Three twisters had been confirmed by 10 p.m. near Savannah, Warrensburg and
Sedalia in Missouri, injuring at least five persons. One person was hurt when a
tornado struck southeastern Kansas near Independence.
Here and here are my previous posts on the summary of the March 12th tornado outbreak, one of which claimed the life of a woman in Sedalia.
Members of the farm lobby loves ethanol mandates because mandates creates a new market for farmers' output. Polticians like them because they ensure a steadier flow of campaign funds from the members of the farm lobby. Some uninformed citizens like them because they make "us" less dependent on foreign energy sources. But ethanol mandates make many economists cringe.
Gasoline prices will be unusually high and shortages might occur this
summer, because the U.S. ethanol industry can't keep up with the demand
for fuel-grade alcohol to mix with gasoline, the head of the U.S.
Energy Information Administration told a Senate committee Wednesday.
Granted, this summer's potential shortage should be a short-run problem. High prices should direct ethanol producers to increase capacity and work other bugs out of the production process. But there are longer-term issues:
Ethanol mainly is made in the Midwest. But demand should be heaviest in
the Northeast and Texas because of special clean-air fuel requirements
there. Shipping alcohol costs more and takes longer because ethanol
attaches to any moisture present and could contaminate petroleum
pipelines - the cheap, fast way to ship.
Ethanol mandates: 1. Limit what businesses can sell 2. Implicitly prohibit some international exchanges 3. Make US consumers and businesses more susceptible to supply shocks in the ethanol industry (including shocks such as droughts that reduce the corn supply) 4. (if the mandated ratio of ethanol to petroleum is high enough) force consumers to either have cars that have specially tuned engines to burn high ethanol concentrations or it forces them to drive cars with engines that aren't specially tuned and that get mucked up by the ethanol.
A little bit from the local paper from Sunday 3/26 told of the success of a local non-profit in meeting its (director's secret) goal (no link was available, so I present the entire thing):
During a 24 hour pack-a-thon spanning 5 pm Friday to 5 pm Satruday, the local non-profit Kids Against Hunger pacakged about 500,000 dry meals for the poor and impoverished around the world - far surpassing their original goal of 300,000.
Director Tim Stromer was thrilled with the results and the voluteers' efforts.
"I had a secret ggoal of 500,000, but I didn't really think we could do it. "It's really amazing."
That's quite an accomplishment. But this is news because this sort of thing doesn't happen everyday and the volunteers put forth a lot of effort (plus there's the heartstrings thing). But there are local for-profit food-providers in the area that do this everyday. But because these businesses are taken for granted and because they are sometimes looked down-upon for having a profit motive, we don't see stories such as these:
Local HyVee Serves Thousands of Diverse Customers
Local Restaurant Cooks up Meals and Brings Big Bucks
Dennis Coates, one of the finest researchers on the connection between sports and local economies, and Victor Matheson, who seemingly has written on every kind of mega event, have both joined the blog roll at The Sports Economist. Slowly but surely, Skip's getting bloggers who can bring the average intelligence up to what it was before I joined the crew ;-)
Details of new Missouri basketball coach Mike Anderson's contract are here.
The former UAB coach has agreed to "'be a loyal employee'" and not
(according to CNNSI's summary) "bad mouth" the university. The
"loyalty" clause is somewhat superfluous, since all employees are
agents of their employers owing fiduciary duties of loyalty. The "bad
mouth" clause, however, raises interesting enforceability questions
(specifically, what would constitute a violation of the clause).
Non-disparagement clauses are regularly part of settlements or
severance / termination agreements. But it might work out differently
for an employee in service. Sometimes, part of being a coach is
bad mouthing. For example, "We played terribly tonight." Would that be
grounds to stop paying Coach Anderson? Presumably, the contract also
includes an arbitration clause, so ultimately, if push comes to shove,
we are unlikely to get a court ruling on the viability of such a clause.
The deal stipulates that Anderson "agrees to be a loyal employee."
Unlike Snyder's contract or the contracts of football coach Gary Pinkel
or women's basketball coach Cindy Stein, Anderson will receive
incentives for keeping a good face on the program.
Anderson's contract has several provisions that limit what he can say
and how he can act while representing the university. Those provisions
Keep public statements complimentary to the athletic program and to the university.
Maintain a mature and rational attitude, keep emotions in control and play down defeats.
Be a disciplinarian but be fair, sympathetic and protective of the student-athletes while motivating them to excellence.
Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they
have been terrorized by a crazy cat named Lewis. Lewis for his part has
been uniquely cited, personally issued a restraining order by the
town's animal control officer.
A restraining order? You can't give the cat a restraining order. You can give the owners the restraining order, but not the cat - can you?
"He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each
foot, each with a long claw," Janet Kettman, a neighbor said Monday.
"They are formidable weapons."
It sounds like it's time for the cat-from-hell to get a de-claw.
The neighbors said those weapons, along with catlike
stealth, have allowed Lewis to attack at least a half dozen people and
ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.
Aw, don't mind Fluffy. He's friendly, EXCEPT WHEN HIS CLAWS ARE BURIED DEEP IN YOUR FLESH AND TEETH ARE FIRMLY EMBEDDED IN YOUR FEMUR!
Cats can be bad-ass animals and tough-guy dogs are often scared of them. After all, who wants to get a cat-swat across the snout? Just ask these guys:
Yesterday during one of my Principles of Micro classes, students and I got to talking about the Arena Football League (because of the shutdown condition described here). One student mentioned that the AFL had a few well-known owners (Bon Jovi and John Elway, to name a few). Another asked what the average salary of an AFL player was. I was surprised at the mention of the owners and I didn't know the answer to the salary question. But you'd expect that from someone who follows baseball, college football, and this school's athletic programs, eh?
Not long ago, if you were a standout college player who did not make it
to the National Football League, it was curtains for your career. Of
course, some players could go north to play in the Canadian Football
League, but the slots were few. Happily the AFL, which now boasts an
average salary of $85,000, has opened up new opportunities for athletes.
A tight prior I hold is that people want to live where they can reach the highest standard of living. This will generally happen where people have the most "economic freedom," the ability to choose what they want to do. This map of the world that accounts for net immigration roughly shows this to be the case. Fat regions have high rates of net immigration.
I was at first surprised at the size of the Middle East, but then here is the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom. While no Middle East country is listed there as being "free", Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are listed as being "mostly free."