Monday, April 26, 2010

Chewy Tidbits (that taste like crap)

I've mentioned Harper's "Index" before. It's one of my favorite parts of the magazine. Up front. Read quickly. Thought-provoking. Fun. But often disheartening, if not downright depressing.

So in the latest issue (May, 2010) there appeared lots of interesting tidbits. I'm going to share with you the ones that I found particularly striking.

  • Percentage of Republicans in a January survey who believed their state should secede from the Union: 23
Almost one in four members of the Republican party says this?? It's difficult to believe, isn't it? You really have to wonder about the depths of rage against Washington that would drive such sentiments. And, most bothersome to me, the state of mind that allows wiping the seminal event in American history right out of the picture. Are people really this ignorant of what the Civil War meant? Take your pick: they can be angry and insane or ignorant and insane or angry, ignorant and insane. There's no choice "none of the above."
  • Projected amount by which US defense spending will rise next year under Obama's "spending freeze": $30,569,000,000
  • Total unfunded retirement liabilities of US state governments today: $1,000,000,000,000
Think about it. I'm not so sure being a federal retiree is much better in terms of unfunded requirements, but if the Fed goes belly up, it's game over anyway. But where are the states going to get this immense sum of money? I'll tell you where. From everything that lawmakers consider unimportant, and this will vary from state to state, but there are going to be a few constants. Infrastructure spending. (Say goodbye to all that stuff you took for granted, like potholes and bridges being fixed, problem-free sewage, and anything progressive in education.)
  • Percentage of Americans who support allowing "homosexuals" to serve in the military: 59
  • Percentage who support allowing "gay men and lesbians" to serve: 70 
  • Number of grammatical errors found by a retired high school teacher in a single issue of The Miami Herald in January: 133
This is at least indirectly related to secession and homosexuals, don't you think?
  • Percentage of US seniors who favor legalized marijuana for personal use: 23
  • Percentage who favor legalizing it for medical use: 69 
Because as everybody knows, weed is as dangerous as heroin, and besides God does not want us to have fun of any description.
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