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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Cities and Towns Estimates To Be Relased By The Census on Thursday on: May 21, 2015, 08:25:09 am
Any predictions?

Baring a major surprise it appears San Jose will become the 10th city to reach 1,000,000 people and the 11th all time (Detroit was over 1,000,000 until the 1990's).

Speaking of Detroit it will be interesting to see if it continues to lose people and if it drops from its current ranking as the 17th largest city (my guess is no as El Paso and Memphis are growing more slowly/not growing at all and Seattle is still a couple years away).

With everything going on in downtown Detroit, it'll probably start rebounding very, very slowly.


Based on the release, El Paso will pass Detroit in the 7/1/2015 estimates. It's only 1200 behind Detroit and it's growing by about 2 K a year over the last couple of years while Detroit is losing 6K a year. Seattle is adding over 10K a year so even though it's estimated to be 12 K smaller than Detroit, it is also likely to pass Detroit in next year's numbers. Denver is 17K behind Detroit, but is adding 15K a year, so it too may pass Detroit next year. That would drop Detroit to number 21.


2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 20, 2015, 09:33:15 pm
district 6: Obama 870,675; McCain 467,867
district 7: Obama 642,003; McCain 461,698
district 8: Obama 577,193; McCain 121,150
district 9: Obama 512,419; McCain 278,770
district 10: Obama 626,812; McCain 643,847
district 11: Obama 475,037; McCain 366,040
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 20, 2015, 08:49:17 am


I did a little more population balancing. The new line between 6 and 7 is Mulholland Dr, and between 7 and 11 west of San Bernardino is I-15 and I-210.

district 6 (3075K): WVAP 56.9%, HVAP 24.0%, AVAP 11.0%; pres 08: D 65.0%, gov 10: D 57.8%.
district 7 (3138K): WVAP 49.3%, HVAP 26.2%, AVAP 16.0%; pres 08: D 58.2%, gov 10: D 52.6%.
district 8 (3088K): WVAP 11.9%, BVAP 13.9%, HVAP 62.1%, AVAP 10.5%; pres 08: D 82.7%, gov 10: D 81.5%.
district 9 (3075K): WVAP 18.4%, HVAP 62.0%, AVAP 14.8%; pres 08: D 64.8%, gov 10: D 62.0%.
district 10 (3109K): WVAP 53.8%, HVAP 21.1%, AVAP 19.2%; pres 08: D 49.3%, gov 10: D 40.1%.
district 11 (3086K): WVAP 36.9%, HVAP 47.0%; pres 08: D 56.5%, gov 10: D 51.9%.
district 12 (3095K): WVAP 52.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 11.6%; pres 08: D 55.1%, gov 10: D 46.9%.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: In the U.S. of Voronoi, which state do you live in? on: May 20, 2015, 07:53:20 am
It's interesting to see how some of the Voronoi borders closely coincide with state lines. For example look at MN-IA, MO-AR, WA-OR, AZ-UT, OH-IN, IN-IL, and IL-MO just to name a few. Central and southern IL nearly fit into the existing boundaries. Presumably that's a feature of states placing their capitals in central locations which can result in capitals nearly equidistant from their dividing line.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 19, 2015, 11:27:13 pm
To follow up, here's one way I would embed a variant of my SoCal in the western part of the plan. I did shift Imperial to AZ but split no counties other than those in the LA area (6 districts) and Phoenix (2 districts). Except for the VRA districts, I minimized UCC splits and tried to minimize state line crossings. HI is with SF and AK is with Tacoma.



This is doable. I might make some changes on the edges, but I like this. What did you do with the Inland Empire district after moving it out of Imperial County, CA?

I added most of Rancho Cucamonga to the IE district to replace Imperial. The effect was to move the VAP to 47.3%. Then the Encino area of LA was shifted from the Coastal district to the Antelope Valley district.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-House 2016: Mega-Thread on: May 19, 2015, 10:07:28 pm
What are Democrats chances of getting rid of the TERRIBLE Mike Bost? I miss Bill Enyart.

Mike Bost was my State Rep when I lived in Southern IL. Frankly, he's very mellow.
Do I even need to like the clips of him throwing temper tantrums in Springfield? I'm beginning to think you are just a sad troll.

Do you understand that his role in the IL House GOP was to create interruptions on the floor when the majority was running bills too fast without time to react to them. He would joke about the antics over a drink afterward, including a drink with Dems.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 19, 2015, 09:54:13 am
To follow up, here's one way I would embed a variant of my SoCal in the western part of the plan. I did shift Imperial to AZ but split no counties other than those in the LA area (6 districts) and Phoenix (2 districts). Except for the VRA districts, I minimized UCC splits and tried to minimize state line crossings. HI is with SF and AK is with Tacoma.

8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 18, 2015, 09:47:23 pm

If I keep it the way you have it, it really messes up the rest of the Southwest and Rocky Mountain areas. I would probably have to split up Nevada and or Utah. When I have some time I'll try to incorporate some of your ideas, while trying to keep Nevada and Utah together. I definitely want to keep the 2 Hispanic regions.

I think you are too attached to the unity of UT and NV. Yes, you should try to keep states intact, but not at the expense of chopping a UCC county in a state elsewhere. I also think that you are too wedded to putting all the Mormon areas together. I could just as well make the case for reuniting the historic Deseret area for the Mormons which would link all of NV (minus Clark) with UT.

For example, ID+WY+MT are a perfect match for one district, so why not preserve those states as a group. AK can arguably go with coastal WA since there are both flights and ferries between those points, whereas there aren't many if any from ID/MT to AK.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 18, 2015, 06:26:03 pm
Here's a more complete picture of how I would do SoCal. Overall the seven colored districts are within 40 K of the ideal population. There are two solid Latino VRA districts and one opportunity district.

district 6 (3078K): WVAP 56.6%, HVAP 23.8%, AVAP 11.3%; pres 08: D 66.9%, gov 10: D 59.6%.
district 7 (3057K): WVAP 46.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 16.6%; pres 08: D 56.4%, gov 10: D 50.7%.
district 8 (3088K): WVAP 11.9%, BVAP 13.9%, HVAP 62.1%, AVAP 10.5%; pres 08: D 82.7%, gov 10: D 81.5%.
district 9 (3070K): WVAP 18.4%, HVAP 62.0%, AVAP 14.8%; pres 08: D 64.8%, gov 10: D 62.0%.
district 10 (3109K): WVAP 53.8%, HVAP 21.1%, AVAP 19.2%; pres 08: D 49.3%, gov 10: D 40.1%.
district 11 (3072K): WVAP 35.3%, HVAP 49.5%; pres 08: D 57.1%, gov 10: D 52.7%.
district 12 (3095K): WVAP 52.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 11.6%; pres 08: D 55.1%, gov 10: D 46.9%.



I'm going to try to use this as a guide and create 2 Hispanic regions. I think I am going to need to make sure the southeastern part of California is available for Arizona.

But I don't see how you can justify both a county split and a UCC chop which happened in your initial map there with Riverside. You really don't do anything like that anywhere else on your map. I can see moving Imperial to AZ and adding San Luis Obispo to SoCal which keeps the population within limits. It does mean that the Inland Empire district would lose some opportunity for Latinos.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 17, 2015, 08:53:43 pm
Here's a more complete picture of how I would do SoCal. Overall the seven colored districts are within 40 K of the ideal population. There are two solid Latino VRA districts and one opportunity district.

district 6 (3078K): WVAP 56.6%, HVAP 23.8%, AVAP 11.3%; pres 08: D 66.9%, gov 10: D 59.6%.
district 7 (3057K): WVAP 46.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 16.6%; pres 08: D 56.4%, gov 10: D 50.7%.
district 8 (3088K): WVAP 11.9%, BVAP 13.9%, HVAP 62.1%, AVAP 10.5%; pres 08: D 82.7%, gov 10: D 81.5%.
district 9 (3070K): WVAP 18.4%, HVAP 62.0%, AVAP 14.8%; pres 08: D 64.8%, gov 10: D 62.0%.
district 10 (3109K): WVAP 53.8%, HVAP 21.1%, AVAP 19.2%; pres 08: D 49.3%, gov 10: D 40.1%.
district 11 (3072K): WVAP 35.3%, HVAP 49.5%; pres 08: D 57.1%, gov 10: D 52.7%.
district 12 (3095K): WVAP 52.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 11.6%; pres 08: D 55.1%, gov 10: D 46.9%.

11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which State... on: May 17, 2015, 11:48:23 am
The log effect means that the relationship is a decaying exponential like radioactive half life. Roughly, for each additional 10 counties (or other unit) per district available the range should drop by a factor of 10. 20 additional counties per district would decrease the range by a factor of 100.

To read the graph take the number of counties per CD and look at the vertical axis value. Take that number as an exponent for a power of 10 to get the range. For example, IA has 99 counties and 4 CDs for an average of 24.75. For that value the green line is at about 2.2. 10 raised to the 2.2 Is just about 158, so any IA whole county plan would be expected to have a range of less than 158.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which State... on: May 17, 2015, 09:17:53 am
It says that if you tell me how many counties, large counties, and districts in a state, I can tell you how small the range (or deviation) should be in a plan using whole counties. If it isn't about that number or smaller than that, then you probably didn't work hard enough, or were trying to preserve other elements in a plan like low erosity or UCCs (This graph from 2012 was the original basis of my Pareto model of trade offs). It also applies to any other building block used to form districts as long as their populations are distributed like the counties in a typical state. The fascinating thing is that it shows that the states are quite similar in this regard, and New England towns distribute themselves in population like counties in other states.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which State... on: May 17, 2015, 08:30:34 am
Ever gotten any districts with no county breaks?

I've gotten a few in Indiana and one in Wisconsin I think.

I did a series of threads on this a while ago (2012). The first was on states using whole counties only. Then I did it for the New England states using whole towns. Finally I did one with states where the only splits were for counties larger than one CD.

The result was a general mathematical relationship where one could predict how close the district populations should be to the ideal depending on the average number of counties per district. Note how most states sit below the green line in the graph below (reproduced from the third thread mentioned above).

14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do you have a landline phone? on: May 17, 2015, 05:35:15 am
I live 2 blocks from an AT&T central office that handles switching for my area. It is very hard to interrupt service from there to my house. Since the land line has its own power source on the line, I keep it and an old phone that directly plugs into the line. That gives me a virtually guaranteed communications line when power goes out, even if the cellular service goes out. I also still find that the land line gives more uniform signal quality, so for important conference calls, I prefer it. OTOH, I don't bother with a land line at my downstate apartment, I just have Comcast for internet and TV and a cell phone.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which congressional or other electoral districts have you been to in 2015? on: May 16, 2015, 05:56:37 am
In MA for graduation at WPI

CO-1,2,3,6,7
IL-3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
MA-2,3,4,5,7,8
MN-5
MO-1

Total: 22 28
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: Boston Bomber sentenced to death on: May 15, 2015, 09:02:21 pm
There's a side of retributive justice that has not been raised, but is relevant. It isn't about punishment to the criminal, but closure to the public who endured the trauma of knowing people directly or indirectly impacted by the bombing. Part of the terror was the lockdown of Boston for days during the manhunt. The additional murder while on the run, is the tipping point for me that a death penalty is warranted. Even though it may take years, thats a sooner closure to the case than natural life.

BTW, I just landed in Boston as I write this, so I may be able to post some firsthand impressions of the decision from those who were impacted.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Common Core vs. Academic Standards in Different Countries (Math/Science) on: May 15, 2015, 11:28:23 am
So if we set aside the assessment tools, which have some clear problems, can you be specific about what is wrong with the standards (which were developed independently, before the assessment)? If appropriate, I'm curious to read what you don't like about the math standards. They are the result of about 40 different state panels that met in 2008-2009 to develop requirements that should apply to all students, not just STEM students. The panels' results were then integrated and put into a coherent framework in late 2009. From the initial set of standards for graduating students, grade-level standards were developed so that students could reasonably get to the final goal.

I think the goals are, for the most part, valid.  For example, it might be beneficial for textbook companies if a common curriculum was adopted nationwide, and it would likely promote collaborative efforts among teachers.  I have read them in detail for the third and fifth grades, but not for the fourth grade, and overall they are a good start.  (We could quibble about the specifics such as "students need to be able to turn fractions into decimals and vice-versa by the end of the fifth grade."  ?!  We had my son doing that in the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade.)  

Still, teachers and parents are right to revolt against it.  Briefly, I object to tying test scores to teacher evaluation, since test scores depend upon a number of socioeconomic factors.  (Getting rid of teacher tenure/security would be a much better way to deal with problem teachers.)  The federal standards are showing a little more flexibility in timelines, which is probably good, but it doesn't really address fundamental socioeconomic problem of underperformance by students.

I also think it is in the implementation that we find frustration.  I've posted about that before at length, but the bottom line is that the rigidity with which the standards are implemented really stamps out creativity and frustrates many gifted students.  


It looks to me like your real beef is with No Child Left Behind of 2001. That's what created the high-stakes testing environment in which we live and lack of recognition of the socioeconomics of education. Common Core was initially an idea to help states cope with NCLB when it emerged from the 2008 National Governors Association meeting. It had the added benefit of reflecting standards needed by employers to deal with the global information economy. The US Department of Ed co-opted it in late 2009 when the new Race to the Top funds were tied to aggressive implementation of Common Core by the states. Given the fiscal pressures of the Great Recession, it was hard to resist that co-opting.

Today states still have flexibility in using the Common Core standards, and can tailor them and add to them as needed. The difficulty is that many states have made multi-year contracts with test and curriculum providers and used those to secure the Race to the Top funds. Allowing too many opt outs can cause the loss of all or part of the federal funds, and that can place a burden on state and local taxes if education funding is maintained. Not every state is in a fiscal position to deal with that.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Common Core vs. Academic Standards in Different Countries (Math/Science) on: May 15, 2015, 08:30:37 am
The PARCC test it created is very unpopular and isn't working in most areas.

I had the opportunity to take one of them earlier this year and I was disappointed. PARCC is a product of Pearson, and I'm quite familiar with online assessment tools they have developed for their college textbooks. Unfortunately it looks like the people who designed the software interface for PARCC didn't interact with their well-developed software for programs like Mastering Physics. It reminds me of the original roll out of the IBM PC in 1981 - IBM had one of the best electronic keyboards available on its typewriters, but they didn't coordinate with the original PC design crew which ended up with a critically panned keyboard for the PC.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Common Core vs. Academic Standards in Different Countries (Math/Science) on: May 15, 2015, 07:51:58 am
Since Common Core will almost certainly be a point of contention in the 2016 Presidential election, I thought the topic is worth discussing.  

I'm against it.  I've seen its repercussions.  There may be a time when our nation gets its head out of its ass and starts taking education of the masses seriously.  I do hope that happens, but I don't think it's happening today and I have a child in public schools now.  I don't want him to be a guinea pig.  Let it be someone else's kid, and let it happen on someone else's dime.  Also, I hope we do not go the route that the Chinese and Eastern Bloc countries have gone, as it stifles creativity.  Unfortunately, our own vision seems to be stifling creativity as well.  

The bottom line is that you get what you ask for and what you're willing to pay for.  Pennsylvania seems willing neither to pay for good education nor ask for the right things.  I would not want to force its attitude upon others.  Tennessee seems to already understand its shortcomings.  New York is waffling, but about 200 thousand students have opted out.  Your state can oppose this trend as well.  After you have looked into it, I hope you write your legislator and ask him or her to oppose the Common Core Curriculum.  



So if we set aside the assessment tools, which have some clear problems, can you be specific about what is wrong with the standards (which were developed independently, before the assessment)? If appropriate, I'm curious to read what you don't like about the math standards. They are the result of about 40 different state panels that met in 2008-2009 to develop requirements that should apply to all students, not just STEM students. The panels' results were then integrated and put into a coherent framework in late 2009. From the initial set of standards for graduating students, grade-level standards were developed so that students could reasonably get to the final goal.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Is Oklahoma Southern? on: May 13, 2015, 07:47:00 am
No, except for the eastern 20% which is an extension of the western Appalachians through the Ozark plateau. The rest fits better with northern TX and southern KS as the southern part of the Great Plains, where the economy relies on energy production and large-scale agriculture. Since that part is the majority of the land and population of OK, it isn't really in the South.

I'm pretty sure is more than 20% bro, unless you are excluding Tulsa county (which is reasonably fair, given how traditionally Republican and cosmopolitan Tulsa county is from its Little Dixie neighbors) from the Eastern part.

Correct, I don't count the Tulsa area as part of Little Dixie, nor does Wikipedia. Little Dixie is clearly influenced by Southern culture by all accounts. Tulsa isn't particularly more Southern than OKC. It was founded as a boom town for oil, which goes to my comments about the similarity of OK to north TX.

21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Internet Addiction on: May 12, 2015, 06:20:32 am
My mom worried about me when I would spend long hours at the school computer to connect online to read and write software. That was 1972 and it used the protocols of the internet, so I guess that's a yes for the olds.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Is Oklahoma Southern? on: May 11, 2015, 07:36:15 pm
Could anywhere but the South produce a creature such as Bushie?

Yep. I have visited many areas with residents like that, and they were nowhere near the south.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Is Oklahoma Southern? on: May 11, 2015, 06:29:47 pm
No, except for the eastern 20% which is an extension of the western Appalachians through the Ozark plateau. The rest fits better with northern TX and southern KS as the southern part of the Great Plains, where the economy relies on energy production and large-scale agriculture. Since that part is the majority of the land and population of OK, it isn't really in the South.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is this a good plan to make sure you can end corruption in congress on: May 11, 2015, 03:54:27 pm
An interesting alternative view on the whole question of congressional corruption appeared in my morning Tribune.
25  General Politics / Economics / Re: When is the next global recession and how severe is it? on: May 11, 2015, 03:44:30 pm
I'm amused at all the posts that say there won't be another global recession for a decade or more. If you look at the list in the post I've quoted, then it's pretty clear that the longest period in the last 40+ years without a global recession was seven years from 1983 to 1990. We are almost 6 years past the end of the last recession. Adding another decade would make it a record recovery period by more than double the historical best. That seems farfetched to me.

I've already stated why I don't believe that type of analysis to be correct. Downturns happen because of overaggressive upturns not because of some prophetic timing. We've never had a recession-free period longer than 7 years because we've never had a giant recession followed by slow steady growth before. Recessions in recent US history are generally followed by 7+% GDP growth years and other unsustainable booms that make us due again. We are not experiencing that at this moment. There is still too much untapped GDP potential in this economy in many sectors.

Much has been made in general about how our rebound from the 2008 crash has been atypical. If that is the case, the business cycle should also be atypical.

I stand by my statement as a matter of statistics. There's no question that deviations from the average are to be expected. But the greater the deviation, the less likely it is to occur. Since 1970 only one year (1984) had real US GDP growth in excess of 7%. The economic growth in the US in 2010 (2.5%) is not so different as the first year recovery from the tech bust in 2003 (2.8%).
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