Monday, December 31, 2012

The fiscal cliff is nigh; Senators talk deal, House wont vote -

he feared fiscal cliff was at hand Monday night, with senators discussing a deal struck by their leaders and no vote in the House of Representatives scheduled before a combination of tax increases and spending cuts starts to kick in.

via The fiscal cliff is nigh; Senators talk deal, House wont vote -

Prediction in science. Saint Louis Missouri Computer Science and Economics

Is prediction important in science?  If the social sciences want to be sciences shouldn't they be able to predict something ex-ante like a physicist can predict the trajectory of a rocket?  Political scientists are not measured by ability to predict elections.  Economists fear predicting economic data released in vast quantities by governmental and private organizations.  I think social sciences are typically not fact-based sciences but faith-based religions.   The applied math is based on admitted "simplifying" assumptions that are often counterfactual so the manipulations, derivations and simulations are only illustrative of an unreality,  Thus no predictive power.  So I agree with Tony Lawson Oxford UK on tossing most mathematical decorations so popular in journal articles.  


Computer Science and Math have projects to support the Medical School, a leader at image processing -- you have to look inside people to see what is going on in there.  The seminar series picks numerous relevant topics, particular FPGA speedup of massive data flows.

Faculty Positions Available The Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Washington University seeks outstanding tenure-track faculty in all areas of computer science and engineering.  The department plans to grow its faculty size by 50% in the coming years. We seek multiple talented and highly motivated individuals who will build transformative research programs, both through work in the core disciplines of computer science and computer engineering and through interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in areas such as biomedicine, engineering, and the sciences.   key strategic themes of our research include: tight integration of computation with the human and physical worlds, the extraction of knowledge from massive data sets; and the design of safe, secure, and scalable computing systems. The impact of our work is magnified through interdisciplinary collaborations throughout the School of Engineering; with colleagues in the sciences, arts, and humanities; and with our world-renowned School of Medicine.   Washington University is a private university with roughly 6,000 full-time undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students. It is nationally known for the exceptional quality of its student body and for its attractive campus, which borders residential neighborhoods and one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Many faculty walk or bike to work. St. Louis combines a Midwest cost of living with a vibrant metropolitan area, offering a wealth of cultural and entertainment opportunities.  Beyond the comfortable suburban campus is a learning lab, well-stocked with the cultural and business resources of a major city. Home to many well-known international and regional businesses, St. Louis is known as a hub for medical and technological research and innovation. Students appreciate convenient access to the region's resources. In 2009, Forbes Magazine listed St. Louis as No. 4 on its "Most Affordable Places To Live Well" list.  The Loop now serves as a model for communities across the country. The American Planning Association recently named this thriving retail, restaurant, arts and entertainment district “One of the 10 Great Streets in America.”  A century ago at this location, streetcars from downtown “looped around” to return to the city, which gave the area its name. 



Computer Science & Engineering Colloquia Series

September 14

Dr. Maurice Herlihy

Brown University

"The Multicore Revolution"
View Abstract
September 21

Dr. Vijaya Ramachandran

University of Texas at Austin

"Efficient Resource-Oblivious Algorithms for Multicores"
View Abstract
October 5

Dr. Carl Ebeling

University of Washington

"A Model for Programming Data-Intensive Applications on FPGAs"
View Abstract
October 12

Dr. Keshav Pingali

University of Texas at Austin

"Parallel Programming Needs Data-centric Foundations"
View Abstract
October 26

Dr. Rajmohan Rajaraman 

Northeastern University

"On the Complexity of Information Spreading in Dynamic Networks"
View Abstract
November 2

Dr. Guy Blelloch

Carnegie Mellon University

"Internally Deterministic Parallel Algorithms Can Be Fast"
View Abstract
November 9

Dr. Marc Snir 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Argonne National Labs

"Extreme Scale Computing and Resilience"
View Abstract
November 16

Dr. Vipin Kumar

University of Minnesota

"Understanding Climate Change: Opportunities and Challenges for Data Driven Research"
View Abstract
November 30

Dr. Stanley Pau

Associate Professor of Optical Science
University of Arizona

"Micro-Devices and Optics for Applications in Sensing, Imaging and Energy Conversion"
View Abstract

Commercially-relevant advances by members of the Computer Science & Engineering department span a range of technologies and application domains, as indicated by the following table. While this is not a comprehensive list of the department's entrepreneurial activities, it does reflect the departments long history in bringing innovations into real-world application.



Company - Successor(s)


Department Participant

 Radiation Treatment Planning

Artronix - CMS

1969 - 2007


 Coronary Care Monitoring

Mennen Greatbach



 Computer-Based Mass Spec

Teknivent - Mass Sensors

1976 - 2001


 Drug Design Software


1979 - 2003


 Local Area Networks




 OC-3 ATM Switch

Synoptics - Bay - Nortel



 Networking Software

Timeplex - Fujitsu



 Video Conferencing System




 Scalable Switch Fabrics

Growth Networks - Cisco

1997 - 1998


 Network Security

Global Velocity

2000 -


 High-Speed Financial Analytics


2003 -


 Asynchronous Chip Design


2007 -

Cox, Zar



Bayesian Metric Multidimensional Scaling

Keith Poole, UCSD, U Georgia

January 25, 2013 - 2:30pm Seigle Hall

CNISS is hosting a Political Economy Seminar "Bayesian Metric Multidimensional Scaling" by Keith Poole , Philip H. Alston Jr. Distinguished Professor and Professor Emeritus, Depatment of Political Science, University of California-San Diego. The seminar will take place on Friday, January 25, at 2:30 p.m. in Seigle Hall, 248, on the Washington University. This event is free and open to the public. Professor Poole's research interests include American Political-Economic History, Congress, Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship, and the Political-Economic History of Railroads. He is the author or coauthor of over 50 articles as well as the coauthor of Congress: A Political Economic History of Roll-Call Voting. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie-Bosch Foundation, and Washington University's former Center for Political Economy

Center for New Institutional Social Sciences | Washington University in St. Louis 



Conference in Honor of Norman Schofield: Call for Papers

The Center for New Institutional Social Science (CNISS), in conjunction with the Departments of Political Science & Economics, is pleased to invite proposals for papers to be presented at a conference in honor of Professor Schofield's research and leadership of the CPE.

Conference & Submission Details

The conference will be held at Washington University in Saint Louis on April 26th and 27th, 2013.  There is no registration fee, and some funds are available to cover travel costs for invited speakers and authors of accepted proposals.  Proposals on all topics related to political science, mathematics, economics, and political economy are welcome.

Norman Schofield, the William R. Taussig Professor of Political Economy and Professor in the Departments of Economics and Political Science, served as Director of the Center in Political Economy (CPE) from 1990 until 2012.  Professor Schofield's research has been central to political economy, social choice, mathematical economics, game theory, and the empirical and theoretical study of elections.  He is currently working on topics in the theory of social choice, political economy, and democracy. In 2003-4 he was the Fulbright distinguished professor at Humboldt University in Berlin, and has recently held fellowships at ICER in Turin, and at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. In Spring 2008 he was the visiting Leitner Professor at Yale University. He has published over 100 articles in political science and economics as well as authored, coauthored, and edited numerous books on a wide range of topics.  Some of his books include Multiparty Government (with Michael Laver, in 1990), Social Choice and Democracy (1985), and three co-edited volumes: Political Economy: Institutions, Information, and Representation (1993), and Social Choice, Welfare and Ethics (1995), Collective Decision Making (Kluwer, 1996), Mathematical Methods in Economics and Social Choice  (2003). Architects of Political Change(2006), Multiparty Democracy (with Itai Sened, 2006), The Spatial Model of Politics (2008), The Political Economy of Democracy and Tyranny (2009), and Leadership or Chaos (with Gallego, 2011). He recently co-edited a special issue of Social Choice and Welfare on Elections and Bargaining and published two co-edited volumes on political economy. Professor Schofield has been the recipient of a number of NSF awards, and currently directs the Masters program in Public Policy and Political Economy.

Brief History of the Center in Political Economy

The Center in Political Economy was founded in 1982 by Professor Douglass North, the co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in economic history and political economy.  Professor Norman Schofield took over as director of CPE in 1990. The CPE was central to research and teaching in political economy at Washington University, funding multiple initiatives both on the WashU campus and around the world.


Douglass Cecil North (born November 5, 1920) is an American economist known for his work in economic history. He is the co-recipient (with Robert William Fogel) of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. In the words of the Nobel Committee, North and Fogel were awarded the prize "for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change." Douglass North was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on November 5, 1920. He moved several times as a child due to his father's work at MetLife, living in Cambridge, OttawaLausanneNew York City and Wallingford.  He was accepted at Harvard at the same time that his father became the head of MetLife on the west coast, so North opted to go to University of California, Berkeley. In 1942, he graduated with a B.A. triple major in political sciencephilosophy and economics.  He taught navigation at the Maritime Service Officers' School in Alameda during the last year of the war, and struggled with the decision of whether to become a photographer or an economist.  North decided to return to school at Berkeley to pursue a PhD in economics. He finished his studies in 1952 and began work as an assistant professor at the University of Washington. He was  Professor of Economics at the University of Washington from 1960 – 1983. He joined the faculty of Washington University in Saint Louis in 1983 as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Law and Liberty in the Department of Economics, and served as director of the Center for Political Economy from 1984 to 1990.




Douglass North's 1991 paper summarizes much of his earlier work relating to economic and institutional change. In this paper, North defines institutions as “humanly devised constraints that structure political, economic and social interactions.” Constraints, as North describes, are devised as formal rules (constitutions, laws, property rights) and informal restraints (sanctions, taboos, customs, traditions, code of conduct), which usually contribute to the perpetuation of order and safety within a market or society. The degree to which they are effective is subject to varying circumstances, such as a government's limited coercive force, a lack of organized state, or the presence of strong religious precept.

Section 2 describes the economic development of societies as occurring in stages:  He begins with local exchange within the village. In this setting, specialization “is rudimentary and self-sufficiency characterizes most individual households”, with small-scale village trade existing within dense social networks of informal constraints that facilitate local exchange, and a relatively low transaction cost. In this close-knit network “people have an intimate understanding of each other, and the threat of violence is a continuous force for preserving order…” 

With growth the market extends beyond the village into larger, interconnected regions. As the participants of a transaction become more socially distant the terms of exchange must be made more explicit. This increase in transaction costs necessitates institutions that reduce the risks of being cheated, either by raising "the benefits of cooperative solutions or the costs of defection." 

As long-distance trade becomes more feasible, generally through caravans or lengthy ship voyages, individuals and groups experience occupational and geographic specialization. Society also experiences a rise of formal trading centers (temporary gathering places, towns or cities). From the development of long-distance trade arise two transactional cost problems: Agency: the transfer of one's goods or services outside the control of local rule leaves the rules of exchange undefined, the risk of unfair trade high, and the contracts within society unenforced. For this reason merchants often would send their kin or a sedentary merchant with the product to ensure its safe arrival, and the fulfillment of agreed terms of exchange by the receiving party. Contract: covered briefly in “agency” above, problems with negotiation of contracts and enforcement of contract stipulation. Historically this problem was met with either armed forces protecting ships or caravans, or use of tolls by local coercive groups. However, in modern societies, institutions acting cooperatively in the interest of free market trade provide protection for goods and enforcement of contracts. Negotiation and enforcement in alien parts of the world require the development of a standardized system of weights and measures.

As development continues, the rise of capital markets (protection of property rights), creates social capital and enables citizens to gain wealth. Technology plays an instrumental role in the continued development of manufacturing sectors, and acts to lower transaction costs in several ways. The most substantial benefits are generally the result of transportation improvements.

Eventually, society becomes overwhelmingly urban. This final stage of development specialization requires increasing percentages of the resources of the society to be active in the market so that the transaction sector becomes a large share of gross national product. Highly specialized forms of transaction organizations emerge at this stage. Globalized specialization and division of labor demand institutions to ensure property rights even when trading in neighboring countries enabling capital markets to develop “with credible commitment on the part of the players.” 

3 primitive types of exchange: Tribal Society “relies on a dense social network.” Colson (1974, p. 59) Bazaars “high measurement costs; continuous effort at clientization; intensive bargaining at every margin.”  Long-distance caravan trade illustrates the informal constraints that made trade possible in a world where protection was essential and no organized state existed.  All three methods above are found to be much less likely to evolve.

North's paper concludes with a few intriguing questions which his paper has aimed to address: What is it about informal constraints that give them such a pervasive influence upon the long-run character of economies? What is the relationship between formal and informal constraints? How does an economy develop the informal constraints that make individuals constrain their behavior so that they make political and judicial systems effective forces for third party enforcement?

Along with Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, he helped found the International Society for the New Institutional Economics which held its first meeting in St. Louis in 1997. His current research includes property rights, transaction costs, and economic organization in history as well as economic development in developing countries.


Wallis and North (1986) demonstrated in an empirical study that 45 percent of U.S. GNP was devoted to the transaction sector in 1970. Efficient markets are created in the real world when competition is strong enough via arbitrage and efficient information feedback to approximate the Coase zero transaction cost conditions and the parties can realize the gains from trade inherent in the neo-classical argument.

But the informational and institutional requirements necessary to achieve such efficient markets are stringent. Players must not only have objectives but know the correct way to achieve them. But how do the players know the correct way to achieve their objectives? The instrumental rationality answer is that even though the actors may initially have diverse and erroneous models, the informational feedback process and arbitraging actors will correct initially incorrect models, punish deviant behavior and lead surviving players to correct models.

An even more stringent implicit requirement of the discipline-of-the-competitive-market model is that when there are significant transaction costs, the consequent institutions of the market will be designed to induce the actors to acquire the essential information that will lead them to correct their models. The implication is not only that institutions are designed to achieve efficient outcomes but that they can be ignored in economic analysis because they play no independent role in economic performance.

These are stringent requirements that are realized only very exceptionally. Individuals typically act on incomplete information and with subjectively derived models that are frequently erroneous; the information feedback is typically insufficient to correct these subjective models. Institutions are not necessarily or even usually created to be socially efficient; rather they, or at least the formal rules, are created to serve the interests of those with the bargaining power to create new rules. In a world of zero transaction costs, bargaining strength does not affect the efficiency of outcomes; but in a world of positive transaction costs it does.

It is exceptional to find economic markets that approximate the conditions necessary for efficiency. It is impossible to find political markets that do. The reason is straightforward. Transaction costs are the costs of specifying what is being exchanged and of enforcing the consequent agreements. In economic markets what is being specified (measured) is the valuable attributes - the physical and property rights dimensions - of goods and services or the performance of agents. While measurement can frequently be costly, there are some standard criteria: the physical dimensions have objective characteristics (size, weight, color, etc.) and the property rights dimensions are defined in legal terms. Competition also plays a critical role in reducing enforcement costs. The judicial system provides coercive enforcement. Still, economic markets in the past and present are typically imperfect and beset by high transaction costs.

Measuring and enforcing agreements in political markets is far more difficult. What is being exchanged (between constituents and legislators in a democracy) is promises for votes. The voter has little incentive to become informed because the likelihood that one's vote matters is infinitesimal; further the complexity of the issues produces genuine uncertainty. Enforcement of political agreements is beset by difficulties. Competition is far less effective than in economic markets. For a variety of simple, easy-to-measure and important-to-constituent-well-being policies, constituents may be well informed, but beyond such straightforward policy issues ideological stereotyping takes over and (as I shall argue below in section IV) shapes the consequent performance of economies.3 It is the polity that defines and enforces property rights and in consequence it is not surprising that efficient economic markets are so exceptional

Kansas sperm donor ordered to pay child support prepares for battle | Fox News

William Marotta told he might never have agreed to provide sperm to Angela Bauer and her former partner, Jennifer Schreiner, had he known the legal morass that awaited him after responding to the women’s Craigslist ad for a donor in March 2009. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) recently filed a child support claim against Marotta after the couple filed for state assistance this year, leading the department to demand they provide the donor’s name so it could collect

via Kansas sperm donor ordered to pay child support prepares for battle | Fox News.


Keith T. Poole

Philip H. Alston Jr. Distinguished Chair

Department of Political Science

School of Public and International Affairs

Baldwin Hall

University of Georgia

Athens, GA 30602

via Profile.

Nan Lin | Department of Mathematics

Statistical computing for massive data, Bayesian regularization, bioinformatics, longitudinal and functional data analysis.

via Nan Lin | Department of Mathematics.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hi IQ: Ivy League Washington University Saint Louis Missouri

I attach a ranking of college admissions scores for the Ivy League and similar schools from

The highest ACT and Math SAT scores are by Washington University in Saint Louis and Princeton U. UC Berkeley is far down the list, barely beating little known Missouri University of Science and Technology and Harry Truman State University which are much cheaper.

This is similar to the ranking for Medical Schools where Washington University in Saint Louis had the highest MCAT test scores in the USA. Very good hospitals and medical training of all sorts in Saint Louis.

Missouri was also birthplace and home to the best USA poet T.S. Eliot and the best writer Mark Twain. Also the best clean fresh water lake systems, abundant deer,... the oldest ecosystem in the world. Winston Churchill gave his "iron curtain" speech in Missouri.

Ivy League Missouri College Results Online.pdf Vincenz Bronzin's Option Pricing Theory

Showing 1 Result

Amazing discovery: Vincenz Bronzin's option pricing models [An article from: Journal of Banking and Finance] by H. Zimmermann and W. Hafner (Feb 1, 2007)

$10.95 Digital

Books: See all items

via Vincenz Bronzin's Option Pricing Theory.

Harmonic Regression


A Critical Examination of Orthogonal Regression by Gishan Dissanaike, Shiyun Wang :: SSRN

The method of orthogonal regression has a long and distinguished history in statistics and economics. It has been viewed as superior to ordinary least squares in certain situations. However, our theoretical and empirical study shows that this method is flawed in that it implicitly assumes equations without the error term. A direct result is that it over-optimistically estimates the slope coefficient. It also cannot be applied to testing if there is an equal proportionate relationship between two variables, a case where orthogonal regression has been frequently used in previous research. We offer an alternative adjusted orthogonal estimator and show that it performs better than all the previous orthogonal regression models and, in most cases, better than ordinary least squares.

via A Critical Examination of Orthogonal Regression by Gishan Dissanaike, Shiyun Wang :: SSRN.

NLREG -- Nonlinear Regression Analysis Program

NLREG is a powerful statistical analysis program that performs linear and nonlinear regression analysis, surface and curve fitting. NLREG determines the values of parameters for an equation, whose form you specify, that cause the equation to best fit a set of data values. NLREG can handle linear, polynomial, exponential, logistic, periodic, and general nonlinear functions. Unlike many "nonlinear" regression programs that can only handle a limited set of function forms, NLREG can handle essentially any function whose form you can specify algebraically.

NLREG features a full programming language with a syntax similar to C for specifying the function that is to be fitted to the data. This allows you to compute intermediate work variables, use conditionals, and even iterate in loops. With NLREG it is easy to construct piecewise functions that change form over different domains. Since the NLREG language includes arrays, you can even use tabular look-up methods to define the function.

via NLREG -- Nonlinear Regression Analysis Program.

Orthogonal Regression

Orthogonal Regression

In ordinary linear regression, the goal is to minimize the sum of the squared vertical distances between the y data values and the corresponding y values on the fitted line. In orthogonal regression the goal is to minimize the orthogonal (perpendicular) distances from the data points to the fitted line.

The slope-intercept equation for a line is:

Y = m*X + b

where m is the slope and b is the intercept.

A line perpendicular to this line will have -(1/m) slope, so the equation will be:

Y' = -X/m + b'

If this line passes through some data point (X0,Y0), its equation will be:

Y' = -X/m + (X0/m + Y0)

via Orthogonal Regression.


Real-Time Forecasting with a Mixed-Frequency VARJoint with Dongho Song PennFRB Minneapolis Working Paper 701This version: August, 2012MATLAB programs to estimate a MF VAR Forecasting with DSGE Models: Theory and PracticeJoint with Marco Del Negro FRB New YorkTo appear as a chapter of the Elsevier Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Vol. 2This version: July 1, 2012

via Research.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How Bacteria Communicate With Each Other

The bacteria in your body outnumber your human cells 10-to-1. The ideal balance between these bacteria is about 85 percent “good” and 15 percent “bad.” Once harmful bacteria begin to rise above this ratio, they begin to promote disease, and prevent your immune system from working optimally

Bacteria communicate with each other using a chemical language called “quorum sensing.” Every type of bacteria secretes small molecules, which allow the bacteria to “count” how many of its own kind there are, as well as measure the strength of competing colonies. Once the colony reaches critical mass, the bacteria spring into action as a synchronized group, based on the group behavior programmed into its genes—for better or worse.

The micro-organisms living in your digestive tract forms a very important "inner ecosystem" that influences countless aspects of your health. More specifically, the type and quantity of organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases and mental health problems

Cultured foods like yogurt and fermented vegetables are excellent sources of natural, healthy bacteria, provided they are not pasteurized. Other examples of healthy fermented foods include: kombucha, raw milk cheeses, natto, miso, kimchee, and tempeh

via How Bacteria Communicate With Each Other.

Dow Futures Down 226 Points Following Obama's Speech | Conservative News, Views & Books

The Dow dropped nearly 70 points in the last hour during Barack Obama’s fiscal speech.

via Dow Futures Down 226 Points Following Obama's Speech | Conservative News, Views & Books.

Buchanan: Why the war party fears Hagel - Conservative News

Hagel’s view that a war with Iran is not a “responsible option”

Robert Gates, defense secretary for Bush II and Obama:“Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as Gen. Douglas MacArthur so delicately put it.”

via Buchanan: Why the war party fears Hagel - Conservative News.

50 years of rock & roll: Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Evanescence

I was born in an Air Force town carved out of the largest USA cattle ranch. Sort of a wild west atmosphere. Both Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison did their recordings a few blocks from where I was born. I went to school grades 2-8 just west of Lubbock Texas when Buddy Holly was born and grew up. Buddy Holly is credited with inventing Rock and Roll. He set the pattern for the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the rest of the British Invasion. I heard Beatle Paul McCartney in an interview 2012 say they could not believe Buddy Holly was so good and could not figure out how he made a guitar do what he was doing. The Beatles eagerly awaited his arrival in London and were surprised he was not black. I remember the song below which was popular when I was in middle school. The record was released after he was killed in plane crash after less than 2 years of success and had just gotten married.

Roy Orbison, the best singer in Rock and Roll, was born not far south of where I went to school grades 2-8 in Texas. Roy Orbison opened for the Beatles in London. The audience liked him so much they kept calling for encores and did not want the Beatles to interrupt him on stage. The last song below is from his concert with Bruce Springsteen who sits in awe. Roy Orbison's wife was killed in a motorcycle crash. His two sons killed in a house fire. He had a series of heart problems (lifelong smoker). He was making a come-back but dropped dead at age 52 soon after this recording. Still he hits nearly impossible notes at the end of this song.

The first song below is a from a demo CD Evanescence "Origin" (sometimes you can find it on ebay for $500) predating "Fallen" that established them worldwide. "Origin" was recorded in Little Rock Arkansas while practicing for "Fallen." Many fans (including me) like these raw unpolished CDs better than their official CDs. She was still a teenager but had amazing depth and an amazing voice not competing with so much heavy metal. Sorry I did not stumble across this work 13 years ago when I was in LA. Might have met her in person or saw a concert. Amy Lee says just download it free, they have no plans to sell it. I downloaded all 100 MP3 songs free from I put a playlist of a dozen of these at

These three songs are rather similar although today's Evanescence is much fancier electronics.

U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service - Bloomberg

Goodbye, Copper

The American copper wire telephone system is, in fact, becoming obsolete. The physical switches used in the network are reaching the end of their useful lives. But now that cable has won the battle for wired Internet service and consumers are moving to mobile phones for voice service, the telephone companies are looking to shed the obligation to maintain their networks at all.

via U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service - Bloomberg.

U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service - Bloomberg

Push-back from the local telephone company, BellSouth Corp., and the local cable company, Cox Communications Inc., was immediate. They tried to get laws passed to stop the network, sued the city, even forced the town to hold a referendum on the project -- in which the people voted 62 percent in favor. Finally, in February 2007, after five civil lawsuits, the Louisiana Supreme Court voted, 7-0, to allow the network.

via U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service - Bloomberg.

First the Fiscal Cliff, Now the Dairy Cliff - Bloomberg

rules governing dairy price supports will revert to legislation adopted in 1949, forcing the government to purchase milk at elevated prices. With Washington soaking up milk, market prices would follow.

How does a law from 1949 lead to a doubling of milk prices? The law sets a floor for milk prices based on dairy production costs 63 years ago, when farms were much less efficient and mechanized than they are today

via First the Fiscal Cliff, Now the Dairy Cliff - Bloomberg.

Hidden in Plain View | Inside Higher Ed

If U.S. News thinks the national-regional distinction is important, they should define it. It’s preposterous to use degree offerings (for universities) and the proportion of majors in arts and sciences (for colleges). I told them so last November, and demonstrated how they could do it better. They heard me out, but ultimately decided that consistency (or convenience) is more important than accuracy and rationality. By continuing to rely on the Carnegie Classification, they avoid the tough job of defining their terms -- and in so doing, they can dodge a whole category of complaints by shifting responsibility to a third party.

If they aren’t willing to do it right, they should either stop making the distinction or they should adopt a much more flexible stance for institutions that legitimately challenge their comparison group placement

via Hidden in Plain View | Inside Higher Ed.

What a refugee from Humboldt thinks about Berkeley | Berkeleyside

John Osborn moved from northern California to Berkeley in the late winter of 2010 and has been surprised by what he’s found: the wonders of BART, the diversity of people, the good food. John has been reporting on the issues of Humboldt County for years and will now be reporting on Berkeley issues for Berkeleyside. He will also be writing about his impressions of our city. Here he shares his views on his former home and his first impressions of our city:

You can call me a refugee of the Humboldt Nation.

I come to Berkeley with fresh eyes and not much background about the community. It took me a while to figure out what to write my first column on, so I figured I’d start with where I’m coming from so you can learn a pinch about me.

I lived in Arcata, a small California coastal college town, for eight years, and, even though I wasn’t born there, I consider it my hometown; it is the place that gave birth to the person I am today, and it is where my heart will forever be. It was an incubator, having given me the insight into how important it is for people to live within a warm and welcoming community full of different lifestyles — where innovative ideas are at least seriously discussed, if not embraced. And, perhaps most vitally, my time there taught me to be myself no matter the consequence.

Imagine a town dotted with old-school Victorian homes and open spaces, embraced by thick towering Redwood trees, the raging ocean, and Humboldt Bay. The focal point of the community is a block-wide plaza where festivities and farmer’s markets of fresh healthy produce abound. Local businesses take the place of sterile monotonous chain stores, adding a fresh breath of uniqueness and style – not one Starbucks anywhere in town. And the city boasts one of the country’s only wastewater treatment systems sensitively weaved into a serene wetland.

Don’t get me wrong: Arcata, and Humboldt County as a whole, are not some green utopia free from the ruthlessness of the outside world; for, buried in the allure is a place rife with a number of horrible ailments, mainly the disease of an economy propped up by illegal marijuana sales and public sector jobs, while the rest of the economy slowly crumbles away. This has caused deep poverty and homelessness bolstering a haves and have-nots system, with many of the have-nots retreating into the bittersweet comfort of the bottle, the meth pipe, or the needle.

via What a refugee from Humboldt thinks about Berkeley | Berkeleyside.

Carnegie Classifications

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education™About Carnegie Classification™The Carnegie Classification™ has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four decades. Starting in 1970, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. Derived from empirical data on colleges and universities, the Carnegie Classification was originally published in 1973, and subsequently updated in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2010 to reflect changes among colleges and universities. This framework has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.To ensure continuity of the classification framework and to allow comparison across years, the 2010 Classification update retains the same structure of six parallel classifications, initially adopted in 2005. They are as follows: Basic Classification the traditional Carnegie Classification Framework, Undergraduate and Graduate Instructional Program classifications, Enrollment Profile and Undergraduate Profile classifications, and Size & Setting classification. These classifications provide different lenses through which to view U.S. colleges and universities, offering researchers greater analytic flexibility.These classifications were updated using the most recent national data available as of 2010, and collectively they depict the most current landscape of U.S. colleges and universities.In addition to the all-inclusive classifications, the Carnegie Foundation also completed another round of its Elective Classification on Community Engagement. Unlike the all-inclusive classifications based on secondary analysis of existing national data, elective classifications rely on voluntary participation by institutions, permitting analysis of attributes that are not available in the national data.

via Carnegie Classifications.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Harder Than Gun Control: People Control - Bloomberg

Any policy that focuses on the mentally ill to reduce crime seems likely to fall into one of two categories: minimally effective or totalitarian.

At the totalitarian end, you could try to identify and forcibly treat (or commit) potentially dangerous people before they act. The problem is that the vast majority of the people this approach would impact would never have committed crimes of violence.

Or you could take steps that respect the autonomy of the individual. These might include efforts to make mental health care more affordable and less stigmatized, without forcing the unwilling into treatment.

via Harder Than Gun Control: People Control - Bloomberg. Customer Reviews: EVANESCENCE "Origin" CD by BIGWIG, 11 tracks

It's much darker than Fallen. The songs are mellower and slower and the lyrics are less complex than Fallen (meaning they didn't use as much imagery and complex words as they did on Fallen). Alot of organs and piano are used to create a more gothic feeling. Also, on Fallen all the songs (like I reviewed on Fallen) are like they come out of you, one of the reasons for that is because on Fallen all its lyrics are "I" statements. But on Origin there's less of that feeling. two of the songs are directed to "You" (Where Will You Go and Lies). As you know Evanescence was originally titled a "Christian" band, and Origin really has more of that "Christian" feeling: the music is kind of preachy and choir-like. But non-Christians, no worries, the songs did not make any direct reference to Christianity so even if you are really anti-Christian or an Atheist you still can enjoy the songs (I'm an Atheist myself and Evanescence is my favorite band)

via Customer Reviews: EVANESCENCE "Origin" CD by BIGWIG, 11 tracks.

Evanescence EPs and Pre-Fallen Material

The tracks on this page are provided in accordance with the express permission granted by Ben Moody and Amy Lee in their interview with DC101 radio on February 24, 2003.

interviewer: but now do you realize how much your old stuff is selling for on ebay right now?

amy: it's a shame

ben: two hundred and fifty-five dollars

interviewer: isn't that amazing?

ben: I want to say right now, and I posted this on the message board, that's ridiculous

amy: we are not doing that

ben: download it

amy: yeah, download it

ben: download it - that's old stuff, you can't buy it, so you're not stealing anything from us, just download it

amy: honestly, just buy the album [Fallen] it's so much better now than we were when we were kids

ben: and for those of you selling it for that amount of money, it's a

amy: damn you!

ben: yeah, that's a freaking joke

interviewer: Ben, do you guys get pissed when you find out people are downloading your music?

ben: no

interviewer: not the old stuff, but I mean like anything like new that floats around?

amy: we want people to hear our music however they can and since the CD is right now - it's not out - you know to go online and to download it and to hear it and see if they want to buy the album that's totally great - I encourage that but you know we hope they'll like it enough to go buy the album when it comes out

ben: we have faith in the people who, if they really like our music

amy: they'll want to support us

ben: they're going to be cool enough to want to support us and realize that if they don't, then the record label gets our first born child


via Evanescence EPs and Pre-Fallen Material.

Evanescence EPs and Pre-Fallen Material

Evanescence EP

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 01 - Where Will You Go (EP Version).mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 02 - Solitude.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 03 - Imaginary (EP Version).mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 04 - Exodus.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 05 - So Close.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 06 - Understanding.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP - 07 - The End.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP Outtake - Give Unto Me.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP Outtake - My Immortal (Piano - Vocal).mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP Outtake - October.mp3

Evanescence - Evanescence EP Outtake - Understanding.mp3

via Evanescence EPs and Pre-Fallen Material.

Origin - Evanescence -> Music Reviews

Origin, along with the Evanescence EP remains beloved among fans, and is really a great release in the genre of rock/dark rock. The early Evanescence sound is no way near as heavy and gothic-sounding as The Open Door, nor is it as energetic and angsty as Fallen. It sounds tense and distant, but overall shines with some optimism and has a good-natured quality to it.

The Origin CD was released in a limited number of copies (only 2,500 discs were printed) so getting an original release is very difficult. Numerous sellers on eBay just sell "pirated" (should I say "homemade"?) copies of the disc for unnecessarily high sums. Since the band aren't getting any of this money, they said in an interview that fans should just download it instead of being tricked into buying a fake copy. One of the most popular Evanescence reference sites, generously provides a download page where you can download high-quality versions of their early work (Origin included) for free. Check out their music area if you don't have Origin and are interested.

via Origin - Evanescence -> Music Reviews.

Origin - Evanescence -> Music Reviews

It's difficult not to love the early Evanescence sound this album demonstrates. The feel of their earliest music (from the Evanescence EP) is cast into a new surrounding, hinting at Fallen.

via Origin - Evanescence -> Music Reviews.

Evanescence - Origin album review | Sputnikmusic

Evanescenes first album, Fallen, appeared at the perfect time. A public seemingly starved for the bands or rather Amy Lees brand of rock grabbed the album and wouldnt let it go; Fallen spent 43 weeks on the Billboard Top 10 and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. While many of us grown out of or conveniently “forgotten” that we ever listened to Evanescene every once in awhile its nice to revisit ones musical roots. It was during one of these time periods that a friend suggested I try out the bands demo Origin, claiming that it was superior to their previous work in every way. Skeptically I followed her advice and gave the track “Lies” a spin. Within minutes I found myself listening to the entire album and wishing I could have heard this in my not-so-distant youth. Origin is comparable to Fallen in all of the best or worst depending on your view ways while providing a more exciting raw experience.

via Evanescence - Origin album review | Sputnikmusic.

Be Careful When Using a Quit Claim Deed

all conventional lenders require an investor to guarantee and take title to a property in his or her personal name.  However, once the loan is closed, investors typically use a Quit Claim Deed to move title into an entity with some form of liability protection.

via Be Careful When Using a Quit Claim Deed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

college test scores. Yale, UCLA, TX, MO, MN, NM, HI. Pot farm boom slams Northern California environment

42 degrees at 2:22 today as I walked by the swimming pool. No snow yet -- still a drought. December is the driest month. Days getting longer, spring is coming. I feel more vigorous around freezing and am getting in some good walks outside. But now we enter the rainy snowy winter months. I dice one third of the peel from a large ruby-red Texas grapefruit into 2 cups of black Lipton tea. Somehow I feel much more vigorous after that brew probably due to the vitamin C complex in the peel. Grapefruit contains large quantities of a simple polyamine related to aging. It is known to be necessary for cell growth and maturation. Scientists have shown that feeding spermidine to worms, fruit flies and yeast significantly prolongs their lifespan. In addition, adding spermidine to the diet of mice decreased molecular markers of aging, and when human immune cells were cultured in a medium containing spermidine, they also lived longer.

I attach a college comparison ranked by test scores. Yale has the highest test scores but I wonder how much of that is due to rich kids paying a lot for test preparation classes? UCLA, Texas, Missouri, and Minnesota are good solid universities with scores 1 to 2 standard deviations above the mean. However, Hawaii and New Mexico students are barely above average. has good software for comparing colleges.

Farmland prices are up more than 10%. More and more people are eating more and more. Bank accounts don't pay much interest rates. Houses and gold still falling in value. A good time to buy a farm.

People are eating less beef and other red meat than 30 years ago but much more chicken and turkey. I wonder if this is related to decreasing mental and physical health?

This excellent web site discusses corruption in the Redevelopment industry: Republicans get rich off Democrat liberal spending programs. Jerry Brown cancelled redevelopment in California thus saving billions of taxpayer money: recently dissolved the state’s redevelopment agencies, notoriously the nation’s worst abusers of eminent domain—when the government condemns perfectly fine properties not for public use, but for private development. stand firm in its decision to eliminate these rogue agencies, which have siphoned billions in taxpayer dollars away from schools and local infrastructure, and destroyed lives for ill-conceived projects that often never meet expectations or even come to fruition

Why is the liberal news media attacking guns? The problem is the shooters who are on drugs or dealing drugs. Marijuana is destroying brains and the environment. California is bad but may not be the worse. EUREKA, Calif.—From water-siphoning to pesticide-spraying to just plain littering, a flowering of pot farms driven by the rise of medical marijuana is battering Northern California's wilderness areas, natural resources and endangered species. The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that in one remote, 37-square mile forest patch, scientists found 567 outdoor farms and greenhouses. Most used water—totaling about 18 million gallons per year—diverted from an Eel River tributary, spawning ground for the endangered coho salmon. Despite the state push toward decriminalizing marijuana, growers remain rogue and free from oversight. They have graded mountaintops for greenhouses, illegally cut down trees and in one case poisoned dozens of a rare forest carnivore near Yosemite called a fisher. Scientists determined most had ingested rodenticide used by growers on pot plants. Researchers are finding a potpourri of contaminants seeping into the watershed from marijuana farms, which are unregulated and largely operate in the shadows. Fungicides, fertilizers, diesel fuel, human waste, plant hormones and soil amendments are some of the others that are ravaging the environment. Scientists suspect that runoff from potting soil and fertilizers, combined with lower-than-normal river flow due to water diversions, has resulted in a spate of toxic algae blooms in North Coast rivers over the past decade. The cyanobacteria outbreaks threaten public health for swimmers and kill food that salmon and steelhead trout eat. Eleven dogs have died since 2001 after ingesting the blooms. Growers are required to obtain permits to take water from a creek but Tony LaBanca, senior environmental scientist with the state Department of Fish and Game, told the Times that less than 1 percent of growers comply with the permits, usually only after an enforcement action. Other research has shown other effects of the state's marijuana crops—electricity use. A study in the journal Energy Policy estimated that indoor marijuana cultivation could be consuming nine percent of the state's household electric power use.


Democide We owe respect to the living; to the dead we owe only truth ----Voltaire. Oeuvres

I was looking for the statistics department at the Japanese dominated University of Hawaii and found this book. War is a persistent feature of human behavior -- either hot wars or preparation for the next war. Pax Americana is not totally peaceful as we see in the "police actions" in Iraq and Afghan. Farming grains make possible large populations that are increasingly more violent as weapon technology progresses and carbohydrates lower the age of dementia into childhood. The paleolithic meat-based diet limits the number of people and how close they can be together so violence is reduced and more localized. If people are too far away they can't fight each other easily and out of sight out of mind.

I was walking 10pm by MIT Cambridge MA 1976 on a cold February night when I first saw anything on the Armenian genocide -- a sign and meeting announcement. I am surprised the author put Japan murders ahead of the Communists and Nazis. Would be interesting to compare this with UC Berkeley Professor Brad Delong's tally of government murders. USA needs to outlaw all sugars, flours, GMO genetically modified grains, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides,... Food stamps would no longer have any junk food to buy so people would be healthier, mentally and physically. So would not need Obamacare for the many ailments caused by the modern junk food industry. Without wars and junk food then taxes could be reduced without pain and the national debt paid off. School shootings and other crimes by deranged carbohydrate eaters would be a thing of the past.



Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900

By R.J. Rummel

Charlottesville, Virginia:
Center for National Security Law,
School of Law, University of Virginia, 1997; and Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University

The infamy of executing this century's first full scale ethnic cleansing belongs to Turkey's Young Turk government during World War I. In their highest councils Turkish leaders decided to exterminate every Armenian in the country, whether a front-line soldier or pregnant woman, famous professor or high bishop, important businessman or ardent patriot. All 2,000,000 of them. Democide had preceded the Young Turk's rule and with their collapse at the end of World War I, the successor Nationalist government carried out its own democide against the Greeks and remaining or returning Armenians. From 1900 to 1923, various Turkish regimes killed from 3,500,000 to over 4,300,000 Armenians, Greeks, Nestorians, and other Christians.

Chapter 3

Statistics Of
Japanese Democide
Estimates, Calculations, And Sources*

By R.J. Rummel

From the invasion of China in 1937 to the end of World War II, the Japanese military regime murdered near 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 people, most probably almost 6,000,000 Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Indochinese, among others, including Western prisoners of war. This democide was due to a morally bankrupt political and military strategy, military expediency and custom, and national culture (such as the view that those enemy soldiers who surrender while still able to resist were criminals).

Table 3.1 presents the sources, estimates, and calculations on Japanese democide in World War II. There is one major omission, however. Democide in China during the Sino-Japanese War that begun in 1937, and merged with WWII in December 1941, is excluded. This democide has been separately calculated in Rummel (1994), and only the total derived there is given in the table (line 386) in calculating the overall democide.

The first part of the table (lines 2 to 42) calculates the number of Japanese that died in Japanese wars, 1937 to 1945. This amounted to 1,771,000 to 3,187,000 Japanese, most likely 2,521,000 (line 42). Of this number, 672,000 probably were civilians (line 32), virtually all killed in American air raids (including the two atomic bombs).

The first democide I consider is against prisoners of war and interned civilians (lines 45 to 93). Most of these figures are official, and were presented at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial.1 No figure for French POWs deaths in Indochina were available in the sources. I then estimated this from the total garrison (line 52) and the percent of POWs killed for other nations (line 53).

The overall number of POWs and internees killed was about 138,000 (line 93). Since this is largely based on official figures released shortly after the war, I give no high and low. For nations releasing figures on both the total number of POWs captured and the number dying in Japanese captivity, the POW death rate averaged nearly 29 percent.

The table next lists estimates of the total Asian forced laborers who died from Japanese maltreatment. The most notorious case of indifference to the health and welfare of prisoners and forced laborers was the building of the Burma-Thailand railroad in 1942 to 1943. Estimates of those killed, including POWs, are given (lines 97 to 104) in the table. I already included these POW deaths under the POW total (line 93). As for Asian forced laborers working on the railroad, 30,000 to 100,000 died, probably 60,000 (line 105).

I also list forced labor deaths for specific countries, beginning with Indonesia (Dutch East Indies, at the time). How many Indonesian forced laborers were actually conscripted by the Japanese is unknown. Estimates run as high as 1,500,000 (line 110a); even more speculative is the death toll. This varies in the sources from 200,000 to 1,430,000 deaths, with perhaps the most likely figure being 300,000 (the figure "accepted" by the United Nations--line 114).

Information on Korean deaths under Japanese occupation is difficult to uncover (Korea was not invited to participate in the War Crimes Trial). We do know that 5,400,000 Koreans were conscripted for labor beginning in 1939 (line 119), but how many died can only be roughly estimated. Apparently Koreans were better treated than were laborers from other countries, but still their work hours, food and medical care were such that large numbers died (even Japanese coolies forced to work in other countries were so maltreated that many died). This is clear from the 60,000 Korean laborers that died in Japan out of the near 670,000 that were brought there in the years 1939 to 1945 (line 119a). To estimate what the total Korean death toll might be, I give the forced labor death rates for Koreans and Chinese in Japan and forced laborers from or in Indonesia (lines 119b-121). With these as the upper bounds, my reading of Korean history for this period suggests a possible range in the Korean death rate of 5 to 15 percent, with a mid-estimate of 7 percent. These should be conservative rates, given that near 9 percent died in Japan where work conditions can be assumed better than in Korea or Manchuria; and that the rates are much less than half those for China and Indonesia. Even at these low rates, however, the forced labor toll for Korea comes to 270,000 to 810,000 dead in seven years.

Data is equally sparse for Manchuria. From diverse sources it is clear that Japan conscripted over a 1,000,000 forced laborers from Manchuria, which is thereby made the low (line 126); but how many died is unknown. I use the same approach here as for Korea, assuming the death rate for Manchurian laborers to be closer to that for the Chinese forced to labor in Japan (line 127). This gives (line 128) a probably conservative range of 100,000 to 200,000 Manchurian dead over seven years.

For the Burma-Thailand railroad, and for Indonesia, Korea, and Manchuria, 600,000 to 1,610,000 Asian forced laborers died (line 131). Note that this is probably very conservative, even were some of the estimates too high for a few of the countries included. No figures, even a basis for rough estimates, are available in the sources for Malaysia, Indochina, and Burma (except for those dying while working on the Burma-Thailand railroad). Yet, based on Japanese behavior in other countries, many forced laborers from these countries also must have died elsewhere.

The table next presents estimates on Japanese massacres and atrocities in occupied countries and territories. I make two listings of these. The first (lines 134-217) is of those countries or territories for which no total or subtotal is available or can be calculated; the second (lines 228-289) is of countries and places for which a country total can be determined. Considering now the first list, in most cases the existence of a massacre was alleged, without any estimate of the number killed being given. Where such estimates were available, they add up to 8,089 killed (line 223), or an average slightly over 1,300 per incident.

A problem is how to handle the forty-three massacres for which there is a question mark (line 221). For the six massacres in this list for which there are estimates, the average is 1,348 killed. In China, where many more reports of the number massacred were available, the average killed for all the low estimates was 800.2Moreover, the average killed in massacres in Indonesia (lines 253-284) for which figures are given is a low of 820 (line 286). Taking the three averages into account (1,348, 800, and 820), I assume an average of 800 for the 43 question marks (line 220). This average times the number of question marks gives a low of 42,000 killed; a high of 85,000 if doubled. These figures are surely conservative, since they do not take into account the many massacres that undoubtedly occurred, but were not reported in the sources. Consider that in the Philippines alone, where after the war American military teams made a special effort to investigate all Japanese massacres, about 90,000 civilians were reported killed (lines 339 and 340).

Turning to the next list, there is enough information given about the countries or territories included here for me to a country-by-country estimate of those killed. The first territory tabulated is Indochina (lines 229-240). From information (line 244) that 5.5 percent of the European population died we can estimate for the French population (lines 242-243) at that time that at least 1,320 were killed.

Similarly, from the Indochinese (Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians) population (lines 247 and 248) and a report that 2.5 percent died, we get a high estimate of 575,000 dead (line 250). This is a very large number, and appears to grossly exaggerated the total massacred (and is thus made a high). Many may have died from other causes, such as local famines, for which the Japanese were not wholly responsible. In the Philippines, where the Japanese were especially prone to massacre inhabitants due to the pervasive guerrilla war being waged against them, the democide rate high was almost 14 murdered per thousand by the Japanese (line 348); for China a high of near 30 per thousand of the population in occupied territory probably were similarly killed;3 both these figures are close to the twenty-five per thousand calculated above for Indochina. Were the Chinese annual democide rate (annual, not total, since the total is for 1937 to 1945) used to estimate the number of Indochinese murdered, the toll would be 68,000 to 312,000 (line 250a); were the Philippine rate used, the toll would be 159,000 to 318,000 (line 250b).

From information available in the sources, there appears no special reason to believe that the Japanese treated Indochinese with greater brutality than they did the Chinese or Filipinos; indeed, overall, they may have been much better treated than Filipinos. Accordingly, I assume the low based on the Chinese democide (21 percent that of the Philippines) is that for Indochina; I base the high on the native population dead (line 250); and I calculate the mid-value as the average between this and the Chinese and Filipino bases. This gives (line 250c) a range of 68,000 to 575,000 Indochinese killed, with a most probable estimate of 207,000, considerably under 2.5 percent of the population.

I treat Indonesia next (lines 253-284). Numerous massacres were reported in Indonesia, and those for which estimates of the number of people killed are available total 13,100 to 15,290 dead (line 285).4 This surely must be far below the actual number killed, were all the massacres and atrocities known. Considering the average killed for the sixteen recorded massacres, I recalculated the total using the average for the twelve cases with question marks (line 286a). Based on this and the sources, I then estimated the minimum dead in massacres and atrocities as 75,000 (line 286b). Is this a reasonable estimate?

Given the population of Indonesia (line 289), this estimate can be checked by calculating an overall toll based on the Japanese democide in China and the Philippines (lines 292 and 293). Moreover, we have the one estimate that a total of 4,000,000 Indonesians died in the war from all causes (line 296). Finally, adding the forced labor and massacre deaths (line 297) gives a total that can be compared with these above figures. Clearly, juxtaposed to lines 292 to 296, the total seems well in line and I thus take the estimate of massacre and atrocity deaths (line 286b) as reasonable.

The next territory to consider is Malaya (lines 301-311). The Chinese living in Malaya particularly suffered from the Japanese occupation, at least 37,000 of them being executed (lines 301, 302, 304). In order to get some overall figures, estimates based on the China and Philippine democide rates are given (line 318 and 319). Also included with these bases is a high of 100,000 killed given by Malayan officials. Noting this high and that the few available figures already total 38,000 killed (line 312), I consolidated these figures into a range of 55,000 to 100,000 killed, with a mid-estimate of 83,000.

Manchuria, that follows (lines 326-329), is considered separately from China. It had already been taken over and administered as a Japanese colony (in effect) prior to the Sino-Japanese War. Very little information is available in the sources on massacres and atrocities in the territory during the war, although the Tokyo War Crimes Trials and Japanese behavior elsewhere suggest that many such took place.

As to Okinawa (line 333), we know about how many Okinawan civilians lost their lives during the American invasion of the Island, and some of these intentionally were killed by Japanese troops or ordered to commit suicide, but the democide is unknown and cannot even be guessed.

On the Philippines (lines 336 to 342), better estimates than for any other territory are available. After the Japanese defeat on the Islands, special American units tried to document the massacres committed by Japanese forces and secret police. Still, different and inconsistent figures are given (lines 336-340), taking into account the number of American civilians (line 336) and American and Filipino POWs (lines 73, and 78-82) captured and killed. Most likely this is due to the difficulty of estimating the toll of many recorded and unrecorded massacres and atrocities. In any case, a minimum of 90,000 Filipino civilians killed seems solid. No high is readily suggested, so I invoke the procedure of doubling the low and taking the mid-value as a third higher than the low (line 343). For the high and mid-value, these are prudent procedures.

No information is available in the sources on Philippine forced labor, yet judging from Japanese occupation behavior elsewhere, perhaps tens, if not hundreds of thousands of such laborers must have been conscripted, many probably dying. I assume these numbers to be absorbed into the democide's high and mid-values, while presuming that the low involves no forced labor deaths at all. All this gives a most probable democide rate of two to three Filipinos per thousand per year (line 349).

Next to consider is Saipan (line 352), where an unknown number of Japanese civilians were killed by Japanese troops or ordered too commit suicide. No basis for estimating these numbers is given in the sources.

Estimates of democide in Singapore's follows (lines 355-361). The best figure is of 150,000 Asians killed by the Japanese secret police (line 356) and this is made the low. I make the high twice the low, and the mid-value a third higher. If anything, this procedure may underestimate the real total. The low excludes at least 5,000 Chinese rounded up by the Japanese Army and killed in February, 1942 (line 359); and other Army massacres undoubtedly occurred, some of which are listed in the table (lines 355, 357, 358, and 360). And no forced labor deaths are included (although some may have been picked up by the Asian toll on the Burma-Thailand railroad--line 105).

Finally, there were 590 American civilian victims (line 365).

Adding together all these massacre and atrocity figures (line 369) gives a total of 413,000 to 841,000 killed.

Here and there in the sources are hints of local Japanese caused famines in one territory or another, but only for India and Indochina are estimates of famine deaths given. That for India is blamed on Japanese policies in Burma that upset the rice supply, but there is not enough information to assume that these policies were pursued with a reckless or knowing disregard of a famine that might be produced. For Indochina, when the food supply was disrupted by US air raids and a naval blockade, the Japanese knowingly diverted to their forces rice needed by the inhabitants for survival. Without more information, however, how much of this famine to blame on the Japanese is a guess. Accordingly, a low of 25 percent responsibility is estimated (line 378), which seems prudent enough.

From all the assumptions, consolidations and calculations made, the overall Japanese democide in World War II can now be estimated (lines 381-384), and Japanese democide in China included (line 386). This gives a total democide of 3,056,000 to 10,595,000 with a likely mid-total of 5,964,000 people killed.

How credible is this range and most probable democide? To assess this, the total population controlled by Japanese forces is first calculated (line 400), and after comparing this to one such figure (line 401) given in the sources, a range of population figures is consolidated (line 402). These population figures are then used to calculate the death toll using the Chinese and Filipino democide rates as the basis (lines 405 and 406). Since totals are now being compared, these bases are calculated for the full 1937 to 1945 period. The total democide figures are reproduced below the two resulting ranges (line 409) for comparison. As can be seen, the overall democide total for Japan is close to that one would get estimating it from Japan's democide in China or the Philippines. This implies that the total democide figures are not inconsistent from one territory or country to another, but that there was a pattern of Japanese democide throughout that is captured by these results. This pattern is there regardless of the many assumptions, estimates, and calculations involved, and even taking into account that in some cases a China and Philippine bases was used to estimate a country or territory's massacres and atrocities (most forced labor and all POW deaths were determined independently). And this relative consistency lends credibility to the democide totals.

With these totals I calculated (lines 412 and 413) the overall and annual democide rate (for the occupied population, at its greatest extent). As can be seen, nearly one out of every one-hundred people controlled by Japan was murdered, or almost three per thousand people per year.

Statistics of Democide


Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900

By R.J. Rummel

Charlottesville, Virginia:

Center for National Security Law,

School of Law, University of Virginia, 1997; and Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University

via Statistics of Democide.

Bjoern Kjos-Hanssen » Research statement

Bjoern Kjos-Hanssen » Research statement.

Bjoern Kjos-Hanssen

Bjoern Kjos-Hanssen.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

California’s Shocking Show of Fiscal Fortitude: Steven Greenhut - Bloomberg

The most encouraging news was the success of Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to shutter the state’s 400-plus redevelopment agencies, which were 1940s-era urban-renewal relics that had come to drain about 12 percent of the state’s property taxes from more traditional public services to pay subsidies to developers who build local projects favored by city hall planners.

via California’s Shocking Show of Fiscal Fortitude: Steven Greenhut - Bloomberg.

Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation

The demise of redevelopment agencies will eventually hike the share of general property tax revenues that schools, community colleges, cities, counties and special districts get by more than $5 billion a year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

via Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation.

Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation

“Redevelopment in 2011 bore little resemblance to the small, locally financed program the Legislature authorized in 1945,” says the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office in a report that reads like a clear-eyed obituary. “Statewide, the RDAs received more property taxes in 2011 than all of the state’s fire, parks, and other special districts combined and, in some areas of the state, more property taxes than the city or county received. Redevelopment also imposed considerable costs on the state’s General Fund because the state backfilled K-14 districts for property tax revenues distributed to RDAs. Overall, redevelopment cost the state’s General Fund about as much as the University of California or California State University systems, but did not appear to yield commensurate statewide benefits.”

via Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation.

Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation

“Redevelopment is a Democratic program that makes some Republicans rich,” says Assemblyman Chris Norby, a Republican from Fullerton who got the anti-redevelopment ball rolling by encouraging Brown and the previous governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to think about grabbing redevelopment cash to close the state’s enduring deficit.

via Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation.

Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation

Advocates of government-controlled redevelopment hailed it as a way to save blighted cities from the depredations of private property owners, but in practice it became a mechanism to fund and control political machines, reward cronies, and destroy communities — all on the backs of taxpayers.

Nearly seventy years after it began, one state has decided to dump redevelopment altogether — although not for any high-minded ideas of government reform.  California simply can’t afford it any longer

via Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation.

Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation

The California Legislature recently dissolved the state’s redevelopment agencies, notoriously the nation’s worst abusers of eminent domain—when the government condemns perfectly fine properties not for public use, but for private development. In this video the Institute for Justice urges California to stand firm in its decision to eliminate these rogue agencies, which have siphoned billions in taxpayer dollars away from schools and local infrastructure, and destroyed lives for ill-conceived projects that often never meet expectations or even come to fruition.

via Redevelopment.US | Tracking news of redevelopment abuse in California and across the nation.

Redevelopment reverberations continue; Arcata grappling with paying $2.4 million back to state - Times-Standard Online

The city of Arcata is being confronted with paying back $2.4 million in redevelopment money that is already overdue -- according to the state -- and much of which has already spent on building projects.

”The amount of money they're asking us for ... we just don't have it,” said Deputy Community Development Directory David Loya at Wednesday's Arcata City Council meeting. “The money is spent.”

Much of the money was spent on two projects -- about $1.8 million that went to the Sandpiper affordable housing project off South G Street, and about $200,000 that went to the Plaza Point senior housing project, next to the North Coast Co-op.

Arcata is just one of the cities locally and statewide that had their redevelopment funding pulled early this year, a strategy by state lawmakers to chop down a state budget deficit in the billions. Now, those cities are trying to figure out how to deal with the consequences, and undo project spending many had already paid.

When it appeared Arcata's redevelopment agency could be dissolved in March 2011, the agency transferred and appropriated nearly $2 million out of the agency, to save its affordable housing project at Sandpiper and other projects.

But, in a letter from the State Department of Finance to the Successor Agency made up of the City Council (what used to be the city's redevelopment agency), the state said those appropriations aren't allowed. It wants the money back.

Not only must

construction stop on those projects -- city staff and the council on Wednesday discussed stopping payment to construction contractors immediately, and asking for money back from Sandpiper developer Resident Owned Parks -- but failure to transmit the funds could also result in “offsets to the city's or the county's sales and use tax allocation, as well as its property tax allocation,” the Department of Finance letter said.

Or, if the city staff commits “willful failure to return the assets,” the letter states it “could expose certain individuals to criminal penalties under existing law.”

”I didn't recall, sort of, the gravity of it at that time,” Councilwoman Susan Ornelas said of making the original appropriation decision.

According to City Attorney Nancy Diamond, the city will have to pay a 10 percent penalty if it doesn't give back the money in 60 days.

Loya said the city simply doesn't have the money to pay it all back right now.

The council voted unanimously Wednesday to remit what money the city currently has available from the redevelopment funds -- $306,927 -- in order to show they are making a “good faith” effort to comply with the state's demands.

”The folks that borrowed it from us have spent it. We're caught in a rock and a hard place,” Loya said

Loya added that, “When contractors find out they're not being paid, they're going to be kind of upset.”

When and if the funds are given back by Arcata, they'll be redistributed based on tax sharing agreements in the county, to things like schools and fire districts, Loya said.

He said some money for repayment could trickle in as the low-cost housing units sell at Sandpiper -- at about $60,000 apiece -- and that money will have to go immediately back to the state.

”Is there any legislation that you've heard of that could fix this?” Mayor Shane Brinton asked city staff. They replied there was not.

”If there's any way to continue to fight, I think that needs to happen,” he said.

”It's just totally insane that they would eliminate redevelopment and expect us to provide affordable housing. It's something we want to do, but it's insane a group of Democrats would destroy a program they had earlier created,” Brinton said of the state's redevelopment agencies.

He added he would be interested in any potential legal recourse the city could take.

Arcata not alone

Other cities the state have run into major issues stemming from their redevelopment agencies -- and the associated state funding stream -- being diverted or clawed back.

Arcata, Eureka and Fortuna are just three of 400 redevelopment agencies statewide that were dissolved Feb. 1 by Gov. Jerry Brown, which allowed the state to redirect more than $1 billion to fill a budget gap.

In Fortuna, redevelopment funds helped fund new lights, banners and stormwater systems. When the state eliminated that funding, the city found itself with a $500,000 annual deficit to its general fund this past May.

Fortuna City Manager Regan Candelario said Friday the city has done its best to make payments, give documentation and comply with the state's requests in the last year.

”To my knowledge, we've done that all the way through,” Candelario said.

He said the state has changed direction multiple times in its effort to shutter the 30-year redevelopment plan in a short time.

”They've been very difficult to comply with but we've done our best,” he said. “It's a big task.”

via Redevelopment reverberations continue; Arcata grappling with paying $2.4 million back to state - Times-Standard Online.

Pot farm boom slams Northern Calif. environment - Times-Standard Online

From water-siphoning to pesticide-spraying to just plain littering, a flowering of pot farms driven by the rise of medical marijuana is battering Northern California's wilderness areas, natural resources and endangered species.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that in one remote, 37-square mile forest patch, scientists found 567 outdoor farms and greenhouses.

Most used water—totaling about 18 million gallons per year—diverted from an Eel River tributary, spawning ground for the endangered coho salmon.

Despite the state push toward decriminalizing marijuana, growers remain rogue and free from oversight.

They have graded mountaintops for greenhouses, illegally cut down trees and in one case poisoned dozens of a rare forest carnivore near Yosemite called a fisher. Scientists determined most had ingested rodenticide used by growers on pot plants.

Researchers are finding a potpourri of contaminants seeping into the watershed from marijuana farms, which are unregulated and largely operate in the shadows. Fungicides, fertilizers, diesel fuel, human waste, plant hormones and soil amendments are some of the others that are ravaging the environment.

Scientists suspect that runoff from potting soil and fertilizers, combined with lower-than-normal river flow due to water diversions, has resulted in a spate of toxic algae blooms in North Coast rivers over the past decade.

The cyanobacteria outbreaks threaten

public health for swimmers and kill food that salmon and steelhead trout eat. Eleven dogs have died since 2001 after ingesting the blooms.

via Pot farm boom slams Northern Calif. environment - Times-Standard Online.