Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 14

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled 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.

QAnon/Pizzagate Conspiracists Try For Respectability Rebrand With #SaveTheChildren (from Wonkette): “Disconcertingly, several of the QAnoners have mentioned wanting to volunteer or even work for for such nonprofits — which, if undiscovered, could lead to some pretty serious harm coming to those kids. Organizations like OUR help with aftercare of children who have been sexually exploited, and we’ve seen what happens to children when people who are invested in proving Satanic Ritual Abuse is real get involved in things.

One of the more popular tactics they’ve been using on social media is reporting the (actually true) statistic that 800,000 children go missing in the US each year. What they neglect to mention is that 99 percent of those children are later found and less than 350 of them are the result of stranger abductions. This really puts a dent in their insinuations that all of these children are being dragged into Satanic pedophile rings and having their pineal and/or adrenal glands harvested (depending on which noted QAnon scientist you ask) for adrenochrome.”

The Cross and the Punisher (from Beloved Spear): “Those two stickers on my neighbor’s truck speak to the fundamental tension between Trumpism and Christian faith. One embraces the ideal of violence and fetishizes retribution and a sense of aggrievement. The other defies violence and embraces self-sacrifice and forgiveness as the highest virtues.

Together, the two are irreconcilably [sic] dissonant. That kind of dissonance tears a person apart. Or a country.”

Companies test antibody drugs to treat, prevent COVID-19 (from AP News): “Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help it be eliminated. Vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking there’s an infection so it makes antibodies and remembers how to do that if the real bug turns up.

But it can take a month or two after vaccination or infection for the most effective antibodies to form. The experimental drugs shortcut that process by giving concentrated versions of specific ones that worked best against the coronavirus in lab and animal tests.”

A Smoking Gun’: Infectious Coronavirus Retrieved From Hospital Air (from the New York Times): ““This is what people have been clamoring for,” said Linsey Marr, an expert in airborne spread of viruses who was not involved in the work. “It’s unambiguous evidence that there is infectious virus in aerosols.”

A research team at the University of Florida succeeded in isolating live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with Covid-19 — farther than the six feet recommended in social distancing guidelines.”

Kamala Was a Cop. Black People Knew It First. (from Mother Jones): “Don’t give the “douchey white guys” too much credit. No doubt there were racist and sexist opportunists using the “Kamala is a cop” meme as a cudgel. But the reason it was there to be picked up in the first place is because Black communities, in particular Black women, had done the work of radically re-evaluating Harris’ record and rhetoric on criminal justice.”

Kooky conspiracy theories are detracting from the very real issue of child trafficking (from Upworthy): “The main problem is this: When you conflate the actual issue of child sex trafficking—which is absolutely real and serious and deserves our attention—with totally off-the-wall, debunked conspiracy theories, it causes people to put their energies in the wrong places.”

SHARPIES (from McSweeney’s): “But I’m thinking about one Sharpie pen in particular. It’s black, medium thickness. And it stays in the blue emergency bag that I keep on the filing cabinet closest to my classroom door. Our school’s emergency bags are remarkably sparse. No band-aids, no first aid materials. We have one flashlight, one sign with my name to help my students find our class if they get separated during a mass exodus, one copy of my class rosters, and one Sharpie marker. Why a marker? Someone asked that very question at a staff meeting. The nurse explained, in a completely emotionless tone, that the Sharpie was so we could identify students and write their names on their bodies in the event of an incident.”

Anti-maskers explain themselves (from Vox): “In recent weeks, I spoke with nearly a dozen people who consider themselves anti-mask to find out just that. What I discovered is that there is certainly a broad spectrum of reasons — some find wearing a mask annoying or just aren’t convinced they work, and others have gone down a rabbit hole of conspiracies that often involve vaccines, Big Pharma, YouTube, and Bill Gates. One man told me he wears a mask when he goes to the store to be polite. A woman got kicked out of a Menards store for refusing to wear a mask amid what she calls the “Covid scam garbage.””

How Ellen DeGeneres’s facade of kindness crumbled (from Vox): “Though she hasn’t been directly accused of outright malpractice, every part of the show operates under DeGeneres’s name and specific brand of relentless kindness. At best, the patron celebrity TV host of niceness just may not have known what was happening to her staffers. At worst, she knew and ignored — or even participated in — what a toxic workplace her show had become.”

Sensitive to claims of bias, Facebook relaxed misinformation rules for conservative pages (from NBC News): “The list and descriptions of the escalations, leaked to NBC News, showed that Facebook employees in the misinformation escalations team, with direct oversight from company leadership, deleted strikes during the review process that were issued to some conservative partners for posting misinformation over the last six months. The discussions of the reviews showed that Facebook employees were worried that complaints about Facebook’s fact-checking could go public and fuel allegations that the social network was biased against conservatives.”

That’s all for today. Drop by again for more information next week. So until then, have a great rest of your week, stay safe, and happy reading!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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