☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, June 3, 2022 ☙ VULNERABLE 🦠
Another conspiracy theory theory is debunked; Census Bureau blunders aiding dems; Weinstein gets bad news; Depp gets good news; an awful new side effect; Russia now holds 20% of Ukraine; and more.
Happy Friday, C&C! Today’s roundup includes: another conspiracy theory theory is debunked; the Census Bureau blunders aiding dems; bad news for Harvey Weinstein; people are over covid, or are they?; good news for Johnny Depp, sort of; researchers link an awful new side effect to the safe and effective vaccines; and Zelensky admits Russia is occupying a fifth of Ukraine.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🗳️ The AP ran an article a couple days ago featuring this unbelievable headline: “Cyber agency: Voting software vulnerable in some states.” Wait, what?
You’ll never guess WHICH 16 states have “vulnerabilities”: states with DOMINION voting machines. Haha, why didn’t they just say that in the headline? Corporate media reporters raced to publish stories over the last two days about how MAGA election deniers are going to “pounce” on the news to fuel their rabid 2020 election fantasies.
Here’s how CNN said it in their story: “Because the subject is Dominion voting equipment, which has been the target of conspiracy theorists who falsely claim there was large-scale fraud in the 2020 election, federal and state and local officials are bracing for election deniers to try to weaponize news of the vulnerabilities ahead of midterm elections.”
Election deniers, that’s a good one. I hadn’t seen that term used before this week. I guess now anytime you disagree with the government-approved message, you’re a denier — and probably a domestic terrorist to boot.
Before I continue with the news, I must say, I am shocked about all this, shocked and appalled. Experts ASSURED me that the recent election was the best organized and most secure election ever held in human history, and maybe even in galactic history. They told us it was IMPOSSIBLE to hack the Dominion machines, and they hounded several lawyers out of practice for even suggesting the insane notion that the voting software could be compromised.
I was even more shocked and appalled that corporate media is covering the story. But after I looked into it a little, I realized they’ve been forced past the “deny” stage despite their best efforts to bury the story, and so reporters are sashaying into the “minimize” stage as fast as they can.
The actual news comes from a 2017 lawsuit filed in Georgia by some intrepid election activists — independents, not government watchdogs, of course — against the use of Dominion touchscreen machines, which the activists claim are insecure, for some reason. Last year, the federal judge allowed the activists’ expert to inspect some Dominion machines and write up a report.
The expert finished his detailed, 100-page report several months ago, and apparently it was a stinker. Georgia officials started screaming and crying and throwing themselves down on the floor, and wouldn’t take a bottle, so the judge agreed to seal the 100-page report to keep it from being shared with the media or anybody else, and gave the officials four months to review the report and formulate a response. Well, the four months are up and the expert report, plus Georgia’s five-page response, will become public record as early as today, whenever the judge gets around to unsealing them.
The conclusions in the expert’s report must be incredibly damning, because it appears the way corporate media is planning to handle all this is to quickly admit the problems but dip into the “no evidence” playbook and insist there’s “no evidence” that anybody actually USED any of the problems to cheat. Because, why would they? Plus, it’s not the government’s job to find evidence of cheating anyway. That’s on private citizens.
Anyway, OF COURSE Georgia’s sealed 5-page response was somehow leaked to the media ahead of the release of the expert’s report. The Washington Post glumly reported the news with this headline: “No Evidence of Exploitation of Dominion Voting Machine Flaws, CISA Finds.” No evidence! You remember that one, right? Just like there’s no evidence that the jabs hurt anybody, or that ivermectin helps treat early covid. That kind of no evidence.
(You might not’ve recognized CISA, which is part of Homeland Security, and on Georgia’s behalf, took four months to draft the thin five-page response to the expert’s 100-page report. It accomplished about one page per month. What do you want, it’s government.)
The various stories reporting on the reports note that the five-page CISA draft only found NINE vulnerabilities, and also said that it found “no evidence” of intrusion. The thin CISA report is light on details about how the government verified that nobody actually used any of the exploits.
The various corporate media articles about the reports are packed with interviews of scads of cherry-picked “election experts” who explain how this story is just a big fat nothing burger with extra conspiracy sauce, how everybody already knew about these problems anyway, and how Dominion is probably already working nights and weekends on a “patch” that will make all your election concerns bleed away into the hypoxic rarified air of elite media. The patch will be like a software version of an mRNA vaccine that actually works against the current variant.
I can’t wait to see that expert report.
🗳️ The Hill ran an article this week headlined, “Census blunder may tip 2024 to Democrats.” Not another one!
It seems the Census Bureau admitted it blundered while tallying up the official population figures following the 2020 elections, and — this is going to shock you — the errors resulted in DEMOCRAT states getting a bunch of additional house representatives and electors that they don’t deserve. For example, Florida and Texas each failed to receive representatives and electors they should have gotten, while New York and California each got more reps and electors than they were due.
The Hill estimated that using correct numbers would shift the electoral college toward Republicans by 7%. In other words, it’s worth about 20 electoral college votes, about as much as one large state; for example, Michigan has 16 votes.
I realize you’re probably upset about this, but you should understand that the Census Bureau greatly regrets the error and any inconvenience that it may have inadvertently caused. Unfortunately, since the districts have already been drawn, there’s simply nothing it can do until the next census cycle comes around, which is coming AFTER the 2024 elections. But at least they owned up to their mistake, right?
No one was fired or disciplined as a result of the ‘error.’ Because they’re only human. Don’t be a fascist.
🔥 The Hill ran a story today headlined, “Harvey Weinstein’s Rape Conviction Upheld by Appeals Court.” So, that’s good news.
In a 45-page decision, the appellate court said the trial judge did not err by letting prosecutors bolster their case with testimony from three women who accused Weinstein of assaulting them, but weren’t officially victims identified by the state as accusers. The appellate judges also rejected Weinstein’s argument that the trial judge shouldn’t have let a woman who wrote a novel involving predatory older men serve on the jury.
She sounds like a good fit, to me.
🔥 The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday headlined, “BA.2 Proves the Pandemic Isn’t Over, but People Are Over It.” The sub-headline explains, “Two years of dealing with Covid-19 have made people tired of taking precautions, getting tested and asking about other people’s status.”
So, it only took two years to wear everyone out?
The Journal says the unnamed new sub-variant, BA.2, is spreading all over, but people are just so sick and tired of talking about covid so they aren’t getting too worked up about it. Well, people are sick and tired of SOMETHING. I’m not sure it’s talking about covid.
The Journal’s cherry-picked expert interviewed for the story blamed the problem on OTHER experts. She explained people struggle to know just how seriously to take BA.2, “given shifting guidance and sometimes difficult-to-parse public-health messaging.” Haha, shifting guidance. That’s an understatement. Anyway, the story’s expert said all the shifting guidance makes people anxious, which unfortunately can lead to avoidance.
In other words, people are sick of hearing from unreliable experts who always turn out to be wrong, and so people are tuning them out.
HHS figures show that testing in the U.S. peaked in January at 7.4 tests per 1,000 people, but has slid down to only 1.9 tests per 1,000 this month. Experts worry that, between lower testing levels in general and increasing use of untracked home testing, the reported covid figures could be greatly understated. Meaning, it could be EVERYWHERE.
Yawn. Here’s what I say: a pandemic you can’t detect without mandatory PCR testing isn’t really a pandemic. How about that?
🔥 Yesterday, media reported that Johnny Depp won his five-week jury trial against his ex-wife, co-celebrity Amber Heard, having been awarded a $15 million-dollar judgment against her, and essentially having cleared his name of her allegations that he was a wife beater. Apart from that, the trial was an appalling spectacle, a human plane wreck frozen in amber and examined in minute atomic detail under social media’s virtual microscope.
🔬 A new study links “cluster headaches” to the jab. Cluster headaches are so bad, so agonizingly worse than migraines, that healthcare professionals call them “suicide headaches.” And one type — chronic cluster headaches — make occasional cluster headaches look mild by comparison.
The new paper, to be published in the next edition of the journal Therapie, is titled “Cluster headache after COVID-19 vaccination with Comirnaty: A signal in pharmacovigilance database.”
The paper begins by reporting a case of “probable cluster headache” in a 26-year-old male that started 8 hours after he got his safe and effective booster dose of Pfizer in December 2021. His subsequent headaches were so severe they caused seizures up to twice a day. The paper says it lasted about a month. A very difficult month, I’d imagine.
The researchers did a little more digging and found 628 other cases of cluster headache after Pfizer reported in the European databases as of January 3rd, 2021 — which was five times as many adjusted reports as the other covid vaccines. So they call it a safety signal on Pfizer.
The researchers also noted that other types of headaches have been linked to the safe and effective vaccines, too: ordinary headaches, chronic migraines (status migrainosus), cases of Parsonage-Turner syndrome reported a few hours or days after vaccination, and small fiber neuropathy after one week.
They concluded that “cluster headache after vaccination against COVID-19 is a possible adverse effect,” but said the words necessary to get their paper published: “Obviously, vaccination against COVID-19 has long shown a favorable benefit-risk balance which these observations do not call into question.”
🚀 *THE MINORITY REPORT* 🚀
🚀 The Hill ran another ‘Ukraine Narrative 2.0’ story yesterday headlined, “Zelensky: Russian forces control one-fifth of Ukraine.” The Ukrainian president briefed Luxembourg’s parliament yesterday, and admitted that Russian troops have now invaded over 3,600 “settlements.” The good news is Zelensky claims Ukrainian forces took back over 1,000 of them. He also reported that 12 million Ukrainians have now been displaced by the war, which is only about 100 days old.
So I guess this means Ukraine needs more weapons and money or something.
More interestingly, the Hill noted in passing that Ukraine has now “joined” NATO’s cyber-defense group and attended its first meeting in Estonia on Monday. According to a blog post by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, a NATO committee is now finalizing an agreement to ‘formalize’ Ukraine’s participation in the organization. Which means Ukraine’s already on board, the rest is a mere formality.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the nuance. Ukraine isn’t joining NATO or anything; it’s just joining NATO’s cyber-defense group. One little part of NATO. It’s completely different.
But I wonder if the Russians will see it that way?
The Hill also reported, in passing, that Ukraine “has over the years received significant financial and technical assistance from the U.S. and the European Union to strengthen its cyber defenses.” Did you realize how strategically important Ukraine has been, or that we’ve been helping them get ready to fight Russia “for years?” I didn’t. I don’t recall seeing any debates about that in the House of Representatives, but I guess I could’ve missed it somehow.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll see you back here tomorrow to re-caffeinate.
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