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Engineer, startup founder, investor, and writer

benwerd

benwerd

benwerd

ben.werdmuller

ben.werdmuller.blog

ben@benwerd.com

 

San Francisco Police Illegally Spying on Protesters

“It’s feels like a pretty easy case. There’s a law, and the SF police didn’t follow it.”

[Link]

 

Patriot Front Fascist Leak Exposes Nationwide Racist Campaigns

“The detailed inner workings and patterns of operation of fascists in the neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front have come to light after a massive leak from their chat servers. The exposed communications show coordination with their leader Thomas Rousseau to deface murals and monuments to Black lives across the United States, and intimate struggles to bolster morale through group activities like hiking and camping.”

[Link]

 

Biden has nominated 8 Black women to become appellate judges

“As of Wednesday, with the selection of Arianna J. Freeman for the 3rd Circuit, the president has nominated eight Black women to the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals. Five have been confirmed, most recently on Thursday, when Judge Holly A. Thomas cleared Senate approval to join the 9th Circuit. If the remaining three are confirmed, Biden would have doubled the total number of Black women to ever serve on federal appeals courts from eight to 16.”

[Link]

 

Realizing that my superpower is writing, and my un-superpower is showing up well in the moment in meetings, I need to spend more time reflecting and writing my thoughts down about how to progress.

 

Fairness Friday: Harmony Health Clinic

‌‌I’m posting Fairness Fridays: a new community social justice organization each week. I donate to each featured organization. If you feel so inclined, please join me.

This week I’m donating to Harmony Health Clinic. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Harmony Health Clinic “seeks to understand and serve the health and wellness needs of the medically uninsured and underserved who live in Pulaski County, by providing access to quality medical care at no cost to these patients in a private, community-based clinic, staffed by medical professional volunteers and marked by a unique atmosphere of caring, compassion, respect, dignity, and diversity.”

It describes its mission as follows:

[…] The Clinic’s founders are committed to advancing social justice through the provision of quality health care to those who are denied it by virtue of barriers such as socioeconomic status. We believe that universal access to decent health care is integral to the sanctity, development and enjoyment of life, and vital to an individual’s ability to fully realize one’s dignity and potential. Virtually every religious faith and major Christian denomination takes the position that access to decent health care is and should be recognized as a basic human right, and that the prevailing health care system in this country utterly fails to protect that right when it does not ensure adequate coverage for all Americans. Indeed, the United States of America stands virtually alone among all industrialized nations as the only country which does not provide health care coverage to all of its citizens.

As the pandemic progresses and health needs compound, I’m concerned about the impact on the most vulnerable, particularly in some of the most impoverished and unequal parts of the country. Harmony Health Clinic is one organization that is helping to alleviate these inequities.

I donated. If you have the means, I encourage you to join me here.

I found Harmony Health Clinic through the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, which provides support for the uninsured and underinsured nationwide. I donated to them, too, and I encourage you to do the same.

 

What decisions would you make differently if you thought we were in the foothills of the pandemic - with the worst still to come, maybe for decades?

 

Joe Rogan and the problem of false balance

“To illustrate this, I want to talk briefly about Joe Rogan, because a Facebook post about him is what inspired this article. Full disclosure, I am, to say the least, not a fan of Rogan. In my opinion he is (to quote a friend of mine), “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person” (which to be clear, does not automatically mean that anyone who likes him is dumb). He frequently makes claims that are nonsense, and he uses his podcast to give a voice to all manner of quacks and conspiracy theorists.”

[Link]

 

How a Married Undercover Cop Having Sex With Activists Killed a Climate Movement

“In 2003, Kennedy had been sent undercover by an elite unit in London’s Metropolitan Police Service to gather intelligence on activists like Wilson. He spent seven years living a double life: He was a fearless organizer who had a shadowy backstory as a cocaine runner, but he was also a cop with a family in Ireland.” I suspect this is more common than we realize. Activists are often targeted for intelligence gathering, and this is a good way to do it over time. It’s morally repugnant, of course.

[Link]

 

What the Discovery of an Extra Artery Means for Human Evolution

“"The study demonstrates that humans are evolving at a faster rate than at any point in the past 250 years," said Teghan Lucas, lead author of the study and an archaeologist at Flinders University, in a press release. In fact, Lucas predicts that the median artery will continue to be a common occurrence in the human forearm far into the future.”

[Link]

 

Who is the best wartime engineering lead of a small to medium sized startup you know?