Is the California Dream Finished?

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For all the persistent rhetoric from California’s leaders about this state being on the cutting edge of social and racial justice, the reality on the ground is far grimmer.  read more »

Perspective: U. S. COVID-19 Deaths and Urban Population Density

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There is wide consensus that the COVID-19 virus spreads person-to-person, especially in confined spaces that are insufficiently ventilated. It is exacerbated by prolonged proximity, which John Brooks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s chief medical officer indicates is 15 minutes or more of unprotected contact with someone less than 6 feet away.  read more »

No, College Kids Aren't All Reckless or Selfish

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There’s no denying that the new spike in COVID-19 cases we are seeing is driven by “younger Americans.” Some states are re-closing bars and restaurants, or pausing other reopening measures. Dr. Anthony Fauci might have put it best when he told a Senate committee, “Bars: really not good, really not good.” But people are seeing the word “younger” and misreading it as “college kids.”  read more »

Subjects:

May Transit Ridership Down 81 Percent

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The nation’s transit systems carried 81 percent fewer riders in May, 2020 than in May, 2019, according to data posted yesterday by the Federal Transit Administration. This drop is almost as great as the 84 percent decline reported for April.  read more »

Storied Cities

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Athens is the birthplace of Western culture, with the physical ruins of its classical age still visibly present as a perpetual reminder. Virgil composed his epic poem, The Aeneid, recounting the mythic flight of Aeneas from defeated Troy to Italy, becoming the forbear of Rome. New York sees itself as unique center of commerce, founded when the Dutch (not the English) bought Manhattan for beads in the city’s first hustle. Nashville needs no reminder that it’s the center of country music, nor Detroit that it is the Motor City.  read more »

Urban Blues

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On the surface, progressive “Blue America” has never appeared stronger. President Donald Trump’s leadership failures exposed by the pandemic and the recent disorders, is sinking him in the polls. His rival, Joe Biden, seems likely to concede his traditionally moderate stances to placate the Democrats’ youthful activist and identitarian wings.  read more »

How the Virus Is Pushing America Toward a Better Future

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Pessimism is the mood of the day, with 80 percent of Americans saying the country is generally out of control. Even before civil unrest and pestilence, most Americans believed our country was in decline, Pew reported, with a shrinking middle class, increased indebtedness and growing polarization.  read more »

State of the Nation on July 4 and How It Has Changed Over Time

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Coronavirus, a shattered economy, racial tensions, deep partisan polarization. Is it any surprise that Americans are down in the dumps? How could it be otherwise? Putting today’s sentiments in historical perspective using polls conducted over many years helps to assess our current malaise.  read more »

On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

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The author in Maranhão, Brazil, 1995

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. 

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.   read more »

Subjects:

Triumph of the Oligarchs

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A new class of overlords are making their bid for world domination.

The Coronavirus has trammeled the prospects of most Americans, particularly low-income workers. But for one small group, the pandemic has proved something like manna from heaven. Already ascendant beforehand, the tech oligarchy—a relatively small number of companies, venture, and private equity funds—are riding the current crisis to unprecedented dominion over our ever-weakening Republic.  read more »