It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.
Our Nation Has Lost Its Witness (from Love Joy Feminism via Patheos): “We are seeing a betrayal of ideals of freedom and democracy on the most basic, fundamental level. I have not been dewy eyed about America since childhood, but somehow, this still hurts. It is yet one more betrayal of my childhood ideas about our nation.”
I Cannot Remain Silent (from The Atlantic): “Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.
There was little good in the stunt.
While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.”
Governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company (from The Guardian): “A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.”
Amid George Floyd protests, weaponized misinformation floods social media (from CNet): “But social media’s inability to contain the explosion of misinformation takes on new urgency as peaceful protesters battle the perception that all of the demonstrations have devolved into looting and violence. Twitter’s role in spreading news in real time without any checks makes it particularly vulnerable to manipulation. Over the past few days, along with tweets about protestors being responsible for Underwood’s death, other false theories have made the rounds, including an internet blackout in Washington and the far-left militant group antifa sending protesters to cause unrest in cities across the US. And once something hits Facebook, with its over 2.6 billion monthly active users, it’s hard to counteract.”
Man Behind Sweden’s Controversial Virus Strategy Admits Mistakes (from Bloomberg): “Until now, Tegnell had argued that the long-term nature of the Covid-19 pandemic required a more sustainable response than severe and sudden lockdowns. Despite criticism from abroad, Tegnell’s strategy enjoyed widespread support in Sweden.
But with many other European Union countries now rolling back their lockdowns after appearing to bring Covid-19 under control, there are signs that Sweden may be left behind. That includes the freedom of movement of its citizens, as some EU countries restrict access to people coming from what are deemed high-risk Covid zones.”
Twitter says fake “Antifa” account was run by white supremacists (from CBS News): “Twitter said it has also targeted other fake accounts run by Identity Evropa, but did not provide examples. The company said the accounts posted hateful tweets targeting race, religion and sexual orientation.”
A letter to… my alcoholic husband, in lockdown (from The Guardian): “The hardest part is the loneliness. During lockdown, it falls on me to try to educate and entertain our school-age children, manage our dwindling finances, organise our food shopping, keep on top of the housework. There’s no affection and we haven’t had sex for 18 months. I don’t know why we’re still together. Sheer stubbornness on my part, I think; determination to prove friends and family wrong. Life is passing me by, but I can’t give up on you. Not yet. I’m bound by fear that, if we separate, you might spiral further and affect our children even more than you have already.”
A $350 “anti-5G” device is just a 128MB USB stick, teardown finds (from Ars Technica): “Ultimately, “the 5G BioShield is nothing more than a £5 USB key with a sticker on it,” the people at Pen Test wrote. “Whether or not the sticker provides £300 worth of quantum holographic catalyzer technology we’ll leave you to decide.””
Why 15 US states suddenly made masks mandatory (from Vox): “In addition to scientific experiments in the lab, growing evidence from East Asian countries suggests that masks can reduce the transmission of Covid-19. From Hong Kong to Taiwan, many East Asian governments started promoting mask-wearing soon after the Covid-19 outbreak began.”
Natural News went from selling cheesy kale chips to peddling far-right prophecies, racking up millions of Facebook followers along the way. (from The Daily Beast): “You might never have clicked on a Natural News article, but you’ve probably felt its influence. The site is one of the largest brokers of far-right conspiracy theories, including disinformation about vaccines. Natural News has spent the past 10 years moving from relatively innocent claims about the benefits of herbal remedies, to full-blown culture war, with a side business of selling survivalist gear.”