Friday, November 25, 2005

The Course of Social Change Through College Admissions

"In his informative but often vexing new book, Jerome Karabel, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, looks at the admissions process at the so-called Big Three and how the criteria governing that process have changed over the last century in response to changes in society at large." Source :New York Times Book Review

Link to online article

When academics post online, do they risk their jobs?

"Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of academics keep blogs these days, posting everything from family pictures to scholarly works-in-progress. While few are counting on their Web publications to improve their chances at tenure, many have begun to fear that their blogs might actually harm their prospects" Source : The Slate

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Contexts of Asian Democracy: A Cross-National, Within-Nation Analysis of Asian Nations

ABSTRACT : This paper examines relative impacts of cultural socialization and interactions with government on support for democracy, democratic pluralism, regime legitimacy, and trust in government across eight Asian nations based upon surveys of populations in these countries. Results show that cultural socialization has more impact than Mishler and Rose observed in a study of institutional trust in Central Europe, but interactions with government also produce differences in attitudes. Inclusion of dummy variables indicates that identification of individual indicators allows substitution for country contexts. Source : Center for the Study of Democracy, U.C. Irvine

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Do people know how their personality has changed? Correlates of perceived and actual personality change in young adulthood

ABSTRACT: How much do we think our personality changes over time? How well do our perceptions of change correspond with actual personality change? Two hundred and ninety students completed measures of the Big Five personality traits when they first entered college. Four years later, they completed the same measures and rated the degree to which they believed they had changed on each dimension. Participants tended to view themselves as having changed substantially, and perceptions of change showed some correspondence with actual personality change. Perceived and actual change showed theoretically meaningful correlations with a host of variables related to different aspects of college achievement and adjustment. Source : Richard W. Robins, University of California, Davis

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Self-esteem development across the lifespan

After decades of debate, a consensus is emerging about the way self-esteem develops across the lifespan. On average, self-esteem is relatively high in childhood, drops during adolescence (particularly for girls), rises-gradually throughout adulthood, and then declines sharply in old age. Despite these general age differences, individuals tend to maintain their ordering relative to one another: Individuals who have relatively high self-esteem at one point in time tend to have relatively high self-esteem years later. This type of stability (i.e., rank-order stability) is somewhat lower during childhood and old age than during adulthood, but the overall level of stability is comparable to that found for other personality characteristics. Directions for further research include (a) replication of the basic trajectory using more sophisticated longitudinal designs, (b) identification of the mediating mechanisms underlying self-esteem change, (c) the development of an integrative theoretical model of the life-course trajectory of self-esteem. Source : University of California eScholarship Digital Repository

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Preschool children with and without developmental delay: behaviour problems, parents' optimism and well-being

Children with intellectual disability are at heightened risk for behaviour problems, and these are known to increase parenting stress. This study explored the relation of behaviour problems to less child-related domains of parent well-being (depression and marital adjustment), as well as the moderating effect of a personality trait, dispositional optimism. Participating children (N = 214) were classified as developmentally delayed, borderline, or nondelayed. Mothers' and fathers' well-being and child behaviour problems were assessed at child ages 3 and 4 years. Parents of delayed and nondelayed preschoolers generally did not differ on depression or marital adjustment, but child behaviour problems were strongly related to scores on both measures. Optimism moderated this relationship, primarily for mothers. When child behaviour problems were high, mothers who were less optimistic reported lower scores on measures of well-being than did mothers who were more optimistic. Interventions for parents that aim to enhance both parenting skills and psychological well-being should be available in preschool. It may be beneficial for such programmes to focus not only on behaviour management strategies aimed at child behaviour change, but also on parents' belief systems, with the aim of increasing dispositional optimism. Source: University of California eScholarship Digital Repository

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Dynamic responsiveness in the US senate

"I develop a theory of dynamic responsiveness that suggests that parties that win elections choose candidates who are more extreme and parties that lose elections choose candidates who are more moderate. Moreover, the size of past victories matters. Close elections yield little change, but landslides yield larger changes in the candidates offered by both parties. I test this theory by analyzing the relationship between Republican vote share in U.S. Senate elections and the ideology of candidates offered in the subsequent election. The results show that Republican (Democratic) victories in past elections yield candidates who are more (less) conservative in subsequent elections, and the effect is proportional to the margin of victory. This suggests that parties or candidates pay attention to past election returns. One major implication is that parties may remain polarized in spite of their responsiveness to the median voter." J H. Fowler, University of California, Davis

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Drug use among female sex workers in Hanoi, Vietnam

Aims To describe the drug use practices among female sex workers (FSWs) in Hanoi and to identify factors associated with their drug injecting. Design, setting and participants A two-stage cluster survey of 400 FSWs was conducted from June to September, 2002. Participating FSWs were both establishment- (160) and street-based (240), who were practising in seven urban and one suburban districts of Hanoi. Measurements Subjects were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire. Findings Among the middle-class FSWs, 27% used drugs, of whom 79% injected. Among low-class FSWs, 46% used drugs and 85% injected. Among drug-using FSWs, 86% had started using drugs within the past 6 years. Among drug-injecting FSWs, 81% had started injecting within the past 4 years. Cleaning of injecting equipment was not common among those who shared. Having drug-injecting 'love mates', drug-using clients, longer residence in Hanoi, more clients and not currently cohabiting were found to be independently associated with drug injecting among FSWs. Conclusions The high prevalence of injecting drug use among FSWs makes them susceptible to HIV infection, and is a threat to their clients. There is a strong relationship between drug-using FSWs and male drug-using clients and non-client partners. Intervention to prevent drug use initiation among non-drug-using FSWs and harm reduction among drug-using FSWs are urgently needed. Source: University of California eScholarship digital depository.

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Who Bears the Burden? Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Recruits Before and After 9/11

"This paper reports the results of summary research into the demographic composition of two groups of recruits: those who enlisted between October 1998 and September 1999 and those who enlisted between January 2003 and September 2003. These groups are referred to as the 1999 and 2003 recruit cohorts, respectively. Nationwide Census data for citizens ages 18-24 were used as a baseline for comparison. Comparisons of these three different groups highlight the differences not only between the general population and military volunteers, but also between recruits who volun­teered for the military before 9/11 and those who volunteered after 9/11." Source: The Heritage Foundation

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WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women

"The first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) study on domestic violence reveals that intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence in women’s lives - much more so than assault or rape by strangers or acquaintances. The study reports on the enormous toll physical and sexual violence by husbands and partners has on the health and well-being of women around the world and the extent to which partner violence is still largely hidden." Source: World Health Organization

Report is downloadable in sections.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices

"Our analysis reveals that shifts in labor force composition have positively impacted earnings inequality during the 1990s. But these compositional shifts have primarily operated on the lower half of the earnings distribution by muting a contemporaneous, countervailing lower-tail price compression. The steady rise of upper tail inequality since the late 1970s appears almost entirely explained by ongoing between-group price changes (particularly increasing wage differentials by education) and residual price changes." Source: Harvard Institute of Economic Research (Autor, Katz, Kearney)

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Top 10 Art Crimes

* 7,000-10,000 looted and stolen Iraqi artifacts, 2003
* 12 paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft, 1990
* 2 Renoirs and 1 Rembrandt stolen from Sweden's National Museum, 2000 (Recovered)
* Munch's The Scream and The Madonna from the Munch Museum in Oslo, 2004
* Benevenuto Cellini Salt Cellar from Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum, 2003
* Caravaggio's Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco from Palermo, 1969
* Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius violin from a New York apartment, 1995
* Two Van Gogh paintings from Amsterdam's Vincent Van Gogh Museum, 2002
* Cezanne's View of Auvers-sur-Oise from Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, 1999
* Da Vinci's Madonna of the Yarnwinder from Scotland's Drumlanrig Castle, 2003

Source: FBI

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Justifying Intellectual Property Protection: Why the Interests of Content-Creators Usually Wins Over Everyone Else's

Abstract : I attempt to show that the law should, as a matter of political morality, provide limited protection of intellectual property interests. To this end, I argue that the issue of whether the law ought to coercively restrict liberty depends on an assessment of all the relevant competing interests. Further, I argue that the interests of content-creators in controlling the disposition of the content they create outweighs the interests of other persons in using that content in most, but not all, cases. I conclude that, in these cases, morality protects the interests of content-creators, but not the interests of other persons and hence would justify limited legal protection of the former interests. Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Law and Technology Scholarship (Selected by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology). Paper 13.Author : Kenneth Himma, Seattle Pacific University

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The Mosaic Theory, National Security, and the Freedom of Information Act

"The first work to explore the 'mosaic theory' in detail, this Note documents the theory's evolution in FOIA national security law and highlights its centrality in the post-9/11 landscape of information control. After years of doctrinal stasis and practical anonymity, federal agencies began asserting the theory more aggressively after 9/11, thereby testing the limits of executive secrecy and of judicial deference. Though essentially valid, the mosaic theory has been applied in ways that are unfalsifiable, in tension with the purpose and text of FOIA, and susceptible to abuse and overbreadth. This Note therefore argues, against precedent, for greater judicial scrutiny of mosaic claims." Source: Yale Law Journal (via Social Science Research Network)

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Sharing and Reducing the Financial Risks of Future "Mega-Catastrophes"

"Among the many impacts of Katrina, one is especially relevant to this essay. In effect, by the nature and magnitude of its response, the federal government post-Katrina resolved a debate that simmered among policy makers and academic scholars during the 1990s: whether the federal government should provide some kind of backstop insurance to the private market for large disasters. Clearly, the answer to that question after Katrina, is 'yes', although the post-Katrina "backstop" is informal and ad hoc. This essay will argue that this ad hoc or de facto insurance system is also inefficient because it provides inadequate incentives for loss prevention and unfair because those most at risk from future catastrophes do not bear a disproportionate amount of the costs to repair and rebuild, as they should." Source: The Brookings Institution

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How We Pay Professors and Why It Matters

"Universities that pay professors based on merit, rather than seniority, outperform other universities, says a C.D. Howe Institute study released today. The study...was written by John Chant, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University. Chant demonstrates that universities using a merit-based salary structure attract better students, obtain more research funding and generate more widely cited research than their counterparts that use a seniority-based approach. 'A university’s failure to put in place salary structures that provide incentives for productivity represents a breakdown of governance,' says Chant." Source: C.D. Howe Institute

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New journal publishing models: an international survey of senior researchers

"A comprehensive new global survey of 5,513 senior researchers who publish in scholarly journals shows strong support for many aspects of the current publishing model. In selecting where to publish, the key factor for authors is the prestige of the publishing outlet, as indicated by the journal's reputation, readership or its impact factor. In contrast, the research community attaches the least importance to retaining copyright to the published article or to the ability to deposit pre- or post-prints in repositories." Source: Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER)

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National Summit on Campus Public Safety: Strategies for Colleges and Universities in a Homeland Security Environment

"Colleges and universities are among our most vulnerable and exploitable targets for individuals and organizations seeking to cause harm and fear. In some jurisdictions, threat assessments have cited colleges and universities as potential targets of terrorist activity, while other jurisdictions have ignored them in homeland security planning. In a COPS-sponsored project led by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute, a national summit on campus public safety held in late 2004 established direction and made recommendations for developing a national strategy, programs, information sharing resources, funding, and other initiatives for protecting our colleges and universities." Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

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Racially Biased Policing: A Principled Response

"This report, funded by COPS and produced by PERF (Police Executive Research Forum), will assist agencies in meeting the challenge of eradicating racially biased policing. It provides the first step in assisting law enforcement professionals, in collaboration with the community to consider the issues and develop approaches for their community’s specific needs. The report guides law enforcement agencies in their response to racially biased policing and to the perceptions of its practice, thereby helping to strengthen citizen confidence in the police and improve police services in the community." Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services

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From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, A Survey of Students and Teachers

"The online survey, conducted between January 13 and January 31, 2005, reveals that bullying is common in America’s schools, and that some students are frequent targets for verbal and physical harassment.... The reason most commonly cited for being harassed frequently is a student’s appearance, as four in ten (39%) teens report that students are frequently harassed for the way they look or their body size. The next most common reason for frequent harassment is sexual orientation. One-third (33%) of teens report that students are frequently harassed because they are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual." Source: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Setting Priorities for Health Disparities

Press Release : "The Public Health Policy Advisory Board (PHPAB) today released a report calling for a better understanding of the underlying reasons for health differences among subpopulations. The report...acknowledges that varying patterns of death and disease are seen in subpopulations defined by age, gender, race or ethnicity, geographic location, education or income, disability, immigration status, and sexual orientation. Often these differences become the basis of demands for social change. The federal government has made the reduction of health disparities a priority." Source: Public Health Policy Advisory Board

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A Recipe for Overeating: Studies Outline Dangers of Mixing Stress, Deprivation and Tempting Foods

"Two studies in the October issue of Behavioral Neuroscience show that when animals are stressed, deprived and exposed to tempting food, they overeat, with different degrees of interaction. The powerful interplay between internal and external factors helps explain why dieters rebound and even one cookie can trigger a binge if someone’s predisposed to binge." Source: Behavioral Neuroscience (via the American Psychological Association)

Study 1 : Various Aspects of Feeding Behavior Can Be Partially Dissociated in the Rat by the Incentive Properties of Food and the Physiological State [download PDF]

Study 2 : Combined Dieting and Stress Evoke Exaggerated Responses to Opioids in Binge-Eating Rats [download PDF]

East Asia Update - Countering Global Shocks

"Emerging East Asia grew at just over 6 percent in 2005 as the region's economies countered a series of threats, including rising oil prices and interest rates, the high-tech slowdown, and the end of preferential export quotas for garments, according to the World Bank's latest East Asia Update. Avian flu, which is endemic in the poultry flocks of many East Asian countries, is a growing concern, however, for regional economies as the disease spreads among birds and as health experts look for signs of human-to-human transmission." Source: The World Bank

Summary (PDF) | Full PDF Report | Indicators for all countries (PDF)

Bioethics and Public Policy: Conservative Dominance in the Current Landscape

"The Women's Bioethics Project, a non-partisan, public policy think tank, announced today the release of a report detailing a concerted effort by conservative groups to dominate so-called 'bioethical issues' surrounding emerging technologies. The report...analyzes the involvement of both progressive and conservative bioethics centers, including traditional think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, as well as religious groups such as James Dobson's Focus on the Family." Source: Women's Bioethics Project

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There is No Constitutional Right to Smoke

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More than 12 million premature deaths over the past 40 years were attributable to smoking.1 Today, smoking causes approximately 440,000 deaths each year and results in over $150 billion in annual health-related economic losses.2 Smoking not only injures nearly every organ of the smoker's body,3 but it inflicts considerable damage on nonsmokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to kill more than 52,000 non-smokers in the United States each year.4In an attempt to limit the extraordinary harm that tobacco smoke inflicts on individuals and communities, advocates across the country are supporting enactment of state and local smoke-free laws. These advocates have seen their efforts rewarded with a wave of state and local workplace restrictions that prohibit smoking in offices, restaurants and bars.5 Moreover, various cities have passed smoking restrictions that cover targeted locations, such as playgrounds, parks, beaches, and public transit vehicles.6 In addition, some local government agencies, such as police and fire departments, have adopted policies requiring job applicants or employees to refrain from smoking both on and off the job.7Advocates promoting smoke-free legislation often encounter opponents who make the ominous legalsounding argument: "You are trampling on my right to smoke." The purpose of this law synopsis is to debunk the argument that smokers have a special legal right to smoke. If there were a legal justification for a special right to smoke, it would come from the U.S. Constitution.8 The Constitution lays out a set of civil rights that are specially protected, in that they generally cannot be abrogated by federal, state, county and municipal laws. Section I of this law synopsis explains that neither the Due Process Clause nor the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution creates a right to smoke. As a result, the Constitution leaves the door wide open for smoke-free laws and other tobacco-related laws that are rationally related to a legitimate government goal. Section II highlights two types of state laws that may create a limited right to smoke. Section II shows that in the absence of a constitutionally protected right to smoke, advocates can seek to amend or repeal these laws, thus taking away any safeguards the laws afford to smokers. Source : Samantha K. Graff, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium | U.C. San Francisco

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Comparing the Dynamics and Direction of American and French Industrial Societies: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the Early 2000s: A Narrative and

This article is part of a forthcoming volume The Origins and Evolution of American and French Industrial Societies, by Monique J. Borrel.

Source : University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection

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Active Military Sonar and Marine Mammals: Events and References

Summary : The deployment of active sonar by the U.S. Navy and its potential impacts on marine mammals has been an ongoing issue of intense debate; regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity; and international concern. Some peacetime use of military sonar has been regulated under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and other statutes due to concerns that active military sonars are operated at frequencies used by some cetaceans (i.e., whales, porpoises, and dolphins), and their highintensity sound pulses may travel long distances in the ocean. There is also concern that sonar transmissions of sufficiently high intensity might physically damage the hearing in cetaceans or cause them to modify their behavior in ways that are detrimental. Although mid-frequency sonar has been implicated in several beaked whale strandings, there is scientific uncertainty surrounding the totality of the effects active sonar transmissions may have on marine mammals. This report summarizes legal and political events related to active sonar and marine mammals since 1994. Prior to the late 1990s, concerns focused primarily on the use of underwater sound as a research tool. While strandings and mortality of marine mammals, primarily beaked whales, have been observed in concurrence with mid-frequency sonar operation, additional controversy has focused on the development of low-frequency active (LFA) sonar. Environmental interests are concerned with LFA sonar because low-frequency sound travels farther than midfrequency sound and is closer in frequency to those known to be used by baleen whales. Additional questions involve how to balance obligations of the military to comply with MMPA provisions (as well as provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act) with national security concerns. Generally speaking, concern about the environmental effects of ocean noise is now principally focused on three activities -- military sonar exercises, oil and gas exploration, and commercial shipping. This report summarizes some of the more significant recent events pertaining to active military sonar, in particular. It will be updated as events warrant. Source : Congressional Research Service

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Education Delayed or Education Denied? Evidence on the Historically Variable Role of Delayed Educational Careers in Former Communist Countries

Abstract : This paper explores why previous research failed to find any empirical evidence confirming the success of "Communist affirmative action" in reducing inequality in access to secondary and tertiary education in Bulgaria, the Czech republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia between 1948- 1989. I argue that scholars have too narrowly focused on ultimate educational attainment of each cohort and have thus overlooked important life-course and historical dynamics of educational stratification in former socialist countries. In this paper I study detailed information on educational careers from the Social Stratification in Eastern Europe after 1989 survey, distinguish the stratification of early and delayed school transitions and compare the differential degree of stratification of early and delayed transitions across cohorts. I show that delayed school transitions were usually stratified less on socioeconomic background than delayed transitions, yet this life-course differential was by no means stable over time. It turns out that delayed school transitions were stratified more strongly in cohorts, in which early transitions were stratified less as a result of the "Communist Affirmative Action". These two offsetting tendencies were overlooked by previous research and combined to produce and overall stable effect of SES on school transitions. I conclude that delayed education careers worked against the success of the egalitarian policies and offered a highly selective second chance for socioeconomically advantaged and politically disadvantaged students. This finding is statistically robust and is identified even in models that control for unmeasured individual-level heterogeneity. I argue that scholars should pay more attention to detailed educational careers and should not only study highest degree completed as otherwise their results may be biased and/or incomplete. Source : California Center for Population Research. On-Line Working Paper Series. Paper CCPR-047-05.

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Equity within Reach: Insights from the Front Lines of America's Achievement Gap

"This report is the result of a survey of nearly 2,000 of these teachers finishing their first and second years in the classroom, along with almost 200 incoming corps members who were just beginning their training. The survey addressed corps members’ beliefs about causes of and solutions to the achievement gap, as well as their own experiences in the classroom." Source: Teach for America

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Sex differences in brain activation elicited by humor

Abstract: With recent investigation beginning to reveal the cortical and subcortical neuroanatomical correlates of humor appreciation, the present event-related functional MRI (fMRI) study was designed to elucidate sex-specific recruitment of these humor related networks. Twenty healthy subjects (10 females) underwent fMRI scanning while subjectively rating 70 verbal and nonverbal achromatic cartoons as funny or unfunny. Data were analyzed by comparing blood oxygenation-level-dependent signal activation during funny and unfunny stimuli. Males and females share an extensive humor-response strategy as indicated by recruitment of similar brain regions: both activate the temporal-occipital junction and temporal pole, structures implicated in semantic knowledge and juxtaposition, and the inferior frontal gyrus, likely to be involved in language processing. Females, however, activate the left prefrontal cortex more than males, suggesting a greater degree of executive processing and language-based decoding. Females also exhibit greater activation of mesolimbic regions, including the nucleus accumbens, implying greater reward network response and possibly less reward expectation. These results indicate sex-specific differences in neural response to humor with implications for sex-based disparities in the integration of cognition and emotion. Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Testing Press Privilege in the CIA Leak Case

News reports and features analyzing the events related to the federal grand jury investigation into "the leak of a CIA operative's name [which, in October 2005] charged Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby with obstruction of justice, making a false statement and perjury." Includes audio of programs, documents from the case, opinion pieces, and links to related stories Source: PBS Online Newshour

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Report on the Manipulation of the Oil-for-Food Programme

630-page final report of the Independent Inquiry Committee investigating the administration and management of the United Nations Oil-for-Food program, documenting the extensive manipulation of the Oil-for-Food Programme by Saddam Hussein, whose regime diverted $1.8 billion in illicit surcharges and kickbacks from the humanitarian purposes of the Programme. More than 2000 companies were involved in illicit payments. Source : United Nations

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Games Parents and Adolescents Play: Risky Behaviors, Parental Reputation, and Strategic Transfers

Abstract : This paper examines reputation formation in intra-familial interactions. We consider parental reputation in a repeated two-stage game in which adolescents decide whether to give a teen birth or drop out of high school, and given adolescent decisions, the parent decides whether to house and support his children beyond age 18. Drawing on the work of Milgrom and Roberts (1982) and Kreps and Wilson (1982), we show that the parent has, under certain conditions, the incentive to penalize older children for their teenage risky behaviors in order to dissuade the younger children from the same risky behaviors. The model generates two empirical implications: the likelihood of teen risky behaviors and parental transfers to a child who engaged in teen risky behaviors will decrease with the number of remaining children at risk. We test these two implications, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 Cohort (NLSY79). Exploiting the availability of repeated observations on individual respondents and of observations on multiple siblings, we find evidence in favor of both predictions. Source : California Center for Population Research. On-Line Working Paper Series. Paper CCPR-039-05.

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New Claims about Executions and General Deterrence: Deja Vu All Over Again?

A number of papers have recently appeared claiming to show that in the United States executions deter serious crime. There are many statistical problems with the data analyses reported. This paper addresses the problem of “influence,” which occurs when a very small and atypical fraction of the data dominate the statistical results. The number of executions by state and year is the key explanatory variable, and most states in most years execute no one. A very few states in particular years execute more than 5 individuals. Such values represent about 1% of the available observations. Re-analyses of the existing data are presented showing that claims of deterrence are a statistical artifact of this anomalous 1%. Richard A. Berk, UCLA Department of Statistics

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Made in America: Communicating With Young Latinos

"Confirming a major paradigm shift in the understanding of language preference among US-born Hispanics, a new study finds that English is the overwhelming language choice among 2nd generation Latinos, and becomes nearly absolute among third generation Hispanics. The study, authored by David Morse, President and CEO of the multicultural market research firm New American Dimensions, looks at language preference for TV viewing and commercials, and concludes that U.S. Hispanics overwhelmingly prefer English language TV, and are more inclined to buy a product if an ad featured Hispanics speaking English. The study also finds that, despite their preference for English, many Hispanics still watch certain types of Spanish language entertainment." Source: New American Dimensions

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Kansas Denied Use of National Science Education Standards

"The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association have refused to grant copyright permission to the Kansas State Board of Education to make use of publications by the two organizations in the state's science education standards. According to a statement from the two groups, the new Kansas standards are improved, but as currently written, they overemphasize controversy in the theory of evolution and distort the definition of science. NAS and NSTA offered to work with the board to resolve these issues so the state standards could use text from the National Research Council's "National Science Education Standards" and NSTA's "Pathways to Science Standards." Source : The National Academies

* Joint Statement (PDF)
* Letter from President Cicerone (PDF)
* Review of the Kansas Science Education Standards (PDF)
* "National Science Education Standards "
* Letter from the National Science Teachers Association
* "Pathways to the Science Standards"
* Statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Poll: Americans Idealize Traditional Family, Even as Nontraditional Families Are More Accepted

"In a recent poll on religion and the family conducted for RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc., almost three quarters of all Americans agree that 'God's plan for marriage is one man, one woman, for life.' A strong majority of Americans (71%) idealize the traditional family even as divorce, cohabitation, and nontraditional family situations are becoming more accepted across religious groups. Only 22% of Americans think that divorce is a sin and almost half (49%) say that cohabitation is acceptable. According to the survey, the growing acceptance of divorce is also occurring among religious conservatives. Only 34% of evangelical Christians and 30% of traditional Catholics say that divorce is a sin." Source: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly (PBS)
Summary (PDF; 899 KB) | Questionnaire (PDF; 331 KB) | Methodology (PDF; 44 KB) | Demographics (PDF; 85 KB)

Trends in Manufacturer Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Older Americans

"These AARP Public Policy Institute reports present the results of studies of changes in manufacturers' prescription drug list prices (i.e., the prices set by drug manufacturers to charge wholesalers and other direct purchasers for drug products) for roughly 200 brand name and 75 generic prescription drugs most widely used by Americans age 50+. Specifically, the reports compare price changes with the rate of inflation from one year to the next and, beginning in 2004, show changes on a quarterly basis. They also present differences in average price changes by manufacturer and by major therapeutic category." Source: AARP

Link to online report

Two Studies on Pre-K Education

"In two studies appearing in a special issue of Developmental Psychology, researchers show the benefits of universal pre-K programs (serving 4 year-olds) and Early Head Start programs (serving infants, toddlers, and their families) on children's cognitive and language development, but especially for those children who are from low-income families. The study of pre-K documented benefits in several aspects of school readiness, and the Early Head Start study showed gains in social-emotional development and benefits for parents as well." Source: Developmental Psychology/American Psychological Association

The Effects of Universal Pre-K on Cognitive Development : Download PDF Report

The Effectiveness of Early Head Start for 3-Year-Old Children and Their Parents: Lessons for Policy and Programs : Download PDF Report

Information on Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Nominee for Justice of the Supreme Court.

information about and writings by Samuel A. Alito, Jr. They are categorized and are arranged in reverse chronological order within each category

Categories include:Biographical information, Majority Opinions (3rd Circuit Court of Appeals) Organized by broad subject, Per Curiam Opinions (3rd. Circuit), Concurring and Dissenting Opinions (3rd. Circuit), Amicus Briefs, Party Briefs, Oral Arguments Before the Supreme Court, Articles By Alito.

Please Note: This web page is continuously being updated as new information becomes available.

Source : University of Michigan Law Library

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