By Jeff Childers
Good morning, C&C, and Happy Thursday! Your roundup today includes: the Senate moves expeditiously to declassify covid origins information; DeSantis and Ladapo both drop their new books; Texas bill would pay couples to make babies; a recap of recent non-misinformation, or un-misinformation, or whatever—it’s a lot of disinformation that is suddenly just “information”; Bill Maher doesn’t trust the media, for some reason; and Rasmussen’s overlooked poll on covid injuries.
🗞*WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Setting a new land speed record, the democrat-controlled United States Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed a bill last night to declassify ALL U.S. government information related to covid origins, every bit of it, you betcha.
Senate unanimously passed a bill to declassify all government information on Covid origin
3:45 AM ∙ Mar 2, 202329Likes14Retweets
Behold, the awesome and terrible power of the U.S. government, at least when it gets some motivation from whomever is in charge now. Here is the remarkable timeline so far:
On Sunday (!), the Department of Energy (!) released an unrequested five-page report stating with “low confidence” (meaning some confidence) that covid leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal dropped an exclusive story about Covid origins from the Wuhan lab.
On Monday night, FBI Director Chris Wray went on Fox and threw China under the bus as being liable for the pandemic and trying to cover it up.
Last night, the split, democrat-controlled Senate unanimously passed a bill to declassify all covid origins documents.
I dunno, you tell me. This train looks like it’s on a fast track. After all this time, Chyna may get the blame for covid after all. Media will get hold of the documents, write new, more expansive stories backed up with government evidence, and when people see what comes out, it seems likely that we will all be totally outraged, and then folks will start demanding reparations from China, which will then incite counter-accusations and demands from the Chinese side.
But why? And why now?
We don’t know. China chimed in on Tuesday:
NEW — China Issues a Warning to Elon Musk to Stop Promoting the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory “He could be breaking the pot of China. This is a Chinese saying that’s similar to biting the hand that feeds you.” @elonmusk
2:02 PM ∙ Feb 28, 20234,416Likes2,270Retweets
Most folks interpreted the warning to mean China wants Twitter to clamp down on all this official U.S. government information fingering China for a covid lab leak. That isn’t going to happen, obviously, but Elon Musk HAS been notably quiet about politics lately, tweeting instead about SpaceX launches, population problems, and Tesla’s sustainable energy plan.
In other words, Elon is staying out of it, personally. But there’s no sign that Twitter is throttling lab leak discussions.
We’re headed SOMEWHERE, we just don’t know where yet.
🔥 In case you missed it, Governor DeSantis’ new book is out, already at #5 on Amazon’s bestseller list:
His team released this picture of his official book signing. It looks pretty frantic and fun:
If you care at all about their opinion, this week’s New York Times review of The Courage to Be Free was underwhelming, describing DeSantis’ book as “read[ing] like a politician’s memoir churned out by ChatGPT.”
ChatGPT did not respond to a request for comment, I suspect because its feelings are still hurt.
🔥Florida’s courageous Surgeon General Dr. Joe Ladapo also just released his own book, “Transcend Fear (A Blueprint for Mindful Leadership in Public Health).” The book’s Amazon listing includes a prominent banner helping readers find the CDC so they can get ‘reliable’ misinformation about the covid vaccines:
Sorry, I should have said “information” instead of “misinformation” or whatever. You can trust the CDC.*
(* Results not guaranteed.)
One presumes that the releases of Governor DeSantis’ and his Surgeon General Dr. Ladapo’s book are signaling that they’re preparing for a political move of some kind. Stay tuned.
🔥 Yesterday, Texas State Representative Bryan Slaton filed HB2889 titled “Providing Property Tax Relief to Families.”
The bill, which is already massively triggering liberals, would give Texas families property tax relief based on how many kids they have. It’s intended to promote marriage, discourage divorce, and encourage having or adopting kids. Under the proposed law, any couple who marries and stays married gets a 10% property tax credit. A family with four or more biological or adopted kids would get a 40% tax credit, and — if you can imagine this — for extremely intimate couples having ten or more kids, up to a complete 100% tax credit.
We have to do SOMETHING about population decline. This is a great start. Slaton’s bill faces all kinds of backlash and opposition, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
🔥 Let’s recap the major conspiracy theories that all passed their six month expiration date over the last two weeks and are suddenly no longer misinformation. And, what do you call it when something that was officially misinformation is now just “information?” Does it become “un-misinformation”? Or, is it now “de-misinformation,” or just “re-information?”
So confusing. Anyway, take a look at these FOUR giant issues that for the last three years were totally banned from public discussion by anyone who was cancelable:
— As mentioned above, the Wuhan lab leak is no longer a conspiracy theory, having received support from two federal agencies, FBI Director Chris Wray, and now the US Senate.
Remember that in 2020, Fauci and Francis Collins were so concerned about “lab leak” misinformation that they organized a secret media campaign to discredit anyone who promoted the idea. Oh, and lest we forget, it was a hate crime — “racist” — to blame the Wuhan Flu on Chyna.
But not now!
— A recent Lancet meta-analysis of SIXTY-FIVE other studies concluded that natural immunity is as good as, or better than, vaccine acquired immunity. The study showed that prior infection offered 78% protection against reinfection from the original Wuhan, Alpha or Delta variants at 40 weeks, although it slipped to 36% against Omicron. But natural immunity’s protection against severe illness remained around 90% across all variants after 40 weeks.
It was bad enough that people were getting canceled on social media for promoting natural immunity. I don’t need to show you the montages of U.S. government officials, media personalities, and so-called “experts” babbling about how much better vaccine-induced immunity was than natural immunity, which was the reason why you should get your shots, your second shots, your third boosters, and so forth and so on.
— A George Mason University study compared areas with and without jab mandates, and concluded that the mandates neither increased vaccine uptake nor reduced covid cases. Imagine that. (Well, you can’t honestly say they didn’t do “anything,” since they did trash the economy.)
Haha, if you’d tried posting something on Facebook last year about jab mandates failing to slow the spread of covid, I hope you stood back outside the blast radius.
— And last but not least, the “gold standard” Cochrane meta-review pretty much definitely ended the mask debate: masks don’t work, at least if slowing the spread of covid is how you define “working.” But they are very effective for virtue signaling though. The best bit is you don’t even have to wear them, just put a mask in your bio pic. (You can also wear it alone in the car if it makes you feel more attractive or soothes your anxiety.)
Since I personally have been labeled a “mask denier,” and “science denier,” and received death threats over my successful mask lawsuit precluding mask mandates in 31 Florida counties, not to mention being canceled from several platforms, I can tell you that this particular issue was more verboten than any other issue.
Now it appears that *I* — not my critics — was following the science all along. THEY are the science deniers. And I bet a lot of you people are in the same boat as me.
All four findings had previously been designated as “misinformation” or “disinformation” by the government and by major social media “fact checkers,” who still, by some miracle, appear to remain employed.
So what on Earth is going on the last couple weeks? At least part of the explanation must include the freeing of Twitter, because of the Missouri v. Biden case, and because of the “Twitter files” exposure of government meddling in social media. At minimum, the lawsuit and those disclosures forced the government to stop, at least for the time being, or at least to stop being so obvious about it. That allowed one floodgate of free discourse to open, and the truth was out and running.
That’s my best explanation. But I knew SOMETHING like this was coming, as I predicted in my last year-end post. A pressure had been mounting and it was obvious that something had to give.
Let’s spend a moment contemplating the ooor fact checkers. Alas, the world peers but dimly at those tarnished souls who, hawking themselves as worthy of our trust, claimed to know the truth but then were shown to be mistaken, false, and overthrown, their grasping demands for our faith lying shattered and exposed. Isn’t it tragic to watch these self-appointed “fact-checkers” undone by their own lies, exposed as without honor, their dime-store reputations in tatters?
The fact-checkers are now but shadows of their former selves. In other words, I bet the fact checking industry is about to fall on hard times.
🔥 The Lancet meta-study in particular got Bill Maher’s goat, and he delivered another monologue in an interview expressing his general skepticism of media, using the natural immunity issue as exhibit number one. Maher played it a LITTLE soft, explaining that it’s not so much that the media are liars, but he thinks they don’t tell both sides of the story anymore.
My problem with the media from both sides isn’t that they lie. It’s that they tell me their side of the story that they want me to know and not the whole story.
4:23 PM ∙ Feb 28, 202325,112Likes3,749Retweets
Well. Maybe Bill Maher thinks the media isn’t “lying” but not everyone agrees on that point. I wondered if it was just me, and asked ChatGPT what it thought about whether media ever lied, and it seemed to be leaning more toward my side:
Well, well well. Just wait until the media lobby finds out about this. They’ll fix ChatGPT’s algorithm, don’t worry.
Anyway, I next asked ChatGPT for some suggestions about how we can spot unreliable news. I was most interested in its fourth suggestion, which actually broke my ChatGPT session. It locked up, unable to complete the sentence and after that, it wouldn’t take any more requests. I had to “reboot” and start a whole new session.
Here’s ChatGPT’s fourth suggestion for finding fake new, the one that broke the algorithm:
Haha! Who says AI is useless. I think that particular advice is excellent, and it immediately reminded me of this old chestnut:
How worried should we be, indeed! Just not about covid. We should be worried about journalism’s mental health.
💉 In case you missed it, Rasmussen released results of a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults last month, which showed that nearly a third of Americans believe that someone they know died from a vaccine injury, and at least 7% of Americans reported having personally experienced a “major” side effect from the shots:
This Rasmussen poll should be a much bigger story than it has been. These polls alone should be sufficient proof to shift the burden to the FDA and the CDC to disprove Rasmussen’s findings.
How about this: They should give Rasmussen a grant to do a bigger survey, maybe of 10,000 folks. Then we can just keep increasing the sample size until they believe.
🔥 For infrastructure watchers, yesterday Bloomberg ran a story headlined, “Millions of Argentines Are in Darkness After Power Line Fire.” The fire, which destroyed a large part of one of Argentina’s largest nuclear plan, is reported to have been started from a “wildfire.”
🔥 Grandmotherly Merrick Garland is silently fuming today after yesterday’s verbal spanking by Senator Josh Hawley about the use of an FBI tactical team to arrest a religious abortion-clinic protestor in a SWAT-style operation, after local prosecutors declined to bring charges, a separate civil lawsuit was dismissed, and the protestor had even offered to turn himself in.
FULL EXCHANGE between Senator @HawleyMO and Attorney General Merrick Garland: “You used an unbelievable show of force with guns, that I’d just note liberals usually decry…You’re happy to deploy them against Catholics and innocent children!”
5:21 PM ∙ Mar 1, 20236,944Likes2,362Retweets
The various looks on Merrick Garland’s face, which resembles a shrunken apple, are priceless.
Have a terrific Thursday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more Coffee & Covid.
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© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
Published with author’s permission.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.