"Prayer apps are flooding the market," announces Dorian Llywelyn at The Conversation, "but how well do they work?" If you think of praying as something you do on your own anyway, with only you and God around, you might be tempted to answer "not too well," although admittedly that's not all of us and folks have been spending more time alone than they'd like these days. Fr. Llywelyn sees both utilities and limits to prayer apps, but comes down more on the "limits" side, and I agree, skeptical as I am of attempts to achieve community through social media that don't necessarily involve achieving community in real space-time, and I rather suspect that if you just need reminding to pray -- hey, life gets busy! -- you've already got an alarm app on your smartphone that can help you with that.
Catalina Jamarillo at FactCheck.org patiently negotiates how "Viral Posts Misuse VAERS Data to Make False Claims About COVID-19 Vaccines." VAERS stands for "Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System," where folks have reported side effects after receiving vaccines for 30 years, but here's the thing: some haters use raw, unverified data to claim that vaccines cause much more harm than they actually do, when literally anyone can submit a claim, and frankly, haters don't even read these claims very closely -- LOOKZ ATZ ALLZ TEH DEATHZ!!!! meaning even less when, for all we know, the one who "passed away in their sleep" after getting the vaccine was ancient. Whenever you hear some guy bellowing "do your own research!" you can be pretty sure he has no idea how to do actual research.
Melvin Goodman at Counterpunch tells us "Why There Are So Few Whistleblowers." Because you'll ruin your life would, I suspect, be your first answer, but it's good to stare at the wreckage a little longer, and list the reasons your life will be ruined: because our "liberal" media will attack you, because you can count on military and intelligence agencies to actively conspire against you, because the last two Presidents (not just Trump!) have waged war on the Inspectors General who would receive your whistleblower complaints, and because today's Senators care little about protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. And I'm beyond tired of media knuckleheads charge a whistleblower with "narcissism," while permitting all manner of actual narcissism to spew forth from the mouths of politicians.
When I read that some House Republicans think "(p)eople need to get a thicker skin" is a proper response to Rep. Gosar's censure over posting a "satirical" snuff faux-anime in which his avatar kills two other avatars belonging to President Biden and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, I can only respond "well, you're one to talk!" Republicans who want us to "move on" from January 6 and "learn to take a joke" when threatened with decapitation have spent the last year whining so much about having to wear a mask, having to get a vaccine, and not being allowed on the House floor packing heat that they need their own diaper-changing stations. Which they wouldn't complain about, I'm sure, until an actual mother with an actual toddler needed to use it to change an actual diaper, at which point it would become TEH NANNYZ STATEZ!!!!!
Finally, we achieved a measure of justice in the Ahmaud Arbery verdict, as a jury found all three of his killers guilty of multiple felony murder counts, and by now you've probably heard 50 times that this verdict would never have come about without that video getting shared, and while that's true, we should also contemplate how many Ahmaud Arberys died 50 years ago when citizens were not able to carry high-quality video cameras in their pockets; the era where "everyone's a filmmaker" isn't entirely a bad thing. Moreover, we need to stop qualifying victories by saying "but it never would have happened if not for the activism," because we should be activists all the time.