Popularity On Twitter

Popularity on social media is a bit questionable at best. It’s like sitting at an imaginary ‘cool kids’ table in high school–and I do mean imaginary. However, there are those who use the number of followers on Twitter as a gauge of something. What, I don’t know, but something. At any rate, the question is, “How many people on Twitter are actually real people?”

Breitbart posted an article on Wednesday reporting that nearly half of President Joe Biden’s 22.3 million Twitter followers are fake accounts. One wonders who set up these fake accounts and why they were set up.

The article reports:

Software company SparkToro found that 49.3 percent of accounts following the official @POTUS Twitter account are “fake followers” or inauthentic accounts known as bots, according to a report by Newsweek.

The same analysis reportedly also found that more than 14 million accounts that follow Biden’s personal @JoeBiden Twitter account are either fake or insufficiently active. Therefore, a crackdown on fake Twitter accounts could see users like Biden lose a huge number of followers.

SparkToro reportedly defines fake followers as “accounts that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).”

The news of Biden’s fake Twitter followers comes after Tesla founder Elon Musk, who is currently trying to buy Twitter, expressed concerns about the number of bots on the social media platform.

Musk has since announced that his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter cannot move forward until the number of bot accounts on the platform is independently confirmed.

The SpaceX CEO tweeted that his offer was based on “Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” and he believes bots could account for 20 percent of the platform “or *much* higher.”

All of this has come to light because of Elon Musk’s plan to purchase Twitter. The article at Breitbart notes that uncovering these numbers may actually be part of Elon Musk’s negotiation process to acquire Twitter. Knowing that Elon Musk is a successful businessman who knows how to negotiate, that is entirely possible.

The Fight For Free Speech Continues

On Wednesday, The Daily Wire reported that the U.S. government has opened an investigation into Elon Musk’s business dealings.

The article reports:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.”

The report said that Musk’s April 4 disclosure filing was at least 10 days late, a move that is believed to have saved him more than $140 million because share prices could have been higher if the public knew about his ownership of 5% of the company.

“The case is easy. It’s straightforward,” Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, said. “But whether they’re going to pick that battle with Elon is another question.”

The report noted that a lawsuit against Musk from the SEC would likely not stop him from taking over Twitter since the company’s board of director’s unanimously approved to be acquired by Musk and the SEC may lack the power to do so. Musk’s purchase of Twitter is also reportedly being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Elon Musk has also stated that he would reinstate the account of President Trump.

The article notes his comments on the banning of President Trump:

“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the county, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said, adding that the decision was “morally bad.”

“That doesn’t mean that someone gets to say whatever they want to say,” Musk said. “If they say something that is illegal or destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, temporary suspension or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very little traction.”

“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added.

Musk indicated that action could be taken against an account if there were tweets that violated platform policy, which he said “should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension—a temporary suspension—is appropriate, but not a permanent ban.”

Musk said that permanent bans “should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts.”

President Trump has stated that he would not return to Twitter but focus on his own social media site, Truth Social.

Stay tuned.

Blocking Free Speech

A politically neutral Twitter is a threat to Democrat success at the voting booth. If people had been allowed to know more about Hunter Biden’s laptop, it might have changed their votes. There are still some people who because of their primary news sources don’t know about the information on Hunter Biden’s laptop or the efforts to suppress the news about the laptop. That is not healthy for our Republic. There will be a fight to prevent Elon Musk from turning Twitter into a free speech platform because that is a threat to the Democrats’ monopoly on the American media.

Fox News reported Wednesday on a letter sent from Representative Jim Jordan to Federal Trade Commission chief Lina Khan regarding the sale of Twitter.

The article reports:

“The day after Twitter’s board of directors agreed to sell Twitter to Mr. Elon Musk, the Open Markets Institute (OMI), an extreme left-wing political advocacy organization, called on Biden regulators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Justice Department to ‘block’ the purchase,” Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote in a letter sent to Khan on Wednesday and obtained by FOX Business

“We are concerned that OMI – where you were previously employed as Legal Director – may be trying to leverage its close relationship with you to take action to further limit free speech online,” Jordan told Khan.

Open Markets Institute Director Barry Lynn issued a statement on April 26 saying the group believes Musk’s purchase of Twitter “poses a number of immediate and direct threats to American democracy and free speech.”

Lynn went on to say that Open Markets “believes the deal violates existing law,” and that the FCC, DOJ and FTC “have ample authority to block it.”

Jordan wrote in his letter to Khan that “OMI appears to believe that the FTC will be receptive to its cavalier effort to influence a federal agency that is run by its former employee.”

The article concludes:

Khan has a lengthy history of urging the federal government to go after Big Tech firms and regulate their power. After she became head of the FTC, tech behemoths Facebook and Amazon both asked that she be removed from any involvement in the agency’s antitrust litigation against the companies, alleging that she has a clear bias against them that is well documented.

I am not convinced that the people saying that Elon Musk buying Twitter is a threat to free speech actually understand what free speech is.

Very Subtle Blackmail

On Monday, The Epoch Times reported that  Russia has announced that it plans to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) amid Western sanctions designed to cripple Moscow’s economy, the head of the space program confirmed.

The article reports:

Rogozin (Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Roscosmos) noted that the agency doesn’t feel obligated to provide an exact date of its withdrawal, but confirmed it will warn partners on the space station within the stipulated one-year notice period.

“The decision has already been made, we are not obliged to speak about it publicly. I can only say one thing: in accordance with our obligations, we will warn our partners a year in advance about the end of work on the ISS,” he told the Russian state-owned TV channel.

In March, Rogozin announced in a storm of since-deleted posts on Twitter that Roscosmos would suspend all cooperation with international partners on joint projects like the ISS with NASA and the European Space Agency, citing Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its attack on Ukraine.

“I believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions,” he said at the time.

The article concludes:

Last year, Russia already announced plans it wants to halt operations on the ISS, citing concerns about the station’s aging structure. Around the same time, Moscow claimed it is working on a new space station named the Russian Orbital Space Station, which is set to be operated entirely by Roscosmos.

Thank God for Elon Musk. At least we can make sure none of our astronauts are stranded on the Space Station. However, this sounds like blackmail to me.

The Ministry Of Truth Has Arrived

On Wednesday, The Gateway Pundit reported that President Biden has created the “Disinformation Governance Board.”

The article reports:

Following Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter last week, which was a triumphant victory in the ongoing war over free speech, the Biden Regime announced the creation of a “Disinformation Governance Board” that will be tasked with silencing anything deemed to be misinformation that’s related to homeland security. And, yes. It’s just as dystopian and creepy as it sounds.

The new board will operate under the authority of the Department of Homeland security with a special focus on Russia and “irregular migration,” according to the Post Millennial.

What’s “irregular migration”? Is that another name for illegal aliens? Remember, he who controls the vocabulary controls the debate.

The article continues:

As we have seen over the past 6-plus years now, the term ‘Russian misinformation’ is frequently used as a wide catch-all that includes most of what goes against the liberal establishment, so the fact that they are specifically targeting this kind of “misinformation” is that much more concerning.

News of the board was first announced by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas while speaking at a House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday:

“Our Undersecretary for Policy, Rob Silvers is co-chair with our Principal Deputy General Counsel, Jennifer Gaskell, in leading a just recently constituted misinformation disinformation governance board. So we’re bringing — the goal is to bring the resources of the department together to address this threat.”

In 1984 they called in “The Ministry of Truth.” Is this even legal?

The Deep State Tries To Put Guardrails On Twitter

On Wednesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about how the political left and the fourth branch of government are attempting to put guardrails on Twitter now that Twitter is threatening them with free speech.

The article reports:

I think we are now seeing the outlines of how the Fourth Branch of Government are planning to keep control over information, specifically public discussion on Big Tech platforms, even as Elon Musk moves to open the valves of information from the social media platform Twitter.

Previously the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced a new Dept of Homeland Security priority to combat disinformation {LINK} on technology platforms including social media.

Many eyebrows were raised as the announcement appeared to be an open admission that the U.S. government was going to control information by applying labels, that would align with allies in social media, who need a legal justification for censorship and content removal.

This CISA announcement was quickly followed by various government officials and agencies saying it was critical to combat Russian disinformation, as the events in Ukraine unfolded.  In essence, Ukraine was the justification for search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to begin targeting information and content that did not align with the official U.S. government narrative.

Previously those same methods were deployed by the U.S. government, specifically the CDC and FDA, toward COVID-19 and the vaccination program. All of this background aligns with the previous visibility of a public-private partnership between the bureaucracy of government, the U.S. intelligence agencies and U.S. social media.  That partnership now forms the very cornerstone of the DHS/CISA effort to control what information exists in the public space.  It is highly important that people understand what is happening.

In July of 2021 the first admission of the official agenda behind the public-private partnership was made public {Reuters Article}.

What we are seeing now is an extension of the government control mechanisms, combined with a severe reaction by all stakeholders to the latest development in the Twitter takeover.

For two years the control mechanisms around information have been cemented by govt and Big Tech.  Even the deployment of the linguistics around disinformation, misinformation and malinformation is all part of that collective effort.  The collaboration between the government and Big Tech is not a matter for debate, it is all easily referenced by their own admissions.   The current issue is how they are deploying the information controls.

The Daily Wire reported on Tuesday:

The European Union issued a warning to Elon Musk on Tuesday, telling him that he must comply with EU regulations on policing online content, or face severe penalties.

In an interview with the Financial Times Tuesday, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said that he was giving Musk a “reality check,” adding that Twitter must cooperate with the EU’s rules on content moderation, including the pending Digital Services Act. The prospective legislation would force large tech platforms to take more action to disclose and remove illegal content, including “hate speech,” as noted by The Guardian.

There are people in America and around the world that are afraid of free speech. We are going to have to be alert to make sure that those people are not successful in determining what Americans and people around the world are allowed to hear.

A New Future For Twitter


On Monday, NewsMax reported that Twitter is planning on accepting Elon Musk’s final offer for $43 billion to buy the company.

The article reports:

Twitter may announce the $54.20-per-share deal later Monday, once its board has met to recommend the transaction to Twitter shareholders, the sources said, adding it was still possible the deal could collapse at the last minute.

Musk, the world’s richest person according to Forbes, is negotiating to buy Twitter in a personal capacity and Tesla is not involved in the deal.

The article concludes:

The deal, if it happens, would come just four days after Musk unveiled a financing package to back the acquisition.

This led Twitter’s board to take his offer more seriously and many shareholders to ask the company not to let the opportunity for a deal slip away, Reuters reported on Sunday. Before Musk revealed the financing package, Twitter’s board was expected to reject the bid, sources had said.

The sale would represent an admission by Twitter that Agrawal is not making enough traction in making the company more profitable, despite being on track to meet ambitious financial goals the company set for 2023. Twitter’s shares were trading higher than Musk’s offer price as recently as November.

Musk unveiled his intention to buy Twitter on April 14 and take it private via a financing package comprised of equity and debt. Wall Street’s biggest lenders, except those advising Twitter, have all committed to provide debt financing.

Musk’s negotiating tactics — making one offer and sticking with it — resembles how another billionaire, Warren Buffett, negotiates acquisitions. Musk did not provide any financing details when he first disclosed his offer for Twitter, making the market skeptical about its prospects.

This could be very interesting. It would be nice to bring free speech back to Twitter. I am on Truth Social as rwg@Right Wing Granny. Truth Social is unfiltered and I wouldn’t use it as a reliable source, but it is a place where people can express their ideas and opinions freely. It would be nice if Twitter also became a place where free speech is welcomed.

UPDATE: The purchase is complete. The reaction of the political left is totally entertaining!

 

 

The Double Standard Among Us

The Daily Wire recently posted an article sharing some of their observations regarding the possible takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk.

The article reports:

When Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter and make it a private company, Twitter’s board of directors responded with a poison pill — and the legacy media responded with a poison pen.

Journalists have contended that Musk’s bid to loosen the social media platform’s speech restrictions represent a threat to the First Amendment, threaten to give billionaires too much control over the media, or even presage the fall of our republic into a totalitarian oligarchy. These unduly emotional responses reveal that the legacy media’s fear is not so much Musk as it is free speech — and losing their ability to create the national narrative.

It really is all about control.

The article notes:

CNN’s Brian Stelter seemed to criticize the capitalist system of private media ownership. “There is also a lot of folks out there saying it’s troubling enough that private companies control these key communication platforms around the world, maybe it’s even worse to have the world’s richest person trying to buy one and take it private,” he said on April 14. In the same vein, and on the same day, Business Insider ran a story titled “Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter represents a chilling new threat: billionaire trolls taking over social media.”

But billionaire ownership of the media is hardly new. And judging by their position on the payroll, it seems not to leave journalists ill at ease. To take but a few examples:

Even CNN founder Ted Turner still has a net worth of $2.3 billion, after being “squeezed out” of his own company many years ago.

If billionaire status does not actually offend the journalistic Left, what does? Perhaps Musk’s political donations to some Republicans, including George W. Bush, Kevin McCarthy, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio? Possibly, but many businessmen (including our former president) have donated to politicians of both parties — and self-described centrist Musk is no exception.

It’s okay to be a millionaire who owns a news outlet if you are a liberal. It’s required that if you are a corporation that you pay more in taxes unless you are a liberal (see Disney). The double standard lives among us.

Let The Games Begin

On April 14th, The New York Post reported that Elon Musk has launched a $41 billion bid to buy Twitter, saying the proposed deal is part of his plan to bring “free speech around the globe.”

Wow. I suspect a lot of Twitter employees are currently having a nervous breakdown.

The article continues:

Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share, which comes just days after he rejected a seat on the social media company’s board, represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s April 1 close, the last trading day before the Tesla CEO’s more than 9% stake in the company was made public.

Twitter’s shares jumped 12% in premarket trading.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.

“Since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said.

The article concludes:

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” Musk asked users in a Twitter poll on March 28, in which over 70 percent of the 2 million voters responded “No.”

Musk — the richest person in the world with a fortune of more than $265 billion, according to Forbes — bought some 73.5 million shares of the company, worth an estimated $2.89 billion, according to an SEC filing. 

The massive purchase may have violated federal law, according to financial experts. After the billionaire filed his disclosure forms, Twitter’s share price skyrocketed 30 percent.

Marc Bain Rasella, a Twitter shareholder, sued Musk for not disclosing his stake in the social media company soon enough.

The richest man in the world is obviously very good at three-dimensional chess.

Have The People In Congress Ever Studied Economics?

On Sunday, BizPacReview posted an article about a recent statement by Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey. I lived in Massachusetts for a long time, and I am sorry to say that what the Congressman said is not unusual for a Massachusetts Democrat.

The article reports:

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat, has claimed that, despite an abundance of evidence showing that “clean” energy is currently neither as reliable nor as efficient as traditional energy, America should invest in it right now instead of the latter.

He made this bold but dubious assertion while delivering a speech this weekend at the Democrat National Committee’s winter meeting.

“Republicans and their oil-soaked cronies … want to feed the American people one of the biggest lies of all – that drilling for more oil and more gas is the path to energy independence,” he said during his speech.

“Republicans say that they have an all-of-the-above plan, but it’s really an oil-above-all plan. The GOP always has stood for the gas and oil party. And its argument of drilling equals energy independence is leakier than an old oil tanker.”

I beg to differ, but America achieved energy independence under President Trump. We were also in a position to send fuel to Europe to lessen their dependency upon Russia. Had we continued on that path, the combination of the lower cost of energy and Europe’s not feeding the Russian treasury, we would not be currently funding Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The article concudes:

The evidence consists of data and polls showing that prices were on the rise long before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Republicans are not alone in their push for more oil/gas investment. Even Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur renowned for his successful development and promotion of “clean”/”green” technology and solutions, has argued that oil and gas investments are mandatory at this juncture in time.

Everyone, it would appear, recognizes this point except for Democrats, who keep doubling down on “clean” energy, even as the American people double down on their complete disgust with what they say are controlling party’s skewed priorities.

If you actually believe that green energy will provide for our energy needs, please read this article at The Daily Caller. Until we have the technology for green energy (which is most likely to be brought about by a return to a free market economy), clean fossil fuel is possible and efficient.

I long for the return of $2 a gallon gas–I can easily ignore any mean tweets that appear.

Stranded?

International relations are not always stable, and sometimes friendships and joint efforts can be difficult when circumstances change. The U.K Daily Mail posted an article today about what could become a very serious side effect of the current war in Ukraine.

The headline of the article reports:

Head of Russia’s space program posts sinister video threatening to LEAVE BEHIND US astronaut, 55, aboard International Space Station and only fly home his cosmonauts on March 30 because of Biden’s sanctions over Ukraine invasion

Yikes.

The article reports:

Russia’s space program has apparently threatened to leave an American astronaut aboard the International Space Station as it comes crashing down to Earth in a video shared by Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti.

Mark Vande Hei, a married 55-year-old father of two from Texas, is scheduled to return to Kazakhstan from the International Space Station (ISS) with two Russian cosmonauts aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on March 30 after spending nearly a year on board.

But amid United States’ sanctions against Russia for the human rights violations it is committing in its siege of Ukraine, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has threatened to leave him in space.

The article concludes:

Then, after trading barbs with retired astronaut Scott Kelly over a separate video in which workers covered depictions of American and Japanese flags, Rogozin wrote in a now-deleted tweet: ‘Get off, you moron! Otherwise the death of the ISS will be on your conscience!’

But Kelly said the video leaving Vande Hei on the International Space Station went too far. 

‘It kind of enraged me that the country that we had been in this international partnership for 20 years would take the time to make a video to threaten to leave behind one of the crew members they are responsible for,’ he told the Wall Street Journal.

‘They agreed to be responsible for his safety, getting him to the space station and getting him home,’ Kelly explained. ‘For me, that kind of just crossed the line.’

Still, Rogozin has doubled down on his threats, claiming over the weekend that ‘illegal’ sanctions could cause the 500-ton ISS to crash down over Western countries.

He said: ‘The populations of other countries, especially those led by the “dogs of war,”  should think about the price of the sanctions against Roscosmos.’

Elon Musk has now offered to send his SpaceX rocket to rescue the US astronaut if the Russians abandon him, but NASA officials say they are confident Vande Hei will return as planned.

‘NASA continues working with Roscomos and our other international partners in Canada, Europe and Japan to maintain safe and continuous International Space Station operations.

‘On March 30, a Soyuz spacecraft will return as scheduled carrying NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov back to Earth,’ it vowed.

‘Upon their return, Vande Hei will hold the American record for the longest single human spaceflight mission of 355 days.’

Hopefully, actions by Elon Musk will not be necessary, but this illustrates the folly of giving up the American space program and also illustrates the value of the free market and free enterprise.

I Really Love This Idea

On Thursday, The New York Sun posted an editorial by Larry Kudlow about the Federal Reserve.

The editorial states:

Can we please get a Federal Reserve with a backbone? Here are a couple thoughts on today’s wussy Fed announcement that it is going to move faster on tapering bond purchases and there might be three little bitty rate hikes next year. And, oh yeah, Jay Powell told the press conference he was confident inflation would drop to two percent by the end of next year.

Wanna bet? On that bet, I’m taking the under. Know who the best inflation forecaster in the country is? Senator Manchin. Numero uno. I don’t even know if he talks to economists, but since last winter when the $2 trillion Democrat so-called relief package was implemented, Joe Manchin has been warning about inflation.

That’s why he has argued consistently all year that President Biden’s big government socialist bill should be paused until inflation is clearly falling. Which it is not. CPI up 7 percent, PPI up 10 percent, and today we got another whopper, with an 11.7 percent rise in import prices. How about that?

Joe Manchin, by the way, in his original memo to Senator Schumer, called last summer for the end of quantitative easing.

Mr. Manchin makes me feel proud to be a former Democrat, as were both of my presidential bosses — Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

The editorial continues:

Finally, I have another idea for a new Fed chairman if Joe Manchin won’t take the job. How about Elon Musk? Time Magazine’s man of the year. How can I say such an outrageous thing? Several reasons. I worked with him several times in the White house and he’s very smart and savvy.

The mere fact that socialist Senator Warren is attacking him for not paying his “fair share” of taxes is by itself a fabulous endorsement of Mr. Musk’s philosophy, business prowess.

Am I saying anybody Mrs. Warren opposes gets my stamp of approval? Yes. I’m tired of her left-wing progressive woke whining. And her desires to tax and regulate anything that moves in business and the economy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Musk, who’s the biggest E-V car seller in the country, has said publicly he does not want E-V auto or battery subsidies from the federal government. Indeed, he has come out against the entire reckless tax, spend, and regulate Biden policies.

Unlike GM and the unionist car-makers, Mr. Musk is non-union and will not put his nose into the public trough.

My kind of guy. I doubt if he ever talks to economists. That’s probably why he’s such a good conservative, libertarian thinker.

And incidentally, Mr. Musk has been selling about $3 billion worth of stock at the prevailing capitalist gains tax rate of 23.8%. The Musk stock sale would generate $714 million of revenues to the federal government.

Mr. Kudlow also notes that the Federal Reserve is continuing Quantitative Easing, the practice of buying up the debt and pumping up the money supply, at a time when inflation is rapidly increasing. We need someone at the Federal Reserve that will put the brakes on that practice so that we can being to rein in inflation.

The Proper Solution To The Computer Chip Shortage

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that Samsung s planning to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Taylor, Texas.

The article reports:

A statement from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) says that Samsung chose the Lone Star State due to its business-friendly climate:

The new manufacturing facility will produce advanced logic chips that will power next-generation devices for applications such as mobile, 5G, high-performance computing (HPC), and artificial intelligence (AI).

The project will create over 2,000 high-tech jobs, thousands of indirect jobs, and a minimum of 6,500 construction jobs. Construction will begin in early 2022 with a target of production start in the second half of 2024. The $17 billion in capital investments includes buildings, property improvements, machinery, and equipment.

A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $27,000,000 has been extended to Samsung for their job creation. In addition, Samsung has been offered a $20,000 Veteran Created Job Bonus.   

The article concludes:

Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reports that firms across the globe are racing to produce more semiconductors:

Samsung’s doubling down on Texas where it already has a footprint comes amid a year of historic spending for the semiconductor industry, spurred by government incentives seeking to attract local production. A global chip shortage has undercut many industries from smartphones and home appliances to cars.

Samsung, the world’s largest semiconductor maker by revenue, plans to invest more than $205 billion over the next three years, with chip-making a priority. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has earmarked more than $100 billion over the next three years to build new chip factories. Intel Corp. has also unveiled more than $100 billion worth of semiconductor factory investments plans in the U.S. and Europe over the coming decade.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year that he has “never seen anything like” the semiconductor shortage.

“Our biggest challenge is supply chain, especially microcontroller chips,” Musk said on social media, comparing his company’s decision to “overorder” various products to the “toilet paper shortage” that occurred at the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States.

Bringing industry back to America will help America economically and will add to our national security. To have outsourced computer chips and pharmaceuticals to countries that are not our allies is foolishness.

Putting Americans Last

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about an investigation into Elon Musk. It seems that Elon Musk is being investigated for discrimination against non-citizens in his hiring practices.

The article notes:

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating SpaceX over whether the company discriminates against non-U.S. citizens in its hiring practices and said Elon Musk’s company is stonewalling a subpoena for information, court documents revealed Thursday.

The DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section received a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen claiming that the company discriminated against him based on his citizenship status.

“The charge alleges that on or about March 10, 2020, during the Charging Party’s interview for the position of Technology Strategy Associate, SpaceX made inquiries about his citizenship status and ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident,” DOJ attorney Lisa Sandoval wrote in a court document filed Thursday. The document was a request for a judge to order SpaceX to comply with an administrative subpoena for documents related to how the company hires.

Back in the age of dinosaurs when I was still working, you had to prove that you were an American citizen and eligible to work before you were hired. Why in the world did we change that? It seems to me that in America, American citizens should be first in line for jobs.

This Isn’t Good News For Those Pushing Electric Cars

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about emissions testing done on the Tesla Model 3.

The article reports:

A Tesla Model 3 is touted as a zero-emissions car by government regulators, but it actually results in more carbon dioxide than a comparable diesel-powered car, according to a recent study.

When the CO2 emissions from battery production is included, electric cars, like Teslas, are “in the best case, slightly higher than those of a diesel engine, and are otherwise much higher,” reads a release from the German think tank IFO.

…Driving a Tesla Model 3 in Germany, for example, is responsible for 156 to 181 grams of CO2 per kilometer, compared to just 141 grams per kilometer for a diesel-powered Mercedes C220d — that includes emissions from producing diesel fuel.

IFO looked at electric car production in Germany, which is heavily reliant on coal power. Electric car emissions in other countries depend on their energy mix, but Germany is the world’s third-largest electric car maker.

…Federal subsidies for Teslas are set to be phased out since the company, founded by Elon Musk, hit the 200,000-vehicle production cap. However, Congress is debating whether or not to extend electric car subsidies.

It’s not just battery production, but charging vehicles that emit lots of CO2. Germany gets 35 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, so charging a Tesla in, say, Bavaria results in 83 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven.

The article concludes:

IFO isn’t the first research group to conclude electric cars might not reduce carbon dioxide emissions as promised.

A study released in 2018 also found driving electric cars might come with higher emissions than diesel vehicles, largely because of lithium-ion battery production.

Likewise, a Manhattan Institute study from 2018 also found putting more electric cars on the road would likely increase emissions compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.

We may eventually have a clean form of energy powering our cars. However, it is a pretty safe bet that the invention of that clean form of energy will come through the free market–not through government subsidies. Any time the government interferes in the free market, they slow down innovation. If the people who have the knowledge and curiosity to invent the next generation of cars are allowed to reap the rewards of their inventions, we will see those inventions. If the free market is allowed to flourish, innovation will follow.

Can You Imagine?

I recently visited the Bigfoot Museum in Felton, California, and my mind is not totally recovered from the experience. I have no idea whether or not Bigfoot is real, but I can tell you that there are an awful lot of very dense forests out there that have not been totally explored. There are also a lot of things in space that remain unexplored. One recent effort to explore space was the launching of Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster with a starman mannequin at the wheel.

A website called Time Traveller Wiki recently reported:

The red electric car and its spacesuit-clad mannequin driver, which launched on the maiden mission of SpaceX’s huge Falcon Heavy rocket in February, have made it beyond the orbit of Mars, company representatives said Friday night (Nov. 2).

“Starman’s current location. Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe,” SpaceX posted on Twitter Friday, along with an orbit diagram.

The article continues:

Musk has said that he launched the Roadster and Starman because the duo is a lot more fun than the typical inert-mass dummy payload (pun intended; sorry). Launching a satellite or other valuable spacecraft wasn’t an option, given the risks inherent in maiden flights. (Musk also runs Tesla, so publicity was probably a factor as well.)

Starman and his ride — which once belonged to Musk — won’t stay beyond Mars forever. As you can see in the diagram, the pair will loop back on their heliocentric orbit, eventually coming about as close to the sun as Earth does. 

The Roadster and Starman will come within a few hundred thousand kilometers of our planet in 2091, according to an orbit-modeling study. The authors of that study determined that the car will slam into either Venus or Earth, likely within the next few tens of millions of years. They give the space car a 6 percent chance of hitting Earth in the next 1 million years, and a 2.5 percent chance of smacking Venus in that span.

If you follow the link to the website, you can track the journey of the Roadstar and Starman as they traverse the universe.

My final thought on this is to wonder if there is life on Mars, what is the average Martian thinking when he looks up and sees a Tesla and a driver going by  his planet. I have no idea if there is life on Mars, but if there is, can you imagine their surprise when they see a Tesla go by?