Persuasion
Amid mass confusion over how to make sense of the deluge of statistics unleashed by Covid-19, Leslie Bienen, Eric Happel and Tracy Beth Hᴓeg offer some relief for the puzzled and math averse. Writing in the online publication Persuasion, these math experts lay down four simple rules that can bring clarity to overheated concerns about pandemic risk.
Persuasion
Amid mass confusion over how to make sense of the deluge of statistics unleashed by Covid-19, Leslie Bienen, Eric Happel and Tracy Beth Hᴓeg offer some relief for the puzzled and math averse. Writing in the online publication Persuasion, these math experts lay down four simple rules that can bring clarity to overheated concerns about pandemic risk.
Foreign Policy
The collapse of property giant Evergrande will be a “wrenching adjustment for the Chinese economy,” writes Richard McGregor in Foreign Policy. But it’s not necessarily at odds with President Xi Jinping’s plans to rewrite the national narrative in his favour. With loyalty now preferred over success, rich villains like Evergrande boss Xu Jiayin have become a necessity.
Spectator World
Last week “HOPE ALL BLACK PEOPLE DIE” was scrawled in a high school bathroom in Missouri, leading to widespread horror and a student boycott… at least until it was revealed the guilty party was black. Freddy Gray, deputy editor of The Spectator, reviews the alarming increase in hate hoaxes, and what it says about the supply of actual racism.
Wall Street Journal
Japan is the oldest country in the world, with 30 percent of its population aged 65 or over. One solution to this grey wave, writes Miho Inada in the Wall Street Journal, is to redefine old. According to a recent government White Paper, only folks over 75 years need be considered “elderly”; the rest are in sprightly “pre-old age.” And presumably available to contribute to the work-a-day economy.
Spectator UK
After a disastrous showing against Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in 2019, Britian’s Labour Party is remaking itself under new leader Keir Starmer, who just issued a lengthy statement of values that’s notable for its lack of hostility towards the private sector. The Spectator’s Isabel Hardman calls it a “beautifully written” essay that charts a “challenging new direction” for a party that recently lurched hard-left.
The Conversation
The recent AUKUS defence agreement provides Australia with nuclear-powered submarines and creates a crucial counterweight to China’s growing naval power in the Pacific. Canada’s exclusion from the pact is further evidence of Ottawa’s lack of interest in defending liberal values around the world, argues Paul T. Mitchell, professor of defence studies at the Canadian Forces College, in  The Conversation
Tablet
As of August 2021, 330,000 academic articles involving over one million different authors had been published on Covid-19. But instead of pushing the boundaries of knowledge, all this attention is actually undermining the principles of good science, says scholar John P. A. Ioaniddis. Writing in Tablet, Ioaniddis explains how the politics of the pandemic is eroding scientific skepticism.
Unherd
When Angela Merkel first became Chancellor of Germany, her counterparts were George W. Bush and David Cameron. Surely such longevity is the mark of political genius. Not so, says Peter Franklin in UnHerd. Rather Merkel “bungled one election after another” and survived only due to her ability to hold together failing political alliances, both at home and in Europe.
City Journal
The Delta variant may be surging, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Writing in City Journal, medical doctor and former senior economist at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors Joel Zinberg succinctly lays out the facts on Covid-19 variants, infections, reinfections and immunity and concludes the pandemic “is likely to become a diminishing health risk.” Deep exhale.
Unherd
Poppy Coburn considers Extinction Rebellion comfy, aging posers doing little more than loudly petitioning the government for reform. That doesn’t mean the onetime Anarcho-Syndicalist (there still is such a thing) thinks climate fears are overblown. Far from it; as she explains in Unherd, the entire regime must be overthrown. Sometimes it helps to know what one is up against.
Jewish World Review
In Canada we cashier our best military officers for sexual transgressions. The Americans should be so lucky. Down there, deadly derelictions of duty and the greatest loss of military equipment in history generate slaps on the back – as long as the commanders in question act woke. In Jewish World Review, Victor Davis Hanson describes the dizzying tailspin of the world’s greatest military.
The Atlantic
Australia’s early colonization was driven by shiploads of wretched English prisoners, whose descendants at least gained their liberty and built one of the freest countries on Earth. In The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf chronicles the slash-and-burn destruction of liberty by the island-continent’s pandemic-panicked political class. Almost like they want to resuscitate the 18th century prison-island – using sinister 21st century tech and bureaucratic ruthlessness.
City Journal
Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy explains that the corporate world’s seemingly whole-hearted commitment to “diversity, inclusion and equity” arises not from moral conviction but cynical fiscal calculation. In City Journal, Daniel Kennelly interviews Ramaswamy about his new book, Woke Inc: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.
Spectator
Like the Stasi on steroids, wokesters are constantly sniffing around for those who sin against the Church of Social Justice. The latest heretic is the author of a book that only last year won the Orwell Prize. In the Spectator, Toby Young laments that even a foundation dedicated to intellectual freedom has caved to the woke mob.
Unherd
The blood-soaked debacle in Kabul has exposed the Biden Administration as a collection of bunglers headed by a near-incapacitated Commander-in-Chief. In Unherd, Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls out the liberal media for its “canine-like adulation” of Biden. Regrettably for Afghanistan, she notes, the return of a critical press comes too late.
Unherd
The American withdrawal from Afghanistan condemns about 19 million women to a life of brutality under the Taliban and Sharia. In Unherd, Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks to American culture’s perversity in which pronoun use is more important than the lives and physical safety of living, breathing women and girls.
Quillette
Nations, like people, can experience collective traumas amounting to a psychological unravelling. Benjamin Kerstein, writing in Quillette, thinks a significant part of the American public on both the left and the right have given up on their country. There are numerous signs, writes Kerstein, that the American Republic is coming to an end.
The Pipeline
The social justice mob has taken umbrage with the naming of the James Webb Space Telescope. Webb, who led NASA during much of its glory period in 1961-1968, was an insufficiently woke white man. In The Pipeline, Janice Fiamengo predicts that the ideological purge in the hard sciences is only beginning.
American Mind
In American Mind, Michael Anton analyzes the lies, falsehoods and hypocrisy of the ascendant American ruling elite and allied media. Their rhetoric anathematizes political opponents and denies that the “deplorables” have any legitimate interests. Understanding and seeing through this rhetoric, writes Anton, is the first step to thinking clearly.
Quillette
Words have meanings that we use to describe, navigate and refer to objective reality. In Quillette, Michael Robillard argues that our shared, real world dissolves before ideologies that demand linguistic accommodation and, as objective truth recedes, spawn their own priestly caste of magical people who “speak all of reality into existence.”
Unherd
When it’s out of power, the left – including the union movement – always seems committed to freedom of expression. But when labour leader Paul Embery spoke at a pro-Brexit rally, his union executive was quick to strip him of his official duties. In Unherd, Embery tells of his travails and ultimate vindication.
Quillette
In Quillette, Razib Khan reviews American scholar Charles Murray’s new book, Facing Reality: Two Truths About Race In America. Murray thinks the rise of identity politics and critical race theory endangers the liberal social order. Only by facing reality, writes Murray, can America hope to salvage its great Enlightenment experiment.
Substack
The algorithms used by social media are notoriously incapable of distinguishing commentary from historical analysis or political advocacy. Case in point: Matt Taibbi in Substack tells of how Instagram, citing “community standards,” has removed postings that show Hitler’s rise to power as his contemporaries would have experienced it.
Unherd
The American withdrawal from Afghanistan has precipitated another migrant crisis for Europe, and centrist parties there are adopting policies previously considered the preserve of the radical right. In Unherd, Aris Roussinos takes the pulse of the new political mood, which includes hardened borders and expedited returns to countries of origin.
City Journal
President Eisenhower’s prophetic 1961 farewell address warned Americans of the emerging “military-industrial” complex. Today there’s an even more frightening bastard child, the military-industrial-media complex, a colossus well on its way to determining what we’re allowed to think. In City Journal, John Steele Gordon warns of the profound dangers this represents.
Unherd
That a biological laboratory can leak viruses is undisputed. So why the frantic resistance to any discussion that Covid-19 may have originated in a Chinese research lab (that was partially U.S.-funded)? In Unherd, Ian Birrell looks at how scientists, social media and governments suppressed a crucial debate by crying “conspiracy theory.”
American Greatness
Nations, like individuals, can lose their grip on reality and go mad. Surveying the growing lawlessness and irrationality around him, Victor Davis Hanson thinks that the American descent is well-advanced. In American Greatness, Hanson writes that recent events are unsustainable and “will either cease or destroy the nation.”
Spectator UK
Americans have long been told there are roughly 11 million “undocumented workers” in their country. A new study by Yale and MIT academics concludes the actual number of illegal aliens is closer to 22 million – with more arriving daily. In Spectator UK, Lionel Shriver thinks that unchecked immigration will prove the Achilles’ Heel of the Biden presidency.
Quillette
American students can now get a degree in “Diversity, Inclusion and Equity,” focusing on “theoretical approaches to social justice.” In Quillette, Heather MacDonald writes that enshrining DIE as an academic field further disorders and erodes the university’s historic mission of truth-seeking based on merit and objectivity.
Spectator World
The Liberal Party’s legislative priorities include a bill to banish “hate speech” and a gender identity bill that nullifies women’s sex-based rights. In Spectator World, Meghan Murphy writes that Canadians’ fundamental rights are being stolen from under our noses in a country run by “cowards and imbeciles.”
Law and Liberty
It’s the constantly repeated mantra of politicians who believe the incantation of these magic words releases them from fraught decisions. In Law and Liberty, Greg Weiner explains why few if any political challenges can be solved scientifically. In the political realm, moral judgement must always superintend science.