Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some Things Never Change

The "Political Science Job Rumors" blog seems awfully hateful, and petty. turns out this generation of grad student is not so bad, after all! I happened to look at the "Need to Vent" thread on the blog, and found the following 14 posts:

Need To Vent (14 posts)

* Started 5 days ago by Anonymous
* Latest reply from anonymous

1. Anonymous Unregistered
The sociology rumor mill has a "Need To Vent" thread for frustrated candidates to vent. In addition to giving candidates a venue to express their frustrations, and thereby reducing it in other threads, you also find some really funny posts like this one:

"Yesterday at school, I took the biggest dump ever. I must have expelled at least 7 lbs worth of food and other bodily debris and fluids. I kid you not. A coincidence in this economic climate? I think not. I also think it may be suggestive of my job prospects."
Posted 5 days ago #

2. Anonymous Unregistered
Every once in a while I take a dump and stand in awe at the fact that I was able to make something so large and powerful.

With my ass.
Posted 5 days ago #

3. Anonymous Unregistered
Yep, I guess you would indeed need to vent after that.
Posted 5 days ago #

4. Anonymous Unregistered
With us? The entire blog is the vent site...
Posted 5 days ago #

5. Anonymous Unregistered
Its good to see that political scientists are more mature than sociologists.
Posted 5 days ago #

6. Anonymous Unregistered
Grow up and get a life.
Posted 5 days ago #

7. Anonymous Unregistered
"Grow up and get a life."

OP here. Yes it is totally immature but it made me laugh. RIght now I think lots of people reading this blog need a good laugh. No need to be so uptight....It can give you an ulcer!
Posted 5 days ago #

8. Anonymous Unregistered
Seriously, there's no harm in a cheap, totally immature laugh. I and a lot of other people are on the ledge right now.
Posted 5 days ago #

9. Anonymous Unregistered
Well, take a dump or take a jump.
Posted 5 days ago #

10. Anonymous Unregistered

For some humor that is finanically related, but not poop-ish.
Posted 5 days ago #

11. Anonymous Unregistered
I try to vent in healthy ways. You know, things like smashing the palm of my hand against my forehead. The only drawback is that I'm finding myself doing it in public. You can imagine the looks I get.
Posted 5 days ago #

12. Anonymous Unregistered
My house smells like an egg!
Posted 5 days ago #

13. Anonymous Unregistered
My crotch smells like an egg.
Posted 5 days ago #

14. Anonymous Unregistered
No wonder you have no offers. You all are a disgrace.
Posted 5 days ago #

Now, I swear that this is a near verbatim transcript of conversations Angus and I had ...well....pretty much every day for four years in grad school. Along with John Jarosz and Tom Gilligan and Brian Roberts.

Clearly, all these folks on the blog are destined for greatness. GREATNESS, I tell you. And the guy who said "My crotch smells like an egg," (and, yes, I'm sure it was a guy)...that guy should be given tenure, and the job of Dean, right now. We need more like him.

Poster #14, almost certainly female, is of course entirely correct, in every unimportant respect.

Risk and Action

Foregoing the Labor for the Fruits: The Effect of Just World Threat on the Desire for Immediate Monetary Rewards

Mitchell Callan, Will Shead & James Olson
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Previous theorizing and research suggests that the need to believe in a just world develops when children begin to understand the benefits of foregoing their immediate gratifications for more desirable, long-term outcomes. Drawing on this previous work, we propose that an extant just world threat may induce a desire for smaller, immediate rewards at the expense of larger, delayed rewards. Participants were exposed to the suffering of an innocent or non-innocent victim and then, in a different context, completed a temporal discounting task that assessed, across 6 time delays, their preferences for smaller, immediate monetary rewards versus a constant, larger, delayed reward. Consistent with our reasoning, participants exposed to the suffering of an innocent versus non-innocent victim more steeply discounted the value of the delayed reward — that is, they were willing to accept smaller immediate rewards in place of the larger, delayed reward. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.


Risk Loving after the Storm: A Bayesian-Network Study of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees
Catherine Eckel, Mahmoud El-Gamal & Rick Wilson
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

We investigate risk preferences of a sample of hurricane Katrina evacuees shortly after they were evacuated and transported to Houston, and another sample from the same population taken a year later. We also consider a third sample of resident Houstonians with demographics similar to the Katrina evacuees. Conventional statistical methods fail to explain a strong risk-loving bias in the first Katrina-evacuees sample. We utilize Bayesian Networks to investigate all relevant conditional distributions for gamble choices, demographic variables, and responses to psychometric questionaires. We uncover surprising results: Contrary to prior experimental evidence, we find that women in our sample were signicantly more risk loving in the first Katrina sample and only mildly more risk averse in the other two samples. We find that gamble choices are best predicted by positive-emotion variables. We therefore explain the risk-loving choices of the first Katrina-evacuees sample by the detected primacy of negative emotion variables in that sample and explain the latter by traumatic and heightened-stress experiences
shortly after the hurricane.

(Nod to KL)

Sooners in short pants

OU hoops is off to a good start, winning the NIT tip-off tourney and running their record to 6-0.
Blake Griffen, who perhaps might be the number one pick in next years NBA draft, is averaging 27 points (on 75% shooting) and 18.8 rebounds.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Please step away from the tomato, ma'am.....

From SSFC....

This story from England.


"I wondered what on earth was going on. I opened the door and they more or less barged past, saying that I was growing cannabis on the windowsills.

"I started laughing because I knew they were tomato plants but it wasn't so funny when they frisked me and then started tearing the house apart."

Mr Matheson said he was held in the bedroom while officers searched the furniture and under the mattress..."They even 'arrested' Zac, our black labrador, and Moby, our Jack Russell, putting them in the back of one of the cop cars," Mr Matheson added.

"And I just couldn't believe it when they brought sniffer dogs all the way from Alness, which is about two hours away."

He went on: "Despite leaving with their tails between their legs, the police didn't even apologise."

Mr Matheson, a keen gardener, grows tomatoes in the south-facing bedroom window.

He said: "We always enjoy having a juicy home-grown tomato with our dinner and I've had fine crops this year."

Mr Matheson is now making a formal complaint to Northern Constabulary.

A police spokesman said: "We can confirm that, acting on information, we attended at an address in the Shieldaig area.

"No drugs were found as a result of the search."

Acting on "information"? What possible information could Deputy Fife have been acting on? Here is useful information, Barney:

Tomato Plant--

Cannabis Plant--

(A note, to the police: I did NOT take that picture of a tomato plant. I have no idea where it came from. So, please don't search my house for tomatoes. I don't have any. And when I use tomatoes, it's just social. I don't inhale, ever.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


There is just no other term for what happened to the Thunder Tuesday night. Mrs Angus and I were in attendance, looking forward to seeing my favorite player of all time, the Big Cactus. However, he was in civvies sitting out the first game of a back to back to be fully rested for the Suns' big game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.


I guess that's what happens when you have one W for the season. You aren't anyone's priority.

The game itself was by turns exciting and infuriating. New coach Scottie Brooks is somehow sickly in love with Damian Wilkens. I created a fair stir in the stands reaching out to Scottie, telling him if he didn't really want the job he should just quit rather than torture all of us.

The rotation finally worked it's way around to Durant (who had a great game), Green, Westbrook, Watson, and either Wilcox or Collison (it really helped that Shaq wasn't dressed out) and the Thunder opened up consistent 10 - 15 point lead.

Then Steve Nash woke up and took over.

Oh, the Suns with a rested Shaq also did manage to post the W over the vaunted Timberwolves on Wednesday as well.

Oh, NOW I understand.....

You may have seen that Loyola (MD) held my man Stephen Curry to 0 points in a game where he started, and played almost the whole time.

But you may not have seen WHY it happened.

Turns out the Loyola coach, Jimmy Patsos, decided that "Curry is NOT going to beat us tonight!" and played a triangle and two, with the two playing solely on Curry.

It does seem there is a problem with this strategy, however. While Curry did not beat Loyola, Davidson 30.

Why not box and 1, with the zone sagging to defend Curry? Or, better still, try to play basketball?

Two quotes from Patsos:

“We had to play against an NBA player tonight,” Patsos explained. “Anybody else ever hold him scoreless? I’m a history major. They’re going to remember that we held him scoreless or we lost by 30?”

“I know the fans are mad at me, but I had to roll the dice as far as a coach goes. I’m not some rookie coach,” said Patsos, a former longtime assistant at Maryland. “I won a national title as a top assistant coach to Gary Williams. For 13 years I spent on Tobacco Road. I coached a couple of No. 1 picks in the draft. And we scored 48 points. That’s the problem that Loyola basketball had today.”

So, Patsos IS a history major, but NOT a rookie coach. Here's my thought: the "problem that Loyola basketball had today" was that the kids were embarrassed, and angry, at playing a humiliating gimmick defense for the entire game, even after they were down by more than 25. If you go in thinking, "we can't beat this guy, he's too good," then you just shut down.

(Nod to Anonyman)

How Do They Know These Were Iowa Fans?

Iowa fans cited for restroom sex during Gophs game

Posted: Nov. 26 3:17 p.m.

MINNEAPOLIS — While the Hawkeyes were stomping the Gophers on the Metrodome field last weekend, police said two Iowa fans were having a romp of a different kind in a restroom. Both events, police say, had their share of cheering fans.

A 38-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man turned to a handicapped stall for their tryst Saturday evening.

On the field, the Hawkeyes were on their way to 55-0 trouncing of the Gophers. In the restroom, a crowd of intoxicated fans gathered to cheer the off-the-field event.

Eventually, a security guard tipped off University of Minnesota police. Officers had to interrupt the couple to cite them for indecent conduct, a misdemeanor.

Police Chief Greg Hestness said the woman initially gave a false name to officers. She was released to her husband and the man was released to his girlfriend.

Both people in the stall were intoxicated.

Some Q's, because KPC readers want to KNOW....

1. How do they know these folks were Iowa fans? Was the guy wearing an "Old Gold and Black" prophylactic?
2. "She was released to her husband and the man was released to his girlfriend." Another story we'll never know the end of. But I'll bet the conversation on the way home, in both cars, was interesting.
3. The Iowa fight song does mention making the "walls and rafters ring." That's all these two were doing.

Finally, nod to Carolina Guy, who sent the link. He says, "If Libertarians are opposed to police (i.e. state) interference of this type, I'm signing up." It IS hard to say that these two were harming anyone. And given the events outside at the time, this was pretty tame.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Attention Apollo 13: How's it going up there?

Does it make sense to encourage credit card spending?

Hank n' Ben are at it again, rolling out another 800 billion salvo, this time with the goal of getting more mortgage and credit card debt into the hands of the public.

Am I the only one who thinks this is borderline lunacy?

People, our country is poorer. The bursting of the housing bubble lowered national wealth by trillions of dollars. We are going to have a recession because of that, financial crisis or no financial crisis.

I do agree that the Fed has an important job to serve as lender of last resort and protector of the viability of the overall financial system. Several of the previous 500 billion plus salvos were more or less aimed at accomplishing that goal.

This latest to me just seems like a badly misbegotten stimulus package. House prices need to find bottom, not be propped up by subsidized mortgage lending. Consumers need to be using less credit, not be enticed into further debt by government subsidies.

Isn't this eerily similar to what got us into this mess to begin with?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hate Speech, and Fighting Words

A new addition to the KPC blogroll: Social Services for Feral Children. A fine young blog.

And, some questions I want to raise about a post on SSFC, this one.

It is about the graffiti on the NC State "Free Speech Wall," graffiti that attacked BH Obama after the election, suggesiting “Hang Obama by a noose” and “Let’s shoot that n****r in the head”. (News Story, for background) (Yes, the idiot who wrote that stuff has apologized, publicly, but has not been identified by the University. An interesting twist, no? Protect the student from the hate that is the response to his own hate....)

Excerpt from Social Services for Feral Children post:
...William J. Barber, the President of the North Carolina NAACP and a member of the national NAACP perhaps best known for advocating the continued prosecution of certain students at nearby Duke University when even Mike Nifong had thrown in the towel...[He] wants these students prosecuted as well, and he wants them expelled from the state-run university. For what? Well he doesn’t know, but there ought to be a law. Why not “hate speech”?

In a news release today, Barber said: “It is not clear whether these [university] officials fully understand the problem. Their decision to permit four students, with race-hatred spilling out of their hearts, to continue taking classes and engaging in social affairs on campus, by definition creates a racially hostile learning environment for students of color.”

Barber said he and other NAACP leaders planned to: … Ask for a meeting with Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby to get an explanation of why the graffiti was not in violation of the state’s hate crimes law. The NAACP will take the information to the General Assembly, Barber said.

To save the District Attorney some valuable time, I’ll answer Barber’s question. My answer isn’t as authoritative as the DA’s, but it’s correct: Hate speech, or any speech no matter how offensive unless obscene or an imminent incitement or threat of violence, is not and cannot be a crime under the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. A state university, such as North Carolina State University, cannot discriminate against students for constitutionally protected speech by expelling them.


1. It is called the "Free Speech Wall." Stuff that is offensive gets painted over. The remedy to paint you disagree with is more paint.

2. If the kid had said this stuff in class, then there would be cause for action by a professor. The "noose" and the "n" word are both strongly racist, and therefore attack a class of people, for an ethnic or racial feature (whether "race" is real or imagined, it is meaningful here). So, a prof would clearly be justified in calling a student out who used this language in class. But even THEN it would not be a crime, just an act of unacceptable behavior in a classroom.

3. But, is there really NOTHING that could be written that would violate (a) state law, or (b) university policy?

You know my answer; being in a free society means you have to have a thick skin. Being offended doesn't mean the offender has committed a crime.

I do feel obliged, however, to point out the "fighting words" exception to 1st Amendment speech protections. Isn't the indignant Mr. Barber right about THAT? Aren't these "fighting words," and therefore not subject to 1st Amendment Protections?

Well, no, not really. As this interesting article from FIRE argues, "the Supreme Court has effectively limited the [Fighting Words] exception to only include abusive language, exchanged face to face, which would likely provoke a violent reaction."

So, if the kid had held out a noose, or used the n-word, in a crowd, or a classroom, he has no 1st Amendment protection. But if he writes it up on a "Free Speech Wall," you paint it over, tell the kid he is an idiot, and then talk about the incident as a chance to raise the issue of racism and racist attitudes. No crime was committed. In fact, there is no such THING as hate crime. End of story.

I will admit one thing: I think less of the kid for hiding his identity. If you want to take a stand, even an asinine, racist stand like this, then go for it. Sign your handiwork, and own up to it. Saunder's Law: "The 1st Amendment means you can say what you want. But then you have to take the ass-whuppin'."

Barry didn't mean a physical ass-whuppin', though that might happen. If you want to say something hateful, to make a political point, make sure you don't apologize as soon as you get caught, son. Stand up for your bigotry, and take the ass-whuppin'. Or don't say stupid shit in the first place.

Pretty Darned Funny

From the Grey Lady of Newsprint:

And on the seventh day, there was no rest for married couples. A week after the Rev. Ed Young challenged husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through Seven Days of Sex, his advice was — keep it going.....

Others found that, like smiling when you are not particularly happy, having sex when they did not feel like it improved their mood. Just eight months into their marriage, Amy and Cody Waddell had not been very amorous since Cody admitted he had had an affair.

“Intimacy has been a struggle for us, working through all that,” Ms. Waddell said. “This week really brought us back together, physically and emotionally.”

It is not always easy to devote time for your spouse, Pastor Young admitted. Just three days into the sex challenge he said he was so tired after getting up before dawn to talk about the importance of having more sex in marriage that he crashed on the bed around 8 p.m. on Tuesday night.

Mrs. Young tried to shake him awake, telling her husband, “Come on, it’s the sex challenge.” But Mr. Young murmured, “Let’s just double up tomorrow,” and went back to sleep.

Supply and Demand for Lobbyists

For lobbyists, turnover.


After eight years of the so-called K Street Project — the effort by Republican lawmakers and operatives to pressure companies, trade associations and lobbying firms to hire their fellow Republicans — the tasseled loafer is on the other foot. Companies and interest groups are competing to snap up Democrats. And scarcity has added to their value because so many well-connected Democrats are angling for jobs in the Obama administration, which has promised ethics rules that may block lobbyists from certain jobs. Meanwhile, recently passed Congressional ethics rules restrict the ability of departing Congressional staff members to lobby as well.

“The Democratic market is kind of frozen, while the Republican market is about to be engorged” with former Bush staff members, said Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, a major lobbying firm.

The starting salaries for former officials tell the story. An assistant department secretary leaving the Bush administration three years ago, with Republicans in control of the House, Senate and White House, might fetch as much $600,000 to $1 million a year in the influence business, recruiters and lobbyists said. But the same person might now expect less than half as much.

“Don’t be the last guy off the train,” said Peter Metzger, vice chairman of the recruiting firm CT Partners, recalling his advice to government officials considering other work in Washington.

What is the implication of all that lobbyist turnover?

For taxpayers? Congress says, "BEND over; I'll drive."

Nod to Anonyman

Minsky Rising?

KPC BFF Der-zoo sends this link, a paean to absent friends.

One friend in particular, Hyman "Hy" Minsky. Check the abstract:

Recently, national newspapers all over the world have suggested that we should reread John Maynard Keynes, and that Hyman P. Minsky provides a valuable framework for understanding the world in which we live. While rereading Keynes and discovering Minsky are noble goals, one should also remember the mistakes that were made in the past. The mainstream interpretation and implementation of Keynes's ideas have been very different from what Keynes proposed, and they have been reduced to simple "fiscal activism." This led to the 1950s and 1960s "Keynesian" era, during which fine-tuning was supposed to be a straightforward way to fix economic problems. We know today that this is not the case: just playing around with taxes and government expenditures will not do. On the contrary, problems may worsen. If one wants to get serious about Keynes and Minsky, one should understand that the theoretical and policy implications are far-reaching. This paper compares and contrasts Minsky's views of the capitalist system to the tenets of the New Consensus, and argues that there never has been any true Keynesian revolution. This is illustrated by studying the Roosevelt and Kennedy/Johnson eras, as well as Keynes's reaction to the former and Minsky's critique of the latter. Overall, it is argued that the theoretical framework and policy prescriptions of Irving Fisher, not Keynes, have been much more consistent with past and current government policies.

Some thoughts:

1. Minsky's "model" predicted 11 of the last 3 recessions.
2. Angus and I used to mimic what we called the "Minsky Curve." Let's just say it hangs down rather limply, and is only policy-exploitable in the EXTREMELY short run. Ten seconds, max.
3. From the abstract: "If one wants to get serious about Keynes and Minsky...."? I don't, actually.
4. There's a Cal State Fresno? Really? Are Cal States like Circle K's; you can just buy a franchise, and put it up on a vacant corner lot? Ah, I see it is also called Fresno State. Okay, THAT I have heard of.
5. From the abstract: "Just playing around with taxes and government expenditures will not do." Amen.
6. There is such a thing as a "Minsky moment,"* apparently. I had a class from Hy, in grad school. For me, "Minsky moments" were times when I thought he was actually going to lecture, and say something about economics. Minsky moments of that sort were EXTREMELY rare. But this is an interesting article; have to give ol' Hy some credit, I think.

*A Minsky moment is the point in a credit cycle or business cycle when investors have cash flow problems due to spiraling debt they have incurred in order to finance speculative investments. At this point, a major selloff begins due to the fact that no counterparty can be found to bid at the high asking prices previously quoted, leading to a sudden and precipitous collapse in market clearing asset prices and a sharp drop in market liquidity.

(Nod to Art)

Some Links, and Thoughts, on the Bailout

Interesting post from old friend Chris Lawrence, on the bailout.

Leeson and Sobel--Corrupt Weather?

"Weathering Corruption"

Peter Leeson & Russell Sobel
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2008, Pages 667-681

Could bad weather be responsible for U.S. corruption? Natural disasters create resource windfalls in the states they strike by triggering federally provided natural-disaster relief. By increasing the benefit of fraudulent appropriation and creating new opportunities for such theft, disaster-relief windfalls may also increase corruption. We investigate this hypothesis by exploring the effect of disaster relief provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on public corruption. The results support our hypothesis. Each additional $100 per capita in FEMA relief increases the average state's corruption by nearly 102 percent. Our findings suggest notoriously corrupt regions of the United States, such as the Gulf Coast, are in part notoriously corrupt because natural disasters frequently strike them. They attract more disaster relief, which makes them more corrupt.

(Nod to KL)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hedging: yer doin' it right!

Way to go, Mexican government. You have shown that you know how derivatives are supposed to be used and have used them very wisely to protect oil revenues in 2009:

"The world's sixth biggest oil producer hedged almost all of next's year oil exports at prices ranging from $70 to $100 at a cost of about $1.5bn (£961m) through derivatives contracts, according to bankers familiar with the deal."

Oil is trading right now in the low $50s so it seems like a wise move indeed. Even if prices rise above the contracted selling price in the puts, the loss is limited to the price of the options and $1.5 billion is not a bad price for a comprehensive insurance policy on such an important asset.

Maybe the Mexican Treasury department can give lessons to these guys.

Don't Peep on Me

The Bishop sends this email:

In an afternoon of solidarity with the Munger campaign, my son, son-in-law, grandson and I went up the canyon Saturday afternoon and each shot about 50 rounds through our shotguns and 100 through handguns. We killed lots of clay pigeons although some got away. We hunted those down with the handguns. A 9mm handgun is really nice, although I am not too good with it. Alas, we had no automatic rifles. Noah, my 4-year old grandson, had his 15-shot elastic band shooting rifle. A very libertarian/liberating afternoon. Enjoy yours.

The Bishop goes on to note that this video concerns a relative of his. I should not that the Bishop's relative is the gun owner, and peep-ee, not the peeper.

Video Courtesy of

Irony....Coincidence....Or Some Useful Info?

Two items:

1. "President-elect Obama plans to name Christina Romer, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, aides said." [Politico]

2. "PERHAPS CONSERVATIVES SHOULD give John McCain more credit on economic policy. McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts, something that haunted him on his path to the Republican nomination. He defends himself by saying that tax cuts must be matched by spending restraint, but many conservatives believe that cutting taxes preemptively is the best way to restrain spending -- the "starve the beast" hypothesis. Now two economists find no support in the historical record to indicate that tax cuts have a negative effect on federal government spending. In fact, they found a positive effect -- the tax cuts were followed by spending increases. Unless politicians explicitly connect spending and tax policy, there is a tendency to disassociate the two. Meanwhile, contrary to the notion that tax cuts pay for themselves via extra growth, most of the subsequent recovery in lost revenue came as a result of tax increases enacted specifically to counter the initial tax cuts. Romer, Christina, and Romer, D., "Do Tax Cuts Starve the Beast: The Effect of Tax Changes on Government Spending," National Bureau of Economic Research (October 2007). [Kevin Lewis, Boston Globe, 3/23/08, ATSRTWT]

(Nod to KL)

maybe I was too narrow minded

I posted an early season MVP watch based on Kobe, LBJ and Paul Pierce and was upbraided in the comments for forgetting CP3, Chris Paul.

Chris had a pretty decent game Saturday night against "my" Thunder:

He shot 11/17 from the field, 6/7 from the line for 29 points, grabbed 10 boards, had 16 assists to only 2 turnovers, and also grabbed 3 steals. Wow.

For the season, he is shooting 52.8% with 5.5 rebounds, 11.8 assists and 3.1 steals. Wow again.

So let me give the man his due:

True Happiness

True happiness is.....

Hobo and Tanzie, lying together in a sunbeam on a cold day.

I should note: Hobo is the King of All Dogs (2T being the Prince of Wales), and Tanzie is the Boss of Hobo. In fact it is rather amazing how much Tanzie is the boss. Or, maybe not.

Costswolds Rain Dance

Stephen posts a nice video on the Costswold Rain Dance. (I'm not going to repost it; go to CSS if you want to see it.)

Now, my fraternity used to a dance like this in the 1970s, at Davidson. Of course, we had on no clothes, and there was was butter involved, but pretty similar dance otherwise.

(Props to SC, for pointing out the misspelling...)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Marquis de Condorcet pays a visit to Big XII country

Thanks to OU's dismantling of Texas Tech last night, the Big XII is staring into the face of the dreaded Condorcet triple.

Texas beat OU, OU beat Texas Tech, Texas Tech beat Texas. Who wins the Big XII south?

It's complicated, people.

My anti sooner friends say "you can't rank OU ahead of Texas 'cause Texas beat them". OK, fair enough, then you can't rank Texas ahead of Texas Tech for the same reason and you can't rank Texas Tech ahead of OU. That's why they call it a paradox.

As things stand, whichever team is ranked higher by the BCS after next weekends games will be declared the Big XII south champion (assuming all three win to preserve the 3 way tie).

So in effect, an abomination is going to settle a paradox. Welcome to America, Marquis!