Perhaps the "I-64/81 Cup" would be a more apt title.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Perhaps the "I-64/81 Cup" would be a more apt title.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
For instance, FDR's 1933 proclamation included the following:
"May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil."
Moreover, his 1934 proclamation included the following:
Nichols criticizes Obama for being like Washington and George W. Bush and using the proclamation to emphasize themes that all Americans can endorse, regardless of party affiliation.
I respectfully disagree with Nichols.
What began as a harvest celebration between European settlers and indigenous communities nearly four centuries ago has become our cherished tradition of Thanksgiving. This day's roots are intertwined with those of our nation, and its history traces the American narrative.
Today, we recall President George Washington, who proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed "by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God," and President Abraham Lincoln, who established our annual Thanksgiving Day to help mend a fractured nation in the midst of civil war. We also recognize the contributions of Native Americans, who helped the early colonists survive their first harsh winter and continue to strengthen our nation. From our earliest days of independence, and in times of tragedy and triumph, Americans have come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.
As Americans, we hail from every part of the world. While we observe traditions from every culture, Thanksgiving Day is a unique national tradition we all share. Its spirit binds us together as one people, each of us thankful for our common blessings.
As we gather once again among loved ones, let us also reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand. This is a time for us to renew our bonds with one another, and we can fulfill that commitment by serving our communities and our nation throughout the year. In doing so, we pay tribute to our country's men and women in uniform who set an example of service that inspires us all. Let us be guided by the legacy of those who have fought for the freedoms for which we give thanks, and be worthy heirs to the noble tradition of goodwill shown on this day.
Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to come together, whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place where family, friends and neighbors may gather, with gratitude for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own and to share our bounty with others.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of November, in the year of our Lord 2009, and of the independence of the United States of America the 234th (year).
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thanksgiving approaches. During his first year as President, the father of our country issued the following proclamation.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Blog of the William and Mary Chapter of the American Constitution Society recently posted an article reporting on and summarizing William Van Alstyne's November 11 lecture regarding Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, currently pending before the Supreme Court. At the end of the last term, the Court ordered reargument in the case, asking the parties to address whether, for instance, the Federal Government may, consistent with the First Amendment, ban speech by Corporations in support of or in opposition to a particular political candidate. The Court first approved such a ban in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), in a 6-3 decision. Two justices presently on the Court dissented: Justice Kennedy and Justice Scalia. (Justice O'Connor, it should be noted, joined Justice Kennedy's dissent).
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
In other CAA action, number 1 Richmond edged Delaware, unranked in the Sports Network and Coaches poll last week, 16-15, before more than 20,000 fans in Newark. Look for the Blue Hens to jump into the top 20 based on this showing. I suspect Richmond will remain at number 1 but perhaps receive fewer first place votes.
No 9 New Hampshire, also of the CAA, defeated FBS opponent Ball State, 23-16, giving theCAA its fourth victory this year against and FBS team.
Here's a story about that game from a New Hampshire paper:
Number 6 JMU took Maryland to overtime but lost 38-35. Look for JMU to retain its number 6 spot. JMU's performance confirms that the best teams in the CAA can play "toe-to-toe" with several teams in the ACC, despite the latter's advantage in athletic scholarships given per year and other expenditures. Even before theNew Hampshire/Ball State and JMU/Maryland games, the CAA's performance against ACC and other FBS opponents last week led some, particularly the Richmond Times Dispatch, to wonder whether ACC teams would continue to schedule CAA teams in opening games, instead of choosing less powerful opponents. Currently, Richmond is scheduled to play Virginia, Duke, N.C. State and Virginia, in that order through 2014. William and Mary is slated to play North Carolina in 2010 and Virginia again in 2011. Here's the link to the Times Dispatch Story.
Monday, September 7, 2009
My favorite quote from the interview comes from W&M President Taylor Reveley:
"Mr. Jefferson's first university just beat Mr. Jefferson's second university."
2) The Tribe has jumped to 7th among FCS schools in two national polls: the Sports Network poll and the FCS coaches poll.
3) The CAA has named B.W. Webb its defensive player of the week. Go here for the other honorees and some video.
4) For a detailed account of the W&M/UVA game with some post-game interviews, see this article in the Cavalier Daily:
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Earlier this evening the William and Mary Tribe stunned the University of Virginia Cavaliers, 26-14 in Charlottesville before a near-capacity crowd. What follows is an eyewitness account, bolstered by some statistics from an AP report posted on ESPN. For the ESPN report, and the box score posted on the William and Mary website, go here and here, respectively.
Update, 1:14 AM, Sunday, September 6. Here is a round up of stories about today's upset:
From the Daily Press of Hampton Roads;
From the William and Mary Flat Hat:
Some additional thoughts:
Both Tribe lines turned in outstanding performances.
[More to Come].
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Those with long memories will recall that the Tribe beat the Cavaliers 41-37 at Scott Stadium in 1986.
The summer has seen some good news for the Tribe, raising expectations for a 2009 great season!
First, Adrian Tracy has been selected as a Sports Network preseason all-American and is on the preseason "Watch List" for the Buck Buchanan award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS league (formerly 1AA) each year. Tracy registered 7 tackles against N.C. State last year and led the CAA conference with .91 sacks per game, a figure that made him 6th nationally. He also had 15.5 tackles for a loss.
Moreover, five Tribe players have been selected to the College Sports Network pre-season All-American team. The honorees are: Adrian Tracy, Jonathan Grimes (running back), David Caldwell (safety), David Miller (punter) and Brian Pate (placekicker). Tracy earned first team honors, Caldwell second team, and Miller third team, while Grimes and Pate earned honorable mention. Some will remember Caldwell for his 66 yard return of a blocked field goal for a touchdown last year against Norfolk State. Here's a video of that play:
Brian Pate (placekicker), Sean Lissemore (defensive tackle), C.J. Herbert (defensive tackle), Rob Varno (tight end), and Dave Miller (punter).
Finally, the Tribe has done well in some of the pre-season rankings.
According to a press release from the William and Mary Athletic Department:
"Athlon Sports gave the Tribe its highest ranking at 11th, while the Sporting News and Phil Steele’s magazine both list W&M as the 12th-best team in the nation entering the ’09 season. Any Given Saturday and USA Today College Football Sports Weekly rank the College 13th and 14th, respectively, while Lindy’s magazine has the Tribe slotted 16th."
Here is the USA Today top 25. Note that six of the top 25 are members of the Colonial Athletic Association, further confirming what a tough conference this is.
1) James Madison
2) Appalachian State
3) Cal Poly
4) Northern Iowa
8) Weber State
10) Southern Illinois
11) New Hampshire
13) Central Arkansas
14) McNeese State
15) South Carolina State
16) William and Mary
18) Tennessee Martin
23) Western Illinois
24) Jacksonville State
25) Tennessee State
Others receiving votes included: Holy Cross, Prairie View, Eastern Kentucky, North Dakota State, and Grambling, among others.
For more information visit the following links:
And, for photographs of last season's action, go here:
For video highlights from last year's season, go here:
With 8 returning starters on defense, including a very strong defensive line and a very strong backfield the Tribe should be tough to beat !
If you can't make the UVA game, don't forget to listen on 107.9 FM or 92.3 FM in Williamsburg, 1050 Am in Lynchburg, or 1450 AM in Richmond. Or, go here to listen to the game via streaming audio. http://www.tribeathletics.com/story.php/1336/. Finally, the game is apparently available on Espn360.com.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Here is a link to the Op-Ed, which originally appeared in the Washington Post.
And, in fact, Krauthaumer quotes a letter from the Congressional Budget Office concluding that:
"Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness."
Thus, Krauthaumer concludes, mandating and encouraging additional prevention may well increase the costs of health care borne by the government and the private sector.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The article, by Karen Sloan and entitled: can be found here:
Sloan reports the following tuition increases taking effect this fall:
1) Indiana Bloomington, 25 percent;
2) UC Davis, 19 percent;
3) Iowa, "nearly 20 percent;"
4) Texas, 16 percent;
5) U. Colorado, 16 percent.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
And, if you want to watch some full-length episodes, including at least one in HD, go to the CBS website here. Thanks CBS !
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Here's the story about the end of Apoteket's monopoly, July 1.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Among other things, Smith notes that most Americans are generally happy with the health care they receive. Moreover, despite some initial promises, there is no indication that the plans promoted by President Obama and his allies will improve the amount or quality of care that most Americans receive. Instead, Smith suggests, providing health insurance for 45 million additional Americans will only increase the cost that everyone else pays for health care, and perhaps reduce its quality. (I'll add here that it will increase cost in two ways: first, it will increase the demand for health care services (according to some sources the uninsured currently receive 50-60 percent of the care received by others), without any increase in the supply of health care, thus driving up the price of such services. ("Where are the additional doctors ?" Smith asks.) Second, it will increase expenditures, by the government and the private sector, on health care, hence the $1 trillion (minimum) price tag of the proposals in the Congress., and that is just the price tag for the national government.)
Smith concludes that, unless the Democrats can convince Americans that that their plans will actually improve their health care and/or lower the price they pay for it, no ambitious plan will actually pass Congress.
I certainly agree with Smith's cogent analysis of both the policy issues and the politics of health care reform. I will also add that President Obama is missing a real opportunity here. There may in fact be a way to BOTH increase access to health care (certainly an important policy objective) AND reduce costs, but no one is talking about it. That is, the government could take various steps to reduce the costs of producing and financing health care, shifting the supply curve of such services so that, despite increased demand for care, prices might actually fall. Or, at least such steps could mitigate any price increase that would otherwise result from increasing health care expenditures on the 45 million or so individuals who are not insured.
Here are the sort of steps that I have in mind:1) Increase the number of doctors educated here in the USA. The government could require states, as a condition of receiving Medicaid funds for instance, to increase the size of their medical schools, thus increasing the supply of physicians.
2) Relax immigration restrictions. Such restrictions prevent foreign-educated doctors from becoming U.S. citizens or prevent American-educated citizens of foreign countries from remaining in the USA. A growing number of Americans are travelling abroad, e.g., to India, for surgery. Why not bring the Indian doctors here, instead, thereby increasing the supply of physicians, as Smith seems to suggest?
3) Eliminate so-called "certificate of need" laws that prevent entry by hopsitals into underserved markets. Most states have such laws, which require individuals to obtain a state's approval before building a new hospital. According to one report, New York was the first state to adopt such laws, in 1964, and numerous other states followed suit at the behest of the American Hospital Association. Here's the report, from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14373 The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have criticized such laws, pointing out that they increase concentration in health care markets, reduce competition and drive up prices. The national has the authority to preempt such laws, so long as the burden interstate commerce, which many of them do. Moreover, Congress could also decline to provide, say, Medicaid subsidies to states that maintain such laws.
4) Reform the McCarran-Ferguson Act. As explained in a previous post, the McCarran-Ferugson Act exempts health insurance companies from the sort of antitrust regulation that other companies live under, whenever states regulate or purport to regulate such companies themselves. McCarran-Ferguson also allows states to block out of state insurance companies from entering their markets. Both provisions, of course, naturally raise economic concentration in local health insurance markets and thus likely raise the price of health insurance. Here's that previous post, by the way.
So far as I can tell, none of the bills currently in play in the House or Senate includes any of the measures listed above. If the President and members of Congress really want to take on "special interests," why not take on the American Hospital Association and the AMA by attempting to preempt certificate of need laws and significantly increase the number of doctors? The failure to do so is perplexing.
The chief culprit here is the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which Congress passed in 1945 in response to the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters, 322 U.S. 533 (1944). Southeastern Underwriters held that the Sherman Antitrust Act (named for its sponsor, Senator John Sherman, R-Ohio, pictured above) applied to the business of insurance and banned a horizontal price fixing agreement between insurance companies selling insurance across state lines. The decision was correct and made perfect sense. However, in its infinite wisdom, Congress responded to the decision by passing the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which, among other things, granted antitrust immunity to insurance companies who are regulated by state insurance authorities. The only exceptions to such immunity are for instances in which the company engages in "boycott, coercion or intimidation." McCarran-Ferguson was one of several New Deal-era federal statutes that undermined competition by encouraging price fixing and creating barriers to entry. Another classic example is the Motor Carrier Act of 1935, which required anyone wishing to transport goods across state lines in a truck to obtain a federal license to do so. The Act also empowered the Interstate Commerce Commission to sets prices for such transportation and pass on truckers' applications to serve particular routes. Put another way, the Act empowered the ICC to engage in Central Planning of the trucking industry.
Thus, so long as insurance companies are subject to state oversight, they may engage in the sort of horizontal price fixing that would be a felony if practiced by, say, automobile manufacturers. They may also engage in exclusionary tactics that do not rise to the level of "boycott, coercion or intimidation." Moreover, such companies can merge with one another with impunity, thereby producing concentrated markets without regard to whether such concentration is necessary to produce efficiencies. As the Times-Dispatch editorial notes, 94 percent of state insurance markets are "concentrated" if one applies Department of Justice Merger Guidelines. The problem is compounded in this context, where, because of McCarran-Ferguson, insurance companies can agree on the prices they will charge consumers without any threat of liability under Federal law.
Ordinarily, concentration itself it not necessarily a problem, since the threat of new entry can sometimes prevent firms in concentrated markets from raising prices above the competitive level. If, say, Dominos and Pizza Hut agree on the price of delivered pizza, Papa Johns and others can enter the market and defeat the cartel. However, McCarran-Ferguson empowers a state to prevent entry by out-of-state insurance companies into the state's own market, thereby preventing consumers in, say, Virginia from seeking health insurance from firms based in New York. In the end, then, McCarran-Ferguson is a sort of one-two punch: insurance companies may agree on prices they will charge consumers in a particular state, and consumer may not seek to avoid such price fixing by seeking insurance elsewhere.
There are various ironies here. The Obama administration and its allies generally support, or claim to support, aggressive enforcement of the antitrust laws. At the same time, they have made no effort to undo the pernicious anti-competition effects of McCarran-Ferguson. Moreover, some arguments for the so-called "public option" rest on the assumption that the Federal Plan will become so large that it will have bargaining leverage over providers of health care, an assumption in tension with a professed desire to enhance competition.
There is final irony. President Obama and his allies claim that failed markets justify additional government involvement in the health care industry. In this case, however, the problem seems to be failed government. To quote the Times-Dispatch:
"The market gets blamed for a lot these days, but it is absurd to pin high health insurance premiums on markets when excessive regulations are much more culpable. Any health care overhaul should repeal the ban on interstate health insurance shopping."
Enough said !
Friday, July 31, 2009
Why the falling attendance ? Two reasons, perhaps. First, the economy is quite weak, with Virginia' unemployment rate reaching its highest in years last month. Second, and as your humble blogger can confirm, the most recent IRL races at Richmond have not been particularly exciting. The oval track is relatively small --- about three quarters of a mile, compared to 2.5 miles at Indianapolis, and 1.5 miles at the Kentucky Speedway, for instance. The short straightaways at the track make it very difficult for one car to pass another or, for that matter, for the cars to run two wide. As the Times-Dispatch article puts it: "During the race, there were long stretches of uninterrupted racing with few lead changes."
For the sake of posterity, here, courtesy of the Times-Dispatch story, are the winners of the nine IRL races held in Richmond over the years.
• 2001: Buddy Lazier • 2002: Sam Hornish Jr. • 2003: Scott Dixon • 2004: Dan Wheldon • 2005: Helio Castroneves • 2006: Sam Hornish Jr. • 2007: Dario Franchitti • 2008: Tony Kanaan • 2009: Scott Dixon.
The Indy Racing League will unveil its 2010 schedule live, at 4:00 PM. Go to http://www.indycar.com/ to watch the broadcast.
Here is another photo of the same lighthouse, taken in July, 2011.
The UK Guardian reports that three electricity companies in China emit more carbon dioxide than the entire United Kingdom, the latter of which is the sixth or seventh largest economy in the world.
The report also notes that China emits less carbon per capita than various industrial nations, but omits the fact that, as a reported in a prior post, China utilizes and emits far more carbon per unit of output than the United States, for instance.
Here is the prior post:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Flat Hat Story was updated Tuesday afternoon, to report that a fund has been created to assist the employees of the restaurant. Here is the information about the fund:
A fire fund account at Chesapeake Bank has been set up for the 48 employees of Sal’s by Victor. Those wishing to make a donation may do so in person at any Chesapeake Bank branch, or by mailing the donation to the bank, attention Sal’s by Victor Fire Fund, 1229 Lafayette St., Suite 202, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Checks should be made payable to the Sal’s by Victor Fire Fund.
WAVY News 10 also has a detailed story on its site, along with some video.
Thank God that no one was seriously hurt in the fire or in the efforts to extinguish it. Let's hope that Victor can get Sal's back up and running as soon as possible despite the devastation. Ditto for the other businesses that we affected.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Some of you may have seen the video on YouTube collecting what purport to be the 100 best movie lines, including the line quoted above from Planet of the Apes. The video is quite impressive, managing as it does to collect all 100 lines in under four minutes. Here is a link to the video.
At the same time, there are, in my mind ayway, some obvious omissions from the list of top 100 lines, including the following, in no particular order. Where possible, I have located and posted a clip from Youtube or another source.
1) "I'm Spartacus" from Spartacus
2) "Dodge This" from The Matrix
3) "You used up all the glue . . . on purpose." From "A Christmas Story"
4) "I'll make it." From Hoosiers.
(50 seconds into this clip).
5) "Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel." From The Godfather II
6) "Leave the gun. Take the canolis." From The Godfather
7) "I've got nowhere else to go." From Officer and a Gentleman
8) "There is no fighting in the war room." From Dr. Strangelove
9) "I get paid to be suspicious when I've got nothing to be suspicious about." From The Firm
10) "30 years from now when you are sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you 'what did you do in the great World War II' you won't have to say, 'well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana." From Patton.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The report also estimates that China's GDP is less than half that of the USA. Other estimates place it at about one third of the USA's GDP. Thus, China's output is much more carbon-intensive than that of the USA. Indeed, according to this story from NPR, China's emissions grew 14 percent in 2004, a gross amount equal to the entire emissions of Germany or the UK.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Virginia 41 percent