Month: October 2016

Why don’t Democrats believe in democracy?


Oh the irony! How can anyone read the Washington Post with any sense of hope for balanced journalism? It won’t come as any surprise as to which party they unashamedly back. The two headlines above (the left published in June after no charges were to be laid by the FBI and the right published this week post the FBI reopening the case) highlight the bias very well.

It is one thing to be accusing the FBI of trying to sway the outcome of the election but isn’t the question here about reopening the case more to do with the discovery of potential perjury? Does the FBI have a moral duty to declare its intention after the election or when it comes to light? Furthermore isn’t it interesting that the Dems are calling for complete transparency on the contents which may indeed hold state secrets?

The recent videos showing evidence of bird dogging rallies and stirring up violence  at Trump events under the guidance of Bob Creamer shows how dirty it is.

I totally get why many Democrats don’t want Trump in the White House. Yet many of those same people deny so many of the wrong doings of the Clinton machine. Earning $250mn as a public servant is no mean feat.

Then there are those who still want to play identity politics saying we need a woman in charge because she’s a woman. I loathe identity politics. Don’t get me wrong I was a huge fan of Thatcher and a big supporter of Tokyo Gov Koike.  Both these women had/have the right stuff and it had/has zero to do with their gender. How can I put this without sounding too cynical? Please give we incompetent males a positive sign that the woman you think best represents why a woman should be in charge is Hillary Clinton. The UK and Japan have provided excellent examples  surely the US talent pool isn’t that thin? It is like a grand opening of a store. You want to put the best products in the shopfront window to attract customers. Would Hillary be your first choice to put in that display?

The ultimate signal in this election is that as inferior a candidate as Trump is he has continued to stay competitive in this race since the primaries despite almost every negative press story and biased media against him. To that end anything short of a landslide for Clinton will actually tell us how awful a choice she really is.


The irony of the truth


The irony of the latest action by the FBI to reopen the email scandal is that the Clinton camp is acting virtuous by calling for the content to be expedited in the face of a clear red flag. So close to the election, it can’t be viewed as anything other than a negative. Knowing that the outcome is unlikely to be finalized by the election you feign a Bert Simpson and claim everything is all fine. To turn the proposition on its head had they not furiously tried to delete so many mails they may have known what was there to begin with.

These mails, potentially part of the deleted server, of course throw new doubts around an obvious obstruction of justice.

It is also somewhat surreal that once again Clinton’s campaign has run into problems due to the inability of the men around her to keep the contents behind their zippers from coming out (no pun intended).

I would argue a majority of people will have already made up their mind. If one can put up with all of the lies, corruption, abuse of public office exposed to date to one side this won’t swing it. To Trump supporters this only locks in their hatred. For the undecided voters – first, Can’t this nightmare be over now? Second, I’m ashamed to be American knowing this election has been all about comparing sleaze rather than focus on fixing the division.

Perhaps the Holy Handgrenade from Monty Python is most needed right now, not to “blow thy enemy to bits” but to stun them into the bleak reality their economy is facing – hell.

The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Trump leading early voting in Florida


Early voting results are in for the key state of FlorIda and Trump leads Clinton by 120,000 votes — the first Republican candidate to EVER lead in early voting in Florida. 43% plays 37% in the Trump vs Clinton battle on 2mn votes so far. Forget polls, which if anything have revealed media bias trying to pervert the course of outcomes.

I’ve repeated til blue in the face that this election will be a reflection of the growing state of poverty in America. The growing divide between the haves and the have nots. That decades of neglect followed by 8 years of failed progressive politics has left the gap at unprecedented levels. One thing that has continued to strike me is the turnouts to Trump rallies. 20-30,000 people at a time fed up with the corruption in the political system, last but not least exposed by the FBI’s intention to reopen the Hillary Clinton email server case.

Markets slumped on Friday post the revelation from the FBI. Perhaps more ironic was the release from Clinton’s campaign bigwig John Podesta demanding to know the contents of Weiner and Huma computer. I am almost humored to think that such a request is equivalent to a suspected murderer asking an attorney general to divulge all his evidence and questions to the defendant before the trial. Perhaps there is a downside to deleting emails afterall in that it goes to that saying – tell the truth as it’s far easier to remember.

What many Democrats fail to absorb is this. If Trump loses they can’t sit idly by thinking they’ve won. The disaffected hordes have grown. Many of the so called middle class have seen that status turn south. 4 more years of Obama would exacerbate that number of deplorables.

We can point fingers at the clear mainstream media bias but I’m guessing that those that have seen no change to their desperation over the last 8 years don’t need some flaky journalism to sugarcoat statistics to tell them that life is much better than it is. They’re living flat wages, rising healthcare, the lowest home ownership in 50 years and working more low paid jobs to survive. That isn’t the American dream. They know it so mainstream media bias is just infuriating. They’re not as stupid as oft made out.

Now we have a 3Q GDP print which looks good on the surface but belies inventory build of a scale that if the economy rolls from here corporate earnings will be thumped. This election is not even close to being over despite being less than two weeks out. I just have that feeling that the Republican can do this.



What a surprise to find out that yet another supposedly reputable university has been caught red handed scamming the tax payer by collecting funds to promote an agenda on global warming that suits government rhetoric. The Daily Mail which exposed the fraud wrote:

“An investigation by The Mail on Sunday also reveals that when the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) made a bid for more Government funds, it claimed it was responsible for work that was published before the organisation even existed. Last night, our evidence was described by one leading professor whose work was misrepresented as ‘a clear case of fraud – using deception for financial gain’. The chairman of the CCCEP since 2008 has been Nick Stern, a renowned global advocate for drastic action to combat climate change.

It went on to find:

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which has given the CCCEP £9 million from taxpayers since 2008, has never checked the organisation’s supposed publication lists, saying they were ‘taken on trust’;

Some of the papers the CCCEP listed have nothing to do with climate change – such as the reasons why people buy particular items in supermarkets and why middle class people ‘respond more favourably’ to the scenery of the Peak District than their working class counterparts;

Papers submitted in an explicit bid to secure further ESRC funding not only had nothing to do with the CCCEP, they were published before it was founded;
The publication dates of some of these papers on the list are incorrect – giving the mistaken impression that they had been completed after the CCCEP came into existence.”

If we are truly to live in fear of the perils of a warming planet shouldn’t the “evidence” be so compelling as to negate the need for fraudulent behavior? Do these climate alarmists truly believe cheating is the best way to achieve their goals? Do they champion the same hypocrisy of the 50,000 annual pilgrims who fly half way around the world to kneel at the altar of the UNIPCC, another widely discredited body?

The climate debate can’t be settled if the work of fraudsters tries to force an agenda. There shouldn’t be any agenda. The fact this activity continues only alienates more people from action. Then again most climate alarmists I know have consumption patterns far removed from that of someone petrified of burning to a crisp…



Apparently sales of Halloween masks depicting presidential candidates has proved auspiciously accurate in picking the winner since 1980. Trump mask sales are outselling Secretary Clinton by 30%. I guess one should put as much faith in that as the octopus picking winners in World Cup football.

The Mongoose beat the Cobra


The 3rd debate saw the venom spitting cobra lose to the wily mongoose. Trump was out of his comfort zone rattling off hackneyed phrases and Hillary Clinton for the first time managed to connect on camera speaking with authority. She looked states(wo)man like.

She needed to project with ‘feeling’ and I think succeeded. It was still an appalling debate but Trump failed to land easy punches. When she tried to twist Wikileaks/Russian hacking into the dangers of foreign cyber espionage (trust me these countries don’t need an invite and engage 24-7-365 in this activity)  he could have still said “I don’t agree with hacking but the revelations from Wikileaks and Podesta speak for themselves. That you can’t deny!”

The ultimate reality is that both economic plans are bogus. The idea Trump can get 5% economic growth is about as likely as me winning the 100m against Usain Bolt. The idea Clinton thinks she can help small business by taxing them with more regulation and higher healthcare flies directly in the face of the largest small business body the NFIB who claim the biggest impediments to growth are exactly that.

Neither has a debt solution. Clinton can’t tax her way to prosperity and Trump won’t be able to stimulate growth in a world that is debt starved. He’s right on taxes but nothing will be a simple affair.

While it is flippant to say the US election doesn’t matter because I’m not American sadly it does. Neither has the right stuff to get the world out of the pickle it’s in.

November 8 will reveal much. Whether citizens can stomach 4 more years of ineffective Obama policy, whether they can overlook the sleaze within the Democratic Party and Clinton Foundation and whether they truly have the guts to put an untested boor in charge to blow up the establishment.

Any way you cut it, America loses with either candidate. As I’ve said repeatedly whoever wins is being lobbed an economic thermonuclear handgrenade without a pin.

I now wonder how much more dirt can be flung between now and the election. Quite frankly we’re all sick of it.

Media bias – so what? You ultimately choose to consume it or not

Image result for breaking news

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” – Mark Twain

The media bias in this US presidential election is unreal. The mainstream media is chronically biased to the left. CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, NYT, WaPo and so on. On the other side is Fox, Breitbart and Drudge. Yet is it really any different to any other country? In Australia, the Fairfax media is often accused of being left and the Murdoch media right wing. In the UK the Guardian is biased to the left and the Daily Express to the right. I could cite many other countries and get similar results.Are we susrprised?

Ultimately as consumers (readers), we get to pick and choose what we wish to read. The advent of smartphones and digital technology is that the way consume is vastly different. No longer are we restricted to the narrow assortment of newspapers from our newsagent we can access pretty much any news from any country at anytime. No longer do we need to wait for a paper boy to lob our cling film wrapped Sunday issue onto the porch although some still like to do as a ritual.

We are spoiled for choice. Whinging about the MSM devoting 180 minutes to Trump’s locker room video and 11 minutes to Clinton’s Wikileaks accusations won’t really make a difference. We shouldn’t be surprised by the actions of CNN, which is even referred to as the Clinton News Network,of WaPo. Media outlets will ultimately pay a price if readers/viewers get fed up with the offering. Look at the NFL. Ratings have fallen 15% this year in part caused by athletes kneeling during the national anthem. Viewers pay to watch multi million dollar athletes play NFL not buy into their political moral outrage.

Look at the way we consume media. Now social media feeds are littered with “trends” and our friends choose to send things that they feel strongly about. The only real time I actually read a hard copy newspaper is on an airplane or waiting in a lobby. I do not sit down and watch 4 hours of CNN as a ritual. Read all the Pew Stats you like but traditional media sources are falling off a cliff. Part technology but part content.

The standard of journalism is going down the plughole. Because media is now consumed in soundbites, catchy headlines that bear little resemblance to the contents are almost commonplace. I remember after the Fukushima power plant explosion, one article read, “Aircraft detected with higher than normal reading of radiation”. Aghast, Fukushima was irradiating aircraft! Although in the body it was revealed the aircraft’s payload manifest was radiation equipment.

Yes it stinks that we read so much garbage today on topics that fill the agenda of the media. It is ultimately their choice to present news in their own format and own biases, except Australia’s ABC is ruled by charter to be impartial although is anything but. Whether it be human rights, climate change or politics. The sensationalist factor is greater than ever. Journalists probably get rewarded more for the number of clicks and shares than winning Pulitzer prizes.

Fact checking? Who needs facts. Look at your social media feeds. One group sends out every anti-Trump piece of bile from WaPo and NYT while completely dismissing all of the scandals from their own side. Even when questioned in the comments section about defending the indefensible, some dig in their heels. Some of these people are highly intelligent yet are just as biased as the media. I often think it says a lot about the “sharer” than what is actually “shared”. I find it hilarious that some people go to the extreme of “deleting” friends from their social media feeds because they disagree with their position. Once again it speaks volumes of the “deleter” not the “deleted.” One person proudly trumpeted she deleted friends who voted “Leave” after the Brexit referendum. Wow, are friendships so superficial that they risk being erased over exercising democratic rights?

So yes, the media can continue to form their biases created inside an echo chamber and pay the ultimate penalty of losing readers and viewers. In an ideal world it would be nice to find balanced well thought out journalism but reality is that is unlikely to happen, perhaps until it is too late. Perhaps the tale of the Sydney Morning Herald firing dozens of journalists earlier this year makes the point. Instead of conceding their poor journalism was to blame for plummeting readership they blamed their evil commercial bosses and even went on strike to protest. One of the few journalists who stayed on admitted the problem was ‘content’ but his colleagues labeled him a traitor and a sell-out.

I have been accused of running a pro-Trump bias on this blog. Not so. My main purpose has been to address the media bias on the other side. Instead of just falling for Trump is a racist, bigoted, hot-headed and disgusting oaf narrative I have tried to address other aspects of why his crowds are so huge, the economic backdrop that is creating his rise and pointing out why so many Democrats can defend Hillary’s ever growing list of scandals. I ran into the same flak when writing an “anti-environment” blog during the height of the renewable energy bubble. I argued that no-one was questioning the other side of the debate. I would receive anger mail at my stance. I kept saying that the way people are blindly following the herd on climate change and the government subsidies will be exactly why the thematic will collapse under the weight of its own propaganda. I argued that most of those climate plays would be worth 5% of then share prices as the overcapacity created by reckless government policy assured it and a coming recession would put climate alarmism to the bottom of many people’s priorities.

In closing we should not censure mainstream media bias. We should encourage it. Embrace it. The digital world allows us to consume our own feeds and news. I rarely look at WaPo, NYT or CNN for this reason. They publish ill-thought out puff pieces and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this way. Their ratings will ultimately reflect their misreading of the mood of the people they are appealing to. To date they’ve thrown every salvo at Trump and still haven’t ended him. If Trump wins or Hillary doesn’t win by a landslide they should take a long look in the mirror at their complete lack of impact. In other words nobody has been listening.

To that end, this video from Project Veritas exposes the inner workings of the voter fraud by Democrats which the MSM is not wishing to air. Surprised? No. Then again look at it as another reason to tune out.

Paddy Power pays out early on Madam President


It seems Paddy Power is already declaring victory for HRC in this election by offering betters early payouts. While of course betting agencies are all about pricing risk and the relative payout is not huge I wonder in an election that has been anything but conventional that it is fait accompli. I’ll never forget watching a Bloomberg screen updating tallied Brexit votes and seeing the betting agencies scramble to cover their completely wrong odds.

Yes, odds point to an HRC presidency but with Wikileaks and Anonymous threatening sordid truth bombs on HRC and WJC I wonder whether the Irish bookie may have too much Dutch courage and might be staring down the prospect of needing to drown sorrows with 12 pints of Guinness…

Bye-Bye Kitty?


Hello Kitty’s share price has collapsed to 2006 levels. Her parent Sanrio (8136) is recording slowing revenue. It is forecast to make c.Y70bn in FY2016 from a peak of Y77bn in FY2014. Operating income for Hello Kitty has fallen from Y21bn to around Y11.2bn. So operating margins have collapsed from around 27% to around 16%. Too much kitty litter to blame? It has seen marketing expenses jump from just over Y28bn to Y34.5bn. Google Trends has revealed that searches for Hello Kitty have plunged 75% since 2014. 

Niigata Nuke nixed for now


In 2007, an earthquake near the world’s largest nuke plant (TEPCO Kashiwazaki Kariwa Plant in Niigata) caused a fire outside one of the buildings on site creating much angst among the locals. It wasn’t surprising that after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster that Niigatans weren’t exactly wanting this plant turned back on. Last Sunday, the Niigata gubernatorial election put PM Abe’s nuclear restart plans on the back burner with 5th time lucky Ryuichi Yoneyama winning over the LDP by forming an alliance with the Communists and two other minor parties with an agenda pushing for a ban on restarts.

TEPCO has argued that getting Kashiwazaki Kariwa back on song would give them a Y10bn monthly boost to profitability. This is the rub. Nuke is Japan’s cheapest form of energy.

I recall a visit to Niigata earlier this year. I read the front cover of the local Niigata Nippo newspaper which discussed what the likely economic and social impacts would be if Kashiwazaki Kariwa suffered a similar fate to Fukushima.

As to Niigata itself, it is the prefecture with the 4th highest rate of suicides per capita in Japan. Niigata’s population has grown only 33.7% since 1920 putting it in the bottom 10 prefectures in Japan. 26% of the population is north of 65yo. Its GDP/capita is below the national average at Y2.7mn/capita vs national average of Y3mn. While the concerns are real for citizens worried about nuclear power, the state of the prefecture is at risk from further slowdown.

The Japan Times reported that Kotaro Nagai who operates a guest house in Kagoshima Prefecture, home to the Sendai nuclear plant said the financial boon for hosting reactors is the key factor behind his support for restarts.“There are many people who have  benefited financially from nuclear power plants…A restart is a matter of life and death for us.”

Niigata employs 1.03mn people out of 1.22mn labour force which is around 43% of the Niigatan population. Manufactured product shipment value by major manufacturing industries: 16.0% for food products, 12.6% for chemical products, 11.3% for metallic products, 6.8% for electronic components and devices, 6.6% for production machinery.

Sadly the amount of secrecy and mistrust over Fukushima has left many paranoid about the truth. Without access to stable and low cost power, Japanese businesses become less competitive. Meanwhile Japanese citizens fund around $100bn in a ‘special’ disaster income taxes every year.