Despite a slew of restrictions being announced daily, Omicron is here and there’s no stopping it.
Medical researcher John Campbell is back with the numbers from the US, the UK, and South Africa. According to the latest data, South Africa ‘may’ be on the downside of this latest surge. The daily numbers show the surge is in full swing in the UK. Meanwhile it’s only just beginning in the US and Canada.
Campbell shows us the bad news and the potentially good news as South Africa and the UK have not seen a massive surge in hospitalizations. In the UK, 50% of the people in hospital who tested positive for Covid are actually in hospital for another reason. The conclusion so far is that the surge of cases are not turning into a corresponding surge at hospitals.
In the following video John Campbell also talks about adverse reactions from vaccinations. Data from Denmark and Norway show the manner in which those vaccinations are given (aspiration vs no aspiration) can drastically affect the number of serious health reactions.
Canadians should be encouraged to keep on eye on these daily video explanations shared by John Campbell. (Many already are) Campbell’s take on the daily data is unique in its lack of politicization. It’s one of the few places you can go to become informed without contributing to the growing polarization in our families, and our communities.
Witnessing the Media’s Covid Coverage from the Inside
From the Brownstone Institute
If right-leaning outlets wanted my words and left-leaning ones did not, my Occam’s razor landed on ideology as the explanatory factor. So-called progressive media had a story to uphold and rejected any plot twist that threatened the cohesion of its narrative.
In the movie An Education, the main character gets sidetracked from her studies by a smooth-talking art dealer who turns out to be a criminal—and married. Our protagonist learns more from that experience than from all the medieval literature books she cracked open before. I have similar feelings about my own education. While I’ve been earning my living as a writer for the past 29 years, it’s only during the Covid era that I learned what the writing business is really about.
I wear two hats in my professional life: medical writer, creating materials for doctors and the healthcare industry, and feature-article journalist for consumer magazines. It wasn’t until Covid that I began pitching essays and op-eds for publication.
I started with a piece called “A Tale of Two Pandemic Cities,” which grew out of my short trip to Amsterdam and Stockholm in the summer of 2020, when the European Union opened its doors to “well-behaved” countries like Canada. The Covid hysteria in my country had made me desperate to visit more balanced parts of the world, and my trip didn’t disappoint. The article found a home at a Canadian outlet called Healthy Debate, though the editor asked me to temper my enthusiasm for the Swedish strategy with an acknowledgement of its risks. Happy to find a legit publisher for my first Covid piece, I capitulated, sort of. (You can judge for yourself.)
Thus began a feverish outpouring of essays, each one motivated by the same bewildered questions: What the hell is happening to the world, and why? Has everyone else gone mad, or is it me? I had written a few controversial articles throughout my career, but never before had I held a “dissenting view” about an issue that affected the whole world—or felt such an urgent need to express it.
The Great Divide
I quickly learned that certain news outlets were less open to my pieces than others. Salon, fuggedaboutit. Spiked Online, bull’s eye on the first try. Washington Post, not a chance. Wall Street Journal, a couple of “close, but no cigar” efforts and then finally a yes. It boiled down to this: the further left a publication leaned, the less likely it would publish my pieces (or even respond to my inquiries). I’m sure a statistician could write an equation to capture the trend.
So why the radio silence from left-wing publications? I doubted I was tripping their “Covid disinformation” radars, as my pieces had less to do with scientific facts than with social philosophy: the balance between safety and freedom, the perils of top-down collectivism, the abuse of the precautionary principle, that sort of thing. If right-leaning outlets wanted my words and left-leaning ones did not, my Occam’s razor landed on ideology as the explanatory factor. So-called progressive media had a story to uphold and rejected any plot twist that threatened the cohesion of its narrative. (Not that right-wing media behaved much differently. Such is the age of advocacy journalism.)
Most nerve-wracking of all were the publishers who accepted my articles but, like that first Healthy Debate editor, insisted I make substantive changes. Should I concede or push back? I did a bit of both. The most important thing, I told myself, was to make people reflect on the topsy-turvy policies that had freeze-framed the world. If I had to soften a few sentences to get the word out, so be it. I have the utmost respect for writers who refuse to yield on such matters, but 29 years of paying the bills from my writing have tipped my internal compass toward pragmatism.
I did stand my ground with an article on the mask wars. My thesis was that the endless and pointless disputes on social media—masks work, no they don’t, yes they do, no they don’t—had less to do with science than with worldview: irrespective of the data, social collectivists would find a way to defend masks, while my freedom-first compatriots would never countenance a perma-masked world.
One editor agreed to publish the piece if I mentioned that some studies favor masking, but I argued that quoting studies would undercut my central argument: that the forces powering the mask wars have little to do with how well they block viruses. He wouldn’t budge, so we parted ways and I found a more congenial home for the piece at the Ottawa Citizen.
The process of pitching counternarrative essays, while arduous at times, led me to a smorgasbord of lesser-known, high-quality publications I never would have discovered otherwise. Topping the list was the glorious UnHerd, a UK news and opinion website with such daring thinkers as Mary Harrington and Kathleen Stock on its roster of contributors. The US-based Tablet magazine offered consistently fresh takes on Covid and never took the easy road in its analyses. In its pages I found one of the most powerful Covid essays I have ever read. The author, Ann Bauer (no relation), teased out the common threads between the “settled science” about the virus and the litany of quack theories about autism, which fed into her son’s death by suicide.
Then there was Quillette, whose contempt for the sacred cows of wokeism gave me a special thrill. True confession: I blew my chances with Quillette and it’s my own damned fault. Like many working writers, I sometimes pitch a piece to more than one outlet at the same time, a practice known as simultaneous submissions. This goes against protocol—we’re supposed to wait until an editor declines our pitch before approaching the next one—but the reality is that many editors never respond. With the deck thus stacked against us, we writers sometimes push the envelope, figuring the odds of getting multiple acceptances (and thus pissing off editors) are low enough to take the risk.
On this particular occasion, I submitted an article called “Lessons from my Half-Vaxxed Daughter” to three publications. Medpage Today responded right away, and I accepted their offer to publish it. (This was while Marty Makary, the dissident-lite physician who called out people’s distorted perception of Covid risk in mainstream media, led the editorial team.) A few hours later, Quillette’s Canadian editor sent me a slightly reworked version of my piece and told me when he planned to run it. I had no choice but to proffer a red-faced apology and admit I had already placed the article elsewhere. He never responded to my email or to a follow-up mea culpa a few weeks later—and has ignored everything I’ve submitted since then. I guess I’ll have to wait until he retires.
Earlier this year, Brownstone Institute published my book Blindsight Is 2020, which critiques the pandemic response through the lens of 46 dissident thinkers. By all standards a moderate book, it stays clear of any “conspiratorial” speculations about the origins of the pandemic or the political response to it. Instead, it focuses on the philosophical and ethical issues that kept me awake at night during the peak Covid years—the same themes I explore in my essays, but in greater depth. I wrote the book not just for “my team,” but for those who vehemently opposed my views—perhaps especially for them. I didn’t expect to change their minds as much as to help them understand why some of us objected so strenuously to the policies they cheered on.
After the book came out, a few podcasters invited me to their shows. I appeared on a Libertarian Institute podcast in which the host puffed on his hand-rolled cigarettes while we talked. I spoke to an amiable ex-con podcaster who made it his mission to share Ayn Rand’s ideas with the world. I bonded with Rupa Subramanya—a brilliant Canadian conservative journalist and podcaster featured in my book—over the Freedom Convoy we had both supported.
All told I’ve appeared on 22 podcasts to date, each of them hosted by a right-leaning or libertarian host. Crickets from the left. Not one to accept defeat, I’ve begun reaching out to left-leaning podcasters on my own. Perhaps one day I’ll hear back from them.
Covid media, like so much else in modern life, has become hopelessly fractured: the tall, left-facing trees dominate the landscape, telling the story of a deadly virus that we “did the best we could” to manage. Below the tree canopy lies the tangle of weeds that sway in the wind, whispering songs of freedom and warning against the totalitarian impulses that all too readily emerge during crises. While I’ll continue to throw my essays at those unyielding trees, the messy underbrush is where I’ve found my journalistic home.
Freedom Convoy leaders’ defense argues Crown has failed to meet legal threshold for conspiracy
In court on Monday, the defense teams of Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber again argued that the Crown has failed to establish that a criminal conspiracy existed between the two defendants
The trial of Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber resumed Monday with the defense arguing that a Crown request to make it so that criminal charges against one leader should apply to the other leaders as well should not be allowed to take place, as there is no evidence the pair worked in a conspiratorial manner.
The trial is currently seeing the defense counsel for Lich and Barber take their turn in calling forth witnesses before the court.
On Monday, counsel for Lich, Eric Granger said to the court, “Ultimately, our submission is what’s required in order to invoke the co-conspirators exception, if there’s something more, a plan that’s more focused and specific than an overarching commonality of purpose.”
Granger said that there needs to be a “very specific plan or common design that’s criminal in nature” in order to prove that Lich and Barber are somehow legally responsible for leading the Freedom Convoy in the commission of alleged crimes, a case he says the Crown does not have.
“And that’s where we ultimately are to say that the evidence falls short of establishing circumstantial evidence and agreement between more than one individual to engage in one of the various criminal plans alleged by the Crown,” he said.
As noted by The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, in a Day 28 trial update, Granger contended that after “27 days of trial and testimony from 16 witnesses, the Crown had failed to provide enough evidence to satisfy the three required elements of the Carter test [to prove conspiracy].”
“He particularly emphasized the absence of evidence pointing to a conspiracy between Lich and Barber, the lack of direct evidence against her, and the dearth of admissible acts or declarations,” added TDF.
Lich and Barber are facing multiple charges from the 2022 protests, including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police for taking part in and organizing the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before she was granted bail.
Last week, on sitting day 27 of the trial, Lich and Barber’s legal counsel argued that the Crown to date has not been able to prove the organizers participated in a conspiracy to break the law or encourage others to break the law, and that therefore the case should be tossed altogether. The defense’s application came after the Crown abruptly decided to end its case last Monday, telling the court it would not call forth any new witnesses.
Defense argues Lich and Barber shouldn’t be responsible for each other’s statements
On Monday, the defense teams for Lich and Barber told the court they intended to bring forth two applications, the first being a call to dismiss the Crown’s “Carter application.”
The Crown’s so-called “Carter Application” asks that the judge consider “Barber’s statements and actions to establish the guilt of Lich, and vice versa,” TDF stated.
TDF noted that this type of application is very “complicated” and requires that the Crown prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there was a “conspiracy or plan in place and that Lich was a party to it based on direct evidence.”
Granger argued that a specific and inherently unlawful “criminal plan was a prerequisite for establishing a conspiracy.”
He said that the alleged plan to lift “COVID-19 restrictions lacked inherent unlawfulness, distinguishing it from cases involving crimes like murder or drug trade.”
Granger then unpacked the “‘furtherance’ requirement, asserting that declarations were only admissible if made within the course of the conspiracy.”
Granger then scrutinized the “five conspiracies alleged by the Crown, highlighting their divergence from established legal precedents.”
TDF noted that Granger underscored the absence of “evidence linking Lich to any inherently unlawful objectives, pointing to instances where police provided assistance during protests. Granger further challenged the Crown’s claims of aiding and abetting, emphasizing the lack of any witness interactions with Lich.”
The full details of the defense’s second application brought before the court are not yet known, but the Crown, as noted by TDF, “expressed uncertainty about the nature of the second application and sought a court order compelling the defense to disclose details.”
Justice Heather Perkins-McVey however intervened, “asserting that she would not order the defense to reveal their case on record.”
“Instead, she suggested that the Crown could engage in discussions with the defense outside the courtroom,” noted TDF.
In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government enacted the Emergencies Act on February 14.
During the clear-out of protesters after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse, and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister.
Lich and Barber’s trial has thus far taken more time than originally planned due to the slow pace of the Crown calling its witnesses. LifeSiteNews has been covering the trial extensively.
Canadian gov’t accepted risks of COVID shots’ unknown safety and efficacy, Pfizer contract reveals
New Photo Radar rules will move radar sites from freeways to school zones
Political Football: The Always-Barking Dog of Bilingualism
Danielle Smith blasts Trudeau gov’t as ‘lawless’ for pushing climate policies despite court rulings
Help Us Preserve Alberta’s Sport History
Ontario policeman fights conviction, penalty for donating to the Freedom Convoy
‘Wuhan cover-up’: RFK Jr. exposes Fauci, Gates as ‘frontmen’ for military-medical-industrial complex
Brownstone Institute2 days ago
Why So Many Countries Followed China’s Lockdown Example
COVID-192 days ago
Freedom Convoy leaders’ lawyers ask court to dismiss ‘weak’ case over lack of evidence
Community2 days ago
Giving Hope on Giving Tuesday
Bruce Dowbiggin21 hours ago
Could AI Make Yesterday Into Today For Culture, Sports & Politics?
Canadian Energy Centre21 hours ago
Reality check: Global emissions from coal plants
Alberta20 hours ago
$6.5 billion investment! World’s first ‘net-zero’ ethyelene plant announced for Fort Saskatchewan
Uncategorized2 days ago
Trudeau signs partnership with EU to promote digital IDs, counter ‘disinformation’
Business18 hours ago
King’s coronation cost taxpayers $534,000 and counting