Discover more from ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2023 🦠
☕️ A MORTIFYING CHARADE ☙ Wednesday, May 3, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Australia lets ivermectin out of pharmacy jail; Texas AG Paxton to investigate jabs; UK Telegraph's spicy, anti-trans op-ed; thoughts about feminism and sports; does HB269 kill free speech?; and more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Wednesday! We’re halfway there. Your roundup today includes: Australia re-authorizes ivermectin for covid treatment (sort of); Texas attorney general Paxton launches vaccine investigations; UK Telegraph dares to publish trans critic in spicy op-ed; thoughts about the intersection of feminism and the destruction of women’s sports; my take on whether HB 269 just destroyed free speech in Florida; and a funny Wednesday video clip to start your day right.
🗞💬 *WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 💬🗞
🦘 Yesterday, Australia’s government re-authorized the general prescription of ivermectin, lifting pandemic-era restrictions that confined use of the Nobel-prize-winning drug to dermatologists and a few other highly-specific needs.
The report attached to the policy change referenced the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, which had written the TGA encouraging it to KEEP the ivermectin restrictions in place, over concerns that freely-available ivermectin might cause people to … wait for it … hesitate to take the vaccines.
Why would Australia’s pharmacy guild care so much about vaccine hesitancy? So much that they officially wrote in to the government to stop people from using ivermectin? It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with how much profit is produced by each product?
I don’t want to presume the pharmacy guild has a selfish motive, but … at this point in the pandemic? Really? With the non-covid excess deaths at historical levels Down Under?
Still, the regulators re-authorized ivermectin anyways, overriding the pharmacy guild’s concerns. So take that, pharmacy guild. Now you just look greedy.
💉 On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on his website that he is opening an investigation into “Gain of Function” and “Misrepresentations by Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturers.”
Paxton, the first Attorney General to officially delve into the jabs, said he’s investigating whether the companies misrepresented the efficacy of their shots, and the whether they misrepresented the likelihood of transmitting the virus after being jabbed, potentially violating of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Florida has a similar law, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). In early 2022, I was convinced I had the pharma companies in my sights under Florida’s FDUTPA law, a way to beat all their liability protection, and I did quite a bit of work on the case until a generous allied attorney helping with the project discovered a small, unnoticed provision deep in the act completely exempting pharmaceutical companies, and I was dead in the water.
(If Florida medical freedom activists want a good cause, getting rid of THAT stinky provision would change everything. Everything.)
Presumably Texas’ act lacks a pharma carve-out. I took a quick look at the Texas law this morning (it’s long) and couldn’t see anything problematic or find any pharma carve-out with a search. So Texas’ law could be the way.
Paxton says he’s going to investigate the following questions, whether:
— Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J engaged in gain of function research and misled the public;
— the vaxx makers lied about jab efficacy in reducing transmission;
— they manipulated vaxx trial data; or
— it was deceptive to use “relative risk reduction” instead of “absolute risk reduction” in describing the prophylactic effects.
Paxton’s announcement used strong language describing the investigation:
Texas’s investigation will force these companies to turn over documents the public otherwise could not access. Attorney General Paxton is committed to discovering the full scope of decision-making behind pandemic interventions forced on the public, especially when a profit motive or political pressure may have compromised Americans’ health and safety. Efforts by the federal government to coerce compliance with unjust and illegal pandemic interventions, even at the cost of citizens’ employment, means this investigation into the scientific and ethical basis on which public health decisions were made is of major significance.
So there are now TWO states and TWO attorneys general investigating the vaccines: Florida and Texas. (I noticed a comment the other day impatiently suggesting Florida’s Covid Grand Jury must have fizzled out, since we haven’t heard anything, but be patient — grand juries operate in secret. It would be bad if we did hear anything.)
Attorneys general are the way. Folks contacted me as far back as late 2021 asking how can we get criminal prosecutions for jab crimes going? The answer is it will take attorneys general or district attorneys. That’s something we really need to focus on for the upcoming election cycle if we really want accountability.
We need to be recruiting candidates to run for district attorney right now.
Not by accident, Florida and Texas are also the two states leading the country’s swelling conservative political movement. I’ll suggest that Paxton’s announcement confirms my theory that covid accountability is a popular political position, and we will soon see more action in this area.
Paxton’s investigation is another great start.
🔥 Yesterday, the UK Telegraph ran a “comment,” which I think is similar to an op-ed, spicily titled “Trans Ideology Will Let Mediocre Men Destroy Women’s Sport.” The sub-headline was even better: “In my book, [trans] athletes like Austin Killips are thieves – yet those whose prizes they take are being forced to maintain this mortifying charade.”
Mediocre men! A mortifying charade! The British do really have a way with words; they invented English, after all. Read those phrases back to yourself in a woman’s English accent.
Austin Killips is a man (stem and berries still on the bush) who pretends to be a woman. In 2019, Killips took up cycling for the first time in his life, and this year the 27-year-old American finished a record-breaking +89 seconds ahead of the reigning champion, Italy’s Marcela Prieto, in the ladies’ general class, and he also claimed the prized “Queen of the Mountains jersey.”
He also took the $35,000 cash prize. Thanks ladies!
Here’s Austin, who just shattered female cycling records. Take a listen to him in the linked video below.
The comment’s author, award-winning journalist, columnist, and the Daily Telegraph’s chief interviewer, Allison Pearson, is clearly wound up pretty tight about the slow-motion destruction of women’s sports and she wasn’t pulling many punches. It’s a lively and entertaining read.
But most significant, to me, was how the op-ed suggests the narrative is shifting. Only a year ago, this kind of article by a mainstream writer, of this kind of incendiary, anti-trans op-ed — a “mortifying charade!” — would have gotten Allison cancelled, fired, and banned from polite British society faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle.”
She also “mis-gendered” Austin by referring to him using proper English pronouns. The horror.
Sometimes I wonder whether we’d be having these kinds of problems at all, if the feminist movement hadn’t cancelled men’s long-standing social obligations to protect women. Feminists said they didn’t need men, why would they, the law would protect them. Society had evolved beyond such repressive primitive notions of men being women’s saviors and protectors.
Well, who do you turn to when the law turns against you? The law has turned against real women in a lot of places. And it looks to me like many trans men are actually just predators in drag, men who take advantage of and victimize women every way they can, including stealing their cycling prizes and exposing themselves in the locker rooms for their own perverted grins and giggles.
Fifty years ago, a guy who exposed himself in a women’s locker room would have to move to a new town. The town’s men would have made sure of it. And they certainly wouldn’t have let perverts play with girls.
Can we — should we? — return to the place where men feel valued, appreciated, and respected for taking up the duty to protect women? Or have we evolved beyond that now?
Maybe I’m off track here, and please forgive me if I am, but I seems a smidge problematic that there’s an entire generation of boys who’ve been taught women don’t NEED — or even want — to be protected. In fact, boys are being taught even OFFERING to protect women is de facto insulting and disrespectful.
Instead, they learn that women can protect THEMSELVES, thank you very much (with a little help from the law).
Observe top girls’-role-model Captain Marvel! She doesn’t need any silly men to protect her, or even any laws. She’ll just beat everybody senseless:
So what do you think? Are some trans men actually predators who simply want access to women’s spaces? If so, what should be done about that?
🔥 Several commenters have asked me what I think about the latest controversial Florida bill, a new “hate crime” law, HB 269, that Governor DeSantis recently signed into law while in Israel, where he was obviously courting the Jewish vote. Hot takes are abounding:
Because I’m trying to stay out of the primary fight, I have no comment on whether I think the Governor’s signing a Florida law overseas was good or bad political optics. (Hint: It wasn’t great optics.)
Here’s how the Governor’s Office described the new law, using as examples Jewish concepts like “Jewish garb,” “sitting Shiva,” and “synagogues”:
I reviewed HB 269. First of all, no words like “jewish,” “synagogue,” or “semitism” (anti- or otherwise) appear anywhere in the bill, even sneakily. The law’s language is very generic. So the summary above is misleading; harassing someone for wearing a yarmulke would be treated the same as harassing them for wearing a cross, both are prohibited. The bill would be better described as enhancing religious protections.
But the law’s messaging was quite obviously meant to pander to jewish voters, which might be helpful in South Florida, but which clearly triggered some other groups. It was more unhelpful that Florida lawmakers used overheated rhetoric describing the bill.
This seems to me like an unforced political error. I might have suggested using a variety of mixed examples of religious-based harassment against various faiths, but what do I know? I’m just a lawyer, not a political consultant.
WHAT THE LAW DOES: it increases penalties for some highly-specific kinds of bizarre stalking behavior, especially when motivated by animus toward religion. The bill limits its scope all over the place, by using words like “willful and malicious,” “credible threat,” and “intimidating or threatening” to describe the prohibited conduct. For one weird example, it creates a 3rd-degree felony for dumping litter on someone’s property to threaten and intimidate them, if it includes a credible written threat.
Far as I can tell, this is super specific, but uncontroversial. I suppose you could argue about whether it should be a 1st-degree misdemeanor instead of a 3rd-degree felony, but I think most people would agree that if your crazy neighbor deliberately throws a bag of trash into your yard with a note pinned on it saying, “you’re next,” you SHOULD be able to call the police on them.
A more controversial example from the bill is: “A person may not willfully and maliciously harass or intimidate another person based on the person’s wearing or displaying of any indicia relating to any religious or ethnic heritage.”
This is dumb “hate crime” language. Maliciously harassing and intimidating people SHOULD get somebody arrested, regardless of whether the harassment relates to the victim’s religion or ethnicity. And if some drunk ever gets arrested just for calling somebody a “wetback” or something, the law would promptly be struck down as unconstitutional, which is always the problem with these types of laws.
Apart from that, the bill’s other provisions seem fairly uncontroversial, albeit weirdly specific, such as prohibiting projection of offensive images on somebody else’s property, enhancing the penalty for trespassing at a school to threaten or intimidate someone, and by criminalizing the “malicious” interruption of religious services or funerals.
I don’t know if this is related, but various activist groups have been projecting their messages onto Trump properties, maybe that’s what the legislators had in mind:
WHAT IT DOESN’T DO: HB 269 does not add “hate crimes” to Florida law; they are already there. It does not criminalize anything in public spaces. It appears to focus on protecting from religious-based harassment property, schools, religious services, and funerals. It is so highly-specific that it makes me wonder whether it’s even going to be used very often.
For a variety of good, Constitutional reasons, I oppose ALL so-called “hate crime” laws. But it is a wild, unserious exaggeration to claim this bill is “killing free speech.”
Most of the law’s contents are uncontroversial and common sense, and the few problematic parts are confined by Florida’s Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.
Bottom line, this seems like a bill that was drafted by the Legislature to address a random grab-bag of particular bad stuff that some knuckleheads did, and it probably WAS intended to respond to reports of an uptick of anti-semitism in Florida. They say “bad facts make bad law,” and this bill may be a textbook example of that principle.
Still, don’t throw your garbage bags in other people’s yards.
Here’s the bill text, decide for yourself. It’s not long.
🔥 For your Wednesday giggles, enjoy this video of an amusement park ride operator making his repetitive, monotonous job a little more, well, amusing:
Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I’m wrong, but those screams had me laughing so hard I aspirated my Café Bustelo.
Have a wonderful Wednesday! Meet me back here tomorrow morning for another high-caffeine roundup.
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