Capitalism

Amazon said Parler move was in good faith

https://fb.watch/2ZUoqh2Yfy/

Amazon said its move to ditch Parler from its AWS platform was done in good faith. So much good faith that it decided with the best intentions to leak the letter to left-wing media site, Buzzfeed, before sending it to the intended recipient, Parler.

Impeccable ethics and corporate integrity right there. Who doesn’t leak important legal documents before sending to the addressee?

Just like clockwork, Cuomo thinks costs of lockdown too high

Just like clockwork, Democrats, like NY Gov Andrew Cuomo, have finally seen the light that the cost of lockdowns is too high. That the cure is way more costly than virus.

Now that Biden is assured to take his seat in the Oval Office, let’s see how quickly corona leaves the front pages of the mainstream media as deaths plummet (probably by virtue of a tweak in the manner of recording by the CDC). His administration will get a big fat tick of approval and don’t be surprised to see a plethora of puff pieces which show the rebound in economic activity among Democrat-controlled states thanks to President Biden’s superior stewardship. Who knew!?

Never mind that the left targeted Republican-controlled states which saw the necessity of keeping people employed and rarely told businesses whether they were essential or not. Never mind that Republican-controlled states tended to have lower relative and absolute COVID19 death tolls despite not locking down.

Perhaps Cuomo chips will be a thing of the past and he will finally be able to lure all those rich folk that make up 50% of the tax base back from Connecticut. Best he start working on his culinary skills and making sure he buys the well heeled those drinks he promised to buy with the taxes they previously paid.

Maybe Cuomo should seek to get Hollywood actors to chip in? After all they bent over backwards to make public videos to celebrate his cringeworthy Emmy award.

However will the United Van Lines survey which showed most people left Democrat-controlled states in 2020 to Republican-controlled ones.

How do you like dem Apples?

How is it that Twitter has survived for so long allowing violence, vitriol and hatred on its platform yet Apple and Google chose to do zip about it? We know the answer.

However, when a conservative alternative is deemed to have ‘broken’ the rules, Apple comes down like a tonne of bricks. The rank hypocrisy.

Apple has never suspended Twitter from the App Store when hateful and violent bile has been and continues to be spread.

Kathy Griffin retweeted the image of a bloody decapitated head of President Trump (the one that she was desperately sorry for in 2017) the day after the election result was called by the media. Almost 10,000 retweets, 64,000 likes and a laundry list of hateful replies. Is this not violence?

Or a more recent tweet from Griffin,

Look, you stupid bitch, go throw your dad that BJ he wants and then walk him out of the White House and the Presidency forever. Force him to resign immediately. twitter.com/ivankatrump/st…

Of course some will argue she is a comedian (a terrible one at that) and therefore deserves a pass on distasteful content as it is an art form.

Still, doesn’t suggesting that Ivanka perform fellatio on her father violate community standards? If anyone (including a comedian) suggested one of Obama’s daughters perform oral sex on her father, Twitter would censor it (appropriately) and the mainstream media would run with it for days lambasting this despicable behaviour and go out of their way to cancel the offender.

John Henson, host of Food Nation, tweeted, then deleted,

“I hope Barron gets to spend today with whoever his dad is.”

Is slut-shaming FLOTUS fair game? Is making fun of a minor appropriate? Even if people delete tasteless tweets, why isn’t Apple demanding that Twitter take stronger action and threaten to suspend it from the App Store until it has dealt with people who violate community standards?

What we find particularly sinister is the way Big Tech is flexing its muscles and bullying companies they have ideological differences with conform to their moral code. Maybe Apple should demand a seat on the board of Parler to approve its decision? It would be one thing if Apple put Twitter in the penalty box as well but alas, corporate double standards are a thing. It is not the principle that matters, but the side.

Why doesn’t Apple suspend Tinder from its App Store until it deals with the countless cases of sexual assault? In a survey conducted in Australia, 48 out of 400 Tinder users claimed they were a victim of sexual assault. Of that, 11 claimed they had a formal response from the company.

Isn’t Apple big on supporting #MeToo? It has an entire series, The Morning Show which deals with sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry. So it is happy to make a buck off content that relates to inappropriate sexual behavior but not be prepared to stand up for real victims who get hurt by apps like Tinder where Apple’s very own words to “adequately address these proliferation of these threats to people’s safety” isn’t extended.

Spare us the double standards!

Stop Press: Now Amazon has piled in to dump Parler from its web services.

Welcome to the dystopian nightmare. Black is white. Freedom is slavery. War is peace. Got it?

Sen Josh Hawley pushes back on publisher intimidated by the mob

Good on Senator Hawley pushing back on the publisher that caved to the mob by cancelling his book, ironically about the importance of free speech and the 1st Amendment.

Did the publisher, Simon & Schuster (S&S) have a contractual right to scrap his publication?

Do S&S get to make the legal call on ‘sedition’ as the reason for cancellation? If Hawley isn’t convicted of that crime, they would have no legal basis to make that call.

This is not the same as a Christian baker refusing to make a cake for a gay couple based on their religious beliefs.

S&S have clearly done it to make their intentions known they don’t want to become modern day kulaks in the cancel culture world.

This is a clear call against free speech. We hope that Hawley is successful his plight and a braver publisher picks up the ball and runs with a book that shouldn’t be incendiary.

This is not new.

In Australia, fringe mobs like Sleeping Giants and Mad F*cking Witches pretend to represent the mainstream and have had success intimidating corporates to capitulate despite often breaking secondary boycott rules in the process.

Time for more people to stand up to these corporate cowards. The irony is that the very people pushing cancel culture are the least likely candidates to consume the products they protest. So why do corporates wimp out without a fight?

Utterly pathetic. Proving Hawley’s point about free speech & censorship

Pathetic. Even though Democrats did exactly the same thing as Senator Josh Hawley post the 2016 election, Simon & Schuster made a sanctimonious gesture to cancel publication of his book looking at the dangers of big tech censorship. Aren’t they proving the same point as Hawley’s book by their action?

The publisher released this statement:

We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.

Zero spine. Double standards writ large.

One of the biggest dangers to democracy and freedom are unelected tech giants censoring democratically elected officials over free speech they are ideologically opposed to. Do social media apparatchiks speak on behalf of all?

Isn’t it galling to see all the vacuous virtue signaling in Trump’s last weeks, including those resigning from his administration on the grounds they rejected what happened yesterday? This is what appeasing to the mob looks like. Feeding friends to an alligator in the hopes it eats them last.

If Simon & Schuster are handing out lectures to the rest of us in morals and standards, pass the bucket.

Making hay while the rain falls?

We were surprised to see Dymocks bookstore put former Australian Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery’s latest book in the science section.

Amazon’s review notes, “Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.” Really?

Exactly how many lives has climate change claimed in Australia? The Australian Bureau of Statistics record the accumulated deaths from ‘Environmental-pollution-related-condition (Y97)‘ over the last decade at ZERO!!!!  Strange that climate related deaths have plunged over 80% in the last 4 decades. 

Many of Flannery’s climate predictions have also failed to eventuate.

In 2007, Flannery said, “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…” Today, Sydney’s main water supply at Warragamba Dam is currently at 97.8% capacity.

In 2015, he claimed that “Sadly we’re more likely to see them [cyclones] more frequently in the future” when referring to a cyclone that hit Vanuatu. Global data shows no such trends. The UNIPCC’s extreme weather report updated in 2018 stated on page 8, “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

We thought the nonsense peddled on the bushfires by The Climate Council, which Flannery chairs, spoke volumes. Our data concluded that one of its authors, who led the former fire chiefs’ crusade to blame the devastating bushfires on climate change, didn’t mention the topic when he ran one of the fire services. That is to say it that the severity of climate change to bushfire activity in these Magnus opera were conspicuous by their absence.

We think the upcoming 2020 annual reports from fire services across Australia will be dripping in climate change related topics which will only end up highlighting how it has become nothing more than a CYA convenient excuse to mask years of poor fire management.  Take this example of the commitment to mitigating the inherent risks of busfires in the 2018/19 FRNSW Annual Report:

“Where practicable, FRNSW crews were encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights on 30 March 2019 from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, joining millions of people worldwide in showing their commitment to tackling climate change and inspiring all generations to support environmental initiatives and sustainable climate policy.”

A study of how fire service budgets were allocated in recent years further highlights the alarming problem behind the bureaucratic mismanagement. 

What has become even less surprising than the lack of science peddled before us surrounding COVID-19 in recent months, is the convenient segue of supposed conventional wisdom – The Great Reset – pointing back to the fantastic opportunity to push the climate change agenda to solve for poverty, racial inequity and all other economic ills. After all, US Treasury Secretary-elect Janet Yellen has assured us her department will take care of it. Who knew?

Apart from climate change having zero correlation to COVID-19, despite Prince Harry ‘s best efforts to conflate the link, Tim Flannery has seen a great opportunity to make a quid off the theme. No harm in making hay while the rain pours. 

Still we question why so many climate alarmists believe that replacing fossil fuels with renewables will solve for saving the planet and put an end to poverty?

We are not sure how that works?

When one of the leading renewables-driven developed nations, Germany, has such high levels of energy poverty, how can this be?  In 2019, 4.75 million households received warnings that their electricity would be shut off (289,000 actually got disconnected), according to the German Federal Networks Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). All this because of a doubling of energy prices (despite studies that predicted a fall at the time of policy conception) which are a direct result of disastrous green energy diktats which started two decades ago.

The flip side is India, a developing nation. Its electricity generation policies,  according to the World Bank, lifted 271 million people out of energy poverty between 2007 and 2017 largely thanks to low priced coal-fired power. So before all the ‘Stop Adani’ climate emergency extinction rebellion crowd start pontificating that we must go carbon neutral, perhaps they might go and survey the 271mn locals as to whether they demand change??

Michael Shellenberger’s latest book, ‘Apocalypse Never‘, takes a realistic view of how to achieve optimal outcomes for the climate, renewables not being part of the equation.

Still, the best way to truly evaluate the seriousness of climate change is by watching the consumption habits of those who peddle it.

We always found it strange that Obama moved to the shores of Martha’s Vineyard last year despite the risk of rising sea levels. Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd has also bought waterfront property recently despite climate change being the “moral challenge of our times.

Looking at 1,500 private jets clogging airports at a World Economic Forum summit takes some beating too, not to mention the 25,000 pilgrims that fly halfway across the world to attend COP summits and then tell mothers who drop their kids off at soccer practice in a 2nd-hand SUV that they are the problem. No excuses anymore. They can Zoom. 25,000 group thinkers on a screen…their individual relevance in direct proportion to the size of their microscopic avatar.

Media worth consuming – a recap of December 2020

My good mate Jonathan Rochford of Narrow Road Capital has compiled a brilliant summary of the recent madness in markets, politics and economics. One could be forgiven for thinking it is a lot like satire. Link here.

The Guardian answers its own question but still doesn’t get it

You have to hand it to the left-wing media. The Guardian has put a puff piece together attacking the success of Sky News.

Journalist Jason Wilson noted, “since mid-2019 Sky has transformed itself into “one of Australian media’s digital leaders” by “focusing on producing highly partisan opinion content targeted at a global audienceThis has attracted a large international audience to Sky’s online offerings. On YouTube, in the last month, Sky attracted 100,000 or so new subscribers and now has 1.06 million in total, putting it just behind the ABC at 1.2 million.”

Imagine that? Make a product that consumers actually want and make money from it. Revolutionary idea! Versus a $1bn+ taxpayer funded behemoth which year after year posts ratings declines despite more budget poured into its coffers every year.

The Guardian fills the exact same space as the ABC, SMH, The Age, AFR and so on. There is no differentiation in product. More commoditized me too. If one were to remove the mastheads and journalist names no one would know which paper they were reading. If they had any sense they’d all merge and sack 80% of the staff.

Alas, Sky News has filled a massive void because it took the time to understand the marketplace rather than cry foul because dwindling eyeballs are a reflection of the mainstream media’s own poor content and lack of creativity. The irony is that media outlets like The Guardian will still demand that YOU are the problem for not reading the endless streams of climate alarmism and anti-Trump articles. And the claim of fake news is laughable when the paper self confessed to demanding journalists up the sensationalist prose in its articles on climate change.

That didn’t stop Wilson from tossing the toys from the pram at the end of his article:

There’s no indication that the Coalition government has any interest in policing the Sky-to-internet fake news pipeline. The companies that host Sky’s viral far-right disinformation bombs are in cahoots with them. Nothing about this is likely to change in 2021, outside the unlikely event of massive pushback on the channel from an Australian public that hardly knows the channel exists.

It’s enough to make you wish for the good old days of 2020.

Talk about sour grapes. 🍋 🍇

Isn’t it fascinating? The left wing media demand that a channel – one an individual has to voluntarily subscribe to and playing in the free market – must be investigated. Were the content to be so despised and off the mark, its ratings would plunge and the whole thing end up in the dustbin of history. Is it any wonder Fox News in America has higher ratings that CNN & MSNBC combined?

The difference between Sky and the ABC is that one has a legislated charter which demands it display zero partisan bias in its coverage (which it flagrantly flaunts). How proud we must be as Australians to forcibly fund an organization that tells us to “shut the f*ck up!” The other is merely beholden to shareholders. Yet the ABC is given a free pass because it is on the same side.

The Guardian would do far better following Sky’s business model rather than a strategy which begs for donations as it competes with the very organization that is guaranteed an income without even trying. If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists.

Swedish truant slaps the high priestess of woke

The beauty of being young is that any manner of words can come out of the mouth and be automatically assumed to be fact or truth. Anyone with teenagers knows this.

How sorry we feel for the high priestess of woke, NZ PM Jacinda Ardern, to be chastised by the infamous Swedish teenage truant for not doing enough on climate change. We should prepare ourselves in the future for Greta Thunberg as UN Secretary General because she is gifted in the ways of admonishing those that stray from the preordained orthodoxy.

Now that COVID19 is almost behind us and Joe Biden has officially been nominated president-elect by the electoral college we should expect to see the coronavirus restrictions/cases to disappear and climate change to regain its rightful place at the top of the liberal agenda.

We’ve always held the Paris Accord as an absolute joke. Self-declared developing nation, China, as the world’s biggest polluter by a minimum factor of two, is free to increase emissions out to 2030 while the rest of the developed world must self-flagellate. No matter what strides are made by nations on emissions abatement, it is never enough. Thank God we have all those elites who fly by private jet to global summits to tell mothers who drive their kids to soccer practice in second hand SUVs will burn in hell if they don’t quit their selfish behavior.

No doubt Greta will praise China’s net zero emissions commitment by 2060 as she’ll probably be one of the few that will be around to validate the promise.

Now that peons around the world have proved their obedience during lockdowns, ramming the global warming agenda should be a piece of cake. Maybe those who rationally want to see fair minded cost benefit analysis of going 100% renewable will risk being arrested by the apparatchiks and charged with hate crimes, as has previously been promote by the more radical climate alarmists.

Before they do that, we always have green pioneer Germany to guide us with the massive costs of decommissioning wind farms that have outlived subsidies. None of it factored into the modeling but you aren’t allowed to question this additional burden.

Rest assured global central banks have extended their expertise from monetary policy to saving the planet. We are in safe hands. Treasury Secretary-elect Janet Yellen has told us as much. After all, she claimed as Fed Chair that we’d never see another depression in our lifetime. Hmm.

Now that we are presented with negative sovereign yields for Portuguese, Italian or Greek debt despite the fact much of it will never be repaid, we know these geniuses have got Frankenstein under control. Just trust them, the media and ignore our thoughts. It’s above our pay grade and intelligence. So shhhhh. We’re in safe hands. School skipping teenagers know best.

The Red Face

Adam Anderson, CEO of Innovex, an oil & gas company, wanted to get his staff The North Face (TNF) down jackets with the company logo emblazoned on it for Christmas.

Unfortunately, the apparel maker rejected the request on the basis that fossil fuel companies, like Innovex, didn’t reflect TNF’s core values – the same standard it applies to porn and tobacco companies.

So Anderson returned fire in a 4 page letter here:

“The recreational activities they encourage are all ones that require hydrocarbons to make the products, to provide the means to get to whatever activity folks want to perform…It’s just so intertwined with everything that we do…

…The irony in this statement is your jackets are made from the oil and gas products the hardworking men and women of our industry produce. I think this stance by your company is counterproductive virtue signaling, and I would appreciate you re-considering this stance. We should be celebrating the benefits of what oil and gas do to enable the outdoors lifestyle your brands embrace. Without Oil and Gas there would be no market for nor ability to create the products your company sells…

…“Low-cost, reliable energy is critical to enable humans to flourish. Oil and natural gas are the two primary resources humanity can use to create low-cost and reliable energy. The work of my company and our industry more broadly enables humans to have a quality of life and life expectancy that were unfathomable only a century ago.”

The ultimate irony with all this woke corporate virtue signaling is that these social justice warriors often get shown up for a complete lack of understanding about the very subject the publicly protest about.

We met a staffer from an Aussie bank the other week who proudly boasted it was stopping lending to companies that haven’t committed to reduce emissions by a certain amount. The argument was that shareholders are demanding it. We retorted that a small select number of activist industry funds who often don’t meet the very requirements they try to enforce on others, are trying to promote the sale of SRI/ESG funds because of the higher fees they can get by appealing to investors who think they’re making a difference when in reality they aren’t.

We did a more conclusive study during a business school lecture. Three funds with three different results were presented in a chart over 10 years. The students didn’t know which fund was what but all selected the one with the highest returns. Naturally.

Before the different funds were revealed we asked whether people would invest in a socially responsible investment fund to feel better about themselves? When it was revealed the SRI fund had the worst performance and the best performing fund rejected such virtue signaling, all still wanted the highest return in retirement. Who knew?