My old Speccie comrade Toby Young has a nostalgic piece pining for the days of "Mid-Atlantic Man", a coinage of Tom Wolfe for the age when David Frost et al would be jetting back and forth from Heathrow to JFK on the Concorde every week. Toby calls them, rather less glamorously, "Nylons" - as in the boarding pass: "NY-LON." In my Broadway and BBC days, I did it myself for a while, although obviously not at the same dizzying heights as Frostie.
All that's gone now - even if you have your own plane, as a private jet tycoon discussed on last week's Mark Steyn Show. The age of routine international travel is over. It is the paradox of our time: We are governed by globalists and enjoined to "think globally" about Covid and the climate, but the governed never get to see the globe. And by "globe" I mean small rain-sodden island: After spending four years insisting that an open border in Ireland was the absolute most critical element of any Brexit deal, last week the EU unilaterally imposed a "hard border" on the island without even notifying governments in Dublin or London - on the pretext of preventing ChiCom-19 vaccines down south winding up in Belfast and Derry.
For what it's worth, I have never traveled less than in the last year - and by "travel" I mean driving half-an-hour north to have lunch in Quebec. If I attempted it, lunch would cost me two thousand bucks.
By law, a Canadian cannot be denied entry to his own country. That is still, just about, true. The subtle difference is that there's now an entry fee attached - per the new conditions Justin Trudeau announced on Friday morning. Anybody arriving in the Dominion of Canada will be taken to a "government isolation centre" to be Covid-tested and then confined for at least three days:
Trudeau said it will cost each traveller about $2,000 for the cost of the test, accommodations and food.
The day before the PM announced the new measures they were already in effect - at least for Nikki Mathis:
'[My wife Nikki] arrived in Calgary tonight and when she got there she was greeted by a Police Officer and an AHS official,' wrote Pastor Chris Mathis on his Facebook page.
'They rejected her results and told her she needed to go immediately to an isolation facility. She was told if she resisted she would be arrested. She called me, and I immediately asked to talk with the officer. I talked with both a police officer and the AHS official, they reiterated what she had said to me. I asked for the address of where she would be, they said they could not give me the location address as it was confidential.
'I asked for their names, again they would not give me any information or their names. I pushed, I questioned, I tried to fight but they said they would arrest her if she resisted. They would not give me any information on where they were taking my wife.'
So she was put in an unmarked van and driven away to who knows where.
~Justin can put your missus in solitary confinement in nothing flat but in a week and a half he can't get a Covid vaccine to Canada's most populous province. From Stephen McIntyre:
Ontario hasn't received ANY vaccines from Trudeau government in 10 days. Province has had to lay off vaccine crews. What a sh*tshow by Trudeau government. Canadian media doesn't care.
~Also on last week's Mark Steyn Show, I reported on Chairman Xi's innovative new Covid test - the anal swab. Several listeners thought I was just making it up - or pulling it out of my rear end, as I believe the American vernacular has it. So here, courtesy of TMZ, is the video:
I have no idea why the patient is wearing pajamas and spreading his cheeks at the baggage carousel, but it's undoubtedly coming soon to Calgary Airport.
~Do you remember "Nannygate"? Back at the dawn of the Clinton Administration, Zoë Baird was obliged to withdraw as Slick Willie's nominee for first female Attorney-General because she had hired a member of the Undocumented-Nanny community, who were very popular with the progeny of Washington power players.
If you're wondering what happened to the kid, well..:
The baby for whom Zoë Baird hired an undocumented nanny, sinking her chances of becoming Bill Clinton's Attorney General, is now a China adviser on Biden's NSC.
The wee bairn in question is Julian Gewirtz, who will "will advise on and coordinate U.S. policy toward China". Mr Gewirtz is the son not only of Clinton's scuttled A-G nominee but also of Paul Gewirtz, Clinton's Special Representative for the "US-China Rule of Law Initiative" and the founder and director of the "China Law Center" at Yale Law School.
Mickey Kaus observes:
And they say we're becoming a caste society...
Constitutionally prohibited "titles of nobility" would be preferable to an hereditary ruling class of a pseudo-republic.
~It was a busy weekend at SteynOnline, beginning with the latest edition of our Clubland Q&A offering my answers to your questions on the hedge-fund hilarity, third parties here and there, popular votes and paper ballots, and where to go in a time machine. Our Saturday movie date presented a reprise of our late friend Kathy Shaidle's unique take on Renoir's Grande Illusion, and Sunday saw the first of our weekend omnibus presentations of The Hundred Years Ago Show. For a very frigid day in my corner of northern New England, our Sunday song selection was "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Our marquee presentation was the continuation of our latest Tale for Our Time - George Orwell's excessively timely tale Nineteen Eighty-Four: You can find Part Twenty here, Part Twenty-One here and Part Twenty-Two here - or go straight for one big binge-listen. Check back right here this evening for our latest episode.
If you were too busy short-selling nasal swabs all weekend long, I hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.