US elections, GOP, secretary of state candidates, America First slate, 2020 deniers

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In Races to Run Elections, Candidates Are Backed by Key 2020 Deniers (Maria)

The author writes, “Key figures in the effort to subvert the 2020 presidential election have thrown their weight behind a slate of Republican candidates for secretary of state across the country, injecting specious theories about voting machines, foreign hacking and voter fraud into campaigns that will determine who controls elections in several battleground states. The America First slate comprises more than a dozen candidates who falsely claim the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump. It grew out of meetings held by a conspiracy-mongering QAnon leader and a Nevada politician, and has quietly gained support from influential people in the election denier movement.”

Something Dark Unfolded in Jerusalem This Week (Mili)

From The Atlantic: “On Sunday, that bigotry was on full display, as clusters of participants chanted slogans like ‘Death to Arabs’ and ‘Mohammed is dead,’ banged on the doors of Arab shops, and engaged in physical altercations with journalists and Arab locals. This abuse was not about celebrating a Jewish connection to Jerusalem, but about asserting dominance over its non-Jewish residents. It was Lichtenstein’s dark premonition made manifest.”

Two Women Were Charged With Murder After Having Stillbirths. The Cases Are Rocking This Conservative Corner of California (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “In late 2019, it happened again. Another pregnant woman who struggled with addiction delivered a stillborn baby who tested positive for methamphetamine at Adventist Health hospital in the Kings County seat of Hanford. She was also flagged by doctors, investigated by local law enforcement and charged with murder by District Attorney Keith Fagundes. The cases sparked national backlash from civil rights groups, which successfully fought to overturn the convictions. But now, as Gov. Gavin Newsom positions California as a reproductive rights sanctuary ahead of the Supreme Court’s anticipated reversal of Roe v. Wade, the cases are once again dividing residents in a bitter district attorney’s race in this corner of California’s heartland.”

How Harmful Is Social Media? (Sean)

The author writes, “‘What changed in the 2010s?’ Haidt asks, reminding his audience that a former Twitter developer had once compared the Retweet button to the provision of a four-year-old with a loaded weapon. ‘A mean tweet doesn’t kill anyone; it is an attempt to shame or punish someone publicly while broadcasting one’s own virtue, brilliance, or tribal loyalties. It’s more a dart than a bullet, causing pain but no fatalities. Even so, from 2009 to 2012, Facebook and Twitter passed out roughly a billion dart guns globally. We’ve been shooting one another ever since.’”

Bay Area Gun Buybacks Mark Hundreds of Firearms for Destruction (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Several Bay Area law enforcement agencies held anonymous gun buyback events on Saturday. In South San Francisco, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office along with a handful of other local agencies took in 392 firearms, including seven assault style weapons and 12 ghost guns. Handguns, shotguns and rifles were purchased for $100 each and assault style weapons and ghost guns fetched $200 each. ‘We will destroy each and every weapon that we receive,’ said Sheriff Carlos Bolanos. The purpose of these buybacks, according to Bolanos? ‘Get them off the streets, enhance public safety and ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands,’ he said. This gun buyback was on the calendar before the recent string of mass shootings that have shaken the nation.”

Axon Halts Plans for Taser Drone As 9 on Ethics Board Resign (Carina)

The author writes, “Axon, the company best known for developing the Taser, said Monday it was halting plans to develop a Taser-equipped drone after a majority of its ethics board resigned over the controversial project. Axon’s founder and CEO Rick Smith said the company’s announcement last week — which drew a rebuke from its artificial intelligence ethics board — was intended to ‘initiate a conversation on this as a potential solution.’ Smith said the ensuing discussion ‘provided us with a deeper appreciation of the complex and important considerations’ around the issue. As a result, ‘we are pausing work on this project and refocusing to further engage with key constituencies to fully explore the best path forward,’ he said. The development was first reported by Reuters.”

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