03/24/2013 archive

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2013: 3/22 Results

* == Upset.

Seed Score Team Record Seed Score Team Record Region
(2) 73 Duke 26-4 (15) 61 Albany 24-11 Midwest
(5) 46 Wisconsin 23-12 * (12) 57 Mississippi 27-8 West
(8) 72 NC State 24-11 * (9) 76 Temple 24-9 East
(2) 78 Miami 28-6 (15) 49 Pacific 22-13 East
(7) 67 Creighton 28-7 (10) 63 Cincinnati 22-12 Midwest
(4) 61 Kansas State 27-8 * (13) 63 La Salle 22-9 West
(1) 83 Indiana 28-6 (16) 62 James Madison 21-15 East
(7) 57 Illinois 23-12 (10) 49 Colorado 21-12 East
(2) 68 Georgetown 25-7 * (15) 78 Florida Gulf Coast 25-10 South
(2) 95 Ohio State 27-7 (15) 70 Iona 20 – 14 West
(8) 78 North Carolina 25-10 (9) 71 Villanova 20-14 South
(3) 79 Florida 27-7 (14) 47 Northwestern State 23-9 South
(7) 70 San Diego State 23-10 (10) 55 Oklahoma 20-12 South
(7) 58 Notre Dame 25-10 * (10) 76 Iowa State 23-11 West
(1) 64 Kansas 30-5 (16) 57 Western Kentucky 20-16 South
(6) 63 UCLA 25-10 * (11) 83 Minnesota 21-12 South

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Women’s Liberation by Geminijen

When I started to write this blog about the sex vs. gender debate,  I was going to write a nice, intellectual piece, fully referenced, stating my position. But as I sat down to write it, I realized there is no clear-cut solution and presumably, most of the discussion has been decided in favor of the gender ideology, ranging from post-modern feminists in the academy, to the queer community, to the communist left.

In a recent antiwar speech in Washington, D.C., Angela Davis, while giving a laundry list of oppressions, mentioned both gender and LGBT, but failed to mention the word “women.” Sonia Sanchez, in the same event, left out categories having to deal with women’s liberation altogether (although in her poetry she did make the pronoun gender neutral).  

At the same time, mainstream feminists (what is generally referred to as the white middle class women’s movement) seem content to deal with reproductive issues such as abortion and contraception, rape and wife battering in a piecemeal fashion, with little overriding ideology or causal framework.  (One positive note: there is a new coalition of young women, WORD [Women Organized to Resist and Defend] which seems to be trying to fuse the concepts of sex and gender back together – along with race, class and imperialism. I look forward to seeing what their analysis will be since so far they seem to be mainly an activist group).

So what, if anything, do I have to contribute to this discussion? As a second wave socialist/lesbian/feminist born to a first wave socialist feminist, I have worked on projects with third wave feminists and raised a son who is active in the gay-rights movement.  I believe that my long history in these communities might give me a perspective worth sharing.  I also hope younger third wave feminists will not write me off as one of those smug old second wave feminists who thinks she knows everything.

By the rambling nature of this blog, you can probably tell that I am writing in a stream of consciousness “consciousness raising” style, true to my second wave “the personal is political” roots; although I believe this form is also regaining popularity among third wave feminists.

To begin. I came into feminism out of a Left Trotskyist organization about the same time I left my marriage of several years, right into the arms of the feminist movement.  Most of the women, it is true, were middle class and white and, as a working class woman, I wasn’t sure I would fit in.  I remember the first time I entered the women’s bookstore and one of the women commented on my “bourgie” $26 dollar JC Penney’s pantsuit. I was working as a secretary in the college where I was putting my husband through school.  I was required to wear the pants suit to work (along with pantyhose) even though the professors I worked for could wear jeans. It took me awhile to realize that most of the women in the bookstore wore jeans that cost four times what my pantsuit cost.  

I relate this story because this was my first exposure to identity politics and downward mobility and the tendency of the community to identify one’s class position by external secondary characteristics, not our actual class position. This  foreshadowed a similar tendency in terms of defining the issues of oppression in terms of our sexuality.  Nevertheless I stayed because those women still had something I wanted and wasn’t getting in the male-identified Left.

Rant of the Week: Lawrence O’Donnell

A Noun, a Verb and a Paycheck

Lost a presidential race? If you failed at selling yourself, try pitching a product!

by Clare Kim, Last Word Blog

Former Republican presidential candidates like to speak out. Bob Dole, for example, spoke out for Viagra. Fred Thompson, for reverse mortgages. And now we have commercial spokesman Rudy Giuliani. [..]

“It is very unlikely that Republican presidential loser Mitt Romney will ever find himself in a position that his finances are so tight that he has to go pitch reverse mortgages on TV,” O’Donnell said. “But Paul Ryan… Marco Rubio… Chris Christie… we have seen your future, and your future is reverse mortgages.”

Rudy Giuliani hawks Lifelock identity theft protection

by Jillian Rayfield, Salon

What’s a mayor to do when he’s no longer mayoring? In the case of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the answer is appear as a paid spokesman for cable news commercial mainstay Lifelock.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2013: Day 2 Late Evening

Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7:35 ESPN2 (8) Miami (FL) 21-10 (9) Iowa 20-12 South
7:40 ESPN2 (1) Baylor 32-1 (16) Prairie View A&M 17-14 Midwest
7:45 ESPN2 (6) LSU 20-11 (11) Green Bay 29-2 West
7:50 ESPN2 (8) Michigan 21-10 (9) Villanova 21-10 West

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2013: Day 2 Early Evening

Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
5:05 ESPN2 (1) Notre Dame 31-1 (16) Tennessee-Martin 19-14 South
5:10 ESPN2 (8) Florida State 22-9 (9) Princeton 22-6 Midwest
5:15 ESPN2 (3) Penn State 25-5 (14) Cal Poly 21-10 West
5:20 ESPN2 (1) Stanford 31-2 (16) Tulsa 17-16 West

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2013: Day 6 Evening

Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
5 CBS (1) Kansas 30-5 (8) North Carolina 25-10 South
6 TNT (3) Florida 27-7 (11) Minnesota 21-12 South
7 TBS (7) San Diego State 23-10 (15) Florida Gulf Coast 25-10 South
7:30 True (12) Mississippi 27-8 (13) La Salle 22-9 West
8:30 TNT (2) Miami 28-6 (7) Illinois 23-12 East
9:30 TBS (2) Duke 26-4 (7) Creighton 28-7 Midwest

On This Day In History March 24

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 24 is the 83rd day of the year (84th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 282 days remaining until the end of the year.

March 24th is the 365th and last day of the year in many European implementations of the Julian calendar.

On this day in 1989, Exxon Valdez runs aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

The worst oil spill in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez, owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska. An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and currents spread the oil more than 100 miles from its source, eventually polluting more than 700 miles of coastline. Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals were adversely affected by the environmental disaster.

It was later revealed that Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Valdez, was drinking at the time of the accident and allowed an uncertified officer to steer the massive vessel. In March 1990, Hazelwood was convicted of misdemeanor negligence, fined $50,000, and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In July 1992, an Alaska court overturned Hazelwood’s conviction, citing a federal statute that grants freedom from prosecution to those who report an oil spill.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound‘s Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels (41,000 to 119,000 m3) of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters. As significant as the Valdez spill was-the largest ever in U.S. waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill-it ranks well down on the list of the world’s largest oil spills in terms of volume released. However, Prince William Sound’s remote location, accessible only by helicopter, plane and boat, made government and industry response efforts difficult and severely taxed existing plans for response. The region is a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals and seabirds. The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, eventually covered 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline, and 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2) of ocean. Then Exxon CEO, Lawrence G. Rawl, shaped the company’s response.

Timeline of events

Exxon Valdez left the Valdez oil terminal in Alaska at 9:12 pm on March 23, 1989, bound for Long Beach, California. The ship was under the control of Shipmaster Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood. The outbound shipping lane was obstructed with small icebergs (possibly from the nearby Columbia Glacier), so Hazelwood got permission from the Coast Guard to go out through the inbound lane. Following the maneuver and sometime after 11 p.m., Hazelwood left Third Mate Gregory Cousins in charge of the wheel house and Able Seaman Robert Kagan at the helm. Neither man had been given his mandatory six hours off duty before beginning his 12-hour watch. The ship was on autopilot, using the navigation system installed by the company that constructed the ship. The ship struck Bligh Reef at around 12:04 a.m. March 24, 1989.

Beginning three days after the vessel grounded, a storm pushed large quantities of fresh oil on to the rocky shores of many of the beaches in the Knight Island chain. In this photograph, pooled oil is shown stranded in the rocks.

According to official reports, the ship was carrying approximately 55 million US gallons (210,000 m3) of oil, of which about 11 to 32 million US gallons (42,000 to 120,000 m3) were spilled into the Prince William Sound. A figure of 11 million US gallons (42,000 m3) was a commonly accepted estimate of the spill’s volume and has been used by the State of Alaska’s Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. Some groups, such as Defenders of Wildlife, dispute the official estimates, maintaining that the volume of the spill has been underreported. Alternative calculations, based on an assumption that the sea water rather than oil was drained from the damaged tanks, estimate the total to have been 25 to 32 million US gallons (95,000 to 120,000 m3).

Identified causes

Multiple factors have been identified as contributing to the incident:

   * Exxon Shipping Company failed to supervise the master and provide a rested and sufficient crew for Exxon Valdez. The NTSB found this was wide spread throughout industry, prompting a safety recommendation to Exxon and to the industry.

   * The third mate failed to properly maneuver the vessel, possibly due to fatigue or excessive workload.

   * Exxon Shipping Company failed to properly maintain the Raytheon Collision Avoidance System (RAYCAS) radar, which, if functional, would have indicated to the third mate an impending collision with the Bligh reef by detecting the “radar reflector”, placed on the next rock inland from Bligh Reef for the purpose of keeping boats on course via radar.

In light of the above and other findings, investigative reporter Greg Palast stated in 2008 “Forget the drunken skipper fable. As to Captain Joe Hazelwood, he was below decks, sleeping off his bender. At the helm, the third mate never would have collided with Bligh Reef had he looked at his RAYCAS radar. But the radar was not turned on. In fact, the tanker’s radar was left broken and disabled for more than a year before the disaster, and Exxon management knew it. It was (in Exxon’s view) just too expensive to fix and operate.” Exxon blamed Captain Hazelwood for the grounding of the tanker.

Economic and personal impact

In 1991, following the collapse of the local marine population (particularly clams, herring, and seals) the Chugach Alaska Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It has since recovered.

According to several studies funded by the state of Alaska, the spill had both short-term and long-term economic effects. These included the loss of recreational sports, fisheries, reduced tourism, and an estimate of what economists call “existence value”, which is the value to the public of a pristine Prince William Sound.

The economy of the city of Cordova, Alaska was adversely affected after the spill damaged stocks of salmon and herring in the area. Several residents, including one former mayor, committed suicide after the spill.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Chris Hayes: Joining Chris are: Melissa Murray, professor of law at University of California Berkeley Law School; Urvashi Vaid (@urvashivaid), director of Engaging Tradition Project at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law; Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal; Dean Hara, widower of Representative Gerry Studds who was the first openly gay member of Congress, plaintiff in Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al.; Dan Savage (@fakedansavage), editorial director of The Stranger, host of Savage Love podcast, columnist of Savage Love; John Liu (@JohnLiu2013), comptroller of New York City and 2013 NYC Mayoral candidate; Bill Thompson (@BillThompsonNYC), served as comptroller of New York City from 2002-2009, 2013 NYC Mayoral candidate; Sal Albanese (@SalAlbanese2013), served as a New York City councilman from 1983-1997, 2013 NYC Mayoral candidate; and Bill De Blasio (@BilldeBlasio), New York City public advocate, 2013 NYC Mayoral candidate.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests this week are former Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina faces off with former Bush deputy chief of staff Karl Rove with the political roundtable guests “Nightline” co-anchor Terry Moran, who covers the Supreme Court for ABC News; Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile; and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan.

A special foreign policy roundtable discusses the president’s trip to the Middle East with panleists  ABC News global affairs anchor Christiane Amanpour; Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg; former Romney campaign senior adviser Dan Senor, co-founder of the Foreign Policy Initiative.; and Time Magazine assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar.

In the spotlight,  director Alexandra Pelosi and former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey discuss their new HBO film “Fall to Grace” about McGreevey’s life and work since his controversial exit from office.  

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Rep. Mike Rodgers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, CBS News’ Clarissa Ward and Time Magazine‘s Bobby Ghosh for a panel discussion on the Middle East.

Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Pro-Proposition 8 lawyer Austin Nimcocks will talk about the argument before the Supreme Court on same sex marriage.  

The Chris Matthews Show: Guests this week are David Ignatius, The Washington Post Columnist; Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post Columnist: Helene Cooper; The New York Times White House Correspondent; and Michael Crowley, TIME senior correspondent.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: On MTP this week the guests are  New York City’s Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre.

NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel, who just returned from the region, for a live report on the president’s trip to the Middle East.

Then insights and analysis from the roundtable: Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Ralph Reed; Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen; Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne; and the New York Times’ David Brooks.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: This Sunday, Ms. Crowley will have an exclusive interview with Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on the growing backlog of veterans claims. Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) joins her to discuss his signing of two landmark bills, as Colorado becomes the sixth state to legalize civil unions, and the second state to enact gun control bills in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Austin Nimocks from Alliance Defending Freedom, Republican Strategist Ana Navarro and CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear oral arguments in the challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

A decade after Iraq invasion, America’s voice in Baghdad has gone from a boom to a whimper

By Ernesto Londoño, Sunday, March 24, 7:35 AM

BAGHDAD – The United States set the tone for its new relationship with Iraq a decade ago with a bombing campaign dubbed “shock and awe,” and spoke with a booming voice during the ensuing years as it shaped the country’s future.

Today, America’s voice here has been reduced to a whimper.

With no troops on the ground to project force and little money to throw around, the United States has become an increasingly powerless stakeholder in the new Iraq. It has failed to substantively rein in what it sees as government abuses that have the potential to spark a new sectarian war. It also has had little success in persuading Baghdad to stop tacitly supporting Iran’s lethal aid to Damascus, an important accelerant in the neighboring conflict.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Cyprus bankruptcy crisis talks set to go to the wire with new deal including 20% levy on large deposits at main bank

France confirms death of North African warlord Abou Zeid

Will Mexico see a new narco reality under President Peña Nieto?

Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim campaign fuels discord

A Point of View: Chess and 18th Century artificial intelligence

Dinner and “Lawrence of Arabia” with a Friend of Mine:

Hi again, everybody;

Again…sorry for my prolonged absences.  I’ve been busy with my comissions/projects in silversmithing, but equally important, a friend of mine and I had a wonderful night out.    Because her car totally went on the fritz and she’s still looking for a new one, I picked her up at her house in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, and we went out to eat at a reasonably-priced Thai restaurant in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner area.   I then accompanied her while she walked a sheltie that she walks several times per week, and then we went to the Coolidge Corner Theatre to secure our seats.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre changed to digital projection, and, since I was one of the ones who donated some money to the funding for the theatre, in order to help make the changeover to digital projection possible, I had received an invitation in the mail to a free screening of the digitally-restored and remastered version of the film Lawrence of Arabia, another great old classic that I like a great deal and have seen more than once, although it still doesn’t hold the very special place in my heart regarding movies as West Side Story does.   I RSVP’d by email right away to the person who made this possible, after calling up a long-time good friend, who also wanted to see LOA, and had her put me on the list for bringing myself and my friend.  I immediately was confirmed with an email message back, telling me that I was on the list for two.  

The digitally-restored and remastered version of the film Lawrence of Arabia, like that of West Side  Story, was absolutely pristine and like new, as were both soundtracks to these films.  

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