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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,533

Journal Archives

Infected by doubt: A 26-year-old film editor's descent into coronavirus vaccine conspiracy theories

Washington Post

It began as a freelance job. Micah Conrad would wake up midmorning, check his email and begin downloading videos that had arrived while he slept. He would brew coffee, drinking it on the narrow patio of the small apartment he shares with his wife in a sun-bleached building near the intersection of Hollywood and Sunset boulevards in Los Angeles. Then it was back inside, where he would edit footage for the next 10 hours at a standing desk in the corner of their bedroom.

A 26-year-old aspiring filmmaker clinging to the lowest rungs of Hollywood’s hierarchy, Conrad often took work as it came. The virtual conference whose presentations he was now polishing provided at least a week of steady employment at a time when the coronavirus pandemic had cut off many of his regular sources of income.

Then, on a Sunday night in late April, he went on Facebook to announce that the conference was providing him with something else: a revelation that challenged his understanding of his body, his government and — above all — the infection that was ending and changing lives across the country.

Conrad had been editing videos for an event called the Health Freedom Summit. The faces he was studying for so many hours on his computer screen belonged to some of the world’s most influential anti-vaccine activists and coronavirus skeptics.

There was Andrew Wakefield, the British ex-doctor behind a fraudulent study linking autism to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose transformation from crusading litigator to anti-vaccination firebrand had outraged other members of one of America’s most storied political dynasties; Judy Mikovits, a disgraced virologist who would soon become famous for her starring role in “Plandemic,” a video that promoted conspiracy theories about the pandemic while attacking Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert.

One Louisiana city refuses to take hurricane evacuees. Officials blame racial justice protesters.

Source: Washington Post

As Hurricane Laura hurtled into the Gulf Coast last week with alarming speed, powerful winds and historic flooding, Lafayette, La., missed the worst of the devastation.

But as protests against the local police shooting of a Black man have resumed this week, officials say there’s another danger that could be headed their way: outside agitators, ready to wreak havoc at demonstrations.

Now, citing this “serious, local security threat,” Lafayette — a combined city and parish of 244,000, and one of the largest municipalities near Laura’s path — has barred charity groups from sheltering hurricane evacuees fleeing Louisiana’s battered coast.

“We are not in a position to safeguard people displaced by Laura,” Cydra Wingerter, Lafayette’s chief administrative officer, wrote in an email to area humanitarian groups Saturday, according to the Acadiana Advocate. “We know that bad actors will take our hospitality and use it against us.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/31/lafayette-hurricane-laura-shelter-protests/?hpid=hp_hp-banner-main_mm-evacuees-12p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

Apple and Tesla shares surge after stock splits kick in

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - High-flying shares of Apple Inc and Tesla Inc surged again on Monday as stock splits took effect and attracted more buying from investors.

Apple jumped over 4% and Tesla rallied 10%, elevating the electric car maker’s market capitalization to over $440 billion, making it more valuable than companies including Walmart and Johnson & Johnson .

Apple split its stock 4-for-1, while Tesla split its stock 5-for-1, with both companies saying they aimed to make their shares more affordable to individual investors.

Robinhood and other brokerages increasingly let customers buy fractions of individual shares, making the benefit of stock splits less obvious than in the past. Splits have become less common. Just three S&P 500 members announced splits in 2020, down from 12 in 2011, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-stock-split/apple-tesla-shares-pop-after-stock-splits-idUSKBN25R1FA?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true

UVA Center For Politics: "Dismantling Democracy"

Dismantling Democracy: A Discussion of Freedom Around the World
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00pm

Introduction by Jayme Swain, President and CEO of VPM
Moderator: Larry J. Sabato
Panelists: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government at Harvard and co-author of “How Democracies Die”, Christopher Sabatini, Senior Research Fellow for Latin America, US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House and Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Deputy Director, Master of Science in Foreign Service Program and Professor in the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University

This event is in partnership with VPM. For more information or to ask questions of anyone on the panel, please email Glenn Crossman at [email protected].

NYT: Mike Pence was on "standby" during last year's Trump "check-up" at Walter Reade


Joe Biden blames Trump for exacerbating unrest in cities

Source: Chicago Tribune

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Biden forcefully condemned the violence at recent protests while also blaming President Donald Trump for fomenting the divide that's sparking it. He dismissed his presidential opponent as incapable of tackling the violence himself.

"He doesn't want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he's stoking violence in our cities," Biden said during remarks in Pittsburgh Monday. "He can't stop the violence because for years he's fomented it."

Biden went on to denounce rioting, looting and arson at recent protests.

"It's lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted," he said.

Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/election-2020/ct-nw-joe-biden-donald-trump-violence-20200831-q7xrcmh4jvca5m4vjovvdv4vde-story.html


"I am not banning fracking"


BREAKING: Biden speech on now (CNN, MSNBC, FNC)

Milwaukee announces stadiums available for walk up and drive in early voting


Eastchester, Westchester, Worchester?

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