Sunday, April 17, 2011

Harpooned

Tidbits from latest Index in Harper's magazine:

Jim Kuntsler is always talking about peak oil. Maybe he's onto something.
  • Percentage by which Saudi Arabia's total oil supply might be overstated, according to leaked diplomatic cables: 72
This will make you feel safer, and oh so proud of our valiant CIA.
  • Confirmed number of terrorist plots against the United States perpetrated by Muslims in 2010: 10
  • By non-Muslims: 25
  • Minimum number of people killed by CIA drone attacks in Pakistan last year: 607
  • Number of those who appeared on a US list of most-wanted terrorists: 2
Now here's an idea for debt reduction.
  • Amount of Defense Department spent last year on military bands: $317 million
Has there ever been a more useless agency of the United States government than the Transportation Security Administration?
  • Estimated number of "behavior-detection officers" employed by the Transportation Security Administration: 2,800
  • Estimated number of people these officers have flagged for examination under the program: 288,600
  • Percentage of those examinations that led to an arrest: 0.7
Hypocritical bastards can be female too, but of course this sort of thing is common in congresspersons of all parties, but it seems especially deviant for a Tea Party person.
  • Amount of federal subsidies given to the family farm of Michelle Bachman (R., Minn.) since 2001: $154,755
 A few seconds with the working class people, whom everyone in the government claims to be concerned about.
  • Chance for the US job created last year was in a low-wage industry: 1 in 2
  • Percentage of voters in the 2010 midterms who were members of a union household: 17
  • Percent change in US labor productivity since 1972: +114
  • Percent change in wages during that same period: -6
  • Percent increase in food-stamp usage in 2010: 13
Now doesn't this make you feel so sorry for these people? (Are you freaking kidding me?)
  • Chances that a US millionaire does not "feel wealthy": 2 and 5
  • Average amount he or she believes would begin to create such a feeling: $7,500,000
This doesn't bode well for the future of millions of people. I wonder how much money it would take to create a feeling of well-being among them?
  • Percentage of households whose head is nearing retirement age that have 401(k)-type accounts: 60
  • Chance that such a household has adequate savings to maintain its standard of living into retirement: 1 in 10
Let's go to the schoolhouse, including scandalous numbers on those greedy teachers who are busting the budgets of states all over the country.
  • Chance that a 2009 New York City high school graduate was deemed college-ready by the state's education department: 1 in 4
  • Average salary difference between starting New York public school teacher and a first-year private lawyer in 1970: $2,000
  • Today: $106,000
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