Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winter in Seattle So Far

Monday, May 11, 2015


The night of the Pearl Harbor attacks my great-grandfather was removed from his home and forcibly detained for four years. He was not arrested. He was not charged with a crime, and no warrant was ever issued.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The American, Fred Korematsu, used the court system to redress his grievances and contest the executive action taken by the United States' president to detain 112,000 Americans based purely on their Japanese ancestry. Executive Order 9066 stripped these Americans of their liberty and their property without due process of law.

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

The justification that it was a time of war was sufficient cause for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the government that the rights of these Americans did not exist. In support of this argument, the US government intentionally suppressed evidence that these Americans were as any others in this country--American.

After the war, the decision of Korematsu v. United States was never overturned.

My great uncle fought in World War II and remains one of the most highly decorated soldiers of the war. My grandfather was a translator in the Military Intelligence Service and was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2013.

My family has been honored by the US government in the form of medals. Our rights, however, have never been fully established. It remains possible to withhold our rights as Americans for no reason.

Japanese Americans, in the modern era, experience the sting from an historical perspective mostly.

Currently, there are many that suffer under the strain of an American government that refuses to see their injustices as intolerable cruelties.

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

The United States government has a consistent history of suppressing the rights of humans by denying their standing under the law.

Who is a person under the law's eyes is a constantly changing factor. While Americans' rights remain untouchable truths, the people that may access them continues to vary.

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution clearly states that while free persons may vote, indentured servants, three fifths of slaves, and Native Americans shall be counted for representation purposes only.

That is, the definition of person, is not determined by the immutable qualities of being human. The definition of person is defined by other people and bestowed upon other people. By the people, for the people--and only those people. Without legal standing, humans in this country are not persons.

Under the 14th Amendment, this clause was superseded. All Americans were given the right to vote.

Except, it took until the 19th Amendment, passed in 1920, to give women a voting voice as well. The expansion of the definition of citizenship also determines which groups are protected and which groups are to be protected from.

It is the mandate of the government to protect those it deems persons. Transitioning humans into persons is a constant process, and once there, the government maintains the ability to revoke that privilege.

Government bestows personhood and the rights associated with that personhood.

The servants of that government carry that mandate out.

To be a servant of government is to answer two questions every day: who does the government deem a person; who do I deem a person?

Behaving in a manner that abridges the definition of person is anti-American. The second question, therefore, must have an equal or broader definition of person than the answer to the first question.

I woke early this morning after a restless sleep.

I dreamt that the US government had declared my grandmother an enemy of the state. The US government had declared me an enemy of the state. We were pulled over by an officer and dragged out of our cars. I watched as the officer beat me against the door of his police vehicle. I managed to escape and fled into the woods. I found a permanent marker in my pocket and wrote on my arm in large capital letters "ENOUGH".

Monday, February 9, 2015

2014 Q3 Report

Apologies for the belatedness of this post. I thought I had put up the viz a while ago.

Anyways, here is my 2014 Q3 Report of my life and activities. As you'll see, it was very busy. We had a ton of guests and many things changed in our lives. In other words, it was the same as much of the rest of the year.

Unfortunately we lost one of our best friends--Brenna Williams.

There are some things points of data cannot express, and Brenna is certainly one of those. Just a blip on the quarter, she was one of my most cherished friends. I have few words to express how much I will miss her.

Either way, please enjoy exploring 2014 Q3:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Blood for Oil

Here's an interesting one, oil causes crime in North Dakota. Seriously. Well sorta, but we'll get there.

First, check out this graph:

 You'll notice from the above graph that aggravated assaults seem to increase along with oil production in North Dakota.  This is a particularly interesting graph given that aggravated assault rates in the US have been steadily declining for the last 2 decades.

So what gives?

Well, here's the story as I have it in my head so far:

North Dakota has benefitted economically from the shale oil boom. The discovery and mining of the Bakken Shale Shelf from 2000 to 2012 saw an explosive growth in the number of barrels per day produced by North Dakota.

In near lock-step with this growth has been a huge growth in the aggravated assault rate within the state. The fracking industry runs on young males who do not have extensive family needs; the hours are long and the work is tough. Many companies provide corporate housing set on large campuses away from urban areas predominantly inhabited by these young workers. Additionally, the boom means that the jobs pay well and these young men find themselves with ample extra income to spend. It is likely that these elements create a sort of powder keg. Small towns with nothing to do, filled with young men who all have disposable incomes.

While not explicitly supported by the data, I conjecture that many of these aggravated assaults are bar fights. For further exploration would be alcoholism and drug use rates in these areas. A more granular look at specific areas in North Dakota where crime has increased would also help with analysis.

Aggravated assaults tend to change one year prior to changes in production of Oil. This lead-follow pattern indicates that Oil companies hire close to a year prior to reported changes in production. Note the inset: I offset the Daily Oil Per Well line by one year to better illustrate the pattern.

Kinda cool huh?

Of course, I am well aware that the graph is far from rigorous and all the data problems that go into finding a causal link. The graph poses an interesting question over how to plan for future economic booms.

Anyways, I got my data from the following places:

FBI Unified Crime Statistics - http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats
EIA -  http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbblpd_a.htm
North Dakota Monthly Bakken Oil Production Statistics -  https://www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas/stats/historicalbakkenoilstats.pdf