☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Saturday, June 25, 2022 ☙ STRATEGIC HOPE 🦠
Covid and the Supreme Court; Jim Jordan gets a hilarious answer from Birx; Ukraine democratically deletes political rivals and jails bloggers; Biden's rhetorical questions; Ecuador; Lithuania, more.
Happy Saturday, C&C! The big news yesterday was the decision overturning Roe, but I’m dividing my comments in half. At the top of the post, I’ll discuss how Roe and covid are tied together. At the very end of the post, I’ll discuss some of the political fallout, which C&C readers who are unhappy about the decision can just skip. I’m asking everyone to be kind in the comments, and remember that persuasion happens through trust and relationship, never through conflict.
Apart from that, I have a packed Minority Report roundup for you today: How covid led to the decision overturning Roe; Ron Johnson asks Birx a tough question and gets a surprising answer; Ukraine democratically deletes its opposition party; Ukraine democratically arrests YouTubers for treason; Biden asks a rhetorical question about Ukraine and I answer; Ecuador is in flames; the Times reports on Lithuania and makes some interesting comments; and final thoughts on the politics of the decision overturning Roe.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
OPERATION MULTIPLIER UPDATE: Our Dr. McCullough multiplier is now above $300,000! It appears that a lot of folks read their C&C a day or more late, but dutifully join the operation and do their part when they get around to reading the post. Great work!
It’s really something to read through Dr. McCullough’s GiveSendGo page, scrolling through the donations and comments, which continue trickling in, even this morning. https://www.givesendgo.com/G2DR5.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Protests broke out in the nation’s largest cities yesterday after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision, sending the issue of regulation of abortion back to the states. I predicted this would happen last summer after the Supreme Court first declined emergency appellate review of lower-court decisions upholding New York’s various vaccine mandates.
Since some of the conservative justices signed the orders declining review, people asked me if I thought they’d changed sides or defected or something. I answered that I thought the justices were protecting something we don’t know about; they wouldn’t want to rely on bodily integrity rights if they were about to do something big like overturn Roe. Then in January when the court issued its pair of mandate decisions, one supporting the CMS mandate, neither opinion mentioning bodily integrity rights or Roe a single time, I was pretty sure this was coming.
I studied this issue closely when I litigated the mask case through appeal. I won that case — the only appellate case in the country finding mandatory masking presumptively unconstitutional — on the strength of Florida’s explicit right to privacy and medical autonomy, which had been well-developed mostly by abortion cases, particularly the ‘Gainesville Woman Care’ case.
Florida’s constitutional right to privacy is relatively new; it was passed in the 80’s during a nationwide push at the state-level related to Roe. Many states passed bodily integrity laws at that time as a result of the Roe decision and the swirling criticisms about the poor reasoning of that case. Even many pro-choice constitutional scholars agreed that Roe had a shaky foundation, so then, as is happening now, states rushed to pass laws and amend state constitutions to protect those rights.
As a result — quite ironically given the politics — the states best equipped to resist mandates during the pandemic were the ones with the strongest local protections for bodily integrity resulting from the abortion battles of the 70’s and 80’s. It’s funny how things work out.
My theory — as I’ve discussed before — is that Roe would never have been overturned without covid.
Many pro-abortion political groups, which had for decades adorned themselves in the morally-praiseworthy robes of personal bodily autonomy, were exposed as hypocrites when they shredded those values in the name of forcing their friends, co-workers, and neighbors to accept a preferred medical treatment. “My body, my choice” instantly flipped, becoming the right’s ironic new slogan, now effectively weaponized AGAINST Roe.
At that point it was just a matter of time. For how, if bodily autonomy is NOT sacrosanct when it comes to experimental vaccines, can it be of any utility when it comes to other personal autonomy issues like abortion? In other words, the “my body, my choice” argument was neutralized, sacrificed for vaccine mandates, and was shown to be not so much a ‘right’ as a benefit to be whimsically parceled out on a treatment-by-treatment basis at the arbitrary preference of whoever is making the rules at the time.
A thin principle of convenience cannot sustain the massive weight of an implied constitution right; the vaccine mandates ultimately cracked the hard shell of Roe’s implied right of privacy and the entire edifice fell away.
I have no idea how all this will shake out. But make no mistake: this Supreme Court decision is just the latest and the most obvious example of how the government’s pandemic overreach has badly backfired. And the backfiring isn’t done yet — not even close.
💉This week Representative Jim Jordan interviewed former Covid Task Force member Deborah Birx in a House hearing this week, and finally asked her one of the questions that we would all like answered. Here’s a short transcript and then a link to the video.
REP. JORDAN: When the government told us that the vaccinated couldn’t transmit it [the virus], was that a lie? Or was that a guess?
DR. BIRX: I think it was /hope/ that the vaccine would work in that way. That’s why I think scientists and public health leaders always have to be at the table, being very clear what we know and what we don’t know…
REP. JORDAN: This is important for the country to know. So when I asked the question, when the government told us that the vaccinated couldn’t get it, and I asked you if it was a guess or a lie, you said you don’t know, you said you think it was hope. So what we do know is, it wasn’t the truth. So they were either guessing, lying, or hoping, and communicating that information to the citizens of this country.
Someone once said that hope is not a strategy. But that obscures things; the fact is, when the government said that the vaccinated were protected from catching covid, that was a LIE. You can’t call it anything else. We can argue about the government’s intent, whether it had good intent or malicious intent, whether the lie arose from incompetence or bad faith, whether it meant well or meant to harm, but you can’t argue that the government wasn’t LYING.
And you can’t hide behind “they made a mistake.” First of all, even THEY aren’t claiming to have made a mistake. But even if they WERE just wrong, it was still a lie when they said it. If it was based on error, then it was just an incompetent lie. But, to be honest, it seems less like incompetence because there were other experts at the time who WERE telling the truth, and were either ignored or cancelled.
Another principle that I believe is beyond argument is that a lying government does not deserve to remain in power. It should be removed. Whether it is incompetent or it is malevolent — both justify prompt removal before it can do even more damage.
Prove me wrong.
🚀 *THE MINORITY REPORT* 🚀
🚀 Last week, Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice announced an official ban on the country’s main opposition party and seized all its assets. Because democracy. The now-defunct party was the second largest political party in Ukraine, following President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, which is named after his popular TV series.
🚀 This week, Ukraine requested extradition of a YouTuber living in Spain on treason charges. He was arrested in May, and EuroWeekly News ran a story on the arrest headlined, “Popular Pro-Russian blogger Anatoly Shariy Detained in Spain.”
Shariy, a popular Ukrainian YouTuber with 3M followers, was arrested in Spain after Ukraine charged him for “high treason.” Apparently Shariy had been posting videos critical of President Zelensky and his policies.
Ukraine is looking less and less like a shining example of democracy and freedom, and more and more like a dictatorial hellhole. Given the fact that, if you criticize the government you can get arrested, even if you live in an EU country, apparently, how can we trust that all Ukrainian voices are being heard?
🚀 Question asked! This week, at a presser on Ukraine, Joe Biden asked these rhetorical questions:
“So for all those Republicans in Congress criticizing me for high gas prices in America, are you now saying we were wrong to support Ukraine? Are you saying we were wrong to stand up to Putin? Are you SAYING that we would rather have lower gas prices in America than Putin’s iron fist in Europe? I don’t believe that.”
Why not? What’s so hard to believe about that? Even if the cause were just, it’s a different thing to ask if we’d help Ukraine to the point of harming ourselves and damaging our economy, maybe for decades, and stumbling to the brink of World War III.
My answer is: yes.
🚀 Ecuador is joining Sri-Lanka in the race to become the first post-pandemic failed state. Corporate media is blacking out the gigantic story about Ecuadorians rising up against inflation and food shortages. I don’t think corporate media wants the idea to spread around.
If it wasn’t for social media, you might not have any idea that Ecuador is toppling. Corporate media is concealing what’s going on behind bland headlines like this one from the Washington Post yesterday: “Indigenous Protesters Are Paralyzing Ecuador. Here’s Why.”
Maybe they meant “mostly-peaceful protestors.” WaPo ironically blames the DEMONSTRATORS for food and fuel shortages, reporting that “Demonstrators have marched through Quito, clashed with police and blocked highways across the country, causing shortages of food and fuel.”
Remember: the covid experts caused this with their lockdowns. But the big question is: are Sri Lanka and Ecuador evidence of some kind of trend? Are they falling dominoes or outliers? Next, surely all the major powers are preparing to install puppet governments once the dust clears. Will China and Russia allow the U.S. to take the lead?
🚀 The New York Times gave its take on the Lithuanian crisis yesterday, in an article it advertised on Twitter like this:
“Russia made unfounded claims that Lithuania, a NATO member, was choking off the flow of goods to Kaliningrad as part of sanctions over the Ukraine war. ‘Nobody wanted or expected any of this,’ said the chairman of Lithuania’s defense and security committee.”
Unfounded claims? What? The Times ran the story under this innocuous-sounding headline: “A Sleepy Baltic Rail Line Gets a Geopolitical Wakeup Call.” The headline makes the dispute sound like a contractual argument over the cost per pound to ship raw steel or something. Still, the article more or less gets into the details of the conflict, and makes some interesting comments, including this one:
“On Wednesday, Lithuanian ministers and legislators gathered in a secure underground conference room to game out possible Russian responses and discuss how the dry minutia of European sanctions had set off a rush of unintended and possibly dangerous consequences.”
A rush of unintended and possibly dangerous consequences? You mean, in other words, they recklessly failed to think through the sanctions and now a lot of bad stuff is happening? But… but… they are experts! How could this happen?
The Times’ article explains that the experts now think Russia already used up most of its conventional weapons in its Ukrainian invasion. So now, it has extremely limited military options regarding Lithuania, besides making empty threats. “We are tracking what they do, not what they say,” a NATO colonel told the Times.
Having dismissed the threat of actual Russian action against Ukraine, the Times then reported that NATO and the U.S. have been sending soldiers to Lithuania: “The United States… has boosted NATO forces in Lithuania, with around 700 American soldiers now on rotation in the country to supplement a regular contingent of 1,150 German, 250 Dutch and 200 Norwegian troops.”
So which is it? Are the Russians toothless, having used up all their conventional arms in Ukraine? Or IS THERE a real military threat, that requires OUR troops deployed to Lithuania? The Times doesn’t explain.
It’s getting harder and harder to find a coherent story, even within the same newspaper article. I THINK this is a sign that the narrative is about to collapse. We’ll see.
🕊️ *POST-ROE PANDEMIC POLITICS* 🕊️
(Trigger warning for my pro-Roe friends!)
For my entire adult life, for as long as I can remember, abortion rights have been political footballs in every single presidential race. Every time, the democrats darkly predict that the Republican candidate “will overturn Roe!” It’s never happened, at least, not until now, and under a democrat, to boot.
There were two sine qua non for the decision: the pandemic and President Trump.
You have to hand it to President Trump. He’s delivered the ultimate prize from his massive campaign promise to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. Trump may now hold the record for fulfilled promises, especially in contrast with so many others like Biden, who has repeatedly ‘pivoted’ and delivered the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he promised as a candidate.
Roe’s original holding on privacy and bodily integrity will disappear. Sure, the states will all grapple with the issue, since the Supreme Court has said it’s up to them. But the one thing they won’t do is reproduce Roe’s holding, because it interferes with mandatory vaccination. So the beloved law will be killed, not by conservatives, but by blue-state liberals who claimed to treasure it.
I predict the blue states will pass laws specifically guaranteeing abortion rights but won’t wade into the lofty ideals of integrity of a woman’s body, or even get anywhere close to that. After all, what is a woman anyway? For woke leftists, ‘values’ are merely tools of convenience, to be discarded when they are no longer useful, like the cheap screwdriver that comes in the box with the assemble-it-yourself tricycle.
And since they’re not principled, and can’t hide behind the constitution, those laws will be changed and chipped-away by sustained local activism.
The next thing to consider is the downstream effect. There are a lot of laws, like gay marriage and striking down of anti-sodomy laws, that depended on Roe. Expect challenges to begin as various lawsuits start challenging Roe’s orphaned children.
Yesterday was a great day for life! Maybe there’s something to this “post-pandemic revival” theory, after all. I told you things would get really interesting.
Have a superlative Saturday, and I’ll see ya’ll back here on Monday morning to kick off the last week of June.
You can help get the truth out and spread optimism and hope: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-
C&C Swag! www.shopcoffeeandcovid.com