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Smart Talk Nov. 18


Does this explain it? Going around on the Internet is a table purporting to show a correlation between intelligence and presidential voting — specifically, showing that states where the average IQ is high went for Kerry, and states with low average IQs went for Bush. The ranking of states by average IQ was first published in 2000, allegedly, but questions about its validity remain. Republican blogs, particularly, say it’s a hoax. For what it’s worth, the table shows that the 15 “smartest” states, Connecticut (average IQ 113) through Pennsylvania (101), all voted for Kerry. The highest Bush state was Virginia (100), which tied with Kerry states Maine and Wisconsin in 16th place. The lowest-ranking Kerry state is Oregon (99) in 24th place. Below that, it’s all Bush, including Arkansas, which is listed in 35th place, although there are a number of ties on the list, and when ties occur, the states are listed alphabetically, so the rankings are not exactly accurate. Arkansas’s alleged IQ of 92 tied it with Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota and Texas. Mississippi is all alone at the bottom, with an alleged average IQ of 85, and definitely pro-Bush. The Nu¯ scene At press time, the hottest ticket among private Clinton library-related social events seemed to be a party at 10 p.m. Thursday in the private room at the new Nu¯ Cuisine and Lounge, already THE place to see and be seen in LR. The room was rented for a Mary Steenburgen/Ted Danson party. The small guest list, undoubtedly including the Big Dog himself, was said to be heavy on media celebs in town for the opening. On Target Come Christmastime, Wal-Mart may profit from any public fallout resulting from rival Target’s decision to drop an exemption to their rules against solicitation on company property that had benefitted the Salvation Army. Target said it could no longer allow one charity to solicit, but not others. What a deal for Wal-Mart. It and the Salvation Army parlayed it into a front-page story last week in the Democrat-Gazette to tout a standard Salvation Army solicitation the next day at — where else? — the shiny new West Little Rock Supercenter near the intersection of Chenal Parkway and Cantrell Road. You perhaps don’t remember when Wal-Mart itself kicked the Salvation Army — and several other national charities — to the curb over the one burr that always seems to stick under their broad saddle: Unions. The problem was a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that said if stores let charities set up shop on their property, they had to give union reps the same opportunity. In 1999, the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union sent 300 organizers to Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs nationwide. Wal-Mart sued, and for fear of pro-union pamphleteers, the company made a number of changes that forced the bell ringers out of Wal-Mart entryways and into the cold, requiring all solicitors to stay at least 15 feet from the entrance to the store. At some stores that saw heavy pro-union activity, solicitation was banned altogether. Before it was all over, Circuit Judge Jim D. Spears of Ft. Smith had placed a nationwide ban against labor organizers soliciting union support on Wal-Mart property — a ruling that the Arkansas Supreme Court nullified in July 2003.

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