29.3.05

CROSSROADS OF COMMERCE. A Pennsylvania Railroad calendar painting for your viewing pleasure.


That's the kind of day it's been, with Villainous Company billing two posts on today's Blogjam, and this provocatively named site referring readers to the worst major blogger brackets. Thanks for riding, and check in again soon.

The next couple of days look to be rather hectic at the day job, with additional posts most likely to be up late on Friday.
THE THINGS YOU LEARN. Somebody did a search on "Joanne and the Streamliners" which turns out to be a rock band called "The Streamliners with Joanne." Fortunately for the searcher, Cold Spring Shops is not at the top of the search list.
DO EGGS GRAINGER-CAUSE CHICKENS? (Go here for the initial riff.) King at SCSU Scholars has extensive comments on the story James Taranto introduces as "What Would We Do Without Studies?"

FIRST, A REFEREE'S REPORT... King reminds readers that the blockquotes are from the original article, and that it's Granger causality. Mea maxima culpa. See also University Diaries noting some of the criteria by which the study identifies respondents as "liberal."
Both the ideology index and party affiliation, when entered into multiple regression analyses, independently predict the quality of a subject's institutional affiliation. As we would expect, academic achievement matters the most in determining the quality of schools in which faculty teach. But ideology is the second most powerful predictor in Model I (beta=.09, p<.001), accounting for more than one-fifth as much variation in quality of institutional affiliation as does achievement (beta=.39, p<.001). That is, more liberal responses to the attitude questions predict a significantly higher quality of institutional affiliation, after controlling for scholarly achievement.
Yes, but what is the direction of causation? Is this regression coefficient evidence of a preference for job candidates that give off more liberal vibes in interviews? Or is this a spurious correlation, proxying for age (older faculty members more likely to be nostalgic for the Freedom Rides and FDR) or for peer influence?
Second, religiosity is negatively related to quality of institutional affiliation among practicing Christians (beta=-.06, p<.05), but not among Jews. The other variable that is a statistically significant contributor to the equation is gender: Being female is a negative predictor of institutional quality (beta=-.07, p<.01). None of the other potential sources of discrimination for which we have measures is significantly related to the dependent variable.
Not as surprising, in light of evidence such as this, but again, the same question: do hiring committees unconsciously identify more secular applicants of any faith as constituting a better fit, or does academic skepticism lead to religious skepticism? Again, a Grainger-causality problem.

28.3.05

IT OUGHT TO HAVE A LITURGICAL SETTING. The second movement of Beethoven's D Major Second Symphony, Op. 36, that is. This setting is attributed by some authorities to Beethoven and has some thematic elements in common with that movement.

Please turn to Entry 427, "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life."
DEJA VU. Saturday evening, I'm changing channels from the men's tournament to the women's tournament, and preceding the late game is the medal ceremony from some gymnastics performance in Moscow, with the medalists and the anthems in Olympic fashion. Never mind those Russian tricolors the spectators are waving; I cannot hear what I still think of as Soyuz nerushimiy without recollections of those politically correct 8.2s from the Soviet judge.
THAT NEBULOUS "GREATER GOOD." Socially responsible fund ditches Starbucks. Why?
Socially responsible funds restrict investments to companies that they believe may benefit society, with Pax World ruling out any holdings of companies that make weapons, cigarettes, liquor and gambling products.

Starbucks Coffee Liqueur, introduced last month, is part of Starbucks' effort to broaden its brand beyond coffeehouses to items such as coffee drinks sold in supermarkets and ice cream.

"In the absence of a reversal by Starbucks, our course of action was clear," Pax World Funds Vice President of Social Research Anita Green said in the statement. "Investors in Pax World Funds expect us to do what we say we will do about avoiding companies that produce liquor."
No word on whether the bracket sheets in newspapers are now socially irresponsible under the rubric of "gambling products."
DO IT BY THE BOOK. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education evaluates Colorado's investigation of Ward Churchill.
In sum, the University of Colorado's improper investigation has reached the substantively correct result. Churchill's speech was constitutionally protected, and all other credible misconduct allegations should be referred to the appropriate governing body for review. This conclusion is so startlingly obvious that it is difficult to imagine that an "investigation" was needed to reach these determinations. Even in hindsight, this investigation appears to be little more than a constitutionally dangerous method of temporarily calming a public storm.

It is simply undeniable that Churchill's speech has aroused deep anger across the country. Yet that anger - by itself - does not provide a basis for defying the First Amendment.
(Via The Torch.) View concurring opinions here.
PUSHING THOSE BUTTONS. Laura at 11-D discovers the most effective way to win by intimidation in dealing with school bureaucrats.
HAVING BRACKET WITHDRAWAL? Ted at Crooked Timber hosts the water-cooler conversation that can go on forever without the scoreboard intruding. Simply identify the worst major blogger. Turn in your picks over there. We have an America's Cup to begin worrying about here.
A DOUBLE FEATURE. Brian at Mobile Technology volunteered to host the Carnival of the Capitalists immediately upon his return from Austria. The Carnival will run in two installments this week. The first showing is ready. Hurry, hurry, step right up.
GOING DOWN BY ROCKY TOP. Bruce Pearl, who was last seen repositioning the University of [Wisconsin at] Milwaukee, has accepted a job as understudy to Pat Summitt.

27.3.05

SOME SMALL RELIEF. I have been spared yet another iteration of Tennessee v. Connecticut. Tennessee is still in but Stanford excused Connecticut and gets a shot at Tennessee. North Carolina and Michigan State now have teams alive in both basketball tournaments, and, as in the men's tournament, they get a shot at each other.
SIXTY YEARS AGO. Sgt. Karlson is east of the Rhine. Niemands wollen Hüter sein!
A LECHATELIER PRINCIPLE. The behavior of people under constraints is different from the behavior of people when those constraints are relaxed. The principle manifests itself in the substitution behavior of students who have signed virginity pledges with the understanding that Tab B does not go in Slot G is both necessary and sufficient for "abstention." (Via Eclectic Econoclast out of Marginal Revolution over to Economist's View.) There is news that the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents that have signed the pledge is almost as great as that among those who have not, consistent with a logical interpretation of the strong form of "abstention."

A commenter on Feministing's post (one of these days there will be interchange conventions for linking to comments) notes the relatively small samples and the relatively small difference in incidence rates (yes, the pledge reduces the incidence of social diseases by about 1/3, but that's from a base of seven per cent of the non-pledging population being infected.)

The best perspective on the issue is Amanda's at Pandagon (fix the trackbacks!)
I suppose if you are sticking to the oral and anal to avoid pregnancy, you have managed to stumble upon a method that actually works by accident. So, yes, the whole thing is a failure from the perspective of those of us who mostly just don't want the kids finding themselves in a clinic with a baby in tow and a raging case of herpes.
In that observation is the potential for some common ground with the traditional values advocates. Perhaps many of the traditional values advocates have no reason other than "we've done things this way for years, and would continue to do so but for noisy advocates ..." There's an economics lesson in that, too. Did the traditional values evolve as a way of preventing less-prepared mothers from having babies, and social diseases that prior to antibiotics were not curable? Might observers have also noticed that the more promiscuous among their numbers had more coping problems that did not yet have the names of "issues" or "baggage?" Put simply, the old rules might have reduced transaction costs that the current crop of youngsters are rediscovering, but that history is not part of the abstinence curriculum, particularly in the forms that rely more heavily on the Old Testament.
THE FALLACIES OF AVERAGING. Bryan at Econ Log looks at some averaging paradoxes. His assertion: Everyone in a country can get richer as per-capita income falls. Yes, but let's look beyond the averages.

Suppose the residents of Country A earn $50,000 per year each without immigration, and $60,000 per year with immigration. They benefit from cheaper lawn-mowing. The residents of Country B earn $2,000 per year if they stay at home, or $10,000 per year if they immigrate to Country A to mow lawns.

Now what happens to per-capita income in Country A if immigrants double the population? Per-capita income falls from $50,000 to .5*$60,0000 + .5*$10,000 = $35,000. The more immigrants come in, the more steeply per-capita income declines. "Immigrants hurt our standard of living. QED!"

Of course, nothing of the kind has happened. By assumption, immigration makes both natives and immigrants richer. But per-capita income declines, as a matter of pure arithmetic. The numbers don't lie, but they are very easily misinterpreted.

Including in the example? This is not a logic puzzle wherein the migration lowers the per capita GDP of both countries. Now, where one had domestic residents competing for the kind of house that is equilibrium at $50,000 you now have competition for a house that is equilibrium at $60,000 and competition for another kind of house that is equilibrium at $10,000. And you wonder why some people write "affordable housing" into zoning codes? The post-migration average is lower and the variance is higher. Jacob Riis, call your office. Read on.
Suppose in 1950 the workforce is 90% male. Men earn $10,000, women $3000. In 1975, the workforce is 50% male. Each man now earns $12,000, and each female earns $5000. What happens to average worker earnings? They fall from $9,300 to
$8500.
Now you'd best start thinking about attachment to the work force and a seniority premium. The cautionary tale at the end of the story:
Before you take an average, you have to think about what you are averaging over.
Yes, and about the variance, and about other gains from trade that the new situation sets up.
REAL AND NOMINAL. Are crude oil and gasoline prices at record high levels? Amanda at Pandagon concurs with polls that see it that way. Steve at Deinonychus antirrhopus takes a somewhat less dim view of the evidence. I'm sticking with my challenge from two summers ago: let me know when unleaded regular hits $2.73 a gallon.
TREMBLING HAND BAYESIAN EQUILIBRIUM. North Carolina was just a little bit better than Wisconsin this afternoon, preempting a Big Ten sweep of one side of the Final Four. There's something about Wisconsin's endgame I don't understand. With about 55 seconds to go, Wisconsin converted an alley-oop to pull to within three. In the next series, Wisconsin had to commit some fouls to get to a foul shooting situation (the rules no longer provide for a free throw on a defensive possession to preempt an old strategy of a team giving up one point for the chance at two.) It is possible to play strong defense without committing lots of fouls, which is why I obsessed about this all season. I can understand using the non-shooting fouls in order to have the option of putting the opponent in the bonus. What I cannot understand is coach Ryan's strategy of putting North Carolina on the free throw line. With a good defense, Wisconsin has the opportunity for a turnover, including a shot-clock violation, or a rebound, and the chance to work for a good three to tie the game. The commentators kept talking about "stretch the game," and perhaps giving North Carolina at most two points while retaining 54 seconds to play was the best strategy, but I'd like to see the strategy tree laid out more carefully.

RUNNING EXTRA: "Trembling hand" indeed.

To that point, the Badgers had committed only four fouls in the second half, so Ryan called a timeout and instructed his team to foul twice more to put North Carolina in the bonus.

Once that was accomplished, the Badgers could have tried to make a defensive stop, knowing they would have at least 17 seconds left to tie the score. The plan went awry, however, when Taylor fouled Felton on the inbounds play.

"I wasn't trying to foul," Taylor said. "I was trying to play close 'D' and get a turnover."

Felton sank both free throws to give North Carolina an 83-78 lead with 52 seconds left.

That should clear it up.
THE BEST IN THE WEST, THE HECK WITH THE EAST The finalists in the 2005 college hockey tournament are Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota, and North Dakota. SIEVE! I still like that North Dakota corner of the Sweet 16. Years ago, defeating Boston University and then Boston College would be good enough for the national title.

RUNNING EXTRA. Chad at Fraters Libertas describes the victories.
SOME EASTER RECOLLECTIONS. Years ago, the Milwaukee Public Schools referred to their Spring Break as "Easter vacation," as the break generally began on Good Friday and lasted for the following week. That made for a long slog from the Christmas break to Easter vacation if Easter came well into April, as it often did.

We'd generally spend the Easter Vacation with my mom's mother, and that made for a different kind of Easter service. My parents attended a church that was active in what Rev. Johnson refers to as the "Council of Churches Nobody Attends." My mom's parents attended an immigrant church in northeastern Wisconsin that had a somewhat more straightforward Baptist tradition, in Polish and German as well as in English. I have few memories of the Easter liturgy at the Council of Churches church. This hymn, which was a regular up North, is as succinct a statement of the Christian faith as I have encountered.
322. Up from the Grave He Arose
(Low in the Grave He Lay)

Text: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899
Music:Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

Tune: CHRIST AROSE, Meter: 65.64 with Refrain


1. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Refrain:

Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

(Refrain)

3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

(Refrain)
SUPERINTENDENT'S NOTE: I'm moving this post forward from its original position at 3 pm on 24 March 2005 as I have made a few additions to the content and the commentary. I would encourage younger readers in particular to be alert to the potential downside of the "protest babe" phenomenon. There was no Internet in 1970, and no blogosphere in 1989.

Savor the protests if you must, but don't read too much into them, or be disappointed if things turn out differently than you anticipated.

ARE THE TIMES CHANGING? It's been Instalanched, but pay Publius Pundit a visit and reflect on Robert's observation:

Those riot police kind of lose their ferocity after receiving bouquets from pretty revolution babes!
Then read this.

O: Doesn't your division have target practice next week, Meyers?
M: Yes, sir.
O: Are you going there with that silly flower?
M: No, sir.
O: Then what is it doing in your rifle barrel?
M: It was a gift, sir.
O: Do you always accept gifts Meyers?
M: No, sir.
O:Then why did you accept this one?
No answer
O: (Holding out his hand) What are you going to do with it Meyers?
Meyers feebly began to remove the lilac
O: That's better Meyers. Now straighten up and start acting like a soldier and forget all this peace stuff.
Was that 35 years ago? The guns are still loaded ...

SECOND SECTION: The picture I'm looking for from that day is proving somewhat elusive, but I'm not known to be persistent for nothing. For now, a memorial.




RUNNING EXTRAI have not been able to locate, online, the image that I was looking for. James Michener's Kent State: What Happened and Why makes reference to a photograph taken on May 3, 1970, by Kent State Student Ramesh Garg, that contemporary readers would recognize as a "protest babe" picture. There is a picture of the Guardsman with the flower in his rifle in the book, sorry for the grainy image.




The caption: Guardsman Meyers, his rifle containing the flower given him
by Allison Krause, flashes peace sign.

My perception of domestic attitudes is that there was much more polarization in the United States 35 years ago than there is today. (In fact, much of today's polarization is a reflection of those arguments from 35 years ago, but many of the most vocal actors of those days are dead or have mellowed.) That might be something to keep in mind in Lebanon and the 'stans. Many people there still retain a stake in the existing order (consider that Hezbollah counter-demonstration a few weeks ago.)

And the history from Kent State on ought to give pause. Although Richard Nixon was re-elected on a promise of "peace with honor" in Vietnam only to resign, as did his Vice-President Spiro Agnew, those resignations were over stupid acts of corruption, not over high principles of policy. That administration's more hard line positions against Communism became President Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech which leads to President Bush's "freedom" speeches. The "protest babes" of the 1970s did not win the argument of the 1980s.

26.3.05

FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE.

On! Wisconsin!

The UWM Fight Song.

Come on, UWM, come up with a snappy title for this.
Or find a suitable beer-drinking tune to adapt. There's more "fight" in this than there is in a bad campaign speech...
These links will remain at the top of the site until further notice.

(And yes, they will remain at the top even if the archives are a bit out of joint at the moment.)

And yes, I'm leaving them both at the top although Illinois bested Milwaukee. The Badgers are still standing in two tournaments.

And yes, they remain at the top despite the Badgers learning a lot about the college hockey tournament.
DEFECTIVE OUTPUTS, DEFECTIVE INPUTS? Joanne Jacobs notes that some 71% of Californian high school students finish on time, with caveats. Here's a research project: what effect has the willingness of higher education to do as remediation what the high schools failed to do as curriculum affected the high school defect rate?
BUMMER. West Virginia led by as many as 20 in the first half; Louisville then went to work, and took the 'Eers to overtime. Although West Virginia had previous overtime experience in the tournament, Louisville continued the surge, and earned the first invitation to St. Louis.
NOT OF THEORETICAL INTEREST ONLY. Seasonal foreign workers in short supply this year.
For four generations, Robin Hall's family overcame competition, bad weather and shifting economic tides that threatened to swamp their Chesapeake Bay crab-processing business.
Why is this year different?

But 2005 could be the year the Maryland business goes under — vanquished not by the forces the Halls managed to outlast, but by a U.S. labor visa program they viewed as salvation in their battle.

Fierce competition claimed all the available visas by Jan. 3, creating a crisis that's blocked G.W. Hall & Son Seafood from rehiring foreign workers who had returned season after season.

It's not just crab-shuckers, either.

From Hamptons resorts to Western foresters, from Midwestern tourist centers to Sun Belt landscaping firms, thousands of businesses are being squeezed by the same, unprecedented labor crunch this year as they scramble to hire employees needed for busy spring and summer seasons.

For more than a decade, they have relied on foreign workers with H-2B visas, a 1990 immigration program that allowed businesses to look outside U.S. borders for workers to fill temporary, non-agricultural jobs Americans increasingly shun.

But in 2005, amid rising business demand, the 66,000 visas authorized each federal fiscal year were gone by Jan. 3, barely three months after the program's annual start. The door slammed shut so early that many business owners say they are unable to hire the foreign workers they recruit to shuck oysters, plant trees, cut lawns, staff kitchens, wait tables and fill dozens of other jobs.

You think there isn't going to be a temptation for some of these companies to make deals with the smugglers of illegal immigrants? And that, with more oyster-shuckers and foresters in the pool of illegal immigrants, there won't be more reason for the government to regularize those illegals?

Perhaps there are some unexplored avenues by which high-technology can be used to complement skilled domestic workers with better opportunity costs as oyster-shuckers and tree-planters. But if you've just won the Chicago-Mackinac regatta those victory drinks might be a bit slow in coming.

On Michigan's Mackinac Island, a Midwest vacation mecca, Patti Ann Moskwa says she didn't get approvals for the 15 visas she'd sought for workers to fill jobs at Horn's Gaslight Bar before the federal program maxed out.

"It's not like we're not trying to hire U.S. citizens. I would if I could," Moskwa says.

But in 10 years of running newspaper ads for seasonal jobs, Moskwa says she has received only three applications. Her recruiting trips to colleges came up dry. "It probably means I'll be washing a lot more dishes," Moskwa says.

Remind me again ... college students are an oppressed proletariat burdened by excessive tuitions and overpriced textbooks, providing employers with an elastic supply of dishwashers. (Oh, that's a different rant.) The article provides good capsule summaries of the principal differing perspectives in the immigration policy debate.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that favors tighter borders, says allowing firms to use cheaper, low-skilled foreign workers in place of American workers represents a questionable government subsidy. "Immigration represents a thumb on the scale on the side of employers," he says. "Are these businesses a compelling national interest that deserve a federal subsidy?"
That leads to the induced-innovation argument: does the cheap labor subsidy hamper economic growth by preserving more labor-intensive methods of production?
Joanna Hedvall, an analyst at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, says the visa program is a business issue, not an immigration matter. She says the foreign workers who participate enter the country legally, stay temporarily and pay taxes on their earnings. There have been few complaints about workers overstaying visas, Hedvall says.
And, to the extent that such workers can be vetted, and can enter and leave without let or hindrance, they're less likely to become illegal migrants by overstaying. It would be useful to know the proportion of illegal immigrants that remain in the underground economy in the U.S. rather than risk repeated border crossings.
"This is a far better system than having businesses hiring undocumented workers," says Melinda Rubin, a New York immigration lawyer seeking visas for temporary foreign workers hoping to return to summer jobs in the Hamptons, on Long Island's East End. "It puts more money in our tax coffers, and it's a good form of foreign aid because the people who work here bring money home."
Yes, immigrant remittances provide substantial resources to many developing countries. Catch that location, though ... evidently working ones way through the Ivies is just Not Done in the East End any more.
KUDOS. The Illinois Council on Economic Education recognizes Chicago Treasurer Judith C. Rice as the 2005 Economics Ambassador.
The Economics Ambassador Award was established in 2004 by the ICEE Boards to recognize public officials who have provided extraordinary advocacy and support for economic and financial literacy education for Illinois youth. The 2005 award is the inaugural presentation of this new recognition.
There's still a lot of work to be done, in Chicago, and elsewhere.

Fifteen states require economics, up from 13 in 1998. Last year, at least a third of all high school graduates had taken a class in economics because the four largest states — California, Texas, New York and Florida — require it.

At the same time, 38 states have standards for personal finance education, up from 21 in 1998. Almost all states have standards for economics. To have a standard means the state's legislature has declared the subject an important one that should be taught, although it is not required.

Still, most kids start college or go to work after high school with only rudimentary understanding of things such as savings accounts, credit cards, the stock market, saving for retirement or getting a car loan. "We all know young people are getting inundated with credit card offers at college," says Joanne Dempsey, president of the Illinois Council on Economic Education. "It's 'Get a free T-shirt! Sign on the line!' You can spend $2,000 without realizing someone has to pay for all this."

Young people may be woefully unprepared for taking charge of their own money, much less their retirement, says Donald Zabelin, who teaches consumer education at Community High School in West Chicago. When he asks his juniors and seniors about money matters, he gets a lot of blank stares. "They really don't know much," he says. "A handful may pick something up from their parents. But for most families, money is a topic that can be put aside because there are more important things to talk about."

Patricia Tomich agrees.

Her students at Notre Dame High School for Girls in Chicago come from working-class families, many of whom "live paycheck to paycheck," she says. "We give them confidence as young women to go out in the world and say, 'I'm not just going to spend, spend, spend.' There are other ways to go."

Zabelin and Tomich teach everything from how to write a check to concepts such as investing in the stock market and buying stocks on margin.

Perhaps the lack of understanding of investments contributes to public resistance to private retirement accounts. This morning, Representative Sander Levin of Michigan delivered the Democratic radio message for the week. Its theme: private retirement accounts are unsound as well as more complicated than a relatively simple government program that pays current retirees out of current taxes. Perhaps the message that the excess burden of Social Security taxes includes a dampening of economic growth fails to resonate with people because the whole response of many people to capital formation is "huh?"

Don't get me started on income accounting. Suppose one increases the current Social Security tax base (it doesn't matter which proposal one adopts) and sets up a bona fide trust fund in which the additional tax payments are exactly offset by additional holdings of government bonds by the trustees of the trust fund. What happens when the trustees redeem the bonds?
DO IT BY THE BOOK. University Diaries links to Blogger News Network's report on Colorado's initial investigation of Ward Churchill. The summary:

Professor Churchill has outraged the Colorado and national communities as a result of profoundly offensive, abusive, and misguided statements relating to the victims of the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

As repugnant as his statements are to many in the University community, however, they are protected by the First Amendment.

Allegations have been made that Professor Churchill has engaged in research misconduct; specifically, that he has engaged in plagiarism, misuse of others' work, falsification and fabrication of authority.

These allegations have sufficient merit to warrant referral to the University of Colorado at Boulder Standing Committee on Research Misconduct for further inquiry in accordance with prescribed procedures. The research misconduct procedures afford Professor Churchill an opportunity to review and to respond to the allegations before any determination is made. If the Committee determines that Professor Churchill engaged in research misconduct, the Committee is to make recommendations regarding dismissal or other disciplinary action.

Also referred to the Committee is the question of whether Churchill committed research misconduct by misrepresenting himself to be American Indian to gain credibility, authority, and an audience by using an Indian voice for his scholarly writings and speeches.

Other issues brought to the attention of the reviewers, such as teaching misconduct, were not found to warrant action.

King at SCSU Scholars notes,

There are many possible violations here -- the report has more -- and a serious academic even accused of this stuff would be unlikely to have his or her academic career survive. The problem is that Churchill does not care and can drag this out for two more years, hoping either that the pressure will die down and the report can be buried, or that he gets a buyout.

But it will be impossible to dodge an inquiry like this, particularly if the Legislature keeps the pressure on to see it through. In the end there will be a report, and the report will show whether these claims against Churchill are valid. A single incident might go his way, but to find against all of them and completely exonerate Churchill simply seems unlikely, even to those most inclined to believe conspiracy theories. When the report is released, Churchill may still have his job, but what remains of his reputation as an academic will be destroyed.

Colorado's report is consistent with the Claremont Institute bill of particulars that I endorsed here.
Although the Claremont Institute might not be the most objective observer of the academy, their bill of particulars is in the correct form with respect to professional incompetence, moral turpitude, and failings of professional integrity. The document also notes that a review panel including several individuals who may have been involved in Mr Churchill's prior reviews is unlikely to conduct a proper hearing, as those individuals have a strong incentive to validate their earlier decisions. The document also correctly notes, "It need not and cannot be based on his well-documented disdain for the United States of America - as offensive as that is."
In a related development, Michelle Malkin links to Las Vegas Sun coverage of a legislative review of tenure procedures at the state universities of Colorado. Somebody at CU (motto: no football recruit goes without a date) likely failed to follow the university's own guidelines, which in all likelihood include criteria for evidence of an emerging national reputation (for tenure) as well as other criteria for promotion to associate professor, or to professor. If the CU (motto: no football recruit goes without a date) bylaws also provide for members of promotion committees at lower levels recusing themselves from deliberations at higher levels of review, there are other failures of internal institutional integrity that have come back to bite the university.

My use of the term "in all likelihood" is University-speak for "educated guess." I am familiar with the rules at Northern Illinois and at Wayne State and have a strong belief that bylaws elsewhere are similar in structure. That common structure emerged for a reason. (A quick lesson on one difference between economists and social constructionists: economists look for rule changes that conserve on transaction costs. Large differences in rules mean more impediments to faculty mobility. Faculty mobility is a fact of life, particularly for the strong performers.)
KNOWN WHERE IT COUNTS. Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Bruce Pearl understands the value of a mixed strategy.

The Panthers used their full-court press sparingly but effectively throughout the game, forcing Illinois to call timeouts because it couldn't inbounds the ball twice and turn it over on a five-second violation once. (The timeout request came too late.

UW-Milwaukee coach Bruce Pearl had hinted he might be more judicious with the press because of the Illini's three talented guards.

"We might be pressing ourselves into an early deficit," he said Wednesday.

He didn't try, using the press little until the final 4½ minutes of the first half and again midway through the second half, when it sparked a rally that moved the Panthers back within seven, 58-51, with 9:33 left in the game.

Apparently he's used the mixed strategy well enough to have to consider other strategies.

Bruce Pearl has steadfastly maintained for the past two weeks that it would take a blockbuster deal to pry him away from the UW-Milwaukee basketball coaching job.

Pearl talked about loyalty and putting down roots in a community, but perhaps the most persuasive argument for him staying in Milwaukee would be the state of the UWM program. It is strong and appears to be growing stronger.

The Panthers' success in basketball has inspired differentiation efforts by the university: this article notes the use of "Milwaukee" rather than "Wisconsin-Milwaukee" on the uniforms.

You also get the impression that the Panthers want to abridge their identity by declaring total independence from the mother ship in Madison. The cover of the media guide, which brands them simply as the Milwaukee Panthers, screams individuality. Their uniforms bear only the name of the city. Bruce Pearl's voice mail tells you he is the coach of the Milwaukee Panthers, so away with the hyphen.

And then there was the matter of UWM's Sweet 16 experience and courageous performance against probably the best team in the country in Illinois, the kind of national publicity money cannot buy.

So now comes the time for the next move, the one that could determine the Panthers' future:

What can they do to retain Pearl?

Coaches may come, coaches may go, particularly at that level. It's no different from replacing a successful economist who might get recruited away: look for another succesful economist with talent as an economist. It's when the recruiting attempts to make a statement about some other institutional goal that the trouble begins.

Now for some lighter observations.

For the aspiring basketball analyst: better understand all the implications of G(x,a) = 0.

For Wisconsin-Milwaukee: we used to refer to it as the University Close By The Lake Almost. Try that on a jersey.

And I like the use of the term "mother ship" to refer to Madison.
IF YOU WANT TO BE A BADGER ... the men's basketball team is still dancing, which the Milwaukee paper spins as defying the odds.
Unranked as recently as Jan. 10, the University of Wisconsin basketball team has somehow scratched and clawed its way to within one victory of the Final Four.
(To be pedantic, "unranked" is not equivalent to "not receiving votes...")

In other tournament action ... first, a story. Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Jane Pegel would report on the performance of Geneva Lake Sailing School students at the youth regattas, and her locution for the kids that didn't bring back any silverware was "learned a lot." It sounds like the Badger hockey team learned a lot.

The one solace for the Badgers is that [goaltender Bernd] Brückler was the only senior in the lineup Friday for UW, meaning the same experience advantage that hurt the Badgers could be an ally for the next couple of years.

"After the game, me and coach were talking and I just said, 'Let's learn our lesson from this,' " [junior team captain Adam] Burish said.

Indeed. Until November, SIEVE!
IT'S JUST A KIDS' GAME. Liberty University's womens' basketball team was excused from the Sweet Sixteen by Louisiana State an hour or so ago, probably to the great relief of Ted at the Women's Hoops Blog.

The players and coaches on Liberty's fine basketball team may find it unfair that they receive criticism rather than support from the women's basketball world. But like all of us, they at some point must stand up and be held accountable for their beliefs. They should all be ashamed of their school's anti-gay policies and homophobic culture. If they disagree with those policies and if they oppose that culture, then they should speak out. Like all of us, they have an obligation to expose and criticize the evil in their midst. They have an obligation to work for change.

If, on the other hand, they support their school's policies and Falwell's politics, then I really have nothing to say to them. They have a right to their beliefs, and I have a right to criticize those beliefs. I will fight their cause in any way I can, and I will cheer against their basketball team.

Give. Me. A. Break. Student-athletes [c.q.] opposing the dominant culture at their school? Why not allow the basketball players the same freedom to be apathetic that other students enjoy, as in an earlier paragraph in the same post.

But (you may say) Colorado's stated commitment to diversity is a sham. It is just another leftist-secular school where conservative and Christian viewpoints are silenced.

I'm not sure that's true. I have several friends who went to Boulder, and they don't appear to have been indoctrinated into leftist radicalism. In fact, they spent most of their time skiing and doing coke; now they're all good Republicans.

In other words, rather than challenge the dominant culture, these alums played their Nash equilibrium strategies in college. Give the players the same freedom. Is it really necessary to introduce academic politics into the women's tournament, for crying out loud, where the stakes are infinitesimally small (you might guess I am not looking forward to iteration n+1 iteration of Tennessee v. Connecticut)?

Hmmm... there's a research project for you: The same three or four teams keep showing up in the later rounds of the tournament, with Connecticut and Tennessee making 12 appearances since 1994, Louisiana Tech 10, and Texas Tech 9. What does that tell you about the elasticity of supply of top-notch players, Title IX or not? (But I digress...)

Consider last year's tournament, in which one of the hyped stories going in involved some seniors at Duke that saw 2004 as their year to win it all, until Minnesota put together a good series of games and earned the right to be excused by Connecticut. (The TV coverage included many clips of the Duke seniors on the verge of tears ... hey, in a field of 64 there will be 63 teams that leave disappointed at some juncture, and yes, that includes Tennessee or Connecticut.)

But shall we chastise any of the Minnesota players for being insufficiently ashamed of their academic culture, where a faculty member notoriously wrote about the recapitulation of the opening movement of Beethoven's Choral Symphony (Op. 125) symbolizing the pent-up anger of a rapist, or any of the Duke players for not speaking out about the now-departed Stanley Fish turning the English Department into Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice? Let the kids play.

And by all means, let the kids have the right kind of support to develop as players. We've had ten years' experience at Northern Illinois with diversity statements getting in the way of the play value, something I expect to see change.

24.3.05

PUBLIC CHOICE. Highway bills provide great opportunities for powerful members of Congress to include local road projects in the transportation bill. I'm taking this opportunity to thank everyone who files a Form 1040 for making possible additional lanes for the backward-ballcap set to get to their rabbit warrens overcrowded streets and for the reconstruction of city sidewalks near Northern Illinois University.

I'm expecting thanks from the people of Corvallis and Albany in Oregon, who are getting theirs, too.

The Senate, and President Bush, have to decide whether to question some of the earmarks in the House bill (note to urban readers: the ear mark identifies the owner of a particular piece of live pork, it is a particularly apt term here) or to exercise fiscal discipline. To get along, go along, and all that ...
THE BEST IN THE WEST, THE HECK WITH THE EAST. Fraters Libertas have a hockey tournament poll that correctly limits readers' choices to teams from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. SIEVE!
SWIFT OF FOOT IS HIAWATHA. In the latest on-time statistics, the winner is ... the Hiawatha! They've arrived right time 95.8% of the time against a target of 85% on time. The vaunted Acela Express runs to time 77.6% of the time ... at best a C ... against a target of 95%. On occasion I have observed a Hiawatha roll into Chicago about 80 minutes after its scheduled departure from Milwaukee, well ahead of the booked 92 minutes. And that's with a rather plain train of Horizon coaches, an Ugly for power, and a cabbage car. No special trains, no special infrastructure, just crews and dispatchers up to the job.
TELL ME AGAIN, WHY ARE WE HERE? A retired colleague is running against the current mayor. It's not clear exactly what the major differences are between the candidates, but there is one thing on which they both agree.
Both candidates agreed additional parking on Greek Row would be difficult to secure.
I'll keep that in mind the next time I hear whinges about high tuition: apparently the backward ballcap set have plenty of portable capital in the form of space-hogging cars.

The editorial board at the Northern Star also have taken leave of their senses, endorsing the incumbent mayor as being more favorably disposed to ... later bar closings.
Challenger Frank Van Buer said he wasn’t so sure extending the bar hours on Thursdays was the best way to cater to students and keep them here on the weekends - he said there are other ways to do that. True, but the reality, however unfortunate it may be, is that extending bar hours does have a big impact on students. Bars are a part of college life for many. And although DeKalb may not be the ideal college town, it has a college in it. The city needs to take that into consideration often, and Sparrow is better qualified to do that.
I know, I know, my site has frequently noted the income effect at work in the form of early Friday getaways, and any proper South Sider (that's as in Milwaukee, under the shadow of the world's biggest tower clock, for your information) knows that bars close at 6 am and reopen at 9 am. But more parking spaces around the rabbit warrens frat houses and longer Thursday bar hours as a basis for public policy??
SNEAK, SNACK, SNUCK. Evidence that somebody got something out of yesterday's workshop. When the argument turns to the cleanest simplification of the separation conditions I will really be making progress.

23.3.05

MORE BLOGGER ODDITIES. I posted something new about an hour ago, and three older posts vanished from the main page and from the "edit posts" collection. Fortunately I had the current March archive open in another window, and will restore the posts to where they belong, although with an annotation that it's a replacement post, and a slightly different time stamp.
A DIFFERING PERSPECTIVE. Just before spring break, I linked to Owen at Boots and Sabers objecting to the University of Wisconsin Health Service recommending that female spring breakers include the morning-after pill in their hook-up kit. Jessica at Feministing has a different perspective.
I love the idea that there wouldn't be wanton spring break sex if campus health centers didn't provide birth control. I can see it now: Girls Gone Wild...because they had birth control! "I was going to just catch up on my studies, but now that I have emergency contraception I feel the sudden urge to enter a wet t-shirt contest..."
Well, yes, the rabbit culture is a bit more deeply rooted than that. But this perspective fails to address a more serious problem that I noted in my original link.
If the condom fails and the kids don't have the morning-after pill, they still have three months to deal with one "unwanted effect" in the feminist way. The chlamydia or the herpes will be another matter.
And that other matter is no laughing matter. Herewith some evidence, also from the Sun-Times Sex on Campus series.
At least one in four Americans will get a sexually transmitted disease, according to the American Social Health Association. For many, that will happen during the sexually adventurous college years.
Just go read the whole article. Sobering stuff. Almost enough to make me want to invoke the Welfare Economics Paradigm and make a case for "mating licenses" that ought to be at least as hard to get as deer-hunting licenses.
MORE CHINA PICTURES. Mike at the L+N Line has posted some of the traditional, and some unusual, pictures from China. Scroll down from the latest movie review.
INCOME AND SUBSTITUTION EFFECTS. Mark Kleiman asks, "What's So Great About the Work Ethic?"

That led me to ask why a strong "work ethic" as reflected in hours worked -- long workweeks, short vacations, and long worklives -- ought to be regarded as desirable. (A strong "work ethic" in the sense of being diligent at one's work is a different matter.) A poor person who desires to become non-poor is obviously better off if he or she is willing to work hard. If the choice is between working hard and not having enough food to feed you kids, the ethical choice is pretty clear. And a poor community or a poor country no doubt benefits if the average "work ethic" among its members is strong, since working hard (or not) is to some extent a matter of custom and because escaping from poverty is harder the poorer the people around you are.

But why should it be considered desirable for the people who live in the richest country in the world to have less time to devote to themselves, their families, and their communities in return for having more material goods? If everyone in the top three-fifths of the U.S. income distribution worked 10% fewer hours and had 10% less income, wouldn't that make the overwhelming majority of them healthier, happier, and better parents and neighbors? (Yes, some of us get intense satisfaction from our work and believe that it does important good in the world; I'm thinking about the other 95% of the population.)

These are interesting questions, particularly in light of the recent end (via Betsy's Page) of France's dirigiste approach to getting people off the treadmill. But isn't it a logical error to suggest that the top 3/5 ought work 10% fewer hours with 10% less income as a consequence? My sense is that this "other 95%" is already reacting to the higher incomes made possible by greater productivity by in fact reducing their working hours unofficially. With summer coming (it's nearly 6 pm, and the sun has yet to set, this cold snap cannot go on forever) watch for some sightings of the "early Friday getaway" phenomenon in the traffic reports ... and keep in mind the resistance by some parents to lengthening the school year into the summer. If the kids are in school all summer there goes one reason to request some vacation days.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:

After all, a 4.0 from an institution known to give away A's and B's will start to mean less to employers and grad schools. Not to mention the students who graduate in their fields and perform poorly when put to the test.

Grade inflation is also an issue of fairness: Some college students simply do not deserve a high grade. If a student makes an A, he or she should leave the class knowing more than the average student.

There is no one thing to attribute the increase to, but we think some of the problems lie with the professors and instructors.

Some faculty members actually teach students and try to prepare them for the world after college, but on the other hand, we think others just do not want to deal with students being angry or upset over their grades and avoiding their class. So, they take the easy way out: They give high grades or make easy tests.

That's from an editorial in Alabama's Crimson White. (Via Charles at Liberty and Power.)
A REQUEST FOR THE CARD DECK. It has been close to a year since I last updated the Academic Administrators deck of cards. King at SCSU Scholars nominates a possible addition to the deck (a few of the fail cards remain to be taken) on the basis of a report from Ohio University detailed by Robert at Division of Labour. The news coverage suggests that somebody has done something worthy of a spot on a card, but not for having a presidential conniption.
The trouble started when Faculty Senate began discussing a controversial new rule that would restrict how faculty members can further their degrees at OU. Faculty Senate has been working for some time on the measure, and the item was scheduled for a vote on Monday.
Further their degrees? With all this talk about excessive Ph.D. production and lots of cheap labor available at Big Red Subway U, Ohio is reduced to hiring people with Masters' degrees? I realize Northern Illinois is somewhat of an outlier in the MAC, both geographically and as a doctoral institution, but what's up with this? A second article has the same story line.
At the Monday, March 14 Faculty Senate meeting, President McDavis spoke angrily to Faculty Senate after the group unanimously passed a resolution recommending that faculty members not be allowed to further their educations in their own departments because it would cause, or at least appear to cause, a conflict of interest.
I don't know how things are done in Athens, but in DeKalb, faculty members continue their education by attending workshops (sometimes finding good ones to visit at neighboring universities) and by writing research papers and presenting workshops, at which colleagues identify useful clarifications. (Yes, I had a good time today!) The dossier of Ohio President Roderick McDavis will be forwarded to Herrn. Schneider u. Schwarz, but the award of a spot, should they find the case worthy, will probably make mention of a severe lack of understanding by this president of what the continuing education of a scholar entails.

21.3.05

A REPLACEMENT POST. This is a restored post from my saved files. If there's one much like it, stamped one minute earlier, the archives have been fixed.

FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE.

On! Wisconsin!

The UWM Fight Song.

Come on, UWM, come up with a snappy title for this.
Or find a suitable beer-drinking tune to adapt. There's more "fight" in this than there is in a bad campaign speech...

These links will remain at the top of the site until further notice.
A REPLACEMENT POST. This is a restored post from my saved files. If there's one much like it, stamped one minute earlier, the archives have been fixed.

ON THE READY TRACK. Sunset Models have delivered my Boston and Maine R-1 Mountain. It's a faithful rendition of the real thing.




Photo courtesy of Fallen Flag Railroad Photos.


The model comes complete with a slot for a DPDT switch, just what the master mechanic ordered to make the engine both analog and command-control compatible.
A REPLACEMENT POST. This is a restored post from my saved files. If there's one much like it, stamped one minute earlier, the archives have been fixed.

CONTINUING THE RESEARCH PROJECT. Milt Rosenberg finds Mark Krikorian in The National Interest, advocating serious changes in immigration policy.

President Bush has pledged to expend political capital to pass an immigration plan that would legalize illegal aliens currently in the United States as "temporary workers" and import an unlimited number of new workers from abroad--something he reiterated in his State of the Union address. One of his principal arguments has been that such an initiative would enhance America's security by allowing enforcement authorities to focus their efforts more narrowly, by shrinking the haystack that the terrorist needles are hiding in. To use a different analogy, a guestworker or amnesty program would deny terrorists cover by draining the pool of ten million illegal aliens and ensure that an ongoing flow of foreign workers comes through legal channels.

On the surface, this appears reasonable. Terrorists have indeed benefited from our lawless immigration system. A 2002 study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that the 48 Al-Qaeda-affiliated operatives in the United States from 1993 to 2001 had compromised virtually every facet of the immigration system. Mass illegal immigration creates a large market for fraudulent documents, allowing the 9/11 hijackers, for instance, to amass more than sixty U.S. driver licenses. Mass illegal immigration also overwhelms the resources available to law enforcement...

Yup, resources have opportunity costs. That's this research project, which will be the objective of this progress report. Here's the conundrum according to Krikorian:

So shrinking the number of illegal aliens living in the United States, reducing the flow of new illegals and generally restoring order to our anarchic immigration system are clearly security imperatives. But can a guestworker program achieve these goals? It cannot. Support for such an approach is premised on two basic assumptions that turn out to be false.

The first assumption is that the Department of Homeland Security has the administrative capacity to properly screen and track millions of currently illegal aliens and millions more new foreign workers. Such an assertion is laughable to anyone with even a passing familiarity with our immigration bureaucracy. Even before 9/11, the old Immigration and Naturalization Service was choking on mass immigration.

More careful screening imposes a higher cost per applicant on the taxpayers. On the other hand, to shift the screening costs to the applicant raises the temptation for lawful immigrants to hire smugglers. Everywhere I look I see tradeoffs. That's probably Visual I for Wednesday's workshop. I also see opportunities for future research.

The second claim of those promoting a guestworker program as a security measure is that it will end--or at least radically curtail--illegal immigration. Tamar Jacoby, a high-profile spokesperson for the president's plan, recently instructed: "Think of it as a reservoir or a river we're trying to channel into a pipeline. The problem isn't the flow: We need the water. The problem is that the pipeline isn't big enough." In other words, there is a fixed amount of foreign labor that the American economy demands, and our immigration arrangements accommodate only a portion of that demand, forcing the rest to come in illegally. If only the illegal overflow were legalized, the problem would disappear.

Immigration, however, is very different from what this image suggests. The labor market is not designed for any specific level of immigration, or even a specific number of unskilled jobs. It is not a static system, but rather a dynamic one that responds to price signals and substitutes factors of production when appropriate. Labor is substituted for capital when the price of labor falls (say, through massive importation of foreign workers), and the opposite happens when the price of unskilled labor rises (say, through consistent immigration enforcement). Of course, this is cold comfort to those employers who have relied on the expectation of continued non-enforcement of the immigration law, and they can be expected to fight efforts to restrict the flow of foreign labor. But this is a political problem, not an economic one. The economy would adjust quite easily to a smaller supply of immigrant labor, and the accompanying disruptions would dissipate in short order.

In fact, not only would the guestworker approach not end illegal immigration, it would almost certainly increase it. The largest flow of illegal immigration in our history before the current wave came during the bracero program, which imported Mexican guestworkers during the 1950s and early 1960s. A similar thing happened after the IRCA amnesty of 1986. This shouldn't be a surprise. Immigration always creates more immigration, whether legal or illegal, because it is driven not simply (or even principally) by wage differences but rather by networks--the family and other connections that prospective migrants use to decide where to settle or whether to move at all. Once illegal aliens are anchored here by legal status, and once new workers arrive from abroad, millions of additional people worldwide suddenly will have a connection in the United States, making immigration here a realistic option, independent of their qualification under whatever new rules we impose.

Doggone it, let me finish one paper before I have to start another one. "Accompanying disruptions" to changes in relative prices don't necessarily dissipate quickly. On the other hand, if they do, the economic incentive for extended family members to come to the United States ought to be among the disruptions that dissipate. Which is it?

But if one is going to propose a policy change, one ought to go beyond the Utopian Wonkery(TM) of this concluding paragraph.
The most responsible approach the president could take toward immigration would be to state unequivocally that the immigration law, whatever it may be, will be enforced across the board, and that those involved in its implementation will no longer be expected to cut corners and look the other way. The result would not be a magical elimination of the illegal immigration problem, but rather a sustained reduction through attrition, as fewer prospective illegals make the trip and more of those already here give up and deport themselves. In this way terrorists would be kept off-balance, their conspiracies interrupted, their sources of cover reduced. A massive amnesty and guestworker program would do the opposite, serving only the interests of our enemies.
To an extent, this sounds like the government reducing the subjective probability of an amnesty, that's the topic of a currently circulating paper of mine. That does not by itself make the smugglers' networks go away, or the yuppies with lots of disposable income for the health club membership but no time to mow the yard stop looking for cheap gardeners.
CONNECT AND FORGET IT? Or is it plug and play? The Chicago Sun-Times has put together a series of articles about sex on campus titled Hooking Up and Hanging Out. The adults who have taken the time to think about these phenomena seem to be coming to the conclusion that yes, the pshrinks will not lack for work. Here's the abstract for the series.
On college campuses the pressure is intense for one-night hookups, without emotion or commitment -- but some psychologists warn that these young adults are setting themselves up for future relationship troubles.
Now consider these paragraphs from the article that provided the title for this post.

In interviews with college students across the state, some say hookups are preferable to relationships.

"You have a whole life to be with [one] girl,'' said a 22-year-old U. of I. frat member from Chicago. "This is your one shot to have a good time." Added a 21-year-old U. of I. sorority girl from Springfield: "A lot of people feel like college is the only time when you can do what you want, and it doesn't matter.''

"A lot of college is about having a story the next day, 'Oh God, I was so wasted. You won't believe what happened,' '' said a 22-year-old coed from Park Ridge.

Some psychologists, though, say these young adults are setting themselves up for future relationship troubles at a key moment in their emotional development. Chicago's Columbia College junior Kelly Stinson, 21, can see that. Stinson has "friends who are so used to just connecting with strangers that, when they are ready to have a real relationship, they're screwed because they don't know how to open up to someone.''

Even those who are trying to avoid casual sex or are monogamous with a steady partner are feeling the echoing undertow.

"There's so much temptation,'' said Mike Rodriguez, 20, a U. of I. junior from Elk Grove Village. He had a girlfriend for two years but broke up, in part, because of the swirl of permissiveness. He didn't trust her -- or himself. "It's hard to have a girlfriend when you see all that,'' he said.

"Good sex is sex that isn't emotional -- that's the cultural message,'' said [Elizabeth] Paul, the College of New Jersey psychologist, who has interviewed hundreds of undergrads for her research. Students "buy in to the media images we bombard them with that says sex can be something quick and easy and sort of free from yourself. But, most of the time, they get into these quick interactions and realize it's a little more complicated."

Lovely. Read on.

Post-hookup feelings ran the gamut: Almost half of the students surveyed said they were happy or satisfied. Thirty-five percent reported feeling regret or disappointment, more so for women. Eleven percent said they were confused and 7 percent uncomfortable. Some described "an awkward moment" when the two partners "put their clothes back on and realize they have nothing to talk about.''

The disappointed wonder, "Did I really want to do that? Why did I do that? Why was it not a good experience? Did I fail at it? It must be my fault,'' said Paul.

For some women, according to one study of 1,000 college females, hookups are a way "to avoid the pain of breaking up by avoiding commitment in the first place."

What often disturbs them is an unexpected emotional connection.

"This generation is leery of relationships with emotional intimacy,'' Paul said. "One of the phrases you hear is 'you catch feelings' to describe when a hookup goes bad. You get an emotional feeling you weren't expecting." A male student told Paul, "I felt confused after because I liked her.''

Even ongoing though casual relationships can be killed by "catching feelings.''

Columbia's Kelly Stinson has felt the pain. "You start to long for them,'' she said.

Her roommate, Becki Mielcarski, 22, of Westmont, was on the receiving end once. "I made out with a friend of mine, and he told me he was in love with me. I told him, 'You're a dear friend of mine, but I don't feel that way about you.' I felt like a guy. We switched roles.''

J.P. Allen, 20, a Southern Illinois University sophomore from Park Ridge, caught feelings and tried to follow up. "I call them, but it's such a shock," Allen said. "When it moves so fast, it's hard to go backwards."

I suppose that's why friendship with benefits is for friends that aren't really friends. The longer term consequences don't look that good either.

Geraldine K. Piorkowski, a psychologist and former director of the Counseling Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said college students are risking not only their emotional health today, but also in the future. The author of Too Close For Comfort: Exploring the Risks of Intimacy, Piorkowski said trying to have sex without feelings is "psychologically damaging.'' In the short run, she said, "When you're not comfortable with your feelings or you try to put them aside, they overwhelm you, you're very anxious. You get depressed.''

Long-term, Piorkowski said, students involved in the hookup culture are "not learning how to be emotionally close to someone in a relationship, which means learning how to talk about yourself, talk about what's important to you, how to listen to somebody and be supportive of them in difficult times. They're not learning to resolve conflicts or compromise."

Paul allows that, "in some ways, providing some way to sexually experiment and sexually explore is good for people.'' But only, she said, "if it's done in the context of physical safety, as well as self-awareness in an emotionally reflective way: You learn about yourself and how sex can help achieve a connection with another person.''

The problem, said Paul, is that sex "is happening in this non-contemplative way. Kids are just blindly running into it. [They haven't] thought through 'What am I comfortable with? How far do I want to go?'"

Amy Alkon, a syndicated sex columnist out of Santa Monica, Calif., scoffs at the hand-wringing over hookups. "Sociologist after sociologist squawk that the hookup girls will be irreparably emotionally damaged -- conveniently forgetting all the sexual frolickers who made it out of the roaring '20s and free-love '60s without their heads imploding,'' Alkon said. Students "will have casual sex, and sooner or later they'll want to connect and they'll stop. When it's not working, they'll change.''

Made it out of the free-love '60s? You mean the mid-life crisis, and the approximately 30% failure rate of the marriages of that era, and the full calendars at family court are ... my imagination? And when they want to change, will they be viewed by the responsible partners they're seeking as damaged goods?

Another article in the series suggests that some women are recognizing that risk.

Many college women today say they don't expect or want to find a spouse at college. Only 19 percent polled in the dating report "strongly agreed" that they'd like to meet their future husband at college.

"I don't plan on getting married until I'm 26 or so," said Johanna Borgsmiller, a 20-year-old junior at U. of I. "I still have time to get serious."

She does, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The age people get married has gone up considerably in the last quarter century. In 1970, the median age of women walking down the aisle for the first time was 20.8 years. In 2003, it was 25.3.

"You have this elongated period of adolescence and young adulthood that gives [students] a lot more time to experiment," said Patricia Koch, an associate professor at Penn State who has studied sexuality for more than 20 years.

Some women say that, if marriage looms on the distant horizon, there's no sense getting bogged down in serious relationships during college. Instead, they get their sexual needs met through a series of casual hookups, which can elicit a range of conflicting emotions. Sixty-one percent of women who said a hookup made them feel desirable also said it made them feel awkward, according to the college dating report.

"If it's a hookup where [I] actually stayed there ... I just want to get out of there as fast as possible the next day," said a University of Chicago woman cited in the report. "It's that 'walk of shame' thing. You've got front desk people you have to get by. You hope you don't see anybody else in the dorm. And you look like you had a rough night. It's just, like, awkward."

Of course I'll respect you in the morning. Not. Plus ca change.

University of Washington sociologist and sex educator Pepper Schwartz said she has noticed more bravado lately among college women boasting about their sexual conquests. She suspects a lot of it is just talk.

"Are they really happy? Sometimes, I think not," Schwartz said. "In the end, they're still looking for a boyfriend. They're still looking for respect. They ultimately want to pair up, not just hook up."

What role, then, for the university? Are the rabbits being given enough course work to do?
A TOM CLANCY RETRO DROOL-FEST. Owen at Boots and Sabers finds news of a monster Japanese I-boat wreck located off the coast of Hawaii. This submarine, deliberately scuttled by the U.S. after the war, was intended to launch aircraft carrying biological weapons.

RUNNING EXTRA: Amygdala has much more about this submarine, and some good sea stories. Hobby Sea Toy, indeed.
CARNIVAL CALL. The Carnival of the Capitalists goes Beyond the Brand
BACKING IN. Sufficiently many other college hockey bubble teams lost over the weekend that the Wisconsin Badgers will be dancing, at Grand Rapids, in Michigan's back yard. SIEVE! View From A Height is enjoying the view of two Colorado teams scaling hockey's heights, and he's linked to a summary site for the college hockey tournament. Do take a look at that East Regional: BC, BU, North Dakota ... take out Mercyhurst and plug in Wisconsin, or Minnesota, or Denver, and you have the final field from 30 years ago. SIEVE!

Mark Johnson's Lady Badgers have acquired some tournament experience, being excused by Dartmouth, who have a lot more experience at this sort of thing. Nancy from Seabrook, if you're following your team, enjoy the moment.

20.3.05

NEVER MIND THE RETROSPECTIVES, LET'S BUILD SOMETHING NEW. The Superintendent has brought to your attention a number of British projects to re-create historic steam locomotives from the past, many of which went to the cutter as recently as 1969. Word has now reached the Superintendent's office, by way of Railway's steam news section, of an advanced-technology steam locomotive project called the 5AT (the equivalent in some aspects of a Standard Five Ten-Wheeler, using advanced technology.)



I see they're envisioning a proper tender.
View some development notes here.

Note the homage to Argentina. The project designers intend to run their creation at 125 mph, and here their education is incomplete.
The only steam locomotives required to operate (transitorily) at 100 mph to maintain schedules were the Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-4-2's and 4-6-4's, and perhaps the DR 05 4-6-4's. These and a few other classes have reached transitory speeds of ~125 mph on test. The 5AT is being designed for continuous 125 mph capability with a 112.5 mph (180 km/h) continuous operational speed.
I'm looking at a table on p. 70 of The Hiawatha Story (no price comparison available, my copy is not for sale) headlined Up, Up ... Past 100. The author is E. L. Thompson of Railroad, who has some familiarity with British speed log formats.
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul + Pacific; train No. 6; Tuesday, January 14, 1941; nine cars, 430 tons(*). F-7 Hudson No. 100 -- tractive effort, 50,300 pounds; drivers, 84 inches; cylinders, 23 1/2 x 30 inches; boiler pressure 300 pounds.
The reader only need note the following observation.
Note that the magic 100 mark was first touched at the third milepost past Tower A-68 [just south of Caledonia, Wisconsin - SHK]; and from a mile past Sturtevant, 31 consecutive miles were timed at 100 mph or better (emphasis in the original). The slow order [permanent way slack -- SHK] over the temporary detour interrupted this string of three-figure speeds, but starting again at Northbrook, 8 of the succeeding 11 miles were also covered in the 100s.
This train departed Milwaukee three minutes late on a 75 minute schedule, arriving Chicago 2 1/2 minutes to the good, in a snowstorm.

The people working on the 5AT project have one other objective to meet. A test run of the recently deliverered Hiawatha equipment on May 15, 1935, using the Two-Spot, a Hiawatha Atlantic, maintained 112 1/2 mph "without difficulty" for 14 miles, probably somewhere between Columbus and east of the Wisconsin Dells, where there are some speed restrictions account curves and a bridge over the Wisconsin River.

The "required to operate" language is accurate, as a 75 minute Milwaukee-Chicago service is an average speed of 68 mph start to stop, but the Hiawatha steam power had the ability to sustain these speeds over great distances if called on to do so. The diesels that replaced them also had the ability, but that's a story for another day.
ROAD TRIP. Mike on the L&N Line has been posting reports from China. Keep scrolling.
PLUCKING THE REAL GOLDEN EAGLES. Perhaps the Team Formerly Known as the Marquette Warriors had good reason to avoid playing Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The UW-Milwaukee Panthers, who two weeks ago were eyeball to eyeball with Detroit in the Horizon League championship game and facing the prospect of a sweaty Selection Sunday, have done it again. For the second time in three nights, the Panthers ousted a larger, more highly touted opponent with a national audience as their witness.

Their latest victim was Boston College, a team that had won its first 20 games and was mentioned in the same breath as No. 1-ranked Illinois.
Next up: Illinois, in Chicago, with lots of sub-plots.
When he was an assistant at Iowa more than 15 years ago, UWM coach Bruce Pearl turned Illinois in to the NCAA for alleged recruiting violations, a moment that Illini fans have not forgotten. A sea of orange inside Allstate Arena will no doubt remind him.

On top of that, Illini coach Bruce Weber is a UWM graduate.
Years ago, when we received our college board scores and had the opportunity to request information from colleges, the response making the rounds at Milwaukee Hamilton was "Princeton. Harvard. UWM." I may be a Badger, but look for a little bit of black and gold in my outfit on Thursday.

18.3.05

SIXTY YEARS AGO. Sgt. Karlson's unit crossed the Mosel and billeted a week in Marienroth, between the Mosel and the Rhine. The weather improved to summery, and he had time to go on a hike (rather than a patrol) in the hills. The Third Army was making good progress in Germany.
UNIVERSITIES ARE FAILING AT THEIR MISSION. I did not make myself very popular penning an essay with that lead for local consumption, some 14 years ago, but apparently I was ahead of my time. Robert at The Torch says there's something happening here.
In the past few weeks, more scrutiny has been paid to the direction of higher education than perhaps ever before. Driven by the twin pillars of the Ward Churchill affair and the Larry Summers controversy, the American press and public are increasingly taking a look at the state of academia—and they don’t like what they see. A vast number of factors are coming together to prompt people to ask the question “What’s wrong with our colleges?” Just off the top of my head, I can think of a number of contributing factors: attention because of the Churchill and Summers stories, increasing financial pressure on state universities from cash-strapped state legislatures, the recent challenge to the federal Solomon Amendment that prevents universities from discriminating against military recruiters, the push in several states for the adoption of an academic bill of rights, college athletic program scandals like the one that recently led to a rash of resignations at the University of Colorado, college costs that seem to spiral upwards regardless of the rate of inflation, and the lack of fundamental freedom on college and university campuses that FIRE has decried throughout its nearly six years of advocacy. For college and university trustees and administrators, it’s March Madness in more ways than one.
Why?
Let’s face it: academia in general is hopelessly out of touch with the rest of society. The current message from the higher education establishment to the public at large is this: “Saying WTC victims are Nazis is good; saying men and women might be different is bad.” Maybe this is an overgeneralization, but look at the facts: On the one hand, we have Ward Churchill, a man who called some of the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center “little Eichmanns” for being part of America’s “mighty engine of profit”—that is, working in financial jobs. Although roundly condemned in the non-academic world, around 200 professors from his own university have publicly declared their support for him, and the president of the University of Colorado has publicly stated that he won’t be fired for his viewpoint. And he shouldn’t be fired for it. [Emphasis added -- S.H.K.] But at the same time, we see Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, who suggested in an off-the-record speech that there may be innate cognitive differences between men and women. Many are openly calling for his resignation, and he has formed not one but two committees to investigate why there are not more women in the sciences. Last night, he was slapped with a “lack of confidence” vote by the Harvard Arts and Sciences faculty—the first time this has happened in the 400-plus-year history of the school.
Put another way, critical thinking about some topics is permissible, but some things Just. Aren't. Said. ("If Hitler invaded Hell, I would find something positive to say about the Devil in the House of Commons." Buzz. Better check the harassment policy first.)
Even an ivory tower has foundations somewhere, and in the case of the American college and university system, this foundation has been a vast reservoir of goodwill from society at large. I would guess that most Americans who went to college have fond memories of that period of their lives (I know I do) and highly value their college experience. This “warm, fuzzy” feeling makes it possible for colleges to raise millions of dollars a year from alumni while charging students tens of thousands of dollars a year in tuition and fees. Yet colleges don’t exist in a vacuum. In return for this goodwill, Americans expect colleges and universities to be places where justice prevails and students are secure. They expect colleges to teach lessons that will be useful for life, and even to inculcate attitudes that are compatible with the free society in which we live. By abandoning this mission and becoming “increasingly repressive and partisan”—as they manifestly have—colleges have nearly dried up this reservoir of goodwill.
The way I put it years ago was "We are only now beginning to see the consequences of the failure to carry out our mission."
Therefore, there’s a good chance that we are seeing the early death throes of the academic establishment. You can see it in the hysterical reactions of administrators faced with, for instance, affirmative action bake sales. Back in the 1960s, students regularly took over administration buildings with few consequences. Now students are threatened with expulsion and even criminal penalties for sitting at a table with a poster and some cookies. You can see it when a professor recommends “psychological counseling” for a pro-American Arab student. You can see it when a student is kicked out of his dorm and forced to sleep in his car because of what was essentially a “fat joke.” You can see it when paranoid college administrators launch a campaign of deceit and deception against a student who mocked them. These are the irrational reactions of an academic culture that sees every attack on its beliefs, however small, as a life-threatening situation. Colleges wouldn’t react this way if they felt the underpinnings of the dominant academic belief system were secure.
Yes, but let us not expect that if we just kick in the door, the entire rotten structure will collapse. There is still work to be done. It calls for patience. It calls for fortitude. It calls for persistence. It calls for reiterating the basic themes. And it calls for humor. The academic establishment is full of Earnest People whose worst nightmare is Carrie's: they're all going to laugh at you. Yup. Heartily.

And it calls for encouragement of the administrators who understand what is at stake. Here is Instapundit's observation (what, some punditry to accompany a link??)
Harvard has done serious damage to its reputation -- or, more accurately, a subset of the Harvard Arts & Sciences faculty has done serious damage to Harvard's reputation. This was meant to be cost-free posturing, but it's turned out to be a bit more than that -- and if I were Larry Summers, I think I'd do my best to make sure that a lot of people felt the pain in as many ways as I could manage. It's an educational experience that the Harvard faculty, apparently, needs.
To borrow an expression, indeed, some asses need to be kicked and some names taken.