Tag: holocaust deniers
This Is All You Need To Know About The Odious Elon Musk

This Is All You Need To Know About The Odious Elon Musk

Twitter has stopped saving lives and is now actively engaged in helping to kill people. It took one year and nine months and the insane ego of one man: Elon Musk. He’s the difference between these two headlines from the Associated Press.

Dateline March 1, 2021: Twitter cracks down on COVID vaccine misinformation.

Dateline November 29, 2022: Twitter ends enforcement of COVID misinformation policy.

Lies are loose on Twitter about COVID, folks. Stuff like vaccines will kill you, the disease is a conspiracy against white people, wearing a mask is fascism. It was out there before, and it’s out there again, and people will die because of it.

As of this year, Twitter has nearly 400 million active users around the world, nearly 75 million of them in this country alone. What is Twitter? Well, it’s called a social networking app, one among many, including Facebook, Instagram, and yes, even Substack and Truth Social, the Trump-owned network that mimics Twitter, or tries to, anyway. It’s a way people connect with one another. It’s a way people share information and interests. It’s a platform that has been used by many to promote companies, political movements, ideas, conspiracies, and lies.

Is it essential? No. There are other ways to connect with people, other ways to obtain and share information. Is it powerful? Without a doubt. It’s fairly widely accepted that without his frequent tweets of lies and conspiracies and bragging and self-promotion, Donald Trump probably could not have been elected president in 2016. That’s power.

What the hell could have possessed the man who took sole ownership of Twitter about a month ago to have issued this order, that a social media platform reaching so many millions of people would throw out a policy that has actively sought to tamp down misinformation about a disease that has killed over six and a half million people around the world? Contrariness? Ego? Madness? A simple wish to join in the right-wing obsession with owning the libs?

Musk’s policy changes at Twitter, which have included re-enrolling people who were banned from the platform in the past for advocating violence, racism, sexism, and homophobia among a long list of other no-no’s of a rational, humanistic civilization, have not done much to help his investment. His abandonment of Twitter’s content moderation policies has made him lose half of the top 100 advertisers on the platform.

The list includes Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, Merck, General Motors, Volkswagen, General Mills, and the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. According to Media Matters for America, collectively the group of advertisers has spent more than $2 billion advertising on Twitter since 2020 and $750 million this year alone. Seven additional advertisers who spent at least $255 million on Twitter since 2020 have cut their ads to almost nothing.

All that money is gone. More of it will be gone very soon. The European Union warned Musk today that he faces an all-out ban unless Twitter abides by the EU’s strict rules on content moderation. EU industry chief Thierry Breton made the threat in a video conversation with Musk today, according to Reuters. “Breton told Musk he must adhere to a checklist of rules, including ditching an ‘arbitrary’ approach to reinstating banned users and agreeing to an 'extensive independent audit' of the platform by next year,” Reuters reported.

That’s tens, maybe more than 100 million Twitter users in the EU. Advertisers aren’t going to sit still for losing that many eyes.

The Intercept reported last week that Musk’s new anything-goes policy at Twitter allowed a clearly anti-Semitic cartoon on the platform that depicted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with a grossly exaggerated nose. Zelensky is Jewish. The Tweet of the anti-Semitic cartoon originated from the Russian embassy in London.

What’s going on with this guy Musk? Story after story this week and last reported on tweets put out by Musk that featured right-wing conspiracy theories and other far-out nonsense. On Thanksgiving Day, Musk retweeted something from a white supremacist equating pedophilia and Antifa, a decentralized movement that has declared itself as specifically anti-fascist. The tweet came from Paul Ray Ramsey, who has called women’s suffrage a “cancer” and is a known Holocaust denier, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Musk responded to another tweet calling “woke propaganda” a “Trojan horse” intended to “attack kid’s brains.” “Exactly,” tweeted Musk.

Elon Musk has cut loose the loons on Twitter, and they’re moving back into the platform for all they’re worth. Why he’s doing this is anybody’s guess. It’s not going to last. Regulators are not going to stand for the spread of COVID lies in the European Union. They’ll shut down Twitter in Europe before they allow Musk and his minions to cause deaths over there. There is no sane equivalent regulatory body in this country.

Is Elon Musk the Sam Bankman-Fried of the internet? Is Twitter on its way to becoming FTX, the crypto exchange that was worth tens of billions until overnight it was worth nothing?

Imitating the impulsive adolescent behavior of Donald Trump is no way to run a business, son. Even the dean of Faber University knew that much.

Just Another Day With Anti-Semites At The Former President's House

Just Another Day With Anti-Semites At The Former President's House

As we all certainly know by now, Donald Trump had some guests over for dinner last week at his home, the resort/hotel/club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump claims he had invited his good friend Ye, formerly known as Kayne West, and was surprised when a well-known white supremacist, anti-Semite and public supporter of his, Nick Fuentes showed up as well. That Trump would be having dinner a couple of weeks after he announced his campaign for the presidency in 2024 with two notorious racists and anti-Semites is perhaps less surprising than the reaction to the fact of it.

You could have heard the collective gasp from the media sphere if you were at the bottom of a coal mine in Siberia. The horror! The outrage! The whole un-thinkable-ness of it! The story was beaten to death. How could it have happened? Could Ye/Kayne West really have sashayed past the Secret Service-protected gates of Mar-a-Lago with Fuentes in tow? Reports of the dinner by “sources” say that Trump’s reaction to Fuentes was as predictable as it was yawn-inducing: “I really like this guy,” Trump told his friend Ye/Kayne West. “He gets me.”

You would have had to have been at the bottom of the aforesaid coal mine for the past six years not to know that a little fawning goes a long way with our former president.

And then came the reports of the mainstreaming of Fuentes that has gone on since he made an appearance at the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Here is our boy Nick in the company of current members of Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and right-wing babbler Michele Malkin and former Rep. Steve King at something called the “America First Political Action Conference,” (AFPAC) which advertises itself as even further to the right than the “Conservative Political Action Conference,” (CPAC). Fuentes, it was reported, led cheers of “Russia! Russia! Russia!” and “Putin! Putin! Putin!” at the gathering, because…of course he did. The next day, he was roundly denounced – in a Tweet, naturally – by soon-to-be-former Representative Liz Cheney, because…of course she did: “All Americans should renounce this garbage and reject the Putin wing of the GOP now. The silence by Republican Party leaders is deafening and enabling,” because…of course it is.

Are you beginning to pick up on the fact that there is nothing new here, folks? Just another day at Mar-a-Lago, just another moment in the continuing saga of the descent of Republicans into less a political party than a herd of Brownshirts thundering through the media-scape without raising hardly a ripple? I mean, what has to happen in this country to rouse the decent against the dastardly? An election that was nearly stolen from the American people in front of their eyes didn’t manage to do it. A violent coup against the seat of our government, the Capitol, didn’t do it. Somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 overt lies told by our former president while in office had no discernible effect.

And now we’ve got the same former president and current candidate dining in public at his resort/hotel/club with two out-of-control and out-of-their minds anti-semites, and all we’ve heard have been squeaks and chirps from the liberal media establishment about how terrible it is, and of course dead silence from the Republican Party, with the exception of a few brave souls like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (!) who found enough backbone remaining in his normally gelatinous spine that he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Racism, anti-semitism, and denial of the Holocaust have no place in the Republican Party and are completely un-American.”

Wow, you’d go that far, Brian? That’s taking a pretty big risk isn’t it, pal, given the political climate in your own so-called party. I guess we should consider it a story when a climate-change-denying, voter suppressing flat-earther like Kemp appears to come to his senses…but noooooo! In the next breath, he made a bunch of ads for his Texas-based Senate candidate Herschel Walker, and all was right with the world once again.

But the problem here isn’t that Trump refused to denounce Fuentes once he was caught consorting with him, because of course he didn’t. The problem isn’t that the “leadership” of the Republican Party has stayed silent, because of course they have. The problem isn’t the matter of fact-ness of Trump dining with these monsters. The problem is that 80 years after the Holocaust, we are still dealing with people like this piece of scum, Nick Fuentes, who deny that it happened and get attention for their criminal lies. Holocaust denial just never goes away. The anti-semitism of “Jews will not replace us” chants at the torch-lit Charlottesville rally of buttoned-down and khaki pants-wearing white boys just never goes away. The age-old lies that Jews somehow control the world’s banks and stage-manage economic inequality to their own benefit just never goes away.

But it’s the denial of the Holocaust that is the worst of it. The systematic murder of millions of Jews and Gypsies and gay people and political opponents of Nazism and intellectuals is something that not only happened decades ago but keeps getting repeated again and again and again. Nearly an entire people, Native Americans, were massacred during this nation’s founding. Certainly that was a genocide. It is unknown how many Black Americans were lynched and murdered during slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, but certainly that was a genocide as well. Nearly a million were murdered during the Rwandan massacre in 1994, another genocide. The violence and destruction and starvation in Darfur killed 400,000 in 2003, another genocide. In Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, some 200,000 Muslim civilians were systematically murdered, and nearly two million became refugees at the hands of the Serbs, yet another genocide.

And now it’s happening again in Ukraine, where thousands of civilians are thought to have been murdered by the Russian army since February of this year. They are still digging up mass graves and single graves in Kherson after the Russians were driven out recently. There won’t be an authoritative total of the murders for months, even years, but it is clear already that the killings have been planned, sanctioned, and carried out by the Russian army.

History repeats itself because it is denied and swept under the rug and is unstudied and forgotten. Donald Trump and Nick Fuentes and before them David Duke and his ilk are not just propagandists for a lie. They are facilitators of modern genocides. Lies beget murders which beget more lies which beget more murders.

As a species, we seem unable to stop the ongoing Holocaust that is humanity. But we can fight against it by teaching and learning and remembering.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this column is reprinted with permission.

Trump’s Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Pick Tied To Holocaust Deniers

Trump’s Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Pick Tied To Holocaust Deniers

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

As Republicans fight to save their House majority, their efforts in the Senate have also faced a long string of humiliations.

They lost what should have been a completely safe special election in Alabama, after their candidate was credibly accused of being a child molester. Their frontrunner in Ohio unexpectedly dropped out. Their most promising potential candidates declined to enter the race in Minnesota and North Dakota. And one of their minor candidates in Missouri went on an insane rant about how feminists have “snake-filled heads” and he expects “a home-cooked dinner at six every night,” from a woman.

On Thursday, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski reported that in 2006, when Barletta was the mayor of Hazelton, he sat for an interview with the American Free Press, “a publication that regularly promotes conspiracy theories including that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were a ‘Jewish plot’ and the Holocaust was a hoax.”

The following year, Barletta headlined an anti-immigration rally that featured anti-Semitic rock singer Paul Topete, who claimed in online forums that the Holocaust is “one of the largest if not THEE [sic] largest scam ever played on humanity,” perpetrated by “frauds in the SHOAH Industry.”

Faced with his past ties to hate groups, Barletta’s campaign manager insists he is not a racist because the KKK tried to hold a rally in his honor and he did not support it. This is not exactly a convincing defense.

Barletta is currently the frontrunner in the Republican race to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, largely because of his relationship with Donald Trump. He was an early endorser of Trump’s presidential campaign, and supports Trump’s proposal to massively scale back legal immigration. Last year, Trump proclaimed Barletta was “a great guy” who is “going to win big” against Casey.

Barletta has proved once again that there does not seem to be any lower limit on standards for Republicans who want to run for high office.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer and science fiction author from Texas. He can be found on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Screenshot: Lou Barletta/YouTube