Elon Musk
Elon Musk (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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When I’m not writing for The Truth About Guns, getting people through a concealed carry qualifier, or enjoying time outdoors, I also write for a website that focuses on electric cars, solar power, and micromobility (things like electric bikes and scooters). I’m into off-grid technology, which is of growing importance to anybody interested in emergency preparedness. One inescapable aspect of that whole industry is the wealthiest man on the planet, Elon Musk.

Having been front row to most of the things the guy does publicly for the last several years, I’ve seen a lot change. For a long time, he even followed that other website I write for on Twitter because we wrote frequently (and usually favorably) about his vehicles and other products.

But over the last few years that relationship has deteriorated. He took increasingly conservative views, especially on Twitter, which wasn’t received well by most of the other writers over there. Some of the things he said bothered me, but I tried to address it in the most friendly way I could. He moved his operations to Texas (a wise move when you look at California’s insane taxes), increasingly waded into social issues, and most recently made headlines with his deal to buy Twitter.

The Twitter purchase is probably one of the biggest things that has made him look like a friend to conservatives. His stand for online free speech, free of liberal corporate “fact checkers” and cyber-nannies (censorship) would make the website much more friendly to people who don’t agree with the prevailing left-leaning narrative. So he’s generated a lot of good will and positive feelings among many conservatives.

All of this having been said, we need to be careful not to trust the guy too much. There are a couple of good reasons to be skeptical and wary if you’re a gun owner or free speech maximalist.

First off, Elon Musk is no friend to gun owners. I’ll let him tell you himself what he thinks about guns:

Keep in mind that he says “at minimum” here on the registration of “assault weapons,” which he defines as semi-automatic, supersonic, and taking a large magazine (which he doesn’t define). The technical problems with his statement aside (of which are many), the idea that this is the minimum that should be done to “do something” about guns should concern everyone, even those who think a deep background check (“extremely well vetted”) is OK. We don’t know where the limits are on what he thinks is acceptable.

Whatever your position, all of this goes well beyond “shall not be infringed,” and is thus entirely unacceptable. Period.

The other thing we need to keep in mind is that Musk is something of a grifter. Whether he truly believes the things he says that appeal to conservatives isn’t something I can’t answer, but the history of his companies should concern anyone who is considering trusting him.

One book I’d recommend reading is Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors by Edward Niedermeyer. In that book, the games the company played to hoover up California state subsidies and provide literally nothing in return are detailed, along with other moves that most people would consider unscrupulous.

My personal opinion is that he’s done fleecing liberals in California (who mostly hate him now), so now he’s moved onto Texas to see what he can get out of conservatives like Greg Abbott for the next phase of his companies’ growth. Appealing to conservatives would be a key part of that plan. It’s also possible that he wants to play it straight in Texas and can afford to do so there with the state’s lower taxes and reduced regulatory burdens, but only time can tell us that.

His anti-gun tweets in the aftermath of Uvalde show that he’s not a believer in any real kind of conservatism, no matter how much noise he may make about other issues. Why? Because actual conservatives believe in personal freedom, and subjecting firearms ownership to extreme vetting and special permitting ain’t it.

I’m not saying anyone should hate Elon Musk, but they should be very careful about how he might use the wealth and influence he’s amassed against gun owners in the future.

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130 COMMENTS

  1. Take advantage of Musk when possible, convenient, personally profitable.

    Understand that billionaires do not think like “normal” people, and “normals” have zero experience in the world of billionaires.

    As in all things, “buyer beware”.

    • I read all the comments below, and determined that all Musk really needs, is a gun friend and an education in firearms and firearm culture.

      “To be more precise, I mean any semi-automatic gun with supersonic ammo and a large magazine” – Musk

      This could be all guns, almost. Even pistols.

      • “I read all the comments below, and determined that all Musk really needs, is a gun friend and an education in firearms and firearm culture.”

        Musk’s statement tells us two things:
        – He is using the anti-gun slogans in place of thinking

        – He is anti-2A, and will never change his mind; no matter what.

      • Ifv there is one thing ELON MUSK is not he is NOT a fool and you can be very sure that anything he says as regards any technical issues are very carefully researched I have no great love of Musk but he is entitled, the same as you with having an opinion and I’d be betting my boots that he IS far better informed than you! You just make bloody un-substantiated and mostly anecdotal statements that only to you and your kind are facts

    • I don’t trust Musk’s motives in the least. Ditto Trump. I remember when a bunch of conservative folk regaled us how great W was. And Mitt..

      • Not so fast…Sans romney/mccain, POTUS GW Bush and POTUS DJT were Fabulous Great when compared to the rapist bill clintoon and Jim Crow Gun Control joe…Don’t you think?

        The firearms and magazines you and others on this forum probably own today would not be possible without POTUS GW Bush allowing the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban to Sunset. Show some gratitude where gratitude is due.

        Without knowing the facts and the stakes there were more than enough knee jerk gun politically inept gun owning f-heads that ran around bashing POTUS DJT over bump stock contraptions in the exact same manner knee jerk f-head Gun Control zealots run around trying to ban guns. Two peas in a pod.

        My crystal ball says chances are very good POTUS DJT is going to run again…If so are you going to vote for DJT? Frankly, If anyone wants to criticize POTUS TRUMP first look at the current economic situation, the rights that are under constant attack today and kindly save the criticizing until POTUS DJT is back in office.

        • I would vote for DJT again if only to throw a wrench in the works of all those bent on destroying this country. But do I think putting GOP candidates in office is any sort of safety net? No. Just look at the party’s inability to deal with the likes of Romney, Murkowski, Collins, and the Turtle. I am a GOP party official and I was right there when the 2020 election was stolen. The party did nothing to help Trump. Before that people would at least show up to vote. I have candidates RESIGNING after winning an uncontested primary a few weeks ago.

          Saving this country by voting is over people. And thank the GOP for taking all confidence in elections away for good.

        • None of those Phuckers were any good. They just weren’t as bad as the D bag party. But then some dumb phuks still worship Reagan.

        • I’d prefer someone else be the nominee. We need to stop electing elderly leaders.

          The GOP has a lot of younger talent. That’s where we should look. Personally, I like DeSantis, but there are other good choices.

        • I am glad someone remembers HISORY!
          Instead of jumping on the band wagon like a teenager on twitter.
          Thank you.

        • Donald Trump didn’t lose the last election. It was the Republican legislators in the State legislatures and also at the National level that have neither an understanding of the Presidential election process or the stones to do their jobs. They allowed the fraud to go through and were to feckless to stop it.

        • @ Huntmaster
          100% correct. Some 80+ Million votes at minimum. But not necessarily didn’t having the stones, it was so many were closet never Trumpers that quietly worked to undermine his efforts.
          The system is broken and will never again be fixed using the lead in a pencil until we start listening to what the Founding Fathers told us to do.

        • “It was the Republican legislators in the State legislatures and also at the National level that have neither an understanding of the Presidential election process“

          Sad result of continuous conservative propaganda and disinformation.

          But I really do like the idea of the vice president having the power to discard millions of votes, perhaps that’s exactly what our current vice president should do in 2024, that should please you folks, right?

        • I’m sorry, but IMO, you are comparing two pieces of dog droppings to two mud pies. I voted for GWB not because I thought he was a good candidate but because the other candidate was so horribly bad it made GWB look like the Angel Gabriel which he most definitely was NOT. Same with DWT. Him or old Two-Shot? Jeeze Louise, that’s a choice?

          As for Musk? He’s a billionaire. You don’t get there by playing fair and following the rules. But hoovering up all the bennies that cities in Kally provide for jobs isn’t illegal or underhanded. Every major company, especially the “green” ones do exactly the same. I don’t agree in offering companies tax breaks and other perks, but every public entity does it and it is not the fault of the companies who accept them. It is the fault of the voters who vote into office the brain dead folk.

          Speaking of brains dead, did you ever notice that all politicians favor those big overstuffed, high-backed chairs? It is my paranoid contention that those high backs contain deadly brain-destroying poisons. Those chairs are mostly made in China and it is a secret weapon that China is using, shipping impressive chairs at low prices in order to turn the brains of pols and bureaucrats to mush. Okay, so I wear a tin hat. Time will prove me correct.

    • “Musk is 95% conman. 100% bullshit artist.”

      Really?

      “I’m gonna build an orbital-class rocket company that will be re-usable over and over again.”

      He actually said pretty much that at a space conference years back. Oh, how they laughed at him behind his back and in print. “Another rich boy who thinks he knows something that we who have been doing this professionally for over half a hundred years? don’t? Ha!”

      (Cue the laughter)

      Uh-oh, he did exactly that and the Russians, who used to be the discount launch provider for the world are functionally bankrupt. No nation on earth can beat his prices into earth orbit.

      What a great con he ran! He sure fooled them! And in a few months, a rocket with a heavier launch capacity than the vaunted Saturn 5 will take it’s maiden orbital flight, and be 100 percent re-usable, instead of the 70 percent re-usability of the Falcon 9.

      And if it fails? His engineers makes changes, and launches again until it works. He iterated numerous times until he managed to land the Falcon 9. Unlike old space like Boeing, he isn’t afraid of failure.

      Now, has he run some games? Likely. But he has pretty much done what he has said he would do, mass-market electric cars, and fly and re-fly orbital rockets.

      What a scammer! 🙂

      Oh, and his satellite broadband company is operational. Another scam! 🙂

      • “…mass-market electric cars…”

        Geoff, old bean….

        There really isn’t a “mass market” for Tesla cars. Musk was/is heavily dependent on government subsidies to keep pricing even marginally acceptable.

        As to the other electric car wannabe companies, the mass market for them remains combustion engine automobiles.

        Musk is still struggling in the space arena, despite his unexpected successes. Much of the reason Lockheed and Boeing (and their offspring United Launch Agency/United Launch Services remain locked in technology of the past is due to government regulations that protect them from wide open competition. My remaining friends at Air Force Space and Missile Center reported that Musk refused to allow government oversight into Space-X manufacturing facilities, to the same extent that Lockheed/Boeing are subject to. Musk is actually considered to be playing “unfair” by being exempt from strong government oversight.

        To be objective, Lockheed/Boeing have decades of experience, and over 100+ successful launches under their belts. Many of the high value launches are not offered to Space-X due to lack of track record. It is one thing to lose Star-Link comms satellites, quiet another to lose sophisticated weather and intelligence mission satellites about the size of a school bus.

        • “Musk is still struggling in the space arena, despite his unexpected successes.”

          ?

          I think it’s 2 failures in over 100 orbital launches. That’s pretty much the same level of reliability as the other major launch providers. Boeing nearly lost their man-rated capsule on their test flight, to a software error they never bothered to fully vet. Being cocky nearly cost them everything, had a human been onboard.

          SpaceX is far from perfect, but they are the undeniable leader in truly cutting-edge spaceflight technology, like retro-propulsive re-entry. Over 100 successful landings and re-launches are the proof on that…

        • Not a mass market for EVs? My neck of the woods has seen an explosion of Teslas over the past couple of years (some people have Chevy Volts, when they were still being sold). My own employer just expanded our parking lot’s three EV charging stations to six.

          I myself would not want a Tesla or any modern car that’s connected to the Hive, but more and more people here are choosing them.

        • “Many of the high value launches are not offered to Space-X due to lack of track record.”

          Huh. They have done several NRO launches that I’m aware of…

        • “Polluting space with crap…”

          It would behoove you to at least know of what you speak when you talk about about orbital debris.

          The Starlink constellation occupies the lowest of the low-earth orbital ‘shells’, where atmospheric drag naturally de-orbits anything that cannot periodically re-boost to higher altitude. If their bird just ‘dies’ on them, in several months to a few short years, they de-orbit naturally and burn up.

          *Poof*. No space debris…

    • yep
      He bs’d his way into being the richest man
      He bs’d his way to space and various technologies that appearantly no one else could create. Not to mention creating a line of cars that quite a few people are willing to pay top dollar for.
      He seems to have bs’d his way into creating a few jobs too. I never expect perfection but he clearly knows how to get things done.

      Certainly not someone to have around for sure.

  2. Obviously Elon Musk is not qualified to commit on anything firearm related simply because he is clearly regurgitating what he has heard and not what he has fact checked about Second Amendment Rights or criminals misusing anything they can get their hands on and last but not least, Gun Control.

    Elon Musk builds automobiles and automobiles account for thousands of deaths and injuries each year. Elon Musk builds vehicles that any insane individual can use to mow down a crowd of pedestrians and still be used to make a getaway.

    The problem is not firearms or vehicles or anything else. Those who criminally misuse anything they can get their hands on are the problem. And when criminals misuse anything they can get their hands on Elon Musk and everyone else best not be standing around unarmed and defenseless.

  3. It’s quite rational to point out the importance of remaining objective and cautious in these matters.

    However, asserting “actual conservatives believe in personal freedom” is decidedly dubious and unwittingly contravenes your message.

    But, I guess you gotta write for your audience…

    • … “actual conservatives believe in personal freedom” is decidedly dubious …

      If we don’t, then in what do we believe?

      Do you consider yourself an “actual conservative?”

      • In my experience, “actual conservatives” claim to be for “personal freedom” only as long as it doesn’t ruffle their feathers of self-serving consensus too much, and if it aligns rigidly with their own narrow definition of “acceptable” freedom.

        They also tend to be very authoritarian in their enforcement of what they deem to be “socially acceptable” freedom.

        I, conversely, am an actual Libertarian.

        • Hmm. I identify as a classic “Jeffersonian” conservative, meaning I believe that a healthiest society is one whose foundation is based upon morality/faith, low taxes, small government, personal responsibility, capitalism, liberty, freedom of expression, and freedom of innovation. Of course, this must come from a community that votes itself these ideals (“a Republic, madam, if you can keep it”).

          I’m not certain where I’m “very authoritarian” in my enforcement of what I deem to be socially acceptable.

        • “I identify as a classic “Jeffersonian” conservative, meaning I believe that a healthiest society is one whose foundation is based upon morality/faith, low taxes, small government, personal responsibility“

          So you concur with the Jeffersonian philosophy of raping underage enslaved girls and then selling your own children into slavery?

          A very interesting way to advocate for freedom and personal responsibility.

    • I have yet to meet a conservative that believes in personal freedom. Just like progressives they believe in personal freedom as long as it fits their narrative. Chris in KY is an excellent example of this.

      • So you have a personal vendetta against a poster who hasn’t even weighed in on this thread. And apparently you haven’t met many conservatives.

        Why do I find your post lacking in sincerity? I wonder …

      • “I have yet to meet a conservative that believes in personal freedom.”

        If chaos, anarchy, licentiousness, and heavy-handed government are the definition of “freedom”, then yes, there are no conservatives who believe in absolute individual freedom.

        If “individual freedom” is liberty without limits, liberty without personal responsibility, they yes, there are no conservatives who believe in absolute individual freedom.

      • Yes, he is, even if he would never think that of himself or realize it. I’ll go further; all religious people are like this, even if they would never think that of themselves or realize it. They’re right and everyone else is wrong (as well as being “the problem’) and given the chance to act without repercussion, they will quite happily cut off your head to prove it. En masse if that’s what it takes. Because god is with them. There exists no hypocrite like the true believer. Not even close.

        • Rider/Shooter,

          I am religious but I do not care about anyone else’s beliefs as long as they leave me and my family alone. I do not want to cut off anyone’s head. I do not try to dissuade anyone from their beliefs. Be who you are. That being said, I enjoy a good political discussion as long as it does not degrade into personal attacks.

          I have some friends whose faith makes them intolerant, but they are still my friends, even though they think my particular theology probably means I am going to heck.

          In terms of set theory, my experience of religious folk intersects only slightly with yours.

          In any event, respect.

        • “I am religious but I do not care about anyone else’s beliefs as long as they leave me and my family alone.“

          So you have no problem whatsoever with gay marriage?

          And you believe that a Muslim should be allowed to be governor of a state or president of the United States of America?

        • I’m pretty sure we had a Muslim POTUS, Barack Obama.
          He had an idiot VP. (even Obama thought Biden was an idiot)
          That VP in now POTUS and we are all screwed.
          Any questions Miner?

        • “I’m pretty sure we had a Muslim POTUS, Barack Obama“

          Mr. Sucks, that’s a very interesting claim.

          Do you have actual evidence to support your claim, or is it just empty speech.

          And I thought you Republicans love Muslims, you folks are running a Turkish citizen who is a Muslim for governor in Pennsylvania.

        • Don’t dodge the question.

          Your diversionary attack is just more misdirection.

          I’m no troll, I just post facts that are at odds with your treasured opinions.

          And my posts are all within the bounds of decency, unlike 95% of the rest of the folks on this forum.

        • Urban Dictionary:

          Top definition — trolling

          “Being a prick on the internet because you can.”

        • Miner,

          Here’s your proof.

          I am a Muslim and Joe Biden is an idiot.
          Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.

          Signed,
          Barack Obama

      • How long have you known that you are a flaming fa66ot? At what age did you come out? And, why do you prefer your boyfriends to be under the age of 10?

  4. “But over the last few years that relationship has deteriorated. He took increasingly conservative views, especially on Twitter, which wasn’t received well by most of the other writers over there. Some of the things he said bothered me, but I tried to address it in the most friendly way I could.”

    You don’t say.

    • well, considering his handle, he MUST write the sort of drivel he does to verify his own identity. His own writing assures there will be bee ess on TeaTeaAyeGee.

      Its all about job security.

  5. Lol
    People are getting the wrong idea about this man!

    It is NOT that he is a ‘conservative’. I’m not too terribly concerned about his views on guns either. People did the same thing with Trump. Trump is NOT a ‘gun guy’. That simple fact makes ANY Trump themed firearm just about useless to me.

    There is NOTHING about what he is doing with Twitter that makes him conservative or necessarily a friend to Republicans. Too many people on the right are so stressed by the lunacy from the left that hopes and dreams are pinned to these individuals.

    It’s more that what Musk is doing is simply ‘common sense’ level reasoning. But common sense seems to have takin a flying leap off the deep end these last few years. What Elon Musk is doing is simply moving in the same direction that Conservatives in general want to move.

    Maybe it’s a fine line but it’s an important distinction.

  6. “To be more precise, I mean any semi-automatic gun with supersonic ammo and a large magazine.”

    OK then, a .300 BLK with subsonic ammo it is then. 🙂

    I really doubt he put a whole lot of thought into that comment. Sit him down with the right folks who can explain to him our POV, he just might change.

    Or not…

  7. Musk is an oligarch. Like every other oligarch, he is no friend of the people. Whether or not he is an enemy remains to be seen. But as long as he isn’t running for office or funding anti-gun causes, I’ll take him over Bill Gates, the Koch family, the Walton family, Jeff Bezos, and especially the slimy intestinal worm known as Mark Zuckerberg.

    • I gotta agree with Ralph. Musk is an odd duck, but his war with the Left, especially that faux Indian with the high cheekbones has been highly amusing. Will he turn around and snap at Republicans and Conservatives? Maybe, but that won’t get him back into favor with the Left.

    • Another concurrence for Ralph.
      I’ll back Musk as long as he doesn’t fund gun-grabbers and continues to bunch up the panties of Twitter and other Leftist idiots.

      If he’s able to return some free-speech to the internet that’s better than 100% of what the other elites are doing.

  8. Musk is a smart guy, but he’s also a snake oil salesman. 90% of his stuff is nonsense, technically unworkable, logistically impossible and financially absurdly expensive.

    • “90% of his stuff is nonsense, technically unworkable, logistically impossible and financially absurdly expensive.”

      Like re-flying multi-million dollar orbital rockets that LITERALLY everyone else just throws away in the ocean after one use?

      Yeah, he’s currently doing that, and the old space players hate his guts, because he’s stealing their bread-and-butter customers wholesale… 🙂

      • “…and the old space players hate his guts, because he’s stealing their bread-and-butter customers wholesale…”

        Musk doesn’t play fair/right/ethically. He demands his customers pay less for space missions, and doesn’t tolerate the expensive, unnecessary government oversight placed on Lockheed/Boeing.

      • “Musk doesn’t play fair/right/ethically.”

        “All’s fair in love and war” – someone once said.

        He’s playing to win, and the US taxpayer benefits greatly when the cost-to-orbit is the driver in deciding who gets the launch contract.

        I am personally extremely glad Boeing, ULA, etc, are providing launches for the various ‘letter agencies’.

        National security is best served when multiple geographically-distant rocket factories are able to support launches. I’m far more comfortable with backups, and I have no problem with paying higher prices in taxpayer money if the end result is a more resilient launch capability.

        Yeah, an extra billion spent on keeping old space around is well worth it, in my book…

        • “I’m far more comfortable with backups, and I have no problem with paying higher prices in taxpayer money if the end result is a more resilient launch capability.”

          Geoff, how very yesteryear. Resilience is overrated. The nation is best served with a single source of cheap capability. Resilience presupposes that conditions could change to render a capability impotent. Besides, with a single point of failure, you don’t have to spend money looking at multiple actors when trying to find the reason for the failure.

          Everyone knows bad things don’t happen to good people. The cheaper a good/service is, the better. If low quality is a problem, you can always buy another one, cheap.

          And there is this….if you must have redundancy/resilience, the alternatives must be cheaper than the prime, else what’s the point?

    • Oops, this is the title of the article at that link:

      “‘Next Level Insanity,’ Elon Musk On Who Really Runs The Democrat Party”

    • Well, while union bosses are perfectly happy with foreign steel being shipped in…the whole thing is not only counterproductive but a bunch of communist controlled BS taking a wrecking ball to American jobs. To say nothing about battery technology. Union workers should be screaming bloody murder but they don’t. Why?

      The whole thing is ridiculous.

  9. Musk is weird, you can’t get around that. His stupid self-navigating cars? Musk insists that the cars only need visible light sensors, which I think is stooopid. People have multiple senses, and often fail to drive safely. So, he thinks that because it’s a computer, it doesn’t need multiple senses? DERP!!

    Weird or not, the man is crazy smart.

    His major drive seems to be putting mankind on Mars. I’m all for that. I’ll support the guy for as long as he is advancing space exploration and colonization. And, he’s solving a lot of problems on that front.

    Still, he’s weird. I can’t give him unqualified support.

    Of course, I don’t give unqualified support to anyone.

    • Humans are never going to colonize Mars, they cant even take care of the Paradise that they were given.
      “Earth sucks, let’s move to Mars.”
      What about water?
      “Uh , well we can get the water from earth.”
      .

      For every gallon of water taken off this planet is a gallon of water we will never get back.

      • Mars is out for colonization anytime soon.

        Mars lost its magnetosphere millions of years ago, at this point there’s no way humans could exist on the surface, even with adequate atmosphere and moisture.

    • “Weird or not, the man is crazy smart.”

      Musk is smart enough to hire the best engineering talent out there, giving them tools and permission to fail a few times if necessary. Oh, and then riding their asses hard to get done what he wants.

      That being said, I wouldn’t like working for him, but he has zero problems with finding people he can over-work to death a for a few years. SpaceX is a plum cherry to have on one’s resume in their early work career…

  10. @I Don’t Haz A Tesla June 19, 2022 At 13:42
    “Not a mass market for EVs?”

    the subsidies ended in 2019. buyers are paying full price. here is the price list for the fleet:

    https://www.motor1.com/features/313677/how-much-is-a-tesla/

    something about EV sustainability, and the dirty source of “critical materials”.

    the little discussed devastation of the environment posed by the process of making batteries for the “green new world” is that the production of the batteries destroys the environment, and depends on massive use of children in the mining of components (70% of the world’s cobalt is in the Congo, where mining operations include use of small children).

    essentially, the making and disposal of batteries is a matter of the technology eating itself.

    but wait, there’s more….

    new research in india may be on track to mitigate production devastation, and make batteries more sustainable

    • Doesn’t matter what price buyers are currently paying, regardless of your (true) statement that the subsidies have expired. If there are buyers for a product, then there’s a market.

      I cannot speak to your neck of the woods, but here in SoCal the Tesla market is still alive and kicking.

      • “If there are buyers for a product, then there’s a market.”

        True, but a “mass” market? At Tesla prices, seems it would be a niche, or custom market.

        “but here in SoCal the Tesla market is still alive and kicking.”

        SoCal. Of course. What is the economic demographic that is buying?

    • “massive use of children in the mining of components (70% of the world’s cobalt is in the Congo, where mining operations include use of small children).“

      Why should conservatives care about that, the Congo is just another shithole country, right.

        • Both the Bible and the United States Constitution as written has no prohibition whatsoever against child labor, they both give specific instructions on how it is to be conducted.

          The Bible is particularly immoral, it gives specific instructions for one group of people to kill the adults and male children of another group, and encourages the killers to save the young girl virgins for themselves.

          Just because the Jehovah worshipers don’t exercise that particular Biblical law today (they have for approximately 5000 years, just stopped about 150 years ago) doesn’t absolve them of complicity or guilt.

          Their own holy book of ancient taboos states: “The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons… “

        • deflection noun

          de·​flec·​tion | \ di-ˈflek-shən

          Definition of deflection (revised)

          1 : Look over there! Orange Man Bad!

          2 : Look over there! Christians Bad!

          3 : the departure of an indicator or pointer from the zero reading on the scale of an instrument

        • See also:

          off topic

          Introducing, addressing, or discussing things not relevant to or concerned with the subject at hand. Sometimes hyphenated (always if used immediately before a noun).

  11. Its been my experience that humans who have a bunch of money had to sht on someone to get there.
    Nice guys finish last.

  12. @Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit” PR
    “Huh. They have done several NRO launches that I’m aware of…”

    2 – 2017 and 2020
    https://www.nro.gov/News-and-Media/Article/2452908/nro-launches-second-dedicated-mission-with-spacex/

    NRO launched six satellites from 2017 – 2022.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NRO_launches

    I have no way to determine the “value” of each of the payloads, in order to understand if NRO trusted significant capability to Space-X.

    • “I have no way to determine the “value” of each of the payloads, in order to understand if NRO trusted significant capability to Space-X.”

      If memory serves, on one of the launches, (launched from Vandenberg, meaning a likely polar orbit) the contract called for the NRO to fully handle the spacecraft integration phase at Vandy including security. Not letting anyone see what’s under the fairing is a pretty good determination of the security value of the mission…

      • “Not letting anyone see what’s under the fairing is a pretty good determination of the security value of the mission…”

        It is difficult to infer much about NRO launches. “Value” includes mission impact, and dollar amount. However, all NRO launches involve a shroud, as do some other payload/launch vehicle integrations.

        Way back when, NRO tried to hide their launches from publication. Problem was that the international schedule of launches (UN treaty), called the International Range Operations Notification Schedule) all require an identifying number (IRON number) in the schedule. The purpose is ensuring all launches, trajectories and final locations are de-conflicted among the nations. NRO attempted to classify the IRON schedule as Top Secret.

        Some agencies around the world attempted to “hide” the special prep that was required for sneaky-pete launches, but usually enedup using the same crews, lodging facilities, car rental companies, local restaurants, prep timing, over and over. Rather overtly announcing that an intelligence launch was near.

  13. @ I Haz a Question
    “I’m not certain where I’m “very authoritarian” in my enforcement of what I deem to be socially acceptable.”

    “Oh, do come along Bond.”

    Haz, if you have any standards that did not originate in your own brain, you are authoritarian. Immutable standards are soooo post-colonial.

    • By your definition, you are therefore authoritarian, as you cannot truthfully state that the full palette of standards you live by was entirely conceived and created solely by you, and not by any outside influence. No parents, no institution, no historical origin.

      • “By your definition, you are therefore authoritarian.”

        Of course. It is only those who have no certain standards who can be non-authoritarian.

        And….you missed the gag.

  14. Musk is a nut case with enough money to make him look good or ‘eccentric’ rather than just plain crazy.

    He’s a frequent liar, ‘steals’ in a manner so he can say its business, he over exaggerates his importance, demands he is special and to be worshiped and he can’t live without it to feed his ego, is always on the edge of a psychotic breakdown, a drug abuser, is psychopathic, and lacks the ability to empathize, believes he is above the law and it does not apply to him because he is Elon, and everything he does publicly is designed to scream “LOOK AT ME, PAY ATTENTION TO ME.”

    If he didn’t have the money he does, he would be that homeless street person on the corner screaming at himself and the world in need of being confined for the rest of his life in a mental health institution before he kills or seriously injures someone.

    • ok, well who else can produce more electric cars or put more satellites in orbit?

      I’m seeing every competitor failing to meet expectations to even half as much.

      Nut case…perhaps. But if we had more C suits like him, we would not have half the problems we do.

      • “But if we had more C suits like him, we would not have half the problems we do.”

        Anybody who has more than me, accomplishes more than me, is not of good character; came by it under the table. Accomplishment is the opiate of the successful. Good people are always last in line to get anything. Bah, humbug.

        To give credit where credit is due, people like Musk have one redeeming quality: they act as good illustrations of bad examples to be avoided. Achievement and wealth are soooo overrated.

        • lol
          That is exactly the very kind of thinking that keeps everyone down. That is why it takes so very long to do anything in this world.

          I could not help but notice how your comment made it to me though one of the greatest marvels of communication the human race has ever known…the internet. Something that comprises the many achievements of so many people.

          Why should I guage someones work by the yard stick that is you?

      • “ok, well who else can produce more electric cars or put more satellites in orbit?”

        Big deal.

        Who really cares though? I mean, sure there are the ‘fan boy’ types who cheer him on so they might care, and there are those in the commercial, private, government, and financial sectors who might care but they care because they are invested too deeply in some way or another. The investment could be financial, emotional, business, but they are too deep into it to risk loosing and that what Musk did when he started out – he got them hooked. But the reality is these things would have happened anyway without Musk, those sectors were looking for ‘something’ for this and Musk happened along and was able to get the money together before others and used that money to lock these into what he wanted especially the money sectors. The advantage Musk had was access to wall street money that gave him the boost he got over others, without that money Tesla and SpaceX would not be what it is today or would not exist. It was the money from wall street and private/commercial investors for Tesla that gave him his boost into SpaceX and Musk basically stole Tesla by some underhanded tricks with the board.

        “Nut case…perhaps. But if we had more C suits like him, we would not have half the problems we do.”

        Really? Nope. The more you allow psychopaths to run things the more problems increase. Take a look at Government as an example, these democrats and Biden are seeking to remove/restrict 2nd amendment rights and they have an obligation and duty to protect our rights and not infringe them.

        • “Who really cares though?”

          China cares very deeply. They are shitting bricks at the prospect of over 30,000 ‘eyes’ overhead at nearly every moment keeping tabs on what their military is doing.

          The DoD (via DARPA, perhaps?) is invested heavily in the Starlink constellation. I find it plausible that there are or will be ‘special’ payloads on those birds separate from the main ‘bus’ doing special things for them, like transponders for military comms if needed in a conflict situation. Or cameras. Or whatever.

          30,000 targets that need to killed to ‘blind’ the constellation is something that interests us greatly…

    • “He’s a frequent liar, ‘steals’ in a manner so he can say its business, he over exaggerates his importance, demands he is special and to be worshiped and he can’t live without it to feed his ego, is always on the edge of a psychotic breakdown, a drug abuser, is psychopathic, and lacks the ability to empathize, believes he is above the law and it does not apply to him”

      An excellent description of Donald Trump!

        • From the link you shared:

          “An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation.

          Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response. They will say and do almost anything to get you as angry as they are. A response is what both are looking for.“

          I never exaggerate or post to intentionally offend, and in almost every case I post a link or citation to support the information I post.

          Of course, I do realize a frank description of reality tends to offend most on this forum, for that I apologize.

        • Here’s your first patient:

          “Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he became “demoralized” when discussing allegations of voting fraud tied to Dominion voting machines with former President Donald Trump because Trump had “become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.”

          Appearing at the Jan. 6 committee hearing Monday via video testimony recorded earlier, Barr told the panel that Trump had no interest in what the facts were.

          “Before the election, it was possible to talk sense to the president and, while you sometimes had to engage in a big wrestling match with him, it was possible to keep things on track,” Barr said in interviews recorded earlier this year with the committee. “I felt that after the election he didn’t seem to be listening.”

          https://www.npr.org/2022/06/13/1104634760/barr-trump-detached-from-reality-jan-6

        • deflection noun

          de·​flec·​tion | \ di-ˈflek-shən

          Definition of deflection

          1 : Look over there! Orange Man Bad!

          2 : the departure of an indicator or pointer from the zero reading on the scale of an instrument

        • See also:

          off topic

          Introducing, addressing, or discussing things not relevant to or concerned with the subject at hand. Sometimes hyphenated (always if used immediately before a noun).

  15. Musk is a man with the money to profoundly disrupt the current shit sandwich in which we are the filling. Sound familiar? I like it, even if it’s fleeting…

  16. @Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit” PR
    “SpaceX is far from perfect, but they are the undeniable leader in truly cutting-edge spaceflight technology, like retro-propulsive re-entry.”

    No question. I would like to see govt take the pins from under Lockheed/Boeing. We should see if those two can survive the competition.

    Space-X moves its rockets from Calif to Cape Canaveral via overland truck. Lockheed/Boeing move their rockets from Huntsville, AL to Canaveral via special purpose ship, using inland waterways to the Gulf, then south around Florida, then offload at Canaveral port.

    https://www.ulalaunch.com/about/rocketship

  17. @CarlosT
    We need to stop electing elderly leaders.

    I would support an amendment to the Constitution restricting the age for serving as president between 35 and 40; no younger than 35 and no older than 41st birthday. That would not only put youth in control, but serve as a very effective term limit.

  18. I don’t get all the hate on Musk. Snake oil salesman? Maybe some – but understand in each of his ventures, he was competing with thoroughly entrenched entities. I personally respect the man, especially since I worked for a NASA contractor who built the shuttle main engines. The fear of failure actually prevents new thinking. Look at Boeing’s “new” launch vehicle for Moon exploration – they are using leftover shuttle engines.
    As far as fearing his stance on guns, I agree. But really, there are no real conservatives out there anyway. So promote the good things from musk and be vocal about the things we don’t agree on.

  19. @Ray S
    “Right. No super important payloads – LIKE ASTRONAUTS”

    Zackly.

    There is an enormous difference between putting people 248 miles above the earth, in a tin can. And putting very expensive and complex satellites 23,000 miles above the earth. Space-X has done the latter only twice: 2017 and 2022.

    BTW, getting people to Mars may turn out to be the easy part. It’s what follows that captures the mind.

  20. Prndll
    “Why should I guage someones work by the yard stick that is you?”

    Well….since you missed the gag entirely, perhaps measurement of other people should not be a yardstick for character analysis.

    Besides, it is settled science that the Internet is the Devil’s workshop.

  21. Yawn. Unless Elon musk starts manufacturing firearms or selling flamethrowers again he is irrelevant when it comes to guns. All the gum flapping on Twitter simply does not matter. Next.

  22. Musk never.claimed to be a conservative, and he hasn’t changed his positions. He says the Dems shifted so far to the left that he wound up on the right half of the spectrum. Regardless, I’m still not going to buy his cars, home solar systems, internet service, or open a Twitter account, but I do like his rockets.

  23. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Free speech on twitter would be a huge improvement if he pulls it off. There’s a reason the censorship crowd is freaking out over that.

    • “Free speech on twitter would be a huge improvement“

      Right up until someone falsely accuses you of child sex abuse or some other heinous crime, then I imagine you would object to “free speech”.

      • That can only happen with twitter? As long as it fits the narrative, the MSM will allow you to do that on their platform. Chant with me now: Believe all women.

        Not being censored means you’re allowed to push back against the trash being promoted.

        • “Chant with me now: Believe all women“

          People can say all kinds of crazy things to one another, I’ve been told many times that I shall burn in an everlasting fire for all eternity and that I am committing child abuse by not sending my child to Sunday school so they can be ‘saved’.

          I don’t really care about that, right up until someone attempts to limit my actions or speech.

          “Not being censored means you’re allowed to push back against the trash being promoted“

          So I could print up handbills and post them in your neighborhood that say “dude (or your wife, son, etc) is a pedophile who molested my child” along with your photo, and you’d be just fine with that because you can always tell people no that’s not true.

          I’ve always found the position of a ‘first amendment absolutist’ to be rather interesting

        • As you well know, slander is wrong. You would be subject to a civil lawsuit. Be sure to keep playing dumb because you don’t play games, right?

  24. Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths And Sadists, Says Study

    “An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation.

    “Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response. They will say and do almost anything to get you as angry as they are. A response is what both are looking for. …

    “So, if you want to know how to stop Internet trolls, which may seem futile, but sometimes you have to do the hard work for the sake of your mental health, then the next time you encounter one online, remember:

    1) These trolls are some truly difficult people.
    2) It is your suffering that brings them pleasure, so the best thing you can do is ignore them. ”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/internet-trolls-are-narcissists-psychopaths-and-sadists-says-study/ar-AATiDfi

    • “They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.”

      “In 1970, psychologists Richard Christie and Florence Geiss identified Machiavellianism as a personality trait involving manipulativeness, deceit, and a cold, calculating, cynical view of others.”

      “I like to toy with people’s minds.” -lil dee

    • “It is your suffering that brings them pleasure, so the best thing you can do is ignore them“

      “your suffering”?

      Switch on the persecution complex, with the victimization endorsement!

      It is that sort of conservative extremism that will be the downfall of the American society.

      “Suffering” is when you go without food or water, or forced to endure hot or cold temperatures without adequate clothing, or receive targeted, specific abuse of one sort or another.

      “Suffering” is not choosing to read a comment that makes you uncomfortable or annoyed.

      • A troll is Internet slang for a person who intentionally tries to instigate conflict, hostility, or arguments in an online social community. Platforms targeted by trolls can include the comment sections of YouTube, forums, or chat rooms.

        Trolls often use inflammatory messages to provoke emotional responses out of people, disrupting otherwise civil discussion. Trolling can occur anywhere that has an open area where people can freely post their thoughts and opinions.

        They have higher levels of something called negative social potency. This is a fancy way of saying that they like to cause mischief and suffering, along with the attention that entails.

        https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/thenow/what-is-trolling/1/

  25. Wow what a load of shit! Y’all talk more about Elon Musk and Donald Trump than about guns! Anyone who’s not suffering from delusions knows that the election was stolen. You want to talk about cutting heads off, well that’s what muslims and communists do to corksuckers! Christians say repent and turn away from your sin. We love you and God loves you and is faithful to forgive upon repentance.

  26. @I Haz A Question
    “Oh, I gagged all right…”

    Precisely my point.

    I had you pegged as someone who avoided skim-reading, and knee jerk reactions. I can re-calibrate when necessary.

    However, just to assist you in the future…..skip, or delete, any comments assigned to my screen name. Life is too short to be aggravating oneself.

  27. Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit”
    “30,000 targets that need to killed to ‘blind’ the constellation is something that interests us greatly…”

    Having that many targets might seem insurmountable. However, some years back, China used one of their satellites to destroy another one of their satellites. Purpose was to scatter debris in the orbit pattern. Apparently, the damage was done not to generally cause further destruction of other nations’ satellites, but to analyze the size of the debris cloud.

    The StarLink sats, like all sats, have a predictable orbit. The amount of debris needed in a single orbit pattern as a means of taking out an entire satellite cluster is only limited by the determination of China (or other nation with the same thoughts).

  28. @Old Lefty
    “Okay, so I wear a tin hat.”

    Tin foil (or aluminum foil) hats are only effective if you wear the shiny side in; keeps your thoughts from being intercepted.

  29. Niedermeyer? I think I’ve heard that name before. I believe he was the cadet commander of the ROTC program at Faber College… I had no idea that he’d gone into writing books! 😉

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