Daily Archive: 03/19/2012

Mar 19 2012

2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Round of 32 Day 1

It is extemely hard to keep up and I’ve made some mistakes (which I blame on my source material, so spare me the sympathy- I’ve got my righteous indignation on).

I expect that later this evening I’ll recap where we’re at, but if I don’t get there until tomorrow that’s when I do (I sound so much more mellow in print than I do screaming at the screen because one of my </td>s got eaten).

UConn, Louisville, Stanford, Tennessee, those are the only Women’s Basketball programs of note and if one of them does not win I’ll be entirely surprised.  Notre Dame is trying to catch up, Pat Summitt is suffering from Alzheimers.

What I like about the Women’s game is that it really is about fundamentals- passing, offense, defense.  The Men’s game is an NBA audition and rewards selfishness and showboating even though there are more genuine stars in terms of sheer athletic ability on the ladies side.

Not trying to prove anything here, but I actually believe Men are genetically damaged and engaged in cultural oppression to mask their inferiority.

Man is without any doubt the most interesting fool there is.



He can seldom take a plain fact and get any but a wrong meaning out of it. He cannot help this; it is the way the confusion he calls his mind is constructed. Consider the things he concedes, and the curious conclusions he draws from them.



(F)rom the time a woman is seven years old till she dies of old age, she is ready for action, and competent. As competent as the candlestick is to receive the candle. Competent every day, competent every night. Also she wants that candle — yearns for it, longs for it, hankers after it, as commanded by the law of God in her heart.

But man is only briefly competent; and only then in the moderate measure applicable to the word in his sex’s case. He is competent from the age of sixteen or seventeen thence-forward for thirty-five years. After fifty his performance is of poor quality, the intervals between are wide, and its satisfactions of no great value to either party; whereas his great-grandmother is as good as new.



(T)here you have a sample of man’s “reasoning powers,” as he calls them. He observes certain facts. For instance, that in all his life he never sees the day that he can satisfy one woman; also, that no woman ever sees the day that she can’t overwork, and defeat, and put out of commission any ten masculine plants that can be put to bed to her. He puts those strikingly suggestive and luminous facts together, and from them draws this astonishing conclusion: The Creator intended the woman to be restricted to one man.

So he concretes that singular conclusion into law, for good and all.

And he does it without consulting the woman, although she has a thousand times more at stake in the matter than he has. His procreative competency is limited to an average of a hundred exercises per year for fifty years, hers is good for three thousand a year for that whole time — and as many years longer as she may live. Thus his life interest in the matter is five thousand refreshments, while hers is a hundred and fifty thousand; yet instead of fairly and honorably leaving the making of the law to the person who has an overwhelming interest at stake in it, this immeasurable hog, who has nothing at stake in it worth considering, makes it himself!

Letters from the Earth

Time Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7 pm 1 UConn 30-4 8 Kansas State 20-13 East
7 pm 2 Maryland 29-4 7 Louisville 23-9 South
7 pm 1 Stanford 31-1 8 West Virginia 23-9 West
7 pm 4 Purdue 25-8 5 South Carolina 24-9 West
9:30 pm 3 Texas A&M 22-10 6 Arkansas 23-8 South
9:30 pm 2 Tennessee 24-8 7 DePaul 23-10 Mid West
9:30 pm 3 Miami 25-5 11 Gonzaga 26-5 East
9:30 pm 2 Kentucky 26-6 7 UW Green Bay 30-1 East

Mar 19 2012

New Blog: All things saxophone?

Just when you thought everything everybody thought of was already on the internet, here’s something new. A site dedicated to all things saxophone. The post today is about custom mouthpieces.

My visit with the legendary Phil Barone

Saxworld.net

Mar 19 2012

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”.

Chris Hedges;Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War

The war in Afghanistan-where the enemy is elusive and rarely seen, where the cultural and linguistic disconnect makes every trip outside the wire a visit to hostile territory, where it is clear that you are losing despite the vast industrial killing machine at your disposal-feeds the culture of atrocity. The fear and stress, the anger and hatred, reduce all Afghans to the enemy, and this includes women, children and the elderly. Civilians and combatants merge into one detested nameless, faceless mass. The psychological leap to murder is short. And murder happens every day in Afghanistan. It happens in drone strikes, artillery bombardments, airstrikes, missile attacks and the withering suppressing fire unleashed in villages from belt-fed machine guns.

Military attacks like these in civilian areas make discussions of human rights an absurdity. Robert Bales, a U.S. Army staff sergeant who allegedly killed 16 civilians in two Afghan villages, including nine children, is not an anomaly. To decry the butchery of this case and to defend the wars of occupation we wage is to know nothing about combat. We kill children nearly every day in Afghanistan. We do not usually kill them outside the structure of a military unit. If an American soldier had killed or wounded scores of civilians after the ignition of an improvised explosive device against his convoy, it would not have made the news. Units do not stick around to count their “collateral damage.” But the Afghans know. They hate us for the murderous rampages. They hate us for our hypocrisy.

Glen Ford: The U.S. Empire’s Achilles Heel: Its Barbaric Racism

The latest atrocities in Afghanistan are just par for the course.

The American atrocities in Afghanistan roll on like a drumbeat from hell. With every affront to the human and national dignity of the Afghan people, the corporate media feign shock and quickly conclude that a few bad apples are responsible for U.S. crimes, that it’s all a mistake and misunderstanding, rather than the logical result of a larger crime: America’s attempt to dominate the world by force. But even so, with the highest paid and best trained military in the world – a force equipped with the weapons and communications gear to exercise the highest standards of control known to any military in history – one would think that commanders could keep their troops from making videos of urinating on dead men, or burning holy books, or letting loose homicidal maniacs on helpless villagers.

These three latest atrocities have brought the U.S. occupation the point of crisis – hopefully, a terminal one. But the whole war has been one atrocity after another, from the very beginning, when the high-tech superpower demonstrated the uncanny ability to track down and incinerate whole Afghan wedding parties – not just once, but repeatedly. Quite clearly, to the Americans, these people have never been more than ants on the ground, to be exterminated at will.

E. J. Dionne, Jr.: Can Europe’s Left Rebound?

A crisis of capitalism is supposed to create an opening for the political left. But in Europe, the place where the concept of left and right was born, political conservatives have won the bulk of the elections held since economic catastrophe struck in 2008.

Is this about to change?

The conservative victory most noted in the U.S. was the rise to power of David Cameron, the British prime minister feted at the White House last week. The Conservatives won only a plurality of parliamentary seats against the Labor Party in the 2010 elections. But they drove Labor to its worst showing since 1983 and were able to put together a coalition government with the center-left Liberal Democrats. Cameron has gotten good press in the U.S., even from liberals who wish the American right would follow Cameron’s moderate and modernizing ways.

Laura Flanders: Jeffrey Sachs: Population Controller?

In a March 1 op-ed in the Washington Post Columbia economist Jeffrey Sachs made his pitch to be the next president of the World Bank promising to “lead the bank into a new era of problem-solving.” John Cavanaugh and Robin Broad have laid out a raft of righteous concerns about Sachs’s candidacy. The “solutions” Sachs proposes to poverty, they point out, can be summed up in the not very-new words: “aid” and “trade.”  As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s Sachs’s other favorite problem solver: population control. That’s taking us to a new era, alright: right back to the nineteenth century of Thomas Malthus. [..]

Given the options, Sachs’s same-old pro-privatization development policies will be greeted as enlightened, none so more than his position on “reducing fertility.” He’s not promoting mandatory sterilization, after all, and he’s in tune with a growing crowd that’s recycling old population myths for the new save-the-planet context. But smart people have been working for decades to delink poverty from population. At the 1994 UN Conference on Population and Development world leaders pressed by women’s groups agreed. As Radhika Balakrishnan, feminist economist, director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers puts it, “how population behaves is more important than how it grows.”

Barbara Ehrenreich: Rediscovering Poverty

It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America. If this discovery now seems a little overstated, like Columbus’s “discovery” of America, it was because the poor, according to Harrington, were so “hidden” and “invisible” that it took a crusading left-wing journalist to ferret them out.

Harrington’s book jolted a nation that then prided itself on its classlessness and even fretted about the spirit-sapping effects of “too much affluence.” He estimated that one quarter of the population lived in poverty-inner-city blacks, Appalachian whites, farm workers, and elderly Americans among them. We could no longer boast, as President Nixon had done in his “kitchen debate” with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow just three years earlier, about the splendors of American capitalism.

Diane Ravitch: In Defense of Facing Educational Reality

I recently wrote two review articles for the New York Review of Books about the teaching profession. The first was a review of Pasi Sahlberg’s Finnish Lessons, about the exceptional school system of Finland, which owes much to the high professionalism of its teachers.

The second of the two articles was a review of Wendy Kopp’s A Chance to Make History, and it focused on her organization, Teach for America.

I expressed my admiration for the young people who agree to teach for two years, with only five weeks of training. But I worried that TFA was now seen — and promoting itself — as the answer to the serious problems of American education. Even by naming her book A Chance to Make History, Wendy Kopp reinforced the idea that TFA was the very mechanism that American society could rely upon to lift up the children of poverty and close the achievement gaps between different racial and ethnic groups.

Mar 19 2012

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.

Background

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.

Mar 19 2012

Pique the Geek 20120318: Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are an extremely common condition in women of childbearing age, and not uncommon in women past menopause.  In fact, most women of childbearing age have ovarian cysts that produce no symptoms.  However, when the cysts become large or inflamed pain is often experienced.

There are several types of ovarian cysts, and they can cause different symptoms.  Diagnosis is made by ultrasonic, MRI, or CT methods.  Often a combination of techniques is used to obtain a more definitive diagnosis, and rarely laproscopic procedures are used.  Ovarian cysts are divided into two broad categories:  functional cysts and nonfunctional cysts.  Functional cysts are those that are not associated with any disease process, whilst nonfunctional cysts are definitely associated with a disease process.

Mar 19 2012

2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Round of 32 Day 2 Evening

Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7 pm TBS 10 South Florida 20-13 13 Ohio 27-7 Mid West
7:30 pm True 10 Xavier 21-12 15 Lehigh 26-7 South
8:30 pm TNT 2 Kansas 27-6 10 Purdue 22-12 Mid West
9:30 pm TBS 3 Florida State 25-9 6 Cincinnati 25-10 East