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Ginsburg, the Supreme Court, Whales, Japan, Beethoven and Van the Man

This weeks Quantum is one of my favourites – Peter has done such a great job on the production.  You can get it here –

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We being by looking at the whale tragedy in Tasmania before moving on to Japan.  The new Premier, Yoshihide Suga and why Japanese wear masks.

Than an amazing story about Van the Man….

It’s time to cancel Beethoven as well!

This interview with Lord Sumption shows us the danger of governments using fear as a means of control..

The Supreme Court


It is extraordinary that a law court has been so politicised…as this interview shows…

Is this the end of the world?


And finally, we go out with this great song…

Catch up on last weeks Quantum here – Quantum 112 – Diana Rigg, Mantel, Kool and the Gang, Oscar Madness, the Pain of Lockdown, Trump, Suicide, Dutch Euthanasia, Paedophilia in California, The Middle East, and Happiness

And support Quantum here.








  1. Suppose we, wife and I, will have to melt all our Van vinyl LP’s into plant pots. And erase memories of live concerts we attended. It was a fellow law student from Ireland who introduced me to his music for the bedsit.
    Cohen was another bedsit life soundtrack.
    As for the law, it is deeply troubling to hear those in positions of power, influence in the law in USA to say that that Judiciary should follow public opinion rather than well developed and tested canons of construction and rules and laws of evidence.
    There was an interview of Lord Sumption a number of weeks ago on BBC radio 4 when he was asked whether he, had, would or should follow lockdown laws and guidance.
    But for all those belly aches from Belfast, soak in this from Morrison:

  2. It often strikes me that the Supreme Court is America’s replacement for the monarchy. I have often heard comments from folks on the left that suggest they are looking to SCOTUS to protect them from the other 2 branches of government by legislating from the bench.

  3. David, good report on the Supreme Court. By the way, Joe Biden is one of the authors of the present political turmoil over the Supreme Court. The ideological battles over appointments began during the Reagan Administration, when President Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork, a respected Constitutional scholar, for the Court. Joseph Biden, senator from Delaware, was chair of the Senate Judicial Committee, led a no holds barred battle against Bork, and infused a level of ideology and partisanship into the politics of the Court not seen since FDR attempted to “pack the court” by adding 6 more justices to it in the 1930s (which failed). Biden, a professed Roman Catholic, denounced Bork for his conviction that there is a notion of “natural law” that undergirds Constitutional thinking (intriguing that a professed RC would DENY such a thing).

    Since that time, Democrats in the Senate have voted along far more ideological lines than Republicans have when it has come to Court appointments (the proof easily found by looking at votes on SCOTUS nominees). Biden ‘sowed the wind’, as it says…

    1. Natural law:
      Ah yes, memories of the joys of learning about the various schools of jurisprudence even from exemplars on the far side of the Pond. Mind you, as a then atheist first degree student I didn’t recognise much evidence of it, (I’d study it today with a Christian understanding) though Constitional law and the history of the English legal system, brought in the influence of Christianity and Church on the law and the birth(right) of equity.

      For what it’s worth I think it was a backward set to adopt a Supreme Court nomeclature, if not full-scale USA ethos, into England and Wales.
      Political appointments to the Judiciary remains anathema to me, and detonates any semblance of an idea of an independent judiciary being part of a balance of “separation of powers” in our, still, uncodified (though much legislated) Constitution.

  4. My father was US Army in Japan after WWII surrender; part of the occupation army. He tells about Japanese natives wearing masks during the winter and how the Japanese culture at that time emphasized self sacrifice for the good of the nation. So radical for 21st century self-absorbed, navel gazing Americans. Come on USA – mask 😷 on for your neighbor’s good!

  5. Yes, let’s cancel Beethoven! And while we’re at it we may as well cancel Bach, Handel, Hayden, Stravinsky, Schubert, Tchaikovsky and especially ultra right wing radicals such as Paganini, who, it was said, would have women swooning in the stalls at his outrageous stage antics including continuing to play after breaking a string. The Jimi Hendrix of the classical violin!

    Before long, classical guitarist John Williams will be given the Evil Eye, Astor Piazzola music will be confined to the scrap heap , Frank Sinatra will be regarded as nothing but a mob-run non entity who could maybe sing a tune or two.
    Oscar Peterson will be known as an Uncle Tom who ”tinkled the ivories a bit”.

    All Hail Sloan and Harding, the Saviours of Real Music. (Sic)

    1. Hasn’t he already been rolled over; Beethoven that is; by the Beatles?
      And Oscar Peterson, were there not three of him? A secular heresy?
      Ramsey Lewis should be disbarred from the In Crowd.
      There was BB, never one of us. He was a King and all that. So, so privileged, just playing to an audience.
      There’s Paul Simon – I mean WORLD music!
      Eric Burdon, (House of the rising shipbuilding cranes more like) John Mayall. It just gets worse and worse.
      John Williams was so undemocratically talented. He was so unjustly talented that it was rumoured he had more than 10 digits.
      Hendrix was just so far out and offensively rude to play with his teeth. Not cool. And the affront to culturally appropriate royal adornment with a mantle of purple haze.
      I’m with you Ark, man (gender neutered of course). Put that in your sphynx worship it with fag-end smoke offerings with coughing.
      Those were the days my friend.

  6. Re:Van the Man protest song against lockdown.

    Last Saturday there was a reasonably well attended anti-lockdown rally in Trafalgar Square. It was peaceful and well ordered with sensible speakers (not conspiratory theorists as Skye News portrayed them). And guess what happened? Yes, after a couple of hours the police moved in to break it up because “it broke social distancing guidelines”.

    Errrr….. What about the BLM rally several weeks ago which became violent. What did the police do then? They smiled benignly, chatted to the protesters, some “took the knee”, and retreated when the violence started. I wonder what this means?

    Meanwhile universities are imprisoning hundreds of fresher students in their halls of residence for two weeks because there have been a few cases of covid. Well what a surprise. You allow hundreds of 18 year olds to gather in one place and then are surprised if some of them get infected.

    When will these idiots realise that this virus cannot be suppressed by lockdown, it merely kicks the can further down the road. When these poor kids finally emerge blinking into the daylight, what is to stop them experiencing a “third wave” and another period of incarceration. Since for them it is a mild illness far better let them get it, so that by Christmas they will be over it and may go home without the risk of killing their gran.

    I listened to the “Chuckle Brothers” (Chief Scientist and Medical Officer) last Monday (not a proper press conference because there were no questions allowed). Prof. Whitty looked like a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights. It was project fear par excellence, and scary stuff – my wife was genuinely frightened. But every single graph they produced has been challenged by other epidemiologists and infection control experts.

    Yes we need to protect the frail and elderly, but we need to get society back to work. Will this be risk free? Of course not – nothing in life is. But there is a lady in our church who has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer which has spread. I am sure that this is related to the delay in diagnosis due to lockdown. We also heard last nigh from another friend who had been having symptoms, but did not get to see a GP. Her son, who is a surgical registrar, returned home and was shocked by her general condition and weight loss. He sent her straight to A&E (but was not allowed in with her). They initially wanted to dismiss her, but after she stood her ground and told them her son had sent her they did tests and a scan and subsequently took her straight to theater for a major op. This is being repeated hundreds of thousands of times. More are dying from non covid causes than with it.

    Lord have mercy.

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