Preach, brother! But maybe at another time and elsewhere

A screening of the latest comic-book based superhero film (this seems to be an inexhaustible well from which film makers can draw) ended somewhat spectacularly at a theater in California.

Just after 10 p.m., police started receiving several calls about a man who started “preaching and making odd statements about God,” said Carl Baker, the spokesman for the Police Department. “People panicked and ran out of the theater.”

The man was apparently waving his arms in the air and jumped while shouting.

“As soon as the movie was over, this guy starts yelling, preaching and talking about repenting from our sins,” said Susie Arias of Highland, who was at the theater at 27481 San Bernardino Ave.

“At first, I thought it was a joke and some people even started yelling back at him, but then when he starts taking about guaranteeing our right to heaven and paying for our sins today, I think that’s when mass hysteria hit and some people started running out,” she said.
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The White House physician debacle

The debacle over Donald Trump’s nomination of White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to become head of the Veteran’s Administration has shed some light on this obscure position. During the period after his nomination, various allegations emerged that said that Jackson was not only lax in the way he ran the office but also frequently drank on the job and created a hostile work environment. After withdrawing his name from consideration for the VA position, Jackson had said that he would revert to his former position but now it appears that he will not do that either, and another navy doctor Sean Conley has taken over.
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Michelle Wolf at the WHCD

The annual White House Correspondents Dinner is an event that should cease to exist. It represents the worst kind of schmoozing between journalists, the people they cover, and celebrities and only serves to cement their sense of insider solidarity against all of us yahoos on the outside. One of the good things that Donald Trump has done is boycott the event since he became president. It is true that he likely did it because he is thin-skinned and could not take the inevitable jokes at his expense, but I hope his action leads to the event being canceled.
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The FBI remains an awful organization

One of the most irritating things about politics and the media in the US is their reflexive adoption of the maxim that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. Nowhere is this switch more obvious than in the way the various parties view intelligence agencies such as the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA. At any given moment, how they are viewed seems to depend upon what their immediate agenda is. At the current moment it seems like the Democrats and liberal media are fawning over these agencies and praising them for their independence and integrity, seemingly because they think that they are in the best position to obtain and release information damaging to Donald Trump. Conversely, the Republicans and the conservative media are attacking those same agencies for the same reason.
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The Korean joint statement is a big deal

It is good to pause for a moment and savor a bit of good news. The summit meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea seems to have gone exceedingly well and the joint communiqué issued by the two leaders at the end of the summit made some good promises of improving relations between the two nations on many issues, the most important one being the ending of the formal state of war that has existed between the two countries for over sixty years.
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Bernie Sanders plan for guaranteed infrastructure jobs

Bernie Sanders has proposed a variation on the idea of a guaranteed universal income. In his case, it is that we provide guaranteed jobs instead. As Cory Doctorow explains:

Bernie Sanders has a plan to solve America’s wage stagnation and its long-neglected infrastructure: tax the super-rich and massively profitable corporations, then use the money to fix the multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure overhand left behind by decades of neglect, and hire Americans at $15/hour, plus full healthcare, to do the work.
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The impossible dream of the ‘incels’

I only heard about the people who call themselves as incels (standing for ‘involuntarily celibate’) late last year when I wrote about them after their 40,000-strong Reddit group was banned from the site. What started out as a support group for men who could not find women who were willing to have sex with them turned into rampant misogyny, even on occasion leading to the advocacy of rape.
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John Oliver on the Iran deal

May 12th is the date for Donald Trump to recertify that Iran is complying with the terms of the deal negotiated between Iran and the US, Germany, Russia, China, UK, and France. Trump has been threatening to scuttle this deal previously and then grudgingly agreed to continue it but there are indications that this time he will carry out his threat, even though the other five signatories are saying they will stick with it. Israel, its lobby in the US, and the neoconservatives like newly appointed National Security Advisor John Bolton hate the deal.
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