Let’s Intimidate NASA

Image via NASA

Loren Grush for The Verge:

Two weeks ago, Sidd Bikkannavar flew back into the United States after spending a few weeks abroad in South America. An employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Bikkannavar had been on a personal trip, pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars. He had recently joined a Chilean team, and spent the last weeks of January at a race in Patagonia.

Bikkannavar is a seasoned international traveller — but his return home to the US this time around was anything but routine. Bikkannavar left for South America on January 15th, under the Obama Administration. He flew back from Santiago, Chile to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on Monday, January 30th, just over a week into the Trump Administration.

Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN. Since the phone was issued by NASA, it may have contained sensitive material that wasn’t supposed to be shared. Bikkannavar’s phone was returned to him after it was searched by CBP, but he doesn’t know exactly what information officials might have taken from the device.

Read the full article.

My conspiracy theory/guess is that it wasn’t his name (as the rest of the article supposes) that caused the detention. The detention was just a tool getting more access to JPL and NASA through the CBP even if it was temporary. The CBP has defied court orders in order to continue enforcing Trump’s constitutionally illegal ban on Muslims from seven countries. It wouldn’t be surprising if the CBP were being used to access information from (and intimidate) reality-based agencies of the government that won’t collaborate with Trump’s administration.

Palmer Luckey, Lying Asshole

Palmer Luckey responded to the reports of his fiscal and written support of “shitposting” meme wizards by denying the latter and confirming the former.

Palmer Luckey:

I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners.The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views.

Here’s more background: I contributed $10,000 to Nimble America because I thought the organization had fresh ideas on how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards. I am a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past, and I plan on voting for Gary in this election as well.

I am committed to the principles of fair play and equal treatment. I did not write the “NimbleRichMan” posts, nor did I delete the account. Reports that I am a founder or employee of Nimble America are false. I don’t have any plans to donate beyond what I have already given to Nimble America.

Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community.

Note that Luckey says he “…did not write the “NimbleRichMan” posts…
Here’s Ben Collins, one of the reporters who spoke with Luckey:

Here’s Gideon Resnick, the other reporter on the original Daily Beast article with one more email from Luckey confirming that he (Luckey) is behind the posts:

Note the  “…do not accurately represent my views” part of Palmer’s faux-pology.

Here’s a video Arthur Gies found of Palmer at a Trump rally, talking shit about protesters who don’t like Trump’s bullshit:

Palmer Luckey, Secret Asshole

make-vr-great-again

Gideon Resnick and Ben Collins writing for The Daily Beast:

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey financially backed a pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, a self-described “social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit” in support of the Republican nominee.

[…]

The 24-year-old told The Daily Beast that he had used the pseudonym “NimbleRichMan” on Reddit with a password given to him by the organization’s founders.

Nimble America says it’s dedicated to proving that “shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real,” according to the company’s introductory statement, and has taken credit for a billboard its founders say was posted outside of Pittsburgh with a cartoonishly large image of Clinton’s face alongside the words “Too Big to Jail.”

Here’s a screenshot of one of Palmer’s posts to Reddit using that pseudonym:

I was initially kind of skeptical about this, hoping it was incorrect in some way. Then a friend linked me to Palmer’s list of Twitter likes, which includes all kinds of Trump bullshit in addition to Nikki Moxxi’s twitter account. Palmer’s girlfriend has posted all kinds of garbage like this:

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and pro-gamergate bullshit like this:

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For all of the reasons that virtual reality might fail (low sales, failure to develop compelling software products, etc) I don’t think anyone was expecting to find out that Palmer is just a complete shit.

I feel bad for anyone working at Oculus who doesn’t support these views, but I don’t have any hope for that organization to disavow them when Oculus’ parent company has Peter Thiel on their board. Thiel wants to start his own offshore lawless Libertarian paradisespoke at the GOP’s Klan rally national convention and funded secret legal endowments to destroy journalists because they outed him a decade ago and his feelings were hurt.

The Internet’s Sam Houston found out about this way back in April: