tie)

Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova) 0 Tottenham (England) 2

Bordeaux (France) 1 APOEL (Cyprus) 1 (tie)

Valencia (Spain) 5 St. Gallen (France) 1

Wigan (England) 1 Rubin Kazan (Russia) 1 (tie)

Ch. Odessa (Ukarine) 0 Ludogorets (Bulgaria) 1

Other scores:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quote of the Day- Kirk Gibson

We must profess that since we haven't watched baseball all year, we were oblivious to the fact that Kirk Gibson, 56, who won two World Series rings for two different teams, is now the current manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Gibson won his first World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1984, but he became more of an icon with his shocking home run in the 1988 World Series when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers against ace relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland A's.

Gibson was injured, but Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda took a huge risk and sent the power hitter to the plate. The home run won Game One for the Dodgers who eventually upset the A's.

Here is Gibson's quote:

"I'm not out here to win a beauty contest."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Govt Shutdown is Finally Over (after 16 days)

Thanks for those of you coming over from our sister blog "The Daily Vampire" where we reported on how House members in Congress representing North Carolina voted on the bill to stop the federal government shutdown.

There are three House members representing Virginia, including Congs. Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott. Every Democrat in the House favored the bill.

It was disappointing for many of us in southwest Virginia to see Congs. Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt vote against the measure.

But, at least three Virginia Republican reps voted for the bill:Congs. Frank Wolf, Robert Wittman and Scott Riggell.

The other two Republican members from Virginia are Congs. Eric Cantor, a majority whip, and Randy Forbes.

This means that many national parks in Virginia, including Skyline Drive in Front Royal and the Arlington National Cemetery are back in business.

Our entry last week suggesting Cong. Griffith dine with Turkish ambassador Namik Tan remains highly popular!:

DC Week (8 of 8): Govt Shutdown MAY End Tonight.....

Since elephants are the mascot of the Republican Party, and donkeys are the symbol for the Democrats, we thought we'd insert an image of a Thai elephant and a Turkish donkey with a photo of a Lucho Libre (Mexican pro wrestling) in the middle.

Here are tweet s regarding the possibility of a federal government shutdown end:

1) The Hill: "Dem polls show shutdown hurt GOP chances in Senate races."

2) The Nation (a liberal magazine): "Mitch McConnell's Tea Party challenger for 2014 Senate is already capitulating on this deal."

3) Washington Examiner (a conservative publication): "Sen. McConnell on Obamacare: Republicans remain determined to repeal this terrible law."

4) Left on Main St: "Tea Party Hypocricy Perfected Idaho Candidate Opposes Medicaid, Has Ten Kids on Medicaid."

5) The Atlantic: "Republicans couldn't stop Obamacare. How badly have they wounded it?"

6) Epoch Times: "Deal reached to end government shutdown avoid debt default."

7) Roll Call: "John Boehner: We fought the good fight, we just didn't win."

8) Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon): "Need to stop careering from crisis and focus on what really matters: good jobs, affordable college, secure retirement."

DC Week (7 of 8): Meet Rudolf Bekink and the Other Chief Diplomats

We are continuing our look at ambassadors who serve their respective countries in Washington, DC, the other chief diplomats at

Here is our list, the year the ambassador began their American mission is in parentheses:

1. Netherlands/Holland, Rudolf Bekink (pict. top with Barack Obama) (2012)

2. Canada, Gary Doer (2009)

3.South Africa, Ebrahim Rasool  (2010)

4. Brazil, Mauro Vieria (2010)

5. Sweden, Jonas Hafstrom (2007)

6. Australia, (mr) Kim Beazley (pict. bottom) (2010)

7. France, Francois Delattre (2011)

8. Japan, Kenichiro Sasae  (2012)

9. Italy, Claudio Bisogneiro (2013)

10. Germany, Peter Ammon (2011)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DC Week (6 of 8): Congressional Reps from Red States

This list of Congressional reps contains some familiar names, including Cong. James Clyburn (D-SC; pictured top) who is an assistant Democratic leader in the House and Cong. Tom Cole (R-Okl.;pictured bottom) was once head of the Republican National Committee.

Cong. Mark Sanford (R-SC) won a seat in Congress_as a Republican no less_ in spite of a major sex scandal when he was governor of the Palmetto State.

Cong. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex) is the identical twin of Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio; Julian made what even non-partisan pundits considered an exemplary speech at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC, last year.

Cong. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) made headlines today because of a clash with Cong. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) which went viral on the Internet, which gives us hope that someone, perhaps a bored teenager in Welch, West Virginia, might read this entry.

The middle image is of a game of chess because government shutdown seems to be a 16-day chess game which constantly ends in a stale mate.

Here is the list:

1. Mark Sanford (R-SC), 53, 1st District, Homeland Security; Transportation and Infastructre

2. James Clyburn (D-SC), 73, 6th dist., asst. Democratic leader

3.Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), 39, 20th dist., Armed services; foreign affairs

4. Kay Granger (R-Tex.), 70, 12th dist., Appropriations

5. Nick Rahall (D-WVa), 67, 3rd dist., Transportation and Infastructre

6. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), 40, 2nd district, Homeland security; Judiciary

7. Tom Cole (R-Okl.), 63, 4th dist., Appropriations; Budget; Rules

8. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), 46, 3rd dist., Homeland security; Judiciary, Oversight and Govt. Reform

9. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), 59, 5th dist., Armed Services; oversight and govt. reform

10. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), 1st district, Small Business; Veterans Affairs (his district consists of a walloping 63 counties).

Monday, October 14, 2013

DC Week (5 of 8): Ten Swing State Congress Reps

We are continuing DC Week with a list of ten members of the House of Representatives in Congress who are in swing state. But, gerrymandering, which means fixing electoral maps so members of a certain can be more likely to win elections, means only 17 members of Congress are in competitive districts.

Although the strategy back-fired for the Virginia Republican Party, when Tom Perriello, a Democrat from Charlottesville, ousted long-term congressional rep Virgil Goode, a Republican who was considered one of the most conservative members of the House. Ironically, he was once a Democrat.

Ultimately, Robert Hurt defeated Tom Perriello, but the former Democratic congressional rep is now the CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Here are ten members of the House in swing states:

1) Andre Carson (D-Ind.; pictured top) 7th Dist. Age 38 (He's the youngest member on the list)

2) Steve King (R-Iowa) 4th Dist. Age 64.

3) Bill Shuster (R-Pa) 8th Dist. Age 53.

4) Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) 24th Dist. Age 70.

5) Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.) 4th Dist. Age 62.

6) Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) 8th Dist. Age 56

7) Scott Garner (R-NJ) 6th Dist. Age 54

8) Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) 7th Dist. Age 76 (He is the oldest member listed here).

9) Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) 4th Dist. Age 66

10) Joseph Heck (R-Nev.; pictured bottom) 3rd Dist. Age 51.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

DC Week (4 of 8): A Quote from SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas

Greetings to those of you from the Myrtle Beach Tea Party in Myrtle Beach, SC, who would not normally turn to this slightly left-of-center blog for information, entertainment and road kill cooking recipes (yes, that is a joke..........we have no desire to eat Pepe Le Pew and neither does the family cat).

Today, we are quoting America's second most powerful African-American, who is a conservative Republican unlike most African-Americans. Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, 65, is an Alabama native and he reportedly disdains his alma mater Yale University.

Before we quote Thomas, we want to wish a Good Morning to our blog-readers from other parts of the world as it now 8:45 a.m. in Tel Aviv and Baghdad, and 9:45 a.m. in Muscat, Oman (we believe this is the first time we've mentioned the gulf Arab nation of Oman in a blog post).

Here is Thomas' quote, it pertains to his negative views towards affirmative action:

"I don't believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights."

For a quip from Thomas' fellow SCOTUS justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one can visit our sister blog: (Not an endorsement) (Yes, Oman has a travel web page!).

Saturday, October 12, 2013

DC Week (3 of 8): Escape from DC............but, Skyline Drive is Closed Too

With images of 1) Cong. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah, who is one of the most social media savvy members of the House), 2) The Metro line map for Washington, DC, the Red Line is the one used to get to Washington Capitals games and 3) Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who will be appearing on at least one Sunday morning talk show tomorrow.

Here are the tweets:

1) The Hill: "John Boehner spokesman takes flack for calling House Dems 'hostage takers..'"

2) Huff Post Politics: "Conservative shutdown architects hosting fancy fundraiser on debt ceiling day" (which was yesterday).

3) Washington DC News: "Ted Cruz wins religious conservatives 2016 straw poll."

4) Mother Jones (a liberal publication): "Demonstrating the lies of pundits is sort of like shooting fish in a barrel."

5) Politico: "Ken Cuccinelli's campaign released its most brutal ad yet in the very nasty Virginia governor's race." (he is running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe).

6) DC United (the local pro soccer team): "Tailgate is underway. Pick up your tickets and visit the food trucks in Lot 8 as well as Nocha Latina festivities!"

Friday, October 11, 2013

DC Week (2 of 8): Washington DC Metro Area also Preps for the Rain

These three images above are of: 1) Cong. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), one of the few openly gay members of the House; 2) cats in the rain; 3) Cong. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), whose far right politics have made him a Tea Party darling.

Here are the tweets:

1. Washington DC News: "Ted Cruz the star of Values Voters Summit"

2. Cong. Jared Polis: "It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American. Every American has his own mind," Ludwig Von Mises.

3. Capital Weather Gang: "Flood warning extended thru 7:45 a.m. Sat. for much of DC metro area w/   rain continuing overnight."

4. The Nation (a liberal magazine): "Shutdown Politics: Support for Democratic Takeover of the House Spikes."

5. Washington Examiner ( a reportedly conservative-leaning  publication): "Senate GOPers push Obamacare delay as alternative to House plan requesting sequester."

6. Washington Blade (a gay political journal): "Still no action from Obama as Natl Guards deny benefits for gay spouses." (Not an endorsement)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DC Week (1 of 8): A quote from Thomas Jefferson

We begin our week-long salute to Washington, DC, America's capital (hopefully, we've taught a six-year-old child in Erzincan, Turkey, something new about the United States), with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

"Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom."

There is a Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in the DC-suburb of Falls Church, Va. His historic home Monticello, located in Charlottesville, Va., is privately-owned (we believe) so tours are still open to the public.

Alas, the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, is closed because of the federal government shutdown.

While in C'ville, one can also stop at Atlas Coffee; we're sure TJ would approve.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

University of Mississippi Theatre Play Disrupted..............and, a cell phone is not to blame

In case you are wondering, the image above is apparently of a quilt to stop homophobia.

It was homophobia, rather than a cell phone, which disrupted a since-concluded production at the University of Mississippi of "The Laramie Project," a play being performed in Washington, DC by Ford's Theatre at an alternative venue due to the federal government shutdown.

According to various students, the disruptive students, which consisted of some 20 Ole Miss football players who were taking a freshman introduction to theatre class, heckled the actors on stage which various hateful, homophobic profanities.

Garrison Gibbons, the only gay student in the production of a play about the murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard who was gay, said the incident reminded him of how much intolerance remained in the Magnolia State.

"The Laramie Project" was also protested by the radical, fringe Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kan. Members of the cult held up homophobic hate signs up in front of a venue that was performing the play in Durham, NC, in 2005.

The play was written in 2000; Shepard's murder occurred in 1998.

SIDEBAR: The federal government shutdown which has closed many national parks, including tours of the Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, did not stop the Air Force-Navy game which was played in Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday. Navy won the game 28-10 thanks in large part to quarterback Keenan Reynolds who ran for 126 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Monday, October 7, 2013

DC Week Teaser (2 of 2) : So Much for a Political Fund-Raiser at the National Zoo

We are getting ready for DC Week, which will begin on Thursday. Our interview with Newt Gingrich has been postponed as has our interviews with Michele Bachmann and Clarence Thomas (yes, we are kidding, of course), but we hope to bring you an array of entries pertaining to Washington, DC, as the nation's capitals deals with lost tourism revenue due to the federal government shut down.

But, for right now, we leave you with this teaser, which features: 1) Chris Pontius, an American soccer player for DC United; 2) a giraffe to symbolize the National Zoo, which is closed due to shut down and 3) Cong. David Price (D-NC), one of the few Democrats in a 'safe district' in the increasingly right-wing Tarheel State (Price's district is in and around Chapel Hill and Durham, NC), which was the subject of a brilliant "Doonesbury" comic strip that was published yesterday. I'm sure at least one tea partier in North Carolina cancelled his subscription to the "Charlotte Observer." (NC Democratic Party)

DC Week Teaser (1 of 2): Perhaps, Cong. Morgan Griffith Can Have Lunch with Amb. Namik Tan Now.... hind sight, perhaps we should have put the image of Ambassador Namik Tan (pictured bottom), who is Turkey's ambassador to the United States, on top, and the photo of Cong. Morgan Griffith (R-Va; pictured top) on the bottom.

At either rate, if the government shut down lasts long enough perhaps Griffith (full disclosure: We know Griffith) and Tan (full disclosure: Turkey is my late father's country) can meet at Meze Restaurant in downtown Washigton, DC, or at the Famous Anthony's in Blacksburg, Va., which is in Griffith's district (full disclosure: Since we are Democrats, we probably wouldn't get invited).*

At any rate, on Thursday, we will start a week-long, eight-entry series dedicated to Washington, DC, regardless if the federal government shutdown is on-going or not!

*-On the flip side of the coin, I also oppose the Turkish government policy of requiring visas to Americans who visit my father's motherland, so perhaps Charlie Rose should be the third man at the table.

The middle image is of the Jefferson Memorial, which is closed at the moment.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sports Desk: Soccer Scores from Obscure Countries Around the World

Today, we arbitrarily decided to post soccer scores for four leagues which don't get much mention: Azerbaijan, Serbia, Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia. For results from Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia, go to our sister blog

But, for the rest of you, stick here as we give you weekend scores from Azerbaijan and Serbia (assuredly few bloggers outside of Baku and Belgrade are doing this!). The images above are of Will John, who is the first American ever to play in Azerbaijan. He plays for Azal PFC. We were not aware of him when we did our American soccer players abroad entry.

 The bottom image is of Ghana international Obeng Regan who got a red card for his Serbian club Napredak Krussevac.

Here are the results:


FK Baku 1 Sungayit FC 0

Khazar Lenkoran 0 Inter Baku 1

AZAL PFC 1 Khazar Lenkoran 3

Gabala 3 Ravan 0 (Gabala is also in first place in the league; Neftci Baku is in third place)


Sloboda 2 Radnicki 1

Vojvodina 2 Partizan 1 (in spite of the loss, Partizan is still the Serbian league leader)

Napredak 2 Cukaricki 1

OFK Belgrade 1 Rad Belgrade 0

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

College Volleyball Notebook: A Good Week for Bulldogs and Tigers

The Clemson Tigers went up to College Park, Md., to face their former/current ACC rival The University of Maryland  (we are not sure when college sports gerrymandering goes into effect) and the Tigers came away with a 3-1 victory thanks in large part to Mo Simmons (pictured bottom) a senior from Buford, Ga, who had 22 kills and 12 digs for the road team.

In the nation's capital (insert government shutdown joke here), George Washington University hosted Townson. And, in this case, it was the visiting rival team from Maryland that came over with a win in Washington, DC. For the home team Colonials, Kelsey Newman, a junior from Charlotte, NC, posted a match-high 18 kills. The final score was: Towson 3 GWU 1.

And, in the Ivy League, Kendall Plan (pictured top), the two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, delivered eight kills an 10 digs along with 23 assists for a home sweep of Brown.

Here are 15 scores from weekend action:

Western Carolina 3 Davidson 1

Wisconsin 3 Indiana 1

Winthrop 3 Charleston Southern 0

*Clemson 3 Maryland 1

Colorado State 3 New Mexico 2

Montana 3 Eastern Washington 1

*Towson 3 GWU 1

Pitt 3 Georgia Tech 0

USC 3 Utah 0

Georgia Southern 3 UNC-Greensboro 2

Brigham Young 3 Pacific 0

*Yale 3 Brown 0

Florida 3 Mississippi St. 0

Michigan State 3 Penn State 2