Michael Pollak mpollak at panix.com
Mon Sep 28 21:12:31 PDT 1998

[From the September 17th issue of Tourbus, an internet newsletter:]

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP:

---------------------------- The Clinton Death Conspiracy ----------------------------

The latest hoax floating around the Net asks you "how would you like to be Bill Clinton's friend" and gives you a HUGE list of Clinton associates who have mysteriously died over the past six years. The intent of this hoax is to convince you that the number of "Friends of Bill" who have recently died is significant enough to warrant a massive investigation.

The problem is, it isn't. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, "[t]he provisional death rate for the 12 months ending with November 1997 was 861.0 per 100,000 population." [http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/data/mvs46_12.pdf, page 4, second paragraph]. In other words, in the year leading up to November 1997, 8.61 out of every 1,000 US citizens died. Between January 1993 and December 1997, the provisional death rate has fluctuated between 8.5 and 8.9 deaths per 1,000 population [ibid., page 5, first figure].

Let's be kind and pretend that the provisional death rate during the last six years of the Clinton presidency has actually been a constant eight deaths for every 1,000 people. Let's also pretend that the entire executive branch of the United States government, including its "unofficial" members (a.k.a. the "friends of Bill"), is limited to only 1,000 people. [This last assumption is, admittedly, silly.] Using simple arithmetic, we can calculate that a 1,000 person executive branch could expect to lose eight members a year. Over six years, the executive branch could expect to lose 48 people.

This is nothing out of the ordinary. Statistics say that for every 1,000 US citizens, eight-ish will die each year. Multiply eight-ish by six years, and you get 48 deaths.

Want to guess how many "dead people" are listed in the "how would you like to be Bill Clinton's friend" letter? 48.

What about the number of high-ranking officials who have died? Folks, if it shocks you that the President of the United States of America associates with high-ranking officials, please do us all a favor and remove yourself from the gene pool.

<snip>

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