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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Mid Atlantic Madness on: March 03, 2015, 09:09:22 pm
Here is an alternative Philadelphia for my PA map:



Inequality is higher- -2,331 and +1,709.  Presumably erosity is lower by a couple points.  None of the districts other than 1 and 2 are any different (I think that's in fact the only way to draw Bucks-Philly without splitting wards).

I suspect this would be preferred in situations where there is some amount of inequality leeway.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which poster is least like the previous poster? on: March 03, 2015, 06:57:01 pm
Gustaf
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "M"? on: March 03, 2015, 06:54:44 pm
Tip o' the hat to Madagascar for its amazing biodiversity, but really Mexico has got to win this running away.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When will New Jersey become competitive? on: March 02, 2015, 10:19:01 pm
NJ is the most urbanized state in the country and has a perfect combination of liberal white centers, union presence, heavily minority areas, etc. It's a Democratic goldmine.
I don't know of any liberal white centers. True about he union presence though "The Teachers Union" is very powerful.

Hoboken? Tenafly?

Montclair, West Orange, Highland Park, Princeton, Cherry Hill...

Plenty of areas with a large white liberal presence in NJ.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: favorite obscure fictional characters on: March 02, 2015, 04:04:38 pm
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 02, 2015, 03:29:10 pm
VA-3 doesn't conform to the Gingles test.  When it was first drawn the district court said if doubted that a compact majority BVAP district could be drawn.   And that district had a 60% BVAP.  They "corrected" that district by removing Portsmouth.  It hardly makes a district more compact by removing the largest concentration of blacks, and forcing the district to jump back and forth across the James, and skip Portsmouth, but include parts of Norfolk.  In the latest litigation, Virginia claimed they were trying to reduce the number of county splits - but couldn't explain why a majority of the splits were because of VA-3.

I think the Long Island example sounds like a political gerrymander to either help or hurt Peter King.

While the current VA-3 is indeed a monstrosity that ought not be protected, you can make something pretty compact that is black-majority, but which requires double-spanning Richmond and Henrico:



51.8% BVAP.

I'm not even sure how to respond to your thoughts on Long Island, except to cite Emerson's quip about how "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".  I mean, have you seen the current NY-2?  Do you have any sense of the history and geography of Long Island?  Does anyone think that the current district (which is, BTW, an R+1 PVI district surrounded by R+2, EVEN, and D+3 districts) was drawn for the purposes of being a gerrymander?  

I mean, I respect that this might be a corner case where optimal lines end up being sacrificed for the good of better redistricting everywhere else.  But it's a sacrifice all the same.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Red Pillite vs SJW on: March 02, 2015, 02:00:28 pm
I didn't know what a "Red Pillite" was so I googled it. And the top three hits were from the Atlas Forum. Roll Eyes

Your eye roll is misplaced.  Try just "red pill" instead.

it would be a no-brainer if "SJWs" were true egalitarians gone wrong or crazy.  I don't think they are.  RPs live in the real world to a much greater extent and thus are capable of genuine dialog.

Fundamentally, I just can't see a moderate voting SJW, but I could see them hold their nose and vote RP. SJWs are insane whereas RPs are assholes. Asshole wins every time.

It's like neither of you have heard of the Implicit Association Test.  But, even if you haven't, the whole redpill movement is so totally suffused with conspiracist, paranoiac thinking– I'd think that even poorly-informed "pox on both houses" moderates would be able to tell that they are no "saner", however you define that term.

Look, the online culture of SJWs has serious issues, I'd be the first to admit that.  But those pathologies have everything to do with either a) the sort of Peoples' Front of Judea sectarianism that has plagued every left movement ever since the dawn of time, or b) the fact that these are young people on the internet, with all that implies.  They don't really have much to do with the values and the theories these folks espouse (which are worth defending), and given the reality of point B it's not like their antagonists are really any better on that front.

8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Mid Atlantic Madness on: March 02, 2015, 12:46:02 pm
The suggested UCC rule would however favor Train's map over mine however in the Pittsburg UCC, because his severance of Fayette does not cause the minimum cover to be exceeded, while mine does. The CD that chops of Fayette must also do the other cut, due to the trapped Washington County anomaly, such that if PA-18 takes Washington County in along with Fayette to keep Fayette in the UCC, it causes that CD to cease to be a pack CD. Do we want a trapped county exception to the pack rule?  Tongue

I think you mean Greene, not Washington?  Also, which of my maps are you referring to?  Well, both of them are superior to yours when it comes to cover, but the second (worse IMO) one does better on pack.

I would be interested to see the scores comparing Torie's map and mine at some point, when the chance arises.  I'm not sure that Torie's map even saves much in the way of erosity, since two macrochops of Allegheny is liable to get punished (IMO, just on the eye test, that Washington-Westmoreland 18 in both Torie's map and my second one is not so hot either).

After fiddling around some more, I'm not sure I really can much improve the Allegheny lines for my first map anyway.  Lowering erosity in SEPA, though, could still potentially happen.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: March 02, 2015, 11:39:07 am
Yep, totally agree.  Manhattan needs a lot more density and needs modern office space to attract and keep global finance in the city.   There are a few offensive mega skyscrapers going up, like the residential tower near CPS.  But, Manhattan is full of skyscrapers.  It's not a big deal.

It seems to me that new signaling technology and new train cars is a no-brainer.  I sometimes use the C train and its cars were built in the mid 60s.  That's ridiculous. 

How do you pay for it and how do you get Cuomo to care about New York City?  That's tough.  I would be in favor of a few things.  A higher gas tax and more metered parking for sure.  I don't understand why there's so much free parking in NYC.  You should have to get a yearly pass to park in a specific neighborhood, which would also discourage all the people who live in New York full time but drive around with out of state plates.  And, then, maybe you put in tolls on the bridges over the East River.  Theoretically, you could also use that money to lower tolls on the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge and encourage truck traffic to avoid central Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Congestion pricing would be nice too.

Well too bad, all the money's going to Cuomo's gold-plated twice-as-wide-as-necessary Tappan Zee replacement instead.

Us city dwellers don't matter.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Mid Atlantic Madness on: March 01, 2015, 07:48:55 pm
The precise lines in SE PA, were dictated by trying to minimize inter-county highway cuts, while avoiding subunit chops. Job one of course is to first identify the county seat, and work from there. I was unable to find a way for PA-08 to chop into Philly without a ward chop, so it chopped into Montco instead. And I needed to make sure PA-02 took in downtown Philly where the courthouse is, to avoid a highway cut from Montco by having the most direct highway able to go from Norristown to the Philly courthouse, without ever touching PA-01. This aspect of the game is the most time consuming. The way PA-16 juts into Chester County was no accident either. Finally, the cut into Montco by PA-06 was designed to avoid a traveling chop, which I think should be prohibited, and thus I won't due it.

I'd also opine that this "aspect of the game", such as it is, seems pretty artificial.  I haven't paid much attention to it with my own metro-area lines, and I am unlikely to see a particularly compelling reason to start doing so.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Mid Atlantic Madness on: March 01, 2015, 07:40:19 pm
You have an unnecessary UCC chop in the west: five districts enter the Pittsburgh UCC when only four are necessary. I believe chopping into Chester does the same thing– unless we've decided that single county UCCs get the penalty point instead (in which case I guess it's a wash)?  And PA-8 can in fact go into Philly with no split wards– some erosity, admittedly, but I don't think any more than you incur in Montgomery there.


I have an extra chop in Allegheny, as I admit, but don't you have an extra chop in Philly (you having both PA-07, while I have just PA-07, in lieu of my extra chop into Chester? The PA-08 is 80,000 folks or so, and Philly needs a total chop in of about 120K. So you have two chops into Philly, one in Montco,  one in Chester and one in Berks, and I have one in Philly, two in Chester, and and two in Montco. Yes, if chopping into single county UCC's does not get an extra penalty point, then you have a higher score in the Philly UCC too. But currently under Mike's rules, it does.

Oh, but I forgot that PA-09 enters the Pittsburg UCC. My bad. How inconvenient. PA 09 needs to chop more so that PA-03 does not. I don't like that rule in this case! Tongue  Ah, if we just had incremental penalties, and nothing more. But we don't.

I don't think any chops should be treated differently myself, no matter the status of the county, with the sole function of UCC's, multi county UCC's, being aggregation (hopefully with incremental penalties for the aggregated size of the chop in), but I digress. But right now, all that matters is whether a county is, or is within, a UCC, or not, and the incentive is to chop non UCC counties wherever one can. Not a good system, but in this instance, in PA,  it works pretty well. There is absolutely no reason to prefer chopping Berks in lieu of Chester, and it makes splendidly bad public policy, that no state will enact - ever. There needs to be a level playing field, applicable to all, and just based on the numbers of people involved.

Well, if we are counting single-county UCC chops as a penalty point then I'd either need to a) find a county to chop other than Cambria in my second map, or b) advocate for the superiority of my first map, fans be damned.

Honestly, I'm inclined instead to advocate for Map #1.  Fans, yes, be damned.  It's the best Western PA out there (modulo tinkering with the lines in Allegheny and/or possibly moving the PA-12 chop into Allegheny) no matter the penalty points.  It's certainly an argument that said penalty points should not scale up to relative infinity, as you are advocating for.

My subjective feeling is that the five SEPA counties do actually count more than Berks, which is kind of a mutt county on the outer orbit of the Philly region without as much of an identity as the Delaware Valley or Amish Country.  But yes we are getting into judgments too fuzzy to be admitted into the scoring system, and there are also certainly other places where giving single-county UCCs the same protection as multi-county ones is important to help preserve good options.  (This is another lesson I gleaned from my abortive attempt at Florida.  The Orlando area/Space Coast is really hairy, and you do kinda want to leave open the option to preserve those beach counties.)  I'll have to tinker around with those lines some more, but it's entirely possible that splitting Lancaster, which neither of us have done, might end up being the winner.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Mid Atlantic Madness on: March 01, 2015, 06:21:41 pm
You have an unnecessary UCC chop in the west: five districts enter the Pittsburgh UCC when only four are necessary. I believe chopping into Chester does the same thing– unless we've decided that single county UCCs get the penalty point instead (in which case I guess it's a wash)?  And PA-8 can in fact go into Philly with no split wards– some erosity, admittedly, but I don't think any more than you incur in Montgomery there.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 01, 2015, 06:17:07 pm
While there will be some county division in this phase, multiple spanning of counties will not be permitted.  Multiple spanning is when two or more districts share portions of two counties. 

I do worry that, while it is a good rule for 95% of our districts, absolute prohibition of double-spanning might be problematic in several cases.  Most importantly, it might be mutually incompatible with following the VRA in some areas– VA-3 and NJ-10/8 come immediately to mind; and I can imagine similar situations arising in places like South Florida and east of Los Angeles. 

To which I can imagine you saying, "so much the worse for the VRA", and that's fair– holding 50% BVAP districts sacrosanct is not really necessary in those areas for electing the candidate of choice.  But if we're trying to make an action plan that has a chance of being adopted, it would be better to build in some flexibility for those situations.

And, well, there are a couple other cases where double-spanning might be appropriate.  Say, if you have a county which is discontiguous (as exist in Massachusetts and Louisiana), or functionally discontiguous by dint of having two areas which aren't accessible to each other except by leaving the county (the rural NE corner of King comes to mind).  Or, and this is admittedly a loosey-goosey "community of interest" plead but it is a universally accepted one that oughtn't be dismissed lightly, double-spanning Nassau and Suffolk to get a North Shore and South Shore district.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a self hating liberal weenie? on: February 28, 2015, 10:38:04 am
Well I do hate myself, but it has nothing to do with being liberal.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Irony Oremine on: February 27, 2015, 07:38:05 pm
This sounds like the beginning of a romance and/or horror novel.
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which left is your favorite? on: February 27, 2015, 02:00:46 pm
The definition of "postmodern left" here seems hopelessly confused and sketchy; I'm not sure what it means beyond just being an extension of New Left thinking that had the bad fortune to exist in an age of Third Way strategic retrenchment.  In any case, all of these options are responses to the challenges and opportunities of their particular time and as such I'm uninterested in playing the generational-warfare game of pitting one against another.

Anyway, all these Old Left votes are pretty predictable given how white and male this forum is.  Yes, its achievements were very important, and have the most widespread acclaim today.  But they were also in many ways the low-hanging fruit; I'm not going to fault Einstein for failing to discover Newton's laws of motion, nor will I fault today's physicists for not coming up with E=mc2.

...Eh.  Guess I'd vote New Left.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "H"? on: February 27, 2015, 12:57:51 am
Argentina
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ethiopia
France
Greece
Hungary

Haiti is a massive Freedom Country and deserves its impending win.  But I am duty-bound to vote for Bela Bartok's homeland.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Most Pyrrhic NDP Victory? on: February 27, 2015, 12:51:40 am
The principle of amalgamation was fine (just a reflection of reality in many cases), but the way in which it was done... rather less so, think it's fair to say.

Yeah, the Ottawa amalgamation is pretty dumb.

Toronto, OTOH, was a reasonable thing, and Hatman's whining about having to share a city with those icky suburbanites (who are, let us be clear, part of the same city no matter what the lines on the map are) has exactly as much good sense and moral weight as a resident of the Grosse Pointes insisting that they are not really part of Detroit and shouldn't send any of their tax monies out of their totally separate fiefdom, or Cobb and Gwinnett counties refusing to let the MARTA in, or any of a series of sub-1,000 population river towns on the Mongohahela bankrupting themselves with duplicative police and fire and planning officials, or... yeah.  You get the idea.

Also, 4,000th post.  Woo.  What the hell am I doing with my life.

Strong regional governments are the way to go, whether its in Detroit or Ottawa. Not amalgamation.  You need to have small local governments to handle the little things, like community improvement.

Except a lot of even that "community improvement" stuff boils down to myopic NIMBYism.  For example, in NYC we have a pretty strong Community Board system, and those boards make a lot of local decisions.  But this also means they end up serving as inappropriate veto points on projects with regional scope.  Just recently, for example, there's been some discussion about improving outer-borough bus service, and one big key to that would be getting some dedicated lanes on routes between Flushing and Jamaica. But those routes pass through whiter, wealthier Kew Gardens Hills, and the folks who are on the CBs there have been doing a bang-up job of saying that they don't want bus lanes in their district, and looks like DOT will defer.  Which, even if it is an accurate representation of neighborhood sentiment, isn't okay.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What color is this dress? on: February 27, 2015, 12:30:15 am
Blue and gold (moderate hero).
20  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: The Final U.S. Metro Areas Survivor (Round 3) on: February 27, 2015, 12:24:02 am
Lansing, Michigan metropolitan area vs. Ogden, Utah metropolitan area
Scranton, Pennsylvania metropolitan area vs. Lancaster, Pennsylvania metropolitan area
Asheville, North Carolina metropolitan area vs. Johnson City, Tennessee metropolitan area
Portland, Maine metropolitan area vs. Savannah, Georgia metropolitan area
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Death Penalty Support Poll on: February 26, 2015, 06:21:16 pm
More or less what Kal said.  I'm opposed as a general rule, but I do reserve the right to keep a "break glass in case of Nazis" exception for extreme cases of genocide and war crimes. 
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "G"? on: February 26, 2015, 06:13:10 pm
I have to apologize for voting Germany over the non-white countries, but I'm like 75% German-American, almost of my ancestry (about 300-400 direct ancestors) goes back to Germany within 250 years (and my two main ancestral lines got to America from Germany in the mid 1800s.

I would vote Greece if Germany wasn't on the list. Or Guyana.

Why should you have to apologize?

Because I really would vote for the non-Western European countries, if one wasn't where many of my ancestors are from. I'm a bit sick of mostly Western European and Commonwealth countries winning.

Can you come with a argument, why Ghana, Greece or any on the long list of "G" countries should win over Germany? Can you come with a honest argument why Fiji should win over France and Finland. At most I can see the problem with Estonia winning. But again it was a country which is above all the other countries on all parameters (with exception of good summers, biodiversity and cuisine) to all the other "E" countries.

Ethiopia's history and cuisine far surpass that of Estonia's.  I mean, I like plucky little Estonia but that result was a travesty.

I'd also argue that Argentina should have won for the As– its legacy as a New World immigrant haven is really only second to the USA, and Borges is simply the best–  but Argentina is TBF a pretty white country as well.

Anyway, as for this round, Lief has the right of it. Taramasalata is delicious.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which of the following citrus fruits do you like most? on: February 26, 2015, 03:56:51 pm
Grapefruit (abnormal)
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama breaking out the veto pen today for Keystone on: February 26, 2015, 01:37:55 pm
Also, another ftr here, I don't want my above post to be misinterpreted as an blanket "f*** trains" post.  Trains obviously have a useful purpose in transporting people, goods, resources, etc. etc. etc. long distances.  Hell, I am not even entirely opposed to some very limited transportation of crude (ie Rome wasn't destroyed in one day).  What I am opposed to, however, is the mentality that says that expanding crude by rail is a very good thing.  It is not.  If anything it needs to be reduced (but not immediately done away with, again Rome wasn't destroyed in one day) and Americans need to get used to having more limited supplies of it (even if it means paying significantly higher costs).

What I was trying to point is that the sorts of safety regulations that rail is subject to are far stricter than for any other non-air mode (every train crash gets a federal investigation– how many truck crashes do?), and are often counterproductive– such as FRA materials requirements making our trains much heavier than other countries (rather than caring about signal modernization instead), a move that is ostensibly to make them safer but simply makes them more expensive and less energy-efficient.  One of those few cases where the neoliberal "bad regulations" line is actually correct.

While a pipeline would, indeed, be safer than shipping oil/gas by rail, freight rail is generally pretty safe and the common rhetoric that is scared of it while accepting crashes on our road system as just the price of doing business is backwards. 
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Most Pyrrhic NDP Victory? on: February 26, 2015, 12:01:09 pm
The principle of amalgamation was fine (just a reflection of reality in many cases), but the way in which it was done... rather less so, think it's fair to say.

Yeah, the Ottawa amalgamation is pretty dumb.

Toronto, OTOH, was a reasonable thing, and Hatman's whining about having to share a city with those icky suburbanites (who are, let us be clear, part of the same city no matter what the lines on the map are) has exactly as much good sense and moral weight as a resident of the Grosse Pointes insisting that they are not really part of Detroit and shouldn't send any of their tax monies out of their totally separate fiefdom, or Cobb and Gwinnett counties refusing to let the MARTA in, or any of a series of sub-1,000 population river towns on the Mongohahela bankrupting themselves with duplicative police and fire and planning officials, or... yeah.  You get the idea.

Also, 4,000th post.  Woo.  What the hell am I doing with my life.
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