today i learned that peter thiel champions unfettered speech across digital platforms pic.twitter.com/cDdAAQgF00
— John Cook (@johnjcook) February 7, 2022
Not talking about the creepy two-little-fang marks parabiosis thing… Thiel’s hungering for a boot eternally stomping on democracy’s throat. And suddenly he’s getting a lot of attention.
Who is Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire trying to push the U.S. to the right? https://t.co/IY7xxTt1Ox
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 9, 2022
… The 54-year-old, whose contrarian and right-wing political views have made him one of the most controversial figures to emerge from Silicon Valley, will focus his time on helping pro-Trump candidates win in November’s midterm elections, according to a person familiar with his thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
Thiel has been participating in national politics for most of his life, helping create a conservative journal at Stanford University in the 1980s before diving into tech investing and helping found PayPal. He used the money from PayPal’s sale to invest in other tech companies, becoming the first major outside investor in Facebook and seeing his wealth and influence rocket upward as Big Tech’s dominance grew over the past 20 years.
In 2016, Thiel supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and later served on his transition team. Now he’s playing an even more direct role in politics, funding the Senate campaigns of two of his close associates, J.D. Vance in Ohio and Blake Masters in Arizona. At the same time, he’s still a force in tech investing and plays a major role in companies including data-harvesting firm Palantir, where he serves as chairman.
Straddling the worlds of Silicon Valley and conservative politics has made Thiel a uniquely influential and polarizing individual, though he’s not as widely known as other well-documented political funders such as the Koch brothers. That’s likely to change as he dives deeper into U.S. politics…
In a 2009 essay about his personal political evolution, Thiel described being disillusioned with politics and its ability to accomplish libertarian goals, writing, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” He went on to argue that extending voting rights to women and increasing the number of welfare beneficiaries has made it more difficult to elect libertarian politicians, though he later clarified that he didn’t support taking away the right to vote from women…
Thiel first aligned himself with Trump in the run-up to his election in 2016, donating at least $1.25 million to his campaign, according to the New York Times. The donation came just weeks after a video surfaced of Trump making lewd comments about women. Thiel went on to give a speech at the Republican National Convention and join Trump’s transition team, where he acted as a liaison between Trump and Silicon Valley, helping to install some of his acolytes in positions of power within the administration…
Thiel, whose net worth according to Bloomberg News is about $8 billion, also has a serious interest in shaping tax policy. Last year, ProPublica documented how Thiel has shielded billions of his own money from taxation by running his investments out of a Roth individual retirement account. Last year, Democrats in Congress proposed a bill that would force Thiel and other wealthy people using Roth accounts to pay huge tax bills if they ever withdraw their money. Thiel has also given money directly to anti-tax advocacy organizations, such as the Club for Growth…
A German broadcaster made a full Bond themed song about Peter Thiel for some reason and I'm pretty sure it's going to win a Grammy https://t.co/bXvJfVf96h
— Ryan Metamac ? (@RMac18) February 16, 2022
Peter Thiel didn't need to leave Facebook's board to focus on the midterms.
But Thiel did need to leave Facebook's board to make it easier for many of his preferred candidates to take his money.
— Dan Primack (@danprimack) February 7, 2022
$20.4 million is the reported dollar value Thiel has donated to 16 Republican House and Senate candidates. https://t.co/FabU3zk8P5
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 15, 2022
nice profile of (one of) the silicon valley billionaires who hates democracy and political equality https://t.co/zWxC5iB5eR
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 14, 2022
"Mr. Thiel showed his provocative side at Stanford in the late 1980s. Classmates recalled Mr. Thiel, who studied philosophy and law, describing South Africa’s apartheid as a sound economic system. (A spokesman for Mr. Thiel has denied that he supported apartheid.)"
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 14, 2022
The lighter side of fascist wanna-bes…
The Smirnoff Icing trump chode John McEntee and Meta trump douche Peter Thiel are starting a dating app called “The Right Stuff”, where unfuckable people can meet. https://t.co/zYpQYGiNO4
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) February 15, 2022
Bess Levin, at Vanity Fair, “Want to travel deep into the depths of hell?”:
… According to Axios, the app “isn’t political itself” but will “be catered to conservatives living primarily in big, progressive cities.” It is reportedly the brainchild of former Trump administration aide John McEntee, whose own profile we do hope highlights the fact that he, according to journalist Jonathan Karl, “made the disastrous last weeks of the Trump presidency possible…bossing around Cabinet secretaries, decapitating the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, and forcing officials high and low to state their allegiance to Trump.” That’s the sort of stuff the young single conservative gals are sure to love…
Supplemental reading, from a longer thread:
woah, I missed this. F*%&ing crazy. This NYT report is that, according to a presentation they reviewed, Peter Thiel – forever board member of Facebook – Founders Fund invested in a company that could hack into WhatsApp? Do I have that right? He's a remarkable board member. /1 pic.twitter.com/FgYr3Yk1N1
— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) February 1, 2022
And of course, there is still Palantir, co-founded by Peter Thiel, that – you guessed it – the NYT reported had people who helped Cambridge Analytica scrape its data. Thiel is defendant in shareholder derivative lawsuits since he's both on the board and co-founded Palantir. /3 pic.twitter.com/x89Tqy6CjF
— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) February 1, 2022
And as proper context, I guess we should throw out this Peter Thiel influence on Facebook doozy from a 2019 WSJ report. It's remarkable to consider how much value can be acquired from his sitting on Facebook's board without even owning much stock./5 https://t.co/wpHoKHzqxk
— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) February 1, 2022
That hand-holding photo is icky.
hells littlest angel
@debbie: For some reason, Trump never claims that Thiel hugs and kisses him.
@hells littlest angel:
Probably hopes he’ll grab his crotch.
Ooh. A new flavor of authoritarianism. Thiel is perhaps a wanna-be authoritarian anarchist.
Saying the quiet part out loud. My spidey sense is telling me that 2022 is going to be a long slog of asswipes saying disgusting shit.
But welfare beneficiaries? Well, you know. They don’t need no voting anymore nohow.
Looking at the topics of the day for the blog, it’s no wonder Democrats are kind of down. OTOH Cavalier Johnson, the acting Mayor of Milwaukee was just endorsed by WisDems for the upcoming Mayoral election. There are good things happening.
@Brachiator: Freedom and democracy *are* incompatible. That’s the whole point – that we operate on a set of consensus rights which requires denying you the freedom to do certain things – like fuck children or own black people.
But some people just insist they be able to fuck children or own black people, and they need to be politely excused from the premises.
James E Powell
Good to know. How about the re-election prospects for America’s dumbest senator?
Is the white supremacist revanche that swept the Great Lakes states still defining the discourse?
@Martin: No. Unlimited freedom and society are incompatible. Democracy probably provides the most freedom for the most people of any functional social structure. Thiel’s upset because he wants the maximum freedom for himself and doesn’t give a flying fuck about anyone else.
@Omnes Omnibus: Riffing on that:
Scott Surovell is my state senator and a very good egg. We could use similar national standards and protections.
The Ohio GOP isn’t even trying to come up with a compromise on redistricting. The deadline is 11:59 pm. They had no map and declared an impasse, over the governor’s objections.
@Omnes Omnibus: And there are a few laughs to be had. For instance, Kevin McCarthy announced to The Federalist that he is endorsing Harriet Hageman in the Wyoming Congressional primary. She is running against Liz Cheney, and the primary will be in August..
@James E Powell: I don’t think Johnsom’s re-election prospects are good. His potential opponents (that primary isn’t until August) are concentrating him and not fighting one another. The election fraud investigation led by former Justice Gableman is turning into a farce and splitting the WI GOP. The candidates against Evers for governor are odious and lacking charisma. And the state has a multibillion dollar budget surplus, some of which Evers plans to return to taxpayers as a $150 per person tax rebate. The legislator is still nuts and evil. The state supreme court is bad, but occasionally surprises. All in all, I would rather be in our shoes.
West of the Rockies
What a joyless, vile person. I hope he existentially lonely and miserable.
Btw Fox is super-excited that some sort of trucker convoy WILL be driving to DC and arriving on March 6
They finally got their wish! ?
let’s get busy finding out who’s organizing it and who’s paying for it.
James E Powell
I recommend that those tax rebates be blue checks in a blue envelope marked “From your DEMOCRATIC – That’s right DEMOCRATIC! – governor Tony Evers who is, in fact, a DEMOCRAT!
Sister Golden Bear
Ragarnok Lobster, in a Tweet I can’t find at the moment pointed out that it’s interesting Musk, Murdoch and Thiel all come from countries with a close-to-the-surface history of colonizers and apartheid (or apartheid-like) treatment of the original inhabitants.
(While Thiel is German by birth and his parents moved to States as an infant, he spent part of his childhood in South Africa and Namibia, since his father was a mining engineer.)
Emma from Miami
Ok. I understand that the political climate is driving us all into existential depressions but I need to vent about something completely different for a moment.
I would like to state categorically that if any of you read or hear about Emma from Miami dying in a house fire it will be due to the insane idiocy of the absolute requirement to have smoke alarms in each bedroom plus a central control one that are all linked to one another so that, within 10 seconds every one of those damn things are going off at eardrum busting decibels. For me, that means five alarms within 2 to 3 feet from each other. I become disoriented almost immediately and have to literally guide myself to the central one (only one that can be turned off and then it turns off the others) by running my hand along the corridor wall; I don’t even want to think about what could happen if there actually was smoke in the house.
Gin & Tonic
Ukraine reported 47 cease-fire violations today. I’m thinking Russia’s claims about withdrawing troops may not have been completely truthful.
Mai Naem mobile
The guy Thiel is backing in the AZ Senate race, Blake Masters, worries me. He’s very white bread looking and sounding. And my guess is that most Arizona voters won’t know who the hell Peter Thiel is just like the Kochs. I can see him debating well with Mark Kelly. Ugh, and we have Kyrsten Sinema who won’t go along with scrapping the filibuster for voting rights. I wouldn’t be surprised if Thiel has given some $$ to Sinema. Its so depressing.
Thiel’s upset because he wants the maximum freedom for himself and doesn’t give a flying fuck about anyone else.
Precisely. When one considers the low level of freedom available to most people in nondemocratic alternatives, his statement becomes as incoherent under any other meaning as it is preposterous.
The thing I learned from the rigged elections in Afghanistan and Iraq when they were run by the neocons is that the conservative definition of democracy is “elections are held and the right people win.”
So points to Thiel for saying the quiet part out loud, and adding the other part “government shouldn’t do anything to help people because he they’ll like it and then they’ll want more of the money that I couldn’t possibly spend in my life.”
@Gin & Tonic:
Bombing that school was an especially classy move.
So basically this asshole is the new Koch brother. Sigh.
We will never be rid of these people. Sometimes I can understand the murderous rage that came out of many revolutions.
@Mai Naem mobile: I don’t know anything about that guy, but do you think a non MAGA Trumper can win the GOP primary in AZ?
@Mai Naem mobile: Masters is on Thiel’s payroll, says he’ll quit before the Arizona primary.
@Geminid: Heh-heh. Not sure what I’d have expected Cheney’s people to say, but I don’t think that was it.
I will never, ever forgive Thiel for taking J.R.R. Tolkien’s beautiful word “palantir” and using it to name his engine for generating obscene profits from militarism.
@Emma from Miami: Wow. Why are your alarms going off? (In my house, the alarm goes off when the battery is about to go kaput or hamburgers are being fried).
I’d be tempted to disengage the alarm system and substitute a battery-powered one from the hardware store. Or always have earplugs nearby.
We’ve had truck convoys in DC before. I remember there was one a few years ago circling the Beltway and deliberately clogging up traffic.
It’s also a city where protests are routine, and there are rules for them. They can come and put on a display, but if they try to set up shop for a long stay and clog the streets with trucks, they’ll get a warning, then they’ll get arrested and towed.
I assume she is blazin’ a fatty.
Emma from Miami
@Ohio Mom: Well, let’s see: dust; near-invisible insects (Florida, we have ’em all); malfunctioning battery (replaced with 10 year sealed ones); “we can’t figure out why your alarms are going off every other night, ma’am”. So far.
Save the Shire!
@debbie: It’s the same thing over and over, Republicans refusing to live up to norms and participate in the social contract.
They know there are no consequences, what consequence could there be? No one else can take over drawing the map, is Ohio going to postpone the election or suspend it? They’d like that, I think.
@Emma from Miami: Who are “they”? Your landlord? Someone else?
Every other night? I can see why you are going nuts.
Funneled somewhere, but at that level not to candidates.
Emma from Miami
@Ohio Mom: I’m the owner. We’ve had to change batteries twice and the whole system once since 2017. Today I’m pissy because we just did the whole system change about 5 months ago and last night the “control” alarm started loudly screaming at 4:15am and when I smacked it into silence it bitched about “system check has been cancelled.” I have an 87 year old father going downhill on rollerskates and a 16 year old schnoodle with Cushing’s. I am also trying to clear out the accumulation of stuff collected by three hoarders (organized, but still, it’s like living in the closed shelves of the British Museum). I am always tired. Being yanked out of sleep and then trying to figure out what the hell was going on wasn’t pleasant. The company is sending someone on Monday, but…
@Emma from Miami: I was going to say that the only thing left was ridiculing them publicly somehow but they are coming Monday. Good luck!
Trying to think of a photo of TFG that isn’t icky – nope, I got nothin’.
Thiel also has New Zealand citizenship and owns property there. It was a bit of a controversy in NZ in 2017 when news of it broke.
I don’t know about that. I have a feeling Maureen O’Connor will not be amused.
@debbie: What can she do about it? IANAL. Can she say they are in contempt of court? They don’t seem too worried
ETA: I sm going to sleep. I’ll look for any answers tomorrow.
The fucking Russians ruin everything. Even 15-year-olds.
The one thing I disagree with Katharine Witt is toward the end where she said something to the effect that “all the world’s media will be ridiculing Valieva.” I don’t think that’s happening. I think there’s enormous compassion for her, combined with anger at her coach and the entire system. From what I’ve heard and read* so far, the media are as devastated by the situation as Witt clearly is. Here’s a good piece: https://slate.com/culture/2022/02/olympics-figure-skating-free-skate-valieva-trusova-shcherbakova-sakamoto.html
*I haven’t watched a scrap of these Olympics, so am going strictly by reporting and commentary.
South Afrikaans. Guess their ideology.
Elon, the Emerald Princeling Shithead, is another one.
I think the distress and that mode of thought stems from the very honest commentary of the analysts like Lipinski and others who have hammered home the point that it was a terrible choice to let her compete and doing so without blaming the girl.
Social media of course is a swamp of nastiness, as is its wont, and I think Witt’s broader point is that Valieva has no way and is in no position to deal with the scrutiny.
@SiubhanDuinne: I feel sorry for her and I think most thinking adults will not blame her at all for what transpired. A 15 year old from Russia on the world stage has no real control over her life.
On a lighter note, Jordan Klepper keeps doing what he does best — let others speak for themselves.
The kid has already suffered so much. Years and years under a psychopathic monster (that coach is really a piece of work) and then the unbearable pressure of representing one’s country at the Olympics.
The poor girl has been used and abused. She has zero influence on anything in this shitshow. She is the victim here
Fuck them all, especially the Russians.
Where is the sportsmanship here? They are fucking monsters.
Damn. Hadn’t seen that. I speak German and Katharina Witt was really really besides herself. Her words punched me in the gut. I need to take a break.
Pete Thiel seems like faggots like he and I will flourish in his vision of “free” paradise.
I am sure he will in front of us.
He’s a faggot / pervert who must recruit children. Billions will slow his demise.
Fuck him to Hell.
I had sex with guys who wouldn’t kiss because that would “make you gay”.
It appears that Gen Z does not care what sex box you check. 21% say they are not straight. Christianists freakout is off the charts.
Hi, Emma. I yanked out all our interconnected smoke alarms because they are inventions from Hell. They all screech at once, making it impossible to tell which one has it’s feelings hurt, and it’s always at 4AM, never in the daytime.
I solved this in two ways: I got a gun-range quality hearing protector with 30 dB attenuation, so you can attack the wretched alarm without wrecking your hearing. Next, I removed each one, threw it in the trash, and if necessary, drowned it until it shut up. Then I replaced every one with the so-called “10-year-battery” type, with no interconnection. The baseplate was different, of course, so have a screwdriver handy to swap the baseplates. Be aware the battery really only lasts 3 to 4 years, but at least the wretched things are not interconnected.
Thiel is what happens when a troll gets rich. There are thousands of Thirl wannabes but most wash out at middle management. There’s nothing more sophisticated than that. Also, the Times has a stable of fuckheads who love nothing more than to suck up to the rich.
@ColoradoGuy: We did that with ours in our current house in Washington. In California we only ever had battery-operated ones, and that was fine.
With the hard-wired ones I have some worry that they may fail if there is a fire that takes out the electricity before they have a chance to go off.
@Jeffro: Canadians found they could make note of the DOT numbers on the trucks and through the online DOT registry, easily confirm fleet owners and insurance carriers so as to report those drivers for using their vehicles as props in an obstructive act of domestic terror.
@Mai Naem mobile: My take is that Blake Masters is pretty much an asshat.
I think Kelly might reduce him to tears were they to debate on the same stage.
Musk posed himself as an embattled Hitler today on the Tweetspace.
Dan Rather had a mention, as you can well imagine.
Tesla boycott gaining new impetus.
No redeeming value to Musk or Thiel
Making Thiel feel anything is more complicated.
@West of the Rockies: I don’t think he thinks like most people. And I don’t mean that in a good way. He seems pretty sociopathic. I don’t think other people register with him as beings. Thus, loneliness just doesn’t enter into it. He’s probably only sad when he isn’t, in some way, killing something.
I don’t understand the beef with Roth IRAs; that money is taxed before it goes in, why would it be taxed again as it comes out? That was the whole premise they were created for, if you invested wisely, in a Roth IRA, you were home free on taxes, you paid them on the money before it went in.
The beef with Roth IRAs is that asshats like Romney and Thiel dump ridiculously and intentionally undervalued options and other assets into them to avoid paying taxes when surprise! the assets in the Roth account end up being valued in the hundreds of millions or billions when marked to market.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I predict one of these days the cops are going to find pit filled with dead rent bois on some property Peter Thel owns in Northern California. Thel will tell the detectives that Thel doesn’t understand what the problem is because “what else do you with sex workers once you are done with them?”.
@Butter Emails!: correct. A Roth was designed to make it easier for middle class people to save for retirement, not for rich assholes to tax shield themselves on the profits of their stock options. They’ve perverted the entire thing, as rich fucks do with damn near everything.
Thiel and the rest of the oligarchs that fund the authoritarian wanna-bes of the Republican party keep going farther and farther out on the branches they are roosting on trying to drive the party into full on fascist government. I’m a bit amazed they don’t see that they might be setting themselves up for a big fall. Those branches…..they can be broken. If positions were reversed and it was Democrats trying to deep six the Republic the way the oligarchs are, we all know some ‘patriots’ would start shooting these folk. Thiel et al I guess are banking that Democrats would never do such a thing, so they believe they are safe. I think there is some truth to that. Democrats as a whole are significantly more sane and less supportive of killing their opponents. But…..if we find ourselves in another Trump presidency, especially one that was ill gotten, I don’t know if that would still hold up as true. I really don’t want to see another Reichstag Fire here on American soil. That would really suck.