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Harper’s Index and exploding heads…

March 9, 2014

Today I’m doing a little house cleaning and its time to dispose of a bunch of my recent Harper’s Magazines.

But before they go to recycling – I will pass on to you a quick list of Harper’s Index observations that tell us, in a line, or a statistic, some little snippet of how the world is.

I only give you 15 from the 200 or so compiled over the last few months as I have discovered I stop absorbing them after a while. And usually, it only takes about 15 of these observations before I find that I want to break something, scream at someone, or – well you get the picture.

  • Psychologists, the United Nations, and all church leaders have repeatedly told politicians that putting a prisoner in solitary confinement is perhaps one of the cruelest things we can do to a person. Within 24 hrs of being in solitary there is measurable negative affects on cognition, behaviour, and social skills. A million research papers have been done on this – from the United States, Canada, Britain, Russia, Afghanistan, India etc. We now know that solitary confinement is evil.

With that in mind, the number of US prisoners who are now in solitary confinement has risen anywhere from 63% in New York State to 500% in California just since 2007.

  • 70% of patients in solitary confinement have been diagnosed with mental health issues.
  • Of the 17 people bitten by L.A. Sheriff’s dogs in 2013 – all 17 were either black or Latino.
  • Increase in New York City homeless population under Mayor Michael Bloomberg – the mayor generally considered to be New York’s gentrification mayor? 65% – 40% of whom are children.
  • 40% of college grads work at jobs that do not require a college degree.
  • 20% of Chinese men admit they have reaped a woman. (57% said they did it because they were bored.)
  • 40% of U.S. Jews believe God gave the Israel to the Jewish people. 82% of Christian evangelicals believe this.
  • Only 1% of all petitions to hear a case before the U.S. Supreme Court were granted last year. Of that 1%, 32% were supported by briefs from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • More people died by suicide last year in North America than by car accidents.
  • 65% of domestic workers work for less than minimum wage.
  • The U.S. federal government spent more on supplying food stamps to Walmart workers last year than it received in Walmart taxes.
  • 4 of the 10 richest Americans last year were from the Walton family (who owns Walmart). Accumulated wealth of Walton family: approximately $140 billion.
  • Since 2005, colleges spend 23% more per-student for college programs. Since 2005, colleges spend 61% more on college athletes.
  • 7/10ths of 1% of Palestinian land controlled by Israel is allocated to Palestinians to use. 51% is allocated for Israeli settlers.
  • Portion of drugs brought into the U.S. by immigrants last year: 25%. By American citizens: 75%.

 

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