☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Saturday, May 14, 2022 ☙ BASED 🦠
Monkeypox; negative jab efficacy for kids; a brave pastor; Zelensky and Sergeant Schultz; bad week for NATO; no EU for Ukraine; Finland fails to pay its gas bill; Paul blocks aid; and LOTS more...
Happy Saturday, C&C! Today we have a giant Minority Report roundup since things are getting kind of hot out there. It’s taken me a while to get geared up for more substantial Minority Reports since I’ve had to build a library of reliable sources. But there’s a lot today. The roundup: Monkeypox; negative jab efficacy for kids; the Louisiana Supremes vindicate a brave pastor; Zelensky and Schwab join forces; NATO has a bad week; EU failed to ban Russian gas; NATO fails to admit Finland and Sweden; Putin shuts off power to Finland; Rand Paul blocks $40B aid package; Russia begins a new offensive; Ukraine won’t join the EU; Sri Lankans are pissed; Abbot Labs denies problems in its shuttered plant; Biden fights inflation, or something; and the Ruble is beating everybody.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
💉 It’s probably nothing, just another random weird outbreak, but UK’s Sky News reported a story this morning headlined, “Two People Diagnosed With Monkeypox in London, Health Officials Confirm.” Monkeypox! It’s the third case in England this month. And the two new cases are two people who live together who’ve had no foreign travel and are not linked, as far as anyone can tell, to the third earlier case.
Monkeypox is in the smallpox family, but is milder and less dangerous. Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, reassured that the infection “does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact” with someone who is symptomatic. So there’s nothing to worry about.
Paging Geert Vanden Bossche.
🔬 A new study dropped yesterday in JAMA titled, “Association of Prior BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccination With Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Children and Adolescents During Omicron Predominance.”
The study found the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness against symptomatic infection in children aged 12 to 15 dropped to zero after 4 months, and then kept dropping until it went negative. In other words, after 7 months, vaccinated kids were MORE LIKELY to get a symptomatic infection than unjabbed kids. So if the study is correct, the jabs offer kids a limited short-term benefit followed by a future higher risk of symptomatic covid infection.
They’re working great!
This is actually very good news, since it shows that the journals are accepting more articles critical of the jabs. And while the study mentioned several times that boosting kids may be needed, it did not include the previously obligatory language that the jabs make sense notwithstanding their lack of medium-term efficacy.
🔥 The Constitution continues to wake up from its long nap. The Baton Rouge Advocate ran a story yesterday headlined, “COVID Orders Violated Pastor Tony Spell’s Freedom of Religion, Louisiana Supreme Court Says.”
The Advocated reported that, Louisiana’s top justices overruled lower courts and held that Governor Bel Edwards’ covid restrictions on religious gatherings and his stay-at-home mandate were unconstitutional, at least as they applied to Pastor Spell. They ordered the six misdemeanor charges against the courageous man of God quashed.
Just like in my vaccine case against the City of Gainesville, the State of Louisiana DIDN’T EVEN TRY to meet the high strict scrutiny standard required to prove the emergency :
The state’s evidence in this case is minimal. It introduced the bills of information for the criminal charges, the relevant executive orders, and a copy of a federal district court opinion in a civil proceeding filed by the defendant against the governor. No witnesses testified… The state does not dispute this lack of evidence.
Pastor Spell ignored the Governor’s two executive orders and kept holding worship services anyway. “Based,” as the kids would say, if I’m using that right. The Court held that the State violated Pastor Spell’s Constitutional right to freedom of religion by ordering his church closed but keeping “essential businesses” open.
🚀 *THE MINORITY REPORT* 🚀
🚀 Yesterday, Sergeant Schultz, I mean Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum excitedly announced that Ukraine president Zelenskyy will be a featured opening-day speaker at its swanky upcoming May 23rd Annual Meeting in Switzerland. Bloomberg’s article on the story is headlined, “Ukraine’s Zelenskiy to Deliver Virtual Speech to WEF in Davos.”
I’ve seen that guy’s name spelled at least four different ways in corporate media. Someone needs to check his I.D..
🚀 It wasn’t a terrific week for the NATO gang. In summary:
— The European Union tried to ban the purchase of Russian oil; the move was blocked by EU member Hungary. Russia continues to sell oil into the EU — but now, requiring payment in Rubles, which makes Putin laugh like a maniacal cartoon hyena. At these sky-high oil prices, the EU is basically paying Russia for the Ukraine war.
— This week NATO voted to admit Finland and Sweden as new members, which infuriated Russia, to say the least, but NATO member Turkey vetoed the proposal. So the vote failed. Russia has warned it will expand its nuclear weapons installations if NATO admits either nordic country, but NATO has continued pursuing the admissions anyway. Some experts think NATO can flank Turkey’s veto, but you have to hand this round to Putin.
By all reports, Turkey’s Erdogan is aligned with the Kremlin.
— Yesterday, Reuters ran an article headlined, “Russia’s Inter RAO to Halt Power Exports to Finland Due Lack of Payment.” In other words, they’re cutting the power off. Finland says it doesn’t care, it only gets 10% of its power from Russia anyway and insists it DID send the check.
— Heroic Senator Rand Paul has managed to block the fast-tracking of the new $40B appropriation for Ukraine in the Senate. That means arms shipments to Ukraine could end by May 19th unless the bill is finally approved.
Paul explained it on the Senate floor this way: “If this gift to Ukraine passes, our total aid to Ukraine will almost equal the entire military budget of Russia. And it’s not as if we have that money lying around, we will have to borrow that money from China to send it to Ukraine.”
If you believe that helping Ukraine is admirable, but the U.S. has already helped a lot, and we can’t afford to be borrowing MORE money from China right now, and you’re concerned whether the $40B will even make its way to the frontlines of the Ukraine war effort and do any good anyway, it’s time to message your senator. I suggest doing it right now. I just did mine.
— Russia began a new phase in the war, now encircling the large Donbas region in southeastern Ukraine, about the lower half of the country. I keep hearing in corporate media about how Russia is always having devastating losses in Ukraine but then, Russia always seems to keep gaining ground there.
An Economist article yesterday admits “Russia now controls  most of Donbas.” But don’t worry, the Economist reassured everybody that Putin’s “grip is precarious and Ukraine is determined to liberate its territory.” Well, it’s okay then. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, who recently bragged about helping Ukraine kill Russian generals, said Ukrainian forces are mounting “a stiff and an effective” resistance to the latest moves.
From personal experience, “stiff and effective” is always better than limp and ineffective. So.
Reports this morning also concede that Russia now controls the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which corporate media previously promised would be a disaster of epic proportions for the Kremlin. No so much, apparently.
— Ukraine’s application to join the European Union failed. Not enough votes in favor.
— CNN ran an article Wednesday headlined “Sri Lanka Protesters Burn Politicians’ Homes as Country Plunges Further Into Chaos.” It’s not just a little local protest, either. According to CNN, protesters torched the personal residences of THIRTY EIGHT Sri Lankan politicians. Fiery Sri Lankans! This included a daring pre-dawn rescue of the country’s prime minister early Tuesday morning as protestors overran his compound.
The Sri Lankans seem a teeny tiny bit perturbed or something.
But don’t worry, the Sri Lankan government is handling this situation delicately and diplomatically. CNN reported that the country’s president tweeted, “All efforts will be made to restore political stability through consensus, within the constitutional mandate and to resolve economic crisis,” right before ordering the military to shoot on sight anyone who damages state property or assaults officials.
Sri Lanka is at war with itself!
From what I can tell, Sri Lankans are justifiably concerned about 22% inflation, widespread electrical outages, and the country’s recently-enacted woke “green standards” for crop production, which predictably resulted in lower yields and are blamed for the country’s widespread ongoing food shortages.
Fortunately the domestic situation here in the U.S. is nothing like Sri Lanka. We’re only at 9% official inflation here, and so far, we’re only out of baby formula. Twenty-two percent inflation would, well, suck, to put it bluntly. But don’t worry, we have our best and brightest working on the problem.
— Abbott Labs tweeted this morning that its factory was cleared of contamination weeks ago, and no causal relationship was found between two injured babies and its formula, but the FDA will not return its calls asking for permission to reopen its baby formula factory. It’s risky for Abbott to publicly complain about the FDA; the company must have decided its only option was taking the case directly to the people.
— Biden is finally getting to work on fighting inflation. Yesterday, the former Vice President tweeted that it’s not his fault, it’s greedy big corporations: “You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” Joe explained.
Here in the U.S., inflation rates have surged to a 40-year high, levels not seen since 1982 when hapless democrat Jimmy Carter was president. CNN reported that:
Gasoline is up 48% in one year.
Used cars up 35% in one year.
Food up 8.8% in one year.
Shelter up 5% in one year.
One reason the reported food inflation rate looks lower than what you’re actually seeing at Publix is that the rates are calculated only on a fixed basket of a few dozen food items like eggs and milk, which are all heavily subsidized. So it is likely the real food inflation number is much higher than the reported 8.8%. Just saying.
— U.S. gas prices peaked at an historic all-time high yesterday. Breitbart’s article on the story yesterday was headlined, “Gas Prices in Joe Biden’s America Hit Another Record High.” The article reports that on Friday, the average for regular gas reached $4.43, up from the previous record of $4.41 reached the day before, on Thursday. The national average for mid-grade is $4.79, and the average for premium is $5.07. Diesel also hit a new high on Friday, standing at $5.56.
In California, gas is hurtling towards $7 a gallon.
But don’t worry! Between arm-wrestling and pushup competitions, Joe Biden made some big moves this week to combat high gas prices. The Hill ran a story Thursday headlined, “Biden Administration Cancels Oil and Gas Lease Sales in Alaska, Gulf of Mexico.” Build back better!
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 106, said yesterday SHE doesn’t think Americans blame the Biden Administration for high gas prices. “I think they’re blaming oil companies,” the ancient relic explained to reporters. Her comments were related to a new bill just introduced in the House that would allow Biden to set gas prices in the US, since the free market obviously doesn’t work.
BIDEN. Biden will set gas prices.
Peanut-brained president Jimmy Carter tried setting gas prices back in the 1970’s. The entirely predictable result was gas rationing, assigned days to buy gas, ration cards, and hours-long lines at gas stations. And then, after several years of intense pain for Americans, a landslide win for Republican President Ronald Reagan and the economy began to recover.
In other news, Pelosi and the House democrats have NOT proposed lifting federal gas taxes. So.
— Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the Russian ruble is up more than 11% against the dollar since January, and is now the TOP gainer among 31 major world currencies. Weird. We obviously need MORE sanctions, because the current ones aren’t working. Sanction harder!
It’s so strange! How can all this be happening? I mean, we have JOE BIDEN in charge. Plus we have spent two years prioritizing teaching social justice to the military, and Joe has put our wokest generals in charge, hardcore generals who don’t even need the gym and aren’t afraid to walk around in women’s dresses, no matter how unflattering it looks. They don’t care. Plus, they know ALL the pronouns like you wouldn’t believe.
How can all NATO’s new wokeness possibly be failing against a non-woke civilization like Russia? It must just be a temporary setback, or something. Baffling.
Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Monday to help start off the weekend right with more coffee. And covid.
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