THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S I NDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE
VOL. 94, NO. 115 FREE — Additional Copies 25¢
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 © 2009 OU Publications Board
Statue draws Colorado criticism
CAMPUS BRIEFS OU communication professor dies
• Artwork at Denver airport described as ‘Sleeping Ugly’
Luis Jimenez’s “Mustang” sculpture stands north of the Fred Jones. Jr. Museum of Art. The statute has a larger sibling statue at the Denver International Airport. The Denver statute has been the target of ire from Denver citizens and international travelers.
Michael Pfau, chairman of the Department of Communication, died Thursday morning after an “extended illness,” according to a news MICHAEL release. PFAU His wife, Ginger, is making funeral and burial service plans in Minnesota for the next few days. A Norman memorial service will be planned in the next few weeks. Pfau was director of graduate studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining OU. He is the author of seven books, including “Mediating the Vote: The Changing Media Landscape in U.S. Presidential Campaigns”, released in 2007. —DAILY STAFF REPORTS
WHAT’S INSIDE Remember those high school American history stories about the WPA? See what they did in Oklahoma and whether or not America will see a program like the WPA soon on page 2.
RICKY MARANON The Oklahoma Daily One on-campus statue is turning heads and sparking controversy as far away as Denver. A replication of the “Mustang”, a sculpture on the north side of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, has become part of a debate over the City of Denver’s decision to place an identical statue at the entrance of Denver International Airport in 2008. The Denver statue stands four times taller than the one on campus, and is one of the first things travelers see as they drive up to the airport’s main terminal, said Erin Trap, director of cultural affairs for DIA. She said the airport has received complaints about the glowing red eyes and the bucking horse’s exposed genitals facing oncoming airport traf-
One campus organization raised money and awareness for mental illnesses Thursday night. See what they said you can do on page 2.
LIFE & ARTS
Which is better, the slopes or the beach? The Daily’s Colin Henson argues for the beach in part two of the spring break debate. Page 7.
Zach Butler/The Daily
Inhofe’s earmarks outnumber rest of Oklahoma delegation’s • Sen. Inhofe asks for $91.6 million, others ask for none WASHINGTON — There’s a $91.6 million difference between Oklahoma Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn. Inhofe voted down a $410 billion federal omnibus spending bill Thursday and fervently blasted “Democrats’ billion-dollar spending spree” in a statement released soon after the Senate passed it. But Inhofe — who said Thursday he has “refused to go along with big government spending or big government solutions” — sponsored or co-sponsored 74 earmarks worth more than $91.6 million. Coburn — one of Capitol Hill’s most outspoken opponents of earmarking — asked for zero.
SPORTS The women’s basketball team will play its first game in the Big 12 tournament today at 11:30 a.m. against Kansas. For details, see page 5.
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Standing by his spending
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In an e-mail to The Daily, Inhofe chided the government, which he said, “didn’t do enough to restrain spending” over the last few years, which has led to an increased federal deficit. He also has bemoaned the omnibus bill, which contains more than 9,000 congressional earmarks worth about $7.7 billion, according to a list compiled by the earmarks watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense. But Inhofe stands by his own earmarks, including $274,000 for an OSU study on animal waste management and $475,000 for the
Harry Hamburg/AP Photo
ABOVE: Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., flanked by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., left, and Rep. John Fleming, D-La., speaks Wednesday about the economy during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
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Nicholas Harrison, law student and author of the bill, said the legislation calls for clear guidelines for faculty on how to resolve con-
The Graduate Student Senate is poised to end months of discussion and vote on new protocol that would vastly change the way graduate students address grievances with faculty members. Since December, the senate has been discussing a bill that aims to give students a simpler way to address grievances with professors. A smaller committee has been investigating the legislation’s feasibility since January and is prepared to bring it to the floor for discussion after spring break, Senate Chairwoman Susan AdamsJohnson said.
MARCH MADNESS: NORMAN HIGHS AND LOWS 69°
Graduate Senate addresses complaints
WHITNEY ORTEGA The Oklahoma Daily
EARMARK Continues on page 2
STATUE Continues on page 2
• Bill calls for clarity on professional misconduct
HAILEY R. BRANSON The Oklahoma Daily
Looking for something new? Check out the ‘Wine of the Week!’ Page 8.
fic. DIA opened in Feb. 1994 to replace the overcrowded Denver Stapleton Airport, and plans called for adding art to the property over time. “We didn’t choose to be controversial,” Trap said. “The choice for a horse was made 16 years ago, when the airport was designed in the late 1980s.” She said no one who currently works in the DIA art office had any part in the decision. Denver residents petitioning to remove the sculpture created a Web site, byebyebluemustang.com, to help them organize. “My 13 year old calls it ‘Sleeping Ugly,’” Adele Allen said on the Web site. The site’s message boards are full of Denver residents’ complaints and even cartoons lampooning the statue. “Take a look at Oklahoma University’s version of this abomination.” Denver resident Douglas Black posted on the Web site. “Look familiar? Looks like [sculptor Luis] Jimenez got paid twice for one bad idea. DIA just got the bigger, more hideous one of the two.”
MARCH 10 MARCH 11 MARCH 12 MARCH 13* MARCH 14* MARCH 15* MARCH 16* MARCH 17* MARCH 18* MARCH 19* Source: Oklahoma Weather Lab * Projected Forecast
SENATE Continues on page 2
Norman winter weather wraps up with unexpected cold snap Oklahoma weather has always followed its own path, but this week’s roller-coaster weather strayed, peaked and crested more than usual. A cold front from Canada merging with a storm system over the Rocky Mountains rolled through Oklahoma Tuesday, plunging temperatures to lows near freezing from a high of 82 on Monday. Norman
will remain cool into the weekend, but Sunday will begin the return of normal temperatures. Spring break will be mostly dry and mild.
— RICKY MARANON/THE OKLAHOMA DAILY
Friday, March13, 2009
A New Deal for Oklahoma
Continued from page 1
beautification of Hudiburg Drive in Midwest City. “Unfortunately, Democrats voted to keep the earmarks in the bill, and President Obama went along,” he said via e-mail. “Therefore, as long as Democrats continue to keep the current process intact, you can bet I will be working to get every dollar I can for Oklahoma.” Inhofe and other members of Congress requested their earmarks for this budget last year, before Obama took office. Coburn, who has never requested an earmark in his eight years in Congress, also voted down the omnibus spending bill. He has repeatedly scoffed at other lawmakers’ earmarks. “The greatest pleasure in the world is spending other people’s money,” Coburn said. “We’re not elected to bring home the bacon; we’re elected to do the right thing for the country.” Coburn said he does not need earmarks to help the people of Oklahoma, but called the number of earmarks Inhofe requested “a real pittance compared to what everyone else has.” “You never see a superfluous earmark from Sen. Inhofe,” he said. “You won’t see him do an earmark for a private company or help any of his friends.” Inhofe did not request any earmarks for private companies, but he has several earmarks dedicated to OU. This year’s requests include $143,000 to OU for equipment and research “for applications derived from prosthetic and assistive mobility technologies for injured war fighters.” He and Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole also requested $713,625 for OU biofuel refining engineering, as well as $350,000 for experimental radar research at the National Weather Center. Inhofe’s requests for earmarks
CONGRESSIONAL GLOSSARY An OMNIBUS BILL packages together several measures into one or combines diverse subjects into a single bill. Examples are combined appropriations bills — like the current one — reconciliation bills, private relief and claims bills. EARMARKED funds are those dedicated for a specific program or purpose. Revenues are earmarked by law. Expenditures are earmarked by appropriations bills or reports from legislators. Source: C-SPAN Con
far outnumbered the rest of the Oklahoma delegation’s, but he was not the only one to request funds. Coburn was the only one to not request earmarks. Rep. Tom Cole sponsored or co-sponsored 19 earmarks worth nearly $13 million. Reps. John Sullivan, Mary Fallin and Frank Lucas, all Republicans, each requested 10 or more earmarks, and each requested less than $7 million. Oklahoma’s only Democrat in Congress, Rep. Dan Boren, requested 17 earmarks worth $11.7 million. Boren was the only Oklahoman to vote for the omnibus bill. Earmarks united Boren with his fellow Oklahoma delegates in the GOP. He co-sponsored earmarks with Lucas, Sullivan and Fallin and co-sponsored 10 with Inhofe.
Earmark evolution Earmarks are nothing new, and their causes are sometimes justified, according to OU President David Boren, who served in the Senate from 1979 to 1994. “Earmarks can definitely get out of hand and can increase spending on projects that are not fully justified,” he said via e-mail. “At the same time, the unelected federal bureaucracy should not alone be making these decisions.”
He said individual members of Congress sometimes must be involved in protecting the interest of their state when there is bureaucratic bias against them. The Obama administration has chided earmarks before, and announced steps this week to reign in earmark spending in the future. However, Obama signed the omnibus bill – earmarks and all. “I am signing an imperfect omnibus bill because it’s necessary for the ongoing functions of government, and we have a lot more work to do,” Obama said Wednesday morning. “We can’t have Congress bogged down at this critical juncture in our economic recovery.” As far as Coburn is concerned, the faster the work is done, the better. “Congress is addicted to spending,” he said. “We need a 12-step program. Oklahoma cannot be healthy if the rest of the country is sick.”
See the full text of the e-mail interview with Sen. Jim Inhofe online.
• Past economic crises could help Americans plan for future ones ALEX LYNN The Oklahoma Daily The national unemployment rate is at its highest since 1984. U.S. News and World Report found February had more than 120,000 foreclosures. Times are tough. Many are unaware, however, that the current economic situation is similar to the ones faced by previous generations. “I’m inclined to say, and there are people who will disagree with me, that Oklahomans simply don’t care very much about their history,” history professor William Savage said. “I think much of it has to do with the degree of unpleasantness one finds.” The national unemployment rate during the Great Depression, from 1929 to 1940, was 17.9 percent, more than double the current rate. Based on the 2005 Oklahoma population, 5 percent of the state, or 177,172 workers, are unemployed as of January. At one point during the Great Depression, 240,000 Oklahomans were unemployed, said Lynda Schwan, an Oklahoma Historical Society program coordinator. The unemployment rates created a sticky national situation. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933, he was faced with many economic problems. His solution? The New Deal.
Lilly Chapa/The Daily
WPA shields, like this one from 1939, line the 330 miles of sidewalk created by the Works Progress Administration. Not limited to sidewalks, the WPA built Adam and Richards Halls along with a portion of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
The New Deal in Oklahoma
Then and now
The Works Progress Administration, part of the New Deal that created specific jobs to work with people’s individual skill sets and talents, left an unerasable mark on Norman. WPA 1937 and 1939 shields adorn sidewalks along Cruce Street and Asp Avenue in the Chautauqua Historic District. The shields were stamped into the sidewalks about 70 years ago, but remain bold and legible signs of what might come. “The tendency is to ignore the Depression completely as simply an unpleasant aspect of our history,” Savage said. The WPA built parks and buildings, but also raised the confidence of many Oklahomans. “It [the WPA] provided buildings and resources Oklahoma didn’t have,” Schwan said. “And it helped to employ those people so they felt like they still had a sense of worth.”
The WPA could serve as a model for future policies to combat the nation’s economic problems, said Zac Savage, history senior. But the U.S. would be headed toward a new New Deal sooner than some think. Congress recently passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will save or create 3.5 million jobs, according to President Barack Obama. In his Feb. 24 address to Congress, Obama said 90 percent of the jobs created will be in the private sector and will include rebuilding roads and bridges, constructing wind turbines and solar panels, and expanding mass transit systems. Could Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act be another New Deal? Only time can tell, but future generations of sooners may unknowingly walk over sidewalks and past buildings stamped with “ARRA 2009.”
Documentary raises questions, awareness about suicide prevention • After two suicides last semester, the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association attempts to raise awareness RENEÉ SELANDERS The Oklahoma Daily A semester after two OU students committed suicide, a group of students and faculty members gathered Thursday to discuss ways to recognize warning signs and prevent suicides. The inaugural event for the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association, which has been planned since January, aimed to inform students about mental illness and suicide with a showing of the documentary “The Bridge.” The other main objective was to raise
Senate Continued from page 1
flicts in the classroom. Harrison emphasized the bill is not implying there is a broad problem of misconduct in the classroom. “By writing this bill, I’m not necessarily saying that the faculty is getting away with a whole bunch of stuff or that they are the bad guys here,” Harrison said. “But whenever isolated
awareness of a related nonprofit organization by hosting a nonprofit representative in a discussion panel at the Honors College Nancy Mergler Library. Though a representative from the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Cleveland County failed to show up, University College freshman and nonfilm event organizer Emily Mapes said the discussion generated by the panel members and students present at the event showed the need for nonprofit organizations. Students expressed frustration with the film for not addressing suicide prevention, but Mapes said students’ desire for more awareness of how to prevent suicide demonstrated the need for nonprofit organizations addressing suicide prevention. “They [the students] wanted awareness, they wanted that in the film,” she said. “So that’s just like a call for nonprofit almost. That’s what a lot of nonprofit organizations do, so though the actual component was missing, you could tell the want was still here for it. And that kind of shows, if anything, why nonprofits are around – so they can fill that void.” The film, “The Bridge,” is a documentary about suicides committed at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It focuses more on the personal stories of
incidents happen, there needs to be a system in place to deal with that.” The bill recommends OU compile and release an annual report that includes statistics and information for all professional misconduct complaints filed by students. It also suggests OU create an ombudsman position to handle all professional misconduct complaints and to advise students when there is a complaint. Harrison’s bill requests the vice president of Student Affairs
assemble a task force to carry out the bill’s provisions. Currently, students have several avenues to file a complaint against a faculty member. Most can be handled by the Equal Opportunity Office and are addressed in policies posted online. The President’s Action Line, 325-1212, is another option for students to bring comments, concerns and questions directly to President David Boren’s office.
people who committed suicide at the bridge than on suicide prevention. The panel members who were present included Bryan Stice, staff psychologist for Goddard Counseling and Testing Services; Harry Wright, adjunct professor for the psychology department and Ben Alpers, associate professor of film and video studies. Stice, who works on campus suicide prevention efforts, addressed many concerns students had about the documentary’s lack of suicide intervention awareness. “The film raised awareness to some level about the tragic nature of suicide; however, it could have gone a bit further in also informing people about what they could actually do to help to treat or how to seek help or what to do if somebody they know is feeling suicidal,” Stice said. Amanda Gann, health and exercise sciences senior, said she attended the event because she was friends with one of the two students at OU who committed suicide last semester. She said the film made suicide a “black-and-white” issue, when it’s really more of a gray subject.
Legislative limbo The bill is drawing wide support from senators, yet many have voiced concerns that the bill is too vague and doesn’t define “professional misconduct.” The ad hoc committee of students and faculty reviewing the bill will convene for the last time after spring break. The committee members have taken their time in discussing this legislation because they want to get the wording right, Senate member Michael Ukpong said.
SUICIDE PREVENTION If you or a friend need to talk to someone about distressful or suicidal thoughts, you can call Goddard Health Center at (405) 325-2700 or (405) 325-2911 to speak with a designated Crisis Services Counselor, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“All your life you’re growing up looking for these certain signs, and it’s not always there,” Gann said. Most suicides aren’t committed by, “someone who’s schizophrenic and jumping off a bridge.” Despite this aspect of the film, Stice said the discussion that followed the showing of the documentary allowed the students to discuss different preventative techniques. “Some of this discussion helped people to highlight some of the warning signs that were implicitly addressed in the film,” he said. “The discussion allowed us to bring it more to the forefront and to recognize some of those warning signs.”
“Legislation is binding in the wording that it is written in, so we are always very careful in which words we use. We pride ourselves in actually taking longer to look at something to make sure the language is okay,” Ukpong, a botany graduate student, said. Adams-Johnson said she is concerned with getting a realistic view on which parts of the bill will be implemented by the university. “Students can make any reso-
lution they want, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to bind the administrative body unless they want to, out of their own benevolence, agree. They are the final authority. It’s a lot easier to include them in the conversation from as [early] as possible,” Ukpong said. “Perhaps, we can meet as close to middle ground as possible.” Harrison said if the bill passes the Graduate Senate, he will take it to the Undergraduate Congress for consideration.
Statue Continued from page 1
“The rumors are true,” Trap said. “The artist was killed while making the statue, which is why some may refer to it as evil.” Reports from the Lincoln county New Mexico sheriff’s department said Jimenez was working on the statue when a large piece fell on him and killed him. The statue on campus was the inspiration for the one at DIA, and first arrived at OU in 1998. Student reaction to the smaller on-campus horse is similar to the that of Denver residents. “I still get shaky when I see it,” said Jonathan Curtin, University College freshman. “Especially at night, it just looks demonic.”
OUR COMMITMENT TO ACCURACY The Daily has a long-standing commitment to serve readers by providing accurate coverage and analysis. Errors are corrected as they are identified. Readers should bring errors to the attention of the editorial board for further investigation.
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News 3 Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush jailed for 3 years Friday, March 13, 2009
• Relatives in shock after Muntadhar al-Zeidi’s sentence was imposed BAGHDAD — A court convicted an Iraqi journalist of assault Thursday for hurling his shoes at George W. Bush and sentenced him to three years in prison, prompting an outburst from his family and calls for his release from Iraqis who consider him an icon for a nation decimated by war. Muntadhar al-Zeidi, 30, defiantly shouted, “Long Live Iraq!” when the sentence was imposed, according to defense lawyers. Some of his relatives collapsed and had to be helped out of the courthouse. Others were forcibly removed by guards after shouting “Down with Bush!” “This judiciary is unjust,” al-Zeidi’s brother, Dargham, said tearfully. Other family members shouted insults against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who like al-Zeidi is a Shiite. Although al-Zeidi received the minimum sentence — it could have been 15 years behind bars — his lawyers denounced the verdict and said they would appeal, possibly hoping a public outcry would aid their cause. Al-Zeidi’s brazen act during a Dec. 14 press conference by Bush and al-Maliki in Baghdad’s Green Zone turned the young reporter into a folk hero across the Arab world, where the former U.S. president is reviled for invading Iraq in 2003 and for other policies. Many Iraqis interviewed after the verdict believed the sentence was too harsh and that al-Zeidi was a hero for standing up to the American president.
AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed
A relative of the Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi who threw shoes at then-President George W. Bush holds up a poster in support of the journalist at his home after he was convicted of assaulting a foreign leader and sentenced to three years in prison in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday. The posters shows a portrait of Muntadhar al-Zeidi and reads: “Release he who achieved Iraqi unity”, and at the below “Release he who restored Iraqi dignity”. Supporters defended his act as a political statement in Arab culture, where throwing shoes at someone is considered an especially serious insult. But protests on al-Zeidi’s behalf have drawn few
participants since December, and there was no sign of spontaneous rallies Thursday after the noontime verdict. It appeared unlikely, therefore, that al-Maliki would
recommend a presidential pardon for the journalist, at least anytime soon. Al-Maliki was deeply embarrassed by the assault against an American president who had stood by him when some Arab leaders were quietly urging the U.S. to oust him. His aides had said the prime minister was personally offended by such an insult to a foreign guest. The speed of the trial — two relatively brief hearings — is likely to feed widespread suspicion among Iraqis that al-Maliki’s government orchestrated the process, although defense lawyers said they had no evidence of interference. Spokesmen for Bush and for the State Department both called the verdict “a matter for the Iraqi judicial system.” During Thursday’s proceedings, chief defense attorney Dhia al-Saadi moved that the charges be dismissed, saying al-Zeidi’s act was “an expression of freedom” and not a crime. “It was an act of throwing a shoe, not a rocket,” he told the court. “It was meant as an insult to the occupation.” Al-Zeidi, wearing a beige suit over a brown shirt and brown leather shoes, then entered a plea of not guilty. Judge Abdul-Amir al-Rubaie cleared the courtroom of all spectators and announced the verdict, which was relayed to reporters and family members by defense lawyers and a court official. News of al-Zeidi’s sentence drew quick reactions across the capital. “Al-Zeidi should have been honored and not sent to prison,” said Salam Omar, who owns a cell phone shop in eastern Baghdad. Nasir al-Saadi, a lawmaker loyal to Shiite opposition leader Muqtada al-Sadr, said the court “should have adopted a more humane approach and released him.”
Bill could lower birth control costs at colleges across the country • Planned Parenthood exclaims ‘a victory for women’s health’ The estimated 39 percent of American college women who use birth control pills could enjoy relief from big price increases over the last two years thanks to a provision in the budget bill signed by President Barack Obama. Students had seen prices for oral contraceptives at college health clinics shoot up two- and threefold — the apparently unintended consequence of a deficit-reduction provision that went into effect in January, 2007. The bill Obama signed Wednesday restores an incentive for drugmakers to offer discounts for the pills, although it doesn’t guarantee they will do so. Still, college health officials were celebrating the news. “It’s been something that all of the members of the American College Health Association have been watching very closely,” said Dr. Gregory Moore, director of the health service at the University of Kentucky. “There was a great deal of celebrating I’m sure.” Prior to 2007, pharmaceutical companies had a financial incentive
to sell drugs at deep discounts to a range of health care providers, including college clinics. The drugmakers were also eager to attract young women to products they would stay with for years after graduation. But the 2007 change meant the discounts counted against pharmaceutical companies in a formula that calculates the rebates they owe the states to participate in Medicaid, and the discounts stopped. Colleges passed most of the price increases on to students — from $12 a month to around $30 at Florida State, for instance — and a few smaller colleges that couldn’t buy in bulk stopped offering them altogether, forcing their students to get them at higher prices off-campus. The change prompted concerns some students might shift to less preferred contraceptives. “For those students where they were used to getting oral contraceptives for maybe $10 a month, that quickly escalated to the $30-, $40-, $50-a-month level,” Moore said. “For many college students that had a disastrous effect, and they maybe even stopped.” Whether drugmakers will again offer the discounts was still unclear. A spokeswoman for German-based pharmaceutical company Bayer Schering Pharma AG, which makes the popular oral contraceptive Yaz, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. Lisa Ellen, a spokeswoman for Kenilworth, N.J.-based Schering-
Plough, which makes another popular contraceptive, Desogen, said the company was reviewing the legislation and “whether and how we’re going to support the college health clinics with discounted pricing.” In a statement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards called the legislation “a victory for women’s health and especially for women who have struggled to afford the rising costs of basic contraception in these tough economic times.”
“It’s been something that all of the members of the American College Health Association have been watching very closely.” Dr. Gregory Moore, director of the health service at the University of Kentucky
‘Sorry and ashamed’ Bernard Madoff pleads guilty
NEWS BRIEFS Space station’s close call with junk: More to come WASHINGTON — The near-hit of space junk Thursday was a warning shot ﬁred across the bow of the international space station, experts said. There’s likely more to come in the future. With less than an hour’s notice, the three astronauts were told they’d have to seek shelter in a Russian capsule parked at the space station in case a speeding piece of space junk hit Thursday. If it hit and they were in the main part of the station, they’d have only 10 minutes of safety, Mission Control told them. A hole in the space station could mean loss of air, loss of pressure and eventual loss of life.
4-day school week gains momentum amid recession TAMPA, Fla. — With the nation’s school districts strapped for cash, more are considering a schedule that delights students and makes working parents cringe: Class only four days a week. By extending school hours and eliminating a day of classes each week, education oﬃcials say they could save busloads of money on transportation and utilities. That’s all ﬁne by Layla Bahabri, a 10th-grader at South Florida’s Charles W. Flanagan High School, who likes the idea of sleeping in and studying on the extra day oﬀ.
Lawmakers dodge chance to end pay raises WASHINGTON — Congress’ automatic pay raises are in little immediate danger of being scrapped for good, even with the economy slumping and millions of Americans unemployed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday would not commit to holding a vote on a bill to do away with the annual cost-of-living increases. She pointed out that Congress recognized the economic crisis by voting this week to skip next year’s raise. In so doing, though, lawmakers defeated a Senate measure to abolish the automatic pay hikes and force them into the deep discomfort of casting actual votes to give themselves raises.
Aid group pulls out after Darfur workers kidnapped
• Up to 150 years in prison for securities fraud and perjury on Wall Street NEW YORK — Careful to blame only himself, a “deeply sorry and ashamed” Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty Thursday to pulling off what could be the biggest, most spectacular swindle Wall Street has even seen, and was sent off to jail in handcuffs to the applause of his furious victims. “I realized that my arrest and this day would inevitably come,” Madoff said in a courtroom crammed with many of the investors he cheated out of billions of dollars. The 70-year-old financier could get up to 150 years in prison at sentencing June 16 on 11 counts, including securities fraud and perjury. He could also be fined and ordered to pay restitution to his victims and forfeit any ill-gotten gains. In a long, detailed statement delivered in a soft but steady voice, Madoff implicated no one but himself in the vast Ponzi scheme. He said he started it as a short-term way to weather the early-1990s recession and was unable to extricate himself as the years went by. “I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply sorry and ashamed,” Madoff said in his first public comments about his crimes since the $65 billion scandal broke in early December. The scandal turned a well-respected investment professional — Madoff was once chairman of the Nasdaq exchange — into a symbol of Wall Street greed amid the economic melt-
HIGHLIGHTING OR COLOR
KHARTOUM, Sudan — Armed men stormed an aid agency compound in Darfur and kidnapped three Westerners, heightening fears that foreigners will be targeted in the backlash over the international arrest warrant for Sudan’s president. The three workers for Doctors Without Borders were kidnapped late Wednesday in a government-controlled area in northern Darfur, close to a stronghold of government-allied Arab militiamen known as janjaweed.
down. The public fury toward him was so great that he was known to wear a bulletproof vest to court. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin promptly revoked the $10 million bail that had allowed Madoff to remain free since he confessed to his sons three months ago. In ordering him jailed, the judge said Madoff had the means to flee and an incentive to do so because of his age. The court appearance came as a disappointment to many of Madoff’s investors, who hoped to hear him say who might have helped him pull off the scam, and where the money went. Because Madoff pleaded guilty as charged, without any kind of deal with prosecutors, he is under no obligation to cooperate with them. As a result, some legal experts and others have speculated that he is sacrificing himself to protect his wife, his family and friends. “He’s trying to save the rest of his family,” said investor Judith Welling. “We need to find out who else was involved, and we need, obviously, to freeze the assets of all those people involved to help the victims.” There was a smattering of applause after the judge announced Madoff would go directly to jail — the drab, windowless high-rise Metropolitan Correctional Center next door to the courthouse to await sentencing. But that did not lessen his victims’ anger or satisfy their desire for retribution. “So he spends the rest of his life in jail — is that justice? People’s lives are ruined,” said Adriane Biondo of Los Angeles, one of five members of her family who lost money with Madoff. “He’s sitting in jail? That’s awesome,” she said sarcastically. “Where’s the money, Bernie?” DeWitt Baker, an investor who attended the hearing and said he lost more than $1 million with Madoff, said: “I’d stone him to death.” Prosecutors gave assurances they are investigating Madoff’s wife and other family mem-
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bers and employees to determine what role, if any, they played in the scam. “A lot of resources and effort are being expended, both to find assets and to find anyone else who may be responsible for this fraud,” federal prosecutor Marc Litt said. In court documents, prosecutors put the amount of the fraud at $64.8 billion. However, experts said that the actual loss was probably much less and that the higher number reflects the false profits Madoff told investors they were making. So far, authorities have located only about $1 billion for investors. Prosecutors have already said low-level employees in Madoff’s New York offices participated by mailing out tens of thousands of phony monthly statements and trading confirmations to make it look as if customers were making money in the market.
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Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan federal court Thursday in New York.
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Friday, March 13, 2009
Ray Martin, opinion editor email@example.com phone: 325-7630, fax: 325-6051 For more, go to oudaily.com.
Inhofe’s decision How the auto industry reveals hypocrisy U.S. Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe by adding his own pieces of the says he is adamantly against ear- pie. mark spending. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s other We sure can’t tell. The sena- U.S. senator, Tom Coburn, asked tor, who is from Tulsa, added 74 for zero earmarks, maintaining his earmarks worth more than $91.6 Washington reputation of being million for public Oklahoma proj- one of Capitol Hill’s most ardent ects to a federal spending bill – earmark opponents and living up which he voted against to his nickname of “Dr. on Thursday before OUR VIEW No.” ripping Democrats for Inhofe should learn is an editorial from his colleague. wasting money after it selected and debated Coburn has requestwas passed. by the editorial board and written after a ed zero earmarks in his We could perhaps majority opinion is eight years in the senunderstand if Inhofe formed and approved had grabbed at money by the editor. Our View ate. is The Daily’s oﬃcial He has repeatedly already available in the opinion. voted down bills that bill. But this isn’t what contain even the slighthappened. Instead, he added $91.6 million to something est amount of what he deems he supposedly opposed. See Page wasteful spending. Inhofe, however, has been 1 for details. There’s a term to describe this happy to participate in the very behavior: hypocrisy. Inhofe is system that he lambasts. If Jim Inhofe wants to garner obviously guilty. It makes little sense for him respect from Oklahomans, he to blast excessive government needs to put his money where his spending and then join the party mouth is.
COMMENTS OF THE DAY In response to Tarrant Carter’s Thursday column about the immorality of public education
In response to Thursday’s Our View about Student Congress’ proposed Dead-Week policy
Not all of us have a talent like LeBron’s or an invention to fall back on, so we need education, like most normal, ﬁrst-world human beings, to be successful.
Well, in UOSA’s defense, at least they had enough initiative to try to make change for the student body rather than just gripe about it. At least UOSA has enough determination to get out there, whether they succeed or not. That shows great character to me knowing that somebody is trying to listen to the student body, even though the Faculty Senate is not.
- POSTED BY EIGHTBITGIRL AT OUDAILY.COM
Have fun supporting your middleaged kids when the only job they can get is at McDonalds. It is precisely because of a well-educated middle class that the U.S. became a superpower. - POSTED BY SCOFFEY AT OUDAILY.
- POSTED BY MBANKS AT OUDAILY. COM
can return to excellence The U.S. auto industry is in dire straits. Executives of the so-called Big Three are groveling for government funds. Chrysler is on the verge of vanishing entirely, General Motors is bleeding money across all its brands and Ford is seeking guaranteed credit lines from the U.S. government. The U.S. auto industry was once the global standard of excellence, and exported its products all over the world. Now, its automakers get routinely outsold right here at home. In 2008, U.S. sales of the Toyota Camry alone were higher than sales of all of Chrysler’s passenger cars combined. What happened? The truncated version is that American makers depended on trucks and SUVs to make up far too much of their profit, since until recently they held a MUNIM monopoly in this market segDEEN ment. These vehicles got the majority of development and update resources while passenger cars received small updates to keep them barely competitive in the market. Once gas prices started rising dramatically over the past few years, filling up the 30-gallon tank of an eight-passenger behemoth did not seem appealing anymore. SUV and truck sales nosedived. The long-ignored passenger cars really weren’t all that appealing in a market filled with foreign models better in almost every way, and their sales stagnated. Between free-falling SUV and truck sales, and almost no growth in car sales, U.S. makers’ profits tanked. The longer and more correct version has small fuel-efficient Japanese models making huge gains in the U.S. market following the 1970’s oil-crisis. Throughout the 1980s, successive generations of cars from Japan were more suited to the tastes and needs of the American consumer. By the 1990s, Japanese makers were creeping closer to American makers’ sales figures. Content with SUV and truck sales as described above, U.S. automakers did not see this as a serious threat to their profit statements, and did not significantly improve their passenger cars. Japanese companies, by contrast, continually improved their already successful models. The result was that most U.S.
models were years behind the competition in refinement, design, and technology. By the second half of the 1990s, Japanese cars began outselling comparable U.S. models for the first time. By about 2005, a handful of Japanese models dominated the passenger car market, while U.S. models were forced to compete by slashing prices. Add to this the costfueled drop in truck and SUV sales, and also the costs of providing benefits for an aging and retiring work force, and the Big Three were suddenly looking at very small – if any – profits. Lately, the Big Three has become synonymous with Big Losses – in the billions of dollars. It’s true that automakers all over the world are struggling, but very few companies are doing as badly as the Big Three. The good news – if you can call it that – is that the U.S. government will never let the Big Three fail in the true sense of the word. If the U.S. automakers close for business, millions of direct and dependent employees will be out of work, and the already gloomy economy will go into meltdown.
Golden opportunity Thus, domestic automakers have on their hands a golden opportunity. Given the sad state of their affairs right now, there is little to lose by trying something new. Most of the domestic manufacturers have thankfully realized this, and are enacting what are, for them, groundbreaking policies. Let’s look at General Motors. Long known for their broad portfolio of trucks and SUV’s, GM long ago squandered its once pre-eminent position in the car sector. With the launch of the well-conceived and received 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, GM took the first tentative steps to being a serious player once again in the car segment. Given the current market aversion to large vehicles, GM has to succeed. The company, with the aid of whatever the government throws its way, is also planning on doing what it should have 10 years ago: phase out its unprofitable brands – Saturn and Hummer. These brands also have very little history, compared to GM’s other nameplates. By getting rid of the dead weight, GM can focus on its brands that actually make money and set rigid boundaries about what types of cars it sells under which brand name. Cadillac remains the top luxury brand, Chevy is the entry brand, Buick occupies the middle
ground and Pontiac will be a performance oriented, lower-volume brand. Concentrate on domestic brands to rebuild a domestic reputation. For Chrysler, the case is simpler. First, find a European maker who’s wealthy enough to invest. Fiat is a good choice, since it wants to re-enter the U.S. market. Second, stop building ugly cars that don’t perform. Think more 300C and less Sebring. Chrysler also owns Dodge and Jeep. The former is salvageable as a competitor if its passenger cars keep getting development funds. Given that Jeep only makes SUV’s, its future is tenuous at best. It has a proud heritage, but for the time being, maybe it should only make the perennial best-seller Wrangler for a few years. Lastly, there is Ford. Through better management and a more thought-out sales strategy, Ford is in a better position than GM and Chrysler. It, too, was a victim of owning too many brands that it couldn’t manage – it once owned Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover in addition to Ford/Lincoln/Mercury. Thankfully, Jag and Land Rover have been sold. Aston is partially sold, and Ford needs to sell off its remaining stake. That cash can be used to keep improving the core units of Ford/Lincoln/Mercury. If Ford can bring Lincoln up to snuff using the credit line it’s seeking from the government, and if it can stay away from poorly-planned and marketed disasters like the Ford Taurus X (don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it – that’s exactly my point), the House of Henry will be in decent shape. The U.S. auto industry is feeling the combined effects of a global recession, high fuel prices, stiff competition and, of course, monumentally bad past planning and management. This period of turmoil is its one chance to put things back on the right track. Executives are finally seeing the light, and doing what they should have done years ago. By focusing on core business units and focusing on quality and profitability in the passenger car segment, all three companies can become solidly profitable again. On that hope rests the future livelihoods of millions of workers, their families, their children’s futures and the future of the U.S. economy. Munim Deen is a microbiology senior.
- KURT DAVIDSON, CHAIR, UOSA STUDENT CONGRESS
Faculty Senate does care In Thursday’s editorial, you claim the fact that the OU Faculty Senate voted down (12 to 19 against) the UOSA proposed change to the current OU Dead Week policy “shows the Faculty Senate doesn’t really take student feedback into
T H E
- JEFFREY B. SCHMIDT, FACULTY SENATOR
New low for UOSA The news of the outcome of the vote by the Faculty Senate regarding Dead Week reform, and the subsequent motion to not review the policy until 2014, paired with an article in The Daily on Monday mentioning the lack of interest in UOSA elections, highlight a new low for student inﬂuence at OU. The lack of interest in UOSA and its elections are a result of both poor outreach on the part of UOSA as well as a general perception of the student body that UOSA holds very little power to eﬀectively and meaningfully represent its interests. While making a concerted, prolonged eﬀort to engage the student population will go a long way to assuaging negative views of UOSA, the actions of the Faculty Senate emphatically demonstrate the limits the student body, and its elected representatives, have in enacting any sort of
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signiﬁcant change within the OU community and further reinforces the underlying problem causing student disengagement. The whole-hearted disregard of the Faculty Senate, as expressed by its majority, of the interests of more than 8,000 students who voted in favor of Dead-Week reform by deciding to not engage in any sort of productive solution process for ﬁve years is condemnable, and demonstrates the need for reform within the governing framework of the university. Only after students feel their interests, represented by UOSA, are treated fairly, seriously, and equally at the highest levels of the university will students actively participate in the student government process. - BRANDON MIKAEL, CANDIDATE FOR STUDENT CONGRESS
Letter was wrong about Dawkins I must take issue with Mike Strass’ letter criticizing Dawkins’s lecture at OU. The gist of the critique is that Dawkins’s talk was insuﬃciently scientiﬁc. Strauss ﬁrst accuses Dawkins of attacking the “straw men” of intelligent falling and the stork theory. This is absurd. Dawkins was obviously parodying the unscientiﬁc tactics of the intelligent design movement and it’s vapid “teach the controversy” sloganeering. Most of the audience had no diﬃculty understanding this. Strauss goes on to demonstrate an actual strawman when he lambasts the “patently false statement” that believers who claim to derive their morality from scripture don’t read their holy books. Dawkins neither said nor implied such a view. He was clearly attacking the reprehensible morality found throughout these books and the specious, ad hoc contortions employed by theologians in ignoring them. Strauss’ only factual claim is that the talk was short on numbers and hard data. This is true but largely irrelevant. The talk was a public lecture aimed at a general audience, not a scientiﬁc ﬁnding presented to specialists. The distinction of archeo and neo-purpose was a broad conceptual framework to explain an important evolutionary concept to the attendees. These are not particularly new or radical ideas in evolutionary theory but they may present a new mode of thinking to the uninitiated. In short, if Strauss was hoping for a more technical talk I’m sorry he was disappointed, but I saw noth-
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T H E The Fine Print
Student Congress initially worked towards much more sweeping reforms than those ﬁnally compromised on in the ﬁnal proposal. When beginning the dialogue nearly one year ago, Congress aimed for reforms that would make pre-ﬁnals week closer to a true dead period. However, ideas such as that were immediately shut down and we chose to work with the Faculty Senate to compromise in order to come up with a fair and clear policy that is mutually agreeable to all students, faculty and the administration alike. Unfortunately, despite continued work and countless meetings with members of the Senate, what was left after compromise was essentially a clearer version of the same policy with a slight reduction in the amount of work allowed for the week. The current language of the Dead Week policy is ambiguous and extremely poorly written. This fact has even been acknowledged by leaders of the Faculty Senate. The changes to make a clearer, more straightforward policy were privately agreed upon by Congress representatives, Faculty Senators, and the Provost’s oﬃce. There is no excuse for the Faculty Senate’s decision to blatantly ignore the feelings of 93 percent of the student body and completely waste the time of student leaders working to change an antiquated policy. The complete disregard of the views of the student body and the absolute disrespect of those student leaders working together with the faculty to come up with a better policy is extremely disappointing. If Faculty Senate was planning to completely disregard students as they did on Monday, it would have been preferable for them to have done so in August, rather than stringing along Congress and the Student Body for seven additional months.
Faculty Senate decision unfortunate
consideration as 93 percent of the 8,000 students who voted in the spring of 2008 were in favor…” I have the pleasure to serve as an OU Faculty Senator and also serve on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. I was one of three who abstained from the vote on Monday, and I must take issue with your claim for several reasons. First, the Student Congress’ proposed change of reducing the percentage of a course grade that is due during Dead Week from 10 percent to 5 percent is a very modest change. I am conﬁdent that the outcome of this resolution should not be interpreted to mean we don’t consider student feedback. Your editorial states “UOSA was ﬁghting the wrong battle.” I agree. While the students might want a change to the current Dead Week policy, the proposed policy really wouldn’t change the students’ experiences much. Several Senators suggested that dead week should truly be a Dead Week with no classes thereby allowing students to complete major projects and assignments and study for their ﬁnal exams; that would be a major change. True, the language of the current policy is somewhat confusing, but I believe some sort of more innovative resolution might have garnered more support.
ing inappropriate in the talk Dawkins chose to give. Rather, I see a personal disagreement with Dawkins’s religious conclusions beneath a veneer of scientiﬁc authority. - JOSHUA SAYRE, POSTDOCTORAL PHYSICS STUDENT
Atheist are indeed stereotyped In response to the column “Anti-atheist prejudice wide spread in America” by Zac Smith, I agree with his opinion. As an atheist, I have noticed how people stereotype atheists into people that have no sense of morals or beliefs and that we support, if not are the cause of, everything wrong with society. This became apparent to me when a co-worker said, “I would have never expected you to be an atheist” referring to how I act, look and the fact that I am not the stereotype society excepts me to be, which is shocking to many people who ﬁnd out I am atheist after they get to know who I am. I advise those who do stereotype atheists that I can assure you it would be impossible to pick me out from a crowd of religious persons based upon appearance or non-religious ideology. Furthermore, I fail to understand where these stereotypes come from because I have yet to meet an atheist that is any more immoral than persons who are religious. Atheists are just as diverse as any other group in America and just like everyone in America. We deserve the respect of not being stereotyped. What I ask of others here is the next time you come across the phrase “this is a Christian nation” please bear in mind, I am an Atheist, and I am American.
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Friday, March 13, 2009
Cowboys corral Sooners, 71-70 STAFF COLUMN
• OSU knocks OU out of Big 12 Tournament
Despite loss, OU has chance to do damage in NCAA Tournament
ERIC DAMA The Oklahoma Daily According to the scoreboard, OSU was ahead of OU, 71-70, with 2.8 seconds left. According to the officials, the game was over. A cloud of confusion hung inside the Ford Center in Oklahoma City after senior forward Taylor Griffin launched an inbound pass to sophomore forward Blake Griffin, who heaved up a final shot from the three-point line amidst a swarm of defenders. As the shot clanked off the rim, no buzzer sounded. The clock never started. “I knew the game was over,” head coach Jeff Capel said. “I was standing by the monitor, and you could tell with the catch and the long shot that the game was going to be over.” According to Big 12 officials, the referees watched the replay three times and used a stopwatch to see if the clock expired. It had, and gave the Cowboys their second Big 12 Tournament victory and left the OU with a lot of practice time before the NCAA tournament. “We have to regroup,” Capel said. “Really, we don’t have a choice but to regroup because if we don’t we’ll be done quickly. We’ll figure out Sunday where we’re going and we’ll have to get better for the NCAA tournament.” Blake Griffin scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed 19 rebounds OSU head coach Travis Ford said his team did exactly what it need to against the star. “I thought we did an excellent job on the big fella,” Ford said. “We changed up how we wanted to guard him this morning. The last two games we tried to double team him, and we realized how unsuccessful that was. “We made the decision to full-front him and have a weak side defender behind him. We knew the three-point percentages so we were just hoping they missed some shots.” OU definitely missed shots. The Sooners were 3-19 from behind the arc, something senior guard Austin Johnson couldn’t explain. “I don’t know. I just think we weren’t on,” Johnson said. “Some teams have shooting slumps. In shoot-around I thought we were shooting good, but it just happens sometimes and you have to move on.” The other glaring stat for the Sooners was
egardless of the loss to Oklahoma State Thursday night, the men’s basketball team, with a healthy and hard-playing Blake Griffin, is poised for success in the NCAA tournament. I mean let’s be honest, hardly anyone in the NCAA can defend him and he’s the best player at the collegiate level right now. So as long as the team rides him into the sunset, the rest of this season should hold great things for the Sooners. And with the inconsistency in the Sooners’ three-point shooting this season, relying on Griffin may be the only thing they can do. Out of OU’s four losses this season, Griffin didn’t play in two of them. Yes, I’m including Texas, but there’s no reason not to — he only logged 12 minutes in the game. And in the other two losses, Griffin averaged 18.5 points per game, nearly four points below his season average. This proves two things: when Griffin doesn’t play, the team doesn’t either. Furthermore, when Griffin has an ‘off game’, the team as a whole seems to carry over the same effect. When Griffin is watching in street clothes, the team becomes lazy on defense and shoots unnecessary three-pointers. Frankly, the team can’t afford to be tied or down late in the second half like they were against OSU last night.
Amy Frost/The Daily
Sophomore forward Blake Griffin (23) dunks the ball against Oklahoma State during Thursday’s matchup at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. The Cowboys upset the Sooners 71-70. Griffin scored 17 points. their 19 turnovers. Blake Griffin and freshman guard Willie Warren committed half. “That’s where the game was lost,” Capel said. “The game wasn’t lost on those last two plays. The game was lost because of our inability to shoot. The game was lost because of our turnovers.”
OU has a week off before the NCAA tournament. Blake Griffin said his team needs to use this experience for what lies ahead. “We need to learn from what we did wrong today,” he said. “We still have games left to play. This isn’t the end of the world, but we have some stuff we need to figure out.”
But two losses in a long season doesn’t have much effect on the final outcome, which is trying to win the NCAA Tournament. In the tournament, there are MJ few teams that match up to CASIANO OU’s talent. Freshman guard Willie Warren accompanies Griffin well as the best freshman in the Big 12 this season and arguably the best in the nation. Few teams have someone so dominant in the paint like Griffin and a slasher who can score from anywhere like Warren. While some other Sooners have shown both bright spots and flaws, the team generally plays best as a whole when Griffin is playing well. In sum, it’s simple: the team rallies around Griffin. Even last night against OSU, the Sooners had a shot. And in rivalries, the high level of emotion generally allows the talent gap between teams to shrink. So as long as the Blake Griffin Sooner fans know and love is in full effect, the Sooners have the potential to be unstoppable during tournament play. MJ CASIANO IS A BROADCAST AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA SOPHOMORE.
Top-seeded Sooners to take on Jayhawks today at 11:30 • OU looks to start road toward Big 12 tournament title ANNELISE RUSSELL The Oklahoma Daily The women’s basketball team gets its chance to shine today when the Sooners take on Kansas at 11 a.m. The Jayhawks earned the chance to play the Sooners today after coming from behind to beat Nebraska 61-56 Thursday afternoon. The Sooners are the top seed in this year’s Big 12 tournament and won the regular season Big 12 title. OU looks like the team to beat but there is no sure thing in the Big 12, as proven Thursday in the men’s tournament when the No. 1 seed Kansas went
down. One bright light for the Sooners tonight is the return of freshman shooting guard Whitney Hand. Hand had been sidelined for three weeks with a broken finger on her non-shooting hand. With Hand back in the lineup, the Sooners’ have one more weapon against the Jayhawks. Kansas is 18-12 on the season and OU better watch out for junior guard Sade Morris, who put up 24 points on the Cornhuskers Thursday. OU toppled the Jayhawks in Lawrence with a 69-54 win. For OU to win today’s game, the Sooners likely will need to clamp down on turnovers and shoot well from the free-throw line. The Sooners currently shoot only 66.7 percent while their opponents shoot 73.4 percent. Kansas is not the best team the Sooners have faced this year, but nothing can be taken for granted when each team comes into the tournament hoping to do the impossible.
TRACK THE SOONERS The Sooners are the No. 1 seed and therefore have an inside track to the tournament ﬁnals. As long as the Sooners keep winning, make sure you follow them on their way to the Big 12 Championship. All games take place at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Game 1: 11:30 a.m. today against Kansas - if the Sooners win Game 2: Noon Saturday against the winner of the game between Kansas State and Texas - if the Sooners win Game 3: 12:30 p.m. Sunday against the winner of the other semi-ﬁnal game
During spring break, OUDaily.com is your place to be for updates on the Sooners. For information on the women’s basketball Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, check OUDaily.com.
Amy Frost/The Daily
Senior forward Ashley Paris (5) goes up for a shot against Texas A&M forward Danielle Gant (55) Jan. 18 at Lloyd Noble Center during the Sooners’ 71-59 victory. OU faces Kansas today.
Baseball on the road this weekend Women’s gym hosts meet tonight The No. 15 baseball team heads east to Tampa, Fla., Friday to take part in the USF Bulls Baseball Classic. This will be OU’s only trip to the East Coast during the 2009 season. The Sooners (15-3) start the tournament against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats before taking on the host South Florida on Saturday. OU will ﬁnish the tournament Sunday against the Eastern Illinois Panthers. Junior shortstop Bryant Hernandez is leading the oﬀensive charge for the Sooners this season. Through 18 games he has hit .435 with nine extra bases – including a career high three home runs – while driving in 14 runs. OU enters the tournament white hot as it has won 10 of its last 11 games and is currently on an eight-game winning streak. — JONO GRECO/THE DAILY
Last week, head coach K.J. Kindler said the women’s gymnastics team had no injuries or adversities to report. Then, Friday against Texas Woman’s and Illinois State, junior Jackie Flannery sprained her ankle in vault warmups, sidelining her for tonight’s competition at No. 4 Alabama and possibly through the Big 12 Championship on March 21. The Sooners overcame the loss to their lineup last weekend, however, they struggled on balance beam, where two Sooners fell. Kindler said she isn’t concerned about the beam lineup in tonight’s competition against Alabama and North Carolina. “The team is extremely seasoned on beam,” Kindler said. “”[Last week] was a ﬂuke. [Senior] Haley [DeProspero] hadn’t fallen in two years. People are allowed to make mistakes, and we happened to make two in one meet.” Even with a hit meet, the No. 10 Sooners face a strong Alabama squad, which has advanced from No.
For ticket information for all of the Sooners’ game, contact the OU Athletics Department ticket oﬃce at 1-800-456-GoOU.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC ACCESS 11 to No. 4 this season. “It’s going to be a great matchup,” Kindler said. “We want to do something special. We need to come out and put out a good ﬁght against a team ranked ahead of us. We’re a great road team, and if we put it all together we’re going to challenge them.” Tonight’s competition marks the end of the Sooners’ regular season. They next compete in Ames, Iowa, for the Big 12 Championship on March 21. — KELSEY WITTEN/THE DAILY
Men’s gymnastics to honor Horton The No. 1 men’s gymnastics team will try to remain undefeated when it faces No. 6 Ohio State at 7 p.m. Saturday at McCasland Field House. The Sooners will also honor former OU gymnast and 2008 Olympian Jonathan Horton, who will perform a routine and sign autographs after the meet. — DAILY STAFF
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HOUSES UNFURNISHED 805C Cardinal Creek Condoâ€™s, 2 bdrm, 2 bth gated community, pool, weight room, on-site washer/dryer, close to campus, nice enviroment to study, overlooks OU golf course $585/mo. Call (580) 763-4278 817 Birch - Short walk to campus! 3bd/2ba 2 car garage. Remodeled kitchen & master bath. W/D & lawn service included. $1200 mo. Call Steve Gray 214-455-4508. FOR RENT 915 W Lindsey, NEAR OU, 1/2 bd, 1 ba, NO PETS, $500 per mo. 1104 Grover Ln, NEAR OU, 2 bd, car garage, CHA, W/D, stove, refrigerator, microwave, compactor, NO PETS, $800 per mo. Contact: 329-1933 or 550-7069
TOWNHOUSES UNFURNISHED Taylor Ridge Townhomes 2 Bdrm, 2.5 Bath, Fully Renovated Townhomes near OU! Pets Welcome! â€˘ Call for current rates and Move-in Specials!!! Taylor Ridge Townhomes (405) 310-6599
ROOMS FURNISHED NEAR OU, privacy, $250, bills paid includes cable, neat, clean, parking. Prefer male student. Call 329-0143.
CONDOS Edge Condo, 4 bd/ 4 bath, $126,900 - 1st time homebuyers: $8000 tax rebate Call Carol Lindley 401-0246 - Dillard Group
Summer Rent Slashed in 1/2! Leasing 1-4 bdrms, amenities galore, The Edge Call Iris, 303-550-5554
HOUSES UNFURNISHED AVAILABLE IN MAY A short walk to OU, 1-5 blks west of OU, nice brick homes, wood floors, CH/A, w/d, disposal, good parking. 3 Bdrm $750-$1500 2 Bdrm $600-$800 1 Bdrm $420-$460 MISTER ROBERT FURNITURE 9-4 pm, Mon-Sat, 321-1818
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Life & Arts
Friday, March 13, 2009
T WOPART SPRING BREAK DEBATE
versus PART TWO: SAND EDITOR’S NOTE: In honor of spring break, The Daily’s Kyle West and Colin Henson are debating which vacation location is better. Today, Colin Henson will make the case for the beach. Yesterday, Kyle West argued for the ski slopes. icture yourself in your first class of the morning. Let’s say it’s 8 a.m., you’re in the back row, you’ve zoned out and stopped listening to whatever you’re teacher is saying. You’re dreaming that the week is over and you’ve begun spring break. In your head, you’re miles away from this random, frigid weather in Oklahoma and your classroom. Where are you in that head of yours? If you’re anything like me, you’re on the beach, relaxing in the sun and drinking a soda, or maybe a beer and smoking a cigar. This is the ultimate spring break destination. Any beach, anywhere. Why go to the beach over the snow you might ask? You save money at the beach. All you’re going to have to spend for your bench vacation is money for your sleeping arrangements, food and possibly refreshments if you’re into that sort of thing. You could get a nice condo for around $250 a person, plus you save money on clothing because you won’t need a shirt virtually the whole time you’re on the beach, whereas with skiing, you’ll need lodging money, you’ll have to buy a big waterproof coat and waterproof pants, plus a lift ticket and rental of skis and boots. Honestly, none of us poor college kids have that kind of dough. So take the cheap road and head to the beach. Going to the mountains for a little skiing is too much work, and entirely too dangerous. The most dangerous part of all might be the drive. You have to go up dangerous mountain
roads that are steep and scary. You might not even make it to your destination. Once you get there, you’re just exercising. Pushing the poles and working your feet, who wants to exercise while relaxing? Not me, that’s who. I want the easy drive to the beach and the knowledge that when I get there I won’t have to do anything. Although a drive to the beach may be a little longer than a drive to the mountains, isn’t that what a spring break vacation is all about? A road trip with your best friends stopping every 45 minutes so your girlfriend can use the bathroom, playing road games and sticking your head out the window so you can let the cool breeze through your hair is one of the most fun things you’ll do in your life. This long drive is just one of the many great things about the beach, you can have your 10 hour drive to Colorado, but I’ll take the 16 hours to Florida any day of the week. The beach also offers something the mountains never will be able to offer – scantily clad women. You’re guaranteed to see hundreds of hot girls at any beach you go to. You might even spark up a beach romance you’ll never forget at a late night beach party. That’s not going to happen on the slopes when everyone is whizzing by you too fast for you to get a good look at their face. “Was that girl hot?” you will say to your friend. To which he’ll reply, “I couldn’t tell she had on goggles, a beanie and a neck roll.” That won’t be a problem on the beach. So when it comes to this argument I’d rather make like the Beach Boys and go on a “Surfin Safari” rather than get any sort of John Denveresque “Rocky Mountain High”. COLIN HENSON IS A JOURNALISM SOPHOMORE.
illustration by Julianne Rice/The Daily
By Bernice Bede Osol
Making the move from sketch to film Trevor Moore and Zach Cregger, creators and stars of the sketch comedy show “The Whitest Kids U’Know,” have made the jump to feature film with “Miss March,” which they wrote, directed and starred in. When Eugene (Cregger) awakes from a four-year coma to find out his innocent high school sweetheart is now a Playboy centerfold, he and best friend Tucker (Moore) head out on a cross-country roadtrip to track her down at the Playboy Mansion. The Daily’s Dusty Somers photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox talked with Moore and Cregger Zach Cregger (left) and Trevor Moore (right) star in “Miss March.” about their film, “Miss March,” which opens today.
What was it like transitioning from sketch comedy to a feature film? Trevor Moore: It’s harder to write a movie than sketches because sketches are kind of this perfect little medium for comedy – you get in, you hit all your jokes as hard as you can, you go to the next topic. With a movie, you’ve got to think about every scene advancing the story and you have to keep the characters likable, which is something you don’t have to think about in a sketch.
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You wrote, directed and starred in your first feature film. Was that stressful, or was it nice being in control of all those elements? Zach Cregger: We’re both relative control freaks, so it was nice. That’s just what we do. We direct the TV show together, and we’ve been working together for about nine years, so I think it would be weird for us not to direct it. Especially because we
wrote it, we’re just so particular about the execution and timing.
What was it like working with Hugh Hefner in the film? TM: He’s awesome, super cool. He didn’t have to [be in the movie]. We heard he was really going over his lines the day before because it’s the most lines he’s had in anything. ZC: For a [guy in his 80s], he’s pretty sharp.
What’s most memorable to you from making the film?
ZC: My most striking memory from making the movie is the very first day of production. You get up at like 4:30 a.m. You get in the car. They drive you to base camp. It’s still dark. And I didn’t know what we were getting into, really. [We get there], and it was this huge fenced-in area outside of this high school, and I remember thinking, “There’s like hundreds of people running around doing things, and I don’t know what any of these people are doing, and we’re the bosses?” It was completely overwhelming. DUSTY SOMERS IS A JOURNALISM JUNIOR.
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Friday, March 13, 2009 PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- When you realize you have the power and wherewithal to alter conditions to your liking, you will experience complete satisfaction. Act on things that will enhance your advantages.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -Some kind of hobby or sideline interest may prove to have greater potential than just a mere pastime. An idea might come to you at this time on ways to commercialize it.
ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Far more can be accomplished by working in tandem than by attempting to do everything on your own. Seek competent helpers who want to be part of the action.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -You’re likely to have a marvelous presence about you that adds spark and luster to any gathering. When you enter the room, the fun begins.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- Instead of waiting to see what others want to do, assume the initiative and direct the course of action. You’re better equipped to be a leader than a follower.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- You won’t need Lady Luck to throw favors your way with regard to your financial well-being. Adopting a sound attitude about your money will put you in the profit column.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Someone to whom you are attracted (not necessarily in a romantic way) will be extremely responsive to your hand of friendship. The impression you make will be equally pleasing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Diplomacy can be used to speak your mind without fear of being misunderstood or attacked for your message. The use of tactful and artful means promotes better communication.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) -Work on assignments or projects that allow you to improve outmoded systems, methods or things. You’ll not only derive substantial enjoyment doing so; it’ll be quite gratifying for you as well.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Trying your best to do the right thing and treating others respectfully will bring the recognition you desire and even perhaps a bit more. Being nice is worth more than gold.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -Numerous pleasant experiences await when you involve yourself in friendly relationships. Even individuals considered more like acquaintances than friends will respond to your warmth.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Being assertive and a go-getter will bring desirable results, but these traits can be worth even more if your efforts are applied toward meaningful goals. You know what needs to be done; don’t wait to be told.
Life & Arts
Friday, March 13, 2009
WINE of theWEEK
Picking the right Port
Like sweets? Well, this week’s wine is Chateau Reynella’s McLaren Vale Old Cave Fine Old Tawny Port. If you’re not experienced with Port, your first reaction may be something like the bitter beer commercials of the 90s. Some ask, why try a Port if it is apparently so disgusting? Give it a chance. After a little uncouth decanting, this may be one of the best Ports you’ve experienced. A Port is a very, very sweet wine. The best way I can think to describe it is to say it is so overpoweringly sweet, it obtains a bitter taste. Therefore, in order to not accentuate that bitterness, it should be finished in one sitting at room temperature following a very sweet, fine chocolate dessert. With a good Port – particularly a 20-year-old Zinfandel Port – a sweet/bitter combination with another sweet/bitter dessert will create a magnificent taste and is ideal for an after-dinner treat. This wine does require its own glass – a very small round glass to actually prevent decanting. The reasons above are just what a wine expert would say. As a wine enthusiast, here’s some bad advice. By bad, I mean you will have to turn the wine bad to enjoy it. So slap me on the wrist and decant the wine for at least one day. Doing this technically ruins the wine, but, in my experience this particular wine needs some good ruining. You can do this simply by opening it, closing it again, then refrigerating it overnight. Make yourself some chocolate-covered fruits (I suggest raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries) and enjoy it in a tall, wide glass instead of the recommended short, fat one. Swirl it in the glass until it reaches room temperature and enjoy. Let’s face it, Port is the beer of wines, and as such it is an acquired taste. But if you don’t want to take the years needed to acquire that taste, try it my way. If you’re looking to impress someone this weekend with your wine tasting finesse, don’t give them the advice I’ve just given you. Just pretend that you didn’t decant the wine and it came out perfectly on its own. It will be our little secret. BRITTANY BURDEN IS AN ENGLISH SENIOR.
L&A BRIEF Singer Sting is selling wine ROME — After singing of “Fields of Gold,” British rock star Sting is tending fields of grapes as he prepares to market red wine made at his country estate in Tuscany. Some 30,000 bottles of wine produced on the property will go on sale in September, mainly in Britain and the United States, Paolo Rossi, the estate’s manager, said Thursday. In 1997 the former Police frontman purchased a 16thcentury villa, called Il Palagio, in Figline Valdarno, a small village some 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of Florence. Over the years he has turned the surrounding 860 acres (350 hectares) into an organic farm that also produces honey, olive oil, fruit, vegetables and Tuscan salami. “When I came here to Figline I wanted first of all to feed my family,” Sting said on Tuesday during an event at the village where the 57-year-old star spoke of the time he spends at Il Palagio. “I also wanted to use agriculture with practices that would nourish the land and not deplete the land and so we went to traditional methods with farming, we got rid of pesticides, we shunned monoculture, and it works, the farm is also a garden,” he said in the remarks broadcast by local television Rtv38. Rossi did not reveal the name of the upcoming wine. He said it will be a 2007 vintage based on the Sangiovese grape, with a touch of Cabernet and Merlot.
“Miss March,” a film about a young man who awakens from a four-year coma to hear that his high-school sweetheart has become a centerfold in one of the world’s most famous men’s magazines, opens today.
‘Miss March’ misses mark In the alternate universe of “Miss March,” firefighters are crazy psycho killers, Hugh Hefner’s got a hideous childhood sweetheart he still pines for and stranded hitchhikers get picked up by lesbians who need a driver so they can pursue more amorous activities in the backseat. Trouble is, in our universe, none of those things are that funny. One of the very first rules in the moviegoing handbook tells us to DUSTY set our expectations basementSOMERS level low for raunchy sex comedies, but “Miss March” manages to slip beneath even that, ending up somewhere underneath the foundation. The film was written by, directed by and stars Trevor Moore and Zach Cregger, two of the founding members of sketch comedy group “The Whitest Kids U’Know.” “Miss March” is their first foray into the world of feature films, but it’s not a lack of filmmaking experience that derails the project; it’s the dearth of originality. Fans of the mean-spirited, non sequitur-packed “Whitest Kids” sketches will probably be the ones most let down by the nonstop barrage of recycled ideas. Male genitals joke. Feces joke. Roadtrip obstacle joke. Repeat for 90 minutes. The film sets its sights on unlucky schlub Eugene Bell (Cregger), a high school virgin who is plenty fine with keeping it that way. He leads an abstinence education program with his innocent girlfriend, Cindi (Raquel Alessi, “Ghost Rider”), but she’s getting sick of practicing what she preaches and is hoping for some mutual deflowering on the night of senior prom. Eugene reluctantly agrees, but has the misfortune of being best friends with happy-go-lucky
Tucker (Moore), who thinks one or six preparatory shots are necessary before the consummation can commence. A drunken Eugene then proceeds to open the basement door instead of the bedroom, leading not to an eager Cindi, but a long flight of stairs down which to tumble. Four years later, Eugene awakes from a coma to discover his father and his girlfriend have moved away, and the only friend still sticking around is Tucker. Ever the Playboy connoisseur, Tucker has the latest issue in hand, and, lo and behold, sweet, innocent Cindi just happens to be the March centerfold. The two agree on a trip to L.A. to find her after Eugene has some time to rehabilitate his atrophied body, but when Tucker pisses off his girlfriend and her insane firefighter brother, it’s a madcap dash in the middle of the night to the Playboy Mansion. “Miss March” is low-grade, imitation Judd Apatow (much of whose work isn’t all that stellar to begin with) that looks to blend raunch with heart, but leans a lot heavier on the nasty side of things. Gags include a mountain of four years worth of fecal matter released in one fell swoop and grotesquely missing genitalia, to give you an idea. On the bright side, Moore and Cregger do give all they’ve got to their typical goofy guy/straight man relationship. Moore, in particular, is winning in a role brimming with wide-eyed stupidity reminiscent of Jim Carrey a la “Dumb and Dumber.” Also welcome in a supporting role is Craig Robinson (“The Office”) as a rapper who is constantly reminding the boys of his sexual prowess and the file extension on the end of his name. Small blessings aside, this film’s mostly a chore to sit through, and by the time Hefner shows up to dole out a pep talk about true love, you know it’s officially run out of ideas. “Miss March” is one ugly centerfold. DUSTY SOMERS IS A JOURNALISM JUNIOR.
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