CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Daily Digest

12 May 2020
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It’s been a crazy, confusing and all-round fascinating news day, so let’s get right to it: • Riverside County wants to move forward in the reopening process! That was the message sent today by the Board of Supervisors, who are trying to make the case to Gov. Newsom that we’re pretty gosh-darned close to being ready to move further into Stage 2. • Los Angeles County is going to be closed deep into the summer! That was the somewhat misleading message sent by this Los Angeles Times headline: “L.A. County could keep stay-at-home orders in place well into summer.” The headline was later changed. Why? Well, the story ran amok on social media, and late in the day, the county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer,…
11 May 2020
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Last Friday’s Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting and its aftermath were simply remarkable—one of the most stupefying series of political events I’ve ever witnessed. Here’s the short version: The supes voted unanimously to revoke three of county health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser’s orders, as well as most of a fourth. Instead, the county will now defer to the state’s weaker (and, in some cases, less-clear) orders. Frankly … the revocation of the orders involving golf courses and short-term lodging, and the partial revocation of the order involving schools, won’t change much. But that fourth one … in terms of sending a message, at least, it’s a doozy: The supervisors voted to revoke Cameron’s requirement that face masks be worn, and social distancing protocols be…
08 May 2020
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For my friend Matt, it was the permanent closure of Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes—a restaurant where he had his first job—that made him fully realize the world we knew in early March was gone forever. “I actually cried a few times yesterday, and it’s not just over big-chunk chicken-noodle soup and focaccia bread,” Matt wrote on Twitter. “It’s the realization that our lives will not ever ‘go back to normal.’ Our world is rapidly changing, and change is inevitable. I just didn’t expect it to be this fast.” So many places, institutions and businesses are going to be wiped out by the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn—which may very well qualify as a depression by the time all is said and done. We are going to…
07 May 2020
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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play the exciting game that is most definitely NOT sweeping the nation: Six Degrees of Separation: Whackadoo Conspiracy Theory Edition! However, Kevin Bacon was not available, so we will be seeing how many degrees of separation you—YES YOU!!!—are from the newest conspiracy star in all the pandemic-stricken land! We’ll start off with Judy Mikovits, Ph.D. She’s the star of that new documentary you’ve likely seen some of your friends posting on social media, even though they really should know better. In an effort to be fair and open-minded, I actually tracked it down and watched it today. My Impression: The documentary is 1) well-crafted and slick, 2) undeniably interesting and 3) completely packed with easily refutable and deeply-harmful-if-believed nonsense!…
06 May 2020
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It’s often said that you can’t prove a negative. However, that’s not accurate: Mathematically, you generally can. It is accurate, however that you can’t disprove a conspiracy theory to a conspiracy theorist. This is something I have learned, painfully, over the years during many squabbles with them. For example, there was the guy who wanted me, while I was the editor of the Tucson Weekly, to expose how Sept. 11 was an inside job. The key piece of evidence, he said, was the fact that the World Trade Center 7 building collapsed, despite not being directly hit by a plane. So I sent him some articles, including one from Popular Mechanics, thoroughly explaining why WTC 7 collapsed. “Well, that stuff is obviously faked,” he said.…
05 May 2020
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Today was one of those days where I sat at my desk all day, and was busy all day … and then all of a sudden, it was the early evening, and my to-do list was just as long as it had been first thing this morning. I was going to tell you my harrowing and baffling story of trying to navigate the federal small-business loan process, but that’ll have to wait until later this week. In the meantime, strap yourselves in for news from this completely not normal Cinco de Mayo: • The county supervisors’ meeting today—at which supervisors are considering rescinding county health orders that go further than the state’s orders—has been something of a debacle. As of this writing, it’s still going…
04 May 2020
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This has been one hell of a news day—one of the busiest news days since this whole mess started, I’d say—so let’s get right to it: • Big news item No. 1: The state’s reopening process is slated to begin on Friday, with, for starters, retail stores allowed to open for pickup. Here are the details on Gov. Newsom’s announcement today, from our partners at CalMatters. • Big news item No. 2: According to The New York Times, a Trump administration projection anticipates deaths from COVID-19 will skyrocket over the next month. Meanwhile, states—many of which are currently seeing a rise in cases—are continuing the reopening process. Meanwhile, nothing makes sense anymore, and I need a cocktail. • Big news item No. 3: Arizona, aka…
03 May 2020
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“As the (COVID-19) pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories. The press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres The United Nations honors World Press Freedom Day every May 3—and on this World Press Freedom Day, many media organizations find themselves in serious trouble, because of the economic chaos brought to us by the pandemic. I am going to turn things over to A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, by sharing part of a note he sent to me and a whole bunch of other news publishers on Friday: “I wanted to reach out to you to say how much we appreciate…