☕️ RATS ☙ Friday, December 1, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Sparks fly at DeSantis-Newsom debate; pediatric mystery disease roundup and theories; the latest continent prepares for war; space weather news; furry pests are the latest plague in Australia; more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Friday! In today’s action-packed roundup: DeSantis handily wins his non-presidential debate with Gavin Newsom, who is definitely not running for president, especially after that performance; mystery disease outbreak roundup as the media mysteriously downplays the epidemic and scientists are unaccountably baffled; new regional conflict brewing South American oil fields; space weather news as three major solar flares hit Earth over the next few days; pestilence strikes Australia, but not covid this time, this time with fur and sharp little teeth.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 Last night saw the long-advertised debate between Republican presidential candidate and standout Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and some guy named Gavin (if that’s his real name) Newsom. Governor DeSantis came out strong and wasn’t taking any bull-S. Literally. At one point, he even confronted Newsom with a stinky poop map of San Fransisco:
Like a magician unveiling the missing Ace of Spades, Governor DeSantis whipped out a map from a website that reports sightings of human feces in San Francisco. Gross! But oddly, like a homeless drug addict who just found a half-full two-liter bottle of cherry Ripple, Newsom uncontrollably chortled in weird, inappropriate ways while DeSantis was pointing out “features” on the disgusting sewage map. Worse, even when he wasn’t chuckling maniacally, the California Governor was grinning wider and more unnervingly than an over-caffeinated chimpanzee indulging in alternating bouts of wild self-gratification and feces flinging.
The result was politically devastating for Governor Newsom, who is either blithely unaware or perhaps unexpectedly overjoyed that his political future was incinerated faster than a Los Angeles courthouse after a mostly-peaceful BLM protest. (Or BM protest, you decide.)
In this next clip, behold DeSantis flaying Gavin alive — using a dull flaying knife — over basic dinner-table economic issues. It was Newsom’s own fault; he set DeSantis up perfectly by advancing the buffoonish claim that California offers an inviting, lower tax environment for “working families and the working poor.” DeSantis melted him faster than a plastic toy soldier dissolving in the microwave:
Outback founder and conservative radio host Clay Travis (who leans DeSantis in the primary), originally thought DeSantis should never have taken the debate, but afterwards called it “a massacre.”
Claiming the 2023 “Understatement of the Year” award, National Review’s headline bluntly concluded that Gavin Newsom “Is Not Ready for Prime Time”:
Maybe most telling of all, when I surveyed corporate media headlines this morning, they all declared the debate to be an uninteresting and politically insignificant “tie,” allowing that, if perhaps DeSantis did win by a nose, it was only because conservative host Sean Hannity tipped the scales. For example, Politico ran its story headlined, “It was Hannity and DeSantis v. Newsom in messy Fox debate.”
Newsom must be regretting asking for this debate. His performance was so frightful it even begs the theory that he purposely took a dive to hurt President Trump. It’s a tempting notion but fails under analysis: Newsom is not a disposable foil. He has ambitions. He’s secretly running for the super-delegates’ presidential vote at the democrat convention. But this underwhelming half-effort may just have scotched the California governor’s nascent crypto-nomination.
Or whatever you want to call it.
It’s still early, but one wonders whether Newsom might have completely ended his political career last night. It seems almost certain to end his presidential ambition, at least. Leftists expected their Golden Boy and recall survivor Newsom to wipe the floor with Ron DeSantis. But — to liberals — if he can’t “even” beat DeSantis, how could he possibly survive against Trump?
🔥 Let’s talk mystery diseases! The “Chinese mystery pneumonia,” which is not a mystery, is “overwhelming” Chinese hospitals (meaning not overwhelming them), and “spreading” to other countries. The UK Express ran a story yesterday headlined, “Full list of countries affected by Chinese respiratory illness.”
But, as we’ll see, it is NOT a “Chinese respiratory illness.” The headline was explicitly belied by the article.
The article claimed that Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden and Singapore are all reporting spikes in childhood respiratory infections, with Denmark reaching “epidemic” rates. But here’s the important part, which helps explain the “mysterious” coverage of this mysterious outbreak. The outbreak is not of any novel virus like covid. It’s an outbreak of familiar childhood infections:
A spokesperson from the National Health Commission explained on Sunday that the respiratory infections result from a combination of familiar viruses such as influenza, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, and bacteria like mycoplasma pneumonia.
U.S. media is now cautiously reporting the same thing here in the states. The Messenger ran a story yesterday headlined, “Mysterious Pneumonia Outbreak Emerges in US — Days After Similar Illness Reported in China.” Mostly so far it’s only one county in Ohio. Check out the uncharacteristically reassuring sub-headline, “Officials in Warren county said that they do not believe there are new pathogens spreading.”
Media loves a good mystery disease story. The mystery is why they are down-playing this one.
Hmm. Since you can’t go wrong these days assuming that the Public Health Establishment (PHE) and the media are lying and trying to cover up some dreadful failure, let’s follow that line and see if we can figure out what might really be going on. This article provided two hints. Just like in China, and now in Europe, kids in Warren county, Ohio appear to be suffering from outbreaks of multiple known pathogens.
Unlike with covid, now the “mystery” isn’t with the bugs. They know which bugs are infecting kids. There’s nothing new about them. The mystery is, why are these particular bugs — which are commonplace and otherwise completely uninteresting, and against which kids should already be immune — why are they flaring up now?
No new pathogens have been detected in any of these outbreaks, so far quelling fears that these surges of cases are the early signs of a new pandemic. At least three known pathogens have been detected in the outbreak, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and the adenovirus. However, these bugs regularly circulate in the U.S., making it unclear why a sudden surge is appearing now.
The PHE’s ‘tell’ is when they claim to be baffled. What we learned from covid is that PHE acts most confident when it knows the least about what’s going on. When they admit to being baffled, it means the opposite: they know exactly what’s going on, but don’t want to admit it. Probably because it was their fault.
The Messenger article included another hint, the evolving explanatory narrative — possibly a limited hangout — that lockdowns are to blame:
Chinese officials … blame the country’s strict COVID prevention policies for the large uptick in cases, saying their population is now vulnerable to regular bugs after limited exposure in recent years.
In other words: immune suppression. Whatever the cause, immune suppression is not good for the PHE (or kids). If kids’ immune systems are suppressed because they didn’t get normal community exposure because of lockdowns and school closures, then the CDC’s nightmarish incompetence has heaved into sight once again. But there’s another possibility, the one keeping PHE up at night and making them invoke the “baffled” defense: what if it’s the jabs?
Jabbed kids could be immune suppressed by several possible mRNA mechanisms, including theories like autoimmunity, IgG4 class switching, molecular mimicry, immune imprinting, and so forth. Or, immune-suppressed adults could be breeding more virulent versions of common diseases, that are then being passed to kids, who are like sick canaries in the coal mine.
The most commonly cited culprit in the outbreak articles was Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a type of parasitic bacteria. Another hint! According to most of the recent articles, doctors are treating all these infections with antibiotics like azithromycin. But it only took me about five seconds to find this 2013 study:
Ivermectin is the synthetic form of naturally-occurring “avermectin.” So. Granted, the above study tested ivermectin against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and did not speculate whether the drug is effective against the entire family of Mycobacteria. But I did find another study showing ivermectin effective against Mycobacterium ulcerans. And I found one concluding ivermectin combined with doxycycline was effective against both Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Streptococcus pneumoniae, in a 2022 study titled, “Combined therapy with ivermectin and doxycycline can effectively alleviate the cytokine storm of COVID-19 infection.”
It might be worth a look. I’m just saying.
🚀 Reuters ran a story yesterday headlined, “Brazil increases northern border military presence amid Venezuela-Guyana spat -ministry.”
A “spat” is one way to put it. Possibly thinking the world was getting too peaceful and too settled down, Venezuela’s communist government has suddenly and unexpectedly claimed to own two-thirds of the neighboring country of Guyana. The parts with the oil fields.
Apparently there was some kind of border dispute between the two countries two hundred years ago. So the Venezuelans are, apparently, saying enough is enough. Or some spicy Spanish words to that effect.
In other words, it looks like Guyana is about to have a big fat border problem. And since the U.S. is the world’s police force, whether you called for police or not, our military could soon face yet another continent of war.
What allegedly brought the dispute to a head is Guyana’s discovery of significant oil reserves off its coast in recent days. Two days from now, Venezuelans will vote on a referendum about "the rights" to the disputed lands. Guyana filed an emergency request with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to block the referendum. It rules sometime today.
But Venezuela said the referendum will go forward no matter what the ICJ does.
For a lot of complicated and historical reasons, the Venezuela-Guyana conflict is likely to quickly spark into a regional flame, which is why Reuters reported that Brazil is sending troops to its northern border — in support of Venezuela. But there may be a simpler root cause. The analysts at Forward Observer speculated yesterday that the Russians are really behind the conflict, pushing the Venezuelans to create a third regional world conflict for the U.S. to police.
After all, applying Ukraine logic, we have no choice but to protect the peaceful, democracy-loving people of Guyana from the lunatic communist dictator in Caracas, as a message to other wannabe dictators not to invade other countries. I mean, we can either fight the communists over there or eventually fight them over here. Am I doing this right?
It’s stacking up. The United States is currently “maintaining peace” in both Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and adding a South American conflict would really test our military’s ability to handle three simultaneous theaters of war. And that’s not even counting the murky military situation surrounding Taiwan.
The Russians would benefit because the pressure of a regional South American conflict, piled on the Middle East, would make the failing Ukraine Proxy War that much less inviting for U.S. adventurism.
Biden’s bench is getting spread pretty thin. Soon, Secretary of State Antony Blinken won’t know what time zone he is supposed to be waking up in. Unless a miracle happens, this particular conflict will be especially thorny for Joe Biden, because he has been courting Venezuela’s dictatorial government as his backup plan to keep gas prices low during this election year. He can’t ignore it.
☄️ Space.com ran a story yesterday with the scary headline, “Powerful 'Cannibal' solar burst will hit Earth tonight. Widespread auroras predicted.”
Cannibals? The short version is the Sun has had a delicate tummy this week, and three major coronal mass ejections (solar flares) are streaming towards Earth. Strong geomagnetic storms are expected today and the next few days, potentially causing cell phone and internet disruptions, as well as auroras in places that never usually get them.
It’s just the latest strange development for 2023. The Sun isn’t even at its solar maximum yet, which is expected next year. In an election year. A very controversial, contested election year. Perfect timing!
🐭 Finally, no, those aren’t John Kerry’s beady little eyes. It’s a very similar type of pest though. Rats! The Washington Post ran the story yesterday headlined, “Long-haired rats invade Australian coastal towns: ‘Quite destructive.’”
According to the story, hordes of big, hairy rats are swarming north through the southernmost continent and towards its coasts, with government officials darkly warning of a pestilential “Rat Plague.” According to excited reports, Rattus villosissimus are overrunning the country’s coastal towns, chewing through electrical wires, devouring food reserves, attacking pets and, in at least one case, destroying a car.
That’s right. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, it’s car-wrecking rodent time.
The not-so-little furry critters are also, apparently, famished. “They’re causing havoc with everything,” one Karumba resident told 4BC radio. “They’re eating anything and everything they can get their hands on.”
I assume she meant, anything they can get their paws on. Hopefully the rats haven’t grown hands. That would just be too much.
Explosions in the long-haired rat population apparently happen every three to 17 years, when it’s particularly wet. The last one was in 2011, following two years of above-average rainfall. This one might be the record, though. It’s almost like there’s extra moisture in the air or something (cough, Hunga Tonga).
These ravenous rats are diggers, they can tunnel long distances underground, and are terrific swimmers. And “they’re quite destructive when they get into such large numbers,” rat researcher Emma Gray explained. Derek Lord, who owns a seaside car-rental business and recently lost a vehicle when rats stripped the wires out of the engine compartment, complained, “There’s rats everywhere. They’re just like, bold as hell.”
These Australian giant rat invasions usually end by themselves, sooner or later, for reasons that scientists don’t fully understand. But there’s no telling how long it will take. “We’re not getting any relief anytime soon,” University of Sydney environmental sciences professor Peter Banks explained with a shrug, adding “We may just have to wait it out.”
I know just how he feels! It’s exactly like waiting out the Biden Residency. Feel free to flesh out that analogy in the comments.
Have a fabulous Friday! And come on back tomorrow morning for a terrific and uplifting Weekend Edition.
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