kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Important Things

Wow. I got a few comments about Ferraro and Obama. Thanks; I like reading (and responding to) those reactions, even though it does make me a bit nervous about my solipsistic universe here, invaded only on a semi-regular basis by that old cliché, the Swedish nihilist.

Anyway, on to more important things: my picks for the Final Four. This will be mercifully brief, and almost certainly wrong. A pick for each region, with some comments.

East: North Carolina.

North Carolina will play in front of supportive home crowds until they reach the Final Four. I think Tennessee is a bit too streaky and inconsistent, and the only other team that could beat UNC in this bracket is Louisville. And they won't. UNC beats UT to move on. (Upset picks here: Winthrop beats Washington State, Saint Joseph's beats Oklahoma.)

Midwest: Kansas

A lot of experts are picking Georgetown to come out of this bracket. They might well be right. Kansas sometimes has an off-night, which can certainly be a bad idea in a single-elimination tournament. But I think if they are playing their usual game, they can neutralize, or minimize, Hibbert, and their depth will drag down Georgetown in the second half. If they play like they did against Texas in the Big 12 Final, no one beats this team. Plus, my heart is with the Jayhawks. (Upset picks here: Villanova beats Vanderbilt, USC beats Wisconsin.)

South: Texas

I think this is the hardest bracket for any #1 seed. As noted above, I glanced (albeit briefly) at some of the "experts'" picks on this; in this case, I agree with most of them. I couldn't figure a way that Texas doesn't come out of this region. Along with a lot of people, I think Memphis pays the price for not playing in a very tough conference, and not being able to make free throws. I could see Pitt going far, but unless Augustine and Abrams have off nights, I just don't see anyone beating Texas in this region. (Upset picks here: Kentucky beats Marquette, Kentucky beats Stanford, Michigan State beats Memphis.)

West: not-UCLA

Everyone, and I mean everyone, is picking UCLA. I hate UCLA. I also think they are overrated, and had some pretty good luck in winning the Pac 10 Tournament. I think one good thing about the NCAA tournament is that a team's luck will run out. Maybe they are that good, and certainly Love presents problems for all teams. I did three brackets and ended up with three different teams. All, obviously, are upset picks. Western Kentucky (that would be historically shocking), Connecticut (also a huge upset), and Duke. I hate Duke, so I just thought it wouldn't be that unusual for the agony of watching them do well to continue awhile. This whole bracket comes with upsets, obviously, with the three teams just mentioned knocking of the Bruins.

Kansas over North Carolina (take that, Roy)
Texas over not-UCLA

Kansas over Texas

A thrilling repeat of the Big 12 final, with lots of comparisons to the 1988 Danny Manning-led Jayhawks improbable national championship, over a team also from the same conference, Oklahoma. (Does anyone remember Stacey King?)

The only caveat I might mention here is that this is almost all certainly wrong. If I were betting, I would take my picks and bet against them, given my record. So look for that UCLA-Tennessee final.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Geraldine Ferraro has gotten in the news recently for some comments about Barack Obama. I can't really remember the last time I heard her name, although I'm sure her contributions to society have been vast, important, and possibly monumental. She no doubt was nominated for Vice President due to her outstanding career as a legislator and statesperson.

I think we need to be tolerant, and start giving people a bit more of a break. When Hillary Clinton was asked if she thought Barack Obama was a Muslim, rather than responding "no," she said "I have no reason to think so." As Keith Olbermann pointed out, perhaps that should have Obama's response when asked about Samantha Power's characterization of Clinton as a "monster."

I call for fewer apologies. Let people say what they think, and let the voters decide. Rather than censuring Ferraro, let's allow her to explain more fully her views. No more cries of "sexism" or "racism" without arguments or justification for the charge. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

And let's not excoriate Ms. Ferraro as a racist for saying this:

Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1984 and the only woman ever nominated by a major party for either of the top two U.S. political offices, ignited a flap by telling a California newspaper that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."

"And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept," Ferraro said.

Rather, let's consider than the genuine possibility that the pedigree of this comment may have even more years on it than one of racism and sexism, if such a thing is possible.

Let's consider that she is this:

An idiot.