He’s going to kill Twitter, isn’t he?

Musk is off to a rip-roaring start. During his first weekend of Twitter ownership, he fired off a tweet suggesting that the attack on Paul Pelosi was his fault — that it happened in a drunken gay tryst. It was just the worst kind of right wing libel from crazy town.

Elon Musk and a wide range of right-wing personalities cobbled together misreporting, innuendo and outright falsehoods to amplify misinformation about last week’s violent assault on Paul Pelosi to their millions of online followers.

A forum devoted to former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s right-wing radio show alerted its 78,000 subscribers to “very strange new details on Paul Pelosi attack.” Roger Stone, a longtime political consigliere to former president Donald Trump, took to the fast-growing messaging app Telegram to call the assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband an “alleged attack,” telling his followers that a “stench” surrounded mainstream reporting about the Friday break-in that left Pelosi, 82, hospitalized with a skull fracture and other serious injuries.

I guess this is where Twitter is going, transitioning to a collection of those lunatic Facebook posts your demented uncle reposts online. Content is going to suck, but also…they call Musk a brilliant businessman? He has no idea what he is doing. He wants to increase the profitability of the platform instantly by charging to get a blue check mark on their account.

Now that he owns Twitter, Elon Musk has given employees their first ultimatum: Meet his deadline to introduce paid verification on Twitter or pack up and leave.

The directive is to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional, $4.99 a month subscription that unlocks additional features, into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users, according to people familiar with the matter and internal correspondence seen by The Verge. Twitter is planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription, though that price is subject to change. Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired.

Musk has been clear in the months leading up to his acquisition that he wanted to revamp how Twitter verifies accounts and handles bots. He is also keen on growing subscriptions to become half of the company’s overall revenue. On Sunday, he tweeted: “The whole verification process is being revamped right now.”

This is nuts. For years they’ve given users the ability to get “verified”, that is to have their identities confirmed, which would grant them the glorious reward of having a blue check mark next to their name. That’s it. They never made a good case for what benefit this would provide, other than bragging rights and ego stroking, so I never bothered to apply for it. The features offered by Twitter Blue, and not worth $5/month, let alone $20.

He has also informed Twitter engineers that they must get these boring new features implemented by 7 November, or they’ll be fired. Brilliant.

I was assuming that Musk would let Twitter limp along, making incremental changes, but it looks like his plan is to accelerate the implosion of the company as fast as he can.

Racism is something worse than controversial

Even Racist Dobby the House Elf can get a Cambridge appointment

Nathan Cofnas is another of those guys who has made an academic career out of racism, and it has paid off! He just got a three year appointment to Cambridge University!

An American academic who has expressed controversial views about racial differences in intelligence has been made an early career fellow in the University’s Philosophy faculty.

In 2019 Nathan Cofnas became embroiled in controversy over an article he wrote, in which he argued that genetic differences in IQ could exist between racial and ethnic groups. In the article Cofnas also said that since “truth is intrinsically valuable”, it is scientists’ duty to uncover it even when controversial.

“Controversial”. “Controversial” is not an adequate criterion for legitimate science. Here, Cofnas is using “controversial” as a substitute for “contradicted by the evidence”. Here’s a much better article that rebuts Cofnas’s nonsense.

With that in mind, we would like to respectfully point out that when racial realism is described only as being “provocative” or “controversial,” that comes disconcertingly close to saying that creationism, anti-vaccination, or climate change skepticism are just scientifically controversial ideas. Like these fringe ideas, racial realism belongs to a group of ideas that insist on their legitimacy in spite of (and not in the absence of) disproving empirical evidence – the quintessential definition of being unscientific. Hence, where the claims made by anti-vaxxers, creationists, climate denialists, and racial realists are, by many, seen as provocative, scientists find it lamentable when these ideas seep into academic journals, where they certainly do not belong.

Unfortunately, some people at Cambridge decided this “controversial” guy deserved a philosophy appointment. I hope they enjoy the controversy that follows!

Practice run in Brazil turns out OK!

Good news, everyone! The left has won in Brazil, with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva beating world-class fascist and friend of Elon Musk Jair Bolsonaro for the presidency. Now we just need to do likewise in a week and a half.

Now we just have to hope that Brazil doesn’t erupt in the kind of chaos and violence our Republicans want. May you have a peaceful and orderly transition, Brazilians!

Learn this lesson, Democrats!

For all of his failings, there is one thing Obama does really, really well: he knows how to campaign aggressively. Here he is, campaigning for Mandela Barnes against Ron Johnson in Wisconsin.

Ron Johnson, as a senator, helped give millions of dollars in tax deductions to some of the biggest donors that funded his campaign. And after he voted for a tax plan that allows people to write off the costs of private planes– I’ve been trying to get this thing closed since I was president.

If you can afford a private plane, then you don’t need a tax break! But no, he fought for this. And then his adult children bought, not one, not two, but three private planes, because apparently carpooling was not an option.

That’s no holds barred ferocity. I wish more Democrats would ditch the reservations and politeness and go all King Kong on the Republicans’ greed and stupidity.

Meanwhile, Senator Johnson voted to raise the retirement age to 70, supported a plan that would put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every single year. Each year you’d have to vote to renew this thing. I mean, think about it, because Washington works so well that you want your Social Security and Medicare reliant on Congress every year. He’s called Social Security a Ponzi scheme, said that it’s candy that the left is giving it away.

The point is, some of you here are on Social Security. Some of your parents are on Social Security. Some of your grandparents are on Social Security. You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it. They worked hard jobs for it. They have chapped hands for it. They have long hours and sore backs and bad knees to get that Social Security!

And if Ron Johnson does not understand that, if he understands giving tax breaks for private planes more than he understands making sure that seniors who’ve worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect, he’s not the person who is thinking about you, and knows you, and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin!

That seals the deal. Obama is doing more than bashing Republicans, he’s pointing out that they don’t have your best interests in mind.

Why would anyone send me this link?

It’s to a site called “Bounding Into Comics”, which I’ve never read before, and it’s to an article titled “New Star Trek Comic Disgusts Readers With A Vulcan Lecturing The Crew On Gender Pronouns”. I’m not linking to it, if you really must see it I’ve given enough information to find it, but really, it’s not worth the effort. Here’s the “lecture” from the comic.

It’s not much. I could see how a literal-minded Vulcan might think calling a ship a “she” is illogical (it is!) and would favor a gender-neutral pronoun, but it’s one sentence. It’s inoffensive, as is the naive Andoran saying “ships are girls”…that’s just silly. Yet here the author of the article is claiming, without evidence, that it disgusts Star Trek fans.

I was never that big a fan of Star Trek. I definitely enjoyed it and begged my parents to let me stay up late to watch it, but that was because it was one of the few SF shows on television. I’ve watched the movies for the nostalgia, not because I’m a dedicated fan, and while I can understand all the people who are really into it, I’m not one of them.

But here’s the thing: even as someone on the outer fringes of fandom, I know that the majority of hardcore fans of the franchise would not be disgusted at all with that little exchange. They’d approve of it. The author of the article (oh, it’s Jon Del Arroz — I know of him, he’s an asshole) might be disgusted by it, but he’s a weirdo who doesn’t speak for comic readers. He just gets increasingly strident about it.

The Star Trek franchise has become one of the most mocked properties on the internet in recent years, mired with controversies because of the identity politics constantly pushed by the show, books, and comics.

In a recent IDW comic, the writers perpetuated the franchise’s woke content by lecturing its readers on gender identity by using Vulcan characters as a vehicle to gaslight readers who aren’t obsessing over pronouns.

Again, that’s what the majority of the fans of the show want. I’ve attended Star Trek panels at large SF conventions, and every time the audience is a swarm of the most “woke”, liberal fans you might imagine. Where does this delusion that Star Trek fans are repelled by tolerance and gender fluidity come from? As evidence, he presents accounts of other incidents:

The decline of Star Trek’s popularity among fans began with Star Trek: Discovery, which first flaunted racial divisions and an explicit on-screen homosexual relationship before pushing even further to the bottom of the identity politics barrel when they introduced a Trill character who, despite obviously being a woman, lectured her crewmates and audience on how she wanted to be called “they/them.”

In novels, Star Trek author behavior turned off several fans to their TNG-era continuation series, with long-time Trek writer David Mack canceling his guest of honor appearance at MidSouthCon. He did so to taunt the state of Tennessee, which had a law that prevented employers from coercing their employees into taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Mack wrongfully stated that his action was “because Tennessee state law makes proof-of-vax requirements illegal.” The law did not impact the convention, which could have required proof of vaccination to attend, but they chose not to.

Oh no! They had homosexuals on the show, a character who was played by a woman who said she was gender neutral, and a novelist canceled a visit to a state over their bad policies on COVID. Therefore, “several fans” were turned off. That’s it.

Mysterious reader who sent me the link, I don’t know what you were trying to do. Were you trying to demonstrate that my views on sex and gender, which are pretty close to that of the Vulcan in the comic book, are “disgusting” to the anti-“woke” hordes who used to be fans of Star Trek? Or were you just bringing on incredibly stupid article to my attention so I could laugh at it? It would help if you’d send me the link with a sentence or phrase to tell me what you thought of it.


Ken Ham is irate about another thing: kids today are cohabiting! They aren’t sufficiently dedicated to marriage!

We certainly do live in a very secularized culture. The once-Christianized veneer (the Judeo-Christian ethic based on biblical morality) has worn off, and secularism and moral relativism have taken its place. And study after study just continues to confirm how secular this nation really has become. For example, according to a new study, nearly 80%—almost 8 in 10—of US teenagers (15–19 years old) “expect to cohabit before marriage.”

What’s wrong with that? Be happy together, I say. Who are you, Ken Ham, to tell others how to live their lives? I know, you’ve got your holy book, but that book doesn’t seem to be a very good guide to living well. He can claim some experience with marriage, at least.

Mally and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage this December. I am so thankful for a wife who has been one with me in the ministry God called us to. Without her, the ministry of AiG would not be where it is today or even exist. I can honestly say we love each other more than ever. And what is the core factor for a stable marriage? Having a third “partner”: the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know ol’ Ken doesn’t understand elementary logic, but I can say that Having a third “partner”: the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t actually a core factor in a stable marriage. I’ve been happily married and in a strong relationship for 42 years now, and so far, Jesus has not horned in even once. We’d be horrified and kick him out if he tried to crawl into bed with us, the creep.

This is not to suggest that being married for a long time confers some special virtue on a couple. People can grow apart. One partner can be an intolerable jerk. There are many reasons why a marriage might break up, and it’s better to separate than to live in miserable company. Also, I should note that there are marriages that Kenny boy disapproves of, such as same-sex marriages, that bring joy to people’s lives and can last a long time, and some of them also have Jesus in the relationship, and some don’t. Some even have Allah dancing with them in their imagination! It’s all good. You really don’t need a third partner…although, uh-oh, some marriages actually do involve three or more actual physical flesh-and-blood people.

Logic isn’t going to persuade him, I’m afraid. How about revelation? When I was reading his hateful post, a song popped up on my playlist, as if by a miracle. It sounds relevant.

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dyin’ breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
Then try to love the things you took

And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumpin’ someone else’s blood

And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again, and…

Jesus told me that you should listen to it, Ken Ham, and take it to heart.

That didn’t take long

You know that obscene revolting troll who comes by every once in a while with a new pseudonym, who then drops a torrent of racist, anti-semitic, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic comments? And then I have to take a few minutes to delete every one of his abusive comments, and ban another pseudonym?

Imagine if I didn’t carry out that last step. Most of you wouldn’t be coming back, and the nastiness would pile up without end until all value in the conversation was lost. Curating and policing the comments section is an essential part of running a site.

Or imagine a grocery store where no workers responded to those “clean up on aisle 5” requests. It would quickly become a filthy, neglected garbage dump that no one would want to shop at.

You can stop imagining. All you need to do is observe Twitter in the near future.

An emboldened cast of anonymous trolls spewed racist slurs and Nazi memes onto Twitter in the hours after billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over the social network Thursday, raising fears of how his pledge of unrestricted free speech could fuel a new wave of online hate.

Twitter has struggled to enforce its rules against harassment and extremism, and the company has not yet published any broad-scale changes to its content-moderation policies.

But Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” has fiercely criticized the company’s previous leaders as overly rigid and suppressive and said he would work to overturn some of the company’s main enforcement mechanisms, such as indefinitely suspending accounts.

Already. The trolls leapt into furious masturbatory action at the first opportunity.

“Elon now controls twitter. Unleash the racial slurs. K—S AND N—–S,” said one account, using slurs for Jews and Black people. “I can freely express how much I hate n—–s … now, thank you elon,” another said.

Thanks so much, Elon.

One account, created this month, included a Nazi swastika as its profile picture and retweeted quotes from Musk alongside antisemitic memes. Another tweet, showing a video montage glorifying Nazi Germany with the comment, “I hear that there have been some changes around here,” was liked more than 400 times.

Racial slurs were posted rampantly overnight. One single-word tweet, showing a single racial slur in all capital letters, was retweeted more than 500 times and liked more than 4,000 times. It was tweeted at 9 p.m. Thursday night and remained online nearly 12 hours later.

Twitter was never particularly responsive to racist trolling, and I would guess that now, when the employees are looking at only a 1 in 4 chance of being retained, they are even less motivated to do a cleanup. I can tell you as someone who maintains a teeny-tiny site on the internet, keeping it tidy and functional requires constant vigilance.

Hey, advertisers! Unless you’re selling MAGA hats, Confederate flags, and chloroquinone — that is, those kinds of trolls are your customers — I don’t think Twitter is going to be a useful medium for long. The only good part of that sentence is the idea that Musk just burned up $44 billion dollars.