Open thread for night owls: Excerpts from the July Harper's Index

Sleep deprivation vastly increases the number of false confessions.

From the July Harper’s Index:

  • Average amount those adults spend annually on purchases made while drunk: $736
  • Estimated value of drunk shopping to the U.S. economy each year: $39,400,000,000
  • Number of U.S. retail stores that closed last year: 5,854
  • That closed through the first four months of this year: 6,105
  • Portion of high school athletes who receive college athletic scholarships: 1/50
  • Of high school athletes’ parents who think their child will receive one: ½
  • Number of economic downturns that have occurred worldwide since 1988: 469
  • Number that were predicted by IMF economists more than four months before they began: 4
  • Portion of Generation Z members who believe they should be promoted during their first year on the job: ¾
  • Percentage by which a same-sex couple is more likely to be denied a home loan than other couples: 73
  • Percentage by which someone is more likely to make a false confession if they are sleep deprived: 177
  • Percentage of Republican or Republican-leaning whites who are bothered by hearing a non-English language in public: 47
  • Of Democratic or Democratic-leaning whites: 18



“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”  ~~Sir John Lubbock, The Use of Life (1894)



On this date at Daily Kos in 2010Helen Thomas and the veneer of civilization:

There is great sadness at the end of Helen Thomas’s long and valuable career. Her nasty comments allowed her critics their final moment of triumph. As if all the good she had done, speaking truth to power, attempting to hold presidents accountable when so many of her supposed peers were resorting to mere sniveling sycophancy, was for naught. Every good she had attempted could be dismissed. She had revealed a latent bigotry. It was that for which she would be remembered.

There is no excusing Thomas’s comments. They were hateful, insensitive, and historically obtuse. That she had never before publicly revealed that side of herself is irrelevant. That she is very elderly and may have been emotionally exhausted matters not a whit. Those comments made her immediate retirement necessary. There was no going back. The entire episode called to mind the forced retirement of baseball executive Al Campanis a couple decades earlier.

Campanis also was toward the end of a long, distinguished career. Campanis also will be remembered less for all the good he did than for the way his career ended. Campanis had played baseball with Jackie Robinson. In the many years after his playing career, he had worked for the organization that had integrated baseball, and he had helped nurture the careers of many young black players. But on live television, one night, he made what were indisputably vile, racist comments. He had never before revealed such bigotry. He was elderly, and on that night he appeared to be a bit worse for alcohol. Friends and colleagues, many of them black, defended his honor and integrity. But his words could not be ignored. The meaning of his words could not be ignored.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Everyone’s talking about Trump’s taped confession, one way or another. Well, that and the “Prince of Whales.” Greg Dworkinstill found time for a polling update. And those wacky Chinese! Spying at Perv-a-Lago and turning free trade on its head.

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