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Some Covid Links

“The District of Columbia plans to suspend a burger joint’s liquor license because it has been refusing to check its customers’ vaccination papers” – so reports Christian Britschgi.

Jeffrey Tucker writes about tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) huge protest in Canada by truckers against vaccine mandates. A slice:

It’s a massive workers’ strike but not the kind of communist dreams. This is a “working class” movement that stands squarely for freedom against all the impositions of the last two years, which were imposed by an overclass with almost no consultation from legislatures. Canada has had some of the worst, much to the shock of its citizens. The convoy is an enormous show of power concerning who really keeps the country running.

The convoy is being joined by truckers from all over the US too, rising up in solidarity. This is easily the most meaningful and impactful protest to emerge in North America. It is being joined by as many as half a million Canadian citizens, who overwhelmingly support this protest, as one can observe from the cheers on the highway along the way. Indeed, it’s likely to break the record for the largest trucker convoy in history, as well as the most loved.

Here’s another report on the happy news that Denmark is lifting nearly all Covid restrictions. (HT Martin Kulldorff)

Fraser Myers celebrates the retreat of Britain’s Covidocracy. A slice:

So while it is understandable that nothing will quite match the joy – the relief – of the first Freedom Day in July 2021, today’s easing is still worth celebrating. If, before March 2020, a disease as mild as the Omicron variant of Covid had hit a population with as much immunity as Britain’s, you would have been laughed out of town for suggesting even the most mild of social restrictions. Plan B restrictions, like mandatory masking and showing a digital health ID to attend a large gathering, only seem tolerable because we naturally contrast them with what came before. So today’s easing of the rules is at least worth remarking on more than is currently the case.

Partly this is because the government that is returning our freedoms is too mired in scandals of its own making to make hay of it. And when it is not tying itself in knots over partygate, it is busying itself with getting entangled in other countries’ affairs. But in truth, Boris Johnson’s government has consistently struggled to make a virtue out of its rare flashes of liberalism. It has always been far too cautious. Too slow to open up. And, until this winter, too quick to react to SAGE’s prophecies of doom.

The editors of the Telegraph argue for the removal in Britain of all remaining Covid restrictions. A slice:

It is evident that for a significant number of public sector employees, working from home has become the norm; indeed, it appears that for many this state of affairs predates the pandemic. Furthermore, although it is no longer mandatory for children to wear face coverings in class, some schools continue to insist that they should – an imposition on pupils that is no longer justified, if it ever was, and which should end.

The one remaining imposition is mass testing, which is becoming increasingly pointless and harmful given the large numbers with omicron. In particular, the expectation that the oldest and most vulnerable in society living in care homes and hospitals should be locked away for weeks in isolation for no reason or benefit to anyone is the greatest outrage of all.

Brendan O’Neill is rightly disappointed in Neil Young. Four slices:

Just look at Neil Young. The one-time cocaine-stained hero of LA’s alternative scene, singer of angry songs about Vietnam and the Kent State massacre, participant with Crosby, Stills and Nash in the Freedom of Speech Tour of 2006, is now basically pleading with a huge corporation to silence people he doesn’t like. From protest singer to agitator for capitalist censorship? What a fall.


Young vs Rogan is so 2020s. On one side we have the grizzled rocker angry about having to share a streaming platform with the giant of the podcasting world. In an open letter published (and swiftly unpublished) on his website, Young issued Spotify with an ultimatum: ‘They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.’ His beef? That Rogan ‘[spreads] fake information about vaccines’. That could kill people, he said, depressingly borrowing a belief from the kind of stiffs he once raged against – ie, that words wound, heresies hurt, blasphemies pollute men’s souls and bodies, and thus people with clout must clamp down on them. And on the other side there’s Rogan, not so much a man as a media industry, whose pod gets more than 10million listeners per episode. No wonder Spotify recently snapped it up for a cool $100million, in the process pissing off some of its own woke staff as well as Young and other people who believe, quite remarkably, that they have the right to glide through life without ever encountering an utterance they disapprove of.


Some observers have deluded themselves into thinking that Young’s punch-up with Spotify is a continuation of his 60s and 70s rebellious streak, proof that the old dog still bristles at ‘established authority’. Come off it. Young is not challenging corporate power – he’s demanding a keener, more ruthless exercising of corporate power. He’s not calling for shackles to be put on a marauding big business – he’s insisting that a big business shackle a man whose views he considers to be dangerous. The Rogan-loathers of the liberal media can kid themselves all they like that one of the great hippies has risen up to confront the new capitalism and one of its allegedly most reckless cultural outputs, but in truth Young is laying waste to his own free-wheelin’, speech-defendin’ counter-authoritarian personal history by demanding the expulsion of Rogan from Spotify in the same way horrified pink-rinsed ladies once demanded the censorship of hippy revolt. (‘Ohio’, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s song about Kent State, was banned by numerous radio stations in 1970 for being anti-Nixon.)


Fast forward to 2022, and the man who battled the censors for the right to mock Nixon, and who stood up to bomb threats over his criticisms of Bush, is running scared from… Joe Rogan? The hippie has become the stiff. The free-speech warrior has morphed into an aspiring censor. The battler against ‘established authority’ has become a supporter of established authority’s right to shut down those who are ‘dangerous’. Most ironically of all, the man who made a whole album of songs containing BS anti-scientific claims about genetically modified organisms – hippies are often idiots – now thinks he has the moral authority to bash Spotify for hosting anti-scientific chat about Covid vaccines. What a mess.

Well, I hope Neil Young will remember, Joe Rogan don’t need him around anyhow.

Rich Lowry rightly criticizes the American left’s mindless addiction to mask-theater for schoolchildren. Two slices:

The supporters of mask mandates are fired by a righteous certainty that if a child comes to school unmasked, his or her school and community are at risk of a devastating outbreak of COVID; that parents who don’t want to mask their kids are selfish and uncaring boobs who need to turn off Fox News; that public officials who block mask mandates, or carve out exemptions for objecting parents, have blood on their hands.

The mask proponents either have no idea that the United States is an international outlier in its school mask mandates (neither the European health authority nor the World Health Organization go as far as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and that there’s next to no evidence for public-health benefits. Or they simply don’t care because they are too attached to the theater of masked-up kids, in some jurisdictions even while they are outside for recess.


Although there are still some holdouts who believe so-called remote learning was a necessary and costless mitigation strategy, it is now widely acknowledged to have had grievous educational costs with no public-health rationale. Jonathan Chait of New York magazine wrote a retrospective on the schools debate the other day headlined “School Closures Were a Catastrophic Error. Progressives Still Haven’t Reckoned With It.”

Justin Spiro tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

I was at a high school sporting event, and the referee told the athletes to pull their mask away from their face – but not below their nose – if they needed a quick breather while playing.

Apparently if the nose is not visible, we are safe!

COVID Theater is maddening.

Writing from his home near Auckland, David Seymour decries the harm that “lockdown-loving lefties” have inflicted, and continue to inflict, throughout New Zealand. Three slices:

But here in our far-flung corner of the Southern Hemisphere, isolated behind our still-sealed border, we endlessly push around a hamster wheel of ever more wearying rules and restrictions.

Among them is a staggering isolation period of up to 24 days for those in households where someone has tested positive, a mandatory cap of 100 vaccinated people at public events — a devastating imposition on the entertainment industry in this, our peak summer season — and compulsory mask wearing almost everywhere, including for school pupils aged eight and up.

You might think that only a devastating upward spiral of deaths and serious illness could justify continuing such measures, not to mention introducing new ones.

Alas not. They were introduced last week after confirmation of just nine new cases of Omicron, largely centred on a family who contracted the virus on a trip to Auckland for a wedding from their home in the South Island.

Nine new cases in a country where 93 per cent of the population is now double vaccinated — but nine cases too many for our Left-wing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, committed as she apparently is to a policy of ‘Zero Covid’ at any cost.

To coin the phrase of one of her predecessors, Sir John Key, her policies are turning us into a ‘hermit kingdom’.


It is desperately sad to watch the confident, free society I have always loved give way to this closeted, insular one, bound by what feels like ever-more authoritarian measures with no end in sight.

To add insult to injury, we are effectively banned from testing ourselves for Covid, as happens all over the world.

Only a ‘trained tester’ such as a medic or a pharmacist is allowed to do the job, and anyone who imports rapid antigen tests for home use could face up to six months in jail.