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​People tying Capitol rioter John Sullivan to BLM and Antifa are missing some key facts
Rebellion Baby/Twitter, New York Post/Twitter

Ever since pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, some people have tried to blame the attack on other groups—namely, Antifa and BLM.

A false Washington Times report—which spread like wildfire—claimed Antifa members had been identified at the riot by a facial recognition software company. As it turned out, the men identified by the software company were actually neo-Nazis, not Antifa, and the story was corrected. But not before Congressman Matt Gaetz cited the original, false story on the House floor. In fact, some people are still talking about the false story as fact. Despite being corrected, the damage has been done.

Now there's another story spreading like wildfire, which is also false. A man named John Sullivan was arrested for taking part in the Capitol riot, and he is being paraded as the poster boy for BLM involvement in planning and carrying out the insurrection. The New York Post, Fox News, Politico, and other outlets initially referred to him as a "left-wing activist" in their headlines.



The problem is, Sullivan was kicked out of BLM protest movements in multiple cities months ago.

In a long Twitter thread, a group called Rebellion Baby detailed the various protest groups around the country that had cut ties with Sullivan, characterizing him as a possible "agent provocateur" or "infiltrator" with ties to the right-wing. (Note that the date of this thread is November of 2020, and that the thread was put out as a warning to Seattle protest groups to keep him away.)

"John has been kicked from the #SaltLakeCity and #Portland protest scenes due to alarming behaviors including grifting/profiteering, self-promotion/clout chasing, sabotage of community actions, threats of violence, and — maybe most disturbingly — ties to the far-right," Rebellion Baby wrote. "In short — John's brother, James, is the co-founder of a pro-Trump org called 'Civilized Awakening,' and has strong ties to Proud Boys — even having spoken at a Proud Boy rally. The brothers' polarized political stances conveniently bolster the other's public personas. Activists in these cities recommend that he be barred from community actions and totally avoided."

Sullivan has multiple social media accounts under multiple names, and frequently adds new ones as he gets called out. For example, he used to be known as "Activist John" but started going by "Jayden X" as different protest groups started warning one another about him.

In addition, the website for the organization he founded, called Insurgence USA, describes itself as "started in 2020 in response to the Gorge Floyd tragedy"—the misspelling of "George" included.

It sounds like John Sullivan may be more interested in sowing chaos for funsies and making money off of activism-minded people than actually standing for anything in particular. In any protest movement, the majority of people are sincere in what they are protesting, but are some people who join in just to cause a ruckus, make a buck, or watch the world burn.

In a new and even longer thread shared since Sullivan's arrest, Rebellion Baby wrote, "While it's still unclear if John's end goal is chaos and confusion or if this is simply a side effect of shameless grifting — it's clear that he continues to be a threat to protester safety whether he's on the ground or online."

"John's top priorities are centering himself and making a buck — even if people are harmed in the process," they added.

More reports are coming out with similar information about Sullivan's involvement in protests this summer and how he was banished from various protest movements.

Sullivan's actions in the Capitol were odd at best. He told the Salt Lake Tribune that he was at the Capitol to "watch history" as a "journalist," but he doesn't have any press credentials. He entered the building through a broken window. He filmed the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, who later died. He can be heard in his own videos yelling "We accomplished this sh--. We did this together," and, "We are all a part of this history. ... Let's burn this s--- down," among other inciting language.

He claims he had to act like he fit in to avoid being attacked himself. "I have to blend into the f------ crowd because, you know, there's a lot of people who wanted to hurt me," he said.

Sullivan is from Utah but is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter Utah, and the group told the Tribune he has never been a member.

Investigations into the Black Lives Matter protests and the riots that stemmed from them found that some instances of violence, (which took place in a very small percentage of the protests overall) were instigated by white supremacists. The killer of two police officers in Oakland during the protests was found to be part of the right-wing "Boogaloo Bois" movement. So the idea of opposing groups infiltrating a protest movement is not uncommon and totally possible.

However, both the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice have said that they have seen no evidence in their investigations so far that there was Antifa involvement in the Capitol riot. And there have been no credible reports of BLM involvement, either.

Besides, it takes a pretty pretzel-like stretch of the imagination to think that people who are well-known in the QAnon and pro-Trump world, who posted on social media before the riot talking about doing storming the Capitol, who are on video shouting about how they were storming the Capitol as they were doing it, and then also on video bragging about storming the Capitol after they did it, were not actually the ones doing it.

If John Sullivan's participation is the only piece of evidence that BLM or Antifa caused the destruction and violence at the U.S. Capitol—and not insurrectionists trying to keep Trump in power—that's proof in and of itself that the idea is total fantasy.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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