Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Two From Harper's 2.26.03

From Harper's Online:

President Bush dismissed last week's worldwide antiwar protests, which some estimate were the largest in human history, and said they would have no effect. "Size of protest — it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group." The president said that he was unwilling to give Saddam "another, 'nother, 'nother last chance," and observed that "evidently, some of the world don't view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace."

Yeah, dude. Like your constituents. But obviously, Papa Bush, you'll do what best for us. Read us a bedtime story, papa. Fill it with lies about how the world should be under the spurs of our bootheel.

Harper's Index, January 2003

Number of U.S. presidents since 1860 whose party controlled both houses of Congress by the third year of their first term : 12
Number of these presidents whose party already controlled both houses : 10
Number whose bid for reelection failed : 1
Chances that a U.S. House or Senate race last year was won by the candidate whose campaign spent the most : 9 in 10
Number of "third" parties whose candidates won state legislative seats last year : 5
Portion of the eight seats they won accounted for by Progressive Party candidates in Vermont : 1/2
Number of states that use nonpartisan commissions to draw new congressional districts : 6
Number of Louisiana's last three elected insurance commissioners convicted of corruption : 3
Percentage change since 1998 in the number of federal convictions for health-care fraud : +43
Chance that a drug dose prescribed to a U.S. hospital patient is either administered improperly or forgotten : 1 in 5
Chances that a Rwandan woman raped during the 1994 genocide is now HIV-positive : 2 in 3
Estimated number of women killed as witches in Tanzania each year : 500
Ratio of Americans killed by Timothy McVeigh and the D.C. snipers to those killed in Gulf War combat : 5:4
Ratio of kilotonnage of U.S. bombs dropped during the Gulf War to that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima : 7:1
Number of countries that supplied both sides during the Iran-Iraq war : 10
Number of these that are among the world's five largest arms-manufacturing countries : 4
Percentage of federal discretionary spending in 2001 devoted to "homeland security" or the Department of Defense : 51
Percentage of the $1.1 trillion in Iraqi oil contracts that are held by French or Russian companies : 69
Price charged by a Ukrainian company for a half-day tour of the Chernobyl nuclear-plant site : $460
Number of years that a former Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, has been leaking toxic chemicals : 18
Estimated number of people who have died there since then as a result : 20,000
Years since criminal charges were filed against him in 1991 that Union Carbide's former CEO has been in hiding : 11
Ratio of net profit earned by U.S. airlines since 1970 to federal subsidies given the industry since September 2001 : 1:1
Minimum number of box cutters taken from U.S. airline passengers since last February : 34,777
Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision in July while he went to deposit a check : 35
Chance that a doctor laughs along with a patient's laughter : 1 in 10
Chances that a doctor shows no response : 7 in 10
Percentage of Gulf War veterans reporting chronic postwar symptoms who share a single bacterial infection : 40
Minimum number of locals hired to act as Arabs heckling U.S. troops during an army war game in California last year : 15
Number of Arabic linguists fired by the U.S. Army since August for being gay : 7
Retail price Mattel suggests that toy stores assign its Lingerie Barbie, dressed in "merry widow" or "peek-a-boo" style : $45
Percentage change since 1990 in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled "disabled" : +37
Percentage of U.S. high schools receiving federal aid whose students' contact information the army sought last fall : 100
Average amount of aid each school district stands to lose if its schools do not supply the information : $762,083
Page of the No Child Left Behind education law passed last year on which this new requirement is noted : 559
Rank of Michael Moore's Stupid White Men among the New York Times's top "business" bestsellers in September : 1
Years after rapper Chuck D called Elvis Presley "straight-out racist" that he claimed "a great deal of respect" for him : 14
Factor by which the number of Americans who have "tried to impersonate Elvis" exceeds the population of Tennessee : 3
Rank of Mom, Dad, and Rudolph Giuliani among those whom recent college graduates say they most wish to emulate : 1, 2, 3
Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances : 2 in 3

No comments: