Elon and Twitter

Yes, I’ve got some thoughts, but my last few headlines have been about thoughts so wanted to do something different. Fact is, I was on a panel with Elon about space commercialization years ago. It was not a pleasant experience because of Elon.

Elon is intelligent, how much so a subject of some debate and discussion. What I will say about him is that he seems get engineering and R&D on a level that few others do. Is he Kelly Johnson reborn? No, different type of genius and one who is smart enough to hire modern Kelly Johnsons and — mostly — listen to them on critical issues. I’ve heard over the years, however, that he can have a tendency to get so wrapped up in his concepts/plans that he doesn’t listen, not unless reality hits him hard with a cold douche.

Whether it’s because he’s spectrum or something else, he is not a people person. He doesn’t always get others, or seem to realize that disagreement does not automatically equate to enemy action. Or that less than 1,000 percent enthusiasm for project doesn’t mean you are against it. I think I said a while back that Elon was his own worst enemy when it comes to turning those who could or should be his allies into enemies. For some reason, he seems driven to do that, to be an ahole for no good or discernible reason.

That panel was a case in point. I was the NASA rep, working with the Space Product Development program, and simply because I (a mere contractor) was representing NASA, I was the enemy. That he saw NASA as the enemy at the time was not unfounded in many respects; but, the way he handled it set commercialization efforts back. Frankly, he was a rude, boorish, and nasty POS that night. Some of his comments apparently didn’t go over well in parts of NASA. As for me, what I witnessed along with things heard over the years (water cooler RUMINT), I would not want to work for him though I would love to work at a couple of his companies.

Fact is, before I got hit by lightning, I would have loved to work for Space X because they are doing, not talking. So long as it was down a few layers from the top so I was insulated from the storms that seem to hit Elon from time to time. He’s got a lot of good people working for him, and I would have loved to work with them. I think that right now they are the best shot we have at getting off this mudball and creating a permanent human presence throughout the solar system. I think that important and needed, especially as we seem determined to go the path of endless wars and escalation of same. Earth is the cradle of humanity, and it would be a shame if we became a case of crib death writ large.

I bring this up because over the weekend, Elon had one of his patented tantrums on Twitter (X, whatever) over removing the block feature. Elon wants to do it, and the peasants just don’t understand his grand plan and how this will make things better. He started blocking people who disagreed with the idea, told major accounts to delete themselves because they disagreed, and thought it was all funny. I thought it was fun (and funny) to block him so I may not be on Twitter much longer. We’ll see. The interesting thing is that with X/Twitter, the world gets to see the behavior on a large scale.

As for the block feature, I think it flat out stupid to remove it. First, various app stores (on which X depends) have rules that would seem to say no to this. Second, there are serious safety concerns for people who block because of domestic, terroristic, and other threats. I actually did try to point out the latter to Elon and others at X, don’t think it went anywhere. To my mind, it’s a liability issue with a capital L and a lot of dollar signs attached. Third, it’s my timeline and I like having the ability to block bots and others who do not have my best interest at heart.

I made the decision a while back to hang on and see what happens on/with Twitter/X. I don’t like a lot of what I see going on lately, but then again I’m not a multi-business billionaire with a track record of (mostly) success. I’m not part of the flounce brigade that every time he’s made a change has flounced to other pastures in protest (and mostly come immediately back). I’m going to let things play out for now, as Twitter is still the best platform for getting breaking news and intel.

I would love to see it more a true free speech platform, at least within what is allowed by our government, the EU, and others who hate free speech. I would like to have no filters, or at least visible filters and options, and curate who I follow, how, and why. Elon seems to want to make it a garden of nice, or at least nice as he sees it. Having survived the destruction of the blogosphere when we were tempted into the warm walled gardens of Facebook and other social media, which rapidly turned into thought prisons, I don’t trust promises of gardens that, really, trust us, this time are going to be nice and free.

Meantime, understand Elon is not your friend, a savior, or anything else other than a flawed human like the rest of us. He is an erratic genius, where it’s not the genius that is erratic but his behavior. I want to be fair and note that I have heard that he is not having a tantrum/being an ahole, he’s actually nice and even fun to be around. I’ve just never personally seen that side of him.

Because of him, a lot of good things are happening. To my mind, it’s worth dealing with the ahole component to get the good things. Not necessarily pleasant, but until some real competition comes along, he’s pretty much the only game in town on several fronts. When there are other realistic options, I will review and revise as warranted. If he goes completely off the rails in regards Twitter/X, I will leave with little fuss or muss. Meantime, I’m just going to sit back, watch, and probably shake my head a lot.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

The Great Kansas Newspaper Raid

I’ve long held it a truism that the smaller the puddle, the more vicious the fighting to be on top in it. In nature, very true and you get to see nature red of tooth and claw rather clearly. In a company, whatever is going on at the top, go to the smallest and least important department and watch the fighting to be top in it. For all that national politics can be a literal blood sport, if you want to see blood literally spilled, lives lost, and other lives ruined, go check out small town politics.

A recent bit of such vicious local politics has gone international, with national implications for free speech, first amendment rights, and the survival of local journalism. Police in Marion, Kansas, made use of a loophole in federal law to raid the “aggressive” local paper that apparently was looking into several things that the police and local politicians did not want them to look into. In addition, they also seized the electronics of a local official. To top it off, the 98-year-old co-owner apparently died as a direct result of the raid, which also included the homes of the owners and employees.

First up, I’m not sure anyone involved in this raid, including judge Laura Viar who signed off on something apparently illegal under Kansas law, thought at all. Certainly not past the end of their nose. If they did indeed want to bury a story about a local business owner having a DUI and other issues, they didn’t succeed. Not only that, but it turns out judgywudgy has some DUIs and history of her own. The police chief, Gideon Cody, seems to have left his previous job right as he faced discipline for insulting and sexist comments to a fellow officer. One does wonder what else may turn up in the days ahead, as both LE and every facet of journalism is digging into the story and even the White House has weighed in with concern.

The KBI took over the “investigation” pretty quickly, and equally as quickly withdrew the warrant. The newspaper is having the returned electronics forensically examined to determined if they were illegally accessed, since any effort to access them on the basis of the withdrawn warrant would be illegal. Meantime, Cody, Viar, and others seem to be doing their best to avoid questions or answers.

For all that I expect a lot of sound and fury over this, I really don’t expect anything to happen. The only reason I will give any odds on anything being done other than wrist slaps is that they fucked up and attacked the media arm of the Democratic party (hence the White House viewing with concern). I would love to be wrong on this, more than I can say. But…

Those behind this raid have blood on their hands. Yes, the lady was elderly, but they knew it and did it anyway. All of the officers in that police department took part, and not one refused an illegal order. You know my thoughts on that. So, that leaves only one way to stop the spread: give them and the incident all the publicity possible; mock them for the authoritarians/totalitarians they are; and, shun them. Yes, they are getting a lot of attention now, keep it up and make it rain. Odds are they, like the West Yorkshire Police, are going to try to hunker down and hope it all goes away. It’s not, it should not, and it really is up to everyone to make sure it doesn’t. BTW, go read the ratios of the WestYorks in the posts where they try to pretend nothing happened.

Don’t count on the courts, other judges, or LE to do the right thing. The only way to make clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable is for each and every member of society to reinforce that it won’t be tolerated. Without that social pressure, nothing is going to change.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Tucker Carlson And Changing Media

I do wish there was some way to get all the progressives on social media to place a cash bet on Tucker’s future. Right now, they are gleefully doing something far too similar to the pee-pee dance of small children for my taste as they salivate over his alleged demise. I would be glad to put down $100 if they will match, that Tucker is back bigger and better within two years.

To be honest, I expect to see it a lot sooner than that. The media landscape has changed over the last few decades in significant ways, which a lot of people are missing. Newspapers are a relic still trying to find ways to compete in the age of electronics. The paper versions are largely money losers putting out news that is days or, in some cases, weeks old for those who dig around online. The classifieds used to carry a number of papers, yet today the classifieds mainly are there for areas where local laws demand notices be published in the classifieds… It is the online versions of the papers that carry something more timely and drive the revenue for the papers.

The Big 3 networks are now owned by other companies, in some cases entertainment companies. The news operations are largely footnotes to them, given some lip veneration to mollify some of the critics. Despite the strong efforts by some of those corporate parents to deplatform the competition that is arising from new, independent, news companies, said companies are filling niche and general markets. Streaming services and podcasts are drawing far larger audiences with critical demographics away from the old school that is corporate media.

These changes are accelerating. Tucker, I suspect, may be one of the people who have the potential to put that change into overdrive.

Keep in mind, he’s already co-founded one such new media operation, the Daily Caller. Also, if Rogan is offered $50 million by a streaming company, what do you think might be offered to Tucker? Fact is, he’s guaranteed an even larger audience and has some very interesting demographics (including Dems that the progressives have left behind – seriously, look at his info).

Personal opinion: I think the smart thing for him to do is set up a new company of his own; work out a nice deal with a streaming company; maybe do some work or ventures with the DC, OAN, Newsmax and others to build up him and them; and, tell the networks and corporate media to bugger off. In fact, if some of the Jan. 6 video is still available to him, I’d say do a special in conjunction with some else from the list above to show what Fox would not let him show.

Also personal opinion: I said bigger and better. His comments over the weekend suggest to me that he’s doing a lot of reflection and self-examination. It’s always a good thing, and I hope he is doing it, does a lot of it, and comes back from this not just a better news person, but a better person. He seems like a great guy as it is, but who knows what he could become? Think that tendency of his to support the up and comers might hit new heights?

To make a bad literary reference, corporate media are like those elves and others in Middle Earth who refused to head West, and diminish daily before our eyes. Tucker is hitting the market at a good time for an individual or even a new company to set up and come out to far better pay and even larger audiences. He will be fine. Corporate media, on the other hand…

Some Thoughts On Twitter

No, I’m not joining the anti-Elon club, or going to moan and flounce over whatever allegedly outrageous thing he’s done this time. In fact, I will start by saying that Twitter is in many ways more fun than it has ever been from the start.

The first Twitter account I had was at the start, and once Twitter became a sewer I left. I rejoined around the last election, and between the manipulation and the still rampant CSE and other sewer elements, I left again. I rejoined when Elon started having an interest in it, and have laughed my fluffy fuzzy rump off at all that has gone on since he bought the non-profit. Unless he does turn things around, I’m going to say he got fleeced. I’m hoping he does turn it around, but some major unforced errors this week have me concerned.

Twitter has an amazing amount of untapped potential. Elon has talked about his desire to make it a true free speech platform, and a platform for citizen journalism. The problem is, either through sheer incompetence by staff, or some termites from the old regimes still being in the woodwork (embrace the healing power of and?), any trust or credibility in Twitter by independent journalists and non-corporate journalistic organizations took a heavy hit.

In short, a user posted an “interesting” graphic about the upcoming “Trans Day Of Vengeance” which also included calls for violence. This was done the afternoon/evening of the day Christian children and teachers were slaughtered by a trans person. Needless to say, the account, the graphic, and the calls for violence were quickly covered by journalists, lawmakers, and others. In a flashback to the old regime, Twitter censored and shut down the accounts of the journalists, lawmakers, and others.

The account that posted the graphic never got taken down or censored as far as I know. If it did, it’s news to me. The accounts that were shut down had to delete the offending posts that shared the graphic (mentioned?), not sure if they had to admit guilt and to be paraded through the public square like in the old days, but were warned of strikes and worse if they continued to offend. Twitter later said no strikes were issued, but right now no one truly trusts them given all the issues in the past. Twitter has massively squandered any trust and goodwill that was being built. Major unforced error.

It also demonstrated a lack of knowledge about real journalism. The graphic has to be shared as it is evidence. It is what allows people to view, consider, and then make up their own mind about it and the messages attached to it. It is even potential evidence in court. In short, it is important and to just yank it down along with all the stories covering and analyzing the situation was totalitarian censorship at its finest as well as complete ignorance of journalistic purpose.

I’m hearing that a number of independent journalists and organizations are putting plans to make more use of Twitter on hold. Some are being vocal about it, and others just read the posts from Twitter, and smile and nod nicely and politely without saying a word.

I was looking at doing some things to try to make better use of Twitter, expand my reach, and even make use of some paid features. That’s going on hiatus, because this time Twitter didn’t put a finger on the scales, they sat on it and screwed over most of the real journalists who use their service in the process.

Now, add to that a campaign against tweets that were deemed mean or insensitive to the cowards of Uvalde, which went on at the same time. Trust level, fucked.

Now, for me, there are two other issues.

First, Elon wants Twitter to be a happy, positive place where no one says mean or nasty things. If you say something someone could possibly consider mean, angry, etc., then you will get throttled. The thing is, free speech is quite often rough, vulgar, and uncouth by the standards of those who live in the clouds.

Twitter still seems to have a problem with not recognizing a real threat (‘I am going to kill you and your family’) particularly when it comes from a progressive or other protected class to a less protected class (see the JK Rowling saga for one example). If you suggest that someone should pleasure themselves with a rusty chain saw, sideways, well, they are going to be all over your ass in a nanosecond, particularly if you are not a member of a protected class. And even faster if the person to whom you make the suggestion is a member of the protected classes. One is a clear threat, the other hyperbole. Twitter still seems to be willfully and deliberately ignoring one and conflating the other.

Attempts to force “niceness” have never worked, and have historically led to massive censorship. Not the first time or place it’s been tried. It also ignores the fact that some ideas are so abhorrent or idiotic, that pure mockery (which is rarely polite) is the only response deserved. You may not like it, you may not like dark humor, you may not like mockery. Problem is, if you try to force nice and censor others, guess what you become? That very tyrant you claim to hate. You go right back to being the Twitter of yesterday.

Second, for myself and others with brain injury, traumatic brain injury, and some related conditions, many of the “improvements and upgrades” to Twitter, Tweetdeck, etc. suck. Big fat hairy warty ones even. I’ve been hearing that a number of others are not happy with the so-called improvements, but for people like me using the system has become a figurative and even literal pain.

Now, I have to say that after being hit by lightning I’m incredibly blessed as things could be a lot worse. My short term memory is fucked, though they tell me that the missing long-term memories are still there but the brain doesn’t know where the files are right now. When my brain finished healing in a few years, that may change. Who knows, but there are no guarantees.

Since being hit, I have learned about “distractions,” “attention success,” “attention lapses,” “CES,” and other joys. There are fancy and nice ways to describe what is going on, but a good analogy is that almost anything can cause my brain to go “SQUIRREL!!” and send my train of thought not only off the rails but out into the swamps. It’s why I have to live my life off flippin lists to get anything done. It’s why a story that used to take me thirty minutes to write can now take three flippin hours or more.

I loved Tweetdeck as it allowed me to arrange information into lists and columns that allowed me to reduce distractions and get the most out of my time on Twitter. New tweets? A simple graphic on the side. Want to get to the top and see the latest? You tapped home and away you went. New message? Again, simple graphic on the side.

Now? Pop-ups you can’t make go away. A useless message bar on the bottom that blocks viewing information when I already have a column for messages. Additions to my columns with suggestions, advice, and other crap I used Tweetdeck to avoid. Seems like every flippin thing is now a mouse-over and pop-up. Scroll too hard to get back to the home column, and you go backwards to a blank web page (that one may be one of the bugs being passed off by Brave as a feature, just like no longer being able to turn off mouse overs, to be fair to Twitter).

I’ve gone from a low/no-distraction environment to almost total distractions. Twitter is even worse IMO. So, I either have to spend a massive amount of time to deal with all the cognitive distractions (and the frustrations of same), or I can just spend less time on Twitter. Guess which way I’m going?

Yes, some of us did reach out and try to get this addressed. I will be polite and nice and just say we were ignored.

I really would like to see Elon get rid of the remaining termites and turn Twitter into a true bastion of free speech. Heck, I would like to see him develop it into the communications, payment, and development powerhouse it could be. That said, I’ve also lived through the destruction of the blogosphere by the walled gardens of social media that promised an easy way to put everything into one easy to manage basket.

I’m not going to put my eggs into one basket, no matter what. But, I’m also not going to put any eggs into a basket without a bottom, and right now that is Twitter. There is no trust and there are no guarantees that Twitter won’t pull the rug out from under you on a tweet, much less something larger. There are still far too many blocked accounts (Stacy McCain, cough, cough), and with more joining them because of capricious and indifferent actions by Twitter, you are eroding trust not building it. When you add in making it harder for people like me to use, there’s even less incentive to be involved.

This week was a return to old Twitter, and it will take a hell of a lot of work to build shattered trust. It can be done, and I hope it is, but I’m not going to continue to invest significant time, much less move to adopt any paid services, for now.

A Rant On Behalf Of A Friend

Warning: This rant may contain foul or objectionable language and is rated I for Infantry. There are likely to be frank discussions about parentage, probable offspring, and sexual preferences of those under discussion. I would say it is intended for mature audiences, but the fact that I am writing it to CNN management at all levels rules that out. I will try to use small words so as not to tax their lack of intellect.

I got up this morning fully expecting to write my first major story at the new host on Armageddon Joe (stealing a line from Twitter: He grew up in Nagasaki you know…) and the nuclear follies. There is plenty of time for that I suspect, and while it needs discussion I need to lower my blood pressure and vent some ire.

If you are with CNN, I ask you to read this as if my greying muzzle is parked about three inches in front of your eyes and I’ve recently eaten pickled eggs. I’m going to start with the more in sorrow than anger tone, but it’s not going to last.


I’m not even going to ask you what your fecking major malfunction is, as it is obvious to anyone who has observed your actions over the years. It is writ upon everything you do, everything you have done, and barring a very direct and powerful deus ex machina painfully visited upon you, it will be writ upon everything you ever do. You are cowards led by cowards. Honor, integrity, and professionalism are words you have to look up in the dictionary as they are not a part of your life.

There isn’t a murderous tyrant on this Earth that you haven’t felched. You’ve admitted more than once to not running stories about them because if you did you would lose the ability to “interview” them, run their propaganda, and be able to claim that you had an office or bureau in their country.

Your commitment to journalistic ethics and honesty are such that Duranty is shaking his head in disgust at you. In that zoo you call a newsroom you had Toobins, Taters, Lemons, and a host of others who wouldn’t know real and honest journalism if it came up and bit them or you on your fat asses! You were and are a laughingstock, and you had one person, ONE, who showcased honor, professionalism, and integrity. AND YOU DID THIS TO HER???

Just consider everything from here on to be in all caps

You festering pustules on the anus of humanity! You products of a sperm bank for the mentally deficient! It’s no wonder you can only have sex with your partner on top as all you can do is fuck up! You do not know how to do anything else!

I don’t care that the cowardly fucking simp that was Zucker is gone. How many of you knew about this disgusting display of abject cowardice and toxic lack of professionalism and said and did nothing? Did any of you say or do anything, or did you just lie back to either enjoy or rejoice that it wasn’t happening to you?

There is not the first one of you who has any idea about real journalism or professionalism in any form. Got news for you sweethearts, this is not how it is done. It is not how real people, real managers, or real anything work. Real people step up, have discussions, listen, counsel at need, and everybody learns and grows. The level of cowardice you have displayed is beyond comprehension and better suited to a kindergarten playground than an alleged professional organization.

I don’t know what she thinks of me, but I consider her a friend and a professional that I highly respect. Respect that has been earned, something you fucktards don’t have the first clue about. She was the ONLY reason I watched CNN at all in the last few years as if I saw her on I would stop and watch for as long as she was on. I deeply regret letting two people pressure me into a decision years back that I regard as one of the worst mistakes of my life. MK is the personification of all the things you mental midgets will never have: personal and professional ethics, honor, integrity, fortitude, and class. I don’t think I can find any of her many positive attributes in any of you even if I used a fucking electron microscope.

I’m not sure that between the lot of you that there are two neurons to form a synapse, or a complete set of reproductive organs. Unlike you, she has a brain and uses it; and, hers are big, brass, and clank when she walks even though they are inside her. She has taken hits in life no one should have to face, and has rebuilt her life and apparently achieved personal happiness on a level that warms the cockles of this old wolf’s black flabby heart.

And you do this to her! You defective miserable pieces of shit! The best part of your daddies clearly dribbled down your momma’s leg. You are disgusting cowards that make slime molds seem elevated.

You owe her an apology, at the least. A real one, not a typical corporate or political non-apology. If any of you have any inkling of honor or integrity it will be made on your knees. As much time as the lot of you spend on them anyway, it shouldn’t be too hard to get on your knees to apologize. Personally, I hope she never darkens your doorway again, as she can do a hell of a lot better than the sewer that is CNN.


If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.