621 Comments

R.R.,

You write, "No one in a decent, civil society should have the unchecked power Elon Musk has accumulated."

No one in a decent, civil society should have unchecked power,--period.

We Americans stopped living in a decent, civil society a while back (as I know you know).

When good people do nothing....

Your writing DOES something--more than something. It informs us--even jolts us--triggering us to empower ourselves to speak up and speak out.

Carry on!

R.D. in La Mesa, CA

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If the tweet it hurts Paul Pelosi, he should be able to sue Musk for damages.

His wife has been vilified, demonized, defamed and threatened. If someone defames her with "actual malice" she should sue the person who said the words.

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And we must DEMAND that this takes place. Our wealthy athletes, celebrities, tech people must help fund a way to freedom from Fascism.

Buy Robert’s substack articles as holiday gifts.

We must not comply, protest, and prepare to go through suffering if this coup is forced through. Prepare for some sacrifice IF WE MUST.

But I still remain positive that we can quash the retrumpiCons. I have voted early. I live in Illinois. Looking good here. Keep in mind that numerous people out there have had enough of this sh*t! But it doesn’t get advertised! GET THROUGH THE VOTE first!

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Agree!

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Nov 1, 2022

Seeking Reason: Yes! I voted!

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Seeking Reason, you are truly on point about all of us who care about our nation will need to speak up, particularly athletes since even the Trumpers and Trumpettes like sports. What has happened to Colin Kapernick was simply a cruel effort on the part of the NFL to "show who's boss. It did not raise the NFL in most people's minds. The Trumpers and Trumpettes kind of liked the NFL response, but the NFL got more athletes thinking of who they are and if they are the creatures of the NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL/Soccer, or any other sports league. I don't want to see every athlete going for their "cause," but they do have a right. .

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I'm in IL too. Will begin biannual vetting of judges tomorrow.

If I were in a swing state, at least sane people would be getting my vote for democracy, not fascism.

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Wouldn't that be closer to SECOND degree murder then? Musk SHOULD be charged with attempted murder!

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That's a huge stretch. Unless it can be proven that Musk was involved in a conspiracy with David DePape to go after Nancy Pelosi, which is highly unlikely that he was, there is no way to charge him with any crime. Tweeting is not a crime.

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it is a crime of Liable and slander. the twit should be sued by the pelosi's... look what happened with alex jones for spewing hatred B.S.

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Musk, so far, has not even come close to what Alex Jones did. Musk is a troll. There are tens of thousands or more trolls on Twitter. Now Musk is the Troll in chief of Twitter. Musk retweeted a lie about Paul Pelosi which is abhorrent. Can he be sued libel or slander? Yes. That said, suing someone for libel or slander is not easy and it's expensive.

Rep. Pelosi has been dealing with all kinds of malicious comments and threats for decades and to my knowledge she's not sued anyone or any institution for slander or libel.

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so what. Musk has a lot of power and he's using it for evil, he must be pushed back. In reality, the government needs to do a "Ma bell" on him and others, because they're all violating anti-trust laws and the ilk. Too few own too much.

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Jeff ; Nancy Pelosi has not had the awful experience of having her husband brutally attacked in a murder attempt before. Musk, as the richest man in the world and the owner of a private and powerful platform : Twitter, can incite the already excitable, violent mob to do more attacks on not only the Pelosi family, but anyone he fingers. This is a reprehensible mis use of power. It should be stopped. A lawsuit may be best. He should lose money and be brought down to size.

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MUCH more sensible!

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Jeff : Under the circumstances, Musk should not have tweeted the terrible lie about Paul Pelosi, which definitely could encourage more attacks on the Pelosi family. If it isn't illegal, it certainly should be! Where is decency?

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He's deleted it. Doesn't undo it, doesn't apologize.

No respect for Elon here (not that I had any before, but it was just general contempt for a loudmouth boor)

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Unfortunately, the lie is halfway around the world before the truth is told, If it was ever told on Twitter. Simply deleting it without a retraction and apology is cowardly. I suppose he is trying to avoid a lawsuit or wanting to just not have to face the 'music'. He still did the lie.

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Jeff : That tweet was in league with the attacker. Musk supports tRump and has signaled that he will invite him back to Twitter where he will no doubt, allow him to spin more destructive lies. They are all birds of a feather and partisan as can be. There is no doubt as to where their fealty lies. Collusion, conspiracy,: simple lack of decency; it is plain that they are all of the same mind set. Against Democracy!.

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Yes, a retraction should have been made, long ago. P.B. Spodick

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Jeff not a stretch at all. Huge or even small!

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Problem is with Nancy Pelosi, being a public figure. Public Figure legal standards for libel are much different than for ordinary private individuals.

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Musk acted with “knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not,” the "actual malice" standard required when maligning a public figure in print.

Musk made no effort (reckless disregard) to verify the statement he took from the Santa Monica Observer, which has a reputation for reporting lies and conspiracy theories. The kind of lies and conspiracy theories that lead people. like David DePepe to commit violent acts.

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"Actual malice." In most cases the defendants will settle.

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Libel isn't an issue. What he said was just opinionated, crude crap. Unfortunately not illegal in a place where "free speech" rules.

Semi-fortunately he deleted the tweet

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Yes, I've heard that, too. But is Paul Pelosi a public figure?

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Jude: Yes, as the husband of the Democrat Speaker of the House, and as such he has appeared at many events with her. I think it qualifies him. The attack was politically motivated, also. Elon Musk has shown support for tRump and has made it clear that he will be welcomed back to the Twitter platform.

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Daniel, I agree that Nancy Pelosi should sue for what has been erroneously said about her, particularly online. Unfortunately, the defamation would only increase and grow worse. There simply are not sufficient penalties for the bad behavior, and too few rewards people would value to keep them honest and from perpetrating the bad behavior. We need to think seriously about that as regulations develop to modify online speech and content.

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I believe in civil law. The threat of losing everything is an attitude adjustment in most cases.

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Nov 1, 2022·edited Nov 1, 2022

Get him for 44 billion!

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YES!!!!

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Lincoln weighs in: https://youtu.be/OC26_meiJ6w

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

Oh, I think they're fighting a "scorched earth" campaign against the MAGA morons coopting >their< party. Even if they were Democrats fighting Democrats over the same issue, I'd still back Lincoln

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Yes. Where would we be without those who can get the word out, instead of just retiring to the south of France?

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We stopped holding people accountable for anything, checked or unchecked power. I was young when the jury awarded that woman $2M in her lawsuit against McDonald's because the coffee was "too hot" and she spilled it all over her. I knew that didn't make sense then and all we have are now are people that can/will sue for anything and get paid even if what happened wasn't on purpose.

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What's a good alternative to twitter? Counter.social?

Does it make sense for the federal government to set rules for public square dialogs-- rules that would prevent 1 person unilaterally running the largest social media app in the US?

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And look who they've elected! Perfect representation!

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Oct 31, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

“Just three days after Elon Musk bought Twitter, he posted a tweet advancing the baseless allegation that Paul Pelosi, the husband of the Speaker of the House, who was assaulted Friday at the couple’s home, had been drunk and in a fight with a male prostitute.”

When he gets out of hospital, Paul Pelosi has more than ample grounds for, and resources to pursue, a libel suit against Musk. Pelosi should seek compensatory damages in the nominal sum of one dollar and punitive damages of $44 billion, payable either in cash or Musk’s handing over the keys to Twitter.

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Maybe this is the only way to completely shut down the platform. Free speech has gotten out of control in this country, just as gun ownership has been stretched to allow WMD to be purchased like a pack of cigarettes (try to tell me that an AR15 is NOT a weapon of mass destruction, and I'll remind you of a certain country concert, or any number of schools in this country). The Pelosi family should sue musk as well as trump and every other person in a position of power who has slandered the Speaker and her family, calling for violence against them or spreading vicious rumors and lies. And the courts MUST shut down the platform while the suit is in ongoing. In the world of the degenerates like musk and trump, the only punishment is to hit their pocketbooks and close their mouths.

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I was driving on a highway from Fredricksburg to Austin TX, while traveling. I looked over at the car next to me where the man had an automatic weapon across his chest. The strangest thing to to see our country this way because of greed and power. I want my country back-DAMMIT! No more FEAR!

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My Texas. 😢🤬

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I hope you vote and get all you know out to vote. My son is dead from laws in Wyoming that allowed a young man with a handgun and no training to kill him. The NPR is a truely evil organization that lobbies for profits for gun manufacturers by conning people into believing a gun keeps them safe. All other countries with strict laws on who can have a gun have a much safer populace. Thank you for opposing guns

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Did you mean NRA? (National Rifle Association) and not NPR? What a terrible thing to have happened to your son and to you. I'm reminded of our "old West" sheriffs who opposed "carrying weapons to town." Back in the day too much senseless killing occurred, even then.

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sorry, yes old hands don’t always type so well. My son and so many sons and daughters are dead because of the willful ignorance of so many. Thank you for your care

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I'm so sorry.

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Wearing a weapon of war as a 'badge' ! Scary!

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Hey — maybe you saw the Automatic Weapon T-Shirt! Very popular with the MAGAS.

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Personally, I miss the Fairness Doctrine. (1949 - 1987).

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Removing the Fairness Doctrine ended responsible media. But it enabled Rupert’s fox “entertainment news” that expanded into Alex jones, Zuckerberg and now Elon musk and all the other right wing sites of misinformation and lies. Evidently there is billions to be made from lies, conspiracy theories, and violence. Unbelievable. All of them need held responsible and sued into oblivion.

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YES!! But where are all the leaders with money that can help fix this? Where are those that lead before and could come back as a group, DEMS. REPUBS and Independents...these are critical times.

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The Obamas and that guy, Robert Reich, are speaking out!

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I agree with you! Your questions are mine also.

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Why do I feel MOST of our leaders have demonstrated nothing but cowardice?

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Me too. That's another fine mess Reagan got the country into.

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Yes, his damage has spread far and wide.

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Needed now more than ever! Bring back the power of the FCC!!

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AMMMMENNNNNN

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Wow! Celeste, this would work if the courts were not swerving toward Trump and Kump, possibly willing to permit comments by Musk and others as just what happens when people are "in the public eye." The spouses and families of public figures could make a suit together, going after the perpetrators of the violence and violent threats against them. It should not matter if a person is in the public eye or not. No human being deserves to have their life threatened because the one doing the threatening is allowed "free speech." That kind of threat is not free speech, it is a crime and should be treated as such. Saying "If you do that I'll kill you" in passing is not the same as going online into the lives of millions of people saying something like "Nancy Pelosi should be dead or something along that line." We do need quality regulation for ALL media platforms online. We already do have that for print and radio/TV media that generally works, though political ads are filled with lies, innuendos, and accusations that could spur the "right" kind of person to do violence to someone mentioned in the ad for the reason the ad/lie discusses. That is not acceptable either and could easily be set to rights if the will were there.

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You're right, Ruth. We may be starting to reach the point of accountability. Fox news is being sued for their lies about Dominion voting machines, and that disgusting man (happy to have forgotten his name) who spread vicious lies about Sandy Hook parents was found guilty and fined an incredible amount of money...and suits are still pending. It's a start. Down ballot elections could prevent politically influenced judges from sitting on the benches around the country, so vigilance on the part of all of us is required... the will, as you say.

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Perhaps Musk has decided to selflessly serve America by giving away his billions to jump on the grenade and destroy Twitter once and for all. Can’t we all pitch in and do our share by short-selling Twitter, or at least purchasing options to do so? Elon needs your help!

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It’s privately held.

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Oh, dear - you're right! Considering that it's not even being traded now, and the two biggest holders are Elon Musk and the Saudi Sovereign Holdings, there's not a lot to do to put pressure on the owners. Drat that Invisible Hand!

Tesla, or the big bank underwriters - Morgan Stanley, BOA, Barclays and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group - can be similarly punished, but it doesn't quite have the same 'bang!' as shorting TWITTER, now, does it?

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YES!!!

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I agree but I doubt the Pelosi's, as wealthy as they are, have the financial resources to take on one of the wealthiest men on the planet in a libel suit.

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The power of a contingent attorney fee arrangement.

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Daniel, wouldn’t this type action be problematic under the “public figure” doctrine? IDK. Everyone connected to public servants, elected or not, seem to be left with only criminal remedies. And Twitter is a privately held company now, so we all need to vote with our electronic feet.

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"Actual malice" exception. Not suing Twitter. Suing individuals.

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We shall see. But I doubt Musk will be sued by the Pelosi's.

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I wonder if there is an American atty. who would do this probono for love of country and our folks,those big time guys are super wealthy anyway.

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The Pelosi's are worth about $100 million or more. I doubt they need a pro bono lawyer.

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No need to do it pro bono.

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Pelosi will not pursue this in court unless he can prove the statement was false and malicious. If he does not, does that imply that there may be truth to the comment?

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Avie Hern : Brilliant!

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Super,super excellent,thank YOU!

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YES!!!!

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Actually, he was in a policy discussion over dinner with a former member of the Trump Administration. The story of “violent sex with a drunken male prostitute” was put forward to protect the reputations of all persons involved.

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Removed (Banned)Oct 31, 2022
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The TRUTH would be made public. There is no reason not to. musk had no business commenting on it in the first place, so he is entirely responsible for his big mouth (or fat fingers, I should say).

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May both Twitter and Facebook and their immature

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First Amendment freedom of speech carries with it personal responsibility to exercise self-control, to refrain from concocting and spreading defamatory lies and inflammatory rhetoric that incites people like Paul Pelosi's attacker into violence. It's part of being an adult. Elon Musk does not meet this requirement.

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Musk, a very good engineer, should stay in his swim lane. He’s obviously not fit for a leading role in the social realm.

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You're absolutely right!

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Since when did freedom of speech carry personal responsibility, etc? It does no such thing. Many countries have laws against hate speech, that level of destructive speech is illegal. Why can't the US have a law against it? BECAUSE OF THAT DAMN FIRST AMENDMENT, we'll never get it.

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The Constitution of the State of Indiana, where I live, contains the following provision:

"Section 9. No law shall be passed, restraining the free interchange

of thought and opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or

print, freely, on any subject whatever: but for the abuse of that right,

every person shall be responsible."

So it's not just my opinion. Well said, Constitution.

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Lisa Lively. The truth is that you are republishing BS, and republication is a viable target for damages.

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

You're aware, aren't you, that the 9th Amendment insures the amendments aren't listed in order of importance, or are the only rights guaranteed? That means the 1st and 2nd must be balanced with every other consideration in the Constitution. Stating - by implication - that the 1st and 2nd are somehow the most important of all is - perhaps - the oldest and biggest of the big lies that have come down the pike yet. Therefore, your assertion is false at face value. But then again, you're probably reflecting the big lie you've been led to believe - a parasitic meme in the US body politic.

Here's the truth: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/ninth_amendment

While I'm at it, >show me< anywhere in the 1st and 2nd Amendments that even vaguely implies that they list the most important rights of all, that should supersede all other guaranteed rights:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

Also while I'm at it, >show me< in the 2nd Amendment where it guarantees the right to wage armed insurrection against the legally established government. Don't hand me that "tyrannical government" crap. Who gets to decide it's tyrannical - your preacher or priest, a billionaire, a blogger? How about "Q," whose motto is "Where we go one, we go all" - which is the >very definition< of a fascist motto?

And finally, a big lie that's been hanging around like a background stench since the time or Ronald McReagan and his best-boy Newt Gingrich is the big lie about liberal SCOUTUS justices "legislating from the bench," when - indeed - they're actually recognizing the written words of the 9th Amendment. For example, striking down Rowe because abortion rights are not mentioned in the Constitution violates the 9th Amendment at face value. That leads me to the conclusion that the conservative SCOTUS justices were either rotten law students, morons who are incapable of generalizing a concept, or flat-out perjuring liars with a personal political agenda.

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DZK. 👍🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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First, please be civil. Second, twisting the first and second amendments to suit ones pleasures at the expense of all others civil rights is wrong, not the truth. Since when is it legal to "yell fire in a crowded theater" when it harms others? It is okay to make the truth public, not the lies that musk, trump and other profiteers spew for the sake of more money. ( I'm wondering what version of Mr. Pelosi's attack you are listening to? This is the problem with social media.) Third, the government should never be in charge of what people say, but they should be responsible for holding those who would push lies responsible for the damage it does to those affected by it. Fourth, I am a firm believer in the Constitution of the United States and have taken an oath to defend it. Have you?

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No ; you showed you support dishonesty and fascism .

-Nate

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@Lisa Lively. That is just stupid. A court case is litigated by the participants and the judge oversees the process. It is not a process of "the government" making any ruling on the facts of a case or the determination of judge/jury as may be. So for you to present this as some kind of fascist action of government is an abject misinformation and rude endorsement of the idea that Mr. Pelosi would fear any facts at all to come out in public. Why should he?

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Lisa Lively, Bye troll. Your delusions don’t fly here.

When children are murdered every single day and a country takes no action, and you still think the 2nd Amendment stands for that, you can rest assured that you’ve become a monster! Now go hide your head in shame. Boo!

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The truth? The part where this madman wanted to assassinate the person second in line for the Presidency? The guy deserves a life sentence. No parole. No phone. No internet. The jello of his choice.

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Sorry. You'll eat the jello you are served -- or not.

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No jello,dried out fish sticks stale white bread,canned carrots and peas and 2 day old coffee.

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This was an attempted assassination. I’d like someone to return the favor to these people.

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@Lisa Lively. That is a very perverse and twisted endorsement of the lies that Musk showcased in his tweet. I'll just remember your little attempt here when the rest of the facts come out and I'll know you for what I suspect already....

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Cute troll name, "Lisa Lively." Same hatchery as "Frank Lee"?

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Probably Minsk! LOL!

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@difny. Sure looks like it!

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

How could anyone reply to a deleted comment? That single trolled comment generated 37 replies, including this one (with a reply, now make that 38). That's a huge return on investment. I read no farther in comments; mission accomplished. The first reply—instead of a report of offense—was the first mistake. Do not feed trolls!

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It's marked "Banned." I think the wanker was defenestrated!

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Which is exactly what Musk doesn’t want seen at all costs. Which is why he bought Twitter in the first place.

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

WHAT “entire story?”

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@Lisa Lively. You have no point except to further undermine truth. When I say the "rest of the facts" I mean the answers to 1. what organization was behind the attacker? 2. Did someone pay this person to undertake this attack. 3. What were the lax security arrangements that were exploited for this person to even get in? 4. did the perp plan the attack and blast his intentions out on various social media and right wing web sites? Things like that.

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Which is?

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Yeah, that’s it. I’m calling you out. What is the entire story? You seem to be enlightened more so than the rest of us. Please explain this dumbass comment. I pay to be entertained on this site.

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Please "enlighten" us. Vague statements are meaningless.

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Oh please! Your ambiguity is immature and trite. What I feel free to do is call bullshit. You posted it, now defend it.

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Oct 31, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

On the other hand Musk has most likely already lost $20B by absurdly overpaying for Twitter and as people that dislike the HATE he will unleash on the platform exit there will be an excellent opportunity for another social media company to take market share from Twitter even further eroding the massive investment he has made along with putting competition where it is needed.

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I am not exactly an objective observer since I decided the day Twitter was first announced that I would not sign up. I assumed that it would be impossible to engage in thoughtful, reasonable conversation in that format, but I grossly underestimated the swamp of hate and misinformation that it would become. The solution seems obvious: Stop using Twitter. If enough reasonable people drop out, it will become toxic to advertisers and Musk will lose a lot of money. Sounds like a good outcome. Twitter isn't a means of communication, it is an extremely addictive drug.

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A brilliant assessment,so simple to see,but true!

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Hope springs eternal... but we all saw this coming, didn't we?

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Nov 1, 2022

It’s a matter of truth and untruth. Facts matter. Garbage in, garbage out. Facts are not a matter of opinion. A society that decides to willfully admit garbage right along with facts into the decision-making process, without any attempt to differentiate between them, loses any ability to function sanely. Imagine a computer system randomly fed intentionally garbled data.

Imagine a human brain looking out on the world with eyes that could not properly distinguish imagination from reality.

People ARE the society. We are all that we have in the way of interpreting the world around us and responding to it accurately and effectively.

This is not an argument for censorship. It is an argument for sanity. A primary need for any source of information, knowledge or data is absence of error. It’s something we must work hard at all the time from birth, if we are to survive as individuals and as a community. It’s why we have schools and teachers. It’s why good newspapers have good editors. It’s not just to ensure words are spelled properly and assembled into clear sentences with proper grammar. It’s to check facts before publishing.

We humans are constantly surfing the tidal wave of the future. We have never been through this before. And as we advance technologically and scientifically, as well as in sheer population and communication, we have so much data — information — to deal with in our modern world that we are stretched in our ability to cope with it all.

But if we are unable to cope, or if we DELIBERATELY introduce chaos — garbage — into the process of thinking and decision-making, then our massive population will have the characteristics of an insane or mentally deficient person.

In this cutting-edge world.

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In America our inability and unwillingness to identify and punish misinformation has eroded trust in classroom teachers, our judiciary system, politicians and ourselves. The cancerous spread of lies and misinformation must be swiftly identified and severely punished with law suits and penalties to protect victims of garbage. Punishment of the extreme views of Alex Jones must become the standard to judge media and loony individuals who indiscriminately lie.

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Thank you! An invaluable comment. I agree with you 100%

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Definitely agree.

Misinformation is a manifestation of mental illness. Mental illness is a manifestation of misinformation.

Life is an anti entropy dynamic. Sewing information chaos is an anti life work.

Musk cares deeply about continuation of humanity, but in the frustrations of his own life he is failing to connect the dots… he is failing to properly care for ( or understand?) what he most values.

Musk is a brilliant engineer and at the same time has issues that appear to me to need addressing in the privacy of his care provider.

Really needs to leave twitter for those less single-minded. Probably a governance board.

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Thank you for making the point that misinformation is Ultimately necrophiliac.

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What a pleasure it was to read this. Thank you. :)

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Perfect Judith

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The current situation

isn't the typical "one political side vs the other political side." The situation now is hate, destruction, greed, and end-of-democracy vs typically flawed politics-as-usual. The latter is, as always, imperfect. The former is horrific. The tragedy is the number of voters Trump and the GOP l have fooled into believing that he and his wealthy cohorts intend to fix the problems. They don't. They intend to help themselves to even more of our money while continuing, from their safe mansions, to foster hate and destroy our country. People have been fooled many times before throughout history -- in Germany, for example. They, too, swore they were right. The tactic is to scare people by convincing them that they are abused and entitled while everyone not like them is an evil threat. There are, as always, big problems but not nearly as big as Trump and his wealthy cohorts plan to create.

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I agree. Whoever believes in democracy and is on Twitter or any social media platform, state it exactly as we state it here. Excellent comment!

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We have foreign adversaries who also work to create mistrust in the US And around the world.https://www.voanews.com/a/russian-disinformation-spreading-in-new-ways-despite-bans-/6694083.html

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I moved from Facebook and Twitter to Substack. I was never invested in Twitter and only began using it in the last 5 or 6 months ago because I realized other people I followed used it. Facebook which I began using years ago to keep in touch with friends and family, was just too confrontational and too many trolls. Now I rarely look at or post on either one.

I feel our Bill of Rights has being weaponized and used against us. Freedom of Speech does NOT grant the freedom to lie. The right to bear arms does NOT grant the freedom to kill. The right to Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness does NOT grant the right to regulate how other philosophies can be applied to personal choices. You cannot legislate morality. We have the rule of law hanging precariously at cliffs edge, while traitors sit in the House of Representatives. By law, by not certifying the votes for Joe Biden on January 6, 147 members of

The United States Congress committed an act of treason. All were Republican and all still hold their seats while we struggle to wrench free of 40+ years of watching our rights be qualified to to the wealthy only. Law and order flushed, and social media fascist cheer it on. You get what expect when you inspect who and what you’re voting for. Do not allow this great experiment in democracy to fail now. We have much work ahead of us.

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Karen, I think you would benefit (in your already firm and correct logic) about what the Philosopher of Science Karl Popper had to do about “tolerance.” What he actually witnessed first hand with the rise of the Nazis in Austria holds true for our nation today.

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. “ - Karl Popper

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it won’t let me like, but I do

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It's a GRAND OLE FLAG and WE LOVE IT!!!

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I don't know because I don't subscribe. I had heard that though and had hopes that he would make an effort to change the platform. Obviously not.

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

From CNN's "5 Things" newsletter - what's not been mentioned here:

"Elon Musk

Elon Musk, Twitter's new owner, tweeted a conspiracy theory Sunday about the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Musk, who has 112 million followers on the platform, posted a baseless article about the attack from a website that purports to be a news outlet and wrote, "There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye."

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>>>>He later deleted the tweet, but not before racking up more than 28,000 retweets and 100,000 likes. <<<

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Musk's post comes amid concerns about how the billionaire will run Twitter and if misinformation and hate will be given a bigger platform on the site. It also comes as concerns are being raised that Musk's takeover could impact the upcoming midterm elections if he makes good on his promise to restore the accounts of users who were previously banned from the platform. "

Does his removal of the post delete its retweets, as well?

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I said from the beginning about the Pelosi "story". Seemed very "fishy" to me.

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why? The offender repeated the chant from Jan 6 and was there to do harm. How would you feel if some man broke into your how !violating your sense of privacy and safety and started yelling for your spouse the same way threats had been yelled in a violent attack on your spouses work, and then proceeded to hit you with a hammer cracking your skull and damaging your arm and hand? Would you still feel there was something fishy when those facts were reported? or, would you be angry at the lack of empathy and co passion at anyone who wanted to deny the truth?

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Linda. How do you know the offender repeated the chant from 1/6. Were you there? How do you know this man broke into the home? Were you there? I feel sorry for people who watch the news, listen to videos, read information and believe that is 100% truthful. Just my opinion but take it for what it is worth.

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the charges have been brought against him and were announced. If we can’t discern which sources for,news are reliable and just depend on magical thinking, or base opinions on not facts, then how do you ever know anything. Watch the Beat with Ari Berber’s show today and you can see the attorney general tell you. Do.you think the New York Times is not a reliable source? Have conmen made you so afraid of all journalism that you can no longer determine what is a lie or the truth? I hope not. I hope you realize that you cannot be everywhere so you have to rely se that will tell the truth. This is how cults get people. They make them doubt their own ability to discern the truth, and then they con them to believe what they want them to believe. Why do you believe conspiracy theories? What qualifications do these liars have that make you trust them. How do you get any news that you believe?

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BS. Each republication can be a separate tort.

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Thanks. I was goin' to ask why I should believe anything he says, but >you< settled it.

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Still more BS. Already in the public domain and can be republished into infinity.

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I fear you are correct Daniel. They know they can create damage, if if they withdrawal the comment. And our legal system allows lies that harm people.

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No it does not.

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Yes but what about screen shots and retweets with screen shots... Or just separate tweets with cut and paste. It's not as that clean...and the damage is already done. IT spreads like wildfire.

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I think free speech-loving governments should get together and create a nonprofit social media platform. It would allow free discussion of all points of view, but would be rigorously moderated to exclude hate speech, threats, harassment, incitement to violence, misinformation, disinformation, etc. There could be an independent international board to moderate. The governments could share funding, which would not be too burdensome when divided among several governments.

I don't think governments should be submitting themselves to the whims of an irresponsible, immature egomaniac, which they now must do on Twitter.

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So pick your poison. Control of a social platform in the hands of those who are unaccountable to citizens and only accountable in theory to shareholders and the market, or control in the hands of those who ultimately are accountable to citizens,at least in theory.

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No, it would be a board, so there would be many people, not just one. Secondly, highly respected, qualified people would be chosen, based on their achievements and general exemplary behavior, not based on having a lot of money burning a hole in their pockets.

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That's cold comfort...the republican party once consisted of respected, qualified people who 'were chosen'. I think all social platforms are subject to misuse, as many people post statements without thinking first. Or post statements that are inflammatory, and then delete. Post and delete are akin to hit and run accidents. You may know or find out who the offender is, they're 'terribly sorry', but the damage is done. As you can probably tell, I am not a fan...I don't use those platforms and never have.

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But as Robert Hubbell says in his post today, we should not abandon Twitter leaving it to become an unbalanced Hellscape. A better way to hit Musk in the pocketbook? CANCEL YOUR TESLA ORDER!

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

Any day now, I fully expect Musk to say that backlash to his comment >proves< that unrestricted free speech works - that the users can regulate themselves. ol' Tweety would!

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DZK 🎯

Come on uber wealthy Lefties…get a platform for us, stop Fascism!

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Advertisers are fleeing and many are pausing ads. If Musk continues on this path, the bird will be found on the ground belly up. The sad part is that thousands of hard working employees will suffer at the hands of this putz.

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From a fundamental standpoint, most of Musk's wealth comes from people like me -- who want a Tesla, want Solar City to succeed.

We've decided not to buy a Tesla. Not because it's not the best car for our purposes, but because Musk is out of control.

In 2018 Musk tweeted he had “Funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share, leading the Securities and Exchange Commission to accuse him of misleading investors. Musk and the SEC settled, leading Musk to relinquish his board chairmanship of Tesla and for he and the company to each pay $20 million fines.

I'll be watching the short sales on Tesla and Space X, The transaction to make Twitter a private company was completed late Thursday, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document. By Friday morning, Twitter's stock had already stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where it had been listed since 2013.

In 2018, Musk said on Twitter that he was hoping to privatize the company at $420 a share. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/08/elon-musk-wants-to-take-tesla-private--heres-what-it-means.html

As of this morning the price is $228.52. Once the most shorted stock, the short position in Tesla as a percentage of the company's float is down to 3.6% from about 8% at the start of the year. Still, Tesla's short interest, a measure of the stock's price and number of shares shorted, amounted to nearly $36.1 billion,

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thank you. I don’t have the kind of money that can buy a Tesla,

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Very interesting scenario. A little worrisome to think of what new platform may evolve.

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This might the kind of platform that would evolve.

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founding

Do, however, note the irony (i.e. talking about Twitter now that it's a private company & it bears even less relevance to public discourse); inertia is, in this case, as strong a force as incitement - and the sad fact is that inertia can keep people using inferior software for many years! (Bad behavior is reflexive - ask Microsoft!)

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Rishi

That is true inertia can and does result in people using bad software for a long time..

But Twitter is a form of entertainment more akin to Facebook or TikTok... And in the attention economy people can and will focus their attention in other directions.

We have few options relative to Exl and Word on our desktop. Not so much with social media....

We will see what happens. Just saying he is not as smart as many people think he is.

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founding

Let's hope many less folk decide to play in traffic (one person's entertainment is another's monetization of speech & freedom)...

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One groups monetization strategy is misinforming Americans about Covid. This provides income for the trolls that do it and it helps the donor class by focusing ordinary Americans on anything other than how the donor class is ripping us all off with their lobbyists.

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founding
Nov 1, 2022·edited Nov 1, 2022

It's not like people are shouting "Égoïste" out of their windows: the Tweets are public, (some of them are) archived by The Library of Congress, & (all of them are) facilitated by centralized servers. Basically, if Napster can get its plug pulled for facilitating illegal activity so can Twitter; the nature of the speech itself really doesn't matter (as, if it did, architectural changes would have made it immune *long* in advance!)...

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I am not sure i follow you... Napster stole IP from artists.

Twitter spreads misinformation...

The second Twitter took investor money they made the decision they were going to maximize profits...

Are you saying that software could have prevented Twitter from spreading misinformation? That would be interesting. Could it do it and maximize profits?

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Oct 31, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

Never used it. Never will. Musk thinks way too highly of his own wit. You'll never get rid of him now. It's a race to the bottom. Nothing too stupid, nothing too great a lie.

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Neither have I. I use YT only and that is plenty.

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founding

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! (You didn't miss anything 'LeslieE' & 'Fan Dancer' - and probably avoided some tumult, if anything.)

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I suspect many people will be leaving the platform-with the exception of news/political types ( I left years ago).

And as I'm given to understand, the Saudis are now part owners of Twitter, as well.

Such a toxic mix of ownership does not bode well, at all.

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I read somewhere that Musk has requested to take Twitter private, I.e., take it off the stock exchange. First, can anyone confirm that (I am trying to locate my source)? Second, I’ve also read that Twitter loses money every year, has never turned a profit, and has lost millions over its short life.

Why does the “richest man in the world” (not to be confused with the person of greatest worth) buy a company that loses money and, if he even cares, how might he turn it in to a moneymaker? My very limited understanding is that if there is no profit, there is no business.

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Twitter has sometimes made money but it frequently loses money, too. I don't see its current business model ever delivering gonzo profits, but if that model were modified it could make a lot of money.

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What's really scary is that he Tweets something, which is then reTweeted and so on. In the end, because they have seen it so many times, it MUST be true, even though it all stammed from one Tweet. Just look at what's going on with Pelosi's husband. It was a "lover's tryst," or it's a "pre-e;ection set-up," or everything to divert people from the hatred displayed by the perp on his Facebook page and assorted blogs. Blame the victim; look "over there" but not right here. The hatred I'm seeing on other boards is appalling, and now it seems that Musk will only further these lies and hatred. Add to this the intimidation of voters that is already happening and I'm honestly worrying about the fate of this country. As a student of history, I'm seeing elements of early 1930's Germany. People forget that Hitler was lawfully elected, which them encouraged the Brown Shirts to begin their reign of terror. This election will have a lot to say about our future as a Democracy.

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Many rich Republicans will applaud the destruction of democracy. That should be obvious by now. Perhaps it is time to define a place for them. In charge and in control is not it.

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If, and it is a big if, Musk has bought Twitter as a business, he will want it to make money. He has been quoted as saying he sees it as becoming the greatest advertising platform ever created. Are there actually established brands that will want to be associated with the drivel that is expected to find its ever-increasing way onto Twitter as everyone seems to think it will under Musk?

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We are dividing as oil and water. There are Morlock companies who wish to sell to Morlock buyers.

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Make that "Pre-ELECTION!"

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what ever happened to the motto- "All the news that's fit to print" Musk's deplorable "twitter"is another example of "stochastic terrorism" in my opinion. Disgusting!

Ed Cherlin

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Oct 31, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

The very nature of our sinking Democracy, to allow tax laws and privileges to benefit the wealthy and corporations means out of control billionaires like Musk can own and control and evidently say, whatever they choose. Our courts have given away powers. Citizen United could be renamed Corporations United. Changing campaign limits changed the power of the wealthy and of corporations to influence elections. Connect the dots as we witness the erosion of protection for our Democracy. From a Brennan Center report : “This is perhaps the most troubling result of Citizens United: in a time of historic wealth inequality,” wrote Weiner, “the decision has helped reinforce the growing sense that our democracy primarily serves the interests of the wealthy few, and that democratic participation for the vast majority of citizens is of relatively little value.”

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/citizens-united-explained

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Indeed ! Well said and thanks for the concise and pointed post.

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yes, this is the bigger, the "real "issue. all the rest of the conversation here is about dealing with downstream consequences

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Power and wealth corrupts.

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Your statement about Musk's judgement and character are somewhat oxymoronic. On the one hand you say he lacks judgement and character to manage such a huge and public enterprise but, on the other hand, would a person with such blatant faults have the ability to judge himself and decide he isn't really up for the job? Get real...please. Didn't this sort of thing used to be within the responsibilities of the Federal Communications Commission?

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Very good questions, esp the last one.

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FCC has been asleep at the wheel for DECADES.

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IKR? For SO long, I hadn't even thought of them till they were just "spotlighted" here!!

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Well, someone should decide that he isn't up for the job.

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Removed (Banned)Oct 31, 2022
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Your comments here are dishonest right wing (but I repeat myself) trolling.

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Ole Willy has been Reported

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Nope. Not true.

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It is NOT TRUE that numans cannot change sex. I have several friends who changed their sex, and are much happier for it. When your feelings do not match the body you are in, being able to change it is a very viwble operation. And one no one can undertake lightly!

Therefore you are a liar, not a truthteller..

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Then what did they change, their minds?

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Seems like the one with the “axe” is you and not a very sharp “axe” at that.

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founding

@Willy. you see it dimly, through a glass darkened

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So you have a dull “axe” and no vision.

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