America

Time indulges another totalitarian voice for the 2019 Person of the Year

16yo climate alarmist Greta Thunberg defines our age. As many of you know, she has been awarded Time’s 2019 Person of the Year. Sort of fitting given the magazine has a tendency to hand it to those that speak in totalitarian tones (not her own of course). Recently, she dropped the following statement,

After all, the climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all. Our political leaders can no longer shirk their responsibilities.

One doesn’t have to be a teenager either to formulate such views. It wasn’t so long ago that an 11-yo implored all climate activists to go beyond the battle for global warming and fight for gun control, LGBTQ+ rights and to demand that her teachers can receive a living wage. How dare we even question where she got such thoughts! Kids just know better than we selfish adults (who used to recycle milk bottles, wash diapers and push lawnmowers) who have trashed their planet!

FNFM has always felt pity for poor Greta and written so on multiple occasions. She has been systematically abused by authoritarian adults to push their ridiculous globalist agenda. Knowing that it is uncool to attack a kid, she makes the perfect human shield. She is the participation trophy personified. Her “how dare you” assertions are never challenged by the media who toss softball questions to further deify this high priestess of the climate change movement. We must not challenge and inevitably we will probably lose our right to do so thanks to the cancel culture amongst the youth today. Such blasphemy won’t be tolerated.

No one can deny the passion with which she has embraced her cause even if not completely aware of the hypocrisy created by it. While the gesture of sailing on carbon-based yachts across the Atlantic and back to save the planet in order to slash her carbon footprint was noble, the reality is that she would have lowered the aggregate carbon footprint by jumping a scheduled flight that was taking off anyway. Why, because the boat owners had to fly sailors across the ocean to make it a reality. Yet we can calculate her potential impact:

If we assume Greta’s weight around 35-40kg, it would mean she would add 0.016% to the fuel calculations a Boeing 777 pilot would have to account for. Her impact would be so minuscule as to beggar belief.

280 million trips were made by commercial aircraft last year according to the IATA. Her transatlantic return flight would only be 2 of those meaning she would represent 0.000000714% of all annual flights taken.

Given that airlines, by the IATA’s own stats, annually produce the equivalent to 2% of all man-made emissions or 0.000016% in total, her two flights would make up around 0.0000000000114%. That is slightly unfair as the journey would be longer than most flights (predominantly short-haul). So if e bumped it 4-fold, her return trip would have penalized the planet 0.0000000000007314%.

Thunberg has amassed 3.2m Twitter followers. It is an incredible feat in and of itself. However, FNFM worries that with all of this social media exposure, when none of the prophetic doom and gloom she parrots comes to pass by the deadlines set by climate alarmists, she might realise she has been summarily duped by the very people who have actually “stolen her childhood.”

Unfortunately, she is blissfully blind to being amidst the epicentre of 27,000 hypocritical climate catastrophists at the COP25 summit, most of who flew in to tell us how we all must save the planet (on their behalf). In that sense, it is wonderful to know there is still some innocence left.

If only she knew that her climate change evangelism has thrust the ‘save the planet‘ agenda back on the map, leading to the 21% surge in delegates over the Katowice (COP24) conference. If she wants to fight against those who have “stolen her dreams” they are right in front of her.

Many of her critics suggest she should go back to school. FNFM disagrees. What is the point of sending Greta back to the very institutions that planted the seeds of this Marxist indoctrination in the first place?

To be honest, if we are to submit to the whims of teenagers who know all there is to know, we should close down our universities because there is simply no value in tertiary education, especially now that these centres for open thinking are muzzling it on campus.

Maybe one day, when Greta has a teenager of her own (assuming she doesn’t try to avoid having kids to save the planet), she will see for herself what we knew all along.

As the old saying goes. “Experience is a hard teacher. You get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

All cl(ass)

This is what happens when organizations roll over and pander to political correctness. It ends up eating the very people trying to appear worthy. Sports Illustrated (SI) may regret its Sportsperson of the Year award choice.

As FNFM wrote earlier in the week, US Women’s National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe has what it takes on the field but lacks all credibility off the field with the constant bluster around identity politics. She didn’t disappoint.

Rapinoe slapped the very magazine that bestowed her with the award in her acceptance speech,

Am I only the fourth woman worthy of this honor in 60 years?…I don’t think so…Is it true so few writers of color deserve to be featured in this publication? No. Is it true so few women’s voices deserve to be heard and deserve to be read in this publication? I don’t think so.”

You get the drift.

The question will be whether SI caves in and goes on a massive overhaul of their internal hiring practices or sticks to what works with subscribers.

There are too many examples of woke businesses that have lost a bundle for failing to provide the very good/service that the end customer will pay for.

Gillette dropped $8bn in value after it’s toxic masculinity campaign. Attacking one’s core clientele wasn’t smart.

A vegan feminist cafe, Handsome Her, had to close its doors for good. It had imposed an 18% gender surcharge for men to account for the ‘wage gap’ and given women priority seating. Clearly not enough sisters to share the cause.

NBA and NFL have seen dramatic erosion in audience numbers since backing China and kneeling.

Pretty simple. The overwhelming majority of us don’t require politics dished up with whatever else companies are selling, especially the words “these actions don’t represent our beliefs” from a bank.

As always Jonathan Pie says it best about the oppression obsession.

Debunking more shameless taxpayer-funded climate alarmist crap from SBS

Yet more ridiculous climate alarmist rubbish was published from the taxpayer-funded SBS claiming we rank dead bottom (true) in one of the lower weighted (it didn’t mention that) categories of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). The CCPI measures the emissions, renewable energy share and climate policies of 57 countries and the European Union. It released the document at the COP25 summit to bathe in the spotlight with alarmists pals. Where was the journalistic rigour?

Who were the Aussie based “experts” (activists) the CCPI relied on to provide really in-depth qualitative opinions on our climate policy evaluation?

Doctors for the Environment Australia
Australian Conservation Foundation 
Oxfam
The Australian Institute

All climate activists. Precious little objectivity there. It is isn’t hard to work out why Australia scored a 0.0 on climate policy. Seriously? Any think tank with the remotest thirst for integrity in reporting and data collection should have questioned a zero score.

According to Bloomberg NEF, Australia has the 3rd highest clean energy spend per capita! We spent twice as much as France yet these climate alarmists marked us down because our democracy supported Adani. No doubt the experts just hurled toys out of the pram.

Why can’t the SBS do the slightest bit of fact-checking? What prevents it from reading the document and finding out that the credentials of the experts handing out the lowest score (relative to what?) with a lower weighting in the overall score is pretty low. Note the other three categories are based on actual data, not the whims of activists with an axe to grind against the current Morrison government.

And the summary for Australia was as follows,

National experts observe a lack of progress in these areas with the government failing to clarify how it will meet the country’s insufficient 2030 emission reduction target and inaction in developing a long-term mitigation strategy. While the government is not proposing any further targets for renewable energy beyond 2020, it continues to promote the expansion of fossil fuels and in April 2019 approved the opening of the highly controversial Adani coalmine. Experts note that the new government is an increasingly regressive force in negotiations and has been criticised for its lack of ambition by several Pacific Island nations in the context of this year’s Pacific Island Forum. The dismissal of recent IPCC reports, the government not attending the UN Climate Action Summit in September, and the withdrawal from funding the Green Climate Fund (GCF) underpin the overall very low performance in the Climate Policy category.”

This CCPI document is frankly laughable. Such is its desire to heap scorn and shame on nations, the Top 3 overall rankings were withheld from all nations. CPPI noted,

Still no country performs well enough in all index categories to achieve an overall very high rating in the index. Therefore, once again the first three ranks remain empty.

And would you look at the softball it tossed China,

National experts emphasize that China exerted huge efforts to cut fossil fuels and emissions in a coordinated way, however due to the turbulence of economy and trade still performed under expectation from the international community. Further, the national experts acknowledge that China put a lot of effort to overachieve its 2020 goals in the run-up to national GHG emissions 2030 targets. However, more efforts are needed to be in line with a well below 2°C compatible pathway. As the country is on track to fulfil its targets and promises made in Paris, experts hope that China will increase its targets next year. While the country could further increase its share of renewable energy in the energy mix over recent years, the rating in the Renewable Energy category remains medium. Despite a positive trend, current shares of renewable energy are rated low and national experts critically note the country’s high dependency on coal. By implementing a pilot emission trading scheme, China is showing positive efforts in national climate policy, which leads to a high rating in the Climate Policy category.

So could the CCPI tell us why renewables investment in China has slumped 40% as the government has said it won’t approve any such projects unless it can compete with coal?

USA’s overall emissions & emission per capita have declined since Trump took office but the CCPI could restrain its TDS.

National experts emphasise that the national climate policy has worsened under President Donald Trump’s administration and they highlight the importance of state-level measures. While renewable energy and energy use reduction targets are in place in some states, these vary greatly in terms of strength and implementation. At the international level, the performance completes the picture on a national level, with the US acting as a destructive player in international negotiations on all levels. The very low performance is further underpinned by the Trump administration officially having started the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, due to be finalised on 4 November 2020.

Yep, capitalism has allowed the US to experience declining emissions. No need for a socialist construct to hand over billions of dollars to rent-seekers. CCPI asked more activists including the Union of Concerned Scientists for the US bashing.

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So take the CCPI report with all of the irrelevance of its compilation. Based on subjectivity. Just like the 11,000 signatories to a climate emergency, where the site that pushed the narrative overlooked the fact that Mickey Mouse, Aldus Dumbledore and Araminta Aardvark were included.

It is worth quoting Thomas Sowell again,

Those who cry out that the government should ‘do something’ never even ask for data on what has actually happened when the government did something, compared to what actually happened when the government did nothing.”

Well done on the SBS for yet more splendid journalistic integrity.

Sports Illustrated defines our woke age

You have to hand it to society nowadays. So desperate are people to appear virtuous they will go above and beyond to prove themselves worthy. Sports awards tend to be a mix of on-field performance and off-field service to promote the game for the greater good.

Megan Rapinoe has won the Sports Illustrated 2019 Sportsperson of the Year. Yes, the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) has won the Soccer World Cup back to back. It is an admirable achievement even though the USWNT were defeated 5-2 by a bunch of 14yo boys from Dallas.

260m watched the Women’s Soccer World Cup final in 2019. The 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia saw 1.12bn tune in for the final. 4.3x the audience. Sponsors are well aware of this and tailor advertising dollars accordingly. If the women’s teams garnered more eyeballs, we can be guaranteed women would be paid more.

Unfortunately, Rapinoe is such a dreadful role model for children even though she ticks the diversity and LGBT boxes. Her profanity-laden victory parade speech (in front of kids) after the World Cup win (from 6:30 in the video) was all class. All about identity politics and screaming for “equal pay” even though the stats reveal the USWNT gets more funding than the men’s team (USMNT). The USMNT generates more revenues, despite the poorer results.

Yet Rapinoe defines the age. All about equal pay regardless of revenue generated. Perhaps every soccer player in the world should be benchmarked against Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus. Perhaps his 81mn Twitter followers and talent allow him to charge a premium for his services which the market is willing to bear i.e. $108mn in 2019. Neymar should be up in arms for the pithy $90m at Real Madrid! Surely those on the bench should be protesting the fact they aren’t on an even playing field! Equal Pay, Equal Pay!

If Sports Illustrated truly wanted to brand a female success story in sports against the odds and shove it in the face of the white patriarchy, they could have championed the brilliance of 21yo Spanish rider Ana Carrasco, who became the first-ever woman to win a world motorcycle racing championship competing alongside men. She won the World Supersport 300s crown. If there was ever a better display of rising to a challenge in a sport dominated by males, this was it! She beat them all! More than that she embodies great sportsmanship.

CM wrote in January about her first-ever race win last year on equal machines with the boys. Shows that grit, determination and skill can make the difference without this recent desire to throw handicaps to even it out. Great job indeed to win on identical bikes.

Rapinoe is a talent in her own right. No one can dispute that. It is just a shame that it comes with all unnecessary identity politics based bluster.

Perhaps Sports Illustrated should heap lashings of praise on the Football Federation of Australia’s (FFA) kneeling at the altar of political correctness by carrying through with equal pay. Little does the FFA realise that pandering to social justice does nothing to win over fans. Because if the right talent isn’t paid accordingly, an overseas league will quickly bid the best players away and hollow out the local market. Attendance will drop and the revenues and sponsorship dollars will dry up with it. Doesn’t require rocket science.

The Aussie women’s Matildas achieved a peak crowd attendance of 16,829. The men’s Socceroo team saw 77,060 supporters at ANZ Stadium on 15 November 2018. 4.6x more fans watched the men’s national team over the women’s. It is nothing to do with gender. Fans prefer watching the men’s game, including women. Because of that, sponsors are willing to pay for greater exposure.

That isn’t casting aspersions on the female players per se. It is just that sports will always be driven by the sponsorship dollar. In certain fields, men get paid more than women. Perhaps male supermodels should take umbrage that Kate Moss gets paid multiples more for the same job.

NBA ratings take a dive post HK/China saga

Last October, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters. Little did he know that the Rockets, the NBA and several key basketball stars of the game bowed to China by slamming Morey and apologizing on his behalf.

Rolling over was no surprise for the league given the attempts to drive the game into that populous market to make lucrative sums. LeBron James stands to make up to $1bn from Nike by the time he is 64 thanks to the China market.

Unfortunately, fans at home seem displeased. If the lessons from the NFL kneeling drama weren’t evidence enough, the NBA has also seen ratings plummet so far. Could it be that fans only watch to escape the stresses of a large mortgage, family and work?

Variety noted,

Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The Disney-owned network is down 19%, averaging 1.5 million viewers versus just under 1.9 million viewers at the same stage last year.

Yet more evidence of how getting woke makes you go broke.

Naturally the league has blamed it on the absence of key stars due to injury. Or maybe it is because paying customers are sick of being lectured to?!

Fauxcahontas throws a gutter ball

Democrat presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren was asked at a town hall meeting at a bowling alley about her claims to be Native American. Here is the video of her reply.

Confirming what everyone already knew, Warren said,

I am not a person of color, I am not a citizen of a tribe, and I have apologized for confusion I’ve caused on tribal citizenship, tribal sovereignty, and for any harm that I’ve caused.

Confusion? Hijacking an identity for the sole purpose of advancing one’s career. Couldn’t be much clearer.

Talk about inauthenticity. To try to pin it on her parents for leading her to believe that identity. Imagine the presidential debates if she wins the nomination. Grab your popcorn.

Nativity scene in cages

A Claremont United Methodist church has decided to put the nativity scene inside cages to “consider the most well-known refugee family in the world.”

Bleeding liberal hearts don’t want to accept that if citizens don’t like particular laws, they should vote to change them. Simple. This follows on from a similar stunt in June 2019 where woke artists in NY protested kids in cages by using 24 mockups complete with audio being blasted through speakers of crying and wailing kids. pluck at those heartstrings.

While humanitarian crises are nothing to laugh about, for all of the accusations of heavy-handed, inhumane, jackboot wearing authoritarian ICE & CBP officials we hear so much about, how is it that in full knowledge of all of that, these illegal immigrants still choose to risk everything to come to America. They know that going through the legal process of filing for refugee status at an official border will likely be rejected, therefore choose to enter via the illegal route. 

It wasn’t so long ago that Trump suggested bussing illegal immigrants to predominantly Democrat-controlled sanctuary cities basing it on the idea that if they proclaim publicly how welcome they are there should be no issues. How these virtue-signalling politicians howled in protest.

The greater irony is that a growing number of illegal immigrants are choosing to move OUT of sanctuary cities. In 2007, 7.7mn (63.1%) lived in the 20 largest metros to 6.5mn (60.7%) in 2016 according to Pew. During that time 1.5m illegal immigrants were deported (12.2mn ->10.7mn).

Yet the media, too eager to bash Trump on any occasion with respect to his border policies were forced to issue retractions last month. Ouch.  Who could forget when Manfred Nowak, an expert from the U.N. Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, claimed that 100,000 migrant children were detained by the Trump administration. He also indicated that it was the “world’s highest rate” of detained children. How the mainstream media had to take a slice of humble pie the following day when Nowak acknowledged that the cited number was from 2015 — under President Obama.

No one with a heartbeat wants to see screaming kids locked in cages. Separated? Well, there is a good reason for that. When even the likes of left-leaning HuffPo admitted in December 2014 that 80% of women and girls are sexually assaulted while trying to make it across the border there is a good reason to question the proof of identity of the supposed parents. Even if 90% of parent/children pairs are legit, what of the 10% that aren’t? Do ICE risk it?

To emphasize the danger of lax screening, multiple kids were found dead after being abandoned once across the border as their usefulness as a golden ticket on compassionate grounds had expired. If that isn’t some of the worst forms of child abuse then what is? Moreover, these people are hardly the type that decent Americans would want to embrace with open arms! Come one, come all?

While there is no doubt a case to be made for illegals who could make wonderful contributions to society, perhaps some stats from ICE’s latest annual report should shed light on reality.

ICE’s 2018 annual report notes the following situation at the border:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) has continued to use resources as effectively and efficiently as possible to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.

In FY2018, ERO arrested 158,581 aliens, 90% of whom had criminal convictions (66%), pending criminal charges (21%), or previously issued final orders (3%). The overall arrest figure represents an 11% increase over FY2017.

  • 2015: 101,800
  • 2016: 110,104
  • 2017: 143,470
  • 2018: 158,581

The number of individuals detained by ERO is driven by enforcement actions taken by ICE and apprehensions made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In FY2018, 396,448 people were initially booked into an ICE detention facility, an increase of 22.5% over FY2017.  Book-ins to detention resulting from CBP arrests increased by 32% over the previous year, illustrating a surge in illegal border crossings.

  • 2015: 307,342
  • 2016: 352,882
  • 2017: 323,591
  • 2018: 396,448

In FY2018, ERO removed 256,086 illegal aliens, reflecting an increase of 13% over FY2017. The majority of removals (57%) were convicted criminals. Additionally, 5,914 of the removed illegal aliens were classified as either known or suspected gang members or terrorists, which is a 9% increase over FY2017.

  • 2015: 235,413
  • 2016: 240,255
  • 2017: 226,119
  • 2018: 256,086

Here are some of the reasons for arrest – both criminal convictions and charges – for 2017 (2018):

  • Driving under the influence : 80,547 (80,730)  
  • Dangerous drugs: 76,503 (76,585) 
  • Immigration violation:  62,517 (63,166)  
  • Assault: 48,454 (50,753) 
  • Larceny: 20,356 (20,340)  
  • Burglary: 12,836 (12,663)
  • Fraud: 12,398 (12,862)
  • Illegal weapon possession: 11,173 (11,766)
  • Sex offences: 6,664 (6,888)
  • Stolen Vehicles: 6,174 (6,261)
  • Forgery: 5,210 (5,158)
  • Homicide: 1,886 (2,028)
  • Kidnapping: 2,027 (2,085)
  • Prostitution racketeering: 1,572 (1,739)

Since the initial surge at the Southwest border (SWB) in FY2014, there has been a significant increase in the arrival of both family units (FMUAs) and unaccompanied alien children (UACs). In FY2018, approximately 50,000 UACs and 107,000 aliens processed as FMUAs were apprehended at the SWB by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP). These numbers represent a marked increase from FY2017 when approximately 41,000 UACs and 75,000 FMUA were apprehended by USBP.

While USBP routinely turns FMUA apprehensions over to ICE for removal proceedings, ICE is severely limited by various laws and judicial actions from detaining family units through the completion of removal proceedings. For UAC apprehensions, DHS is responsible for the transfer of custody to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours, absent exceptional circumstances. HHS is similarly limited in their ability to detain UACs through the pendency of their removal proceedings. When these UACs are released by HHS or FMUA are released from DHS custody, they are placed onto the non-detained docket, which currently has more than 2,641,589 cases and results in decisions not being rendered for many years. Further, even when removal orders are issued, very few aliens from the non-detained docket comply with these orders and instead join an ever-growing list of 565,892 fugitive aliens.”

CM will quote Thomas Sowell again,

A passionate commitment to social justice is no substitute for knowing what the hell you’re talking about.