Do you remember the 1957-58 Asian flu? Or the 1968-69 Hong Kong flu? I do. I was a teenager during the first of these, an adult finishing law school during the second. But even though back then I followed the news much more than the average person my age, I can't dredge up more than the dimmest memory of either.
I don't have any memory of ...Read more
On a multicountry trip to South America, President Ronald Reagan couldn't restrain himself from the inane observation that every tourist finds himself saying about such trips. "Every country is different." So, it seems, is every virus capable of spreading into pandemic.
The influenza pandemic of 1918-19, for example, tended to kill otherwise ...Read more
"In the great debate of the past two decades over freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong." So write Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods, law professors at Harvard and the University of Arizona, respectively, in The Atlantic.
And they seem to mind, as their next sentence indicates...Read more
Time for reopening? Let's reframe the question. Time for what to reopen? With what precautions? In which states and counties and communities? Mandatory reopening or voluntary?
And who really decides? Governors, mayors, the president? Business owners or consumers? Does anyone really expect what economist Arnold Kling calls "patterns of ...Read more
In the clashing commentary about whether lockdowns and stay-at-home orders should continue, or whether businesses and stores should be reopened, one senses a yearning for consensus. Why can't everybody just agree?
One reason is that we continue to be ignorant on many important points. How many people have been infected with the disease? Some ...Read more
Some of America's most beautiful spaces -- our colleges and university campuses -- are closed and empty these days. Schools have canceled their spring semesters and commencements because of the COVID-19 virus; classrooms, dormitories and athletic facilities have been closed.
Students at many institutions are told that they can continue to ...Read more
On my daily walk down a side street, I saw the restaurant with a diagonal cross made of adhesive tape on its sign. Gone was the notice that it would open for takeout; it looked to be closed for good.
Although I'm aware that most restaurants go out of business within a few years or even months, I felt a certain sadness. The owners and staff ...Read more
There's no greater contrast between how countries have treated COVID-19 than that between nations on both sides of what might be called the Asian Iron Curtain. It's a contrast that tells us much about how to handle the virus -- and how events now in the distant past can determine the fates of hundreds of millions of people today.
On one side is...Read more
It's unnerving, and perhaps instructive, that the arrangements elites have been prescribing for dealing with what they call our most dangerous environmental threat -- climate change, formerly known as global warming -- are almost precisely the opposite of the arrangements deployed to deal with the more immediate threat of COVID-19, aka the novel...Read more
Precedent doesn't provide much guidance. There's a deadly coronavirus threatening to circulate through the population. The resulting government orders and social sanctions of self-distancing and self-isolating behavior are unprecedented in living memory.
Operating without guiding precedents casts into doubt many longstanding practices and ...Read more
What just happened? The Democratic presidential nomination race, which gave signs of lasting months, is now basically over.
Sen. Bernie Sanders won North Dakota and lost Washington after carrying a lead on Wednesday. In Michigan and Missouri, where he won 50% and 49%, respectively, against Hillary Clinton in 2016, he carried 36% and 35% against...Read more
Super Tuesday has finally served its intended purpose for the first time since it was invented for the 1988 presidential cycle, 32 years ago.
Those were the days when Democrats controlled practically every Southern legislature and when most Southern whites were, in homage to their Civil War heritage, registered Democrats. Moderate Democratic ...Read more
You hear it said and see it written that Bernie Sanders will be another George McGovern -- that is, a left-wing nominee who lost a presidential election in a landslide.
I'm here to tell you that's wrong. Because the times are different. And because Sen. Sanders is, or ought to be, a scarier candidate and a further departure from historic ...Read more
Bernie Sanders' victories in the inaccurately counted Iowa caucuses, the crisply conducted New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses have made two things clear.
One is that the Vermont senator, elected and reelected to Congress as an independent, is on the high road to become the oldest political party in the world's 35th presidential ...Read more