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People in Sri Lanka are flipping politicians cars into the ocean and lighting their homes on fire. Find out why right here Overnight Opinions...
Does Anyone Really Care About Elon Musk and Twitter?
You would think his takeover of Twitter was the second coming of Jesus Christ - especially to the right wing. But who really cares?
Conservatives complain all the time that Twitter is unfair and filled with bots and that follower counts and comments and retweets are all filtered to fit the prevailing “woke” narrative. So, if it’s irrelevant because it's so trash and not as influential as the Twit overlords say, then why does it matter? Something so small can’t have that much of an effect. Besides, even if everyone is legit on Twitter, still who cares?
You send out brief, truncated sentences to let out insecurities. That’s all that platform is. People flexing their self loathing and smug, elitist personality disorder onto everyone else.
And why is everyone sitting around clapping their hands as Musk plans to “layoff” people. It’s sick. It’s some sort of us v. them mentality. The “King of the Right Wing Dorks” won and now he gets to be mean to the others. Yeah, the top guys, the big boys that were in charge that got kicked out - like the board and the executives - sure, they’re inconvenienced and embarrassed for getting their ass handed to them . But I’m not concerned about them. They're rich, so nothing will really affect them. They’ll get scooped up soon by another big tech firm.
I’m talking about all the other people. Why rejoice at the little man losing his job? Oh, and let’s not forget he’s planning on shit-canning a lot of them before Tuesday so he doesn’t have to pay out stock entitlements. That seems about right - a rushed layout of all the people who know what's going on just to save a buck.
Now, Musk did deny in a Tweet he was laying people off before November 1 to avoid granting stock, so who knows what’s true. Did he really never plan on doing that or was the public backlash too much and he realized how bad it sounded? Who knows. We don’t have fair or accurate news media. There’s also reports from the Washington Post that Musk will be laying off about a quarter of Twitter staff. Does anyone know what’s going on? Probably not. But still, just because I don’t trust the news, doesn’t mean I’m going to implicitly trust a billionaire.
News flash for everyone. Musk isn’t as genius as everyone thinks.
He bought his way into Tesla. He didn’t conceive Tesla out of long hours and hard work. Martin Eberhand and Marc Tarpenning co-founded Tesla in 2003 and then Musk joined on as a first round investor in 2004. He kept investing and increasing his ownership over the course of 9 funding rounds. Eventually he pushed out the original co-founders. That’s right, what made him the man’s richest man was something he ripped away from the original brains. Sure, he carried it past the $1 trillion mark of valuation last year but that’s where it ends. He’s a ruthless businessman. Probably why he is so rich. But I just don’t buy that he is a genius.
He also took a dump on Doge coin while on SNL, causing it to tank. Why not screw over your fellow man, right? If they’re poor, then I must be richer.
He started Space X by finding a rocket engineer. He’s not a rocket scientist; he’s just using one.
Musk goes on and on about how he doesn’t care if someone goes to college and it's not necessary. He virtues signaling to all his bros in the podcast sphere. You know, college is bad, just because Musk says it. But really it’s just bad advice. There’s just one Elon Musk and everyone can’t be him. Kind of like how people say Bill Gates didn’t go to college. Yeah, but are you going to come up with that idea to become a billionaire. College is still the key to the middle class and higher wagers. Sure, college is screwed up right now and overpriced, but telling someone to not go is basically a lie. Most places still require college degrees. Don’t believe it, just go to Tesla’s website. Scroll through the jobs. He has jobs that require a college degrees. Sure some allow for experience in lieu of it, but it has to be equivalent experience and “evidence of exceptional ability”- whatever they determine that is. Sounds like a loophole for a nepotism baby or a daddy with some money to invest in the company. A lot of jobs prefer you to have an advanced education, like a Master's degree or law degree. Even jobs where you aren’t acting as a lawyer prefer that you have a law degree.
For example, I have a background in public policy. Looking at his Senior Policy Advisor role I would need a B.A. - check. An advanced degree is preferred. Check, I have a masters. But what would I need to do to skip all that? Well go back to that terminology, of “equivalent experience” or evidence of exceptional ability”. I want to know who defines exceptional ability? Musk's little caveat to say you don’t need a degree is as unrealistic as a standard as it can possibly be.
You don’t need a degree, but now you have to fit some mystical, mysterious, “are you enough” standard according to them. Go for it. Scroll down. Even with a degree, the job requires 8 years of direct experience with policy and business development. That’s a lot.
Let’s just stick with that. Let’s say that they’re requirement for not having a degree would be that they would accept that minimum 8 years they want you to have with a degree. Let’s just say they would do that. So you graduate. You’re 18 and you immediately get a job, somehow, in policy and business development. You would be 26 before you could suffice to work for Musk. And that’s assuming you could even get a job performing something of that level at 18. You see, when you say you don't need college but it’s still listed in your job descriptions, you value it. And when you act like you’ll consider people without college but set the threshold of even being able to get a job with minimum experience in your late 20s, you ain’t doing !@#$. That’s you saying you don’t have to have college if you go somewhere else, let them train you, let them apprentice you, and rub off the rough edges and make you more professional - then I don't mind coming in and scooping you up. See, it’s fitting that Elon Musk trend of I take from others and turn it into something else.
You see, nobody wants a fresh kid out of high school. Why doesn't Musk just take the hit and hire young people and finally prove college isn’t necessary? Ah that ‘s right, he doesn't want to risk leaving his baby, Tesla, with some punk kids who are under-educated? Kind of like you trust your kids with the babysitter but you don’t trust the babysitter with the keys to your car… sure not having a degree doesn't matter, when it’s not your company . It’s always fun hiring someone that some other company invested training into. It’s all part of his grift. Take from others and supercharge it to his benefit. And congratulations. It worked. He’s rich. Just don't tell me he’s a genius. Don’t tell me he is so clever or as some people like to think of him, a “thought leader.: He’s screwed over people before, and screwing over you is nothing to him. Don’t go to college and be at his mercy entirely. Ruthless businessmen love that. How many times have you known someone who got to certain point in their company and then they were told “you can’t go any higher without that piece of paper.”
Not convinced. He’s major !@#$. When he took over Twitter this weekend he announced a Twitter blue-check verification that people can buy for $20/month. That’s not the problem. You should probably pay for a service. But the engineers have one week to do this. If it’s not done by November 7, well, failure isn’t really an option. Reportedly, he’s just going to fire the team in charge if they don’t complete it.
That sounds like a lose-lose situation. How much do you bet that if they get it done, he will fire them anyway?
Good for Musk. Hope he destroys the fascist component of Twitter and makes space for free speech. Still, though he is just a man,. Not a god like a lot of people on the right treat him. He took Tesla from someone else and received government subsidies for both Tesla and SpaceX. He isn’t a genius. Even at SpaceX, he got a rocket scientist and then founded the company. I bet that guy had a college degree.
He’s good at using people. So at the end of the day expect that. If he’ll use your enemies, he’ll use you too for his own good. The bro sphere is not exempt.
Let’s not forget, he has 9 kids with several different women. He has no allegiance or fidelity to anyone. And I will always question a man who cannot keep just one woman. What state of arrested development must a man be in to go in and out of marriages and relationships like that with kids involved? And why does he have to have so many children in broken homes? If he was a woman he would be a whore for having 9 kids with three women - trailer park trash. But hey, if you got a dick and some money it’s cool, I guess.
Conservative evangelical Christians who love this guy should really think twice about their praise. Maybe he’s your bro but you wouldn’t want him as your son in law.
Welcome to America, ruthless businessman, man whore, womanizer, part-time dad, the new hero of the west, and the Monarch of the right-wing Trumpers.
Is a famine coming? It might be and it all has to do with BASF. It is the world's largest chemical company - pulling in nearly $86 billion last year - that’s more than $30 billion more than the second place company, DOW, based in the United States. So, BASF is big.. But what’s the big deal? Well, it’s also old, very old.
It's located in Germany. Founded in 1865, a U.S. branch opened a few years later.
Today, it employs nearly 122,000 employees globally - with 50,000 in Germany alone. Their business is divided into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions.
BASF has previously indicated that things aren’t looking so good in Germany - and overall Europe. According to the Wall Street Journal, BASF might have to close their plant (Ludwigshafen) in Germany. The reason: a shortage of cheap and abundant gas from Russia. BASF relied on Russian natural gas to power their products and their plants.
The Senior economist at BASF, Peter Westerheide, said:
"Cutting down production at this site will be a huge task. We've never seen situations like this before. It's hard to imagine."
The company has estimated that if it can still get more than 50% of the maximum value of gas, operations should continue as usual. However, once it drops below that threshold, a shutdown is inevitable.
It looks like we are quickly approaching that point, if not already. Now is the time to tell the story of the gas shortages affecting the European Union - particularly how this affects Germany.
The shortage of natural gas has been looming over the EU ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. From cutting deliveries to shutting down for maintenance. Equipment trouble in August has since left the Nord Stream 1 pipeline offline.
Things got really bad this summer. Prices peaked at more than 340 euros per megawatt hour. In fact, in just one week, Nord Stream 1 cut inventories by 60%. All this action caused Germany to activate the second phase of their three-stage gas emergency program. The next step would require the rationing of the supplies to industry. At the time, German economy minister Robert Habeck said, ”gas is from now on in short supply in Germany. Even if you don’t feel it yet: We are in a gas crisis.”
In September, the amount of gas pumping into Europe from Russia was down more than 80% in just the previous year. Even though prices have since dipped back down to 108.5 euros per megawatt hour, and inventories are fairly full, experts are warning to not get too comfortable.
The crisis is far from over. Before the whole Ukraine conflict, the EU was getting nearly 40% of its natural gas from Russia. Now it’s getting less than 10%.
Henning Gloystein, director for energy at consultancy firm Eurasia Group, says:
“..the current glut shouldn’t be seen as a signal though that the upcoming winter might not see energy shortages. Given there’s virtually no Russian gas available in Europe, supply is tight. Once it gets cold, inventories will draw down. If there’s a late winter cold snap when stocks have been reduced, things could get pretty tight in early 2023, meaning possible price spikes and potential energy shortages; it's therefore still very important for industry and households to try to reduce consumption.”
And future imports seem unlikely, after both NordStream 1 & 2 were hit with explosions in late September.
The point? The world is a giant game of dominos. Europe's gas woes will not only make everyone cold - it will cause the largest chemical factory, bASF, to shut down a large part of its operations. These will cause shortages of a lot of products. A lot.
According to the Guardian, “the consequences of a shutdown at Ludwigshafen would be far-reaching, not just in Europe’s largest economy but the entire continent.”
They go on to explain BASF’s major global impact, saying their, “chemicals are used to make anything from toothpaste to vitamins, from building insulation to nappies. It is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of ibuprofen for painkillers, and its single largest customer industry is the automobile industry.”
At that same Ludwigshafen plant, the company also makes something called AdBlue- a liquid required for heavy goods vehicles to reduce air pollution.
According to Marketplace.com, German Lawmaker Hans-Josef Fell has previously noted that BASF “makes the building blocks for a vast quantity and range of products for the global market.”
See the domino effect?
The Russian-Ukraine conflict created a natural gas crisis which is putting the world’s largest chemical company in risk of shutting down divisions, which would cause product shortages. And finally, one of these shortages could bring European trucking to a halt.
According to German law, households, care homes, and hospitals would be spared any drawbacks or cutdowns. Instead, cuts would strike industry which makes up about nearly a third of Germany’s demand.
In just the last 18 months, there has been an eight-fold increase in the European benchmark for natural gas prices.
It was estimated that the EU would need to reduce natural gas use by 13% this winter to compensate for the lack of Russian gas. This effort would need to come from consumer behavior, primarily.
And well, all this volatility was too much for BASF to want to wait out. This past week the company announced that gas prices and regulation was getting a little bit too severe. BASF was forced to downsize and cut costs, “as quickly as possible and also permanently”. Chief executive Martin Brudermüller went on to say that the move is to “safeguard our medium and long-term competitiveness in Germany and Europe” Just a few weeks before this announcement, they pledged to cut costs in non-production areas as well as R&D.
It’s not just tinfoil hat wearers that see this as a problem. Brudermüller himself, at BASF, sounded the alarm some time ago that Russian gas embargo would cause Germany into its biggest crisis since World War 2.
The mainstream media isn’t reporting on this. No. They’re too worked up over Kanye West’s rants and Elon Musk taking over Twitter. Gas shortages in Europe that could shutter the world’s largest chemical plant? A plant that makes chemicals needed for fertilizer? Just in case you’re wondering, we’re already facing massive droughts and harvest shortfalls globally. Fertilizer is already in short supply. So this isn’t a hiccup in a well-functioning system… it’s a major threat to an already, highly vulnerable supply chain. But who cares? Nancy Pelosi’s husband was having a hammer fight in his underwear with an intruder.
One of feminism's most celebrated icons died in 2020. After serving 27 years on The Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a bench that is hard to fill. If there is a glass ceiling, then Justice Ginsburg was certainly the battering ram. She was beloved for fierce opinions and even fiercer dissents. But the notorious RBG was also human. She once commented about why she fell in love with her husband, saying, “Of all the boys I had dated, he was the only one who really cared that I had a brain.” If you were trying to ascertain whether a man actually viewed you as an equal, this would be the starting point. Fast forward sixty-six years later. Do 21st century men really care if we have a brain?
Upon hearing Ginsburg’s quote, my original thought was no. This is typically blamed on men. But maybe it’s the fault of women, too. How we are perceived isn’t created in a vacuum. Men may see us as brainless, but why is that? Perhaps we as women are crafting that image out of arrogance. Arrogance over how far our rights have come in such a short time. Arrogance over thinking the legal fight is the only fight. Arrogance over thinking our actions don’t reflect on us, that we are blameless and unaccountable.
Justice Ginsburg did her share in helping make sure men know we have more than rainbows and butterflies in our head. She presided over landmark cases regarding gender equality, the rights of workers, and the separation of church and state. But RBG is just one woman and vesting all our hope in one person is a losing strategy. One individual cannot change culture, the workplace, or interpersonal dynamics. Equality of the law is not the same thing as equality in practice. She can continue to make us equal in the eyes of the law, but it is our responsibility to make ourselves equal in the eyes of men.
When we stand and applaud favorable rulings we must be careful to not stand in our own way. Abandoning our demand for equality after a change in the law and thinking it solved the problem is feckless. Or, to paraphrase a quip from a Justice Ginsburg opinion, it is “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
But before taking the usual dump on men, let’s look inward. If we have brains, why aren’t we showcasing them?
Sexual objectification cheapens our image. The women who willingly participate reduce their brains to perpetual incompetence. A woman’s body is a crutch, making her mind weaker every time she twists her figure. All the women who do use their brain pay the highest price. Their image is negatively impacted, feebling the perception of the female mind by association. We collectively become reduced to a pile of flesh to be played with, not a mind to be engaged with. A commodity to be bought and sold. It’s a cheap trick. One that women can’t afford to use anymore.
Not objectifying yourself may not garner you any popularity but it will help get you a modicum of respect. Take for example Hillary Clinton’s appearance on The Howard Stern show last year. The shock jock is known for his ratchet bawdiness. In her hours-long interview they talked about her career, her upbringing, college, her husband, and her presidential campaign. But not once did Stern ask or make a sexually crass or otherwise inappropriate comment to her. He does it all the time to women. It’s why men listen and it’s why he has a staggering amount of listeners. But he didn’t see Clinton as a brainless wimp who defined herself by her body. She got the respect she deserved, because she made herself deserving of that respect. Keep laughing at her pantsuits, but they worked.
Justice Ginsburg is celebrated for her achievement, intelligence, and drive. When hearing of her passing, even President Trump said, “she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life.” Yet, we live in a society that elevates the Kardashians, a family of women shot to fame over a sex tape. The pornography industry is worth billions. There’s also Playboy, a long time exploiter of women. But these only exist because women flock to them, vying to sell their bodies for a little attention and money. We shouldn’t be a man’s angel in the centerfold. We should just be their equal.
Business Insider put Kylie Jenner on the list of the most influential women a few years ago. The same list included the likes of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and RBG. These are not the same. The latter got to where they’re at for working their ass off. The former for just showing her ass. Sexualizing ourselves for profit or fame may bring immediate gratification but does long term damage to the feminist cause. While Kyle Jenner does wield influence, we must ask ourselves why does merely being naked and building a brand off of body modification deserve such influence. Putting RBG and Kylie Jenner in the same category of anything creates a false equivalency.
We flaunt sex but demand to not be treated as a sex object. We line up and expect men to swipe left or right, but get mad when they critique a woman's looks. We jiggle around half naked for attention in silly Tik Tok dance videos, but then demand that men focus on thoughts and not our tits. It’s the great pussy paradox.
While equality and freedom means letting each woman do as she pleases without discrimination, we have to consider as feminists whether we really want to elevate these values. Does this make women more or less subjected to men? Will this make men see us as equals, vessels of more than just body parts? The answers to these questions will help determine this and demand society take us seriously in the boardroom and not just the bedroom.
Women’s legal equality has been on the rise most of our lives. We can pursue careers, vote, own property, make decisions about our bodies, and choose to have children or not. But none of this matters if we can’t stop acting like our bodies is all we have to offer. Men will continue to see us as absent minded if we parade around like the brainless, bimbo stereotype. A Supreme Court Justice can only change a man’s legal obligation to a woman -- but not his perception of her.
We just aren’t living up to all the change we want. A sleazy culture is eroding the political and legal progress being made. Consider this: when Justice Ginsberg died the number one song in the country was Cardi B’s “Wet Ass Pussy.” Justice Ginsburg and other feminist leaders pushed forth so that women could pursue careers without facing the misogyny that they did. Most importantly, we could be free from a sexualized culture that separates our brains from our bodies. I don’t, however, think that the Notorious RBG was fighting for our right to have a “wet ass pussy.”