Eugene Linden
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Maddening Numbers

The way in which the media and policymakers are using the numbers on coronavirus approaches insanity. Most of the numbers published are about as credible as Trump’s estimates of the size of his inaugural crowd. Absolutely no one with any expertise believes that China has only 80,000 cases o...

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Deep Past
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Winds of Change
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Afterword to the softbound edition.


The Octopus and the Orangutan
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The Future In Plain Sight
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The Parrot's Lament
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Silent Partners
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Affluence and Discontent
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The Alms Race
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Apes, Men, & Language
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Just Wondering...


Friday November 20, 2015

Why is it that the most gun-crazy states in the country are the most terrified of the prospect of taking in Syrian refugees? Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, all packed with citizens armed to the teeth, have governors scared witless by poor refugees who've been forced to flee by anarchy in their homelands. Didn't the NRA tell us that the only thing that stands between us and a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? Maybe we need a good guy with a tank?

Meanwhile, Connecticut (once memorably derided as a "pussy state" by the Daily Show's Samantha Bee), with relatively strict gun control laws, seems to think it can handle the widows, orphans, and the 2% of military-aged males who find themselves without a country and seeking asylum.

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Short Take

A Glimmer of Hope in the Coronavirus News?

I’m usually the most apocalyptic guy in the room, but, maybe, there’s a glimmer of hope in the latest news on the coronavirus. If it’s been circulating in Washington state for several weeks, it’s probably also been circulating in a few other states for weeks as well. And if there hasn’t been a big spike in visits to emergency rooms with respiratory ailments (and I have not read about such), it may well be that the virus is already widely spread in the U.S., but not hitting Americans as hard as it has populations elsewhere. If this turns out to be the case, the difference might be that there are far fewer smokers in the U.S. than in China, South Korea, Japan and Italy, and that the air is far cleaner in American cities than in China’s. 

We’ll find out in the next few weeks whether Americans are better able to withstand the disease. There remain major unknowns about coronavirus; nor do we know how hard the virus will hit the elderly and infirm. Still, this latest news could be a positive. 



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