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Articles on this Page
- 05/24/16--12:10: _Listen to Donald Tr...
- 05/24/16--12:30: _Look, Game of Thron...
- 05/24/16--11:50: _Things Have Gotten ...
- 05/24/16--14:34: _Justice Department ...
- 05/24/16--14:19: _Black Flag Remember...
- 05/24/16--15:30: _New Vice Exec "Clea...
- 05/24/16--15:45: _Popular Opinion: Th...
- 05/24/16--16:00: _Russian State TV Ca...
- 05/24/16--17:15: _Portland Police Chi...
- 05/24/16--06:44: _Today's Best Deals:...
- 05/24/16--19:45: _Report: 152 Federal...
- 05/24/16--20:33: _Protest Outside Tru...
- 05/25/16--06:35: _Planet Aid's Yellow...
- 05/25/16--06:50: _Reports: Tech Billi...
- 05/25/16--07:20: _Texas Finally Did S...
- 05/25/16--07:50: _If You Like Hunting...
- 05/25/16--08:15: _The American Sniper...
- 05/25/16--07:34: _Is Mark Zuckerberg ...
- 05/25/16--09:36: _Finally, CNN Asks a...
- 05/25/16--10:10: _Hedge Fund Guy Anno...
- 05/24/16--12:30: Look, Game of Thrones Has Shown Us Dicks Before
- 05/24/16--11:50: Things Have Gotten Much Worse Since An Inconvenient Truth
- 05/24/16--14:34: Justice Department Will Also Seek Death Penalty Against Dylann Roof
- 05/24/16--15:30: New Vice Exec "Cleans House" in Video News Reorganization
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- 05/24/16--19:45: Report: 152 Federal Inmates Served Extra Time Due to "Staff Errors"
- 05/24/16--20:33: Protest Outside Trump Rally in New Mexico Turns Violent
- 05/25/16--07:20: Texas Finally Did Something Good
- 05/25/16--08:15: The American Sniper Was an American Liar
Donald Trump, ever consistent, offered a wildly inconsistent response to the transgender bathroom debate Monday, managing to pander to just about every mindset with his 30-second response.
Trump was a guest on the O’Reilly Factor Monday night, when, about four minutes into the interview, he was asked about the White House directive on allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their preferred gender.
“So you would have little girls, eight to 11 or 12, with a boy who wants to be a girl, in the same shower. Conceivably. That could happen,” O’Reilly said. “And the Charlotte Observor editorialized recently that that’s fine, we need to get over that. I was a little perturbed by that editorial. What say you?”
Trump proceeded to rapidly cycle through several takes: Leave it to the states, protect minority, protect the majority, but also protect the minority, and if that doesn’t work, leave it to the states.
To wit: “Well it’s not fine and I have to tell you that I would, generally speaking, leave it to the states to decide. You know, Obama’s getting into a very tricky territory. And the amazing thing is, so many people are talking about this now,” Trump said. “And we have to protect everybody, even if it’s one person. But this is such a tiny part of our population. Now with that being said, protect everybody. But I would really leave it up to the states.”
Glad that’s settled.
Last week’s episode of Game of Thrones will be remembered as one that rewarded emotional investment in a show that, in recent seasons, has given its viewers plenty of reasons to check out
Depending on your sources of Game of Thrones news (“news”), the appearance of a penis was the biggest story to come out of the episode. Publications as esteemed as Time and Vanity Fair and as downmarket as Perez Hilton and “Telegraph.co.uk.” together erected an entire pop-up content mill to manufacture news stories about the dick that appeared on Game of Thrones:
Some of these news stories, as you can see, revolve around an appearance by Emilia Clarke (aka Daenerys Targaryen aka the Unburnt aka Breaker of Chains aka the Mother of Dragons) on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, in which she exalted the on-screen cock:
“There’s a new character that was introduced last night on Game of Thrones, and the new character is a penis. A penis was shown on the show. About damn time, right?”
But the dick is currency in the recap economy even aside from the talking points of a high-profile actor. A post on Vox about a play-within-the-play that took place during the episode shoved the phrase “penis-scene” into its URL, while Fusion’s episode recap heralded a “surprise death and surprise dick.” The discussion among the Fusion recappers encapsulates the general reaction:
Katie: On the topic of dicks like Euron, we saw an actual dick. A surprise dick. And guess what? I did not like it
Kelsey: Omg, we did! I screamed “PENIS!” when it happened.
Tahirah: They have never shown a penis like that. Or at all, I think? It was like getting a surprise dick pic: I didn’t ask for this. Who is this, even?
Katie: I think we’ve seen them sometimes in brothel situations, dicks off in the distance, but this was a close-up! No warning! In some ways, it was the kind of senseless, gratuitous nudity that we usually see from female extras.
While I agree that it was cool to see a dick (well, upon closer inspection, shaved balls and the balloon-knotted tip of an uncircumcised dick), I think it’s important to note that—contrary to breathless media reports—this was far from the first clearly exhibited dick in the history of Game of Thrones. (Warning: This post is about to get NSFW.) Full frontal has been a part of the show dating as far back as Season 1, when Alfie Allen—in far better days for his character—put himself on clear display (via the invaluable celeb dick resource omgblog):
Then in Season 4, Will Tudor—as prostitute/spy Olyvar—flopped his dick across the screen as he stormed out of a brothel (again via omgblog):
For American television, this counts as particularly prominent penis. Vox’s Emily Crockett read the most recent cock shot as the show’s creators’ meta-response to the claim (publicly advanced by Clarke) that Game of Thrones doesn’t feature enough male nudity, and maybe it was.
Clarke and others have argued that the ratio of female-to-male nudity on Game of Thrones is out of balance, which remains true. And while Allen (who went nude once before in a staging of Equus) has remained a fixture in the series’ ever-expanding world, frontal nudity is expected of some of the show’s most recognizable female actors (Clarke, Carice van Houten) even as most of its leading men are allowed to stay clothed. (Though both Kit Harrington and Lena Headey have been afforded body doubles in the past.)
Nonetheless, I’d say that Game of Thrones has done more to chip away at the American entertainment industry’s longtime nudity imbalance than pretty much any other show on television. That’s at least true within HBO, where dick should almost be a requirement (Girls, for instance, didn’t show a penis until this year). Maybe this is a low bar to clear. Regardless it’s one which women, gays, and Matt McGorrys would be happy to see Game of Thrones continue to lift. But let us cease pretending that this show has never before placed a dick directly in front of our faces.
In 2006, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth spread the idea of human-caused climate change far and wide in what is now considered a watershed moment for the science. But today, on the ten-year anniversary of the film’s release, we’ve made little progress toward addressing the grave planetary concerns Gore raised. In fact, by practically every metric, things have gotten much worse.
Over the past decade, humanity’s climate-warming carbon emissions have risen steadily, from 8.3 billion tons in 2006 to roughly 10 billion tons last year. The concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere has grown in step, briefly topping the historic 400 parts per million (ppm) milestone for the first time in 2013. Then, last spring, atmospheric CO2 rose to 400 ppm for an entire month. Now we are on the verge of living in a world where 400 ppm or greater is the permanent state of our atmosphere, something that hasn’t happened in millions of years.
The consequences for our climate have been stark. The year of An Inconvenient Truth’s release was the hottest in recorded history, but just four years later, it was overtaken by 2010. 2010 held the heat record for three years, before 2014 came along and took the crown handily, only to have its record shattered by 2015
Over the past decade, a wealth of scientific studies and reports have laid out the likely consequences of human-caused global warming. Rapid polar ice sheet melting
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the specter of climate change is now impossible to ignore for all but the die-hard science deniers. And politicians are starting to take action. Last month, leaders of 175 countries met to sign the Paris Climate Agreement
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we’ve emitted approximately 2,000 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we want to preserve a better-than-50-percent chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius, we can only emit another 1,000 billion tons of CO2 at most. If everybody sticks to the carbon reductions pledges outlined in the Paris Agreement—and that’s a big ‘if’—we’ll use up that budget by 2040.
Without more aggressive decarbonization, we could be in store for closer to 3 degrees of warming by the end of the 21st century, making it far more likely that global sea level will rise several feet, drowning coastal cities worldwide
Yes, climate science has advanced greatly since An Inconvenient Truth, and yes, Al Gore’s once-extreme ideology has gained some mainstream acceptance. But the truth of the matter—that we need to do much, much more to stop human-caused climate change from permanently altering life on Earth—is as inconvenient as ever.
Federal prosecutors will also seek the death penalty against alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, the Attorney General’s office announced today.
“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said today in a statement. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”
Roof is also facing state death penalty charges in a trial that was scheduled to begin this summer but has now been delayed until at least January to allow time for Roof to undergo psychological testing.
The now-22-year-old was arrested last June after he allegedly shot nine people to death during a bible study at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof indicated his attack was racially motivated and investigators say he wrote a manifesto explaining his strategy: “I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
Roof has since been held, without bail, in a jail cell next to Michael Slager, the cop accused of shooting and killing a black suspect in the back.
Black Flag Remembering One Of The Most Terrifying Crashes In Indy 500 History
Vice laid off around 15 staffers today in a “reorganization” of their video news division, The Politico first reported this afternoon. As part of the shuffling, ex-Bloomberg bigwig Josh Tyrangiel has been promoted to a position in which he will oversee the entirety of Vice’s video news operation, from its HBO programming on down. Via Politico:
Tyrangiel will oversee Vice News, the weekly HBO Vice News show, and the daily Vice News show, which is expected to premiere later this year on HBO. Tyrangiel will aim to connect the disparate news divisions in order to create a more cohesive product, the source said. He was originally hired by Vice last year to lead development of the daily HBO program.
A source at Vice told Gawker that the layoffs weren’t “entirely a surprise” because Tyrangiel, who was hired by Vice in October, carries a “reputation of coming in and cleaning house.”
Though the exact number of laid-off employees is still unclear, the source said that around 10 employees in the United States were let go, along with what appears to be the entire UK news office. According to the source, most of the American employees who were laid off were younger producers in their first or second jobs out of college. Paired with recent new hires from NBC and the New York Times, the shedding of less experienced employees seems to signal an ongoing professionalization of what was once a brash, young workplace—though the source did say that Vice’s HBO arm also lost one producer today who came over from 60 Minutes last year.
Jason Gordon—Director of Communications at the Writer’s Guild of America, East—told Gawker in a statement that four members of Vice’s union (which is limited to its digital employees) were among those laid off today. Gordon also echoed reports by Politico and Recode that Vice is not cutting jobs but reallocating them:
I can confirm that four of our members were among those laid off by VICE and they will receive the severance we negotiated. We understand the company will expand other parts of its digital news operation in coming months so this does not appear to be part of a broader retrenchment.
According to our source, Vice offered at minimum two weeks severance to those employees forced to walk the plank this afternoon.
Disclosure: Vice and Gawker are both unionized under the Writer’s Guild of America, East.
For the most part, Angelenos seem to be greeting the extension of the Expo Line
“Unpopular Opinion: The Subway to SaMo Is a Bad Idea,” reads the headline of a brief editorial by Alexandra Cheney, which was published to Thrillist’s Los Angeles vertical and deleted this afternoon. (A cached version is still available via Google.) Cheney, who identifies herself as a “born and bred Santa Monica local,” fears that the street-level train line will lead to overcrowding, car accidents, and increased crime in her neighborhood. She writes,
And that’s not even mentioning overcrowding — which could lead to an increase in crime. And before you cry “privilege,” it’s not just me that’s worried about this. Santa Monica’s city manager Rick Cole says he’s expecting 4,000-8,000 new people per day to flood in via train; this first weekend, we saw a massive influx of people via the new train cars. If that didn’t worry the city, then why has the Santa Monica Police Department added nearly a dozen officers, and why is it looking to add another dozen?
The idea that access to public transportation may taint a neighborhood with unfavorable people isn’t a new one, and its history is intimately tied with ugly ideas about race and class. In the early 20th century, when Robert Moses was building his sweeping public beaches on Long Island and the parkways that gave New Yorkers access to them, he built crossing bridges over the roadways that were too low for buses to pass under. That way, anyone who relied on public transit—many of them recent immigrants who couldn’t afford access to cars of their own—couldn’t get to the beach and disturb the happy wealthy people. Whether she means it maliciously or not, when Cheney writes about “an influx of crime in areas that seemed at one time to be totally safe” along the Expo extension, she is echoing these same loaded arguments against public transit.
It’s impossible to know for sure why the post was pulled down, but it likely had something to with the backlash it received on Twitter, where users have been piling on Cheney all afternoon. Cheney and Jeff Miller, the editor of Thrillist LA, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
But the piece was clearly intended as a contrarian take on a hot-button issue. Without handwringing about the ethical implications of disappearing your own journalistic work—Gawker Media has done it before—or about the erosion of traditional boundaries between business and editorial divisions at digital media companies—the Thrillist Media Group’s tagline is “The digital crossroads of content and commerce”—I’d say the moral of the story is this: When you publish a hate read, you shouldn’t be surprised when readers hate it.
Kremlin-appointed Russian media personality Dmitry Kiselyov, who once urged that the hearts of gay auto-accident victims “be either buried or burned” because they are “unsuitable” for organ donation, got called on some very creative bullshit this week.
Several French residents interviewed for Kiselyov’s weekly show were shocked to see themselves railing against migrants on Russian primetime television, after the French Daily Show-esque Le Petit Journal tracked down half a dozen subjects and played the segment for them. Their quotes had been apparently either taken out of context or completely made up in translation.
The segment on “Euroskepticism” (anti-EU-ism) “in France” kicked off with dramatic confrontations at the protests over France’s new labor laws. Several people who were actually criticizing the neoliberal labor reforms had their quotes distorted or dubbed over with barely tangent fiction. The crew hit a propaganda goldmine when a seemingly drunk, brown-skinned stranger started harassing one of their interviewees. After he left, the protestor was translated to have said that she feels unsafe living in France and that the police should be “dealing with the migrants instead of chasing us from the streets.” According to Le Petit Journal, that’s the opposite of what she was saying.
The segment also featured a scary, graffitied school that was allegedly shut down and overrun by migrants. (The school was actually closed and vacant for five years, long before the refugee crisis.) Republican Party politician Bruno Le Maire was translated as saying, “We must work more with Russia. The future of Europe depends on it,” implying that the chaos in France was caused by the “poor European Union”—you know, the one that’s embargoing Russia over its annexation of Crimea right now. Le Maire told Le Petit Journal that the translated statement “differs greatly” from what was actually said.
The anti-EU hodgepodge, complete with random cuts to black kids and women in hijabs, delivered a confusing message of a chaotic France terrorized by migrants and in desperate need of Russian friendship. It didn’t really fly in France. 122 TV says that the original segment has been wiped from the network’s site and YouTube channel. Earlier today, Vesti Nedeli host Dmitry Kiselyov admitted to the Russian newspaper Kommersant that there were some problems with this segment, because “we occasionally miss things” (don’t we all!) but “we will deal with this in the next Vesti Nedeli on Sunday.”
Vesti Nedeli (“News of the Week”) is a popular news-themed show on the Rossia 1 state-television channel, but it’s not Kiselyov’s only gig. Since 2013, he has been appointed by Putin himself to head a 2,300-person government-owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Frankensteined from the opposition-purged remnants of the forcefully dissolved RIA Novosti news agency and Voice of Russia radio.
Kiselyov is not a subtle propagandist, and makes batshit assertions all the time, like ones about American spies fighting on the side of “the terrorists in Syria” and “the fascists in Ukraine.” He once showed German “documents” with a quote attributed to Hitler with obvious grammatical errors. Earlier this year, he did a segment on Alexei Navalny
On Tuesday, the police chief of Oregon’s largest city was placed on paid leave after allegedly misleading an investigator about a hunting accident last month.
According to The Oregonian, Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea failed to tell a responding officer he accidentally fired the shot that hit a friend in the back, instead suggesting the victim shot himself:
O’Dea didn’t identify himself as Portland’s chief or even as a police officer when he was questioned by the deputy who responded April 21 to a 911 call outside Fields, [Harney County] Sheriff Dave Ward said in an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive.
O’Dea and some of his companions at the scene steered the deputy into believing the shooting was a “self-inflicted’’ accident, Ward said.
“I do know it didn’t happen the way it was originally portrayed,” he said.
According to Sheriff Ward, investigators only learned O’Dea was involved when they interviewed the victim almost a month later.
“The victim made it pretty clear he didn’t shoot himself,’’ said Ward. “The victim knew who shot him.’’
While the shooting occurred in April, O’Dea did not inform the public about the incident until reporters asked him about it last week. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales—who was out of town attending a White House conference on gun violence prevention—announced O’Dea’s leave of absence in a prepared statement.
“We need our Police Bureau operating at its best, and our officers can’t do that when there’s turmoil and confusion surrounding their leader,” wrote Hales. “I am awaiting the outcome of internal and external investigations before commenting about the incident, and urge all Portlanders to do the same.”
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Mizuno’s popular Wave Creation 17 running shoes typically sell for about $130 around the web, but today only, Amazon’s marking them down to just $64 as part of a Gold Box deal. Men’s and women’s versions are both available, and you can even choose from over half a dozen color schemes.
Just remember that like all Gold Box deals, these prices are only available today, or until sold out. What I’m saying it, run, don’t walk to lock in your order.
You didn’t need to wait
Dorco, the best deal in razor blades and supplier of Dollar Shave Club
These are the exact same cartridges, and work with the same handle, as Dollar Shave Club’s “4X” razor system.
This little Bluetooth speaker floats—literally floats—and spins above your desk like a tiny Death Star, and it can be yours for an all-time low $105 today, or about $45 less than usual.
The ICE Floating Bluetooth Speaker uses an electromagnetic base to hover a centimeter or so in the air, but you can also use the orb on its own as a portable Bluetooth speaker. Obviously, it’s a gimmick, but as far as gimmicks go, it’s a pretty damn cool one.
Just note that like all Gold Box deals, this price is only available today, or until sold out.
Everyone should own a few USB charging station, and this $20 model from Aukey even includes a Quick Charge 2.0 port. That’s perfect for your nightstand, your desk at the office, and really anywhere else that you spend a lot of time.
Don’t need Quick Charge? Here’s a 6-port alternative from Anker for $15 with code NE2M3MWF (black) or OH39AMQ8 (white).
GreenWorks’ 20-inch battery-powered lawn mower is actually Amazon’s top-selling walk-behind mower, and you can own one today for $289, or within $10 of an all-time low. That includes two batteries, which combined, should get you over an hour of mowing time.
Panasonic’s high end Arc5 electric shavers certainly aren’t cheap, but with five floating blades, you won’t find many that give you a closer or more comfortable shave. Two different models are on sale for some of their lowest ever prices today; one with a charging and cleaning station for $200, and one without for $150.
Just note that like all Gold Box deals, these prices are only available today, or until sold out.
Update: Now $19.
Today only on Amazon, you can drink deep from the discount spring with the lowest price ever on the LifeStraw personal water filter today. If you aren’t familiar, these allow you to slurp up basically any source of fresh water you find in nature. Hopefully you never need one, but if you like to spend time outdoors, it’s worth keeping one in your bag.
Stretchy running belts are a more versatile alternative to smartphone arm bands, and you can take one on your next jog for just $5.
They won’t track your steps or make Dick Tracy-style phone calls, but these men’s fashion watches from Seiko look way nicer than any smart wearable, and seven of them are available for $50-$66, today only as part of a Gold Box deal.
$65 might seem like a lot to spend on an anti-fatigue mat, but if you spend a lot of time working in the kitchen, it’s definitely a justifiable expense. The best part of the Imprint Cumulus9 is that it’s 6' long, or about twice as long as most competing mats, meaning you won’t have to slide it around your floor as you move around the kitchen.
Today’s $65 deal is the lowest price ever, and especially tempting considering it was consistently $100 or more as recently as March.
Outside of Black Friday and coupon mistakes, there aren’t a lot of chances to save money on SONOS. Take advantage of this promotion to snag an Amazon gift card with your new speakers. Gift card amounts vary depending on which SONOS products you buy.
SONOS is easily the best wireless speaker system around, and makes your pick
Here’s a killer combo deal. Get the splashproof Mpow Armor Bluetooth Speaker with built-in 1000mAH battery, and a 3-foot Mpow Lightning Cable for a combined price of $26. Add both to your cart, and use code LN9SH2WG.
These are around until Sunday, assuming they don’t sell out.
Gears Xbox One Console + $50 AMZN Gift Card + Second Controller + Halo 5 LE + Forza Horizon 2 for $349
3 Game Xbox One Console + $50 AMZN Gift Card + Second Controller + Halo 5 LE + Forza Horizon 2 for $369
Dell’s S2817Q 28" 4K Monitor has never been below $441 on Amazon, but you can grab one on eBay right now for $400, plus no tax for most and free shipping.
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Between 2009 and 2014, the federal Bureau of Prisons accidentally kept 152 prisoners behind bars past their scheduled release dates due to staff errors, including three inmates who served an additional year or more of prison time, according to a new report by the Justice Department watchdog.
The investigation was spurred by a 2014 lawsuit from an inmate who spent 13 extra months behind bars. He eventually settled for $175,000 and the report estimates the late releases have cost the government more than $1 million in litigation and settlement costs. From Reuters:
One inmate in the audit report published Tuesday spent more than a year of extra time in prison because federal prison officials had not checked his online court records and therefore missed a judge’s order substantially shortening his sentence.
While the 152 prisoners released late due to staff error were a tiny portion of the 462,000 federal inmates released between 2009 and 2014, [Inspector General is Michael] Horowitz also identified more than 4,000 federal prisoners whose releases the Bureau of Prisons classifies as “untimely,” but not due to staff error.
“Neither the Department nor the BOP has attempted to work with the other agencies to examine these cases, and they don’t appear to fully understand all of the actions that can contribute to untimely releases,” Horowitz said in a video accompanying the report.
During that same period, five federal prisoners were released early due to staff errors, but the report notes “none of the inmates was rearrested, charged with, or convicted of any crimes during the time he or she was in the community before the correct release date.”
The scene outside a Trump rally in Albuquerque descended into chaos Tuesday night, with reports of protesters throwing bottles and rocks at police and officers firing smoke bombs to disperse the crowd.
Authorities dismissed early reports of shots being fired, but speculated that a pellet gun have shattered a window at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Police similarly refuted accounts of tear gas and pepper spray being used, saying only smoke had been deployed so far.
Only demonstrators that were inside the rally, which was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, have been arrested so far, according to police. On Twitter, Albuquerque Journal’s Dan McKay reported seeing multiple instances of physical fighting in the crowd outside.
Just before 10 p.m. local time, authorities said that most of the protesters appear to have gone home, leaving only those “looking to cause trouble [and] be destructive.”
This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Those yellow clothing-collection bins behind your local gas station or convenience store aren’t actually particularly charitable, according to a Reveal investigation. Not only will your donations likely not be helping hungry kids in Africa, they may be directly supporting a Danish international fugitive named Mogens Amdi Petersen.
Most bins of this type, which have cropped up just about everywhere in recent years, asking you to drop in your used clothes and shoes, don’t do much good for the world’s poor or the environment. Multiple operators of similar bins have come under fire for selling the collected items for profit, rather than donating the clothes or the proceeds. What separates Planet Aid from the pack is the scale of its operation and the bizarre nature of the organization that seems to be behind it.
Reveal and NBC Washington dug up IRS records showing that Planet Aid makes up to $42 million per year. That money is supposed to be donated to needy communities in places like Malawi and Mozambique. But in an FBI file on Planet Aid’s parent organization also obtained by NBC, investigators wrote that “Little to no money goes to the charities.”
Planet Aid seems to be controlled by a Danish organization known alternately as Tvind or The Teachers Group, which was founded in the 1970s by a man named Mogens Amdi Petersen. According to Danish court documents, Tvind is a kind of secular, ostensibly humanitarian cult, in which members are instructed to live collectively, “transfer all their available income to joint savings,” and “forgo their personal rights, such as the right to start a family to their own wish.” Petersen himself is an internationally wanted man, having allegedly committed fraud and tax evasion and his home country, and the NBC report speculates that he may be hiding out in a $25 million, 494-acre compound in Baja, Mexico.
Former Planet Aid employees said Tvind’s cultishness extended to their organization as well. A Maryland woman who responded to a Planet Aid job posting on Craigslist told NBC that she was asked to panhandle for money, work around the clock, and give 20 percent of her $28,000 salary back to the organization to finance a training program at an ominous-sounding facility called One World Center in Michigan.
Next time you’re looking to donate, avoid the bins and go with one of the many more legitimately humanitarian organizations out there.
On Monday, the New York Times reported that Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton had come to believe that a wealthy individual has been funding a steady stream of lawsuits, including three different ones filed by Hulk Hogan alone, against his company. Two journalists at Forbes magazine, Ryan Mac and Matt Drange, are lending credence to Denton’s theory. On Tuesday evening, the pair revealed that the powerful Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has been secretly underwriting Hulk Hogan’s litigation against Gawker:
According to people familiar with the situation who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, Thiel, a cofounder and partner at Founders Fund, has played a lead role in bankrolling the cases Terry Bollea, a.k.a. Hogan, brought against New York-based Gawker. Hogan is being represented by Charles Harder, a prominent Los Angeles-based lawyer. A spokesperson for Thiel declined to comment.
Shortly after the Forbes story was published, the Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin corroborated the claim in his own story, citing an anonymous source.
Thiel, an original co-founder of PayPal and the data analytics firm Palantir, ranks among Silicon Valley’s most influential investors. He was one of the earliest backers of Facebook, where he has a board seat, and has since been involved in a number of powerful venture capital firms, including Y Combinator, Valar Ventures, and his own Founders Fund. A self-identified libertarian (and, it turns out, a California delegate for Donald Trump), he has invested in a variety of journalism endeavors, including the tech website Pando Daily and the non-profit group Committee to Protect Journalists. He also made a $10,000 donation
Gawker and Valleywag, Gawker Media’s defunct tech gossip vertical, have often written critically of Thiel and his investments, covering the failure
In a comment on a 2007 post by Valleywag editor Owen Thomas on the open secret of Thiel’s sexuality, Denton described
The Times characterized Denton’s theory as a personal suspicion that he hasn’t had the time or inclination to verify. However the rumor that a benefactor has been paying Hulk Hogan’s legal bills has been floating around since early 2016, and was even the subject of a March 6 article by ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams for his website LawNewz.
Hogan sued Gawker Media, Nick Denton, and former editor A.J. Daulerio in October 2012 after Gawker published several excerpts of a sex tape
Neither Thiel nor Hogan’s attorney, Charles Harder, returned requests for comment.
Mary Lou Bruner believes that Noah kept baby dinosaurs on his ark, that President Obama is a former drug-addled gay prostitute, and that the New World Order is secretly working to reduce the world’s population by roughly two-thirds. Mary Lou Bruner also believes that she would make a great representative on the Texas State Board of Education
Mary Lou Bruner’s once bright campaign might very well have succeeded, were it not for her need to post rambling diatribes on Facebook about how Ahmed “clock boy” Mohammed was a false flag and how school shootings are a product of the Bible being taken out of the classroom. But once people got wind of Mary Lou’s beliefs, her unorthodox views overshadowed her more reasonable platforms, like her call to label the Boy Scouts of Americas as “a homosexual organization,” for instance.
Mary Lou’s opponent, chiropractor and Lufkin school board president Kevin M. Ellis, beat her by “a wide margin,” according to The New York Times, which is perhaps the first encouraging bit of news to come out of the Texas public education system in years.
Since gaining national attention, Mary Lou Bruner has apparently decided to make her Facebook private. We can’t imagine why.
Do you enjoy the exquisite thrill of the hunt? Do you crave the visceral experience of—using nothing more than your wits and a weapon—stalking the most dangerous game of all: cow?
If you are the sort of hunter who is unafraid to take on even the sort of animal that will be slaughtered in an automated process and turned into cold cuts, you may find that most mainstream corporate American fast food brands find you a little too risky. A little too... shall we say... bold, for the McDonald’s and Burger King marketing department types.
Not to worry. There is one fast food chain unafraid to embrace you—and unafraid to make an implicit connection between your affinity for shooting at animals, and the likelihood that you will purchase a Junior Bacon Cheddar Melt. Ad Age reports:
“We’re trying to tap into these groups of people that have a very strong affinity for some type of content or some type of lifestyle, frankly, that other people really aren’t speaking to because maybe they thought it might be a little too risky or maybe they thought it might be not big enough,” said Rob Lynch, brand president and chief marketing officer, Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc...
The chain is looking into partnering with brands or outlets in the outdoor lifestyle space — think an affinity for hunting and fishing — where marketing work could begin before the fall hunting season.
If you can’t find a cow to shoot in the wild you can still eat a dead one smothered in Cheez. Win-win.
Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American military history, whose bestselling memoir American Sniper was adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster of the same name, claimed to have been awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for valor during his time as a Navy SEAL. This claim, it turns out, was a false one.
Kyle was warned at least once before American Sniper was published that its description of his medal count was wrong, according to one current Navy officer, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak about the case. As Kyle’s American Sniper manuscript was distributed among SEALs, one of his former commanders, who was still on active duty, advised Kyle that his claim of having two Silver Stars was false, and he should correct it before his book was published.
According to two current Navy officials, inaccurate information about Kyle’s awards is also contained in his separation document, known in the military as a DD214, which usually reflects a veteran’s official service record. Kyle’s DD214 form, which lists two Silver Stars and six Bronze Stars with Valor among his decorations, also differs from the number of Bronze Stars with Valor — five — that Kyle listed in his book.
The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 made it a crime to claim to have received particular military decorations for one’s personal gain.
“SEALs are silent warriors, and I’m a SEAL down to my soul,” Kyle wrote in his book. “If you want to check me out, ask a SEAL.” Reportedly, however, Kyle’s fraudulent record was something of an open secret in the naval special operations community.
“The SEAL leadership was aware of the embellishment, but didn’t want to correct the record because Kyle’s celebrity status reflected well on the command,” one ex-SEAL, who attended the 7,000-person public memorial service for Kyle at Cowboys Stadium, told The Intercept. “Everybody went on a pilgrimage to his funeral at Cowboys Stadium,” this person said, “knowing full well his claims weren’t true.”
Kyle was murdered by Eddie Routh, a former Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, in 2013. The next year, a Minnesota jury awarded former governor Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in damages in his defamation suit against Kyle, who’d written in American Sniper that he’d gotten into a bar fight with the governor in 2006.
Mark’s Zuckerberg’s plans for world domination are well underway...and they might include his own backyard. The Facebook billionaire and reported pesky neighbor appears to be turning his Palo Alto estate into a fully-formed compound by razing four neighboring homes and building four smaller structures—including one that could be a damn doomsday bunker.
According to planning documents filed with the Palo Alto Planning and Community department, His Zuckness plans to bulldoze the four neighboring houses, which he bought for around $30 million, and replace them with “smaller, updated versions.”
One of the structures, as pointed out by the New York Post, sounds awfully like a panic room-style bunker. It will include a “unique character” that will be built with “brick walls, dark steel doors and windows, dark grey sliding and louvers where they occur above the roof line, and a dark grey standing seam metal roof.” Hmmm.
The three other structures will “utilize a simple palette of painted wood shingle siding, natural cedar shake roofing, painted windows and french doors, and stained wood doors where they are solid.”
You can find the full plans here.
Zuck bought his five bedroom home in 2011 for $7 million and started buying up his neighbors’ homes in 2013, reportedly after he learned a developer planned to build a house tall enough to have a view of his master bedroom.
While it’s not exactly clear what Zuckerburg’s new compound will include, it’s probably a safe bet that he will piss off his neighbors again. In 2014, Zuck reportedly drove some neighbors to their breaking points after 17 months of not being able to park outside of their own homes due to construction on the Zuck palace. Neighbors were also irritated by the constant jackhammers and the sidewalks being torn up to install new fiber optic cables for Zuck’s home.
One neighbor, Norm Beamer, told Mercury News:
[...] the neighborhood is “curious, but also concerned” about what Zuckerberg has planned for the parcels around his house.
“Is he just developing it or is he creating some sort of compound which will have a constant turnover of visitors and employees?” Beamer said. “It’s a question of whether it’s a normal residential development or some unusual use that might create traffic and security issues and so forth.”
Facebook did not reply to questions about Zuckerberg’s plans for the property.
Late-night CNN viewers were treated to a brief moment of Cinemax-style steaminess during a segment that aired at about 1:30 a.m. Eastern time today. While on-air personalities were discussing protests at a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico last night, the screen behind them displayed a tweet from the Donald about the event. “Does your cock match your skin color?” read the first reply, which was also displayed. “Like, is it orange?”
Here’s the tweet itself, along with if you can’t make it out in the video.
None of the talking heads seemed to notice @Parker9_’s inquiry, nor did they provide an answer. One long-standing question about Trump’s iridescent body may be solved
h/t and video via John A. Wooden
The hedge fund industry is in the midst of a slow-motion disaster, as its biggest investors come to the realization that the fees hedge funds charge make most of them a scam. One hedge fund guy is embodying the industry’s clueless resistance to change, in hilarious fashion!
Just to “set the scene” for you here: hedge funds have traditionally charged their investors fees of about 20% of profits, and 2% of assets under management each year—meaning that a hedge fund with, say, $10 billion to manage would be paid $200 million a year even if it lost money. Investors have been willing to pay these huge fees for decades out of the (usually mistaken) belief that their hedge fund manager is the genius who will beat the average. In aggregate, hedge funds have been doing way worse
So lots of big investors are now publicly questioning the hedge fund business model and some pension funds have begun getting out
With all of this as the backdrop, ENTER: Paul Tudor Jones
The $11.6 billion firm, run by billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, will reduce fees for a share class that contains most of its biggest fund’s money to 2.25 percent of assets and 25 percent of profits, starting July 1, according to a letter sent to clients on Monday and obtained by Bloomberg. The fees were 2.75 percent and 27 percent.
Wow, only 2.25% of your total money and 25% of your profits for the privilege of making this guy rich(er)! Run don’t walk!
Paul Tudor Jones is worth about $5 billion and now you know why.