Friday, March 25, 2005

big stuff

Years ago, I came up with a great idea for a Discovery Channel show: "Big Stuff". In this show, they would explore large-scale technology such as copper mines, sewage systems, refineries, etc.

Now I'm officially nominating Mostly Cajun to host the show. He has lots of great articles on stuff like that. Here's his post on refinery explosions.


Arizona won their Sweet Sixteen game against Oklahoma St.

--That's good!

Next, they face the number one team in the country, Illinois.

--That's bad.

But they're good enough to beat Illinois.

--That's good!

But they're pretty inconsistent.

--That's bad.

But at least Arizona didn't get set up this year for an upset.

--That's good!

This year Washington got set up instead.

--That's funny!

Louisville, number four seed, beat Washington, number one seed, last night. Great upset, huh? Until you look at the rankings and see that both polls showed Louisville ranked higher than Washington. In fact, Louisville should have been a number 1 seed. Putting them at number 4 was so over-the-top that I can't believe the NCAA gets away with this. Meanwhile, Washington should have been a number 2 seed and shouldn't have had to face a team of Louisville's quality until the Elite Eight.

Of course, Louisville got screwed too. They shouldn't have had to face Georgia Tech in the second round and they shouldn't have had to face Washington in the Sweet Sixteen.

And Georgia Tech got screwed the worst. They played well this year and they deserved a decent shot at getting to the Sweet Sixteen.

None of this should be taken as an indication that I don't think Washington is a bunch of losers.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

John Derbyshire thinks we're Pharasees

This was an uncharacteristically petulant comment by John Derbyshire: "the earnest and passionate American desire to be good, and to be known to be good" as contrasted with those fine Brits who want to be good but don't care if anyone knows it. He doesn't provide so much as an anecdote or observation to back it up, and frankly I am at a loss to come up with anything myself --anything I mean, that would distinguish Americans from Brits in this respect.

Is this just some random peevishness prompted by his (very) minority position on Terri Schiavo over at the Corner, or does he actually have something in mind?

I wanted to ask him but those Corner guys hide their email addresses when they don't feel like getting any email. So if anyone has his email address, could you ask him for me and let me know what he says?

of course they did

Michelle Malkin asks, "DID THE MSM LEARN NOTHING FROM RATHERGATE?". The answer is: of course they did. Actually, I think they learned something from a combination of Rathergate and draftgate.

Never heard of draftgate have you? That's because it never became a scandal that just before the election, CBS publicized a dishonest and slanderous bulk email that accused George Bush of planning to reinstate the draft.

CBS was too clever to openly endorse the email. It was all BS and everyone who followed poltics knew it was all BS. So CBS just publicized the accusation and interviewed a "Republican" who was worried about the draft. Both actions lent the slanderous accusation far more credibility than it had as a mere piece of junk email. The actions of CBS no doubt served to raise the doubts of many people even though CBS never put their reputation on the line saying that it was true.

A story with no factual foundation became a factor in the campaign and no one could call CBS a liar. It's called FUD in the software world. That stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It's what companies are aiming for when they start unfounded rumors about their competitors. There's no proof. Customers don't know whether to believe the rumor, but they have to take into account that the rumor might be true.

Contrast this good outcome (from CBS's point of view) with Rathergate. In that incident, CBS actually endorsed a fraudulent memo. When the fraud was proven, CBS lost credibility, people lost jobs, and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy actually benefited.

The behavior with respect to this memo shows that the news media very much learned their lesson. They learned that when they get a story that has no credibility but that can hurt Republicans, they can put the story out there without actually saying that it's true. They can let other media assume it's true and report that it is. They can let the leftwing blogs flog it.

And if proof ever comes out that they were wrong, they can say, "Well, we never actually said it was true."

on courtesy and Terri Schiavo

After the 2004 presidential election I realized that John Kerry's loss would be painful for many of the people I have lunch with. Out of courtesy, I skipped lunch that day to allow them to commiserate together, absent the enemy. I didn't mention politics for a couple of weeks and neither did any of them, so I supposed that my thoughtfulness was appreciated.

Today they showed me how much they appreciated it by bringing up Terri Schiavo and applauding her impending death. After a brief, ill-advised (on my part) argument about whether she is really alive or not, they degenerated into mocking her. "I think they should just cut off her head and examine the brain, that will tell us if she's alive.", "If you aren't useful to anyone, you should move on [meaning die]." and "Make her into dog food, at least that way she would be useful to someone." figured prominently.

The last one actually provoked me into raising my voice in anger --perhaps the third or fourth time in my entire life. I finally had to leave the table, unable to tolerate the excited chatter and laughter over the fate of this poor woman.

I'm not angry any more though. I'm just very sad. These are basically good people who just can't see the evil that they are promoting and applauding. Partly it is because they have been misled, but it is also clear that they, to a certain extent, want to be misled. They want an excuse to unburden themselves of those who "aren't useful to anyone", whether a baby in the womb, a person too old to work, a child with serious birth defects, or a woman with brain damage.

Isn't it ironic, that our society, by far the wealthiest in history, is also at the lower end in willingness to care for their most helpless members? We who need to sacrifice the least to give to the helpless are also willing to sacrifice even less than that. How sad.

UPDATE: I've pretty much given up hope. Governor Bush is not willing to take extraordinary measures to save her, and neither, it appears, is anyone else.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

new links

I'm adding True Blue and Precinct 333 to my blog links. They both came to my attention by endorsing my Oath. I've been reading their blogs since then and they are both very good. True Blue's blog has a color scheme that strains my eyes though. I'm going to have to find a way to get a white background or something...

I added Master of None too. I thought his reasons for not taking the oath were respectable.

getting better

Sometime after the CBS Memogate fiasco, I wrote a blog entry entitled "what if they had been good forgeries?". In that post, I worried about CBS's revealed willingness to publish stories that suited their political goals, even when the stories were so obviously unsubstantiated. Clearly Memogate held a lesson for the left: The media wants you to lie to them! They want to report your lies. They want to present any fabricated evidence you can come up with and they will push it as hard as they can. Just make it good enough that it can't be actually proven false. And make it hurt Republicans.

Apparently someone has learned that lesson: a Democrat with access to the Senate floor --possibly a Senate staffer. It looks like someone has written a fake memo about Terri Schiavo. The memo purports to be a Republican talking-points memo that treats her case very cynically, but the memo is unsigned and no one can find a Republican who had anything to do with it.

True to form, the media jumped all over this story of how mean Republicans are, even though they had no idea who wrote it or who was distributing it. They had no link to the Republicans at all, except for the word of some Democrats that the Republicans were passing it around. But the only people seen distributing the memo were Democrats.

This memo has some flaws that will help to discredit it, but it's much better than the Bush memos that Dan Rather used. I predict that the next one will be even better.

binary colas and storyblogging

Coca Cola is coming out with a new drink: Coke Zero. It's a new 0-calorie cola that they say will taste like Classic Coke. I don't like Classic Coke so I couldn't care less except for one astute observation by SpaceMonkey: combined with Pepsi One, this lets you write binary numbers with colas. He even has an example.

By the way, Donald Crankshaw is now accepting submissions for
Storyblogging Carnival

Isn't that a nice symmetric number in base cola?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

corporations and social policy

Dean argues that corporations are a "socialist, statist enterprise":
Corporations are not a free market phenomenon. They are a creation of THE STATE. Indeed, their very existence depends upon THE STATE, i.e. THE GOVERNMENT.
There are two aspects to a corporation: it is an enterprise that can be owned by one group of people and run by another group, and it limits the liability of the owners for the actions of those who run it.

Clearly the government doesn't "create" the first aspect, the possibility for non-involved owners (beyond its function in enforcing contracts), all it does is regulate the ways that this may be done.

The second aspect, liability limits, is simply meaningless without a government to enforce the liability in the first place. This isn't a case of the government "creating" something so much as a case of the government promising not to use its power in a certain way.

In practice, of course, corporations are so heavily regulated and controlled by the government, that the policy is arguably socialist and statist, but that doesn't mean the fundamental idea of a corporation fits that description.

the La Shawn Barber watch

Great news from La Shawn:
I will be part of a stable of bloggers who’ll appear on MSNBC semi-regularly to do a round-up of what’s hot in the blogosphere. I’m not certain whether this will be every other day, once a week or once or twice a month. However frequent it is, it’s a great opportunity.
and in an update after her first show she adds
I’m an MSNBC talking head!
This is so cool.

A Meating of Mines, scenes 7, 8, and 9

This is a continuation of the screenplay Heroes for Hire Episode 2 -- A Meating of Mines.

Scene 7

Except for Rolf's comments, the following sequence should be filmed in the style of a spaghetti western: no sounds except the horses hooves, an occasional jangle, and the wind, Rolf and Zantar with grim expressions on their faces, extreme close-ups and other typical camera angles.

Rolf and Zantar ride out of the forest to a ridge overlooking a tiny mining settlement by the shores of a lake. There is little or no vegetation around the town and all of the buildings are painted red. Even with the lake there, it looks hot and uninviting.

ROLF: Remember, no metaphor or hyperbole this time, right Zantar?

The diminutive duo ride on to the town and eventually come to a sign with the name of the town painted on it in red letters: "Heck". The heroes look at each other meaningfully and ride on toward the town. About half-way there:

ROLF: Don't forget how most dwarves don't get non-literal speech, Zan. We don't want to spend all day explaining it, right?

As they enter the one short street they see red picnic tables set up in the street and a banner over the street reading "Welcome Back Boys!". The streets are deserted. A dust devil plays briefly among the picnic tables. They ride slowly past a lone dwarf who watches them vacantly. There is a sound of someone running, barely audible over the clip clop of the horses hooves, but no one is seen.

ROLF: As long as we keep to simple, literal speech, everything should go OK. Right, Zan?

A few more steps in the odd silence and then there is a sudden BANG and Rolf and Zantar look up to see a shutter swinging in the wind. Behind the window is another vacant-faced dwarf watching them. They look around and there is another dwarf on the roof of a building, watching. A bell starts ringing in the distance.

The heroes stop at a saloon and tie up their four horses. Zantar pats the cute pony affectionately and feeds her something from his pocket

ZANTAR: (murmuring gently and as close to baby talk as he can get) Yes you are! You are one tasty-looking little pony.

The two enter the saloon. When they slam the doors open, the bell stops ringing. They look around the dim interior to see several disreputable dwarves who all turn to stare at them. The heroes walk to the bar and from the sound of their footsteps in the silence, they could be wearing spurs.


ROLF: And a bottle.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: (without looking at the heroes) We don't get a lot of range bums here in Heck. (now looking over at them) Life around here is usually just too fast for 'em.

Zantar takes a gulp of his beer and Rolf a sip of his whiskey. Neither answers.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: But maybe you think you're fast enough for Heck.

Rolf and Zantar just stare down into their drinks without answering.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: So what about it. Are you fast?

Zantar raises his eyes to stare at Disreputable Dwarf 1. Close-up on Zantar. Close-up on Disreputable Dwarf 1. Behind him the other dwarves are shifting their eyes nervously back and forth between the two staring dwarves. Violence is pending...

ZANTAR: (thoughtfully) Well, the elf doesn't want any horsemeat, and I don't have to be fast, because I reserved a whole rib steak from that little one with the long mane.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: Reserved a steak? I didn't know you could reserve a steak!

ZANTAR: Well, you can when you're the one delivering the horses.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: Oh. Well, (looking at his companions) we'd better get out there and help with the picnic or we won't get anything.

The disreputable dwarves get up to leave.

ZANTAR: Yeah. You want to be sure and steak your claim.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: (confused) We're not going to stake anything, just make sure we get our share.

ZANTAR: Get it? "Steak your claim"? "Steak" has two meanings there.

Rolf lowers chin to his chest and shakes his head.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: How can it have two meanings?

ZANTAR: It's a pun. It means, like a stake that you pound in the ground for a claim and it also means a horse steak.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 2: You mean a stake that you would tie a horse to?

Rolf lowers his head until his forehead bangs against the bar.

ZANTAR: No! A steak that you eat. You know, "horse rib steak, medium rare", like.


DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: Why would you pound a horse steak into the ground for a claim? It would get all dirty and you'd just have to wash it off before eating it.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 2: Couldn't you just lay it on plate or something?

ZANTAR: Why would you want to eat a stake? It's made out of wood!

ROLF: (sounding panicky) I'm going to go outside and check on the horses. (he exits in a rush and the dwarves look after him for a moment)

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 2: I thought you said it was made out of horsemeat...

Scene 8

It's dark and the two heroes are walking through the town. The picnic tables are populated by dwarves who are gorging themselves, drinking and partying. Another dwarf, Grimey is walking next to the heroes.

GRIMEY: We can keep buying horses as long as you can keep stealing them, but the silver's safe where it is.

ROLF: But surely you recognize the inherent hazards of maintaining a personal hoard. By entrusting Zantar and myself with the responsibility for a portion of your assets, you will reduce the probability of a fully catastrophic event.

Grimey looks at Zantar expectantly.

ZANTAR: He says it would be safer if me and Rolf hid some of the silver for you because then you couldn't lose it all at once.

GRIMEY: No, but we could lose the part we gave you because you could just run off with it.

ROLF: Your reluctance is well founded on a deep comprehension of economic subtleties. Yet in this particular instance, you have encountered two individuals of impeccable honor and character whom you may rely on with the utmost confidence.

ZANTAR: He says to trust us.

Another dwarf, Picnicker 1 interrupts their conversation from a picnic table:

PICNICKER 1: So Zantar, was it like a magical stake that you could turn into meat or wood?

ROLF: (urgently) Well that's it then. Off we go, Zan!

ZANTAR: No! The word meant two kinds of stake at once!

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1 (from another picnic table): See! I told you!

ROLF: (agitated) OK then! Our work here is done! Let's go!

PICNICKER 2: But it can't be both at once because if it was strong enough to pound into the ground then it would be too tough to eat. (murmurs of a agreement from around the picnic).

ZANTAR: See, you look at it one way and it means a horse steak, and then you look at it again and it's a wood stake.

PICNICKER 1: You mean it's an illusion?

ROLF: (sounding near panic) Let's go!

GRIMEY: But if it's an illusion then is it really a horse steak or really a wood stake?

PICNICKER 2: Or there's not really any kind of stake there at all! (murmurs of surprise)

Rolf screams and flees the scene. The dwarves all stare after him for a moment.

PICNICKER 1: Was he on fire or something?

GRIMEY: No, elves are just squirrelly.

DISREPUTABLE DWARF 1: Maybe it's a meat steak with a big bone! Then you can pound the bone into the ground and eat the meat! (murmurs of approval and admiration all around)

ZANTAR: (patiently) No, no. It's really two different kinds of stake...

Scene 9:

The diminutive duo are riding through a forest once more.

ROLF: (sounding weary) We should probably wait a few days before trying again.

ZANTAR: Yeah, don't want anyone to get suspicious.

ROLF: And next time...

ZANTAR: No puns?

ROLF: No puns. No metaphors. No exaggeration. Nothing to set the famous Dwarven one-track mind into a hapless, endless, and dismally serious track of utter confusion. Please, Zantar.

ZANTAR: OK. I just thought that pun was funny.

ROLF: Manifestly.

The two pass through a gate and ride silently up a road to a barn. They get off their horses and hand them to stablemen. They walk toward a high building and step inside. It has the look of a tavern with stairs that probably lead to private rooms. Inside are thirty or so of their fellow thugs and Jerrod, who is sitting at a table. The heroes cross to another table and sit down. Zantar hollers for drinks. Everyone seems to be looking at them.

JERROD: (from the next table) So, how'd it go?

ROLF: Well. We saw no sign of incursion.

JERROD: A couple of my horses seem to be missing.

ZANTAR: We can't watch the horses along with everything else.

JERROD: Yeah. But these horses were last seen with you two.

ROLF: There is no doubt some confusion.

JERROD: (standing up) That's what I said. I said, "Nick", because it was Nick that saw you with the horses, I said, "Nick, what would those two fine lillies be doing with a couple of ponies that I put out to pasture? You must be confused, Nick." That's what I said to Nick.

ROLF: Quite perceptive of you.

JERROD: But Nick, he doesn't think he's confused. He thinks you're stealing my horses.

ROLF: Nick is obviously paranoid.

JERROD: That's probably right. That's probably right. That would explain why he up and grabs Heath and they take on over to the Lucky Unicorn. You know the Lucky Unicorn?

ZANTAR: The tavern in town?

JERROD: The very one! Now Nick and Heath, they meet up with this elf over at the Lucky Unicorn. They recognize the elf as someone that works for the Cannons. And you know what?


JERROD: Well, (Jerrod sits down with them and begins speaking in a conspiratorial voice) What was odd is that this elf seems to have come into a lot of money lately. He's buying drinks for everyone and he's got an expensive new outfit and he's got an expensive dame at his elbow while he gambles! Can you imagine? Since when did the Cannons pay that kind of money?

ROLF: No doubt this elf is a professional assassin or a famous warrior. They must have hired him to partially counter your coup in retaining the services of Zantar and myself.

JERROD: Yes! Yes, that seems like a reasonable explanation. But no, no. It turns out this elf is just a common robber. Like to fancy himself an archer, but he's so bad at it that most of the guys figure he's just afraid of going toe to toe.

ZANTAR: Yeah. Elves are punks.

JERROD: Well, sure. Excepting, of course, our good friend Rolf here.

ZANTAR: Yeah, whatever.

JERROD: So this is a mystery. Nick and Heath want do know where this elf is getting his loot. Don't you want to know where he's getting his loot?

ROLF: I can't say the question holds a great deal of fascination for me, no.

JERROD: No? Well, it does for me. Yes it does for me. And it did for Nick and Heath too. That's why they bopped him over the head and brought him back here.

ZANTAR: Good job! Well, I've had enough for the day!

ROLF: Quite so. It's been a long day and we must retire immediately. Be sure to keep us informed on the progress of your interrogation.

Rolf and Zantar get up, leaving nearly full drinks on the table, and try to leave but Jerrod impedes them.

JERROD: Wait! Wait! The interrogation is all over. Our little elf was anxious to answer all of our questions. Enthusiastic even. I've never met a more cooperative subject. So you don't have to wait to hear what he told us. (Jerrod beams) Wouldn't you like to know what he told us?

ZANTAR: (long and drawn out) O-o-o-ka-a-a-y.

JERROD: (motioning with his hands) Sit! Sit!

Rolf and Zantar sit back down.

JERROD: (leaning forward and lowering his voice, even more conspiratorially than last time) He told us... (Jerrod looks around sneakily. Everyone in the room is watching and listening but he doesn't seem to notice) He told us ... that he was engaged in a plot with the two of you to steal my horses and sell them to the dwarves at the Cannon mines.

Rolf and Zantar look at each other as Jerrod pauses.

JERROD: He said, get this, that the dwarves were eating my horses. Can you believe that!

Jerrod suddenly sits back and laughs uproariously. The rest of the crowd in the room starts laughing. Jerrod slaps the two heroes on the shoulders. Finally, Rolf and Zantar start laughing as well.

ZANTAR: Good one!

ROLF: Indeed! I am slain by the humor. The man ought to be writer of comedic romances for young men. Such an imagination!

Jerrod laughs again.

JERROD: A writer of romances! Great idea! Too bad he's dead. We may have cost the world of literature a great voice!

The rest of the crowd laugh uproariously at that. Rolf and Zantar sit back and start on their drinks again, but Jerrod has different ideas.

JERROD: Well, what's this? I thought you two had to get to bed?

ROLF: (with his drink half-way to his mouth) Oh. Yes. We did say that, Zantar. And we didn't have any reason to say it if weren't true, right?

ZANTAR: (also with a suspended drink) Uh. Yeah.

Rolf puts his drink down and stands up. Zantar stands up and greedily tries to guzzle the whole thing before putting it down.

ROLF: Well, off we go.

Jerrod nods and smiles as they walk past him toward the door. He picks up Rolf's abandoned drink and takes a sip. When they get about halfway to the door he speaks without turning around.

JERROD: Yep. That elf is dead, dead, dead for plotting against me. But you two... You two have to pay me for four horses before you die.

Everyone in the room suddenly mobs the two heroes with nets and axe handles. As they are beaten into submission, the camera focuses on Jerrod's face, still facing away from the melee, enjoying Rolf's drink.

UPDATE: continued.

Monday, March 21, 2005

an immodest proposal

John Hawkins on the Terri Shiavo case:
I would like to interject one final word of caution in the form of a quote from Thomas Sowell:
"'Hard cases make bad law' is another way the tragic vision has been expressed. To help some hard-pressed individual or group whose case is before them, judges may bend the law to arrive at a more benign verdict in that particular case--but at the cost of damaging the whole consistency and predictability of the law, on which millions of other people depend, and on which ultimately the freedom and safety of a whole society depend."
This is the sort of situation about which that quote was written and I would strongly encourage everyone from the President on down to try to carefully tailor what they're doing to make sure that they don't end up unleashing a flood in an effort to try to water the lawn.
This is a valuable warning, but I think that good law can come out of this too. Here are some suggestions:

1. If your spouse is not competent to handle their own affairs and you take up with another lover, then you are automatically considered an estranged spouse and lose much of your authority to speak on your spouse's behalf. A close relative or the state has the right to sue on the part of the spouse, either for divorce or for some other reason.

2. If your spouse is not competent to handle their own affairs and you take up with another lover, then you lose the right to inherit from your spouse.

3. Declaring someone brain-dead requires the word of impartial physicians. A physician who is an activist for euthanasia is not impartial. A physician hired by an estranged husband who stands to inherit money from the victim is not impartial.

4. In any dispute over whether to pull the plug on someone, all parties are legally required to lay out all their interests in the matter. If any party has a strong incentive for the victim's death (such as standing to inherit money), the court should take that into consideration.

5. In any dispute over situations like this, if one party is a close relative of the victim and is willing to take over all responsibility for the victim then that party should prevail absent a very strong showing that the victim had other wishes.

6. If you sue on behalf of someone who is not competent, then all of the money you gain must be spent on that person. Any interested party has the right to view your records to make sure you are doing so. When the person dies, all of the remaining money from the suit goes to the state.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

more on Terri

More depressing information about Terri Schiavo. If this is true, why can't the state remove her husband as her guardian? Has Governor Bush even tried?

Terri Shiavo

I wish I could write something about Terri Schiavo's tribulations, but I'm just too saddened and depressed. Here are some links to keep you up to date on what's going on: Michelle Malkin, Patterico, NRO, Ongoing coverage at the Corner.

I'm just too horrified by the sight of fellow Americans fighting and struggling to end the life of a helpless woman. It's not just a matter of differing opinions, which I could countenance, but an active struggle to see someone die. How can that happen? What of compassion? What of erring on the side of mercy?

And I don't entirely understand my own reaction to these events. If I dwell on it, the grief becomes almost overwhelming and I become maudlin. Such sentiments don't become me. I'm a tough guy. Or a comedian, as the mood strikes me. I don't get moody and choked up over the fate of some woman I've never met and had never even heard of a year ago. Yet I donated money to try to save her life and I feel as if I have a close friend at death's door, in the process of being murdered by those she should have been able to trust.

Why is this so personal to me? I don't know. Maybe it is the tragedy of her husband's betrayal. Maybe it is the heroism of her parents. Maybe it is ... I don't know. The information age has made the world smaller and smaller until now I, a man who by the grace of God has seldom had reason to weep for his own family am now weeping for strangers in Florida and Thailand and the Sudan. Maybe I need to find a less painful hobby.

But I am involved now and I am horrified. How can her own husband be so dedicated to killing her that he refuses even to just let her parents become her guardians and care for her? How can the judge be so callous as to leave her fate in the hands of a man who is legally her husband but that has been living with another woman for years? If she were able to make her own decisions, is it likely that she would agree to that? Would any sane person? Especially when there is very likely a substantial amount of money for him to inherit?

And why has the legislature waited till the last minute? Don't let them off the hook. Why let her go through two or three days of hunger and thirst? If an injustice was being done, why not fix it before now? Could this be just callous grandstanding to bring us to the brink of disaster and embarrass those who want poor Terri to die? Must the death-lovers be humiliated even at the cost of Terri's suffering?

What has America come to when we see a spectacle such as this?

Pray for Terri. And for her husband and the other killers. We all need God's grace.

UPDATE: La Shawn seems to be feeling some of the same things...

dodged the bullet

Whew. Arizona made it to the Sweet 16. That may not seem like much for a 3 seed, but for Arizona it is. I think Arizona under Lute Olsen probably has one of the worst records in the NCAA tournament of getting knocked off by lower-seeded teams.

A lot of us feel like we get set up for upsets because Arizona is a small-market team. The possibility of upsets makes the early rounds more interesting to a general audience, so they bring in lots of TV money. By contrast, if Arizona loses in the first couple of rounds and all of Tucson turns the channel, then the TV folks don't lose much money. That's why Arizona usually faces teams in the early rounds that are seeded far below where all the various rankings would put them.

The most obvious setup I remember was the year Arizona played East Tennessee State in the first round. Not only was East Tennessee State seeded far below their ranking, they had played Arizona at Arizona earlier in the year and either won or lost in a very close contest (I don't recall). Without the home court advantage, Arizona got upset by a very good East Tennessee State in the first round.

I have this fantasy about suing the NCAA for defrauding the TV audience and forcing them to testify about the conversations that take place while they are drawing up the brackets.