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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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A much-publicized open letter endorsing herd immunity as a response to COVID-19 was found to have been signed by a number of homeopaths and fictitious medical professionals, including Dr. Johnny Bananas and another whose name was listed as the entire first verse of “Macarena.”

President Donald Trump returned to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, sending out campaign emails that read “I’M BACK!” and “Did you miss me?”1 Trump, who reportedly nixed a plan for him to tear off his dress shirt to reveal a Superman T-shirt on his arrival, called contracting COVID-19 a “blessing from God,” opted to delay plans to pass another economic stimulus bill until after the election, and then reversed course, tweeting “Go Big!” and proposing a $1.8 trillion relief package.2 3 4 5 The president also announced that he would not be participating in a planned second presidential debate, and held an in-person rally on the White House grounds, some attendees of which had their travel and accommodations paid for by BLEXIT, a group that encourages African Americans to leave the Democratic Party.6 7 The Senate opened what Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham called “the hearing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.”8 “All the Republicans will vote yes,” he said; “All the Democrats will vote no.” Thirteen members of a Michigan militia group had been hatching a plot in the basement of a vacuum store to firebomb police vehicles, attack the state capitol building with some two hundred militiamen, and kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whom they called a “tyrant bitch,” from her vacation home and try her for treason at a “secure location” somewhere in Wisconsin.9 10 11 A politician convicted of kidnapping a regional governor in 2013 was freed from jail by supporters and installed as the prime minister of Kyrgyzstan four days later.12 13

A much-publicized open letter endorsing herd immunity as a response to COVID-19 was found to have been signed by a number of homeopaths and fictitious medical professionals, including Dr. Johnny Bananas and another whose name was listed as the entire first verse of “Macarena.”14 A Chinese study discovered that men with deep voices were more prone to infidelity, and a group of Dutch researchers found that humans are better able to recollect where they left food if it’s junk food.15 16 A teenager in Wales who had spent his entire life eating nothing but Richmond-brand Irish bangers was convinced by his hypnotherapist to try fish, and the Belgian ambassador to the European Union cited a 1666 treaty granting fifty Flemish anglers “eternal rights” to English waters during a dispute with the United Kingdom over fishing regulations.17 18 “I wasn’t quite sure what he was on about, but I think he was joking,” said one diplomat involved in the discussions. “But, then, you never know.” Two Maine police officers were fired after being accused of beating porcupines to death with their batons while on duty; Virginians were advised to steer clear of the furry, venomous puss caterpillar; and the department of agriculture in Washington State was still endeavoring to eradicate populations of murder hornets before they commence their “slaughter phase.”19 20 21 The U.S. army was experimenting with outfitting combat dogs with augmented-reality goggles, and a group of French MPs introduced a bill to fund the development of “game robots” that could be hunted in place of deer, foxes, or boars.22 23 “Hunting,” declared one outraged MP, “is not laser tag.”24 Guinness World Records confirmed that a twelve-year-old from Tennessee was the youngest person ever to engineer nuclear fusion.25 26

In Hyogo Prefecture, the Yakuza have been forbidden to hand out Halloween candy.27 An official investigation into misconduct at an Oklahoma County jail determined that forcing inmates to listen to the song “Baby Shark” repeatedly at high volume constitutes “inhuman” treatment; a Tennessee man was arrested for vandalizing a cemetery in an attempt to dig up and “resurrect his grandmother”; and a Louisiana priest and two dominatrices were arrested on obscenity charges for filming themselves having sex on the altar of the priest’s church, an act described by the archbishop of New Orleans, who had the altar burned, as “demonic.”28 29 30 31 “Why did he have to do that there?” asked one local council member. “Why there?” A Canadian woman who stole mosaic tiles and ceramics from Pompeii returned them to the archaeological park after determining that they were “cursed,” and were responsible for her financial difficulties as well as two incidences of breast cancer.32 The Catholic Church beatified Carlo Acutis, an Italian teenager who created a website chronicling miracles and whose spirit is purported to have cured a Brazilian boy of a pancreatic disease after he touched one of Acutis’s T-shirts; and the pope announced that trickle-down economics and neoliberalism have failed.33 34

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