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Harper's Index for May 2004

I think Portland IMC deserves some statistical content
Harper's Index for May 2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2004.

Chance that an American adult believes that "politics and government are too complicated to understand" : 1 in 3 [National Home Education Research Institute (Salem, Oregon) ]

Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way : 1 in 25 [National Home Education Research Institute (Salem, Oregon) ]

Number of blank votes recorded by touchscreen machines in a January election for Florida's House of Representatives : 137 [Florida Department of State (Tallahassee) ]

Votes by which the race was won : 12 [Florida Department of State (Tallahassee) ]

Number of Haiti's elections since 1994 called "bogus electoral exercises" by the State Department's Roger Noriega : 3 [U.S. State Department ]

Last year in which one of these elections took place under President Jean-Bertrand Aristide : 1995 [Harper's research ]

Percentage of Western Hemisphere countries besides Cuba whose leaders Noriega believes have been "freely elected" : 100 [U.S. State Department ]

Federal funds given last September to a group organizing the recall of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez : $53,400 [National Endowment for Democracy (Washington) ]

Minimum number of misleading statements on Iraq made by the Bush Administration's top officials since March 2002 : 237 [Committee on Government Reform (Washington, D.C.) ]

Percentage of these that contradicted, made selective use of, or mischaracterized existing government intelligence : 100 [Committee on Government Reform (Washington, D.C.) ]

Days before last year's invasion of Iraq that Osama bin Laden called Saddam Hussein a "socialist infidel" : 36 [Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar)/BBC Monitoring Service (Caversham Park, U.K.) ]

Days into the 1999 NATO bombing of Kosovo that candidate George W. Bush observed, "Victory means exit strategy" : 17 [Houston Chronicle/NATO (Brussels) ]

Months into the war in Iraq that all U.S. personnel there were equipped with antiballistic body armor : 11 (see page 67) [U.S. Central Command (Tampa) ]

Months into the war that Britain confirmed that all its troops were outfitted with desert clothing : 9 [Liberal Democrat Whips Office, House of Commons (London) ]

Estimated percentage of French schoolgirls who wore an Islamic head scarf to school last fall : 0.02 [Ministere de la Jeunesse, de l'Education Nationale et de la Recherche (Paris)/Assembl'ee Nationale de France transcript, 12/4/03 ]

Number of Holsteins disqualified from the Ohio State Fair last August because they were wearing a hair piece : 2 [Ohio Department of Agriculture (Reynoldsburg) ]

Number of suspensions a Dallas-area high school handed out last fall for dress-code violations : 1,116 [Duncanville Independent School District (Tex.) ]

Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida : 240 [Continuing Care, Inc. (Venice, Fla.) ]

Minimum number of Italian men accused of paying for a "sexual anxieties" diagnosis to avoid military service last winter : 150 [Sophie Arie, Guardian (London) ]

Number of times that Everglades saw grass switches gender during a week of flowering : 2 [Jennifer Richards, Florida International University (Miami) ]

Percentage of the 958 same-sex unions granted to Vermont residents since July 2000 that have since been dissolved : 3 [Vermont Department of Health (Burlington) ]

Percentage of U.S. heterosexual marriages that are dissolved within five years : 20 [National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.) ]

Median household income a pair of U.S. single mothers would have if they married each other : $40,568 [U.S. Census Bureau (Washington)/Harper's research ]

Median household income of a U.S. heterosexual couple with children : $59,461 [U.S. Census Bureau ]

Percentage of senior management positions in medium-size Russian companies that are held by women : 42 [Grant Thornton International (London) ]

Percentage of senior management positions at equivalent U.S. companies that are : 20 [Grant Thornton International (London) ]

Percentage of U.S. companies that threaten to close the work site when faced with a unionization effort : 51 [Kate Bronfenbrenner, Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) ]

Factor by which the unemployment rate of African-American college graduates exceeds that of white graduates : 1.9 [Bureau of Labor Statistics (Washington)/Harper's research ]

Average percentage of African-American men age 16 to 64 in New York City who were employed each month last year : 52 [Community Service Society of New York (N.Y.C.) ]

Minimum number of Tennesseans who have ordered new license plates bearing the Confederate flag : 3,000 [Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (Brentwood) ]

Minimum revenue the Sons of Confederate Veterans stands to collect through such sales : $20,000 [Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (Brentwood) ]

Amount the federal Individual Indian Trust cannot account for, per Native American it serves : $26,000 [Native American Rights Fund (Boulder, Colo.) ]

Total overruns at Boston's "Big Dig" attributed to mistakes and mismanagement by the Bechtel Corporation : $1,100,000,000 [Boston Globe ]

Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered : 4 [Ronald Amundson, College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley ]

Amount that Tom DeLay's political action committee spent at the Washington, D.C., Hooters last November : $117.19 [Federal Election Commission (Washington) ]

Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes : 24 [U.S. Department of Justice (Alexandria, Va.) ]

Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television : 33 [Rich Rosen, UNC School of Law (Chapel Hill) ]

Days after Smith & Wesson Holding appointed a chairman last winter that he resigned over old armed-robbery convictions : 38 [Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Scottsdale, Ariz.)/Michigan Dept. of Corrections (Lansing) ]

Caliber of his first gun, a Smith & Wesson used for armed robbery : .38