Discover more from ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2023 🦠
☕️ THE HEISENBERG EFFECT ☙ Friday, November 17, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Successful C&C calling op; Oregonians re-thinking legalization; Iceland volcano might be exploding maybe; NYC faces huge budget cuts; WSJ hops on Ukraine pig-pile; DOJ reacts to vaccine claims; more.
Good morning, C&C, we made it, it’s Friday! Your roundup includes: thanks to callers for rattling the lines of the tabling legislators this week; broad-minded Portlanders have blurry second thoughts about legalized drugs; Iceland might be having a giant volcano eruption, or maybe not; New York City facing massive budget cuts because of migrants; DePape verdict; Wall Street Journal joins the Ukraine pile-on; the DOJ reacts to pending vaccine lawsuits and I describe the power of the Heisenberg Effect.
🗞 THE C&C ARMY POST 🗞
🪖 OPERATION CALL-5: Let’s all recognize and thank our diligent C&C Army members who called legislators this week, rattling the bars over lawmaker’s errant votes to table DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ impeachment. Thank you for your efforts! I’ve also enjoyed very much the battlefield reports; especially entertaining were C&Cers’ descriptions of catching the surprised representatives themselves.
By all accounts it was a successful action, and apropos for today’s post. It was a perfect example of what I call the Heisenberg Effect, described below.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 NEWS FROM THE COUNTER-REVOLUTION. Oregon Public Broadcasting ran a heartening story last week headlined, “Oregon cities join police, prosecutors in push to recriminalize drug possession.” Imagine that.
You’re probably already thinking that the headline merely shows a crumb of common sense, more useless than the finely shredded fibers left over on the inside of an empty weed baggie. But that’s as harsh as a year-old joint found down in the bottom of the crack of the couch.
Portlanders’ common sense must be graded on a curve.
Back in 2020, in a massive wave of psilocybin-fueled virtue signaling, Oregonians resoundingly passed the now infamous Ballot Measure 110, widely lauded as the state’s “pioneering” drug decriminalization law. The new law decriminalized possession of hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, and fentanyl. Instead, Oregon police are now only allowed to hand out $100 civil citations. And the $100 fines are waived when druggies call a toll-free substance-abuse help line that offers free out- or in-patient treatment.
Predictably, it utterly failed. The druggies don’t even bother calling the help line. Out of 6,200 issued fines, only 50 called the toll-free number. Police officers tell stories of things like druggies immediately and non-virtuously littering by throwing the citations away right in front of cops. One officer said he watched a druggie use the citation paper to wrap and smoke a joint.
After two years of monitoring civilization’s meltdown, many Oregonians are finally sobering up to the problem, and they now want to re-criminalize drug possession after all. Local KOIN-6 reported that, since BM110’s passage, “the drug crisis has grown exponentially.” The station even made a helpful flow chart showing how poorly-flowing is the current, constipated BM110 system:
So Oregonians are now having some hard conversations about how to fix their free-wheeling, reality-defying, not-so-Brave New World. Options include flat-out re-criminalization, involuntary drug treatment that is like jail, but with mental-health services, or a wide variety of hybrid approaches.
But nobody (except the ACLU, and who cares?) seems to think the current system is working.
Maybe the liberal paradise of Oregon is finally feeling the cold water of reality splashed into its sleepy face. Or … maybe … the conservative counter-revolution is even sweeping into distant liberal lands like Portland.
🔥 SOMETHING MIGHT HAPPEN. The Washington Post ran an equivocal story yesterday headlined, “Tremors keep rocking Iceland as probable volcanic eruption looms.” The frosty Icelandic town of Grindavik, where dog-sledding remains a viable form of transportation, is warming up. A giant, smokey crack now runs through the center of downtown and the residents have evacuated to the nearby capital of Reykjavik for fear of the probable eruption of nearby Mount Fagradalsfjall (or words to that effect).
Media reports are, as they say, all over the map. The truth is, nobody knows anything except that molten rock is seeping up toward the surface in and around Grindavik, a coastal city only 26 miles from Iceland’s capital and about ten miles from Mount Fagradalsfjall, or however you say it, which last blew its stack in 2015. They’ve also been having hundreds and hundreds of small-to-medium-sized earthquakes every day, which have been vexing housewives trying to safeguard the fine china.
As for what happens next, it’s anyone’s guess. Science is baffled. The volcano itself does not, per se, seem to be the problem. Media reports speculate wildly about things like shifting tectonic plates, moving undersea mountain ranges, and other obscure geological possibilities, but they don’t really know anything, and the ultimate outcome remains a mystery.
All options appear to be still on the table. Southwest Iceland could settle right back down again, or on the other hand there could be a major magma flow into the ocean affecting the entire planet similar to Hunga Tonga’s eruption. We’ll just have to wait and see. Science!
🔥 YOUR MOVE, JOE. Embattled New York City Mayor Eric Adams raised the stakes yesterday, informing Big Apple residents that because of the illegal migrant crisis, and because of competing laws requiring both expensive housing for migrants and also requiring the city to balance its budget, the city will soon be deleting many “services” that aren’t legally mandated.
Specifically, Mayor Adams announced a ten-percent across-the-board cut to all discretionary services, which he warned citizens would be “extremely painful.” Adams explained, “Migrant costs are going up, tax revenue growth is slowing, and COVID stimulus funding is drying up … If circumstances don’t change dramatically, city agencies will be forced to reduce city-funded spending by 5% two more times in the next six months.”
And all of this belt-tightening is occurring whilst the DOJ tails Mayor Adams everywhere in panel vans and eavesdrops on all his communications, because he got a free plane ticket or something. This week the FBI seized Adam’s phones and iPad in a dramatic showdown. But the Mayor does not seem cowed; instead he remains feisty. Firing right back, in an online press release attached to his video statement, the Mayor’s office blamed the looming services cuts on Joe Biden:
“We must balance our budget in wake of the $12 billion that we project to spend as a result of the migrant crisis. Our budget has been balanced with heavy hearts. Our administration is outraged to have to implement these cuts, which are a direct result of the lack of financial support from Washington, D.C., which is derelict in its responsibility to institute a national plan to mitigate a national crisis and has instead elected to dump its job to handle this migrant crisis upon the lap of a municipality and its mayor. A national crisis demands a national solution,” said Chief Advisor Ingrid P. Lewis-Martin.
A New York Times article about the looming cuts was even more blunt about their effect. The headline read, “Eric Adams Slashes Budgets for Police, Libraries and Schools.” Hinting at the developing blue-on-blue controversy, the sub-headline explained, “Mr. Adams said the migrant crisis made the deep budget cuts necessary. Progressive Democrats called the reductions dangerous and unnecessary.” The Times darkly warned readers the cuts will shred $1 billion from the education budget, close City libraries on Sundays, and require a hiring freeze that would reduce the number of police officers to 1980 staffing levels.
Meanwhile, the numbers of “citizens” who require services keeps increasing. Chronically-dropping school registrations increased for the first time since well before the pandemic, based almost entirely on illegal migrant children now required to be schooled by the sanctuary city.
None of the dire predictions matter. At some point, perhaps in a special referendum, New York voters must undo their sanctuary city laws. Realistically, Biden can’t bail out New York. The instant the feds send money to the City that Never Sleeps, hundreds of Texas towns would immediately sue the federal government for Equal Protection — in Texas. And Texas towns might not use the money in the same generous ways Mayor Adams would.
New Yorkers, who voted for the sanctuary laws requiring the city to buy foreign citizens swanky hotel stays, are just like the Portlanders wrestling with their goofy drug laws. New Yorkers — even the ones who don’t pay the taxes — are finally starting to feel the pain of their virtue-signaling choices. It will be a hard, expensive lesson. But the good news is, it’s only going to hurt for a long, long time.
🔥 A jury found David DePape guilty in Paul Pelosi hammer attack. Funny how the media so quickly lost interest in this story.
🚀 The Wall Street Journal ran an ‘essay’ yesterday piling on poor Ukraine and topped by a photo of a smirking Vladimir Putin, headlined “It’s Time to End Magical Thinking About Russia’s Defeat.” More like, it’s time to get real about Ukraine’s defeat.
The sub-headline revealed the shifting goalposts’ new position: “Putin has withstood the West’s best efforts to reverse his invasion of Ukraine, and his hold on power is firm. The U.S. and its allies need a new strategy: containment.”
Another new strategy!
For two years, the Journal has resolutely promised that Russia would crumble under Ukrainians’ fierce courage, dissolve under international sanctions, implode due to a lengthy list of allegedly-fatal Putin health problems (six different types of cancer, and counting), wither under a penetrating and glorious Ukrainian Spring Counteroffensive, and be wrestled to the bargaining table, where the former communist empire would be forced to cough up all its annexed territories and the Crimean peninsula to boot.
But um, nope. None of that happened. Not even close. It’s more like the reverse opposite.
Joining Time and NBC, the Wall Street Journal expressed plain pessimism over Ukraine’s plunging prospects:
Putin does not feel any pressure to end the war or worry about his ability to sustain it more or less indefinitely. As winter approaches, the Russian army has mounted a limited ground offensive of its own and surely will expand missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities, power plants, industrial sites and other critical infrastructure.
At the front line, there are no indications that Russia is losing what has become a war of attrition. The Russian economy has been buffeted, but it is not in tatters. Putin’s hold on power was, paradoxically, strengthened following Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed rebellion in June. Popular support for the war remains solid, and elite backing for Putin has not fractured.
What Western leaders conspicuously haven’t done is level with their publics … They have indulged all too often in magical thinking—betting on sanctions, a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive or the transfer of new types of weapons to force the Kremlin to come to the negotiating table. Or they have hoped to see Putin overthrown in a palace coup.
Yikes. Like the Ukraine war itself, the Journal’s essay ultimately descended into an incomprehensible morass, a laundry list of lame suggestions about how, if Russia can’t be tamed in the short term, the U.S. should triple-down and punish Russia over the long term, invoking direct comparisons to the fifty-year Cold War (even while assuring readers they didn’t mean another Cold War, no, no, never), and waiting for Putin to eventually be replaced, assuming that whoever replaces him will see the wisdom of partnering with the West.
Um. The essay described magical thinking all right. Without naming names, it literally described the magical thinking of the U.S. State Department, the magical thinking of all the liberal war hawks, and by extension the magical thinking of the Corporate Media — which has obediently lapped up the official war propaganda like good little doggies. The article suggested a new narrative that, because Putin, we should expand the way we think about the war, to think far beyond victory in Ukraine. Let’s let the Russian dictator have his little victory — but then take a broad, long-term view of the situation and make Putin pay over time for every inch.
Oh. One more question. Since it’s now suddenly “magical thinking” to believe Ukraine can beat Russia, can we get our hundreds of billions of dollars back? Some of us knew it was magical thinking to start with and would like a refund.
💉 Finally, let’s discuss one of the best, but least-well-known weapons for change: the Heisenberg Effect (that’s what I call it). To frame the conversation, we begin with this week’s exciting New York Post article headlined, ‘A COVID-19 vaccine reckoning is coming for the DOJ over federal mandates.”
The news was the DOJ posted a new job listing seeking eight new attorneys to defend the federal government in vaccine injury cases. “The office is currently expanding to address workload created by an increase in cases filed under the Vaccine Act,” said the ad, posted by the Torts Branch of the DOJ on the government’s USAJobs website.
I wonder what makes them think there will be more vaccine cases? Haha, just kidding. A rhetorical question.
The article’s author, Miranda Devine, speculated the DOJ’s new job listing suggests that the government foresees a tsunami of vaccine lawsuits. She’s partly right, and there’s a big part that she doesn’t know about. Let me give you a little insider background.
For good reasons, I don’t usually blog about my cases, but I do occasionally make an exception. My firm is currently preparing a major case challenging the Constitutionality of the PREP Act — the federal statute that shields Pfizer and Moderna from liability for their defective vaccine products. We have already submitted FOIA’s to the federal government in preparation for that lawsuit.
The Post’s article also mentioned ICANN’s similar, recently-filed lawsuit, not coincidentally making the same legal arguments. Like our pending suit, ICANN’s also challenges the Constitutionality of the PREP Act, and seeks to strip off vaccine manufacturers’ liability shields. If we succeed, it would then allow the real tsunami of lawsuits, comparable perhaps to the scale of the tobacco cases, or maybe even bigger than that.
ICANN’s and our theories are both generally based on the argument that the PREP Act takes Americans’ property — their right to sue for being injured by a defective product — and gives them something in exchange that is not adequate compensation. What the government offered instead of a lawsuit is the right to file a claim with the PREP Act’s Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (the CICP).
Back when it was passed, the PREP Act was sold to legislators and Americans with the promise that, for vaccine-injured Americans, the CICP would be great. It would be even easier and faster and more efficient than a lawsuit. Injured Americans wouldn’t even need lawyers, they said. A crack squad of white-coated experts would rapidly review and approve all valid claims, they said. Whereas lawsuits often take years, they said, CICP claims could be processed and paid in a few weeks. Or at most, a few months.
You can guess what really happened.
The CICP is an absolute failure. It’s a horrifying nightmare of bureaucratic incompetence. I would tell you it blew up on the launch pad, but the truth is there was never even a rocket to start with.
As the Post’s article explained, as of October 2023, only six covid vaccine claims have been paid out under the CICP, despite there being over a million VAERS reports of adverse events — each of which conceivably could be fully or partially compensable under the CICP (as the program was originally advertised). Worse, the six claims that were approved only received an average of $2,148 each. That’s almost less than a lawsuit’s filing fee. It’s about three hours of attorney time. It’s much less than what insurance companies are will pay for “nuisance value” these days.
More pointedly, $2,148 is less than one month of the cost of treatment for post-vaccine syndrome. It’s not just a joke. It’s a horrible joke.
In the history of the CICP, only 72 claims total (for all vaccines) have ever been paid. It’s an unaccountable, humanity-destroying system designed to fail. And also not surprisingly, after all these years, and all the controversy, the CICP remains shrouded in secrecy. Who are the white-coated experts who are (not) approving compensation claims? It’s a secret! How many experts are there? Nobody knows! How many full-time employees does the CICP department have, to process all these covid vaccine claims? It’s a mystery!
A bloody, bureaucratic mystery neatly-wrapped in a red-taped riddle.
But we are ripping the red tape off that riddle. Our FOIA was a shot across the federal government’s bow. We requested answers to all those questions. What I expect to see, whenever we finally get them, is that the CICP is woefully, disgracefully understaffed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has only one lawyer and a couple assistants.
They coerced hundreds of millions of Americans into taking experimental countermeasure shots and never staffed up the injury compensation program.
We expect to find conclusive evidence that the CICP is not faster than a lawsuit. It’s not easier. It’s not more fair. It doesn’t produce better results than litigation. And now that we’re asking these questions, the government has realized its error. They forgot to cover their tracks. They should have massively staffed-up the CICP in 2020. But they missed it.
The DOJ’s belated advertisement for 8 new lawyers is the government’s first knee-jerk response to our FOIA and ICANN’s lawsuit. They are panicking and trying to ‘fix’ the obvious problem that the CICP is a heartless, massively-understaffed joke, a sham of a pretext, a meritless idea of an agency, and definitely not adequate compensation for taking away citizens’ right to sue vaccine manufacturers.
In other words, the government is going to try to moot our lawsuits by preemptively “fixing” all the problems. It won’t work. The system was designed to fail, and we now have twenty years of evidence to prove it.
🔥 Now let’s talk about the Heisenberg Effect. The new attorneys aren’t all bad news. As annoying is the government’s ex post facto attempt to slap band-aids on its ridiculous CICP program, it is a kind of progress. The threat posed by our lawsuits is finally forcing the government to take a few more citizens’ claims seriously, and to dump a few more resources into the compensation program.
It is progress. Only a little, but it’s still progress. And we’re just getting started.
During World War II, Werner Heisenberg was a top German nuclear scientist with a colorful history that isn’t today’s point. For today, he was nearly as influential in creating modern quantum mechanics as was Albert Einstein. Heisenberg is most well-known for his “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle,” which is similar to and often confused with Schroedinger’s mysterious dead-alive cats in a lead box.
Nobody knows what Schroedinger had against cats. But he clearly didn’t like them much.
Anyway, the bottom line is Heisenberg theorized that it’s impossible to ever find out what a subatomic particle is doing at any time. The reason it’s impossible is that whatever you use to look at the particle changes it. If you shine a light on a subatomic particle, it is so sensitive that the energy from the light makes the particle act different. Ditto for x-rays, radio waves, magnets, and so forth.
You can never know what a particle was doing before you looked at it.
I’ve applied Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to litigation. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I refer to a peculiar feature of human psychology as the “Heisenberg Effect.” Put simply: people act differently when they know they are being watched. And usually, they act nicer, more moral, more fair, and more lawful.
It is often significant in litigation, like when I review evidence. For instance, I always look for a demarcation point in emails, between a time when the participants were chatting freely and then the point where they realized that eventually someone else would probably be reading their correspondence. (Usually at that point they start talking a lot less).
In addition to helping figure out why people did certain things in the past, the Heisenberg Effect can also be used as a tool. You can make people act differently, better, by deliberately increasing their consciousness that someone else is paying close attention to what they are doing in a certain area.
In that way, the Heisenberg Effect can be wielded politically. When government officials know we are watching them about a specific topic, their behavior in that area improves. For example, the DOJ might hire more staff to handle CICP cases when it knows that a judge will soon be considering how well-staffed the program is. Or, legislators who just voted to table an impeachment vote can learn that they need to be more careful about border issues because irritable voters care. Some of them might even vote differently — better — next time.
So, it’s not always about the short-term, like winning a particular lawsuit or convincing an official to change their current position with a phone call. Often the Heisenberg Effect delivers results in the long-term, as the cumulative benefit from slightly more careful, slightly-better conduct adds up over time.
Never underestimate the value of just paying obvious attention to what government actors are doing. And, although it works just as well on spouses, coworkers, neighbors, and kids, be sure to apply the Heisenberg Effect to your home town officials as part of our “local, local, local” strategy.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll meet you back here tomorrow for the Weekend Edition roundup.
We can’t do it without you. Consider joining with C&C to help move the nation’s needle and change minds. I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope, if you can: ☕ Learn How to Get Involved 🦠