Saturday, 10 September 2005


Louis Farrakhan came to town this week, and our illustrious mayor gave him the key to the city. Maybe I should have lived in Chapel Hill after all…

Defending Nagin from the right

For what it’s worth: a counterpoint to my cheap shot at Ray Nagin comes from Cobb (þ: Xrlq).

Should FEMA be a uniformed service?

Bryan of Arguing with signposts asks whether reorganizing FEMA along military lines would make it more effective; this would not be unprecedented, as there are already several federal government agencies with primarily civilian responsibilities that are organized like the armed forces: the Coast Guard, the U.S. Public Health Service (hence why its head is the “surgeon general”), and NOAA.

SPSA bails on New Orleans, plays solidarity card

The meat of the latest update from the Southern Political Science Association website:

Intercontinental North America has excused us from the 2006 commitment without penalty. They have also asked their other properties in the South to try to step up and host our 2006 meeting under the same contract terms that we would have enjoyed in New Orleans. Detailed discussions are underway today (Friday, September 9th) with three beautiful Intercontinental properties. On Monday, we expect to announce the signing of a contract with the new host of our January 2006 conference. You can help in this process by honoring your commitments as we honor those that the association has made. Those of you who have attended The Southern since Savannah 2002 know that attendees will have a fabulous time and an excellent conference. You risk nothing by standing by the association while we stand by our corporate colleagues.

The candidate properties would appear to be three of the following four: Buckhead (Atlanta), Dallas, Houston, and Miami.

Given the givens (geography, air and road access, and the location of the association offices), Atlanta seems to be the most likely prospect, and perhaps the allure of Buckhead to potential attendees will be higher than that of the relatively uninteresting neighborhood surrounding the Sheraton that has been the site for several past SPSA meetings. With reports of attendees already bailing, SPSA had better have the situation resolved soon.

One of those “Is the pope” questions

Paul Brewer asks Are Political Scientists Boring? Duh. Anyone who’s been to ICPSR knows that sociologists have all the fun.

Now I know why Dukies like basketball

Here’s everything you need to know about the Virginia Tech–Duke game today:

Duke finished with 35 total yards on 53 plays[.]

If it’s possible, the game was worse than that stat. Now I know how Vanderbilt fans feel (except usually they at least score). About the only thing worthwhile about the game—besides the impromptu first down celebration a few of us had over in general admission in the third quarter and the game announcer’s almost-British level of understatement*—was the scenery.†

Now my debate for next week: do I use my (paid for) ticket to see Duke play VMI (which at least should be a competitive game), or do I stay home and pay twenty bucks to Time-Warner to watch Ole Miss–Vandy on GamePlan?

* Almost verbatim, after a 3rd and 23 screen pass that barely made it past the line of scrimmage: “the pass is complete, but short of the first down.”
† And, if my arms and legs are anything to judge by, most of the scenery is now sunburned. I never got sunburned at Ole Miss games; weird.