03/19/2011 archive

from firefly-dreaming 19.3.11

Evening Edition

I’ll be sitting in for ek hornbeck who is Live Blogging the NCAA Championship Games for the next few days.

  • West pounds Libya with air strikes, Tomahawks

    by Imed Lamloum

    TRIPOLI (AFP) – French air raids and US Tomahawk missiles pounded targets in Libya on Saturday, in an international campaign to prevent Moamer Kadhafi from crushing a month-old uprising against his rule.

    A US warship fired Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya, targeting Kadhafi’s air defence sites, a senior US military official said.

    Two days after a UN Security Council resolution authorised military action, French planes carried out an initial four air strikes, destroying several armoured vehicles of Kadhafi’s forces, the French military said.

  • Power line connected to stricken Japan reactor

    by Hiroshi Hiyama

    KITAKAMI, Japan (AFP) – Crews fighting to cool reactors at Japan’s stricken nuclear plant managed to connect a power line Saturday as the government revealed that leaking radioactivity had reached the food chain.

    The Fukushima No. 1 plant was crippled eight days ago by a terrifying earthquake and tsunami which according to the latest police tally left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing in Japan’s worst natural disaster since 1923.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Fast Food for Harried Days


Baked Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Broccoli and Red Onion Quesadillas

Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Mushroom Quesadillas

Spinach and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

David Sirota: Six Sadistic Proposals From State Government

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said that states are the “laboratories of democracy.” Oft repeated over time, the aphorism has helped impart legitimacy to the rough and tumble of state lawmaking. We’ve heard “laboratory” and we’ve imagined staid scientists in white coats rigorously testing forward-thinking theories of societal advancement.

It’s certainly a reassuring picture-but there is a darker side of the metaphor. States are indeed laboratories. The problem is that today, those laboratories are increasingly run by mad scientists.

We’re not talking about the usual Dr. Frankensteins trying to bring alive new corporate giveaways through harebrained cuts to social services (though there are those, too). We’re talking about true legislative sadists looking to go medieval on America. Behold just six of the most telling examples.

Eric Boehlert: Note to NPR: Fight Back

Why Fox News Will Keep Bullying NPR Until They Stand Up and Push Back

In the wake of the James O’Keefe smear campaign against NPR, which arrived in the form of dishonestly edited undercover tapes (does O’Keefe know any other form?), public radio host Ira Glass expressed dismay that nobody was “fighting back” against the right-wing attacks. “I find it completely annoying, and I don’t understand it,” said Glass.

Instead of fighting back against the right-wing attacks led by Fox News, NPR hit the panic button last week. It prematurely condemned a colleague and got busy “rolling bodies out the back of the truck,” as the New York Times’ David Carr put it, referencing the public sacking of CEO Vivian Schiller and senior fundraiser Ron Schiller, who was featured in the O’Keefe tapes. Both were made sacrificial lambs for the O’Keefe stings; lambs that were sacrificed before the full truth about theunethical tapes were revealed.

Note to NPR: If you don’t stand up, the bullying is never going to stop.

Robert Naiman: The UN Security Council Has Not Authorized Regime Change in Libya

It’s a great thing that the Obama administration has resisted calls for unilateral US military action in Libya, and instead is working through the United Nations Security Council, as it is required to do by the United Nations Charter.

Now, the administration needs to follow through on this commitment to international law by ensuring that foreign military intervention remains within the four corners of what the UN Security Council has approved. If it does not, and instead Western powers take the view that we now have a blank check to do whatever we want, the certain consequence will be that it will be much more difficult to achieve Security Council action in a similar situation in the future, and those who complain that the Security Council is too cautious will have only themselves to blame.

Round of 32 Day 1

It seems longer than it is.  Only 8 games today and 8 tomorrow.  I mentioned yesterday that we’ll be losing one of our Cinderellas today for sure.  Of course one will advance for sure too.

Yesterday afternoon we added Florida State and last night another 3 (though a 9 over an 8 hardly counts), but the ones I was most rooting for, Long Island and Boston University, didn’t come through.  At least the announcers made a pretense of rooting for Long Island.  The Kansas shills on TBS celebrated their bias with a shamelessness that would make the Yankees blush.

Fuck you assholes!  I hope Kansas goes down in flames as soon as possible.  The more humiliating the defeat the better.

Yesterday Evening’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
1 *Kansas 35 – 2 72 16 Boston U. 21 – 14 53 Southwest
2 *North Carolina 28 – 7 101 15 Long Island 27 – 6 87 East
3 *Purdue 27 – 7 65 14 St. Peter’s 20 – 13 43 Southwest
6 Xavier 25 – 9 55 11 *Marquette 22 – 14 66 East
8 UNLV 26 – 9 62 9 *Illinois 23 – 13 73 Southwest
7 *Washington 25 – 10 68 10 Georgia 22 – 12 65 East
6 Georgetown 21 – 11 56 11 *Virginia Commonwealth 25 – 11 74 Southwest
3 *Syracuse 27 – 7 77 14 Indiana St. 22 – 14 60 East

Today’s Matchups

Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
12:15 pm CBS 4 Kentucky 32 – 8 5 West Virginia 21 – 11 East
3:00 pm CBS 2 Florida 29 – 7 7 UCLA 22 – 10 Southeast
5:15 pm CBS 12 Richmond 28 – 7 13 Morehead St. 25 – 9 Southwest
6:10 pm TNT 2 San Diego St. 34 – 2 7 Temple 26 – 7 West
7:10 pm TBS 1 Pittsburgh 30 – 5 8 Butler 24 – 9 Southeast
8:05 pm CBS 3 BYU 33 – 4 11 Gonzaga 28 – 7 Southeast
8:55 pm TNT 4 Wisconsin 25 – 8 5 Kansas St. 25 – 10 Southeast
9:55 pm TBS 3 Connecticut 29 – 9 6 Cincinnati 28 – 8 West

Follow the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

For a more traditional bracket try CBS Sports.  My Master Bracket Schedule is still good for today.

This Week In The Dream Antilles

A week of bread and circuses.  Pan y toros.  The shiny object of March Madness on four networks  (CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV) attempts to eclipse world shaking nuclear disaster in Japan and the initial steps toward US involvement in yet another war, this time in Libya.  Lost in the fray: a judge temporarily enjoined Wisconsin’s union buster law.  And the moon is closest to earth since 1992.  

This week your bloguero was distracted.  And he wasn’t prolific.  Or poetic.  As of Friday night, there wasn’t a single new Haiku on the site.  So your bloguero wrote an apologetic one just for this Digest:

Week without Haiku.

Your bloguero is slothful,

Sometimes disappoints.

At 4 am Saturday that helped your bloguero scrape enough rust off his iron manacles to escape at least temporarily from his ennui.

So the week ended early Saturday with a Haiku.   At 4 am the moon demanded nothing less.

War Du Jour, Part III notes that the US’s involvement in supposedly preventing violence to Libyan rebels with armed force is an engraved invitation to a quagmire in North Africa, and it’s potentially the start of a third, simultaneous US war with no end.  Apparently the PTB think that photos of Obama’s  Brazil visit will convince the world that the US isn’t really pulling the strings in Libya.  Believe that?  There’s a bridge…

A Beautiful Day To Die notes your bloguero’s despair and concern about the enormous nuclear disaster in Japan.  Your bloguero really does not want anyone to be irradiated.  Including particulartly himself.  He would like the planet to thrive.  That doesn’t seem possible in a world with earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear power plants.

The duck, Tricky Duck  (or maybe one of his grandchildren), has returned, El Pato Ha Vuelto.  The annual return of the traveler to the pond, a journey that began decades ago when the original  mallard who would be named Tricky Duck was mailed from an Iowa poultry farm to Blue Seal Seed and Feed in Chatham, NY, and came home with me.  An annual event, marking the start of Spring in earnest.

Your bloguero notes that this Digest is a weekly feature of the Port Writers Alliance and is supposed to be posted early Sunday morning.  Yes, he knows it’s again Saturday.  Your bloguero, it turns out, likes to post on Saturday.  See you next week if the creek don’t rise on Sunday Saturday early.

Have a wonderful weekend.  

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 18, 2011-


NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2011

Round of 64

The reason I like the ladies better than the men is the same reason I like the men better than the pros.  I like fundamentals, ball handling, and zone defense.  Dunks are showboating and should be outlawed.

The ladies get the old school treatment, there’s a package of 4 games in each time period and the studio will switch between them for you.  This is actually a relief for your remote finger because you’ll not miss any pivotal plays and changes in momentum just because you’re stuck watching a blow out with no idea what’s happening elsewhere.  Games are available on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com today with ESPN itself added tomorrow.

The research for this is just as complete as for the men’s Master Schedule Bracket, it’s just arranged slightly differently because there’s not the same bewildering array of Networks and Tip Off times.  Because of the more viewer friendly format I’ll not attempt the real time tracking I have with the men (which is a drag and a drain anyway).

My Women’s Master Schedule Bracket is below the fold, good through Sunday.  Tomorrow I’ll report today’s results.  If you like a more traditional bracket try this NCAA one, they also have a TV schedule.

I’ll be very surprised if the Lady Huskies don’t win it all, but they did lose to Stamford so anything is possible.

On This Day in History March 19

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 19 is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 287 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, is activated.

The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they were the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states still were subject to racist Jim Crow laws. The American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subject to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. Although the 477th Bombardment Group “worked up” on North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, they never served in combat; the Tuskegee 332nd Fighter Group was the only operational unit, first sent overseas as part of Operation Torch, then in action in Sicily and Italy, before being deployed as bomber escorts in Europe where they were particularly successful in their missions.

The Tuskegee Airmen initially were equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks fighter-bomber aircraft, briefly with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), later with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts (June-July 1944), and finally the fighter group acquired the aircraft with which they became most commonly associated, the North American P-51 Mustang (July 1944). When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47’s red, the nickname “Red Tails” was coined. Bomber crews applied a more effusive “Red-Tail Angels” sobriquet.


Before the Tuskegee Airmen, no African American had become a U.S. military pilot. In 1917, African-American men had tried to become aerial observers, but were rejected, however, African American Eugene Bullard served as one of the members of the Franco-American Lafayette Escadrille. Nonetheless, he was denied the opportunity to transfer to American military units as a pilot when the other American pilots in the unit were offered the chance. Instead, Bullard returned to infantry duty with the French.

The racially motivated rejections of World War I African-American recruits sparked over two decades of advocacy by African-Americans who wished to enlist and train as military aviators. The effort was led by such prominent civil rights leaders as Walter White of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, labor union leader A. Philip Randolph, and Judge William H. Hastie. Finally, on 3 April 1939, Appropriations Bill Public Law 18 was passed by Congress containing an amendment designating funds for training African-American pilots. The War Department managed to deflect the monies into funding civilian flight schools willing to train black Americans.

War Department tradition and policy mandated the segregation of African-Americans into separate military units staffed by white officers, as had been done previously with the 9th Cavalry, 10th Cavalry, 24th Infantry Regiment and 25th Infantry Regiment. When the appropriation of funds for aviation training created opportunities for pilot cadets, their numbers diminished the rosters of these older units. A further series of legislative moves by the United States Congress in 1941 forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black combat unit, despite the War Department’s reluctance.

Due to the restrictive nature of selection policies, the situation did not seem promising for African-Americans since, in 1940, the U.S. Census Bureau reported only 124 African-American pilots in the nation. The exclusionary policies failed dramatically when the Air Corps received an abundance of applications from men who qualified, even under the restrictive requirements. Many of the applicants already had participated in the Civilian Pilot Training Program, in which the historically black Tuskegee Institute had participated since 1939.

Six In The Morning

Emergency power cable reaches Japan nuclear plant

Hopes rise at Fukushima plant of restarting cooling systems for reactors and spent fuel pools


guardian.co.uk, Saturday 19 March 2011 03.55 GMT

Engineers rolling out an emergency power cable have reached Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant and are preparing to try and restart water pumps to cool overheated fuel rods that are threatening to melt down.

Eight days after the tsunami, Japan’s police agency has said 7,197 are dead and 10,905 missing. Some of the missing may have been out of the region at the time of the disaster. The waters are likely to have sucked many people out to sea – after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami many such bodies were never found.

There are hopes the external power cable can be attached on Saturday or Sunday, the plant operator has said.

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