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I am second to none as an admirer of Jon’s recent columns on COVID, European and world politics, and the role of the Christians in challenging the direction in which the world is heading. And I hope to eventually write some columns on these grave topics myself. But I think that every now and then, to balance out such gravity, we need some levity, and I’m offering this mainly in that spirit — though there will be a serious point as well.
Only in the last day or two have COVID test positivity rates started to exceed the rise in testing. The increased testing has already therefore grossly exaggerated Omicron’s effect, and will inevitably do so more as testing mania escalates. But the emphasis on “cases” by the Whittys of this world, the media and most of the public shows that even this elementary bias is not understood, even two years into COVID. Science truly died – together with public understanding – in 2020.
This is the title of Scott Atlas’s new book. But which House? The US White House or the UK House of Commons? The book is about the former, of course, but let’s start with the other.
All I really want to do here is link to an excellent explanation of where we all are, and where we’re all going, politically and socially. At least before it’s taken down from YouTube…
I only realized today what celandines are for. Now, primroses I get. They’re the traditional harbingers of spring, their soft lemon yellow in a bed of pale green velvet leaves announcing fresh growth in the watery March sunlight. They cover banks in the woods and in numerous folk-songs, and contrast with the spectrally complementary dog-violets that are scattered amongst them. But celandines, glossy and chrome yellow, always seem just a bit too yellow, like the paint on warning signs rather than a dose of spring.
My predictions, that is, rather than the Government’s. The headline in the online Daily Mail just now reads: “Matt Hancock urges England to stay vigilant after major study said rate of decline in Covid cases has SLOWED.”
Boris Johnson, in the recent parliamentary debate on Tier restrictions, laid great emphasis on the need to “control this virus” (once again reference was made to the non-existent “sole alternative” of “letting it rip,” further diminishing the credibility of the government’s assessment of evidence). The next day, rebel Conservative and former leader Sir Iain Duncan-Smith defended his position by saying that lower Tiers had proved sufficient to “control the virus.” It is rare to find anyone question whether the virus has ever been under control at all. But it is the key question.
One for you music-lovers. Back in 2014 I did a couple of pieces on the musical concept of “swing,” to demonstrate how central human subjectivity is to important things, and in this instance, to the beauty of music. The links are here and here, though unfortunately most of the YouTube links are broken now. Great music is something generated by the human spirit, and is not simply tapping into mathematical concepts of rhythm, harmony and so on (though it builds on those).
One of the most shameful examples of Bolshevik class hatred, amongst so many in that evil empire, was the “liquidation of the kulaks,” or prosperous peasants, during the 1920s when the revolution was young and pure. Millions died, often at the hands of their own neighbours and relatives.