Margaret Bourke-White Coney Island 1952
“Americans are directly in charge of the war on the ground.”
French reporter returning from Ukraine "Americans are directly in charge of the war on the ground." pic.twitter.com/m5yr7far6N
— no one (@antiwar_soldier) April 11, 2022
” Isn’t it ironic that the CIA itself has done more than the Russians to undermine Americans’ faith in the media..”
Late last year, a Gallup poll showed that Americans’ trust in the mainstream media has fallen to its second lowest level on record. Only seven percent of Americans responded that they have a “great deal” of trust in the media. That loss of trust has been well-earned by the mainstream media, and it explains the massive growth of independent media and alternative voices on social media. The response to the rise of independent media voices has been a rush to “cancel” any voice outside the accepted mainstream narrative. Citizens of the Soviet Union would read manipulated media like Pravda not because the regime reported facts, but because truth was hidden between the lines of what was reported and what was not reported. That seems to be where we are in the US today.
Last week an extraordinary article appeared in, of all places, NBC News, reporting that the US intelligence community is knowingly feeding information it does not believe accurate to the US mainstream media for the American audience to consume. In other words, the article reports that the US “deep state” admits to being actively engaged in lying to the American people in the hopes that it can manipulate public opinion According to the NBC News article, “multiple US officials acknowledged that the US has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn’t high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect…” Readers will recall the shocking headlines that Russia was prepared to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, that China would be providing military equipment to Russia, that Russian President Putin was being fed misinformation by his advisors, and more.
All of these were churned out by the CIA to be repeated in the American media even though they were known to be false. It was all about, as one intelligence officer said in the article, “trying to get inside Putin’s head.” That may have been the goal, but what the CIA actually did was get inside America’s head with false information meant to shape public perception of the conflict. They lied to propagandize us in favor of the Biden Administration’s narrative. Those pushing the “Russiagate” hoax through the Trump years claimed that the goal of “Russian disinformation” was to undermine Americans’ trust in our government, media, and other institutions. Isn’t it ironic that the CIA itself has done more than the Russians to undermine Americans’ faith in the media by feeding false stories to establish a particular narrative among the American people?
“It is practically “impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world,” let alone a country as “vast” as Russia..”
“..reiterating unproven claims the West has fostered a neo-Nazi, anti-Russian state on its doorstep..”
Russian President Vladimir Putin toured a spaceport in the far east of Russia on Tuesday with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, defending Russia’s “clear and noble” goals in Ukraine and pointing to the country’s prior achievements in space as proof Western efforts to isolate Moscow will fail. It is practically “impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world,” let alone a country as “vast” as Russia, Putin said, according to Reuters, citing Russian state television. Even the “total” sanctions and “complete” isolation of the Soviet Union did not stop it from beating the West into space, Putin said, adding that Russia does not “intend to be isolated.”
Putin said Russia would never again depend on the West and doubled down on the main goal of what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, which is to “help people in the Donbas,” the primarily Russian-speaking region in eastern Ukraine, and ensure Russia’s security, according to the New York Times. He said Russia made the “right decision” and “didn’t have a choice” but to invade Ukraine, reiterating unproven claims the West has fostered a neo-Nazi, anti-Russian state on its doorstep. Putin was touring the Vostochny spaceport with Belarusian ally Lukashenko, who reportedly asked why everyone is “getting so worried about these sanctions.” The pair celebrated Cosmonaut’s Day—a celebration of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin carrying out the first human spaceflight in 1961—and announced a joint project to guarantee both countries independent access to space.
Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine six weeks ago, Western countries have imposed a series of increasingly harsh sanctions and restrictions against Russian businesses, industry, and key members of Putin’s inner circle. Many businesses have elected to withdraw from Russia as well. The sanctions have had a dramatic impact on the Russian economy and the World Bank estimates its economy will be around 11% smaller at the end of 2022 (it estimates Ukraine’s will fall around 45%). Despite the Russian downturn, critics, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, argue that sanctions are too weak and Europe’s continued purchasing of Russian oil and gas amounts to giving Russia “permission to attack.” Increasing indications of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, such as signs of executed civilians in Bucha, have added to pressure to up sanctions.
What isolation looks like.
China’s overall trade with Russia rose to 243.03 billion yuan ($38.18 billion) in January-March, a Chinese customs spokesman said on Wednesday, up 27.8 percent from a year earlier. China’s total trade with Ukraine climbed to 29.6 billion yuan in the first quarter, customs spokesman Li Kuiwen said at a press conference, up 10.6 percent. China’s trade with both Russia and Ukraine has maintained an uptrend, Li said, adding that China’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries including Russia and Ukraine will remain normal. China’s overall trade with Russia reached 190.12 billion yuan in January-March 2021, while its trade with Ukraine stood at 26.77 billion yuan, according to previous customs data.
Maybe step 1 is to stop calling it the *Defense* industry?
Last week, CNN brought on former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for his fourth recent appearance to talk, once again, about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion of Ukraine. “I think we need to understand that there is only one thing that Putin understands, and that’s force,” said Panetta on Newsroom. The former CIA director added: “I think the United States has to provide whatever weapons are necessary to the Ukrainians, so that they can hit back, and hit back now.” At no time did Panetta nor CNN mention that he’s a senior counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a defense industry consulting firm that has reportedly represented weapons manufacturer Raytheon. The firm doesn’t disclose its clients, but Raytheon and the defense industry generally stand to benefit from the conflict in Ukraine.
The episode is part of a broader pattern and practice: Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, cable news networks have routinely called on defense officials-turned-consultants to offer analysis and help the American public make sense of the crisis. Often, these analysts have used their TV time to call for greater U.S. involvement and bolder moves that could ratchet up tensions between two nuclear-armed superpowers. The networks have consistently failed to disclose these analysts’ day jobs, describing them instead by only their former high-ranking military or government roles — leaving viewers in the dark about the analysts’ financial ties to defense contractors that stand to profit from increased or prolonged conflict.
During its Ukraine coverage, MSNBC even failed to include disclosures when the network invited on former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who serves on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor. When asked about this matter, Johnson told The Lever, “I have no comment.” Corporate media’s lack of transparency about these consultants is deeply troubling, said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “This type of revolving-door behavior should be prohibited for military officials to serve in a private capacity representing military contractors,” Holman told The Lever. “If not prohibited, it should be disclosed to everyone so when they’re going on television trying to affect Biden’s policy on whatever war they have in mind, they ought to be straightforward.”
Probably nothing. Golfers get blood clots all the time.
Nelly Korda announced Friday on social media that she recently underwent surgery for a blood clot in a subclavian vein in her left arm. “I am pleased to report the procedure went well and the doctors were happy with the outcome,” Korda wrote. “I am now home recovering and preparing to start rehab. I am looking forward to getting back to 100 percent so I can begin practicing.” Korda, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, first posted about the blood clot on March 13 and withdrew from the next two events in California, including the Chevron Championship, the season’s first major. “I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and messages I have received the last few weeks,” Korda posted. “Your kind words have helped me get through this challenging and scary time.”
Korda last teed it up on the LPGA in early February at the LPGA Drive On Championship. She has finished T-15, T-20, and T-4 in three starts this season. In 2021, Korda won four times on the LPGA as well as Olympic gold in Tokyo and was named Female Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. She was honored by the GWAA on Wednesday night at the organization’s annual dinner near Augusta. Korda also revealed that she had tested positive for COVID-19 in the second week of January, which “kept her off her feet for some time” before the LPGA season started.
McCullough: permanent DNA alteration
“A team of experts..”
The average Bitcoin investor is a calculating psychopath with an inflated ego, according to scientists. A team of experts recently surveyed more than 500 people to uncover the personality traits that are most common among crypto nuts. They identified that many investors exhibit signs of the “dark tetrad”, a group of four unsavory traits made up of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. In plain English, that means dark tetrads have an inflated sense of self-importance and derive pleasure from the pain of others. They also find it difficult to empathize with others and are sly and manipulative.
Scientists at Queensland University of Technology described their findings in research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences earlier this month. They asked 566 people to complete personality surveys as well as answers questions about their attitudes to crypto. Of the participants, one in four reported that they owned crypto and two-thirds showed an interest in crypto investing. All four dark tetrad traits correlated with an affinity for investing, each for their own reasons. According to the researchers, dark tetrads are partly drawn to crypto because they are prepared to take risks. Digital assets such as Bitcoin are infamously volatile and the feast-or-famine nature of investing is particularly enticing to some.
With California’s porous southern border, soaring taxes, and ongoing flow of overbearing and occasionally bizarre regulations (one law targets cow flatulence, for example), state residents could use a break from bad news. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon. According to a recent report, California now leads the country in illiteracy. In fact, 23.1 percent of Californians over age 15 cannot read this sentence. While the problem has many causes, much of the blame falls on the state’s failing public schools. The 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress found that just 30 percent of California eighth-graders are proficient in reading. And those numbers reflect results gathered before the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Voters’ attitudes toward California’s government-run schools have tumbled accordingly. A new poll from UC–Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reveals that just 35 percent of the state’s voters gave public schools in their local district a grade of A or B, down from 55 percent in 2011. At the other end of the spectrum, 25 percent now give their local public schools a D or an F, up 15 percentage points from 2011. The poll included responses from 800 California voters, with 50 percent identifying as Democrats, 26 percent as Republicans, and 24 percent as independents. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that public school enrollment is sinking. In 2018–2019, the system lost about 23,000 students, but between the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 terms, California public schools saw more than 160,000 students leave—a sevenfold increase.
In Los Angeles, defections are accelerating. Whereas L.A. Unified schools were home to 737,000 students 20 years ago, the district is now forecasting a 25,000-student drop by the fall, which would bring their attendance number below the 400,000 mark. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the district’s “American Rescue Plan” funding will soon run out: “From July forward, the district is projected to spend about $1 billion more than it will take in over a two-year period. The district also must wrestle with underfunded retiree health benefits.” Additionally, the district’s contract with United Teachers Los Angeles runs out at the end of the school year, and the union will demand the sun and the moon for the next contract.
“One agent was even recorded stating, ‘We don’t know what we are looking for yet.’ They should look for a copy of the Constitution and read it.”
At least 20 FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives “assets” were embedded around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a defense attorney wrote in a court filing on April 12. The disclosure was made in a motion seeking to dismiss seditious conspiracy and obstruction charges against 10 Oath Keepers defendants in one of the most prominent Jan. 6 criminal cases. David W. Fischer, attorney for Thomas E. Caldwell of Berryville, Virginia, filed a 41-page motion to dismiss four counts on behalf of all Oath Keepers case defendants before U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta in Washington, D.C. Caldwell is charged in the indictment, but is not a member of the Oath Keepers, he told The Epoch Times in March.
“At least 20 FBI and ATF assets were embedded around the Capitol on J6,” read a footnote on Page 6 of the motion. No other details were provided in the document. The footnote said defense attorneys “combed through a mountain of discovery,” including FBI form 302 summaries of interviews conducted by FBI agents. In addition to the information about law-enforcement assets on the ground at the Capitol, the footnote says, the Oath Keepers “were being monitored and recorded prior to J6.” Poring over evidence turned over in discovery by prosecutors in two major Oath Keepers cases has “not found one iota of proof” that defendants “had any plan, intention, design, or scheme to specifically enter the Capitol Building on J6,” the motion said.
Since the first arrests of Jan. 6 defendants in early 2021, there has been extensive speculation and questions from attorneys, defendants, case observers, and members of Congress about the role law enforcement played that day. During a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Jan. 11, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled top FBI officials on the subject. “How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” Cruz asked Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch. “Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods,” Sanborn said. Cruz replied, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of Jan. 6, yes or no?” “Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn said. “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on Jan. 6?” Cruz asked. “I can’t answer that, sir,” Sanborn replied.
Jeremy M. Brown, an Oath Keepers member from Florida who was charged with two Jan. 6-related counts but is not part of either major Oath Keepers conspiracy case, told The Epoch Times earlier this year that the FBI unsuccessfully tried to recruit him in 2020 to spy on the group. Brown said the same agents who later arrested him for alleged Jan. 6 crimes tried to recruit him on Dec. 11, 2020, to become a confidential informant. He refused. He was arrested on Sept. 30, 2021, when dozens of federal agents swarmed his Florida property. “When asked by me and my girlfriend to produce the warrants at the time of arrest, they refused to produce them,” Brown said. “One agent was even recorded stating, ‘We don’t know what we are looking for yet.’ They should look for a copy of the Constitution and read it.”
“This is a Joe Biden scandal, not a Hunter Biden scandal.”
This has all the persuasive power of saying that Don Corleone knew nothing about his family’s activities and played no part in them whatever. It makes no sense. And Joe Biden’s direct involvement in his son’s activities has now been confirmed with a new email that has emerged. The email involves a college recommendation that Joe Biden wrote for a Chinese businessman who was partners with Hunter Biden. Jonathan Li is the CEO of a company BHR that entered into a joint venture with Hunter Biden’s company Rosemont Seneca. Hunter also held a 10 percent stake in BHR. In 2017, Li sent an email to Hunter Biden and his business associates Devon Archer and Jim Bulger.
“Gentlemen,” he wrote, “Please find the attached resume of my son, Chris Li. He is applying [to] the following colleges for this year.” Li listed Brown University, Cornell University, and New York University. He also attached an “updated version” of his son’s resume. So then what happened? Let’s follow the email trail. “Let’s see how we can be helpful here to Chris,” Bulger responded to Hunter and the gang. A few weeks later, on Feb. 18, 2017, Eric Schwerin, president of Rosemont Seneca, replied to Li. “Jonathan,” he wrote, “Hunter asked me to send you a copy of the recommendation letter that he asked his father to write on behalf of Christopher for Brown University.” In other words, Joe Biden wrote the letter.
Is it reasonable, at this point, to continue to say Joe Biden told the truth when he said he had nothing to do with his son’s business? Is it believable that he was never in on the deals, or stood to benefit from them? No, it’s not. On the contrary, it seems that Hunter Biden was Joe Biden’s frontman. This is a Joe Biden scandal, not a Hunter Biden scandal. If the circuitous family racket can be likened to the coils of a snake, Joe Biden is the head of the snake.
I understand he’s a good speaker.
Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has drawn a massive crowd to his campaign rally in Calgary, Alberta. According to organizers, over 7,000 RSVP’d to the event, and more are coming. The hype is real, and traffic jams have built up along the road to the rally. “People haven’t felt so free in this country, have they,” Poilievre began. “Whether it’s the fourteen-year-old girl suffering depression after separation from her sport[s] and social activities for two long years; whether it’s the waitress who mortgaged her house to start a business only to have it locked down again and again until she couldn’t open it up anymore; whether it is the hard-working trucker who delivered the goods and services that we need —” The rally erupted at the mention of truckers, all but drowning out Poilievre as he continued praising their gusto and disparaging Trudeau for his tyrannical response.
Indeed, it appears that after years of ‘Red Erin’ O’Toole, Calgarians and Canadians more generally are ready for a Conservative leader who will end Trudeau’s carbon tax, denounce the WEF, and defund the CBC. Speaking of Justin Trudeau, just yesterday, he managed to draw a crowd, too… A crowd of protesters honking and telling him he’s a disgrace to Canada. This most recent barrage of boos and honks occurred while entering Victoria City Hall to speak with Mayor Lisa Helps. This visit would have been innocuous for most leaders, but merely his presence draws a crowd of disdain. It’s gotten so bad that he’s taken to hiding his itinerary to avoid protests. The contrast couldn’t be starker. Poilievre is being celebrated across the country, while Trudeau slithers in through back doors even while abroad. Assuming he keeps up the momentum, Poilievre might just be the first opponent capable of dethroning Trudeau since he was elected PM.
My god, Pierre Poilievre doubles down on his support for Truckers, and hits the nail right on the head. Trudeau and Charest are in for a RUDE awakening. READ: https://t.co/OoZR6NiETd pic.twitter.com/MYt8RaBJEl
— Keean Bexte (@TheRealKeean) April 13, 2022
“A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news..”
Rebel News founder Ezra Levant sounded off Tuesday after the Trudeau administration denied his outlet what he described as a newly-conceived “license” to fully practice journalism. Levant told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that, if the Liberal Party leader’s behavior during the Ottawa trucker protests is any indicator, he is working hard to punish critics and upturn their lives. He noted how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously slammed his agency when a reporter from it asked a question during a press availability while the politician was running for reelection in 2021. At the time, Trudeau claimed Rebel News was engaging in “disinformation on the science around vaccines” and made a point to declare he could not bring himself to describe them as a “media organization.”
“It’s not yet illegal to do journalism without that license, it’s a government license called the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization License. A government panel reviews you. They spent one year reviewing Rebel News, looking through more than 100 of our stories,” Levant told host Tucker Carlson. “A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news, so we don’t get the license.” Levant went on to describe what that means for his organization, versus mainstream outlets like CBC. Trudeau plans to “compel” Big Tech to down-rank non-licensed journalists and change the Income Tax Act to punish them, Levant said. “We’re not banned yet, although we are banned from government events, as you said earlier. But I’m worried that he’s done all this in two years. The worst is yet to come. He may well ban us yet,” he concluded.
What a surprise….
After re-raising the carbon tax on April 1, Trudeau is considering yet another carbon-based tax that specifically targets your everyday trucker. If passed, owners of Ford F-150s will pay a $1,000 tax, while those who own a Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup trucks will have to dish out $4,000. The tax comes as part of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, in which the government claims it’s “making it easier for Canadians to switch to electric vehicles.” Part of this plan includes taxing truck owners so much that they can’t afford to own one anymore. Page 192 of the report states that the government will:
“Broaden Canada’s existing Green Levy (Excise Tax) for Fuel Inefficient Vehicles to include additional ICE vehicle types, such as pickup trucks. A sliding scale for the implementation of this Green Levy should be developed based on the emissions produced from different vehicles. Revenue from a broadened Green Levy could increase available funding for ZEV incentives for individuals and organizations without limiting the fleet size and while encouraging smaller vehicles of all fuel types. Carefully consider the impacts on and supports for low-income households and other vulnerable populations when exploring changes to the Green Levy and ZEV incentives.”
That’s right. It appears Trudeau is freezing out truck owners again. First, their bank accounts, now their savings. This shouldn’t surprise people at this point. After all, Trudeau isn’t shy when it comes to coercing Canadians. He imposed draconian federal mandates that are still in place despite what the data says and has kept the travel ban on the unvaccinated even as the rest of the world opens up. Now, he’s targeting truckers by legally requiring them to comply with his environmental activism. And he’s comfortable doing this despite a bleeding economy, unreasonable carbon taxes, and record-high inflation.
Filling up my gas tank has gotten so expensive, my credit card company just sent me a warning text asking if I actually paid that much at a gas station.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 1, 2022
Twitter’s been ‘A Sh*t Show’ for much longer..
Wokist traumas: “..a scheduled “day of rest” for company employees..”.
Elon Musk’s looming battle with Twitter’s board is a source of major anxiety for company employees – many of whom are reportedly worried that billionaire’s campaign to force changes is just beginning. Musk’s surprise rejection of a Twitter board seat emerged ahead of a scheduled “day of rest” for company employees, according to a report. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal broke the news on his account the previous night, describing Musk’s decision as “for the best” even as he warned workers they would face “distractions ahead,” Bloomberg reported late Monday. The uncertainty left Twitter workers feeling “super stressed” about the future, with employees reportedly “working together to help each other get through the week.”
The report cited interviews with Twitter employees who asked not to be identified while discussing the company’s inner workings. Several employees told the outlet that Twitter’s internal environment was a “s–t-show” after Musk’s deal with the board fell through. One Twitter employee griped that Musk was likely ‘just getting started” with pushing for change at the company – a development the worker described as “unfortunate,” according to Bloomberg. Musk has emerged as a vocal critic of Twitter’s business practices, taking particular umbrage with the platform’s content moderation policies. He’s also the company’s largest individual shareholder after acquiring a 9% stake earlier this month.
Under the terms of his initial agreement with Twitter, Musk would have received a board seat through at least 2024 and would be barred from acquiring more than 14.9% of the company. Without that deal in place, Musk is free to acquire a larger stake in the company and push for greater influence over its operations. Musk updated an SEC filing on his Twitter holdings with language that suggests he plans to stay active in the company’s dealings, despite his expanding business empire that includes Tesla and SpaceX.
Can a investor be compelled to lose money? Musk disclosed his stake when he was done buying. If he had disclosed it before, it would have cost him 100s of millions.
“The lawsuit alleges that by March 14, Musk’s stake in Twitter had reached a 5% threshold that required him to publicly disclose his holdings under U.S. securities law by March 24. Musk didn’t make the required disclosure until April 4.”
“..depriving investors who sold shares before Musk’s improperly delayed disclosure [of] the chance to realize significant gains..”
The gains they could only have realized because Musk was buying…
Elon Musk’s huge Twitter investment took a new twist Tuesday with the filing of a lawsuit alleging that the colorful billionaire illegally delayed disclosing his stake in the social media company so he could buy more shares at lower prices. The complaint in New York federal court accuses Musk of violating a regulatory deadline to reveal he had accumulated a stake of at least 5%. Instead, according to the complaint, Musk didn’t disclose his position in Twitter until he’d almost doubled his stake to more than 9%. That strategy, the lawsuit alleges, hurt less wealthy investors who sold shares in the San Francisco company in the nearly two weeks before Musk acknowledged holding a major stake.
Musk’s regulatory filings show that he bought a little more than 620,000 shares at $36.83 apiece on Jan. 31 and then continued to accumulate more shares on nearly every single trading day through April 1. Musk, best known as CEO of the electric car maker Tesla, held 73.1 million Twitter shares as of the most recent count Monday. That represents a 9.1% stake in Twitter. The lawsuit alleges that by March 14, Musk’s stake in Twitter had reached a 5% threshold that required him to publicly disclose his holdings under U.S. securities law by March 24. Musk didn t make the required disclosure until April 4.
That revelation caused Twitter’s stock to soar 27% from its April 1 close to nearly $50 by the end of April 4’s trading, depriving investors who sold shares before Musk’s improperly delayed disclosure the chance to realize significant gains, according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of an investor named Marc Bain Rasella. Musk, meanwhile, was able to continue to buy shares that traded in prices ranging from $37.69 to $40.96. The lawsuit is seeking to be certified as a class action representing Twitter shareholders who sold shares between March 24 and April 4, a process that could take a year or more.
Washed up Robert Reich has it figured out: Elon Musk is Putin. And Trump. “.. the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth..”
Some people really don’t like free speech…
The Securities and Exchange Commission went after Musk after he tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private, a clear violation of the law. Musk paid a fine and agreed to let lawyers vet future sensitive tweets, but he has tried to reverse this requirement. He has also been openly contemptuous of the SEC, tweeting at one point that the “E” stands for “Elon’s”. (You can guess what the “S” and “C” stand for.) By the way, how does the SEC go after Musk’s ability to tweet now that he owns Twitter? Billionaires like Musk have shown time and again they consider themselves above the law. And to a large extent, they are.
Musk has enough wealth that legal penalties are no more than slaps on his wrist, and enough power to control one of the most important ways the public now receives news. Think about it: after years of posting tweets that skirt the law, Musk was given a seat on Twitter’s board (and is probably now negotiating for even more clout). Musk says he wants to “free” the internet. But what he really aims to do is make it even less accountable than it is now, when it’s often impossible to discover who is making the decisions about how algorithms are designed, who is filling social media with lies, who’s poisoning our minds with pseudo-science and propaganda, and who’s deciding which versions of events go viral and which stay under wraps.
Make no mistake: this is not about freedom. It’s about power. In Musk’s vision of Twitter and the internet, he’d be the wizard behind the curtain – projecting on the world’s screen a fake image of a brave new world empowering everyone. In reality, that world would be dominated by the richest and most powerful people in the world, who wouldn’t be accountable to anyone for facts, truth, science or the common good. That’s Musk’s dream. And Trump’s. And Putin’s. And the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth. For the rest of us, it would be a brave new nightmare.
George Webb Rotterdam
— George Webb – Investigative Journalist (@RealGeorgeWebb1) April 12, 2022
Our life now is just being in debt."
Thousands of people took to the streets of Athens last week to protest inflation and low wages. pic.twitter.com/0CPAq70EBA
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) April 13, 2022
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