First, the agreement for Elon to buy Twitter may be a go, but it will take months for all the details and regulations of this purchase to be finalized. The estimated time of completion is towards the end of this year, which means the company won’t officially change hands until likely Fall, if not even later- and that is if the deal completes. So all the immediate “Abandon Ship!” alerts from panicked/angry users make absolutely no sense. Twitter should be operating as usual for pretty much the rest of this year at a minimum.
Next, let’s not forget that the current Twitter owners are not some “Angels” that have kept Twitter “free from evil” during their watch. One of the biggest complaints about Twitter were that trolls were getting away with posting inappropriate message and content that violated Twitter rules but were not punished in any way for it. It helps to remember that Trump, king of troll tweets, had full impunity in whatever he posted right up until January 8th of 2021.
Will Elon let Twitter become anything goes with no restraints? This isn’t likely. We know from past actions that he has retaliated against free speech against him or his company that he didn’t like, so the man clearly has limits.
It’s also important to realize that one of the greatest prime directives of Capitalism is to increase profits. This means that Elon will not be so quick to make drastic changes if they threaten the bottom line of profits.
There’s a reason why the alternative message social networks espousing “Freedom from Twitter with no censorship” can’t compete- the vast majority of folks WANT a certain level of moderation and have no desire to go somewhere else. Absolute freedom is equal to absolute anarchy, which the majority don’t want. Also the irony of these “alternate networks” claiming to be “free from censorship” is that they also censor people they don’t like on their systems.
Elon wants to make and not lose money- he should be smart enough to know that if he lets trolling run rampant on Twitter, it will trigger a mass exodus and create a space for a new network, one that will feature moderation as a selling point rather than a free for all.
So it makes more sense to wait to see what actually happens before making any final judgements.
Once you leave that rather simple realm of “1040EZ”, and have activities in life that go beyond just receiving a salary paycheck, such as investing or starting/running a business, things go dark pretty quickly with additional forms that have to be filed that are worded in ways that make it look like they are going out of their way to be convoluted and vague.
If you think you will get clarity by calling the IRS 800 number, think again. They don’t have an analysis dept and will only answer the most basic questions regarding the form before referring you to “reading the instructions” or seeing a “tax professional”. There’s an entire segment of our economy that profits from the governments tax code being so complicated.
Tax programs that assist in tax calculations are helpful, but they shouldn’t be needed.
You would think in the modern age the code could be simplified or they would have staff on hand to actually answer detailed form questions so we could be spared racking our brain or needing to pay professionals.
Casual rudeness encountered when out and about can rob you of your joy if you dwell on it. This time it resulted in a surprise blessing.
A woman had put money in a lottery vending machine at a supermarket and was about to make her selections of scratcher tickets when someone bumped into her while passing and moved on without apologizing. The bump caused her to hit a button and make a selection she didn’t want instead of what she intended.
Annoyed, she had no choice but to take the ticket that the machine gave her, went back to her car and scratched off the covered areas, only to find out that she had a $10 million winning ticket in her hands!
When things like this happen, it makes you think……
Was the rude bump by design – as in she was meant to get the winning ticket, or just a random but fortunate occurrence?
In any case, needless to say, she’s no longer irritated by that bump. 😁
Fast forward to 2022- Putin now believed his past assessment of taking Ukraine in two weeks was too conservative and upgraded it to thinking Kiev would fall in just two days. The western countries were inclined to believed Putin’s threat, and were surprised to see how wrong that assessment was.
Meanwhile, the effects of the western countries sanctions against Russia are showing more bite by the day. There are now mad scrambles in stores as people panic buy and fight over some essential goods.
Mind you, this is just over 4 weeks with sanctions in effect – one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see things will go from bad to worse as weeks grind into months. Without the needed products, parts and materials from western countries and corporations, growing shortages, unemployment, and rampant inflation will only get worse over time.
War Intelligence Blunder of Epic Proportions
There are at least three key reasons why Putin is in big trouble with this campaign. There were catastrophic war planning assessment errors made in the following areas:
1) Ukraine would welcome the invasion and at most offer only weak resistance.
Nothing could be further from the truth and this should have been a given. Countries nationalistic motivation to fight against an invading force is a force that should never be taken lightly. Putin failed to learn the very lesson Russia taught Germany during WW II. The fight for survival is one of the strongest forces there is.
2) Ukrainians are not just capable fighters, but they are being supplied with state of the art lethal weapons from the west in mass quantities.
The assumption that Ukraine would just have to rely on outdated military equipment against Russia’s “modern forces” was dead wrong. Instead of a super power stepping on a country with inferior weaponry that’s easily overcome, Russia has to deal with a wide range of weapons that exceed their own technology. Russia has been unable to establish sky supremacy and therefore can’t protect their ground forces against attacks. Modern weapons with computer guidance make it far easier to strike intended targets and Russia has given Ukraine fighters a target rich environment. This is why the Russian causality list is so high. Russia has lost at least five generals in battle, which is unprecedented.
3) The western sanctions against Putin and Oligarchs was greater than ever imagined.
In a global economy, being cut off from all economic ties can literally shut a country down and reduce them to second or even third world level.
Russia has a weak GDP level for a country of its size and capability. At only $1.6 trillion, it even falls behind the single US State GDP’s of California, New York, and Texas.
The sanctions have in effect put Russia into a major recession with estimates of its GDP shrinking by 8% this year.
The current situation doesn’t leave Putin with any simple or easy choices going forward.
Putin won’t leave Ukraine until he can claim some type of victory of some sort. There is tremendous political pressure for invading countries to not accept a loss for the war. As an example, the United States allowed itself to be “trapped” in Afghanistan for 20 years – far exceeding the time frame and initial mission of defeating the Taliban and taking down Osama Bin Laden. Many more lives were lost just to delay admitting defeat in nation building. The Soviets also learned this hard lesson in Afghanistan when they went in to occupy it which trapped them for over 9 years.
The problem is Russia is facing a country of many capable fighters backed with top quality high tech military equipment and satellite intelligence from the west. The help the west provides will only increase over time, resulting in continuous wholesale loss of Russian equipment and lives.
They are also getting squeezed economically as the west increases sanctions, turning it into a financial strangle hold on the Russian economy.
This means they literally can’t afford to just be complacent to remain in Ukraine for an extended time such as the status quo of past invasions.
The myth of Russian military supremacy has been shattered. Their egregious treatment and bombing of Ukraine civilian centers, hospitals, maternity wards, etc, has them facing charges of war crimes and genocide. Ukraine citizens will consider Russia their mortal enemy for generations.
Putin has unified the west as no one could have thought possible. He has also given high motivations for Europe to divest from using Russian oil and gas, which is Russia’s main export.
What happens to Russia if/when the world stops buying its oil and gas? Could Russia fall back into second world status economically? With all these increasing pressures against Putin/Russia, will he be able to maintain power and the continued support of his citizens?
Did Putin commit a fatal mistake in invading Ukraine?
I wasn’t watching TV and was casually checking my Twitter feed tonight when I started seeing a few weird tweets from people expressing shock about something going on in Australia on TV.
I didn’t pay it any mind, then I started receiving tweets about being shocked at Will Smith.
I’m trained to avoid click bait and I don’t care about celebrity antics so I ignore these tweets too…
Then the flood ensues…..we’re talking photos, videos, zoom closeups, official news releases all one after another forcing me to know all the details of what went down at the Oscars whether I wanted to know or not. 😬😬😬
What a time to be alive. 😓
Is this the apex of civilization and technology? 🙄
Something VERY suspicious is going on with gas pricing across the country.
Look at the above chart showing gas prices mapped along with the price of oil. Gas prices immediately jumped up when oil prices started rising with the news of Russia invading Ukraine.
Gas prices began jumping daily even though gas stations had ALREADY PAID for the gas being stored underground BEFORE any new shipments came in.
The oil spike lasted a week before it fell just as dramatically as it rose. Did gas prices now immediately start ramping down? Nope. Instead the chart shows prices continuing to climb in states such as California and Hawaii or at best stay level.
So if gas costs jumped up IMMEDIATELY due to increased oil costs, why isn’t it dropping with the drop in oil???
This looks like blatant price gouging/profiteering with stations colluding to keeps prices high to raking in great profits at our expense.
This is a great example of the dark side of Capitalism when there aren’t regulations in place or enforcers to prevent increasing the profits of a critical resource like gas at the whim or gas stations owners with no caps in place. 😡
So politicians are talking about suspending state gas taxes to lower costs, but that would mean shortchanging the state for money used on road maintenance and repairs and there is NO GUARANTEE that stations would drop pricing and just add the elimination of that tax to their increasing profits.
It’s clear there should be better regulations to tie MAXIMUM pricing directly to the price of oil as well as a cap on MAXIMUM profits allowed.
People selling essential products should NOT be allowed to collude to all raise prices to force people to pay well beyond what the actual costs should be. 😤
All the news I’m seeing on TV is covering events in Ukraine but not much is shown about the situation in Russia.
Of course the Kremlin has their media under strict control so the people are being fed propaganda and many aren’t even aware that Russia launched an invasion. It makes you grateful to live in a country that has freedom of the press.
Despite the false information going out to Russian civilians, they will have no choice but to see disconnects with what is happening to their economy.
Current effect of global sanctions on Russia:
The Russian stock market has been closed since Feb 25, the say they invaded Ukraine, and remains closed. Keeping the market closed is won’t save them from the reality of a devastating collapse when it finally opens.
Wave after wave of international corporations are leaving Russia or suspending operations. It’s now to the point that peer pressure will essentially drive all companies to either leave or suspend operations or face the resulting negative press for remaining in a country committing atrocities in Ukraine. Yale professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team have compiled a continually updated list that shows the companies that have left and those that still remain. Companies on the “still remain” list will be facing extreme pressure to leave or risk being having their brand go negative for collaborating with an invading nation.
These are not minor issues that can be “waved away” by fake/propaganda news. The Russians can clearly see stores closing down, inflation spiking, and no way for them to put their money in another currency. They are being cut off for the international market in an age when economic survival depends on it.
This is the current situation in Russia now – and it will only get worse:
Here’s an analyst in Russia, toasting the “death of the Russian stock market” during a news interview:
Meanwhile, the Russian invading troops were not well provisioned and have been reduced to breaking into shops and scrounging for food.
Russian troops stealing chickens and eggs:
Troops looting shops and robbing banks:
Looks less like a regimented army, and more like roving criminal gangs.
Putin’s plans of a quick and easy war get proven wrong on a daily basis.