As surely everyone knows by now, preliminary 2010 census results were announced recently. Some highlights:
- We are now a nation of 309 million souls. While this seems large, reflect that is is but about 23% of the population of the "Republic" of China (which I refer to as Red China the way my father's generation did).
- There are 21% more Texans in 2010 than there were in 2000. While this is good news for Republicans, it's bad news for those of us who think there are quite enough Texans to go around, thank you every much. I mean, I have nothing against the state - I rather like it, actually, and appreciate the fact that things are oversized; it suits me - it's just that I'm really tired of natives constantly announcing how wonderful the place is. "Don't Mess With Texas": Every time I see one of these bumper stickers I'm tempted to grab a Sharpie and write, "I wouldn't bother urinating on it." I have long called Texas the most relentlessly self-promotional state in the Union. And for a state that big, this is unseemly. It reminds me of an oversized oaf I used to know in high school, boorish and loud-mouthed. Everyone got tired of him, too.
I once spent a short evening with the most obnoxious Mormon missionary I have ever met; you guessed it, a Texan. Now this is really unusual as Mormon missionaries are almost always polite, deferential, humble young men. He was complaining about Virginian hospitality... this from a guy who was living in a member's home. He wasn't pleased with me when I pointed this out. He also wasn't pleased when I said that I thought Alaska should be split in half to make Texas the third biggest state in the Union...
- California, with a stagnant/shrinking population gets no new House seats for the very first time since 1850, when it joined the union. As a native Californian it pains me to write this, but good. That screwy liberal state, in concert with a tortured reading of the interstate commerce clause, has helped mess things up long enough. It's still the most populous state in the Union, but I suspect it won't be for long. Residents and jobs are flowing outward from the state, not inward. My mother and my in-laws were trend setters in this regard.
- "Growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower." Duh. This will come as a surprise only to a liberal.
- Utah is growing. No surprise there, either. While I have my own personal complaints against living in the Land of the Saints (it's based on my belief that the salt of the earth tastes bad all clumped together), the fact is that Utah is a very livable state, with a well educated populace, sensible government and what's left of of the traditional great American core values of hard work and good citizenship. (To a great extent, Idaho is the same kind of place - except colder. My son lived in Rexburg for a time... brrrrrr...) I regard Utah as a sort of retirement safety net. If for some reason I cannot survive in Virginia in my old age, I can always move to Utah.
- Arizona is growing, too. But what percentage of that are illegal aliens?
- Florida gains two seats. I verified this on a trip a few years back: People actually live in Orlando. They enact local laws that steal pocket change from people desiring to drive from the airport to the Disney parks area. It's like driving up the East Coast, Toll-a-Rama. How annoying. As my friend Mike once said, "It's not how much it costs you to get into a Disney park - it's how much it costs you to leave."
- Michigan is the only state to have lost population since 2000, and I am truly sorry about this. I have blogged before about what a bizarre and strange place downtown Detroit has become; abandoned homes, packs of feral dogs, etc. The state doesn't deserve this. It is the result of our losing our manufacturing base. Forget global warming - this is the crisis of our day.
- Nevada is the fastest-growing state in the Union. It is partially presided over by Senator Harry Reid, who lamentably won recent reelection. (This does not at all augur well for the state's future political prominence.) When Dennis Miller said about him, "Senator, only in the off-the-rack culture that we currently have could a whiny hack like you somehow rise to a position of leadership. The bad guys look to you to reinforce the belief that we are the weak horse and eminently conquerable. You are making that assertion so easy for them that they no doubt view you as the derriere of said horse. You are a vague, translucent, living shade who barely matters, and if you really want to serve the country that affords a trifle like you the opportunity to delude himself into thinking that he matters, you must never ever speak out loud in public again," I think he was being needlessly kind.
- From this article: "The South had the fastest growth since 2000, at 14.3 percent, the Census Bureau said. The West was close behind at 13.8 percent. The Northeast had 3.2 percent growth while the Midwest had 3.9 percent." It puts me in mind of the bumper stickers I sometimes see at reenactments: "Save your Confederate money because THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN." Indeed.
- Massachusetts loses a House seat! Drinks are on me!
- From the same article: "States losing political clout may have little recourse to challenge the census numbers. Still, census officials were bracing for the possibility of lawsuits seeking to revise the 2010 findings." Sue. It's the American Way.
I was playing with the integrated image sensor and Photo Booth software on my wife's Apple laptop. Images here. (Warning: I have looked worse, but not this often.)
I will be taking off between Christmas and New Year so (probably) no updates then. Unless I get bored and/or restless. Tomorrow is my last day at work before the break.
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