This and That

There are 17,985 police agencies in the United States. [Wikipedia]

California is one of four states where a law degree is not required to take the bar exam. [NYT 9/13/20]

The other three states are Washington, Vermont, and Virginia. Wisconsin is the only state in which you can start practicing law without taking a bar exam if you instead complete certain course and grade requirements. [Google/WW]

Nearly 30 million people in the United States lacked health insurance at some point in 2019. This is up 1,000,000 people since 2018.

The median U.S. income in 2019 was $68,703, up from $64,324 in 2018.

Households with the top one-fifth of earnings accounted for almost 52% of all income earned in the United States, more than the bottom four-fifths combined. The poorest one-fifth of households received 3 percent of all income. [WP 9/160]

“Nineteen years ago, 72% of Americans rallied and said America was headed in the right direction and only 11% said we were on the wrong track. Today, just 19% say we are headed in the right direction; 72% say we are on the wrong track.” [Peter Hart, 9/11/20]

“24 people lead the Trump administration. 3 are Asian, Black or Hispanic. 9 justices sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. 2 are Black or Hispanic.

100 people write the laws in the Senate. 9 are Asian, Black, or Hispanic.

431 people currently write laws in the House. 112 are Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Native American, or otherwise identify as a person of color.

50 people are state governors. 3 are Asian, Hispanic, or Native American. 8 men are military chiefs. 1 is Black.

25 people command the largest police forces. 14 are Black or Hispanic.

29 prosecutors charge people with crimes in those jurisdictions. 12 are Asian, Black or Hispanic.” [NYT – Faces of Power project]

The average person’s mind wanders 47% of the time, according to a 2010 Harvard Study entitled, “Focus your Brain (Put Down That Phone)”. [NYT 9/27/20]

Americans are schizophrenic in their views of the media.

  • 9% have a great deal of confidence that journalists act in the best interests of the public. Another 39% have a fair amount of confidence.
  • 63% say that ideally, it’s better if the public is skeptical of rather than trust the news media.
  • 75% of adults say it is possible to improve the level of confidence Americans have in the news media.
  • 48% of adults say that news organizations do not do well telling their audiences when a correction has been made and
  • 60% do not do a good job of telling their audiences whether are conflicts of interest.
  • 51% feel more confident in a news organization that issues an official correction to a story.

[PEW 3/2/20]

Georgetown University’s legendary basketball coach, John Thompson, Jr. died on August 30, 2020. The following was included in a memorial story in the Washington Post.

“Thompson’s pride was the impact he had on his players. And if they didn’t want to receive the full weight of that impact, they could move along – out of Georgetown. The Hoyas’ graduation rate for four-year players was 97 percent, because they knew that, no matter what their academic challenges when they entered, they only had two years to prove they were serious about using school to prepare themselves for life – or give somebody else the chance they were wasting.” – Tom Boswell

On October 10th, Peter Baker of the New York Times tweeted the following list of U.S. deaths due to mass casualty events.

Influenza pandemic (1918-1920): 675,000
Civil War: 600,000
WWII: 400,000
Coronavirus (2020): 213,000 so far
H2N2 (1957-58): 116,000
WWI: 115,000
H3N2 (1968): 100,000
Vietnam: 58,000
Korea: 36,000
H1N1 (2009): 12,469
Iraq: 4,500
Afghanistan: 2,300

“Paraprosdokians” are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. Here are a half dozen.

  • Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you … but it’s still on my list.
  • Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  • We never really grow up—we only learn how to act in public.
  • War does not determine who is right, only who is left.