Saturday, 31 December 2005

Playoffs?!?’s John Clayton ponders the NFL playoff format, which has contributed to a Week 17 full of uninteresting contests. While Clayton is lukewarm about expanding the playoffs (a position I agree with), he does have a more interesting suggestion:

Another idea that should be tossed around is seeding the playoffs by victories instead of giving the division winners the top four seeds. Most of this weekend’s games are meaningless because teams that have locked up home games for the playoffs will rest their key players .

If the Patriots had to worry about playing in Jacksonville instead of opening the playoffs at home against the Jaguars, they might have a big sense of panic heading into this weekend’s game against the Dolphins. Too many of this weekend’s games are like preseason games.

I’d favor a smaller adjustment: guaranteeing the top two seeds to the best two division winners in each conference. In practice, it is unlikely that this would be much different from Clayton’s proposal.

Thursday, 29 December 2005

Greetings from Florida

I’ve made it to Marianna, Florida, which means I’m most of the way between mom’s and dad’s on the Great Holiday Roadtrip. So far, except for getting caught in rush hour traffic south of Birmingham, it’s been a pretty uneventful journey.

Most of the Alabama portion of the journey was accompanied by Steve Martin’s Shopgirl on four unabridged audio CDs, a recommendation from my dinner companion a few nights ago, which I purchased at the Barnes & Noble in Hoover. Not having seen the movie yet, I am curious how well it makes the transition to the big screen, as Martin uses very little dialogue in the original novella. Thematically, it may be something of a companion piece to Martin’s 1991 L.A. Story, although that film was much more broadly comedic than Shopgirl—which, at least in book form, is more poignant and melancholy than laugh-out-loud funny.

Bad news for Midwest attendees

The Berghoff Restaurant in the Chicago Loop is closing at the end of Februrary; residents and tourists visiting the Windy City in late April may encounter herds of disoriented political scientists trying to locate other restaurants at which they can eat.

þ: TigerHawk

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

In the words of Pearl Jam

I’m still alive.

I had a nice Christmas here in Memphis, and now I’m getting ready to head down to Florida for New Year’s. I’ve made a bit of progress on a few projects; the main fun will be wrapping up my SPSA papers over the next few days.

Sunday, 25 December 2005

Merry Christmas

Happy holidays from Signifying Nothing to you, my (mostly) beloved readers.

Happy Holidays!

The I Word

While talk of impeachment over the evolving NSA wiretapping scandal (and satellite scandals, like the “let’s assume all our Muslim neighbors are harboring nukes” scandal) may be a bit premature, a bit more “bitch-slapping” seems perfectly in order; Steven Taylor explains.

Incidentally, if the Democrats in 2001 and 2002 had paid half the attention to protecting our civil liberties that they did trying to protect union workers in the Homeland Security reorganization, they’d probably have a lot more credibility as presidential critics today.

Friday, 23 December 2005

Book learnin'

As should be pretty obvious by now, I’ve conceded the Fifty Book Challenge. I did get ten pages of Tim Harford’s The Undercover Economist read while waiting for my car’s oil to be changed today in Collierville, but the ruthless efficiency of Mathis Tire and Auto (in and out in less than 20 minutes, including a tire rotation, for $17.50 or so) precluded any further reading. Except for the stuff I’m being paid to read, it may be a while before I get back in the reading groove.

Quote of the Day, Canadian edition

Colby Cosh, on the uneasy relationship between social conservatives and the exercise of judicial review:

Can’t social conservatives tell the difference between judicial activism that expands the power of the state—like adding newly-invented “protected grounds” to discrimination law—and judicial activism that inhibits it?

Nah. What they care about is that the power of the state be used for their own preferred ends.

Like all good social science, it generalizes to both sides of the 49th parallel.


One job application: several hours and several dollars I’ll never see again.

One phone interview: thirty minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Seeing that position readvertised: priceless.

Big brother and your number plates

The UK has decided to keep records of virtually all vehicle movements in the country and retain the data for at least two years.

Steven Taylor, who pointed out the story, notes a transatlantic difference in attitudes:

Certainly, this underscores a key difference between European and American sensibilities: we are currently having a major debate over whether the NSA should ever listen in on the domestic end of an international phone call with a suspected al Qaeda operative, and the British are to keep records of where everyone is driving.

Of course, the NSA surveillance (which, admittedly, I have serious qualms about—indeed, even the FISA warrant process seems suspect, even though there is serious selection bias that plagues simplistic analysis of its statistics) is almost certainly considered by Europeans, including Britons, as yet more evidence of Bushitlerism.

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Moving back in the funnel of causality

Barry Burden notes that party identification explains too much variance in vote choice these days:

The old Michigan triad of partisanship, issues, and candidate evaluations as an explanation for vote choices is proving less useful in recent days. The main reason is that party identification and the vote are practically one and the same. In the 2000 and 2004 NES data, better than 90% of partisans voted for the presidential candidate of their party. In 2004 only 40 respondents (7% of partisans) voted against their stated party identification.

He sets out a few intriguing directions for future research on party identification.

See you at the bash

That’s where I’ll be tonight, along with all the other cool kids in the Mid-Southern blogosphere.

The story of my life

Scipio writes:

This is roughly… equivalent… to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we’re not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we’re going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn’t work out, we’ll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

Funnily enough, I think this actually has happened to me on both the job and romantic markets.

Monday, 19 December 2005

Duke inside baseball clarification post of the year

Good luck trying to figure this one out on your own without asking the registrar’s office: WF pattern classes in Spring 2006 first meet on Friday, January 13th, not Wednesday, January 11th.

Good thing I put a slack day in my in-progress methods syllabus.

Saturday, 17 December 2005

Question of the Day

Julian Sanchez gets to the heart of my thoughts about the New York Times story on the NSA’s spying on Americans/terrorists (depending on who’s doing the framing):

[W]hy on earth did the Times, apparently at the Bush administration’s request, sit on this story for a full year? The supposed reason for the request is that the revelation would threaten national security by tipping off terrorists. But… about what? About the fact that the government is seeking to wiretap suspected terrorist[s]? To whom does this come as news? We all know law enforcement can get secret wiretap warrants through a FISA court; the only reason to expect terrorists to change their behavior now that they know wiretaps are happening without warrants is if we think they’ve somehow broached the secrecy of the FISA courts. That seems unlikely—at any rate, unlikely to have been known about and still persisted for several years. So what kind of plausible difference to our national security could it make if terror suspects who know they might be targeted for eavesdropping with a warrant learn they might be targeted without one?

Good question. Meanwhile, Jeff Goldstein and James Joyner call for frogmarching of the leak culprits, since just what we need is another fake beltway scandal as the counterpoint to the Plame nonsense.

Cash, what is it good for?

Friday, 16 December 2005

The only thing you need to know about the PATRIOT Act

Orin Kerr:

[F]our years after the Patriot Act was passed, a meeting of everyone who thinks of the Patriot Act as actual legislation could be held in my kitchen.

Murray Edelman couldn’t have said it better himself.

Of Coasties and Prestige

Stephen Karlson has two posts on the academic food chain that are worth juxtaposing.

I strongly suspect that “upward mobility” as pursued by the [Southwest] Missouri States and Memphis States, er “Universities of,” of the world (not to mention the place whose offer I politiely declined) is only going to end in tears. To bring up your median ACT scores (and thus mobilize upward), you need to sell high-scoring students on coming or discourage low-scoring students from entering; the former is difficult, in these days of declining state subsidies to the mid-majors and below (reducing their cost advantage over the top-tier publics and the private alternatives), and the latter is politically infeasible in this era of “access.” So, the best they can hope for is a secular trend of improving ACT scores more generally—which hardly is going to improve their relative positioning much.

Changing the name on the letterhead is unlikely to have much effect, either; the day Mississippi Southern College became the University of Southern Mississippi was no watershed event in its academic prestige. There might be something to be said for ditching names like “the University of Western Outer Mongolia at Altay” (substituting appropriately for Altay the name of any other “alternative” campus of some “real” university) for “Altay University,” but this is not as common a case as one might expect.

Nor is it all that clear that the “upwardly mobile” have much clue what they’re striving towards. [Southwest] Missouri State’s “mission statement” expressing fealty to the concept of being “a multipurpose, metropolitan university providing diverse instructional, research, and service programs” is nice, but I’m damned if I know what a “multipurpose, metropolitan university” is supposed to be. The cynic might read “multipurpose” as “rudderless” and “metropolitan” as “unsure if it’surban, suburban, or rural.” Then again, “operating a diploma mill for kids who couldn’t get into Mizzou, and stoking the egos of those who could have gone to Columbia by giving them a free ride and straight A’s” probably doesn’t look as quite as good when going up for reaccreditation…

I am grade inflation incarnate

The average final grade in my research methods class this semester was 92.66% (an A-).


U of C theory professor Jacob Levy talks about his tenure denial, breaking a two-month blogospheric silence; from his perspective, the fact that both he and Dan Drezner were denied tenure at the departmental level has nothing to do with blogging or ideology, but instead because “both political economy and liberal political theory are outside the emerging, Perestroikan, sense of what [Chicago’s] department’s about.”

My (strictly personal) sense is that any department that aspires to either be or continue to be considered at the top of the discipline needs to attract and retain the best faculty possible across the breadth of the discipline. My sense is also that the Perestroikans and their fellow travellers have at best a minimal conception of the actual breadth of the discipline. The intersection of these two senses is most disturbing, at least for those of us who’d like to think that Chicago ought to be an important center of political science research.

The return of the Mungowitz?

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

My birthday thus far

Pretty much the most enjoyable thing I’ve done thus far on my birthday is spend 90 minutes reviewing for my methods exam with about a half-dozen students.

The least enjoyable thing was walking back and forth to East Campus when I realized about 30 minutes ago that I’d left the canvas bag with said exams in it on the damn C-1 bus.

Fighting with PeopleSoft to get my grades entered for the other class, watching a couple of DS9 reruns on TiVo, and breakfast at Elmo’s Diner appear somewhere in the middle of that hierarchy.

It's 27 fricking degrees out, and I am cold

See, I knew there was an upside to not getting the job in Frozen Tundra country, it just took me a month to realize it. The concept that there’s a temperature below which it is too cold to snow, and that people in Wisconsin have empirical evidence of this fact, is truly frightening to me.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Mungowitz v. Airport Security

Prof. Munger makes a rare appearance in the blogosphere to recount his recent run-in with your Transportation Security Administration screeners (presumably) at RDU.

Part of an ongoing series.


I’m unsure whether to chalk it up to extreme diligence or just paranoia on their parts, but my students here seem to be atypically obsessed with their final papers and the (open book, open notes) final in my research methods class. I had at least 20 (of 33) students in a review session Monday night, I met with about a half-dozen today, and I expect to meet with at least another half-dozen tomorrow. It’s not a bad thing, just not what I really expected.

Monday, 12 December 2005

MSNBC tries to make sex sell

Cable news also-ran MSNBC, best known for being the current organization signing Keith Olbermann’s paychecks, has decided to blow $1 million on an online advertising binge that is notable for two reasons: its use of imagery that wouldn’t be out of place on a sign for a strip club, and its abysmal failure to direct any cash toward the proprietor of this blog.

Dead men can vote

It turns out that the Memphis neighborhood known as “New Chicago” isn’t the only way in which the Bluff City resembles the Windy City: at least one man who died August 6th voted on September 15th in a special election that, by sheer happenstance, replaced disgraced former State Sen. John Ford with his sister Ophelia. Ms. Ford won the hotly contested race by 13 votes; the dead man’s participation raises the number of illegally-cast ballots discovered to 5 thus far.

Mungowitz sighted

Mungowitz may be ended in the blogosphere, but his alter ego lives on elsewhere: Robert Lawson of Division of Labour posts a link to Mike Munger’s recent talk at Capital University, entitled “Democracy is Overrated.”

Also, a Munger quote graces the front page of today’s Raleigh News & Observer in the latest article about my erstwhile colleague and administration advisor Peter Feaver—the latter link coming courtesy of the departmental mailing list, where there is some guffawing about the characterization of our department as “left-leaning” and the (apparently false) statement that mutual colleague Chris Gelpi’s door has “anti-war posters” on it.

Sunday, 11 December 2005

UK support = no discernible benefit

I realize I’m not making the tenured-law-school-faculty big bucks these days, but some of Glenn Reynolds’ analysis deserves a second look:

More importantly, the persistence of the whole [uranium in Niger] issue demonstrates the colossal folly of the Bush Administration’s effort to take the United Nations seriously in 2002, something that—like Bush’s failure to fire a lot of people at the CIA following 9/11—has led to considerable grief and no discernible benefit.

I guess the certitude that the U.S. wouldn’t have had the support of Britain, Spain, and Italy in launching the war in Iraq without the “effort to take the United Nations seriously” isn’t a “discernible benefit” in Glenn’s book. How soon he forgets the unbearably cheesy “Click Here to Thank Tony” ad that used to run on his sidebar!

Saturday, 10 December 2005

Coming out Flatt

Ethan Flatt, the on-again, off-again starting quarterback of your Ole Miss Rebels, has decided to take his bachelor’s degree and run rather than return for his senior season, a move that had been widely speculated in the media. More likely than not, this will mean a return under center for Robert Lane (most recently seen at fullback), as he’s the only QB left on the depth chart with any playing time whatsoever.

No, it isn't just you

Steven Taylor asks:

[I]s the Heisman ceremony boring and, well, lame?

Yes, and, um, yes. I’d also add anticlimatic.

Thursday, 8 December 2005

Thank you, Ross Barnett

Tomorrow, in honor of the last day of class for my intro students, and to wrap up the section on civil rights, it’s movie day: specifically, volume 5 of Eyes on the Prize, entitled “Mississippi: Is this America?”

William Faulkner famously wrote that ”[t]he past isn’t dead; it isn’t even past.” And certainly there have always been those who refused to let the past die, the titular single-term governor of Mississippi, whose name—probably forever—stains the reservoir from which Jackson (70% black) gets its drinking water, chief among them. The poisonous atmosphere fed by Barnett and his ilk led to the riots at the University of Mississippi over the admission of James Meredith to its law school and the murders of the “Philadelphia Three” civil rights workers. He certainly wasn’t the first or the last to contribute to this atmosphere—senators Bilbo, Stennis, Eastland, and (arguably) Lott did their fair share as well—but he has the singular distinction of being front-and-center during the worst of it all.

The political scientist’s question has to be “what was the point of it all?” In retrospect, the end of segregation seems inevitable, and perhaps those caught up in the moment might not have been able to see it, but 1960 wasn’t 1860—secession, not to put to fine a point on it, lacked viability, and several decades of at least limited desegregation outside the South, and in institutions like the armed forces, had enabled African-Americans to prove beyond a doubt that they were the equals of whites. Maybe these messages didn’t filter down to whites in the South, but they clearly did to blacks, who finally had substantial political support outside the region for desegregation for the first time since Reconstruction. Did southern elites just hope that it would all blow over? Were they that out of touch with reality?

The more personal question—to be asked by someone who, for better or worse, considers himself an adoptive Mississippian and is a native Southerner (despite the accent, or lack thereof)—relates to how much we (the South) lost because of that intransigence. Yes, the short-sighted calculus of “how can we elites hold on to power for a few more years?” explains a lot of their behavior—but at what cost? Our parents’ and grandparents’ willingness to put up with the grandstanding behavior of a bunch of pathetic political hacks who were afraid that blacks would turf them out of their privileged positions of power cost us—black and white—years of continued economic stagnation and undereducation, and forever tarred us, our state, and our region.

And, tomorrow, I have to continue doing that. I hope that my students will realize that what happened then isn’t what’s happening now, that Mississippi has truly turned the corner. But many of them will walk out just knowing a piece of the story—that some of us decided, long before I was born, that maintaining their place in the hierarchy was more important than anything else, and anyone who stood in the way of that would have hell to pay. So, Ross, thanks for the memories.

Huzzah and kudos

Congratulations to David Adesnik on completing his D.Phil.; I think these words are pretty apropos of most finishers’ thoughts:

Afterward, I didn’t feel very much like celebrating. I felt like a survivor, not a winner. But when it comes to getting your doctorate, surviving is more than enough.

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Don't need no education

I decided today to spend President’s Day weekend in Washington at the 3rd APSA Teaching and Learning Conference. Vita fodder, catch it!

Cribbed by Bainbridge

Compare and contrast: me last Friday and Stephen Bainbridge today.

Now I get the sense of what Kevin Drum must feel like every day Paul Krugman publishes a new New York Times op-ed.

Where TiVo came from

PVRblog has an interview with the guy who came up with the name “TiVo” for everyone’s favorite digital video recorder.

Things that suck

A second colleague at Millsaps had their contract non-renewed this week. In the counterfactual universe, where I did get the tenure-track job last year, I’d probably be looking for another job starting right now.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005


Apropos the previous post, now I’m leaning towards this model from Westinghouse, which has the twin virtues of being slightly bigger than the Samsung and about $150 cheaper at retail; it also looks pretty comparable in person, seems to be getting good reviews at AVSForum, and has all the same inputs—well, except it has DVI-HDCP instead of HDMI, but I can live with that.

On the other hand, it may be prudent to hold out until March, when the digital tuner mandate kicks in for 25-inch and larger TVs, although it’s unclear how many of these TVs will include CableCARD too—the newer sub-$1000 models seem to be only including over-the-air ATSC (digital TV) tuners, since apparently slapping a PCMCIA slot in a TV is more expensive than you’d think.

What a gas

The president’s poll numbers appear to be recovering as of late, and there are two major competing theories to explain the change. Charles Franklin appears to attribute the change to the new PR pushback from the White House, which we might term the Feaver-Gelpi thesis (see also Sunday’s NYT), while Glenn Reynolds says it’s the gas prices and the Mystery Pollster suggests good economic news in general.

It may be the most simplistic thesis, but I think the “pump price” explanation is probably the most plausible; unlike other information, gasoline prices are unavoidable information for most voters and not subject to partisan spin, unlike the presidential pushback on Iraq and news of the general economic recovery—both of which can be spun negatively in a way that falling gasoline prices really can’t. In a noise-filled informational environment, I suspect clear “pocketbook” signals like gasoline prices are much stronger cues for presidential support than the world of competing, ideologically-based claims over Iraq and interest rates.

Update: Al Qaeda appears to put some stock in the pump price explanation as well.

What's really the matter with Kansas

Professor Paul Mirecki of the University of Kansas was apparently brutalized in roadside beating, allegedly in response to anti-Christian comments that came to light after he waded into the intelligent design controversy in the state by offering a course in the subject. The whole story doesn’t sound entirely plausible to me, but stranger things have happened, and there’s certainly no shortage of nutbars out there with an axe to grind…

þ: PoliBlog.

Not at Vaught

I’m pretty sure dressing like this young woman (NSFW) would get you kicked out of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. And Lafayette County.

Britons, watch your wallets

New British Tory leader David Cameron is calling for “compassionate conservatism” in the United Kingdom. If the American example is anything to judge by, that will include useless pandering to segments of the electorate who won’t support the political right anyway and a Nixonian commitment to reviving the New Deal’s economic policies.

Monday, 5 December 2005

Fight the power

My power has briefly (i.e. about a second each time) cut out at least twice this morning, for absolutely no discernable reason I can figure out—the weather is unremarkable, if a little cold. Weird.

Sunday, 4 December 2005


It must be the season for HDTV; in addition to a big InstaPundit post, both my parents have asked me about HDTV stuff over the past couple of months. I’ve been thinking of getting an HDTV set myself, but I have a rather annoying constraint: my existing entertainment center won’t hold anything much wider than my existing 25-inch Philips 4:3 TV, which I bought when I went off to grad school in Oxford in 1998, and I really don’t feel like replacing the entertainment center until I move elsewhere.

This really limits my HDTV options, as most HDTVs are 16:9 (and I probably wouldn’t bother with a 4:3 screen anyway), and most of them have side-mounted speakers, so most 26-inch LCDs won’t fit, including the el cheapo off-brand ones with lame picture quality that Costco and Sam’s have. My current prime candidate is the Samsung LN-R2668W or one of its same-sized brethren (LN-R268W and LN-R269D), which has the speakers on the bottom and thus will fit my entertainment center; it also looks very pretty in the store (not that I’m going to pay retail at Best Buy when I can save $300 and tax at Amazon). And it has enough connections for the TiVos (yay, 480p, at least for the Humax), the Xbox (yay, 480p), and an HD cable box from the good folks at Time-Warner (so I can see Al Michaels’ lip sweat in glorious 720p)—which will do me until the CableCard HD TiVo comes out sometime next year.

With the big holiday road trip coming up, however, it’ll probably be January before I pull the trigger on the purchase, since if I get it now I won’t have much time to enjoy it. (On the other hand, I could toss it in the car and bring it with me…)

Bad sign

I can tell my downstairs neighbors are currently watching The Big Lebowski; I can only hope it’s because they always have their volume set way too loud, because otherwise I shudder to think what they think of me.

Well, I have friends

Virginia Postrel believes she lacks sufficient buzz to sell books. My remedy: ask you to buy a copy of The Substance of Style; I never got around to reviewing TSOS, but will say—for the record—it is very good, as is her earlier book The Future and its Enemies.

Your purchase probably won’t bring her back as editor of Reason, but it’s a worthy cause nonetheless.

Saturday, 3 December 2005

Warming the cockles of my heart

Geaux to hell, LSU, geaux to hell! Losing to Georgia is at least a nice start…

Texas redistricting

Quaker at Crescat Sententia writes in commentary on this WaPo piece:

I honestly can’t think of a reason why the unanimous (!) staff recommendation would get overruled besides ideological opposition to the Voting Rights Act or a desire to see more Republicans in Congress. If anybody out there can think of better justifications, drop me a line; I’m all ears.

Perhaps the staff of the Civil Rights Division has been enforcing an interpretation of the Voting Rights Act that goes beyond the statutory requirements of Congress, and therefore has been making recommendations that do not enforce the VRA but implement something more stringent than the VRA. Thus, the political appointees at the agency felt an obligation to limit the review to the bounds of the statute, rather than the imagined law that the Civil Rights Division staff would like to see implemented. For example, the memo complains about partisan gerrymandering, yet partisan gerrymanders are not illegal under either the VRA or Supreme Court precedent (even if they probably ought to be).

After all, it is not beyond the realm of reason that young, bright attorneys might choose to join the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and forego greater earning potential and prestige in the private sector, for ideological reasons.

Blog apathy

Steve of Begging to Differ thinks it’s hard to be enthusiastic about posting to one’s own blog when most of the hits are for people looking for “Gay Batman”.

I certainly know the feeling; the quantity and quality of SN has gone down over the years, and—ultimately—that really doesn’t bother me that much. I’ve never seen a check from Google Ads, BlogAds ignores me, and that Pajamas/Open Source/Pajamas outfit is just sort of “out there” in the zone I frankly don’t care about. And I am simply content to stop worrying and go about my daily business, posting just enough nonsense to stop panicked phone calls worrying that I’m maimed or deceased, in a way that perhaps I wouldn’t have a couple of years ago.

Friday, 2 December 2005

Aim low, and keep reaching for the Prime Minister's job

Stories like this one make me thank God we didn’t get Hillarycare. On the stump, Canadian Conservative leader Stephen Harper made this, dare I say bold, promise to his countrymen:

[P]atients should not wait more than 10 months for non-urgent hip and knee replacements.

I suspect it’s pretty easy to say that when it’s not your bum hip or knee you’re hobbling around on for the best part of a year.

Of course, Canadians at least have, for now, the choice of private provision: they can come here for treatment and pay twice—once for the not-very-timely provision of services in Canada and once for the actual provision in the Land of the Gringos. In Democratic-wet-dream America, where’s our (and their) safety-valve going to be? Grenada?

More phone interview hijinks

The interview with the place I thought might turn out to be Fundie U went somewhat better than expected, although I’m still not entirely sure why I got the interview in the first place—the job description listed two courses (and only two courses) that I’ve never taught before.

On the topic of the broader market, the prospects seem to have slowed to a trickle; things will probably pick up again in January, as some of the places where people have moved up in the world (usually the ones who can’t afford, logistically or otherwise, to do searches two years in a row) decide to take a crapshoot on the leftovers from the first wave.

In the meantime, it’s strangely liberating to have only sent one job application in the past month and only have a couple on the “I am seriously considering applying” pile—a two-year postdoc at a liberal arts college and a research-only job in my field that is quite a longshot but would be a ticket to the top of the Social Sciences Citation Index, the latter of which I just found out about today.

Thursday, 1 December 2005

We're number 1000

Unless Mike Easley joins Mark Warner to start a conga line of southern Democratic governors tripping all over themselves to avoid the appearance of being the “heavy,” lest they provoke the wing of the national party, North Carolina will conduct the 1000th execution since the reinstatement of capital punishment tonight.

On the other hand, we’re still behind Singapore in the number of drug mules awaiting imminent execution. Woo-hoo.

East-West Bus Thought of the Day

The functionality of wearing a thick wool crewneck sweater would seem to be defeated if two inches of your midriff are bare.