Discover more from ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2023 🦠
☕️ ERUPTIONS ☙ Saturday, July 1, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Two more blockbuster Supreme Court decisions; Ukraine's secret CIA deal to end the war; more Brits de-banked; NYC installs drug paraphernalia vending machines; SADS cancers and mystery deaths; more.
Good morning C&C, welcome to the Weekend Edition! In your roundup: two more fantastic rulings from the Supreme Court strike down laws requiring bakers and other artists to make gay art, and striking down Biden’s insane student loan forgiveness plan; Ukraine conceives a secret deal to end the war with the help of the CIA; more British de-banking; New York City aids druggies with handy dandy vending machines; SADS football cancer, tonsil cancer, and on-set mystery deaths; supervolcano hysteria; and the Hunter Biden prosecution just might not be completely finished yet.
🗞💬 *WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 💬🗞
👨⚖️ The Supreme Court issued two more fantastic rulings yesterday. National Review ran the first story headlined, “A Supreme Court Victory for Creators of All Kinds.”
In /303 Creative LLC v. Elenis/, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that a creator of wedding websites can legally refuse to design websites for same-sex couples, finding that website design was an artistic act and the equivalent of protected First Amendment speech.
Plaintiff Lori Smith lives in Colorado, which has a law requiring artists to provide services to anyone and anything regardless of the artist’s personal beliefs. Under Colorado law, if the demon Baphomet himself clumped into the store on his iron-shod hooves, Lori would either have to make the devil a Satanic website or face prosecution by a hostile swarm of insectile bureaucrats and regulators angrily boiling out of a bottomless pit somewhere deep under the Denver airport.
Ominously, Lori had lost at the Circuit Court of Appeals, which came up with the novel idea that, since every artist’s work is unique, Lori actually has a “monopoly” on her own special style of website design, and therefore LGBTQ people have NO OTHER REASONABLE OPTIONS for website design. So, sorry, Lori. Get behind the LGBTQ revolution, or else.
But on appeal, the Supreme Court wasn’t having any of it, and said:
In some sense, of course, [Lori’s] voice is unique; so is everyone’s. But that hardly means a State may coopt an individual’s voice for its own purposes. . . . Were the rule otherwise, the better the artist, the finer the writer, the more unique his talent, the more easily his voice could be conscripted to disseminate the government’s preferred messages. That would not respect the First Amendment; more nearly, it would spell its demise.
Outstanding Justice Gorsuch, who wrote the excellent opinion for the majority, also tellingly quoted George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Indeed. We can all learn a lesson from that.
The decision naturally extends to cake bakers, wedding planners, and perhaps most importantly, pastors. If you’ve been following the trials and travels of Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, well, because of this decision, Jack’s never-ending nightmare is now over.
👨⚖️ Fox News reported on the second blockbuster opinion in an article headlined, “Supreme Court Rules Against Biden Student Loan Debt Handout.” The sub-headline explained “Supreme Court decision blocks Biden administration’s student loan debt plan that was estimated to cost taxpayers $400B.”
Reading corporate media’s reports, this was the awfullest decision ever conceived by any Supreme Court anywhere, but it bears pointing out that just last year, Joe Biden infamously opined that he didn’t have the authority to forgive student debt by executive order.
Of course, that didn’t stop him from trying.
In the 6-3 decision, the Court held that federal law does not allow the secretary of education to cancel student loan debt. “The Secretary’s plan canceled roughly $430 billion of federal student loan balances, completely erasing the debts of 20 million borrowers and lowering the median amount owed by the other 23 million from $29,400 to $13,600,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “Six States sued, arguing that the HEROES Act does not authorize the loan cancellation plan. We agree.”
An un-identified White House source said Bumbling Biden’s plan is to blame Republicans for denying loan relief to student borrowers, and make it into a 2024 election issue. Predictably.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. I have litigated the student loan issue on behalf of folks crippled by un-repayable student loan debt. There is a simple solution: allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy after making a reasonable effort to pay them back. That’s all it would take.
There is no legitimate justification for excepting student loans from bankruptcy apart from protecting the banks. If other bank loans are dischargeable, then student loans should be, too.
And without wading too far into the argument, I would note that periodic bankruptcy is a Constitutional right, and that the Bible provides for similar kinds of debt forgiveness in Leviticus 25 (which is where the Founders got the idea).
🔥 After hearing about the recent decisions, a botox-frozen Biden mumbled to reporters that the Supreme Court doesn’t understand how affirmative action works, and said the Court wasn’t “a normal court.”
Or, BIDEN is the one who doesn’t understand how anything works, and he isn’t a normal White House resident either. So.
👨⚖️ So far, this has been a momentous, if not historic, Supreme Court. So far, Roe v Wade is GONE, Affirmative Action is GONE, Student Loan Forgiveness is GONE, Constitutional Carry is SECURED, and Business Religious Freedom is SECURED. Those are among a raft of smaller but no less important decisions.
One wonders whether any of that would have been possible absent President Trump’s appointments and the pandemic. It’s something to think about.
🚀 Yesterday, the Washington Post slyly ran a fake investigative piece, no doubt dished up by the intel agency, headlined “CIA director, On Secret Trip To Ukraine, Hears Plan For War’s Endgame.”
Hahahaha! A secret trip to Ukraine! On the WaPo’s front page! These guys are so funny.
The sub-headline explained the “endgame” isn’t about winning. “During meetings in Kyiv, William Burns was told of Ukraine’s ambitious goal to retake territory and push Moscow into talks by the end of the year.”
Talks! By the end of the year. In a serious, non-circus world, this sea-change in Proxy War policy about how the war will end would be earthshaking news. Until ten seconds ago, the official Biden policy has been “no deals.” Recent disclosures have shown that Washington has even frustrated and blocked several earlier peace talks.
Before continuing the story, it is helpful to note the clock the Biden Administration is under. The Proxy War must be wrapped up by the end of this year to avoid becoming an election-year issue in 2024. The general rule is that virtuous, exciting, NEW wars are helpful to a candidate’s re-election chances, whereas old, languishing wars of attrition are NO BUENO.
With that in mind, consider this next paragraph from the WaPo’s story:
In preparation for the fall, Zelensky and top aides have begun thinking about how Kyiv can force an end to the fighting on terms that are acceptable to Russia and the Ukrainian people, who have been subjected to a year and a half of violence, forced displacement, atrocities, and food and electricity shortages.
In addition to telling us all about Zelensky’s “secret meeting” with the head of the CIA, William J. Burns — and just what is the CIA even doing in Ukraine, one wonders; and what does the CIA have to do with negotiating a peace deal? I mean, whose war is it anyway? — the paper also told us all about Ukraine’s “secret” new strategy to improve its negotiation position: first move artillery and missile systems near the boundary line of Russian-controlled Crimea; push further into eastern Ukraine; and only then open negotiations with Moscow for the first time since peace talks “broke down” (with U.S. help) in March of last year.
“Russia will only negotiate if it feels threatened,” explained an unidentified, anonymous senior Ukrainian official. More specifically, the strategy is to build up pressure so the war-torn country isn’t negotiating from a position of weakness:
In agreeing not to take Crimea by force, Kyiv would then demand that Russia accept whatever security guarantees Ukraine can secure from the West, said Ukrainian officials.
Conspicuous by its absence was any mention of getting back the “disputed territories” in Eastern Ukraine that Russia now claims to have annexed into the Motherland. Maybe revealing this change in position was the article’s real goal, to re-set liberal expectations for what might be considered acceptable terms.
Interestingly, WaPo’s story also dropped the nugget that the U.S. intelligence community knew as early as mid-June that the Wagner Group was plotting an armed assault of some kind, according to an unidentified, anonymous U.S. official. Then the newspaper assiduously assured its readers that Biden had nothing whatsoever to do with the Wagner “rebellion,” just like he didn’t have anything to do with blowing up Russia’s gas pipelines.
But … I mean … where’s the old journalistic curiosity? Exactly HOW did the CIA know about Prigozhin’s little civil war ahead of time? Hmm? The WaPo didn’t speculate.
But look at what the relatively-short article did admit:
Ukraine has taken heavy casualties as its troops and armored vehicles navigate thick minefields and fortified trenches across wide-open territory. The challenging terrain has left troops vulnerable to Russian airstrikes and missile attacks. Zelensky has acknowledged that the counteroffensive is going “slower than desired,” and officials have confirmed the destruction of some Western-provided Leopard 2 tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Uh oh. So, I guess things aren’t exactly going swimmingly in the Proxy War. Here is the timeline that one can piece together from this fake news story:
1) Ukraine was losing the “last chance” counteroffensive.
2) The CIA waited for the Wager Group’s rebellion, which came, if you think about it, at a particularly peculiar time, given that Ukraine was losing. Was Wagner’s implosion a deep-state Hail Mary?
3) Then, the WaPo published this story stating, for the very first time, there’s a “secret plan” to negotiate and end to the war with only “security guarantees.” Forget about that stupid “not one inch” business.
Now, I’m just a lawyer, not a deep-state color revolution plotter, but as a litigator I have LOTS of experience with negotiating. And I can assure you with no reservations that telling your negotiating opponent about your secret negotiating strategy ahead of time is NOT a typical move. Loose lips sink ships, and so forth. Usually, giving away your secret haggling formula is not especially helpful to getting what you want.
So. The Proxy War clock is running.
🔥 Nigel Farage wasn’t the only Brit getting de-banked this week. The UK Times ran a story yesterday headlined, “Yorkshire Building Society ‘Closed Vicar’s Account After Trans Protest’.”
The Yorkshire Building Society is a large, oddly-named British bank, having over three million customers. About two weeks ago, YBS emailed customers a monthly survey asking for feedback on the bank’s customer service and operations.
That’s where the trouble started.
Meet Anglican Vicar Richard Fothergill, 62, a satisfied YBS customer for over seventeen years. Well. He’s not satisfied anymore.
The good vicar, feeling a sense of loyalty and a desire only to be helpful, responded to the bank’s June 18th inquiry, politely offering among other more mundane feedback that the bank might consider dialing down all the rainbow-colored transgender ideology in its communications and on its website, suggesting instead that the bank “should concentrate their efforts on managing money, instead of promoting LGBT ideology.”
But four days later, on June 22nd, Richard received a formal notice from his bank, responding to his feedback. It referenced his “views regarding LGBTQIA+,” and ominously advising the vicar that his feedback offended the bank’s “zero-tolerance approach to discrimination,” explaining his survey comments were “not tolerable.”
When asked by the Times for an explanation, YBS sort-of denied cancelling Vicar Fothergill, suggesting the pastor had been debunked for some reason other than his beliefs, but without exactly saying that, in a classic Orwellian statement:
We never close savings accounts based on different opinions regarding beliefs or feedback provided by our customers. We only ever make the difficult decision to close a savings account if a customer is rude, abusive, violent or discriminates in any way, based on the specific facts, comments and behaviour in each case.
“Discriminates in ANY WAY.” I wonder if in the bank’s view, Richard’s orthodox Christian beliefs are “discriminating in any way.”
Paradoxically, by de-banking Reverend Fothergill, YBS seems to have “discriminated in any way” against the vicar for his religious beliefs. Remember, ZERO tolerance. There’s only one way out of this paradox.
YBS should de-bank itself! It should refuse to do any business with itself any more.
🔥 DC Enquirer “New York City Installs Vending Machines That Dispense Crack Pipes, Narcan As City’s Drug Crisis Worsens.”
The story is that, in order to combat rising public drug use in the City, officials in New York City installed this week brand new, state-of-the-art vending machines offering such spectacular wares as crack pipes, lip balm, and the anti-overdose drug Narcan — all for the convenience of New York City drug addicts who can’t be bothered to go down to one of the City’s many social services offices.
I mean, who can blame them? A trip to the social services office can take hours out of a drug addict’s busy day of panhandling, tripping, and shoplifting.
According to the story, business at the vending machines has been brisk, with officials having to refill inventory daily.
Plans are underway to expand the machines, such as by adding syringes and additional ways to pay — including IOU’s.
IOU’s from homeless drug addicts.
I don’t know how these brilliant City officials keep coming up with all these terrific ideas.
Next up: vending machines offering crowbars, hatchets, bricks, and fireworks for the convenience of looters and carjackers. This is your modern democrat party.
💉 Former NFL star Cedric Killings, 45, died on June 21st from pancreatic cancer. Cedric famously survived a broken neck in 2007, but his turbo cancer bested him.
Killings leaves behind a wife and three children. I couldn’t find anything more about his cancer, his treatment, and so on. Medical privacy, you know.
💉 On Wednesday, Mike Ness, 61, beloved frontman for Los Angeles punk rock band Social Distortion, announced on Instagram he has stage one tonsil cancer, which for obvious reasons makes it hard to sing.
Social Distortion is canceling its planned summer tour and postponing its upcoming album release.
On his social media, Ness told fans “The recovery from surgery is a day-by-day process and in three weeks we start radiation and that should be the last therapy I need. The team of doctors are certain that once finished with this course, I will be able to start the healing and recovery process. We expect a full recovery enabling me to live a long and productive life.”
We pray for a good report from Ness’ doctors and a complete recovery so the senior citizen can resume belting out his punk rock creations.
💉 Irish A-list actor Ray Stevenson, 58, died suddenly and unexpectedly at the end of May on a movie set. Ray is well known, having starred in top-billed productions like Thor, Rome, King Arthur, the Three Musketeers, Dexter, the Punisher, Vikings, Star Wars, and many other recent top Hollywood offerings.
On May 20th, Ray was in Italy filming a new Paramount Pictures comedy called ‘Cassino In Ischia,’ when he “suffered a sudden illness” and was rushed to the hospital. Ray died the next day.
And that’s all we get. Isn’t it odd there’s not more news about a top-rated, well-known actor’s sudden and unexpected on-set death? Medical privacy, please.
Ray is survived by his wife, Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, and their three sons.
🔥 The media is obviously running short of any new weird disease outbreak news this week. On Thursday, the UK Independent helped readers identify one more damned thing to worry about, in a story headlined “Supervolcano Which Contributed To Wiping Out The Neanderthals Has ‘Realistic Possibility’ Of Erupting.”
An apocalyptic super volcano!
Supervolcano Campi Flegrei, scenically located in beautiful southern Italy, last blew its stack 500 years ago. But it’s been “restless” for going on eighty years now, exciting locals with thousands of minor earthquakes during those eight decades. Last week, an Italian research agency issued a report opining that Campi Flegrei’s crust was weakening and the long-dormant volcano was “moving closer to rupture.”
Supervolcano news periodically excites the media and fuels doombloggers, since if any of the Earth’s many such geologic features, including our own Yellowstone supervolcano, ever does become active and then erupt, atmospheric debris could quickly precipitate a new ice age, fully and finally resolving Greta Thunberg’s worst paranoid fantasies. In other words, it would be even worse than a million simultaneous BillGates™-approved weather-modifying contrails (called WeatherME, or Weather-Millennial Edition).
But unfortunately for the doombloggers, the bottom line is they have no actual evidence the volcano is near erupting. Nobody’s been evacuated or anything. It might never erupt.
But interestingly, supervolcanoes are part of that class of natural phenomena that centrally-planning Utopians usually avoid thinking about, along with world-ending catastrophic solar flares and dinosaur-killing asteroids. Those don’t fit neatly into fifteen-minute cities.
🔥 Finally, the Hunter Biden prosecution is showing some signs of life. Special prosecutor David Weiss, who’d been written off by most conservatives as a lost cause, send a letter to Congress yesterday responding to a request for information.
The letter didn’t get off to a great start. Weiss refused to provide Congress with the requested documents. But then, unlike the usual bureaucratic word salad, the short one-and-a-half page letter stated at least three firms facts:
1) Criminal investigations of Hunter Biden continue, notwithstanding the recent plea deal over his tax fraud.
2) Weiss clearly stated that he has full, independent authority to bring any charges that he determines appropriate, resolving a controversy over whether he’d been shackled.
3) Weiss promised he would brief Congress in more detail soon.
I’ve been doing this long enough that I’m not holding my breath or kicking any placed footballs. But it is a tiny glint of promise. Maybe the Biden family’s fat lady hasn’t sung yet after all.
Have a wonderful weekend! C&C will back back Monday morning with a full service roundup to kick off the patriotic new week.
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