Genetic Map of East Asia

This genetic map of East Asia appears to be formed by running a Principal Component Analysis (PCA), taking the two largest components, using those as horizontal and vertical axes, and then rotating them. PCA is one of many techniques in a href=””>multivariate statistics that allow explortation of ‘unknown unknowns’ — what variables did you not measures, but which secretly are influencing the variables you did measure?

The genetic map of Asia looks even more like a ‘map than the Genetic Map of Europe that was featured at Catholicgauze, gnxp, and here earlier. Japanese and Koreans (two historically closed-off populations) look like ‘islands.’ Likewise, ‘Chinese Americans’ are placed on this map somewhere around Taiwan, which makes sense given that the old Chinese population in America comes largely from the Cantonese region of China.

Just as genetics is helping make geography mroe quantitative and more meaningful, quantatitive analysis is also transforming history from a collection of stories to a real social science. Razib’s post on North African and Jewish influences in the Spanish population is, hopefully, an example of history is becoming.

Union Men

The United Auto Workers is the labor union wing of the Democratic Party. The attempt to bail out the United Auto Worker via loans to Detroit automakers is an attempt to bail out an unprofitable wing of the Democratic Party at the expense of the American taxpayer

Of course this does not mean that the United Auto Workers and its allies agree completely with the broader liberal movement. Union men ten to be less educated than liberals as a whole, and its fair to say that comments like this (taken from a featured post at Daily Kos) are perhaps more typical of the UAW than Democrats or liberals as a whole:

All gone, our shared national automotive legacy and collective memories stretching back a century, and millions of jobs, all looted by ultra-conservatives eager to punish generations of American workers for the sin of not voting for the GOP in acceptable numbers. Gone forever. In their place will be rice burning Nissons and Toyotas, maybe the occasional German model. Models that legions of newly unemployed Americans, standing on the precipe of Bush’s Depression, will never be able to afford

Empowering the UAW empowers an uneducated, nativist, protectionist, and frankly violent strain in American politics that has no place in our society. Detroit is a union town, GM is a union company, with a union view of globalization

“It’s because of you little motherfuckers that we’re out of work,” witnesses later remembered Ebens yelling at Chin.

Chin struck Ebens, and an altercation ensued. Ebens’ stepson, Michael Nitz – who had been recently laid off from his job at an autoplant – jumped in. But it was soon broken up by a parking attendant. Chin and his friends left the bar and went their separate ways. Twenty minutes later, Ebens and Nitz caught up with Chin in front of a fast-food restaurant. Ebens grabbed a baseball bat and delivered a blow to Chin’s leg. Nitz held the wounded Chin, while Ebens struck his head with the bat, bashing his skull in.

Before he slipped into a coma, Chin murmured to a friend, “It’s not fair.” Four days later – and five days before his wedding – Chin died as a result of the injuries he sustained during the beating.

and union opinions of police protection and justice

Ronald Ebens was arrested and taken into custody at the scene of the murder by two off-duty police officers who had witnessed the beating.[5] Ebens and Nitz were convicted in a county court for manslaughter by Wayne County Circuit Judge Charles Kaufman, after a plea bargain brought the charges down from second-degree murder. They served no jail time, were given three years probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay $780 in court costs. In a response letter to protests from American Citizens for Justice, Kaufman said, “These weren’t the kind of men you send to jail… You don’t make the punishment fit the crime; you make the punishment fit the criminal.

There are people ready to make serious contributions to the American auto industry, if they are supported. From Silicon Valley startups to crowding-in spending, from a geogreen stimulus to a rebated gas tax, many auto-related causes deserve our support.

But not the union men.

More Military Positions Open to Visa-Holders

Good news from the Pentagon that raises the predictable howls of protest from Democratic Underground: the U.S. military is opening some positions to non-immigrant visa holders, such as highly skilled workers already in the U.S., those on student visas, and so on.

The Associated Press: AP Exclusive: Pentagon to recruit aliens on visas
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has authorized the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to recruit certain legal residents whose critical medical and language skills are “vital to the national interest,” officials said, using for the first time a law passed three years ago.

Though the military previously has taken recruits with green cards seeking permanent residency, Gates’ action allows the services to start a one-year pilot program to find up to 1,000 foreigners who have lived in the states legally for at least two years on certain types of temporary visas.

The new recruits into the armed forces would get accelerated treatment in the process toward becoming U.S. citizens in return for serving in the wartime military in the United States or abroad.

“The services are doing a tremendous job of recruiting quality personnel to meet our various missions,” sometimes with bonus pay and tuition for medical school, said Bill Carr, deputy under secretary of defense for military personnel policy. There are currently about 24,000 doctors, dentists and nurses in the Defense Department.

The article goes on to emphasize the new reach of the program: while there is a long history of foreigners serving in the American military (all the way back to the Revolutionary War), this is the first time in modern times that non-green-card holders are being recruited.

The U.S. military is not a protectionist jobs program: it is an organization designed to provide peace and security both to us and to others in the world. It is a force for good: a force for trade, connectivity, and most importantly the Constitution.

Employers such as Microsoft, General Electric, and IBM have long recognized that the best talent may not hold a U.S. passport, or even a U.S. greencard. I am glad that Secretary of Defense Gates (who has the confidence of both President Bush and President-Elect Obama) knows this too.

Minnesota Recount Shenanigans, which is a site dedicated to statistical analysis of ongoing political disputes, has an interesting thread on the “lost” ballots that would have helped Al Franken (of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) against Senator Norm Coleman (of the Republican Party of Minnesota). This comes after news that some other ballots that will now help Norm Coleman have been “found” in the backseat of a car. Politics Done Right: Missing Ballots in Minneapolis?
The latest drama in the Minnesota recount is taking place in the 1st Precinct of the 3rd Ward of the city of Minneapolis, where officials identified 133 fewer ballots in their re-count today than had been recorded on election day. As this particular precinct voted heavily for Franken, who nearly doubled Norm Coleman’s vote total there on November 4, a reduction in the ballot count there would be a significant detriment to him, which the St. Paul Pioneer Press estimates as a net loss of 36 ballots.

No one knows what is an honest mistake, and what is a political trick.

Update: The tit-for-tat shenanigans continue. First some ballots are “found,” then others are “lost,” now more are “found.”

And you thought confidence in the American government has fallen?

The latest edition of Prime Minister’s questions may spell the end, not just for the current leadership of the Labour and Conservative Parties, but of British parliamentary democracy as a whole.

Meanwhile, the Royal Governour of Canada may suspsend Parliament, as the Canadians are insisting on the inclusion a party that calls for the dismemberment of Canada in the Canadian government.

One Million a Year

1980s-style thinking aside, Russia is in no position to fight a “Cold War.” Indeed, a serious challenge to the west by Russia is much less likely than from, say, Venezuela and Iran. Russia is a short- and medium- term problem for Europe that can be countered by the development of alternative energy sources and alternative fuels, from nuclear power to BioDiesel.

The scale of Russia’s problem, from The Economist:

Russia’s demographic crisis is one of the main constraints on the country’s economy. Although Russia’s population has been ageing, over the past decade the country has enjoyed a “demographic dividend” because the age structure was in its favour. This dividend has now been exhausted and the population of working age will decline by about 1m a year, increasing the social burden on those that remain. Over the next seven years Russia’s labour force will shrink by 8m, and by 2025 it may be 18m-19m down on the present figure of 90m.

What makes a shrinking population dangerous for a country that has always defined itself by its external borders is the loss of energy it entails, Mr Vishnevsky argues. The Soviet Union did not just try to exploit the resources of its vast and inhospitable land, it tried to populate it. Now large swathes of land in Siberia and the far east are emptying out as people move to central Russia. The population density in the country’s far east is 1.1 people per square kilometre. On the other side of the border with China it is nearly 140 times that figure.

The farther oil and natural gas prices fall in the near- and medium- term, the less power Russia will have to harm the world, and the more incentived Russia’s government will be to harness what is left of the Russian economy into wealth-producing activities.

The recent origins of black female hostility to miscegenation

My friend Michael sent me a copy of “The aftermath of Loving v. Virginia: Sex asymmetry in African-American intermarriage,” by R. Richard Banks (PDF). The piece is an attack on stereotypes of black marriage nand miscegenation: educated black females are more likely to marry than uneducated black females, the difference socio-economic status between black husbands and white wives is comparable to the different among white husbands and white wives, and, most strikingly, that the skew in African-American interrmarriage (where black men are much more likely to outmarry than black woman) is recent.

While nowadays black-white marriage is stereotypically between a black man and white woman, going back just a few decades presented a more gender-balanced picture. The case that declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, Virginia v. Loving, was fought on behalf of a white husband and black wife. Likewise, the famous movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, features two interracial romances: one between a black man and white woman, the other between a white man and black woman.

Banks’ piece is very well written. My only complaint is that it is not long enough! It reads like a literature review to a great analytical piece, and hopefully that second section is coming at a later time.

Read it (PDF).

The Wealth Recyclers

Tom makes the good point that only the disconnected ‘win’ in the global recession.

Recession touches China (Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog)
You see the pattern: only the disconnected see any “win” in a global recession.

But the biggest losers are not those who are truly and deeply connected, but rather those who recycle wealth without generating any of their own.

The falling price of oil is putting pressure on gap states such as Russia and Venezuela, and destabilizes those regimes far more than that of governments under international protection (such as Ukraine, Hungary, and so on).

Wealth recyclers do not create anything. They produce nothing, and only collect rents on the transportation of wealth placed by God under their lands (oil, natural gas), and needed by more productive peoples in order to create wealth.

We should use this opportunity to accelerate the end of the age of hydrocarbons. We have to make sure that the market for biofuels stays attractive, so that ready alternatives to gasoline and natural gas are available. This means both helping domestic producers and encouraging the new core economies to do likewise.

Sales of the Detroit 3 automakers are off 47% for Chrysler, 41% for GM, and 31% for Ford.

If these companies go bankrupt, it will clear out dead wood in the auto industry, making it easier for other auto makers to survive and meet higher fuel economy standards.

If we do decide to save these companies, we should use the leverage their bad policies have given us to enforce change.

Oriental Democracy

The removal of Thailand’s Prime Minister and arrest of Taiwan’s former President should give pause to those who insist on democracy as a near- or medium- way forward for the new core economies of the far east.

Building democracy is an important goal, and China is making significant achievemetns to that end. A stable economy is built on a stable middle class integrated into the world. Democracy as a political system makes sense if an even worse system must be avoided, or if democracy can allow the people to fire ineffective rulers without disrupting the system,.

The unfortunate news from Taiwan, and not Thailand, shows the potentially destabilizing effects of free elections. If China can continue to strengthen its economy and ‘build democracy’ without elections, then China is doing her share to contributing to the world and helping construct a peaceful future.

Pakistan in Collapse

The Indian State will survive this, and other, crises. The Pakistani state already does not control its own defense establishment, is not able to limit the export of violence from its borders, and (in a desperate attempt to remain relevent) may pull soldiers who are now monitoring the Taliban.

Stratfor has a good take:

Strategic Motivations for the Mumbai Attack | Stratfor
Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created. First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda. Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government — or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan. Finally, the United States’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.

By staging an attack the Indian government can’t ignore, the Mumbai attackers have set in motion an existential crisis for Pakistan. The reality of Pakistan cannot be transformed, trapped as the country is between the United States and India. Almost every evolution from this point forward benefits Islamists. Strategically, the attack on Mumbai was a precise blow struck to achieve uncertain but favorable political outcomes for the Islamists.

Rice’s trip to India now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan. Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration — and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai.

It is foolish to trust the Pakistani government, because the Pakistani government is not powerful enough to control what happens in Pakistan.

We should do what we can to strengthen neighbors (Iran, India, China, etc), while coming up with smart policies that will allow us to firewall ourselves and our friends off from the worst of Pakistan’s exports.