Ukraine and Lighter Topics

As you probably know, shakeups are in the works in Ukraine, as the Orange Revolution recedes into the past and practical politics take over. Do I know anything about it? No. Nothing. Fortunately, however, our good friend King Baniain, chairman of the Economics Department at St. Cloud State University, was formerly an economic adviser to the Ukrainian government, knows many of the relevant players, and continues to follow the situation closely. So if you want to know a lot more about what is happening in Eastern Europe, one of the world’s most pivotal areas, than we or the New York Times can tell you, check out King’s site, SCSU Scholars.
One of the nice things about King is that he’s a conservative, and as such, he is relatively understanding of human foibles. So he takes a humorous view of the annual moving-in festivities at his university:

Students returned to campus on the traditional Labor Day move-in, and the normal amount of revelry and disorderliness ensued. I love this one quote. Some partiers, such as St. Cloud State student Kirk Pauley, began drinking as early as 9 a.m.
“Move-in day is kind of like Christmas, you’re so excited you can’t sleep the night before,” Pauley said. “When you wake up in the morning, the present is beer.”
Momma Pauley, you done good. (Kirk, btw, has been in one of my classes; he did OK, Momma.)
I’ll be busy with student advising, so posting will be sporadic until evening.
UPDATE: A retired faculty member who lives where the partying occurs has a photo gallery. I drove through the area this morning and confirm that it looks like that.

And the next day, this:

When we said there was a hot time in the old town Monday night, we weren’t kidding.
Almost 125 people were booked into Stearns County Jail for offenses related to move-in day at St. Cloud State University, likely the most booked into the jail from any one event.
Most of the 235 offenses cited by police were related to the use of alcohol during the weekend, Capt. Dave Johnson said.
It’s believed that the 90 arrests made two years ago during move-in day was the most people booked into the jail before this year’s enforcement.
Wow, 125! Think we can make the list again? Most got busted for underage drinking or open containers, but twelve for public urination. Remember, there were over a hundred cops in the neighborhood. You can’t find a john?

Seriously, though, King’s site is one of the best and (generally) most serious on the web. He’s also on our weekly radio show, where, as an economist, he shines the light of actual expertise on many of the problems of the day. Follow the link on the right to listen tomorrow, 12 to 3 central time.

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