9 January 2022: Upper Madrid; Meat mayhem; Terminal Covid? The Theranos case; & Other stuff

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza

Well, after the early morning sunshine of Santander yesterday, I’m now looking out on the infamous Atlantic Blanket that more than mars the view from my eyrie. And probably means there won’t be much of a flea market in Pontevedra city this morning. Maybe only the (illegal) Gypsies Corner.

A nice article on Madrid’s lofty art works.

Lenox Napier here addresses the furore surrounding statements from the Minister for Consumer Affairs on Spain’s meat industry. I guess neither cattle, pigs nor chickens made it into the text of the recent animal rights bill/statute. See also the Guardian article cited therein. And this follow up.

Just a few unhappy reminders:- 

1. Post-Brexit, UK holidaymakers will be charged to enter the EU from 2022.

2. Modelo 720. All you need to know.

3. Your obligations under the new law on pets.

The UK   

Richard North is as critical and – with reason – as pessimistic here: The former chairman of the UK’s vaccine taskforce. He takes the view that we’ve already reached the stage when Covid should be treated as endemic, similar to flu. And when the booster campaign has run its course, he says, mass-vaccination should end. “We need to analyse whether we use the current booster campaign to ensure the vulnerable are protected, if this is seen to be necessary”, he adds, arguing that ministers should urgently back research into Covid immunity beyond antibodies to include B-cells and T-cells (white blood cells) .  . . . When the disease does finally disappear from daily public consciousness, therefore – which cannot be long now – it will still cast a long shadow, while we can have no expectations that the authorities will develop any better capabilities for dealing with the next epidemic than they had for this one. 

The USA 

Two insightful articles – here and here – on the case of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. A taster: Some of the best-executed frauds can continue for years, even decades, if they just stay on the right side of the line between frivolity and consequence. And another: It’s easy to forget that there is a human dimension to this extraordinary story of lies and credulity. 

The Way of the World 

The ‘Check your privilege’ dictum of Woke-ism looks to me very much like Christianity’s doctrine of original sin. And both of these religions major on sin, guilt and repentance in the face of a divine, absolute power. But one of them, at least, has moved into the 21st century. The other? I’m reminded of the G K Chesterton comment that once folk have given up believing in God, they’ll believe in anything.  Which is not totally true, of course, but apposite.

Finally . . .

I saw this comment in on of the articles cited above and thought of my anti-seasickness wrist bands. And thanked god I’m not bald: The greatest weapon in the con artist’s arsenal: not the slick presentation, not the pretty face, not the lies they tell while looking you dead in the eye, but your own desperate hunger to believe.

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