Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday each week. 

June 21, 2022

Recent disclosures about America’s mega tech business have brought to light quite a different type of acquisition, one that has been in existence but unacknowledged probably since the beginning of big business. No this is not another column on big corporate fraud/crime, at least not exactly.

When Elon Musk began his pursuit to acquire Twitter, his proposed price was in the range of $43 billion or $44 billion, depending on whose figures you are relying on. Then Musk announced, without any real fan fare, a “pause” in the deal. 

In weeks prior (early June), a staff writer at Forbes reported a shift in the story. Quoting Forbes staff writer, “Musk flatly stated what he has been saying implicitly for the past  several weeks: ‘He’d call off the deal and walk away unless Twitter lets him see the data used to calculate its estimates about bots and spam accounts that may be inflating estimates of traffic to the site. Twitter says he can’t and it won’t.” 

Now this writer does not purport to have the level of expertise to jump into the Musk-Twitter deal, but it is presented to bring up the point of how things have changed in recent years. 

Today’s “column from the writer’s archives” is a really good example of why Elon Musk’s surprise announcement for a “pause” after his initial announcement of the Twitter deal. 

Acquisitions are downright funny things, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, but this tidbit from college business policy seems appropriate. Any accountant/lawyer experienced in business acquisitions will always admonish a client to never, never accept anything but an AUDITED financial statement of a company being considered for acquisition. Why? A statement can be prepared portraying a rock-solid, successful company, everything in financial order, taxes paid, etc., etc., but still not be worth the cost of the sheet of paper it is written on.  

And so. Just suppose Elon Musk during the short term from his initial announcement came to believe for whatever reason, that there are “many more bots on Twitter than the company acknowledges,” as suggested by the Forbes staff writer, more like five times as many as suggested by Musk, a violation material enough for him to terminate the deal. The thing is, bots do not constitute real people as in real live advertisers. Thus, if such became known, real live advertisers would not be so inclined to pay for ads on such a platform as Twitter. 

Now read the “column from the archives” and see how all the hype about the Keystone XL Pipeline reflects the attitude and feelings of most Canadian citizens. 


   A recent edition of Indian Country magazine carried a political cartoon by Marty Two Bulls targeting the Keystone XL Pipeline (KP). Think before you shoot this one down.                                       

   Surrounding a person in full protective hazardous materials gear and equipment, “KEYSTONE PIPELINE:  Providing employment for the next hundred years. Future jobs for your grandchildren created today! Employment of hazardous removal workers is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations.” (Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor.) 

Now, in all the rhetoric on just how grand and glorious the KP XL is, at the head of the list, how many jobs it will create – the solution to the entire unemployment problem in the United States. Yet, where are the solid facts and figures to prove this point, what types of jobs, the construction ones are temporary for pipeliners, a very select segment of the population. 

Today’s edition is a prelude to more in-depth columns over on Seeing the Round Corners which begins in June. In the meantime, take note of the following information. 

  • May Boeve, executive director of, an environmental advocacy group:  “The tar sands oil that would flow through the KP XL is the dirtiest form of fuel on the planet, and burning it would have a devastating effect on our climate.” 

  • In 2007, a journalist reviewing documents filed with the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found TransCanada’s waiver. The waiver, along with other information available in federal agency records revealed that, “TransCanada will be allowed to use a design factor and operating stress level of 80 percent of the steel pipeline’s specified minimum yield strength in rural areas.” (Maximum yield strength refers to a higher pressure-to-strength rating.) 

  • Under U. S. regulations, the maximum yield strength in rural areas is 72 percent. Canada’s allowed maximum yield strength?  You guessed it, 80 percent!  

  • A professor at the Balsillilie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, writes in the New York Times:  “. . . Many Canadians want the industry stopped – it is relentlessly twisting our society into something we don’t like. Canada is beginning to exhibit the economic and political characteristics of a petro-state.” 

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