Capitalism

380 million reasons to feel oppressed

Mookie Betts (middle) has just signed a $380 million 12 year contract with the LA Dodgers baseball team. We don’t doubt his abilities.

Betts has agreed to make a charitable contribution of $100,000 annually out of the $27m he makes per annum. The egregiously unfair part of the deal is that he will be forced to stay in 4/5-star hotel suites while on road trips.

Imagine what he might have received if America wasn’t so systemically racist?

Cynically, one wonders whether kneeling for the BLM movement, while Marxist in its roots, might end up helping the agents of minority players leverage woke teams to offer even bigger paydays to atone for decades of oppression? Good on them if they can exploit capitalism for their own benefit.

We just hope these teams factor in the possibility that turning sports into politics may end up eroding the fan base by such an extent that they may end up unable to honour the deals to maturity.

Peaceful Extortion in NuLu

Radical left protestors are demanding that local businesses in New Louisville (NuLu) cave in and sign a contract to pay reparations or face negative online reviews for their businesses.

The letter reads,

The residents of Louisville, Kentucky are standing strong, educated, and together to express the destruction your business has caused to low-income communities, specifically those with majority black residents…We therefore demand representation and reparations in the NuLu business district of Louisville for the gentrification that has taken place. The policies and processes of the revitalization on NuLu has displaced marginalized people from homes their families have often resided for generations, single-handedly progressing the gentrification of black neighborhoods.”

This process has been happening to black, indigenous, and persons of color at the hands of white, heterosexual patriarchy since the inception of this nation we call home. Black folx [sic] can’t ‘have this own space’ when wealthy white folks see an opportunity to make more money…Gentrification is a palatable term that sugar coats one more aspect of an oppressive system targeted at black folx [sic] for 400 years. We are here today to demand representation over tokenism.

Do these crazies honestly think such actions will endear voters in November? We neither.

Nike – Just Hate It

Just when we though corporate sanctimony had hit highs at Halliburton and Gillette, Nike was not to be outdone. A shame that so many divisive and hypocritical athletes were portrayed as role models. Then again this is nothing new with the woke sports brand. Wonderful computer graphics though.

Colin Kaepernick was an average quarterback at best. He only started kneeling after he got stuck on the bench. Who could forget his hypocrisy re July 4th? He cheered the holiday in a tweet under President Obama but slammed it this year as a celebration of white supremacy. Nike portrays him as a hero. War widow Taya Kyle excoriated Nike for not knowing what real sacrifice was.

Megan Rapinoe was only too happy to hurl expletives when the USWNT won the women’s World Cup Soccer in 2019 despite so many children present. Rapinoe also slapped Sports Illustrated for not being woke enough in an acceptance speech after the magazine awarded her Sportsperson of the Year. Rapinoe will also join forces with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez next month to promote the reprehensible, radical and divisive Marxist 1619 Project which is now a mandatory part of the curriculum in state schools across Buffalo, Chicago, Newark and Washington.

Or LeBron James. He was only too happy to apologize to China on behalf of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey who had tweeted support for those protestors seeking freedom in HK. We guess when one has a $1bn merchandise contract with Nike in China, freedom takes a backseat to expediency.

Or Serena Williams who blew up at the Australian Open when she was censured for multiple code violations in the final vs Naomi Osaka. She complained that the umpires were harsher on women. 20 years worth of statistics showed men are far more likely to be sanctioned in professional tennis.

Maybe Nike might reflect on a February 2020 study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). According to the research, the persecuted Uighurs have been funnelled to work in factories in other provinces under conditions “that strongly suggest forced labour.”

Nike, Adidas, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are among 83 multinational corporations that have been linked to using this forced labour.

So in summary, Nike wants people to follow those who will gladly sell out their country, receive participation trophies while they are supposedly making a huge sacrifice, complain when things don’t go their way, apologize to dictatorships on behalf of those who support freedom, kneel, cuss and push Marxist ideology to school kids.

Maybe the brand should change its moniker to “Just Hate It.”

Social media giants poked the wrong rabbit

Zero sympathy and 100% self-inflicted wound. Trump warned the media behemoths and they thumbed their noses at him.

Trump’s executive order on social media giants will now remove the sanctuary status and open up these platforms for lawsuits based on shutting down free speech.

Some snippets from that order:

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.

As President, I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet. Such debate is just as important online as it is in our universities, our town halls, and our homes.  It is essential to sustaining our democracy.”

“It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet.  Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)).  47 U.S.C. 230(c).  It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints

….Section 230(c) was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation.  As the title of section 230(c) makes clear, the provision provides limited liability “protection” to a provider of an interactive computer service (such as an online platform) that engages in “‘Good Samaritan’ blocking” of harmful content.  In particular, the Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material.

It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.

One can only imagine the lawsuits that will come their way if they continue like this.

The media will no doubt smash Trump over this but isn’t free speech all about strongly disagreeing with others but defending their right to say it?!

In all fairness, if the social media platforms are as honest as they claim they’ll have absolutely nothing to worry about.

LA Teachers’ Union school reopening demands have nothing to do with COVID-19

Who knew? One might logically think that the main reason to keep schools closed would be to mitigate the risk of a secondary outbreak of COVID-19 even though there is no evidence that kids are super-spreaders. Over 40 countries around the world have kids back at school with no mass outbreaks reported. Australia is a case in point.

The LA teacher’s union (UTLA), a part of the LA United Schools District (LAUSD) has published a report titled, ‘The Same Storm, but Different Boats: The Safe and Equitable Conditions for Starting LAUSD in 2020-21

In order to ‘safely’ reopen, it says the following demands must be met:

  1. Defund the police
  2. End chartered schools,
  3. Wealth tax on billionaires
  4. Millionaire tax,
  5. More paid sick leave,
  6. Abolition of ICE,
  7. Supporting illegal immigrants financially,
  8. Medicare for all and
  9. and an additional $250 million to reopen schools.

Naturally, UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz pushed back saying it was just right-wing propaganda.

Note Myart-Cruz is the Chair of the CTA Civil Rights Committee, Chair of the NEA Black Caucus and member of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. No bias there.

One can only imagine what kids in her care are being indoctrinated with.

Why wasn’t COVID-19 the focus of reopening? Why hasn’t the UTLA talked about the 30% of kids that haven’t logged in for distance learning once? Presumably money is the cure? Forget that kids are merely pawns in the UTLA’s sinister goals.

Don’t despair, Myart-Cruz said the following in a press release,

The astronomical amount of money that billionaires, charter school chains, and corporations have received during this crisis in comparison to the support given to healthcare and low-income communities is unconscionable and contributes to the skyrocketing infection rates…During the uprisings we have seen police in militarized gear while hospital workers beg for life-saving personal protective gear. The money is there for safer communities, but it is going to the wrong places. We cannot open school buildings during this crisis without the adequate support that our educators, students and communities we serve need.”

Forget finding a cure. Just hold kids to ransom. Keep them in perpetual poverty. Complain it is all to do with systemic racism and oppression.

Although there is a sense of irony to bash billionaires, many of the left in a city and state which are Democrat-controlled.

Supply Chains: Ditching China

Yet more evidence of global supply chains looking to diversify. The US Pentagon is investing in a processing plant with Aussie company Lynas to break China’s stronghold on rare earths.

Several months back the Japanese government put out a $2bn package to incentivize companies to pull production out of China back to Japan.

We have invested in a company called Jervois Mining (JRV) in Australia. JRV has a cobalt mine in Idaho. Cobalt is one of the core ingredients used in EV batteries. We think China’s current 80% global share in cobalt refining supply will be the next pin to fall. The investment in US-based domestic capacity is the logical next step. Seems like a no brainer.

NB this doesn’t constitute financial advice.

WNBA – Why NoBody Attends

WNBA

We went back through the data to see just how the WNBA stacks up against the NBA. It came as no surprise to see it reflect other sporting codes like football. The men’s game has been at it longer and has 123x the revenue of the WNBA to prove it.

Over the years we have compared the USWNT vs the USMNT and the Socceroos vs the Matildas soccer teams to make the case for why there are discrepancies. These are just published facts. Data.

As an aside we have always advocated paying women more than men if the viewership reflects that – championship tennis is a case in point. We also made it clear at the time of Serena Williams’ tantrum that the statistics showed umpires were harsher on men than women over the last 20 years, even though she claimed the opposite. Once again, facts matter. Not feelings.

Put simply, when fans are asked to put hard money down, both men and women tend to support the male codes more than the female versions. It isn’t sexist. It’s the commercial reality. That translates to advertising and sponsorship dollars too. It is a virtuous circle that can always become vicious.

We think the WNBA’s political stunt which involved players walking off the court before the national anthem was played will backfire spectacularly and alienate what few viewers the league has managed to accumulate. It was a choice that the woke league backed. They should live with the consequences and not cry foul should attendance drop.

An article written by Sarah Ko about the WNBA ended up debunking her own argument. Essentially the men were all ego and money but the women were all just celebrating the love of the game, not the paycheck.

Then Ko spoke about the recent event where the WNBA complained that they only take 20% of the winnings when the NBA teams took 50%. Could it be that there is a bare minimum level of cost to run a league – salaries, administration, marketing and promotion- that would be drastically curtailed if the players got their wish, which ultimately would see them paid less over a lifetime.

Ko also mentioned that WNBA tended to have older fans. At some point, the WNBA administration has to make a commercial decision about how to broaden the supporter base. Having its players cynically hijack a social justice movement to gain attention to boost its audience numbers is risky. Writing ‘Black Lives Matter‘ on the court won’t help either. Why do they only advertise the names of dead black females? Don’t all female lives matter?

Sport has always been a great distraction from the stresses of daily life. Fans will desert in droves when the very identity politics they went to the game to escape are rammed down their throats before a whistle has been blown.

The ultimate irony will be when the very capitalist system they expected would boost their pay clashes with the same hand they bit to feed it.

Alienating the audience for good

At what point in the WNBA decision making process did these woke social justice warriors ever factor in how walking off the court before the national anthem was played may have alienated their ultimate paymasters – the crowd?

Watching sports used to be all about being a distraction from the grind of life. To zone out for several hours watching professional sports stats entertain. No thoughts about work, horrible bosses or financial pain. Just fun.

Now the politics in sport have become a bigger feature than the game itself. Perhaps these teams should back themselves in their ability to read the tolerance levels of their fans and require they wear BLM adorned clothing as a condition of entry.

We will have absolutely zero sympathy if these sporting codes collapse or find themselves in severe financial distress as a consequence of capitulating to this insidious ideology and biting the hand that feeds them.

When political correctness alienates half your audience

It appears that A&E Network decided to can it’s popular ‘Live PD‘ program about cops busting criminals and serving the community because it didn’t want to be seen to glorify the law enforcement profession.

As Forbes noted,

According to data from Nielsen, A&E’s prime time viewership between June 11 and July 19 was 498,000 people. That number is 49% less than from this period last year and the key demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54 declined 55% and 53%, respectively.

At times, Live PD and it’s derivatives made up 85% of eyeballs for A&E which reached audiences of up to 1.9m viewers.

Seems like a case of corporate suicide. Let’s kneel at the altar of political correctness even when the paymasters weren’t asking for it.

Cuomo Chips Cancelled by NYS Gov Cuomo

Listen up New Yorkers! Governor Cuomo has said that bars must serve more substantial meals than just a bowl of chips to qualify being within NY State health guidelines.

This all started when bars, desperate for business after months of lockdown, to get patrons in by offering cheap nibbles to poke fun at more party pooper legislation.

At the time, what constituted a meal was vague so a bar in Rochester, NY invented ‘Cuomo Chips‘ for $1 to provide an innovative way to not burden cash-strapped customers ordering a full priced meal.

Ah, but Cuomo had to stay in their pocket. Forget if patrons just wanted a refreshing beer after a hard day’s work. They must eat something that he tells them is appropriate. Cuomo Chips don’t qualify with State Liquor Authority rules!

Seriously, are there any adults left in the room? Can bars and restaurants be allowed to operate menus as they see fit without another list of onerous regulations to comply with?

What a joke. Oh, LA is following similar guidelines. You’ll never guess which party is pushing these rules? Would you believe Democrats? Who knew?