Mark Zuckerberg is right about Peter Thiel

I believe this is the first time I've ever said this: Mark Zuckerberg is entirely right.

Some in the tech world are in a moral panic about the fact that zillionarie tech baron and Facebook board member Peter Thiel is a major donor to the campaign of the vile Donald Trump. Now, there are many reasons to want to keep as far from possible from Thiel; this is a guy who actually said, way back in 2009, "I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible"and spoke of the extension of the franchise to women as a negative development. He's also one of the founders of Palantir, a primary contractor of the "national security" deep state -- a hell of a thing for a self-described "libertarian" to be involved with. So his politics are awful, contradictory, irrational, and inhumane. In that realm, anyone paying attention concluded "fuck Thiel and the horse he rode in on" long before Trump became the GOP nominee, and his support for Trump is actually kind of low on his list of sins.

But the idea that a company should purge itself of board members based on ideological purity, on political opinions and affiliations outside their corporate role, is exactly the sort of self-sorting and silencing of dissent that is taking us down the spiral of partisanship.

Man saves dog from imaginary fire

Fifth points for courage and wanting to save a dog. Minus fifty for mixing LSD with DXM, and another minus fifty for not taking basic psychedelic precautions like having a sober friend around.

Troopers: Man mixing LSD and cough syrup saves dog from imaginary fire (WNYT NewsChannel 13)

HALFMOON -- A Halfmoon man allegedly broke into his neighbor's house to save the family dog from a fire, Thursday night. However, there was no fire. Troopers say he was on LSD and hallucinating.

Troopers say 43-year-old Michael Orchard of Inglewood Drive told them he mixed LSD with cough medicine Thursday afternoon and they found him, standing heroically with a dog in his arms outside of what he thought was a giant inferno.

"He believed that the residence was on fire and he was rescuing the dog," said Trooper Mark Cepiel, Troop G Spokesperson.

Obama administration continues its march towards WWIII

The mess in Syria is the starkest example of why a Clinton II administration, sure to continue to ramp up tensions with Russia and pursue an even more belligerent version of the brutal and stupid foreign policy status quo, could be more damaging to the world than even a Trump administration.

That status quo is actually inching us towards war with Russia.

War. With. Russia. You know, the country some experts believe has us outgunned when it comes to nukes.

Growing up in the Reagan era, I always thought it would be a Republican who brought about nuclear annihilation. Well, given that Hillary Clinton is a old "Goldwater Girl" who gets her foreign policy from Henry Kissinger, maybe that intuition wasn't too far off...the woman most likely to destroy the world is a Republican at heart. So if it comes to it, I'll have that bit of comfort that my instincts weren't completely off as I wait for incineration.

Warmongering in Washington, Preparation for War in Moscow (The Nation)

 Cohen argues that we should be “shocked” less by Donald Trump’s sex talk or by Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds as secretary of state than by the entire political-media establishment’s indifference to Washington’s drift toward war with Russia. Since the breakdown of the Obama-Putin agreement to cooperate militarily against terrorists in Syria, which Cohen blames primarily on the Obama administration, Washington has escalated its warfare rhetoric against the Kremlin and Russian President Putin in particular. The man with whom the Obama administration proposed to partner with in Syria only two weeks ago is now denounced as a “war criminal” for Russia’s fight against terrorists in Aleppo, which was to be “liberated” by the now aborted US-Russian military alliance. The Washington Post was more specific, publishing a leaked account of how Putin might be arrested outside of Russia and put on trial. But the first victim might have been Secretary of State Kerry, who negotiated and advocated the proposed alliance and who now must level against Russia the same charges of “war crimes,” dealing a devastating blow to his own reputation. Putting another nail in the coffin of its jettisoned cooperation with the Kremlin, the White House officially accused the Putin leadership of trying to undermine the American electoral system through systematic hacking, even though it presented no real evidence for the allegation. Meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to base their coverage of US national security in this regard solely on unrelenting vilification of Putin, not on US national interests. Any talk of partnership with Russia, as still advocated by Donald Trump, is traduced as “insanity” (Rachel Maddow on MSNBC).

WV Cop fired for *not* killing a man

The Weirton, WV police fired Stephen Mader for not killing Ronald D. Williams Jr (pictured). Here is why American police, as an institution, are the enemies of civilization. Good cops are systematically forced out.

Weirton terminates officer who did not fire at man with gun (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

After responding to a report of a domestic incident on May 6 in Weirton, W.Va., then-Weirton police officer Stephen Mader found himself confronting an armed man.

Immediately, the training he had undergone as a Marine to look at “the whole person” in deciding if someone was a terrorist, as well as his situational police academy training, kicked in and he did not shoot.

“I saw then he had a gun, but it was not pointed at me,” Mr. Mader recalled, noting the silver handgun was in the man’s right hand, hanging at his side and pointed at the ground.


“I thought I was going to be able to talk to him and deescalate it. I knew it was a suicide-by-cop” situation.

But just then, two other Weirton officers arrived on the scene, Mr. Williams walked toward them waving his gun — later found to be unloaded — between them and Mr. Mader, and one of them shot Mr. Williams’ in the back of the head just behind his right ear, killing him.


In a meeting with the chief and City Manager Travis Blosser, Mr. Mader said Chief Alexander told him: “We’re putting you on administrative leave and we’re going to do an investigation to see if you are going to be an officer here. You put two other officers in danger.”

Mr. Mader said that “right then I said to him: ‘Look, I didn’t shoot him because he said, ‘Just shoot me.’ ”

On June 7, a Weirton officer delivered him a notice of termination letter dated June 6, which said by not shooting Mr. Williams he “failed to eliminate a threat.”

The terrorists have won.

A nation scared by the sound of applause, seeing phantom threats everywhere.

The terrorists have won. Soaked in its own fear sweat, the nation can't even wait in line to board a plane without suffering a nervous breakdown.

Scenes From the Terrifying, Already Forgotten JFK Airport Shooting That Wasn’t (Daily Intelligencer)

When the first stampede began, my plane had just landed. It started, apparently, with a group of passengers awaiting departure in John F. Kennedy Airport Terminal 8 cheering Usain Bolt’s superhuman 100-meter dash. The applause sounded like gunfire, somehow, or to someone; really, it only takes one. According to some reports, one woman screamed that she saw a gun. The cascading effect was easier to figure: When people started running, a man I met later on the tarmac said, they plowed through the metal poles strung throughout the terminal to organize lines, and the metal clacking on the tile floors sounded like gunfire. Because the clacking was caused by the crowd, wherever you were and however far you’d run already, it was always right around you.


There was no “they.” There was not even a “he,” no armed person turning on a crowd. But what happened at JFK last night was, in every respect but the violence, a mass shooting. The fact that there was no attack at the center of it was both the weirdest and the scariest part — that an institution whose size and location and budget should make it a fortress, in a country that has spent 15 years focused compulsively on securing its airports, in a city with a terrifyingly competent anti-terror police unit, could be transformed into a scene of utter bedlam, stretching out from all eight terminals across the tarmac and onto the adjacent highways, by the whisper of a threat.

Aetna quits Obamacare exchanges

This will leave many people with only one insurer to choose from in the so-called "marketplace", which will surely lead to large rate increases. But thanks to the mandate -- something essentially written into the bill by the industry -- people have little choice but to fork it over and keep enriching insurers. It's a great deal for the industry, a lousy deal for most Americans.

Insurance Giant Aetna Walks From Obamacare Exchanges, Hundreds of Thousands of Americans, Amid Antitrust Dispute » THE DISTRICT SENTINEL news co-op (THE DISTRICT SENTINEL news co-op)

Aetna, one of the country’s largest health insurance company, said on Monday that in 2017 it will stop offering individual plans through eleven states’ Affordable Care Act exchanges. States impacted by the decision include Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona.

About 838,000 people are currently insured through Aetna’s individual plans sold on ACA state exchanges. Roughly 80 percent of them will have to find new providers or buy Aetna coverage sold outside of the exchanges, according to Bloomberg.

The news service noted that Aetna’s withdrawal “raises the prospect that some consumers will only have one insurer to choose from when they buy 2017 coverage” through Obamacare portals.

Threat of a President Trump should inspire the end of the imperial presidency

Over the past few decades the American Presidency has accumulated more and more power, making effectively true Nixon's famous claim that "if the President does it, it's not illegal." It's been a bipartisan effort, and the disinterest by both parties in reigning it in is further demonstration why the top priority this year is to break open the two-party system. In the meantime, though, maybe we should use the specter of a President Trump (though that seems more remote today, there are still months to go before the election) to motivate reform.

End the Imperial Presidency Before It's Too Late (The Atlantic)

While writing or sharing articles that compare Trump to Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco, few if any have called on Obama or Congress to act now “to tyrant-proof the White House.” However much they fear Trump, however rhetorically maximalist they are in warning against his elevation, even the prospect of him controlling the entire apparatus of the national security state is not enough to cause them to rethink their reckless embrace of what Gene Healy calls “The Cult of the Presidency,” a centrist religion that persisted across the Bush administration’s torture chambers and the Obama administration’s unlawful War in Libya.

With a reality-TV bully is on the doorstep of the White House, still they hesitate to urge reform to a branch of government they’ve long regarded as more than co-equal.

They needn’t wait for the Nixon-era abuses to replay themselves as farce or worse to change course. Their inaction is irresponsible....

Dems give former CIA chief Panetta the stage, turn off lights on protesters

Nothing shows your progressive, pro-peace bona fides like having the former CIA director and Secretary of Defense, a guy at the heart of your drone war crimes program, give a speech at your convention -- and then turning out the lights on protesters.

Panetta's Trump attack thrown off course (TheHill)

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta harshly condemned Donald Trump, but his speech was overtaken by protesters at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night.

Panetta called Donald Trump’s remarks about Russia “inconceivable” in a scathing primetime address.


But his speech was interrupted by sustained chants of "no more war." The chants came the delegations of Oregon and Washington, two states won by Bernie Sanders.

Eventually, other delegates drowned them out with chants of “USA.”

But Panetta appeared rattled by the interruptions and unsure how to proceed. As Panetta continued to speak, the lights were dimmed over the sections of Sanders supporters, an apparent effort to silence them.

Cornel West switches to Stein after Sanders backs "neoliberal disaster" Clinton

Cornel West is ahead of the curve as usual, one of the most insightful and courageous thinkers on the scene today. (I don't agree with him on everything but he's always worth listening to.) In the primaries he was a strong voice for Sanders, but now that Sanders has caved West is backing the Green Party's Jill Stein:

Cornel West: Why I Endorse the Green Party’s Jill Stein Over ‘Neoliberal Disaster’ Hillary Clinton (Truthdig)

A neoliberal disaster is one who generates a mass incarceration regime, who deregulates banks and markets, who promotes chaos of regime change in Libya, supports military coups in Honduras, undermines some of the magnificent efforts in Haiti of working people, and so forth. That’s the record of Hillary Clinton. So there was no way—when my dear brother, who I love very deeply, Bernie Sanders said she will make an outstanding president, I said, "Oh, I disagree with my brother. I think she’ll—I don’t think she’ll make an outstanding president at all." She’s a militarist. She’s a hawk. She could take us into war with Russia. She could take us into war with Iran.


And once my dear brother moved into his endorsement, his strong endorsement of the neoliberal disaster that Sister Hillary represents, there was no way that I could stay with Bernie Sanders any longer, had to break with the two-party system. The duopoly has to come to an end. I was hoping we could bring the neoliberal era to a close, because a year ago, populist, Bernie Sanders; neofascist with Trump, or neoliberalism limps on with Hillary Clinton. Right now the Democratic Party still run by big corporations, big lobbyists and so forth, from AIPAC to a host of other lobbyists of big money, and it looks like they want to hold on for dear life. And it’s a sad thing to see, because the country is having a nervous breakdown. And you just hope that there can be enough people with compassion and courage to hold onto justice, keep the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Edward Said and Dorothy Day alive.

American cops murder another black man: Philando Castile

It's going to be a long summer.

Remember, the police are not here to protect you. The police are here to enforce the status quo.

Minnesota Police Shooting’s Aftermath Is Captured in Gruesome Video (

The woman began by calmly narrating what was happening as she trained the camera on Mr. Castile, whom she described as her boyfriend, and on at least one officer who was pointing a gun through the driver’s side window.

“Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him,” she said. “You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
Continue reading the main story

The woman’s daughter, who was in the back seat, appears several times in the video. Near the end of the 10-minute clip, as the two are sitting in the back of a police car, she comforts her mother, saying, “It’s O.K., Mommy. It’s O.K. I’m right here with you.”


Family members demanded justice for Mr. Castile during an interview on CNN early Thursday. Mr. Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, said police officers who were meant to protect Americans had instead become “our executioners and judges and murderers.”


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