On this Memorial Day, we think about Americans who have sacrificed everything. Please see Norris Burkes’ piece about his time in Iraq. We also think about our freedoms, including the First Amendment and the right to privacy as dramatized by Peter Thiel and Gawker. And then there is the Hillary Clinton email morass.
We don’t think much of most of Gawker’s journalism. We hadn’t thought about Hulk Hogan in years, and when we did, we thought he was freakish. We didn’t think about Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel until lately. But Gawker, Thiel and Hulk got us thinking about liberty, freedom and the right to privacy.
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Gawker has a right to publish and offend, as it did when it wrote about Thiel’s personal life. Thiel has the right – and clearly the power – to react. As detailed by The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin, Thiel spent $10 million to finance Hulk Hogan’s invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker, which resulted in a $140 million judgment.
Thiel made much of his money at PayPal, which requires us little people to disclose a great deal of financial information if we choose to use it. In Sacramento, PayPal lobbies against legislation that might restrict its ability to make money off our information.
Thiel is on the board of directors of Facebook, which lobbies in Washington, D.C., in Sacramento and in other state capitals against legislation that might infringe on its right to get at details about our lives.
Our takeaway: One person’s privacy is another person’s business model.
Take a number: $56,400
As the L.A. Times’ Evan Halper reports, Donald Trump has done the unthinkable by uniting Silicon Valley – in opposition to Trump.
A notable exception: Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel signed on as a Trump delegate. Trump has vowed to weaken press freedom laws if he is elected. Or as he might say, the First Amendment is a loser, so low energy.
Earlier in this presidential campaign, Thiel gave $2 million to the super PAC backing Republican Carly Fiorina, Federal Election Commission records show. In the 2012 presidential campaign, Thiel gave $2.6 million to a super PAC backing libertarian-Republican Ron Paul.
Records show he has donated to former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, who made his name with anti-immigrant rhetoric, Ted Cruz, Tom McClintock, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and other liberty-loving Republicans.
In California, Thiel gave $70,000 to the wacky 2010 initiative to legalize marijuana, and $25,000 to Republican billionaire Meg Whitman’s failed run for governor in 2010.
A notable Democratic exception: Thiel gave $56,400 in July last year to Gavin Newsom’s run for governor, the maximum. We’re told Newsom and Thiel have a political relationship dating to Newsom’s days on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Norris Burkes: In between Justin Bauer’s two tours of Iraq, he married his high school sweetheart – three months before his death.
Editorial: California’s tax system needs reform, as Sen. Bob Hertzberg and Controller Betty Yee understand. What about Jerry Brown?
Editorial: Forget Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton should debate Bernie Sanders.
Dan Morain: Hillary Clinton treads on the turf of the California Nurses Association and RoseAnn DeMoro.
Foon Rhee: Region Business leader Joshua Wood plays to win.
Marcos Breton: The $3.6 million judgment against the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department calls into question Sheriff Scott Jones and his organization’s culture.
Melissa Aristizabal: Starting your day with hate on your windshield.
Their take; the pesky emails
Charlotte Observer: Why Hillary Clinton’s problem is more than emails.
San Francisco Chronicle: Hillary Clinton’s protective nature pushed her beyond common sense.
John Fund of National Review: If Hillary Clinton’s numbers slide, watch for superdelegates to consider Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker: The real trouble is how Hillary Clinton responded to the initial accusations.
Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post: Hillary Clinton’s self-inflicted damage.
Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle: Hillary Clinton was busy trying to protect her self-interest and repeatedly ignored warnings about cybersecurity risks.
Dana Milbank: Hillary Clinton generates smoke, even when there’s no fire.
Kathleen Parker: Barack Obama’s legacy of a pre-post-racial era.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: “Roots” kindles in us the courage to confront the history that made us.
Ruben Navarrette: Some political observers suggest Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico might make a good running mate for Donald Trump. Mind-boggling.
Trudy Rubin: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dangerous game.
Paul Krugman: Donald Trump was born on third base and imagines he hit a triple.
Lien Hoang writes from Vietnam that Barack Obama ended events by shaking hands with the crowd, especially young people. They won’t soon forget.