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Azeem, you seem inclined to paint the best possible motives on Elon Musk, such as here where you describe the positive view by author Walter Isaacson about Musk's decision to sell a portion of Starlink to the U.S. Defense Dept. Yet Isaacson also discusses a serious misuse by Musk of Starlink, when he shut it down as Ukraine forces were about to attack Russia's naval fleet. The move seriously undermined Ukraine's defenses; Musk says in the book he did it because an attack could have escalated the war. Really? Was that Musk's decision to make?

Beyond that clearly pro-Russian action, Musk has been showing important signs of following the Henry Ford model of automobile entrepreneurship. As Ford led the auto industry into mass production a little over a century ago, he purchased a major media outlet (a Michigan newspaper) to disseminate his virulently anti-Semitic views (requiring his dealers to give out the newspaper in their dealerships, which increased its circulation greatly). In the 1930s, he was given the Nazis' highest award to a foreigner. In the process, Ford lost several generations of Jewish customers in the U.S. and around the world.

Just this past week, Musk became pissed at the Anti-Defamation League for criticizing all the anti-Semitic vitriol he has allowed on X/Twitter. He threatened to sue the ADL for part of the 60% drop in ad revenues at X/Twitter, claiming ADL's objections to the anti-Semitism encouraged at X/Twitter was responsible for the drop, and therefore ADL should pay at least 10% of the loss. The tactic was reminiscent of Nazis in 1938, demanding that Jews whose businesses were destroyed in Kristallnacht should pay the cost of cleanup, since they brought the anti-Semitic violence on themselves. Musk definitely enjoys using his business success to annoy and irritate, but you definitely have to wonder if his increasingly right-wing orientation to go with his endorsement of anti-Semitic vitriol might cost him market share down the road as consumers of good will decide they don't want any part of his technological marvels, much as consumers did to Ford, rendering it an after-thought to GM.

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