☕️ GRIM VERMIN ☙ Tuesday, December 5, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Good news about free speech; great news about mask science; bad news for Ukraine (good for us); and the most terrifying pandemic we've ever faced, which media has been hiding from you.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Tuesday! Today we have some good news for free speech, a great new mask study that should finally smother the issue for good; some bad news for Ukraine, and some very terrifying news for all the rest of us as an extremely dangerous new pandemic explodes around the globe. Hint: It’s not a virus.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 He’s not out of the woods yet, but things were looking up a little yesterday for convicted “meme criminal” Douglass Mackey. The Post Millennial covered the story in an article headlined, “BREAKING: Federal appellate court sides with Douglass Mackey in meme case, drops prison sentence until after appeal.” (As of this morning, Corporate Media was silent as the grave, which means it was good news for the rest of us.)
In October, a federal judge sentenced Mackey to seven months in federal prison for a speech crime: in 2016, as a joke he tweeted a fake meme suggesting that Hillary supporters should vote by text. Judge Ann Donnelly didn’t get the joke. Instead she found it was an attempt to “impair the votes of black and latino Hillary supporters,” who apparently aren’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference between a joke meme and official voting instructions. And according to the judge, black and latino people are gullible, so they believe you can vote for president by text message.
In fairness, the meme was intended to look ‘official’:
Further complicating Douglass’s case were some text messages from a 4Chan message board where he’d workshopped his meme. Several still-unidentified users on that board encouraged Mackey and explicitly expressed hopes that “illegal Hillary voters” would fall for it and waste their votes.
(When these facts emerged this year, some observers wondered whether the users who encouraged Mackey to mislead voters might have been the same FBI agents who also coordinated the Gretchen Whitmer fednapping plot. But who knows.)
Back to Mackey’s sentencing. Sticking the old judicial knife in right up to the hilt, Judge Donnelly devilishly denied Mackey’s request to stay his sentence pending appeal, intentionally defeating the entire point of an appeal. In other words, by the time his appeal was decided, he’d have already served his seven-month sentence. So, take that.
Accordingly, Mackey’s lawyers rushed to appeal Judge Donnelly’s denial of the stay of his prison sentence, so that Mackey could have enough time to appeal his conviction.
Unfortunately for Mackey’s lawyers, an appeal of a stay is almost as much work as an appeal of the conviction itself. To grant a stay, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals must review enough of the case to conclude that Mackey has a “substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits.” This is a high standard. The appellate judges must be convinced not only that Mackey’s appeal is likely to prevail, but also that it’s substantially likely to prevail.
But after reviewing the briefs from Mackey and the government, the Second Circuit granted Mackey’s stay. This was correct, in my view. The order did not comment on the merits apart from simply granting the stay and, in a compromise for the government’s position, “expedited” the appeal by shortening up the briefing deadlines.
As a litigator with decent appellate experience, I can assure you an expedited appeal is both a blessing and a curse. Under the expedited schedule, Mackey’s initial brief is now due on January 5th, meaning Mackey’s lawyers just canceled all their holiday travel plans.
Still, it could be worse. I once had a trial scheduled with jury selection set to start at 9am on January 2nd. Ugh.
🔬 An important and long-overdue study published in the prestigious British Medical Journal on December 2nd titled, “Child mask mandates for COVID-19: a systematic review.” The six authors, including the indefatigable Tracey Beth Høeg, who has been in the fight right from the start, carefully reviewed a whopping 597 available studies on the efficacy of face masks for kids.
The authors found a lot of problems with the studies. A large minority of studies appeared to have obvious bias, and clearly violated scientific norms while trying to force a desired result. None of the 597 studies were randomly-controlled trials, which in fairness might be hard to arrange. Finally, the researchers discovered that government masking recommendations were entirely based on “mechanistic and observational data” — not solid scientific evidence — and no systematic review of the evidence has ever been published.
The authors boiled down the 597 studies into the top 22 best-quality ones. Among those 22 studies, sixteen found no correlation between mask wearing and lower infection rates. In other words: masking kids doesn’t work. The remaining six studies showed a “critical risk of bias.” Worse, two of the biased studies only found a mask benefit by making simple math errors. The cited benefits disappeared after the studies’ own data was re-analyzed.
Thanks, “experts.” (Ex-spurts.)
So, back when all those “expert” doctors and scientists were gravely informing school boards they should “follow the science” and mask the kids, those so-called experts were talking out of their aft blowholes. In other words, the experts lied. They weren’t thinking. They were just mouthpieces for government agencies that weren’t following the science. And a lot of kids were hurt. Maybe millions.
It only took three years to straighten out the mess the experts made, but we finally got here.
🚀 Well, this seems like a bad sign. Politico ran a gloomy story yesterday headlined, “NATO should be ready for ‘bad news’ from Ukraine, Stoltenberg warns.” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who is probably still mad about getting a girl’s name, tried to put a good spin on his dark warning. The sub-headline explained, “‘We have to support Ukraine in both good and bad times,’ NATO chief says in ARD interview.”
But … Do we though? Especially, and this is the sticky bit, and it was fun while it lasted, of course, but do we really ‘have to support Ukraine’ in the bad times? Why? Why do we have to support Ukraine in the bad times?
It’s not like we got married or anything.
Whether or not bad times are coming, bad news for Ukraine has already arrived. Politico’s article unenthusiastically noted that, over the weekend, Russia increased the size of its army — again — this time by 170,000 more soldiers, bringing its estimated total military to over 2.3 million service members. Meanwhile, visible on a clear day from Siberia, Ukraine’s rich uncle Daddy Warbucks is not expanding his army. Uncle Sam faces critical recruiting problems, has a porous border arguably even worse than Ukraine’s, and by all accounts has snapped its wallet closed and jammed it back down the old trouser pocket.
In other words, it’s all bad news. Quibble if you like, but the weekend’s headlines can hardly be called good news. Also from Politico:
From the UK Express:
From the Washington Post:
And, behold this exquisitely-painful sentence that WaPo editors must have anguished over leaving in its article (or maybe dutifully added per instructions by their government handlers, either way):
Haha! Reached a stalemate! How many billions did it cost to achieve this “stalemate”? And, how times have changed. Back in the day, if I’d written a sentence like that, I would have been kidnapped from the law firm’s parking lot and woken up with a headache and a face tattoo branding me a “Putin-lover!” Maybe Ukraine needs to get itself some new “senior military officials” who don’t love Putin.
And, not to be outdone in the journalistic pessimism department, Axios tripled-down:
Triple stalemate! It’s three times worse than a regular stalemate. Encouragingly (for us), the Axios article whined that House Republicans are forcing President Robert L. Peters to fix our border problem before the deep state can get any more cash for its Eastern European crack house:
Like Axios, NBC also raised the delicate money issue:
And then, perhaps worst of all, there was this very-not-good headline that ran yesterday in the UK Express, although it seems to be under some kind of denial-of-service attack this morning. Fortunately the Internet Archive still has it online :
Tick, tock, Zelensky. Finally, check out this fascinating headline from India’s WION News from last week, which itself was sourced from Germany’s news magazine BILD, which is usually reliable, sort of like a German version of Rolling Stone:
I found this paragraph especially helpful for its potential explanatory power:
In other words, the slowly-increasing bad news is the way they’re ratcheting up the pressure on Zelensky to end the war. Which could only be by letting Russia keep twenty percent of Ukraine, which would be like giving Russia ten U.S. states, and thereby ingloriously becoming a “rump state.” If that happens, Ukrainians will curse Zelensky’s name until the End of Time, since two years ago Russia would have accepted Ukraine’s bare promise it would stay out of NATO — but instead Zelensky decided to play International Craps using Boris Johnson’s dice.
And now where’s Boris? Now that it’s time to settle up the Proxy War’s casino bill?
As a post-script to the Ukraine story, Google News ominously provides very little evidence that any celebrities or politicians are flocking to Ukraine for photo ops, like they used to do back in the Proxy War’s salad days. Now, the only people visiting are diplomats and military personnel. Try it yourself, search Google News for “Ukraine visit.”
Sorry, Zelensky. You had a good run.
🐀 I discovered this next eye-popping story while researching my Ukraine bad-news roundup, and scampered down a separate rathole. Euro News ran the first of several similar stories on December 1st, headlined “Rats the size of AK-47s and grimy mud: Winter comes to Ukraine war.” Euro News wasn’t kidding, exaggerating, or analogizing about those rats, either. Check this out:
That led me to on a wild rat chase which then evolved into a Biblical Apocalypse story, a sign of the End Times, surely, all procured by — in my view — our not-so-brilliant lockdown experts. Let’s begin.
It wasn’t just the usual clickbait corporate media stories. I checked. Note this article just published in Popular Mechanics, also on December 1st:
No kidding. And they’re as big as AK-47s. And, they’re just one more damned thing the Ukrainians are having to deal with right now. But since Popular Mechanics says they were supposed to be extinct, we can conclude nobody’s ever seen rats like this before. Not alive, anyways.
Giant rats? Back from extinction? I quickly concluded that, in yet another stunning example of predictive programming, reality must be morphing into that old Saturday classic TV show, Creature Feature:
Or maybe it’s more like Princess Bride? Either way.
So I kept digging, and there’s no denying it now. We’re facing the next global pandemic: a pandemic of rats. And things are getting downright dangerous. Even extremely dangerous. Headline from the UK Mirror, November 25th, about Glasgow, Scotland:
Grim vermin! Verminous pests making workers go crazy! I hardly know what to say about that kind of giant, non-extinct problem. It’s pretty hairy. And it’s all over the world. I could go on and on. Here’s another example, an alarming November 20th headline from Daily News Hungary, about that country’s record-breaking rat rampage:
Coffee & Covid has previously reported about New York City’s rat plague, with entrepreneurial New Yorkers lately selling “Rat Tours” to gullible, out-of-town tourists. But now the rats have even infested Hizzoner’s townhouse (even if it wasn’t his fault), which must be some kind of metaphor or sign or something. Published November 10th, in the New York Daily News:
Add that to the growing list of first world problems: figuring out whose townhouse caused the rat infestation. Then, just when I thought I’d reached my limit of rat stories for one post, maybe even for one lifetime, I stumbled across this even more terrifying headline from Korea’s Joongang Daily, published this November 9th:
Hang on. Just. Wait. A. Minute. Extinct giant rats and now bedbugs!!! Bedbugs that ride subways!? Are you kidding me right now??
So of course, as a diligent journalist leaving no nest undisturbed, I started searching for ‘bedbug outbreak’ stories — and the whole horrifying rat experience started up all over again. I won’t trouble you with all the bedbug stories. Just take my word for it. Apparently, in 2023, this too is a growing global problem.
The good news is the bedbugs aren’t the size of AK-47s.
Global “pestilences” like 100%-not-extinct giant rats the size of AK-47s and terrifying bedbug plagues are the kind of Apocalyptic horrors some Christians are always looking for to signal the End of the World. Who knows, it might be true. But I have a simpler hypothesis: these awful pests prospered during lockdowns, while cities and hotels were shuttered along with regular pest control services. Exterminators were too scared of the teeny-tiny virus bugs to go inside or outside looking for regular bugs and pests. It’s not rocket science.
And now giant rats have come back from extinction and are filling up tanks. I know this sounds crazy, but I think they are learning to drive.
So now you can add ‘plagues of giant rats’ and ‘bedbug breakouts’ to the never-ending list of things we will sooner or later have to get around to billing the experts for causing. Thanks, experts.
Have a terrific Tuesday! And come back tomorrow morning for another delicious, seasonally-spiced serving of Coffee & Covid.
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