Round 2 begins

I’m awake and a game is on tv – Duke v. Seton Hall. In my brackets, I picked Duke, but Seton Hall’s a sort of hometown team – I feel almost torn. CBS has also showed way too much Duke stories on tv – good grief, they’re like the NY Yankees – on all the time.

NY Times has a nice story on the two NY metro area Catholic schools (who are both strangely detached from the urbanities of their connected areas) – Seton Hall (leafy university campus far from Newark, although the law school is still by the PATH station in Newark) and Manhattan College (which is actually in the lovely land of Riverdale, Bronx).

For the record, I’ll let you all know that my final four picks are: Gonzaga, St. Joseph, Duke, and Stanford. Unknown if it’ll happen, but each team is still alive at this hour. The only corner in my bracket where there’s much still standing is the Phoenix (West) region – only one out of 16 picks wrong – not bad. Not an altogether bad bracket this year. But where’s a Cinderella I can be content with?

And, no, I’m not that big NCAA junkie – just a mildly interested one (if I were a real junkie, then I ought to have followed all season, not just in March).

Historiography in action – what is history and what does the history of history reflect, and what does it mean when politics uses history for its own purposes? In an article for the NY Times, Antonio Feros shows how it’s getting messy when Spain’s elections seem to suspiciously recall its civil war of 70 years ago:

“But many historians in Spain are still troubled by the trend toward using history as a weapon in political debates. “The use of the civil war to interpret the present is very dangerous,” [Enrique Moradiellos, a historian at the University of Extremadura, Spain] warns. ‘And I am afraid that if we continue to do this we might provoke a radicalization of the political situation that could bring unwanted results.'”

Interesting point.

Other interesting questions about historical (so to speak) research: more on the Blackmun papers, and wondering whether they really reveal much at all, according to one of his former clerks , (who is very much a direct source as we can probably get for now).

In a NY Times op-ed, William B. Rubenstein, UCLA professor of law, goes into an interesting analysis on politicians’ use of framing arguments along Constitutional lines (i.e., asking how we keep within the governmental structuring), rather than getting to the heart of an issue (i.e., discussing what we want society to be and to do). He notes that maybe this Founding Fathers of the USA made the political system as it is to raise possibilities of compromise (evade the harder discussion of what kind of society we want by making us talk about the “easier” one – how do we stay within the Constitional frame – first; the Founding Fathers’ plans certainly would keep (and already have kept) the country stable before we tumble into disarray over the battle of issues). But, as Rubenstein notes, it is a real odd way to “discuss” politics.

Taiwanese election results just out; curious developments there.

Back to basketball…

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