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As we await the two critical issues of today – whether Crimea will vote to join Russia that it was a part of until a cynical move in 1954 that was designed to have no meaning, and whether the Green Bay Phoenix will be selected to be in the NCAAs (Yes they should – see below – all the conferences ought to have their best team in the NCAAs whether as a at-large or a tourney bid; ironically the Phoenix might get a BETTER seed than they would have of they had won their conference tournament!  Also, Green Bay beat the ACC regular season and tourney champ:  UVA!  That’s why they should get in.  They also had a tough loss to Wisconsin.  Finally in the irony department – who was the old coach of the Phoenix?  Yes you guessed it:  Dick Bennett, the father of the present ACC regular season and tourney champ coach:  UVA Coach Tony Bennett!)

Meanwhile back to Crimea.  The EU and the US both condemned the referendum as bogus, illegal and unconstitutional:

The EU (who never likes any referendum UNLESS it supports the United Empire of European Bureaucrats [Ask Ireland]) said this:

As stated by all 28 EU Heads of State or Government on 6 March 2014, the European Union considers the holding of the referendumon the future status of the territory of Ukraine as contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and international law.
The referendum isillegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised.
The solution to the crisis in Ukraine must be based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, in the
framework of the Ukrainian Constitution as well as the strict adherence to international standards. Only working together through diplomatic processes, including direct discussions between the Governments of Ukraine and Russia, can we find a solution to thecrisis. The European Union has a special responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity on the European continent and willcontinue pursuing these objectives using all available channels.
We reiterate the strong condemnation of the unprovoked violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and call on
Russia to withdraw its armed forces to their pre-crisis numbers and the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with
relevant agreements.
Where was respect for Serbia’s sovereignty when NATO attacked that nation without cause so Madeleine Albright could feel good about herself?  Thank the Lord (and I mean it sincerely) that the Serbs surrendered before US ground troops had to be called in.  I agree with the right-wing parliamentarian as to the hypocrisy of the EU/US who said this:

Tatjana Ždanoka, European parliament MP, representing Latvia, says the fact that the EU and the US refuse to see the referendum as legitimate can only be explained by double standard applied by Western leaders to the situation.

“The European parliament’s resolution demands that Crimeans comply with the Ukrainian constitution and says that the referendum is against that constitution. But that’s the same as to demand Kosovars to comply with the constitution of the former Yugoslavia, which naturally never happened. Double standards are everywhere in global politics. We know it from history. We see it now”.

And try this irony from another election observer:

[Foreign Affairs editor from Chronicles magazine Srdja] Trifkovic added that in regard to referendums the western powers function on the basis of situational morality and “not on any firm principle.”

“In 1991 Croatia and Slovenia held illegal referenda to secede from Yugoslavia and by the end of that year the European Union recognized them as independent states. In February of 1992 Bosnia Herzegovina held a referendum in violation of its own constitution and yet in April of that year the US rushed to recognize Bosnia, which still remains an incoherent semi state as we know. And the succession of Kosovo from Serbia has been enthusiastically supported by the United States and its west European partners. And the right to self-determination was upheld ahead of the right of a state to territorial integrity. Well, what is source for the Kosovan goose will certainly prove to be the sauce for the Crimean gander but the United States and Brussels are yet to come to terms with it.”

So how do you like your gander, on your goose, sweet or sour?  Naturally I do agree that national groups (including Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia – and the South, too!) ought to have the liberty to seek self-determination.  But you can’t pick and choose your secessions.  Nor your interventions.  It was probably the EU that dragged the US into this semi-coup in Ukraine that spooked Russia to the point where it felt it had to do something.
The US (who led that attack on Serbia in 1999) said this according to the UK Guardian:

The US considers today’s referendum ‘illegal’, Kerry says

US secretary of state John Kerry has repeated to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that the US does not recognize today’s referendum as legal, and nor will it accept the outcome, Reuters reports.

Kerry told Lavrov that the crisis requires a political solution, that Russia must recall troops back to its bases, and that the US is very concerned about Russian military’s involvement in eastern Ukraine – namely the Kherson Oblast region in which Ukraine said Russian forces attempted to occupy on Saturday.

Reuters’ source, an unnamed US official, says that Kerry “urged Russia to back constitutional reform in Ukraine that would protect the rights of minorities such as Crimea’s Russian-speaking population”.

Now I have my own issues with this thing but it seems to me (and even this blogger was asleep at the switch) the Crimea issue was in fact should have been resolved years ago.  But it was not.

So what do we do?  It’s apparent the people of Crimea want to associate with Russia.  I can hardly believe it was not a true will of the people.  While we must stop Russian aggression to preserve the peace, we can separate Crimea from the rest of the problem and help Russia save face.  That’s what diplomacy is for, isn’t it?  Can’t something be done that does not rape the US taxpayer (aid to Ukraine) or hurt innocents (economic sanctions) and try to work it out so that international boundaries are respected?  That was why I suggested the US might have to ask for military authority on this matter.  The fact that no one seems to be calling for that speaks volumes.  Hence,…

I officially renounce my prior post calling for military action over Crimea.  I think we have to reassess that if Ukraine proper is attacked by Russian forces.

And at about 6 pm tonight, we’ll find out if the Green Bay Phoenix gets a NCAA bid.  I am cautiously optimistic based on this from ESPN Bubble Watch via an official UWGB site:

Green Bay [24-6 (14-2), RPI: 56, SOS: 161] A warm Bubble Watch welcome back for the Green Bay Phoenix, who have become something of a mid-major cause celebre since their semifinal loss to Milwaukee in the Horizon League tournament last week. That’s not why they’re back, of course; it’s merely worth noting as the committee gets down to business in Indianapolis this weekend. No, Green Bay is back on the page because it’s not clear there are that many bubble teams with better resumes. Yeah, the Horizon League was rough, and yeah, Green Bay’s major claim to fame — its win over Virginia — came at home, in December, back when UVa wasn’t playing nearly as well as in the two months since. But they do have a reasonable RPI (high-50s) and a reasonable nonconference SOS number (also high-50s). And if the committee takes a long look and thinks the Phoenix are worthy, some of the usual considerations and comparisons could fall away. We can only predict so much.

My readers know how I feel about the selection of at-large teams in the NCAA tourney:  Better to pick a solid mid-major team with a bunch of wins (say 24 or so) over a major program with 11 or 13 losses, most of them in the their major conference.  If they want to complain say this:  Win more games!

UPDATE:  It appears Green Bay is OUT!  But NC State is in!  More ranting in the next day or two as I study the bracket.



About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. I’m certain we’ll see a strong stand by the Obama Administration. I think they are going to really come out strongly and express that they disagree with Russia. That should solve everything.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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