- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 15:20
- Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 15:20
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A Statistical Model of Election 2012
Probably one of the most dangerous things to do when it comes to forecasting the outcome of an election is to rely too heavily on statistical models. They are, after all, only representations of human behavior, and humans, when they vote and make decisions, aren’t always consistent. I know I’m not. A model may predict one outcome for an election, while the people doing the voting, may do something entirely different. It happens all the time.
However, one indicator that seems to have the most profound impact on the outcome of a national political campaign is the state of the economy. A good economy or a bad economy is often the deciding factor in who wins and who loses the race for the White House. Other issues can have a substantial impact on the result, but none seems to correlate so closely with the outcome as does the strength of the economy.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:59
- Published on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:59
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This summer offers a full range of topics to write about. There is politics, more politics, the Olympics, and the economy. They’re all the normal fare for columnists. So, having said that you may wonder why, for this week’s column, my attention has focused, of all things on waste water recycling. Municipal wastewater treatment, and I have visited several plants, isn’t necessarily an attractive business, and to some the whole topic may appear, at least on the surface, just a bit dull. But, hang on, give me a chance and I think you’ll find it’s much more relevant and interesting than you might think.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:01
- Published on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:01
- Hits: 1105
Most counties, states, and even the Federal Government, tend to be reluctant to use their power of eminent domain. As a rule, they much prefer a straight sale. But, when they can’t get their way, or get the price they want to pay, their next step is eminent domain. That way they can force the sale of the property at what they deem is the prevailing market rate. It can seem heavy handed at times. I remember when I was on the Stafford school board, getting chewed out by a local property owner, because the school system was using eminent domain to purchase a small part of his property to use for a bus lane. It was something we needed. The current traffic pattern was unsafe, but the property owner, felt that knocking off the 12 feet, reduced the value of his remaining property to a level far below what we paid him. I don’t know if was right or not. He might have been, but it was then and there that I understood how personal this issue can be.
- Last Updated on Thursday, 19 July 2012 17:51
- Published on Thursday, 19 July 2012 17:51
- Hits: 863
Located in the midst of the fish markets, souvenir shops, and sometimes even within sight of visiting cruise ships, the offices of the world’s offshore banks seem out of place. They are in dozens of often exotic and tropical locations. Island nations that provide the banks with the freedom to operate in a way they can’t in much of the developed world. The Cayman Islands host up to 40 offshore banks, Bermuda has just about as many, Britain’s Channel Islands have long been home to offshore accounts, and today these institutions have found homes in the Bahamas, Barbados and as far away as Malta, Cyprus and even Hong Kong.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 22:16
- Published on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 22:16
- Hits: 908
A year ago, Ken Cucinelli, Virginia’s flamboyant and press hungry Attorney General, said he wasn’t interested in running for Governor. It didn’t interest him. With his lawsuits, covering everything from suing the University of Virginia, claiming that it’s research scientists misrepresented climate change data, to filing briefs in support of lawsuits against the Affordable Health Care Act, he seemed to be in his element.
The activist right wing of the Virginia GOP, always a little impatient with the sometimes plodding “Virginia Way,” quickly warmed to their feisty Attorney General. He shot from the hip, said what they were thinking, and was stirring the pot. The ranks of his supporters began to grow and with his new found popularity so did the Attorney General’s ambitions.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00
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The notion of independence had been discussed in the Continental Congress for months. While there had been no official debate, the topic was always just below the surface and there were opinions on both sides. Many in Congress, like much of the population, still considered themselves English. They felt that what they were doing in organizing a Congress and then raising an Army was simply to protect their rights as Englishman.