The State of the Union

The Austin Chronicle: Columns: Letters at 3AM
No. 1? BY MICHAEL VENTURA

? The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).

? Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the Earth. Seventeen percent believe the Earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005)

? “Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined” (The European Dream, p.28).

? “Nearly one out of four Americans [believe] that using violence to get what they want is acceptable” (The European Dream, p.32).

? Forty-three percent of Americans think torture is sometimes justified, according to a PEW Poll (Associated Press, Aug. 19, 2004).

? Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn’t show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004) [mjh: “Mandate,” my ass.]

[via The Daily Aneurysm at jabartlett.com]