I'll just stay here and gripe

"You know what? A hit on the Internet is ... just a hit," a philosophical Joe Volpe told journalists earlier this month. Who is Joe Volpe and what was he talking about? For starters, he's Canada's chief of immigration. And he was reflecting on the fact that - despite perceptions to the contrary - not many Americans were upset enough about President Bush's reelection last Nov. 2 to want to emigrate after all. In the immediate aftermath, there was a sixfold increase in visits to Canada's immigration website by US citizens presumably in despair at the outcome. But over the next six months , the number applying for permanent residence north of the border didn't go up; it fell by 1,600 over the previous half-year. This, even though Canada tilts left politically and actively encourages immigration. "I guess I'm happy that Republicans and Democrats have found a way to live together in peace and harmony," Volpe said.

They're political opposites: Provo, Utah, and Detroit

By examining voting patterns in 237 cities with populations of 100,000 or more, the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research determined where each falls on the liberal/ conservative continuum. "The great political divide," director Phil Reiff writes, "is not red vs. blue, North vs. South, coastal vs. interior, or even rich vs. poor - it is ... black vs. white." Result: Detroit, with a majority African-American population, ranks as the most liberal city. Predominantly white Provo, Utah, is the most conservative. The five most liberal and five most conservative US cities, as ranked by the center:

1. Detroit
2. Gary, Ind.
3. Berkeley, Calif.
4. Washington
5. Oakland, Calif.

1. Provo, Utah
2. Lubbock, Texas
3. Abilene, Texas
4. Hialeah, Fla.
5. Plano, Texas

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