Daily Archive: March 29, 2013

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2013: Round of 32 Results

These are the results of the Round of 32 for Teams that are appearing in tonight’s Regional Semifinals.

* == Upset.

Seed Score Team Record Seed Score Team Record Region
(1) 82 Louisville 30-5 (8) 56 Colorado State 26-8 Midwest
(4) 57 St. Louis 27-6 * (12) 74 Oregon 27-8 Midwest
(1) 70 Kansas 30-5 (8) 58 North Carolina 25-10 South
(4) 78 Michigan 27-7 (5) 53 VCU 27-8 South
(2) 66 Duke 26-4 (7) 50 Creighton 28-7 Midwest
(3) 70 Michigan State 26-8 (6) 48 Memphis 31-4 Midwest
(3) 78 Florida 27-7 (11) 64 Minnesota 21-12 South
(7) 71 San Diego State 23-10 * (15) 81 Florida Gulf Coast 25-10 South

Unlike heaven, West Virginia

We may be making progress at the Supreme Court, but that doesn’t imply that progress is happening elsewhere.  

 photo skinner221_zps2f1d96d8.jpgThere has been a bill in the West Virginia House of Delegates to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination laws.  But its sponsor, West Virginia’s first openly gay legislator Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson County) has announced that he has asked the chairman of the committee considering the bill to forget about it ahead of today’s procedural deadline.  Skinner expressed concerns that the proposed exemption for religious organizations would be amended so broadly as to make the bill meaningless.

I believe that the wisest course of action today is to delay the battle in the House for another day.

–Stephen Skinner

Skinner thanked the hundreds of volunteers who have lobbied for the bill thought phone banks and in person.  He also thanked those lawmakers who had co-sponsored and expressed vocal support for the measure.

To those of you who support the (bill) but feel you cannot vote for it, it is not my job to soothe your conscience.  I will not give up on you, but I want you to explain to your children, your grandchildren, your brothers, sisters and friends, why you will not do so.

–Skinner

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On This Day In History March 29

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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 29 is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 277 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1951, the Rosenbergs are convicted of espionage.

In one of the most sensational trials in American history, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. The husband and wife were later sentenced to death and were executed in 1953.

The conviction of the Rosenbergs was the climax of a fast-paced series of events that were set in motion with the arrest of British physicist Klaus Fuchs in Great Britain in February 1950. British authorities, with assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, gathered evidence that Fuchs, who worked on developing the atomic bomb both in England and the United States during World War II, had passed top-secret information to the Soviet Union. Fuchs almost immediately confessed his role and began a series of accusations.

Fuchs confessed that American Harry Gold had served as a courier for the Soviet agents to whom Fuchs passed along his information. American authorities captured Gold, who thereupon pointed the finger at David Greenglass, a young man who worked at the laboratory where the atomic bomb had been developed. Gold claimed Greenglass was even more heavily involved in spying than Fuchs. Upon his arrest, Greenglass readily confessed and then accused his sister and brother-in-law, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, of being the spies who controlled the entire operation. Both Ethel and Julius had strong leftist leanings and had been heavily involved in labor and political issues in the United States during the late-1930s and 1940s. Julius was arrested in July and Ethel in August 1950.

By present-day standards, the trial was remarkably fast. It began on March 6, and the jury had convicted both of conspiracy to commit espionage by March 29. The Rosenbergs were not helped by a defense that many at the time, and since, have labeled incompetent. More harmful, however, was the testimony of Greenglass and Gold. Greenglass declared that Julius Rosenberg had set up a meeting during which Greenglass passed the plans for the atomic bomb to Gold. Gold supported Greenglass’s accusation and admitted that he then passed the plans along to a Soviet agent. This testimony sealed Julius’s fate, and although there was little evidence directly tying Ethel to the crime, prosecutors claimed that she was the brain behind the whole scheme. The jury found both guilty. A few days later, the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. They were executed on June 19, 1953 in Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both maintained their innocence to the end.

Since the execution, decoded Soviet cables, codenamed VENONA, have supported courtroom testimony that Julius acted as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets, but doubts remain about the level of Ethel’s involvement. The decision to execute the Rosenbergs was, and still is, controversial. The New York Times, in an editorial on the 50th anniversary of the execution (June 19, 2003) wrote, “The Rosenbergs case still haunts American history, reminding us of the injustice that can be done when a nation gets caught up in hysteria.” This hysteria had both an immediate and a lasting effect; many innocent scientists, including some who were virulently anti-communist, were investigated simply for having the last name “Rosenberg.” The other atomic spies who were caught by the FBI offered confessions and were not executed. Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, who supplied documents to Julius from Los Alamos, served 10 years of his 15 year sentence. Harry Gold, who identified Greenglass, served 15 years in Federal prison as the courier for Greenglass and the British scientist, Klaus Fuchs. Morton Sobell, who was tried with the Rosenbergs, served 17 years and 9 months. In 2008, Sobell admitted he was a spy and confirmed Julius Rosenberg was “in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information and what the American government described as the secret to the atomic bomb.”

Read it and weep/gnash your teeth!

Hey folks:

Here is another example of what the United States Government, even under the Obama Administration, has wrought in terms of havoc to another country and its people.  Read the following link and weep/gnash your teeth:

Rare Reporting Reveals Afghan Civilians Terrorized by US Drones

by Jacob Chamberlain, Common Dreams

Published on Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recently reported that 1 in 4 missiles in Afghan airstrikes are now fired by drone, in addition to the other forms of bombardment that have caused unspeakable harm to Afghan civilians.

The impact of the US drone war on civilians living in the villages below was explored in a report last year by researchers at Stanford and New York University – called Living Under Drones (pdf)-which found that civilians in Pakistan were being “terrorized” by the drones. In addition, the report concluded the program was ultimately “counterproductive” when it came to addressing international law, security, and human rights.

Following the release of that report, Clive Stafford Smith, from the human rights group Reprieve, remarked: “An entire region is being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies. Their way of life is collapsing: kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meetings, or anything that involves gathering in groups.”

Cartnoon

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Triple 38

Late Night Karaoke

Lustig on Colbert

(not a diary, shoot me)

(Essay enough, you just have to frame it- ek)

Colbert is seconds away from interviewing Robert Lustig, prof of childhood obesity.

I’m looking forward because I know Lustig, and wonder how he’ll handle Colbert.  I prolly could have made a career of obesity, but I didn’t care in the face of other Malthusian constraints.

Nevertheless, Lustig is impressively knowledgeable, a bit “sugar is hitler,” etc, but if you are interested in obesity, Lustig is worthwhile.

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