03/30/2014 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Letter to Leftist Mothers for Mother’s Day by Diane Gee

Disclaimer – this is for all women:

You don’t have to have given birth to be a Mother, either.  Those who have not, by circumstance or choice still know well of what I speak, having witnessed as a female the roles of their own Mothers, and their Sisters who may have had kids.  

We act as caregivers, to our own and others.  Its who we are, not who we have borne.

Dear Mothers,

Society has often put us in a second class position; the patriarchy on which it was formed limits our potentials in so many ways.

Perhaps it is because the know the truth:  We hold immeasurable power.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I have some questions for you my dear ones, on this Mother’s Day across the pond, and the US Mother’s Day to come.  

What will you do with that power?

Rant of the Week: Sam Bee, “I Watch Morning Joe”

Sam Bee, “I Watch Morning Joe”

March Madness 2014: Men’s Regional Final Day 2

What about Sepang do we not understand indeed?

Time Network Seed School Record Seed School Record Region
2:00 CBS 5 Michigan State (25 – 9) 7 Connecticut (29 – 8) East
5:00 CBS 2 Michigan (28 – 8) 8 Kentucky (27 – 10) MidWest

Root much?  Nope.

March Madness 2014: Women’s Regional Semi-Finals Day 2

What about Sepang do we not understand?

Time Network Seed School Record Seed School Record Region
noon ESPN 1 Tennessee (29 – 5) 4 Maryland (26 – 6) South
2:30 ESPN 3 Louisville (32 – 4) 7 Louisianna State (21 – 12) South
4:30 ESPN2 2 Stanford (32 – 3) 3 Penn State (24 – 7) West
7:00 ESPN2 1 S. Carolina (29 – 4) 4 N. Carolina (26 – 9) West


On This Day In History March 30

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 30 is the 89th day of the year (90th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 276 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s folly,” “Seward’s icebox,” and President Andrew Johnson’s “polar bear garden.”

Alaska Purchase

Russia was in a difficult financial position and feared losing Russian America without compensation in some future conflict, especially to the British, whom they had fought in the Crimean War (1853-1856). While Alaska attracted little interest at the time, the population of nearby British Columbia started to increase rapidly a few years after hostilities ended, with a large gold rush there prompting the creation of a crown colony on the mainland. The Russians therefore started to believe that in any future conflict with Britain, their hard-to-defend region might become a prime target, and would be easily captured. Therefore the Tsar decided to sell the territory. Perhaps in hopes of starting a bidding war, both the British and the Americans were approached, however the British expressed little interest in buying Alaska. The Russians in 1859 offered to sell the territory to the United States, hoping that its presence in the region would offset the plans of Russia’s greatest regional rival, Great Britain. However, no deal was brokered due to the American Civil War.

Following the Union victory in the Civil War, the Tsar then instructed the Russian minister to the United States, Eduard de Stoeckl, to re-enter into negotiations with Seward in the beginning of March 1867. The negotiations concluded after an all-night session with the signing of the treaty at 4 a.m. on March 30, 1867, with the purchase price set at $7.2 million, or about 2 cents per acre ($4.74/km2).

American public opinion was generally positive, as most editors argued that the U.S. would probably derive great economic benefits from the purchase; friendship of Russia was important; and it would facilitate the acquisition of British Columbia.

Historian Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer summarized the minority opinion of some newspaper editors who opposed the purchase:

   “Already, so it was said, we were burdened with territory we had no population to fill. The Indians within the present boundaries of the republic strained our power to govern aboriginal peoples. Could it be that we would now, with open eyes, seek to add to our difficulties by increasing the number of such peoples under our national care? The purchase price was small; the annual charges for administration, civil and military, would be yet greater, and continuing. The territory included in the proposed cession was not contiguous to the national domain. It lay away at an inconvenient and a dangerous distance. The treaty had been secretly prepared, and signed and foisted upon the country at one o’clock in the morning. It was a dark deed done in the night…. The New York World said that it was a “sucked orange.” It contained nothing of value but furbearing animals, and these had been hunted until they were nearly extinct. Except for the Aleutian Islands and a narrow strip of land extending along the southern coast the country would be not worth taking as a gift…. Unless gold were found in the country much time would elapse before it would be blessed with Hoe printing presses, Methodist chapels and a metropolitan police. It was “a frozen wilderness.

While criticized by some at the time, the financial value of the Alaska Purchase turned out to be many times greater than what the United States had paid for it. The land turned out to be rich in resources (including gold, copper, and oil).

Senate debate

When it became clear that the Senate would not debate the treaty before its adjournment on March 30, Seward persuaded President Andrew Johnson to call the Senate back into special session the next day. Many Republicans scoffed at “Seward’s folly,” although their criticism appears to have been based less on the merits of the purchase than on their hostility to President Johnson and to Seward as Johnson’s political ally. Seward mounted a vigorous campaign, however, and with support from Charles Sumner, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, won approval of the treaty on April 9 by a vote of 37-2.

For more than a year, as congressional relations with President Johnson worsened, the House refused to appropriate the necessary funds. But in June 1868, after Johnson’s impeachment trial was over, Stoeckl and Seward revived the campaign for the Alaska purchase. The House finally approved the appropriation in July 1868, by a vote of 113-48.

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:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on this Sunday’s “This Week” are: Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-NJ); and  ESPN’s Keith Olbermann.

At the roundtable are ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd; ABC News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol; and ABC News contributor and former Obama White House senior adviser David Plouffe.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are former NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell; NCAA President Mark Emmert and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA).

His panel guests are Gwen Ifill of PBS, Carolyn Ryan of The New York Times, David Ignatius of The Washington Post, and David Gergen of CNN.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: The guests on this week’s MTP are Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck); Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic and Avik Roy of Forbes magazine.

The roundtable guests are former Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum; national editor of the Cook Political Report Amy Walter; Peter Baker of the New York Times; and the youngest mayor in the history of Ithaca, NY, Svante Myrick.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); former U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte; and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

Her panel guests are  Bill Burton, Kevin Madden, and Darlene Superville.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Malaysia flight MH370: Chinese families ‘seek answers’

30 March 2014 Last updated at 07:01

  The BBC

Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have flown to Kuala Lumpur to seek answers from the Malaysian authorities.

The family members say they have not been given enough information, and want to meet Malaysia’s prime minister and transport minister face to face.

Ten planes and eight ships are looking for remains of the airliner in a vast area of the Indian Ocean.

The airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.

Some relatives of the flight’s 153 Chinese passengers have refused to accept the Malaysian account of events and have accused the authorities of withholding information.

Sunday’s Headlines:

China seizes $US14.5bn assets linked to ex-spy chief Zhou Yongkang – report

Egypt sentences additional Morsi supporters to death

‘Nanobionics’ aims to give plants super powers

How young is too young? Bolivia debates child labor law

Toyota case shows it’s hard to prosecute execs

Formula One 2014: Sepang

It’s Spring.  It’s Sepang.  And it’s raining.

Now yesterday that delayed qualifying for almost an hour and there’s no telling what it will do to today’s race if repeated.  It will certainly wreck my beauty sleep which is just beginning to recover.

If I may summarize the 2 most trenchant developments without having to source them they are these.

Tires are much harder and fall off faster than ever.  Formula One seems committed to controlling the race via rubber.  Some teams were preseving their stock of full Wets during yesterday’s qualifying which ruined their grid position but may pay off today if conditions are damp.

Only Mercedes has successfully created a new 6 cylinder power plant (and only somewhat given that one blew up under Lewis Hamilton at Albert Park).  The Renault guzzles too much gas putting Ricciardo in technical violation of fuel flow rate rules and erasing his second place finish.  Scuderia Marlboro has produced a mediocre product that seems beyond even the legendary Alonso’s ability to turn into a Sow’s Ear, let alone a Silk Purse.  ‘Lord bless his soul because nobody else will’ Bernie is unhappy about the noise, which creats excitement you see and gives you the impression the cars are moving fast even when they’re not.  You no longer have to buy commemorative $20 earplugs and can actually hear the tires and the turbo and KERS kick in.

What We Learned This Week

MSNBC’s “Up” host, Steve Kornacki discusses what he and his guests have learned this week.