☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, February 4, 2022 ☙ CENSORSHIP PAINS 🦠
Facebook’s censorship policies wreck its finances; employment dives after jab mandates; DoD admits Renz’s data is accurate/inaccurate; Scotland data looks bad for jabs; and more...
It’s Friday! Which means an extra-caffeinated roundup here at C&C. Today: Facebook’s censorship policies wreck its finances; employment numbers dive after vaccine mandates; the DoD admits that Tom Renz’s data was accurate — but also inaccurate; numbers from Scotland aren’t too good for the jabs; Oregon imposes a permanent school mask mandate; San Fransisco rolls back mandates; Israel announces ending its medical passport; Iowa joins the free states, and more.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
🪖 I am happy to announce that my firm will now offer free “candidate clinics” for people running for local offices in Florida. You must have first filed for an office, but we’ll review your situation and offer guidance and advice for conducting a successful campaign and avoiding pitfalls. Stay tuned for more details.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 So, Facebook’s new commitment to “fighting online misinformation” doesn’t seem to be working out super great. Yesterday, Yahoo Finance headlined an article, “Meta [Facebook] just suffered the largest one-day wipeout in US corporate history. Its valuation slumped by nearly $240 billion.” That can’t be good for business.
In other words, Facebook lost more value in one day than almost all global companies have EVER been worth, at any time, in their entire histories.
Ruh roh, Scooby Doo.
It wasn’t just one bit of bad news that spurred the selloff. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is a public company; as such it must fess up about bad news affecting its financial performance. Wednesday’s earnings report unhappily disclosed three major problems: (1) the company’s revenues shrank for the very first time, (2) its “metaverse” project lost $10 BILLION DOLLARS, and — this might be the most important one — (3) the social media company’s “active user base” SHRANK for the first time in the firm’s history.
And it didn’t just shrink just by a little. By a lot. The company reluctantly admitted to the loss of about ONE MILLION USERS between third and fourth quarters of last year.
Gosh. What could be behind this shrinkage? Coincidentally, on September 16, 2021 — roughly the start of the third quarter — the Guardian UK published an article headlined, “Facebook Steps Up Fight Against Climate Misinformation.” A couple months before that, in July, Joe Biden mumbled something at a major press conference about Facebook “killing people” by spreading vaccine lies. Facebook got the message. It sped up its crackdown on user speech after that, you bet it did.
Like I said, the timing links between Facebook amping up censorship and its shedding a million users are probably just coincidental. Customers LOVE being in Facebook jail all the time, or at least, they don’t mind investing time and energy in a software platform but then having it randomly become unavailable for weeks at a time, right?
Want to hear another coincidence? Yesterday — one day after the abysmal earnings report — MSN ran an article headlined, “Why Biden has eased up on Facebook over COVID misinformation.” Hahaha! Whoops! You’re killing the Golden Goose, Joe! Ease up!
Remember — this new “announcement” comes in the context of all the noise about Joe Rogan’s podcast, and just after Biden hinted that Spotify should cancel the popular podcaster. Now, all of a sudden, after Facebook’s abysmal earnings report, Biden is “easing up” on Facebook? If you read MSN’s idiotic article, it doesn’t even quote Biden or any White House official. It just rambles on about legal problems related to censorship, like the First Amendment and Section 230. So, the article seems like an obvious plant, damage control, a knee-jerk response from deep in the congested bowels of the White House.
🔥 One of my oldest and best friends is an investment professional who manages a substantial portfolio. He texted an interesting theory to me yesterday, speculating that the Facebook meltdown suggests financial chickens could be coming home to roost, in the form of overvalued tech companies finally shedding all their fake value.
In other words, the elite laptop class may be starting to feel the pain, after two years of sitting fat and happy while the market kept prospering their portfolios. Since people who answer to laptop-class elitists are currently in charge of all three branches of government, it’s just one more source of pressure on the White House to return to a pre-pandemic economy. In other words, the pandemic might not be looking quite so profitable anymore to all those pandemic war profiteers.
🔥 After crowing about employment figures in December, the White House is suddenly struggling to make lemonade out of the awful employment figures in January’s report. Wednesday, Yahoo Finance reported the dismal performance this way: “U.S. private payrolls fell for the first time in a year in January as soaring COVID-19 infections disrupted business operations, raising the risk of a sharp decline in employment that would deal a temporary setback to the labor market.”
Don’t worry! It’s only a “temporary setback.” Gosh these big media types are so optimistic!
The employment data shows that private payrolls plunged by an astounding 301,000 jobs last month, bursting economists’ upbeat projections for the first month of this year. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls would increase by 207,000 jobs. So that’s a negative shift of -508,000 from projections. In one month.
Although Yahoo says it’s due to Omicron, and enthusiastically projects a rapid rebound, I wonder if it isn’t really due to jab mandates.
According to the data, small business jobs fell by 144,000, medium enterprises laid off 59,000 workers, and large companies reduced payrolls by 98,000. What could have caused it, just after such a strong December report?
“I think the key point, from our perspective, is the underlying strength of the economy,” Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, told CNN. “The underlying strength of the job market is ongoing because, as we have seen, the caseloads are turning over.”
Well, okay then. Nothing to worry about. Hopefully we’ll have a better employment report that Covid Shutter-Downer Joe Biden can talk about at his State of the Union on March 1.
🔥 You’ll recall, I’m sure, attorney Tom Renz’s blockbuster data dump at Senator Ron Johnson’s committee last week. The newly-revealed information came out of the DoD’s health surveillance system, and showed a huge spike in serious non-Covid diagnoses last year over previous years. So then, Senator Johnson turned around and asked the Department of Defense for the data. You’ll never guess what happened next.
You really can’t make this stuff up. DoD didn’t deny that Renz’s data was accurate. Instead, it LOCKED DOWN THE DATABASE. Why? Put your coffee down. According to the DoD, the five years of data prior to 2021 has a GLITCH. It’s been CORRUPTED somehow. The DoD spokesman said — without providing any detail — that the pre-2021 numbers underreported those particular illnesses, making it LOOK like 2021 had a huge spike. Since they don’t want any misinformation to get out there, as a public service they are locking the data down till they can figure out what their story is, I mean what went wrong.
The DoD is going to have trouble making this story stick. Attorney Renz released his data, and folks digging into it say that some other illnesses, like Lyme disease, tick-borne diseases, and Chagas – ailments that probably would not be affected by a vaccine – were not meaningfully different between 2021 and previous years, making it odd that there would be SOME ailments underreported but not others.
DoD is also going to have a window problem with this dumb story. Meaning, if the 2016-2020 numbers are “corrected” to magically be higher, to make 2021’s numbers appear average, then there will still be a huge jump over the previous 2011-2015 period. You can slide that range back as far as you want and there will still be an astounding discontinuity that will require some kind of explanation. There are lots of other problems with DoD’s story, too.
On Tuesday, Senator Johnson sent another letter to DoD asking for explanations. This is going to be very, very interesting.
🔥 The Scotland Herald published an article last month headlined, “Covid Scotland: Death rate 25 times higher in double-jabbed than boosted.” Well. That can’t be good for business.
The article describes information publicly available from Public Health Scotland, and it is pretty sobering. In January’s first week, PHS reported 12 deaths in unvaccinated, 3 deaths in the single-jabbed, 26 deaths in the double-jabbed, plus 21 deaths in the triple-jabbed. That’s 12 uninjected Covid deaths versus 50 injected Covid deaths. Not too good.
Hospitalizations also appear to track the same trend. PHS reported 130 unvaccinated hospitalizations in the first week of January versus 646 with one or more shots.
Same for cases. PHS reported 3,601 unvaccinated cases in January’s first week versus 24,022 cases in folks with one or more shots, with the largest group (13,566) being the triple-jabbed.
It’s SO WEIRD that there would be so many more deaths, hospitalizations, and cases among folks who’ve received the safe and effective vaccines.
🔥 Like a salmon swimming upriver, on January 28, Oregon defied the Narrative 2.0 trend and adopted a PERMANENT school mask mandate for the entire state. Under the new rule, violators will be fined up to a $500 per day per violation. Oregon parents will have to increase their kids’ allowances, a lot. When journalists pressed Oregon officials to say when the mask mandate could ever now be lifted, officials said “OHA can rescind the masking requirements if it BELIEVES the rule or parts of the rule are no longer necessary to control Covid-19.” Believes. They need to believe it.
🔥 Meanwhile, even mandate-happy San Fransisco has begun scaling back indoor mask mandates and its Covid passport system. Under the new rules, “fully vaccinated” (includes booster) adults may take their masks off indoors. Kids still have to wear masks, of course. The city also announced that people with religious and medical exemptions to the jabs may enter businesses with proof of a negative test.
Yes, yes, but it’s moving the right direction.
🔥 The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by regular columnist Daniel Henninger this week headlined, “End the Covid Panic Now,” with a subhead saying “Biden should declare the pandemic is over, so Americans can return to normal lives.”
Henninger says the costs of the pandemic are unaffordably high, and the White House needs to end it — not as a state of mind — but as a matter of official U.S. government policy.
Just in time for the State of the Union!
🔥 Even jab-happy Pfizer-vaccine-laboratory Israel is rolling things back. Top Israeli officials this week announced the imminent abolishment of the country’s “green pass” vaccine passport for restaurants, hotels, gyms, and theaters. Remember, Israel was one of the FIRST countries in the world to order a medical passport system.
“To continue the green pass in the same way can create false assurances,” government advisor Nadav Davidovitch told AFP. “It’s not reducing infections in closed spaces like theatres. It needs to be used mainly for high-risk places like hospitals, elderly care homes, or events when you are eating and singing and dancing.”
Israel’s Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently wrote on Twitter: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We will not extend the Green Pass past February 6, not even by one second.”
🔥 So far, TWELVE European countries have recently rolled back Covid restrictions. Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Israel and England have all announced significant reductions or outright eliminations of Covid mandates.
🔥 Finally, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds announced yesterday that she is ending Iowa’s state of emergency, tweeting “We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely. After two years, it’s no longer feasible or necessary. The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly.” Welcome to the free states of America, Iowa!
📊 *COVID IN FLORIDA AND ALACHUA COUNTY* 📊
🔥 In local news, four of the seven Gainesville city commission members are term limited from running for their seats again: Mayor Lauren Poe and commissioners David Arreola, Adrian Hayes-Santos and Harvey Ward. It might be time to register to run. Lots of options there. Just saying.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll see you here tomorrow with a fresh cup of Joe — coffee, not Biden.
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