☕️ FLYING ☙ Tuesday, February 6, 2024 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Diligent Indian investigators free prisoner accused of Chinese spying; Toby Keith SADS; King Charles SADS; Princess of Wales SADS; Joe Rogan throws the vaxx Overton Window down the stairs; and more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Tuesday! Our extra-snarky roundup today includes: innocent aerialist cleared of espionage charges in India after monthslong investigation, provoking acclaim from rights groups; top country singer succumbs to SADS cancer; top royal family member and King of England sudden and unexpected cancer diagnosis; Princess of Wales’ mystery surgery and even more mysterious recovery, or non-recovery, or what is it exactly?; and Rogan shoves the Overton Window farther over in sudden deaths diatribe.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 The first story in today’s roundup is literally for the birds. It is also a story of redemption that will warm the hearts of animal lovers everywhere. Plus, in what has to be the most unlikely headline since I started blogging, but a headline that perfectly illustrates our zany and surreal state of existence in 2024, get a load of this headline from Business Insider’s ‘Law’ section yesterday:
I know I keep promising I am not making this stuff up, but this is not a joke headline, I swear. Or at least they played it totally straight. Here’s BI’s candid photo of the feathery suspect, at the time of his, er, her, er, it’s arrest:
The trouble started, apparently, when Indian authorities were notified by alert citizens of the presence of one pigeon, pictured above, wearing an ankle bracelet marked with Chinese characters. They don’t mess around with this kind of thing in India. Naturally, seeing the bracelet, officials immediately suspected dirty work at the crossroads. It was their first thought.
After all, pigeons don’t normally wear marked leg bracelets unless they are involved in some kind of nefarious activities.
The poor pigeon’s goose was cooked when, after a mandatory medical inspection at the hospital, diligent Indian authorities discovered even more Chinese writing, or at least what looked like Chinese writing, this time right on the bird’s feathery wing! See for yourself:
After that sketchy discovery, anybody would assume the jailed bird was spying for the Chinese.
Based on this irrefutable mountain of evidence, the Indian government detained the suspicious avian during an eight-month investigation. PETA negotiators got involved and extensive negotiations ensued attempting to engineer release of the shady fowl, presumably in exchange for a pair of Indian crested hoopoes detained by suspicious Chinese spycatchers.
But fortunately, there was a happy ending. It turned out to be just a stool pigeon. Before PETA negotiations got off the ground, the eight-month investigation finally figured out that the pigeon had been marked because of its being in a Taiwanese pigeon-racing club, thus clearing the pigeon’s name before it could join the devilish and hated historical ranks of animal spies like seductive Saudia Arabian Koko the Rhesus Monkey, who almost single-handedly brought down the Qatari royal family, not to mention the infamous Nigerian spy, Betty the Bantam Hen, who waddled her way right to the top of China’s Presidential chicken coop, and whose eggs were served to President Xi for breakfast for over three years.
According to Business Insider, this was not the first dodgy fowl detained by suspicious Indian authorities. They would have figured out the Taiwanese pigeon’s relationship with its racing club faster, but Indian investigators blamed the language barrier.
The falsely-accused pigeon, now a free bird, could not be reached for comment. It is unknown whether the beleaguered birdy plans lawsuits for racism, or birdism, whichever, since pigeons are widely discriminated against in the bird kingdom. You might even say they are unfairly pigeon-holed with deplorable racist labels like being called ‘rats with wings.’
Don’t be a birdist.
🔥 And then … yesterday another celebrity A-lister died, far too soon. Country music legend, patriotic supporter of U.S. troops, and Trump fan Toby Keith, 62, died yesterday of a stomach cancer originally diagnosed in late 2021. During his life, the hit artist charted 61 singles on Billboard Hot Country, including 32 top songs, and sold over 40 million albums, or digital albums, or however they count them nowadays.
As far as I can tell, despite his cancer battle, Toby’s death was sudden and unexpected. There had been no news recently he was hospitalized, and he did not, apparently, go into hospice. It looks like he died at home. More tellingly, as recently as December Toby’s condition was improving. The hit singer told reporters he thought he had turned the corner and was ready to resume public performances:
But, a little over a month later, he’s gone. He turned a corner, all right, just down a bad street.
Stomach cancer normally has a solid five-year survival rate of 74%. I couldn’t find anything reliable about Toby’s vaccine status, but the singer faced multiple layers of mandates for traveling, entering concert venues, “protecting fans,” industry requirements, and who knows what kind of personal pressure from his doctors, managers, and so forth.
Toby got the best medical care available in the United States but sadly, Toby’s doctors were unable to save him from the aggressive stomach cancer.
"And I don't want to die for you, but if dying is asked of me, I'll bear that cross of honor cause freedom don't come free."
— Toby Keith, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)"
Vaya con Diós, Toby. We’ll ride Heaven’s ranges with you soon.
🔥 It wasn’t just Toby. There’s a lot of celebrity cancer in the news these days. Last month I reported on a “Royal Cluster” of odd health cases amongst British Royalty. Particularly, King Charles III suddenly and unexpectedly headed to the hospital for a “routine prostate treatment” on a benignly-enlarged prostate. But I thought it seemed suspicious since they cancelled some of his public appearances; if it truly was just long-planned, routine elective surgery, then why weren’t his other appearances already scheduled around the procedure?
Yesterday this sadly-unsurprising and definitely not shocking headline appeared in the UK Mirror:
British media roundly celebrated King Charles’s brave decision to publicly disclose his diagnosis. But I guess he’s not that brave, since all they’re saying is he has a form of cancer. Which is a weird way of saying it, and doesn’t really tell us much at all. Is it prostate cancer? A dark-colored mole? Something else? How serious is it?
Apparently it’s serious enough that he’s starting treatment immediately. But they said his prostate surgery went well, so that’s something. But the Royal Family is off to a very bad year.
It’s a Royal Massacre. The news of Charles’ mysterious form of cancer piled on top of Kate, Princess of Wales, being on bed rest recovering from mystery abdominal surgery, and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, having been diagnosed last week with skin cancer.
As if that deplorable list weren’t enough, a Royal controversy erupted last week when Concha Calleja, an experienced Spanish television journalist and royals expert, explosively claimed in a Telegraph article that, according to leakers from the Royal Household, Princess Kate was in an induced coma following complications from her mysterious abdominal surgery.
A furious Royal Palace hotly denied the medical rumors, dismissed them as “total nonsense,” blasted reporter Calleja as a hack and a grifter, and claimed the Princess is doing terrific and is just fine and is home resting and “working from bed.” But nobody has seen her. Prince William and a nanny have assumed all public-facing family duties with the kids, resulting in rescheduling all of William’s calendar for what the Palace continues to call a ‘planned procedure.’
Meanwhile, reporter Calleja is sticking by her story, claiming Kate is not fine but is currently intubated and doctors have moved themselves into the Royal residence where “practically an entire hospital is being set up.” If true, it sounds like it could be post-operative sepsis. And there are other weird facts making the mysterious story ever murkier, such as the fact that the Royal children mysteriously never once visited their mother in hospital during her two-week stay:
The Royals are framing these stories as a courageous amount of full disclosure and transparency, but they really aren’t disclosing much at all and the contradictory elements make it more opaque than anything else.
Obviously, we pray for the good health of all these folks and for peace and comfort to their families during this difficult time. One wonders though whether they were all vaccinated at the same time from the same batch. I’m just asking; don’t cancel me.
💉 Popular podcaster Joe Rogan has 15 million subscribers, 3 billion total views, and gets around 190 million downloads per month. It’s fair to say he has “reach.” In this recent clip from his show, Rogan blasts the vaccines over the pandemic of sudden death. “It’s crazy how many people just died suddenly after taking it,” he began.
Rogan, angry, did not mince words. He did not couch his diatribe in careful euphemisms. He did not hold back at all:
I’m sad (about) how many people were promoters of the vaccine then died suddenly. It’s craaaazy how many young people just died in their sleep after they took it. And everybody’s like, “nothing to see here!”
Just died suddenly. You ever go to the Died Suddenly Instagram page? Like, holy s—. There’s so many! So many people are talking about anti-Darwin, anti-vaxxers — and then you’re dead. Sorry! You bought into the wrong bulls—. If you really want to get cruel, THAT’S Darwinism.
Do you not know they lie? By now!? Are you not aware of the opioid crisis? Are you not aware of Vioxx? Are you not aware of the, like, 25% of FDA approved drugs that get pulled? It’s 1 out of 4!
And they’re like, ‘what are you, an anti-vaxxer?’ ‘Are you a conspiracy theorist?’ ‘You fool, Darwin’s going to do it’s work with you…’
You’re modifying your genes you f—ing idiot! Like, what are you doing? What are you doing? You gonna just trust Pfizer? ‘Well, they do support Anderson Cooper.’ “Brought to you by Pfizer.” And you’re like, oh, this must be legit?
If nothing else, Rogan’s rant — raising no calls to cancel his show— showed how far the Overton Window and the culture have shifted. On a personal level, just in the last two weeks I have had several (at least three) painful and difficult conversations with people who now deeply regret taking the shots, and are now plagued with worry over every tiny disruption in their health status, wondering if this is it.
I bet you too can feel the culture shifting. Let me know in the comments what you think. And if, as they always say, politics truly is downstream from culture, then a great reckoning must surely be on the way.
Have a terrific Tuesday! Fly back here tomorrow morning — leave the Chinese bracelets behind, just in case — for another hot and delicious Coffee & Covid roundup. See you then.
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