Friday, November 29, 2002

Thankful now, more thankful later

Remember when I discussed someone arguing that I support libertarianism because I'm rich? Turns out everyone thinks so. From David Brooks' essay in the November Atlantic

During the most recent presidential election a Time magazine-CNN poll asked voters whether they were in the top one percent of income earners. Nineteen percent reported that they were, and another 20 percent said that they expected to be there one day.
As Mark Kleiman points out, this should cool the jets of the class warriors in DC and academia. Bet it doesn't. And if our opponents have it their way, those 40% are going to feel awfully guilty about making all that moolah.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Timely delivery not assured

Based on a post by Rachel Lucas, a student at Texas-Arlington, Cold Spring Shops and AtlanticBlog are in disagreement over how long a professor should take to get exams back. Bill Sjostrom of AtlanticBlog has even a problem with students filling in scantrons correctly! I think we should grant him the problem of not having access to scantron machines. I take mine downstairs from the large classroom I teach in -- no appointment necessary, and even in finals week they're back in 24 hours. I can ask for a response listing to be sure we correctly took down everyone's answers correctly. Not sure Bill gets that option. Anyway, if we test on a Tuesday, they're back on Thursday every time.

Now here's a little low-tech solution we use in my department, and one we may not have much longer. We would have students take exams on scantrons and hand-grade them. We lay over a template of a scantron with holes cut out for the answers. Then take a marker and color the punched out area in something like green or purple. Now lay it over and line it up and just look for the marks. Now, it's a problem if someone double-answers -- you can miss those, and the error is in the student's favor. But this takes little longer than the scantron machine. I can let my work-study helpers do it, and have even been known to employ one of my children in the task. Our fear: the little gadget that punches the holes is not made anymore. A regular hole-punch doesn't work because you need to be able to punch a small hole and it needs to be able to reach nearly six inches from the hinge to the punch. Ours is very old and has broken down twice. If anyone knows where to buy another, please let me know!

Just don't ask me about essay exams. I'm teaching two courses overload -- that's what happens when you're a department chair: I'm the residual provider (with no profits to claim, and I've even done one on the cuff for four graduate students) -- and I'm using this weekend to finally get unburied after being hopelessly underwater for more than a month. In a forty-seat class, I think two weeks is OK, but unfortunately I've got two such classes (the second a 20-seat honors course) and I'm running more like three. Forgive me, Rachel!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Pigs can fly!

The faculty union here has forwarded a note from their lobbyist in St. Paul asking for turnout to a Minnesota state House Republicans fundraiser. I don't recall getting one of these during the election. Funny what an election can do. I almost want to go to watch the groveling.

Ain't that a kick in the asp?

Reader Dick Winzer points me to this AmericanProwler article by John Dunlap on the rising cost of tuition on American campuses. While the overall cost of living has risen by a factor of three since 1977, college education costs have risen by a factor of eight. Dunlap notes that much of the cost comes from the increasing use of "administrative support professionals" or ASPs.

The ASPs are non-teaching career bureaucrats and busybodies -- auditors and counselors, systems analysts and affirmative action officers, institute directors and spin doctors and grant writers -- plus their attendant herds of "administrative assistants" (secretaries).

Between 1975 and 1985, when student enrollments expanded nationwide by 10 percent, non-teaching college support staffs increased by more than 60 percent. Today administrative costs eat up half the annual budgets of most colleges and universities, compared with 27 percent in 1950 and 19 percent in 1930.

So what do we have here at SCSU? We have about a $110 million budget with near $49 million from tuition. On the expenditure side, it's hard to say how much of the $75 million in salaries (plus another $19 million for fringe benefits) is for instruction -- the University can allocate costs in any variety of ways. My office manager, for instance -- is she instructional or not? At any rate, over 80% of our budget is for salaries and benefits, and it's pretty hard to see how more than $40-45 million goes to faculty. As means of comparison, the total supplies and equipment budget of the university is no more than $6 million.

Dunlap continues with discussion of deadwood faculty and unproductive faculty travel and research grants. I'm pretty sure that the total cost of this is less than 2% of the budget here -- it's small beer. But the real reason for increasing costs, in my view at least, comes from this:
On average, today's college degree carries about 70 percent more earning power than a high school diploma, so the students have good reason to be flocking to college, even if the great majority have little interest in the life of the mind.

...The average debt burden of graduating students at my school (Santa Clara University) is about $27,000 -- but that figure applies only to the 64 percent whose financial affairs the school keeps minute tabs on. All the university knows about the remaining 36 percent is that full payment of tuition is somehow coming from them. My informal conversations with students leave me with the impression that only about half the students among the 36 percent come from parents and grandparents who can write checks for the full sticker price. The rest -- about a fifth of all the students -- carry the full burden, with colossal indebtedness and staggering personal sacrifice.

If the return on higher education increases, why wouldn't the price of it increase along with it? Of course it would. And faculty may so value time over money that they prefer not to get higher salaries per se but rather get more release time for research -- and it's argumentative to say whether or not that time is productive. But it appears that much of that additional return on education is being captured by an increasingly dizzying array of ASPs. As I mentioned in the Nichols report summary, this latest wave of diversity discussions is probably going to cost us additional offices of diversity-this and affirmative-action-that, and the costs of this are shifted both forward onto student loans and back onto faculty salaries.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Look Who's Talking?

Catherine MacKinnon has given a speech on academic freedom at Michigan, much to one writer's displeasure. Little wonder why, given that she even wants to censor ads that disagree with her. How many students have to suffer through this insufferable woman? Well, this one, for example.

Update: Cold Spring Shops has a suggestion.

Give John Ashcroft no power you'd fear to see in Janet Reno's hands, and give Catharine McKinnon no power you'd fear to see in mine.
That gets an Instapundit Indeed.

Friday, November 22, 2002

NAS on Campus Tensions

As we thankfully head toward a Thanksgiving break, tensions seem to have eased on our campus. But whenever they rise again (such as when we recommence discussion of our University's "Priority" Strategic Goals), it might help if we reread the written opinion proffered by the National Association of Scholars about one of the major sources of increasing divisiveness on campus. How many scholars and administrators here could find in this document at least a few sentences with which they could "somewhat agree?" How about another survey?

OK, I will say something about it

I don't know how many people have asked me about the What Would Jesus Drive thing. I had thought I would say nothing after my comment the other day, but this article by Ilana Mercer (she's rapidly becoming a must-read for me) is so well-done economically that I can't resist.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

How we mimic Harvard Law
John Hinderaker (a.k.a. "Hindrocket") at PowerLine (my favorite Minnesota politics blog since they evoke the great name of Claremont!) has a piece on the Harvard Law controversy that Dave mentioned earlier. His first paragraph, outlining the means by which these things blow up, is scarily like what happens here.
On the whole, this appears to be a pretty typical example of the dialectic that has played out at countless universities across the country. First, someone says or does something that is arguably offensive; ... Second, an organized victims' grievance group--here, the Black Law Students' Association--purports to be shocked at the awfulness of it all, and says the school's administration is responsible because it hasn't done enough to indoctrinate students or limit their speech rights. And third--here is the critical step--the administration responds in the only way it knows how, by appointing a committee (stocked with members of the complaining group) to assess ways of enhancing diversity, etc., at the school.
Gives me the willies!

More on the CUNY debate

Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy is following this up quite nicely here and here. From the first post:

I should stress that (1) this is only one side of the story, (2) tenure disputes can be notoriously complex to sort through, with lots of factual issues that aren't going to be described in any newspaper article, and (3) the internal university appeals system has not yet run its course, and might lead to the result being changed.
Certainly so, yet you end up watching tenure reviews that go wrong being hidden behind this confidentiality even after the internal appeals process has carried out. If KC Johnson, the fellow under tenure review (a Tsongas-style Democrat and it turns out a Mainer, so he's a soul brother as far as I'm concerned) doesn't get tenure he can scream foul, and the university will tell us nothing out of concern for confidentiality of personnel matters. I agree we don't want a rush to judgement, but at some point when it's time to judge we will nevertheless operate under "the fog of tenure war".

I was just looking through Bouchard's 1995 review of Murray and Herrnstein's BELL CURVE that King mentioned this morning. The line that jumped out at me was this one from the end of the second paragraph: "The book's message cannot be dismissed so easily. Herrnstein and Murray have written one of the most provocative social science books published in many years. The issues raised are likely to be debated by academics and policymakers for years to come."
Right. Does anybody remember hearing this debate? I remember hearing that the book had implications that would be uncomfortable to campus orthodoxy, and the rest was silence. The review shouldn't look as naive as it does. Campuses should be the place where our culture debates the crucial questions of our age. But of course modern campuses are nothing of the sort. What we have are political stances, social-transformationalist proclamations, chants, speakouts, and enormity unity of political opinion with deep and profound intolerance for those who disagree. Campuses don't debate; they silence those who deviate from orthodoxy rather than debate them and they do it with political power, not reason.
I suppose it's because it's late in the afternoon and I'm tired, but it is striking me as terribly, terribly sad that that review is so painfully naive about the capability or willingness of academics to genuinely debate anything of any real significance on campus.

Speech Code Proposed for HLS

Yesterday's Boston Globe reports on campus turmoil that surrounds a proposed "speech code" at Harvard Law School. O.J. defender Alan Dershowitz raises a number arguments worth pondering. Should we soon expect a "speech code" for SCSU?

Woe to Keillor - Be Gone!

Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press reprints an interview with Garrison Keillor that first appeared on Readers may want to ask themselves a number of questions: Might Minnesota Public Radio be vicariously liable for Keillor's remarks that could be interpreted by some to be a slanderous attack on Senator-Elect Coleman? How much longer will Minnesota taxpayers want to continue to subsidize MPR? NPR? The National Endowment for the Arts? How about a National Endowment for Pro Wrestling?

Cultural typecasting?

Reader Alex Bensky of Detroit, a frequent traveller in the blogosphere, writes us:

Assuming arguendo that the Nichols premises {by which I assume Bensky refers to those in the Alan Kors article that I quoted last Friday} are correct: wouldn't this mean that we shouldn't try to hire blacks to perform jobs that require white, lineal thinking, such as lawyer and computer programmer? If blacks are out pursuing interpersonal relationships and thinking in spirals, we can't expect them to be any good at "white" skills like logic and reason.
Yes, I suppose so. We're all familiar with the uproar over Murray and Herrnstein's The Bell Curve, and there is the case of Ed Miller, a professor of economics at U. New Orleans who has done research on biological reasons for racial performance differentials. One writer hysterically compares this to phrenology. But when Nichols does it, he gets larger contracts.

Homogeneity of Campus Ideology

Although Katherine Kersten's columns often state obvious truisms, all students across our nation should be aware of the lack of diversity of political persuasion that is represented by their professors. Check out her writing today.

Monday, November 18, 2002

When I�m feeling:

Sad . . . I laugh at others;
Inferior . . . I blame others;
Inadequate . . . I buy things owned by others;
Unworthy . . . I seek acceptance by others.

Entertainment, Politics, Commerce, Religion:
�Organize, organize, organize, organize.�
Clowns, Campaigners, Execs and Priests
Use my need to feel superior . . . oh, how wise!

Thank you, Jack, for your post earlier today. It helped tie together my understanding of Rick Kahn, defenders of the Nichols survey, those who assume "privileged guilt," professors who embrace classism as a cause, one who cries "racist" at every turn . . . and myself when I need to blog.

Drive a SUV, drown a Bengali?

You will remember my debate with the campus over SUVs? This letter from Carl Pope in Reason is another perfect illustration of how loopy the anti-SUV brigade can be.

One of the most certain consequences of global warming is a rise in sea levels. That rise means that the already horrific loss of lives and property which results from typhoons coming off the Bay of Bengal will increase dramatically as storm surges reach further north into the low-lying villages and towns. The Bangladeshis have never agreed to have their lives and property put at greater risk so that Americans can satisfy their post-industrial off-road fantasies. They receive no compensation for their loss. There is no contract, explicit or implicit, that gives American drivers the right to raise sea levels.
Pope is Executive Director of the Sierra Club. He's also got a very tenuous grip on reality. (Courtesy Karen DeCoster's blog, who writes "Americans do not want to drive Ford Explorers with 4-cylinder, 90-horsepower chug-a-lugs that get 34 miles per gallon. The market has spoken on that issue." Advantage: deCoster!)

I wonder if any of these guys know the meaning of median income?

I quickly eschewed roommates for a spouse who later eschewed me, partly because I still kept my apartment like a Marxist. I'm not any neater now, I just make enough to not have to share all my rooms. Not egalitarian, but keeping my pollution to myself.

WWJD about "Privileged Class Guilt?"

Last week King talked about the lesson read in his church. Yesterday in all Lutheran and Episcopal churches, the Gospel Lesson came from Matthew 25:14-15, 19-29. The parable of the talents includes in part, "For to all those who have, more will be given . . . but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away."
Does that mean that we should not discriminate, prejudge, and/or assume "priviledged class guilt" just because an individual is above the median household income? Although a politically incorrect thought, I've added "income level" at the bottom of the Open Letter that I sent last Friday.

Nichols Report and modern thought:

I have a good friend, a philosophy professor, who is normally a pretty bright guy, but he still believes humans base most of our thinking on logic and reason. He's naive in this, something strange in one so otherwise intelligent. The truth is we may use reason and logic in places like mathematics or symbolic logic and careful thinkers may use it in other thought, but for many other things, especially in politics, we don't use much genuine reason at all.
What we almost always do is rationalize: we use the appearance of reason to bring us to goals we have previously determined emotionally-that is, we decide where we want to get with our thinking and then kid ourselves that we are reasonable in getting there.
Also, Michael Shermer has a good book on "Why People Believe Weird Things." Shermer says that especially in the postmodernist world, the world that dominates modern universities, where we have pretty much givenup on finding any objective knowledge, professors are still trained in intellectual conflict--we learn to fight with our brains and succeed depending on our abilities--and so we can become used to defending bad ideas with what sometimes appears to some people to be genuine thought.
Put there two thoughts together, and we have a way to make sense out of the Nichols survey, which otherwise makes no sense at all. Everybody-everybody-sees how bad this report is. The only exceptions are the most diligent advocates, those who have the most to gain. The report uses questions of the have-you-quit-beating-your-wife genre that no undergraduate course in survey methods would ever accept, it has an obviously skewed sample of respondents that would also fail a student in an undergrad course in sampling, it uses logic that would fail a student in a philosophy course, and the rhetoric would maybe make it through freshman composition but not a junior/senior expository writing course. Simply put, it's painfully poor work. I hate like crazy to think that our poor campus that can't afford enough paper for photocopying paid over $80,000 for it.
The only way we can explain this painful and expensive exercise is pure rationalization that serves private interests. There are quite a few people on campus who pretend to hate racism, but actually they live off of it. They have to have a racism so they can make their lives fighting it; if it were clear that there was flat out no significant racism around, they would have to go somewhere else and get an honest job. There are other people who are pretty much failures, but can still get by blaming their failures on others: "I'm not foolish or superficial or incompetent or a poor teacher or a crumby researcher or any of the rest�people just hate me because they are racist/sexist/homophobes. They cause my failure, not me.
Or there's another impulse that Thomas Sowell describes nicely in his Vision of the Anointed. The subtitle pretty much sums up the text: "Social Action as Self-Congratulation." Sowell says modern social activism allows people to divide humans up into three overly-simplified groups: the Visionaries who see the truth and agree with each other about everything, the Poor People who need the Visionaries' help, and the Bad People who oppress the Poor People and must be overcome by the Visionaries.
It's pretty neat, really. The Visionaries get to subtly think of themselves as clearly superior to the Bad People, and even implicitly superior to the Poor People who live off their help. And it cost the Visionaries nothing - they get to spend our money, and in fact many of them make out pretty well-this kind of helping comes at a price, like $80,000 for a survey like this one. People who have no genuine morality or ethics, no self-sacrifice, no courage still make out like bandits and still feel profoundly
moral and insightful, and of course vastly superior to the rest of us. It's no wonder nobody, but nobody, among the cultural leaders on contemporary campuses, or at least our campus, reads Sowell.
So, what Nichols did was go on a hunt for a conclusion they -- and the powers that be at SCSU -- had determined before they started. They rationalized, not to see if there was racism but to show how much they could make racism apparent, and they rationalized the appearance of a survey to doit. It's the same kind of logic as the EEOC report that found all kinds of racism, even though there was zero evidence, because some who had the most to win "perceived" it. Both are based on the principle of �assumption of guilt,� another popular mode of thought here lately. The folks who live off racism on campus smile, the fellow-Visionaries in the press respond with their usual level of journalistic excellent, and poor SCSU takes another shot to the body. Cripes, what a way to run a university.
At least this report will make it that much harder for my philosopher friend to defend any naive beliefs about reason and logic in modern university political discourse.

Open Letter: SCSU's Culutral Audit Survey by Nichols & Associates

Dear Provost & Vice President Spitzer: (sent 11/15/02)

Thank you for releasing yesterday the report produced from the cultural audit that was conducted by Nichols & Associates. Your open solicitation of our constructive feedback is a breath of fresh air that I welcome on this campus.

Until yesterday I honestly did not know the answers to the questions I had been raising over the past several days on SCSU�s discussion list about the status of the audit. However, it is accurate to say that I was among those who last spring criticized the design and administration of the Nichols� on-line survey. Having now read the report of its findings, I offer the following observations, hoping that my comments may help us move toward freshening the climate on this campus that so many of us have grown to love.

The ultimate purpose of my remarks is the same of that of Nichols: �to identify barriers - both real and perceived - to achieving career success at SCSU.� Although I believe that the survey and report by Nichols & Associates were well intentioned, because they are both so fatally flawed they run the risk of serving to divide rather than unite our campus.

For example, it�s simply too easy to disagree vigorously with the authors� assertion on page 12 that �the cultural survey, within its design methodology, is a sound instrument offering accurate information to SCSU.� Objective professors trained in survey design, study methodology, and the English language would have to give the effort of Nichols a failing grade on too many fronts:

Many scholars on this campus were shocked last May, not only by the poor grammar employed in the design of several questions, but also by their framing bias and potential for eliciting ambiguous responses.

While the authors talk about the survey�s reliability, they conveniently ignore any discussion about its obvious lack of validity. With a total of self-selected responses from only 164 students (of which its 55% white representation is in no way reflective of our student-body population), 127 faculty, and 110 administrators and staff, why should any self-respecting researcher pay any attention the the findings of this survey? The authors� discussion of their study�s limitations is woefully inadequate.

A lack of adequate testing of its survey�s administration by Nichols last May resulted in numerous on-line technical problems that frustrated and turned away many potential survey respondents.

With such small samples, it is not surprising that results are all over the map. But that doesn�t stop Nichols from continually misusing the word �majority,� rather than �plurality� when referring to 41-46% of respondents.

English professors would blanch when reading a report that uses the collective singular noun, �majority,� as if it were plural...and the plural noun, �data,� as if it were singular.

As you say, Dr. Spitzer, it is �clear that there are recommendations from the Nichols Report that are difficult to link to the survey data.� Others seem to reflect the authors� lack of understanding of SCSU, a self-interest in conducting follow-up audits, and the bias of their firm�s founder.

It�s reasonable that the SCSU Administration believed that �receiving a third-party review would be important in evaluating the climate on this campus.� I just hope that the many outstanding and well qualified researchers on our campus, including those trained in the fields of organizational behavior and development, as well as survey design, do not long remain offended by their having been slighted after they read the academically failed work produced by Nichols & Associates.

Perhaps future studies commissioned by SCSU could be open to a new competitive bidding process that would invite teams of scholars - including those from this campus - to submit their proposals to a review committee that would include the outside Board of the Anderson Entrepreneurial Center. One potential and positive result of the Nichols study is that we might begin to seek more creative answers to the question, �How can we use the HAEC to help our own scholars remove �barriers to achieving career success at SCSU�?� A positive synergy and enthusiasm manifested by teams of inter-collegiate researchers on this campus could serve to unite, rather than divide us.

At the very least, I hope we have learned from our experience with this study that the qualifications, backgrounds, and biases of future researchers of our issues on this campus should be well scrutinized. Before the report was released yesterday, I had been unable to find any web site for Nichols & Associates, nor any list of publications authored by Edwin J. Nichols. However, I had uncovered three links that shed a little light on the background and beliefs of the founder of Nichols & Associates.

Some readers may dismiss the libertarian bias apparent in the second of these three reviews; but read as a whole, I believe that most readers would be troubled by the apparent willingness of Nichols to push the envelope of cultural axiology to the point of perpetuating, rather than stripping away stereotypes.

The one recommendation of the Nichols report with which I agree strongly appears on the top of page 99. It underscores the need for immediate, forceful, and bold new public-relations initiatives from the leadership of SCSU. Especially with our state facing growing budget deficits, our future vitality as a campus depends greatly on our family of generous alumni, friends, and business leaders. Maybe the Nichols report will unite us in crying out with one voice the same message:

�Yes, we�ve had problems in the past. Yes, we�ve made mistakes is the past. Yes, we demand accountability as well as take responsibility for our mistakes. But make no mistake, more than any campus in this state, we�ll be zealous and totally open about our efforts to correct and minimize the future mistakes we may make.

�At the same time, we�re going to become much more vocal about the extraordinarily positive and unique educational experiences that we offer. Our vibrant community of dedicated scholars, staff, and administrators stands united as a university, dedicated to perpetuating what we value among our colleagues and in our students - tomorrow�s consumers, career professionals, and citizens:

- absolute academic integrity;
- a thirst for knowledge and an openness to be proven wrong;
- a desire for lifelong improvement of skills;
- absolute intolerance of any prejudging or discriminatory actions practiced or threatened against any individual, regardless of his or her age, gender, race, religion, national origin, political persuasion, [income level], or sexual orientation;
- an ability to understand, appreciate, agree with, and respectfully disagree with a wide variety of perspectives and opinions - regardless of the age, gender, race, religion, national origin, political persuasion, [income level] or sexual orientation of the individual; and
- an understanding that within-group differences dwarf in importance and significance any between-group differences found with respect to knowledge, skills, or values held.�

Thank you again for your openness in inviting our constructive input, Dr. Spitzer.

David L. Christopherson, PhD, CLU
G.R. Herberger Distinguished Professor of Business - 2002
President's Club Colleague

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Never won Miss Collegiality

This story from City University of New York is of another history department with troubles. A popular and well-published young professor comes up for tenure and is denied by the department. The New York Sun is reporting on a letter from other historians saying this fellow was bounced for lack of "collegiality". And how, pray, did he act so uncollegially?

The collegiality category was troubling to at least one City University of New York trustee. �This is not a country club. This is a university,� Jeffrey Wiesenfeld told The New York Sun. He said that scholarship should be the overriding issue in tenure decisions. Mr. Wiesenfeld said he was confident that the CUNY chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, would make �the right decision� after reviewing the matter.

Mr. Johnson and his defenders say his two offenses against collegiality were objecting to a one-sided college-sponsored panel following the September 11 attacks and suggesting that a search that seemed predetermined to pick a woman ... instead be conducted on the merits.

�At the end of the day, all universities are the epitome of diversity. But there�s one diversity they don�t have � that�s diversity of opinion,� Mr. Wiesenfeld said.

If I'd known that was a requirement, I'd've never gone into academics! This silencing is not a surprise, however. When complete disrupters act out like our letter-writer last Friday but does so in a politically correct fashion, there's no damning of them in the university. Be outspoken on the other side, however, and woebetide the untenured faculty. That's why you'll see our link to Diversity of Thought on the permalinks to your left. (Story courtesy of Instapundit.)

A cool quiz.

'round here, we teach a course in Democratic Citizenship (required in our general education curriculum), where we want to turn students into responsible citizens (which means, for most faculty, turning them into Democratic automatons.) So when I ran across this quiz I thought, "Hey, wonder if we could do this in class?" Kinda silly, but fun.

Which Founding Father Are You?

Hope Kevin, David and Jack will take it too. Are we the 4 Hamiltons?

Saturday, November 16, 2002

The Times and Rand: Which said something more unlikely?

Arthur Silber has this wonderful summary of an old editorial from the Times.
"But the question must be not whether a group recognizable in color, features or culture has its rights as a group. No, the question is whether any American individual, regardless of color, features or culture, is deprived of his rights as an American. If the individual has all the rights and privileges due him under the laws and the Constitution, we need not worry about groups and masses--those do not, in fact, exist, except as figures of speech."
Wish that was today; instead it's from Aug. 4, 1963. Silber links this to Rand's commentary from The Virtue of Selfishness
"Historically, racism has always risen or fallen with the rise or fall of collectivism. Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to 'society,' to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force--and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism."
Those two quotes from two different philosophies are telling. I think the Times would be unlikely to state their editorial again in the same way; Rand would have.

Bedtime, y'all.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Still busted
In the middle of the discussion about Nichols came a letter from a couple people who have stirred up some problems for us in the past, Michael Davis and Buster Cooper. Davis is a current faculty member; Cooper was one, and is reportedly still around campus but not shown in the online directory.
...If you and the vast majority of faculty members (using the term loosely) had aggressively helped this trailer park community (both campus and city) confront blatant racism, the bright international orange Achilles Heel of bigotry would not supply us with such easy targets.

When Nichols' previous schooling and philosophical considerations suddenly become the subject of obvious panic, we love it. The standard putrid stench of powerless racists is always a source of uncontrollable laughter. We strongly suggest immediate cathartic sessions with Trent Lott and/or Prozac.

... As Struther Martin (Capt'n) said to Paul Newman (Cool Hand Luke), "What we have here is a failure to communicate." If those in art, athletics business and psychology (Applied), think they have been humiliated by some of us, the media and costly law suits, Al Jolson said in The Jazz Singer, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." It's time for us to simply "run up the score" until major and rapid changes become evident. As a direct result of costly litigation (wasting taxpayer's money) and periodic public humiliation, we assume MnSCU will begin to micro-manage. MnSCU's efforts to "keep the lid on" will probably result in "heads rolling."

If there is anything we have said, anything at all, we suggest an aggressive shopping trip for local judges who might consider a restraining order.
Guys, it's Strother Martin, one of the best character actors ever. And I thought Bachman Turner Overdrive said "You ain't seen nothin' yet". My nana loved The Jazz Singer, but she wasn't so cool to BTO.

In fairness, these two don't represent most of the "Color Caucus". But it does show what the game is with them -- threat and intimidation, and preying on reaction from the state board (MnSCU = Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) to get rid of people they've decided don't meet their demands. The system here will remain "Busted" until someone in St. Paul sacks up and let's those of us here who know the local situation to decide which lawsuits to settle and which to litigate, and which heads should roll.

Nichols and Ax(iologi)es to Grind

The thing that got that response about libertarians and Reason a couple of days ago was a post by Dave Christopherson on the faculty listserv regarding the fellow who conducts the Nichols Report, an Edwin Nichols. Alan Kors, head of The FIRE and coauthor of The Shadow University reported in an article in Reason that Nichols has some rather curious views.
What does Nichols believe? He believes that culture is genetically determined, and that blacks, Hispanics, and descendants of non-Jewish Middle-Eastern tribes place their "highest value" on "interpersonal relationships." In Africa, women are the equal of men. Whites were altered permanently by the Ice Age. They value objects highly, not people. That is why white men commit suicide so frequently when they are downsized.

Nichols calls his science of value systems "axiology," and he believes that if managers and administrators understand these cultural differences, they can manage more effectively, understanding why, according to him, blacks attach no importance to being on time, while whites are compulsive about it. Whites are logical; blacks are intuitive and empathetic. Whites are frigid; blacks are warm and spontaneous. Whites are relentlessly acquisitive; nonwhites are in harmony with nature. White engineers, for example, care about their part of something; Asian engineers, managers should know, care about the whole. Whites are linear; nonwhites have a spiral conception of time. Nichols has a handout that he frequently uses. Whites, it explains, "know through counting and measuring"; Native Americans learn through "oneness"; Hispanics and Arabs "know through symbolic and imagery [sic]"; Asians "know through striving toward the transcendence [sic]." Asking nonwhites to act white in the workplace is fatal to organizational harmony. Understanding cultural axiology is essential to management for the 21st century. Now, reread his list of clients.
The list, in fact, is a cornucopia of federal agencies, law firms and school districts, Fortune 500 firms and universities. According to Kors, a cultural audit like that SCSU received costs $20,000-$35,000. We ended up paying $87,000, once again proving that when it comes to negotiating, SCSU is about as effective as the Minnesota Vikings defense. Or maybe we just said, "super-size it!"

Out of a school of nearly 15,000 students and 1,300 staff and faculty, Nichols has a web survey of about 400, plus some on-campus interviews with administrators and a few do-drop-ins for faculty and students. The web survey was fraught with difficulty. About a quarter of students, faculty and staff who wrote comments on their surveys -- about 10% of the same -- criticised it as biased or bogus. There were problems with submission over the web, so that it was taken down and put back up. Several faculty stated on the listserv last year that they were irritated with the difficulty in completing it and the questions on it. (Open the report and go to the bottom to see the survey instrument.)

Nevertheless, the authors wrote a series of recommendations including:

The local newspaper story quotes some reactions. It looks at least like some administrators are trying to run away from this thing. Provost Spitzer did post some reaction to comments on the listserv today that suggested we still have much to do, but then he does have to say that, now doesn't he?

There are some serious concerns with the Nichols firm outside of these we've reported. Kors mentions the case at Univ. of Cincinnati in 1990 where Nichols reportedly (and in fairness, disputed by others in the room) berated a young female professor as being "the perfect model" of a "privileged white elite". A second article discusses how Nichols told workers at a Bureau of Labor Statistics diversity seminar "We can't ask non-whites to maintain "white' standards. If a pair of black employees arrives late for a meeting, it's not because they don't have the company's best interests in mind. They may have been chatting in the hallway, developing those personal relationships." And Nichols is still into "cultural axiology" according to this article from a human resources journal.

For this, we paid $87,000 and we've got three other of these surveys coming. And budget cuts. Bleah!

Hello, Inappropriate Response!

Well we are surely grateful to Ms. Breen for the plug from her widely-renowned blog. Come along for a ride with us. It's been a very busy three days around here, and we've got some new stories to tell. Next up, the Nichols Report. [Cue scary music.]

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

War and

I have a student who writes opinion columns for the campus newspaper. Like me, he's libertarian, but unlike me he is opposed to the war on terror's extension to Iraq. I had the most pleasant discussion disagreeing with him. He seemed to think I was a little too gung-ho about blowing Iraq to bits, which mortified me. But looking over the posts I've made (here, here and here, and there's more if you'll scroll around each one) I think I've evolved some. I find the Left's antiwar tirades silly and at times I may have wanted too much to be against them. That's flabby thinking, and I need to sharpen up.

Moreover, as my student points out, there is a good case against the war to be made by those of the libertarian persuasion. Justin Raimondo at has done a damned good job of making the case. I think the case falls short as it seems to assume that other Arab states will just get more angry with us for taking out Saddam. I don't think so; I think the case can be made that democracy in Iraq encourages democracy in places like Saudi Arabia, where they could really use it. And a good friend who left Iran many years ago assures me that Iranians are waiting for the opportunity to reform that country. Moreover, Saddam has been able to fund terrorism and may have had his people meet Osama's people in Prague before 9/11. Drying up terrorism's money flow is a good idea; while you can reasonably argue that more comes from Saudi Arabia than Iraq, there's something to be said for picking the low-hanging fruit first.

Lastly, while the Left likes to talk about GWB cleaning up Daddy's mess, the point remains: If Saddam was angered by 1990 and is acting out on that anger, you have some responsibility to clean up your mess, to go back and finish the job. I didn't support the war in 1990, but that can't be changed now. Starting from right now, what's best? How is the world with Saddam left alone or with Saddam removed? If you argue on that basis, either answer has good points to make.

Welcome aboard!
A Norwegian? Our standards are slipping. Welcome aboard to reader/contributor Dave Christopherson, who joins the SCSU-Scholars stable of contributors. See the post below and look for more above.

"Oof Dah!" . . . Reaction from a Professor of "Privileged" Norwegian Heritage

The same professor from King's college (not the one in Cambridge) who humored us yesterday was at it again today with another unquotable offering. The lack of logic defies description.

If clear thinking manifests itself in clear writing, the rules of logic do not dictate that it must necessarily follow that an ability to write clearly must be a condition precedent for clear thinking. What a shame; I wish we could change those rules.

Dave (HCOB)

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Half the population makes below the median income; this is an outrage?

Further hilarity on the email list, this from a faculty member in my own college and reportedly someone who publishes in her field.
The right-wing "Reason" magazine is hardly a pillar of intellectual inquiry, rather a right-wing propaganda sheet that consistently argues against any attempt to make our society more humane. It attacks any efforts to enact policies which would support our own country's basic values, such as: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [ let's assume this means " all people" in contemporary English] are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights .... life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." "Reason" respects only corporate rights to build wealth and power at the expense of the vast majority of people in our society. [Half the population of which earns below the median household income of about $37,000 -- less than what it would take to provide a "middle class" lifestyle !!]

So let's see if we can count the ways in which this paragraph is stupid.

  1. Reason is a libertarian journal, and a rather soft form of libertarianism at that. By that I mean they are not anarchists and not even minarchists. They are most assuredly not right-wing, though. The only way they could be considered right-wing is if right-wing=capitalist and left-wing=anti-capitalist. Could be so. And any libertarian defends the Constitution strongly, except for the expansive language that an anti-capitalist would wish. And did this woman ever type in the words "corporate welfare" into Reason's search engine? Unbloodylikely.
  2. Let's see, to have a middle class lifestyle requires a household income of $75,000 a year? So when we hire faculty at about $50,000 they are not part of the middle class? What sense does it make when you set the level of middle class lifestyle at a family income that less than 30% of families in America earn?
  3. Again, please use Google. Now as an economist I know to look at Census data to get an estimate of family income, and I also know the Current Population Survey is used to update the data. But if you type "median family income" into Google you will find this sheet quite quickly. The current median family income is over $42,000, not $37,000.
  4. But the most hilarous is the statement that "Half the population of which earns below the median household income of about $37,000" -- no shit! Hey, let me let you in on a clue here -- half earn more than the median too! Imagine that! Demand a congressional investigation! In my department we tell stories of senior theses that commit humorous errors. There's one that looked at GDP data and said he had discovered a new economic phenomenon -- every year before the base year for the GDP deflator, real GDP was above nominal GDP, and every year after the base year real GDP was below. In an inflationary environment like post-WW2 America, you have to get that result by the way the data are defined. But no, he said, this proves a new theory! But he couldn't quite explain it.
Wonder if the author of this hilarious paragraph can explain the new theory of how half of America ended up below the median income? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Another letter on the listserv post
Preface: Kevin emailed this to me when I forwarded the post that pissed me off to him. It musters up the level of anger I had, but I let dissapate before writing earlier today.

"As a professional who has studied in the field of psychology for over 25 years, ignoring the importance of "individual differences", in favor of "group differences," demonstrates a fundamental lack of ignorance of the research evidence regarding human behavior. Anyone who paid attention during their Intro to Psych. Courses should know this information.

"It is well known in the psychology literature that the ONLY real law of human behavior is that of "individual differences." Individual differences account for the largest proportion of human behavioral variance than does any group variance (white, black, privileged vs. non-privileged; etc.). Stated differently, it is well known (and has been empirically demonstrated) that the variance WITHIN groups is larger than the variance BETWEEN groups. People are people....individuals act more based on their individuality than they do so because of any group association. I am who I am....and then I am who I am based on the groups I'm associated with, the environment I am currently living in, put the group identify first (e.g., those who are "privileged"; those who are black; etc.) demonstrates a fundamental lack of knowledge of the research in the psychology of individual and group differences. To do so suggest a political rather than a scholarly agenda. To do so ignores the splendid multivariate causality of human behavior.

"Also, it is well known in the field of psychology that if you can explain more than 50-60% of human behavior that there is probably something wrong with your research or methods. Statements which convey a na�ve belief that group association/identity (e.g., white privilege; blacks vs. whites; etc.) accounts for 100% of a persons behavior are not statements based on data/evidence. They are political statements. Only 50+% of of individual human behavior can be explained .....the continued assertion that "group" identity (e.g., white privilege) is what dictates my behavior demonstrates an ignorance of the empirical/research literature......its shows a fundamental ignorance of the empirical study of human behavior. It demonstrates a fundamental disregard from one on of the most important aspects of human behavior.....we are all unique individuals.

"Individuality accounts for more of each person's individual behavior than does any group association. The continued assertion that my behavior (or any other person's behavior) is foremost due to certain group associations is at variance with empirical research and evidence.....and clearly indicates a political vs. rational/scholarly

"Such statements are made for obvious political (vs. scholarly) reasons. Put individuality first, and group identities later, and then I will be willing to talk to these type of people.....people, who if they are really pushed, would probably admit they also are individuals first....and group identities are secondary."

Kevin McGrew

Let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (how you like them apples, JB?) has just won a big case for free speech by having the University of Georgia affirm that one can fly the ... get this! ... state flag. The case was brought on behalf of a fraternity on campus. Why would UGA want to ban its state's own flag? See if you can figure this one out. Turns out there's been a long history of battle over the flags.

You're wrong. Now let's talk.
James Lileks has a longish Bleat today that includes a phrase we could use in discussing the ideological battle on campus.
An old friend who still believes what we believed in college took me to task the last time we met, and wondered where Mr. Middle Ground had gone, why I no longer seemed interested in finding commonality. The simple answer is that there is no common ground with people who think you�re a political leper, a winged monkey in the service of a green-skinned Nancy Reagan in a witch�s hat. Respect works both ways, and if it�s not returned, then something changes. There�s a difference between thinking someone�s strategies are wrong, and thinking them a knave who acts from ignorance at best, and more likely acts from malice. If that�s what you think, I am not interested in changing your mind. I am not interested in working together. I am not interested in suffering your insults or your condescension or any other form your preconceptions take. I am interested in defeating you, and getting down to work with the people who come in your place, and grant me the respect I�ll give them.
'Nuff said.

"If it were a white guy, it'd be hate speech"

Preface: I posted this to the listserv in reply to a very offensive email from a faculty member on the list. I asked but was refused permission to quote it. I have used one quote anyway, and if you think that's unethical then I ask that you see it as necessary to keeping the integrity of the post. I have removed the name of the faculty member.

When Mussolini, syndicalist-turned-fascist, took over in 1922, the people in Florence shuttered the entire city. Signs out front read, �Closed for Mourning� (if my Italian is any good, �bloccato por compianto�). They are at it again over the weekend in Florence, where the city hosted an anti-globalization rally this weekend. {The connection was pointed out by Dagger in Hand.}

I am stunned that the campus list falls to silence when the new comprachicos (the old characterized in Victor Hugo�s, The Man Who Laughs) in our midst expose themselves. We now have someone saying that it is okay to racially profile whites, and nobody raises their voice. We have someone who says in his classes: �Trust is a potent weapon often deployed by predators of hate and violence in our society. My students are shocked at first, as apparently some few members of this listserv, when I first make this claim, but twenty minutes later they are able to understand the basic point, with discussions such as the following�� and then proceeds to encourage students to deny their desire for concepts. The education described in {this faculty member's} post is anti-conceptual. It is against reason. Students are getting college credit for learning to distrust a group based on their race.

And you, my friends, remain silent.

The sermon at my church this week was on diversity. The pastor read from I Corinthians 12:

12:4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 12:5 And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. 12:6 And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 12:7 To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. 12:8 For one is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 12:10 to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 12:11 It is one and the same Spirit, distributing to each person as he decides, who produces all these things.

This is the diversity I have supported. The freedom to be who you are. The right. As Leonard Read wrote in Anything That�s Peaceful, rights can only come from two places, the State or God. It is the State that supported slavery, the State that supported concentration camps. The Khmer Rouge was the State; so too Idi Amin, Stalin, Mao. If my rights are guaranteed by the State, if my ideology is godless, then what protection do I have from the new comprachicos who engage in the mental deformation of our students? Who teach distrust?

And where is your voice? They will take your silence for assent. They will instill fear in you and then use your silence as support for their actions.

Until such time as others participate on this list, I will reserve commentary to the blog. Further posts from me are not helpful to anything except those who want to hide behind their silence. Anything anyone posts here from now on will be put to the blog unless you send a specific request to us asking not to be quoted. My email and all future email will carry the black ribbon to commemorate the death of reason on this campus. Unless you help, it will die without a fight.

If you haven�t time to write, if you haven�t the patience to debate those who deny reason, I suggest a simple posting to every offensive post from the new comprachicos. Simply cut and paste this below.


Let them know you don�t support them, for right now they assume you do.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Updates and light reading
Spent most of the day reading exams but took time out to deal with some new links on the left index. Meanwhile, wonder what would happen if we had a rally like this at SCSU? Enjoy!

Saturday, November 09, 2002

To a workshop or to HURL?
CantWatch reports in a series of articles about the University of North Carolina taking diversity training into the classroom. It's already happened here, and its effects can be seen in this letter from a HURL student in our campus newspaper (scroll to second letter down; reminder, link requires free registration).
I am glad MGM ["mulitcultural, gender and minority" --kb] courses are mandatory here at SCSU, and should be elsewhere. Understanding the roots of oppression is vital. As a white male, I experience white privilege. I had no idea of such a concept before I attended SCSU. I had always seen oppression through my own eyes, and having privilege distorts that image. Having had professors like Julie [Andrzejewski], Tamrat [Tademe], Jesse Benjamin, and Gary Cheeseman, I have been able to see multiple sides of oppression.
Except for one.

Take heart! We're not the only ones working through reverse discrimination. Turns out Penn is having the same problem. Critical Mass has the details.

How 'bout "SCAS of color"?
Here's the latest story about how new groups form to pressure our administration for preferential treatment. A group of East Asian faculty made a request to the Faculty Senate earlier this week asking for a review of all retention, promotion and tenure (RPT) decisions in the College of Business. Why? Because they had a "preliminary study" that was "suggestive" that several East Asian faculty had either separated from the university or were terminated. And how did they learn that?

From the phonebook.

That's right. The authors of this preliminary study ran through several years of campus directories. Under the College of Business listings, they looked for people with Asian-sounding or female names. They found that 16 people had left the university from that college (which has about 70 full-time slots and a host of adjuncts for some of their specialized courses where it's not possible to put someone with that specialty on staff) over six years had departed; only two of these were white males.

Round up the usual suspects. The faculty senate is now requesting addiitonal information from the administration on why these faculty are leaving. There can be any number of reasons: they are fixed-term faculty reaching the end of their terms; they could get more money from another university (which is both a problem with our faculty union negotiating poor contracts and could be a sign that we're actually doing so well with our faculty development that they're in demand elsewhere); and it's possible that they're following their spouse to new employment. No consideration of any of these facts, however, will deter the professional victimologists and academic ne'er-do-wells from hounding administrators who are trying to do their jobs. This is both poor statistics and scholarship and poor collegiality -- the union acts not only as adversary to administration, but with deep distrust of both adminstrators and those not in its inner circle.

As one faculty member who posted on this question suggests, we're now to the point where groups will try to form to seek group benefits at the expense of the university. Beyond the usual troika of faculty of color, LGBT faculty and Jewish faculty, we now have an incipeint Asian faculty group seeking group rights. Perhaps we should finish the Balkanization of the university. I think the trick would be to form " faculty of color" (since I don't think I'm colorless, and I bet you're not either.) Please send name suggestions, and we'll post the best ones.

Greetings AtlanticBlog readers!
Hey, welcome! (And many thanks, Bill! Best Saturday hit rate we've ever had!) Have a look around. Working on a new post on more silliness in the pursuit of making sure nobody ever gets fired from academia as long as their member of some group that can include the words "of color". If this interests you and not up yet, come back in a few hours. Thanks much!

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Is there a lasting effect of racism?
The Dartmouth News has am article about the research of economist Bruce Sacerdote on the lingering effects of slavery. His conclusions are that the income effects of slavery itself (versus being a free black) disappear within two generations. An abstract to the paper itself is here; you can download a full copy of the paper from the bottom of the page if you are at SCSU (our dean provides for a subscription to the service.) I don't think it has much to do with the racism question currently discussed, but I do think it puts a mighty big hole in the reparations question.

Consumer preferences be damned, we've got a seal to save!
We'll return to the sound and fury of the SPC later, but first a quick post on another discussion last week. A faculty member gushed about the possibility that if we raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which requires a minimum average gas mileage for the fleet of cars driven, we wouldn't need to drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve. I then posted this:
and then you can explain the joys of saving ANWR to the additional 1300-2600 people per year die currently because of current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards (according to the National Academy of Science; see Finding #2 in the report, at page 111), a number which would rise under this proposal. And in a survey of 26 things people want in their cars, better fuel efficiency came in 25th (from a survey by Maritz Inc. of St. Louis, quoted in USAToday.)

To which I got this reply:
The value that lawmakers place on what consumers prefer to drive needs to be tempered by other legitimate concerns. Safety is one and the responsible extraction of natural resources is another. Consumers have a lot of preferences that, if satisfied, would make for bad public policy.

Thomas Sowell once said "The anointed don't like to talk about painful trade-offs. They like to talk about happy "solutions" that get rid of the whole problem- at least in their imagination." It appears the solution to the problem the anointed see here is to assume away the importance of consumer preferences. Maybe this is why Democrats lose elections?

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Two items to blog today. First, the Strategic Planning Committee at SCSU has issued something called "Priority Strategic Goals." I've no idea what the meaning of a nonpriority strategic goal is. But Dave Christopherson writes in on other, more troubling aspects:
Apparently we should be "empowered" to learn that "divergent" (Webster's translation: "differing from a standard; deviant") "perspectives" allow us to understand not only that "diversity" (not to be confused with its antonym, "university") is capable of "embracing...differences," but also that there is a "divergent" way of using the plural subject, "data," as if it were a singular noun.

HUH? That is also my reaction, Debra {reference to an earlier poster, who was equally confused--kb}, to some of the following words that seem to be "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (Shakespeare's Macbeth) {And who remembers who told this "tale" in Macbeth? -- kb} Please help us clarify the following words, English professors!

"Diversity is about empowering people... Diversity must be defined as meaning more than skin-color and should embrace difference of all sorts... Divergent perspectives are what make a university strong, creative and effective.

"Rationale: Current data suggests that student of color representation on this campus is largely Asian and primarily international...

"Current data suggests that students of color are retained at a much lower rate than majority students."

Yep. Current data suggests ... to whom? If you begin with the worldview that any student who is white didn't get here without help from a racist, sexist world, then of course a lower retention rate for students of color means there's something wrong that we need to address. If you ask the question, "Is it possible that lower retention means lack of preparation or higher costs of going to school?" (it's possible that a student quits because s/he needs to get a job to support his or her family, and that might happen more often for students of color) then the data don't suggest anything -- there's just a statistical fact that seeks explanation.
There's also a sentence of rationale that after reading a dozen times defies my understanding:
According to the NCHEMS data and presentation, SCSU faces demographics that include flat growth with a changing profile, and challenging economic influences.
What the hell is that?

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Professors ask where the young pacifists have gone
This article (courtesy of Instapundit) reflects the lack of interest students have in the faculty trying to whip up interest in the No War on Iraq movement. We've seen many signs for rallies here at SCSU, but like the newspapers at Lehigh and Lafayette, there's been little whipping up of sentiment against the war among students. Indeed, Justin Byma has an article in support of the Bush Doctrine in last Friday's university paper. (Link requires registration.) And the last article really critical of US foreign policy is this one criticizing the War on Drugs' infringment on free trade with Canada.

According to one editor with whom I spoke, the paper is getting complaints about its conservatism. That hardly seems justified. Byma is the only student who is really conservative on the staff; is it their fault that the only pro-Democrat letter they get has to come from the state party chair (second letter)?

Saturday, November 02, 2002

It's contagious
Apparently, the Democrats have funny ways of marking death. Fresh of the Wellstone death rally, Bill Clinton stumps for Democrats at a memorial service for Rep. Patsy Mink, who at least had been dead a month before Clinton used her casket as a podium.
The union rallies at the Kaua'i Veterans Center in Lihu'e, Baldwin High School on Maui, Neal Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu and at the Civic Auditorium in Hilo were promoted as a tribute to Patsy Mink, the congresswoman who died Sept. 28 during her re-election bid. But Clinton used the tribute as an opportunity to urge people to vote Democrat in this year's governor's race.

Clinton, wearing a lei and blue sport coat over black slacks and black shirt, gestured toward Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono and state Sen. Matt Matsunaga and said to the crowd, "I want you to elect the M&M duo over here in five days."

Friday, November 01, 2002

The most recent Chronicle has an article on blatantly illegal, politically correct hiring in academia. But we don't need to worry; we know that nothing like this would ever happen at SCSU.

Required reading
Don't read anything else I write today until you read Peggy Noonan. Now git!