In short, 12 House seats (and electoral votes) went from states with an average government union share of 47 percent to states with an average government union share of 24 percent.
It's much too simplistic to label this cause-and-effect. But the numbers describe the "effect" part of the equation clearly. People are not only moving from strong union states to weak union states, but from strong government union states to weak ones.
With both short- and long-term trends against them, organized labor really has but one weapon remaining: huge wads of cash. That might be enough to stave off disaster.
Looks like the big-union states need a border fence.
Gateway Pundit has the story. In comments I have the conspiracy theory:
Okay, now I’m CONVINCED that both parties have moles in each others’ PR camps. First it’s the Minneapolis/St. Paul Republican convention’s elephant roadkill logo. Then it’s that Obama poster with the most Orwellian color scheme imaginable – and there’s even a version with Sith light sabers!
Now it’s the Democrat target logo. What PR nightmare will the Democrat mole come up with for the Republicans in 2012?
In short, Islam and the United States Constitution represent totally different political theories. Under the latter, sovereignty lies with the will of the people; under the former, it lies with God. The U.S. Constitution emphasizes the rights of the individual, which no mythical or mystical collective goal or will can justifiably deny, whereas collectivity has a special sanctity attached to it under Islam.
Our nation's philosophical document is not the Constitution but the Declaration of Independence - and God is a central figure in the latter. The former outlines the powers of the federal government; the latter explains why the country sought independence.
The Declaration also casts God as the highest authority. It charges the British crown with violating the will of a greater sovereign, with a list of specific charges. The differences between our political philosophy and Warraq's portrait of Islam lie in perceptions of God's will.
The chief difference is that the God of the Declaration values all humans equally. The Allah that Warraq describes does not.
Second, American government's jurisdiction over God's will is limited to secular affairs; it has no regulatory authority over the relationship between the individual and the divine.
Third, the highest human political authority is the governed. Islam, according to Warraq, places the highest human authority elsewhere.
If anybody's in the mood to torch something, don't burn a Koran or a flag or somebody's effigy. How about burning copies of Obama's economy-killing legislation? There's enough pages of that stuff to smoke a brisket.
What prompted this? Well, Fidel fears that Iran's belligerence could trigger a nuclear war with the US, and the Cuban Missile Crisis bred in Fidel a bit of apprehensiveness about nukes.
Please control your urge to punch the monitor when author Jeffrey Goldberg refers to the dictator as a "great man."
At Hot Air, commenter "leilani" notes:
According to Castro’s daughter Alina Fernández, Fidel has Jewish ancestry on his mother’s side, which might help explain his uncharacteristic defense of them. A lot of good El Jefe’s heritage did all the Cuban Jews who had to flee leaving everything they owned behind on the island after the revolution, though
Dudes, Israel goes through great lengths to delay conflict. If it didn't care about peace, it would elect Janet Reno as Prime Minister, and grant Hezbollah and HAMAS the same level of patience she granted to the Branch Davidians.
A Florida church plans to commemorate 9/11 by burnign a stack of Korans.
John Hinderaker is right. This will very likely get people killed, and it perversely plays into the hands of Islamists who will take fullest advantage of this PR gold mine.
It is also not in keeping with the spirit of the Church founders. Paul of Tarsus did not buy figurines of Artemis and smash them in the Ephesian agora. He didn't offend religions by defacing their artifacts - he offended them be presenting ideas they happened to oppose.
Hinderaker concludes with this:
Finally, an interesting question: how is this controversy similar to, and different from, that over the Ground Zero Mosque? Both involve actions that private citizens have a right to take, but arguably shouldn't. It is a worthwhile comparison, but that is a post for another day.
There is one difference. Pastor Terry Jones seeks to offend Muslims, and is upfront about it. Imam Rauf says he's not seeking to offend Westerners, but his sincerity is highly suspect.
I'll ask another question. Let's say that instead of burning an actual Koran, someone paints a portrait of a burning Koran and includes it in a National Endowment for the Arts-funded art exhibit. Would that be wrong? Let's ask Andres Serrano.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Why do we have a holiday dedicated to only one element of commerce? The "strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country" is dependent on five factors:
Liberty. Laws regarding commerce and property rights are relatively fair and consistent. Taxation levels, while far from ideal, are such that (except in a few areas) they do not choke out business startups and growth. The streets are free from warfare and from government pogroms.
Culture. Society generally encourages private-sector employment; in several African nations, by contrast, the college-educated gravitate heavily toward government jobs. The rate of crimes against person and property, except in various urban neighborhoods, is not so high that businesses are driven away.
Entrepreneurs. These are the people responsible for the organization of an entire company, the establishment of its entire product line, and the assumption of the risk inherent in the venture.
Investors. Businesses must be financed. Outside sources such as banking institutions and stockholders routinely invest in established businesses, and occasionally provide capital for startups. Investors assume some degree of risk.
Labor. Traditionally this term is used to signify all non-managerial positions within a company. I use it to refer to include all non-entrepreneurial positions in a company. The common usage of "labor" and "management" insinuates that managers (including entrepreneurs) don't really do anything, that their organizational duties isn't really "work." I use "entrepreneur" and "labor" to distinguish between those responsible for an entire company and those responsible for portions of it.
Happy Commerce Day! Drink a toast to the Bill of Rights, peaceful citizens, Bill Gates, Wall Street, and all your coworkers.
[Saddam] had a nuclear program — before the first Gulf War. For those of us who recall the issue of yellowcake in Iraq, this is the same stash that the IAEA had sealed during its inspections immediately after that war. The seals remained on the compound, which means that Saddam never used it again. In fact, that’s why we suspected him of attempting to purchase more from Niger, because he couldn’t get his hands on this yellowcake without triggering a new war.
This doesn’t have anything to do with continuing efforts by Saddam to produce nuclear weapons. After the rejection by Niger, no one has produced any evidence that Saddam got fissile material from anywhere else, although evidence has arisen that he kept his nuclear technology on standby for reinstatement as soon as the sanctions got lifted. He continued to work with chemical and possibly biological weapons for several years, according to captured IIS documents, but the nuclear progam appears to have been shut down effectively.
What, no Iraqi nuke threat? Not so fast. Go back to the first article:
Saddam was obsessed with Iran. Imagine the effect on the jolly Iraqi's thinking come 2005 and the rise to stardom of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, publicly mocking the West's efforts to shut his nuclear program and threatening enemies with annihilation. That year Ahmadinejad broke the U.N. seals at the Isfahan uranium enrichment plant.
Does it seem likely that Iran's nuclear ambitions would have provoked Saddam into rekindling his nuclear program? One of his top scientists, Mahdi Obeidi, thought so when he wrote this in 2004:
Was Iraq a potential threat to the United States and the world? Threat is always a matter of perception, but our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam Hussein's fingers. The sanctions and the lucrative oil-for-food program had served as powerful deterrents, but world events - like Iran's current efforts to step up its nuclear ambitions - might well have changed the situation.
Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly. In the late 1980's, we put together the most efficient covert nuclear program the world has ever seen. In about three years, we gained the ability to enrich uranium and nearly become a nuclear threat; we built an effective centrifuge from scratch, even though we started with no knowledge of centrifuge technology.
Good thing we don't have to worry about Saddam's reaction to the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran.