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April 17, 2022 | Musk Should Conserve His Ammo

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

For many of us, as pleasurable as it might be to picture Twitter in the hands of Elon Musk, and to imagine a despairing Jack Dorsey committing seppuku, Musk should save his billions for more useful purposes. He could start by building a competitive platform for a hundredth of what he’s offered to pay for Twitter. He could also buy an existing platform such as the up-and-coming TruthSocial for a relative pittance. What is Twitter’s value, after all? The company has been losing steady money offering a place for ‘progressive’ extremists to set up sniper positions online. But would allowing the rest of us to post there improve the bottom line? There are reason to doubt this, for in fact the resulting free-for-all could wind up driving subscribers and advertisers away.

Musk says he simply wants to promote free speech. While it is true that nearly any conceivable change in Twitter’s content would bring improvement, one suspects that his main goal is to punish the platform’s narrow-minded managers for being the crypto-Stalinist apparatchiks they are. That being the case, and assuming Musk’s offer is successful, we should look for him to relocate Twitter from San Francisco to a red-state stronghold. Enid in Oklahoma comes to mind. Or perhaps Bristol, Tennessee. Or Bullhead City, Arizona.

Woke-ism Under Attack

Regardless of whether the deal flies — and there are good reasons to doubt that it will — Musk has provoked a healthy discussion of the impact on America of Twitter’s heavy-handed censorship. Woke-ism is on the run, under attack lately not just from political conservatives, but from centrists and others who have tired of living under wacky rules designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many. Most of us would be content to live and let live. November’s mid-term election promises to strengthen and accelerate beneficial changes in this direction and to restore common sense to political discourse.

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April 17th, 2022

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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