United Nations

Not even one question on peace deal from WH journalists

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany ripped the assembled journalists for not asking one single question (video here) on the historic peace deal signed. So entrenched is is their Trump Derangement Syndrome that they can’t stomach anything that might be construed as a positive.

We also found it highly amusing that Obama’s former Secretary of State John Kerry said a peace deal between Arab states and Israel would never happen. Amusing to think how these career politicians can’t form the very deals over decades that Trump has completed in his first term.

Journalistic integrity will only return when the press loves America more than they hate Trump.

UK Home Office slaps Ben & Jerry’s UK on illegal immigration

Just when the Aussie Ben & Jerry’s were busy getting the government to ditch fossil fuels, the wokesters at Ben & Jerry’s UK thought they would enter the illegal immigration debate by trolling the Home Secretary Priti Patel. The ice cream maker said,

People wouldn’t make dangerous journeys if they had any other choice.”

“People cannot be illegal.”

The Home Office simply replied,

Priti is working day and night to bring an end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs and are rightly of serious concern to the British people…If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food, then so be it.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly tweeted: “Can I have a large scoop of statistically inaccurate virtue signalling with my grossly overpriced ice cream, please?”

Great to see governments push back against activists disguised as ice cream makers.

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.”

UN to hire young climate leaders to advise on climate action

UN Secretary General António Guterres has announced a new group of youth climate leaders, aged 18 to 28, to advise him on climate action.

Never mind using facts and logic. Forget getting the brightest minds with decades of experience to objectively look at the data. Just hand pick brainwashed kids who will parrot whatever is required by Dear Leader.

Can you imagine the amount of group think? Why bother having meetings at all? Will Guterres get any dissenting voices? Not on your life.

We guess that after all of the decades of doom and gloom forecasts made by the IPCC, next to none of which got even close to the mark, it is best use kids as human shields to peddle the nonsense because it is not cool to attack them.

Why stop at climate change? Perhaps they should be advising WHO? After all Greta Thunberg is a renowned expert on coronavirus and it is fair to say she couldn’t do a worse job that Dr Tedros has done so far. Come to think of it, where is Greta?

You’ll never guess WHO supports the letter urging a green recovery

Criony

Thomas Sowell once said, 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.

According to an open letter signed by 200 bodies representing 40,000,000 health workers The Guardian penned,

Chief medical officers and chief scientific advisers must be directly involved in designing the stimulus packages now underway, the letter urges, in order to ensure they include considerations of public health and environmental concerns. They say public health systems should be strengthened, and they warn of how environmental degradation could help to unleash future diseases.

Who knew?

What better way to cash in on a pandemic by claiming outrageously false representation of members in an attempt to secure funding grants. The irony of this pandemic is that it has exposed the very authorities – who we dare not question – as amateurs in the very fields they claim expertise.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves why the revenue growth of the RACGP far outstrips that of the AMA? Should the AMA question why its membership has fallen from 95% of doctors to around 26% as it has taken on the role of a climate and social justice activist rather than the RACGP’s approach to be an advocate for better health?

How many of the 40 million health professionals described above believe the orthodoxy? It is bogus to say all followers willingly endorse what these membership bodies make blanket claims about.

Perhaps we should indulge the medical and scientific communities’ request by benchmarking their supposedly superior predictive powers against their howlingly inaccurate models produced during the coronavirus which have undoubtedly done more harm to the economy than good. Take Australia. We were told 15 million may be infected and 150,000 could die. The result to date. Less than 7,200 and 100 deaths. So much for listening to the professionals.

If we are to listen to intellectually superior academia in these fields, should we just accept the Australian National University’s latest plan to have climate change listed on death certificates?

Taken to its logical conclusion, this is an ideology speaking, not science.

We have already had decades of research to support just how flawed climate science models have proven. None of the catastrophic claims of being engulfed by rising sea levels or having to tell our kids they’d never see the snow has happened. Even hardened environmental activist Michael Moore concedes the ridiculous extent to crony socialism behind the green movement.

In February we documented the story of the National Climate Emergency Summit held in Melbourne. The mainstream media led us to believe that the best of the best scientific minds congregated. We pointed out that the list of speakers was largely devoid of scientific experts. 40% were activists, 16% were from the media, 12% were politicians, 11% were academics, 4% high school students and 3% doctors. Biased much?

Yet we have seen this type of shallow content activism before, especially with respect to open letters.

We reported that 268 Australian academics cosigned an open letter supporting the climate activist group, Extinction Rebellion.

While the content was predictable, the statistics were anything but convincing. We noted,

Perhaps the most hilarious signatory to the letter was Matthew Flinders of Flinders University. Unless the university website has another Matthew Flinders listed as an active member, our esteemed explorer seems to have navigated his way back to life…simply adding to the total lack of credibility of the cabal of 268 academics who believe they have some sort of intellectual superiority over us. If one ever wanted proof of our judiciary leaning hard left, 12% of the people that signed this document were in law-related fields.

“…Many of the woke academia come from fields such as stand up comedy, poetry, arts/education, sports management, archaeology, LatAm studies, sex, health and society, social services, veterinary biology, culture, gender, racism…are you catching the drift of those supporting XR? Even Monash University’s Campus Operations Manager and Telephony Application Administrator signed it! Wonderful individuals but should we hold our educators to such high standards when anyone’s opinion will do?”

“…Eerily, over 90% of the signatories do not appear to be renowned experts in teaching science, much less climate science. Which means, why weren’t the scientists in these universities willing to commit their names to a cause that fits their ideology? Who needs them when one faculty member from Monash University deals with ‘Imaginative Education‘?…”

What has been happening in practice? Mexico has already announced that renewables subsidies are out. It has recognized that intermittent energy has no place in rebuilding the economy in a post-pandemic world. Alberta’s energy minister Sonya Savage said with respect to the Trans Mountain expansion project, “Now is a great time to be building a pipeline because you can’t have protests of more than 15 people…” Actions, not words. 

Which brings us back to the point of blindly submitting to expert opinion which is little more than brazen activism.

The World Medical Association (WMA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, the World Organization of Family Doctors and the World Federation of Public Health Associations, as well as thousands of individual health professionals, have signed this letter. 40 million others have not.

The proof is in the pudding. If the WMA  believes what it signed so strongly, why isn’t it included in its press releases as we publish? Admittedly it has upped the statement on its Twitter page to the 12,900 followers, a microbe in comparison to its supposed flock of 10 million physicians it represents. The ICN – which claims to represent 20 million nurses made it all too clear as to why we should dismiss it entirely – the WHO supports and promotes the letter. One wonders whether experts from the Chinese Ministry of Propaganda helped in its drafting. Afterall, China would be the biggest beneficiary were governments to fall into line.

Bes sure to read the quotes from the experts here.

UN adds value to the coronavirus crisis

No photo description available.

You know we must be close to conquering coronavirus for the UN to returning to this type of non-gendered language nonsense. Nothing like a bit of identity politics to help those who face stark economic hardships feel better knowing that while they have lost their jobs and homes they can rest assured that verbal dignity will be upheld. Perhaps those who are outraged at Trump’s ultimatum to defund WHO might look to this type of garbage and question why so much money goes to the UN as well?

Planet of the Humans

Planet of the Humans is Michael Moore’s latest documentary which slays renewable energy – wind, solar & biomass – as well as electric vehicles which rely so heavily on fossil fuels in their production.

Think of it as Crony Capitalism 101.

17yo truant should go back to school to learn economics

CLies IT

It has been refreshing hardly seeing our 17-yo truant in chief, Greta Thunberg being exploited by her climate change doomsayers during this coronacrisis. Unfortunately, she caved to the attention deficit by feeling compelled to say she had contracted COVID19 despite not being tested for it. Not atypical of social media-obsessed kids these days.

Alas, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day came for her to come out of hibernation and tell us,

Whether we like it or not, the world has changed. It looks completely different now from how it did a few months ago. It may never look the same again. We have to choose a new way forward

Indeed it has changed and will change. However, we believe that the coming economic depression won’t lend itself kindly to the untested prospect of a “green jobs” boom. This idea that we can sit back and flood the world with renewables to save us all. It is unworkable in practice. Why?

Let’s take the CSIRO, Australia’s chief government science body.

Why hasn’t Greta made a b-line to reference our CSIRO’s energy transition costings for Australia which exceed $1 trillion with a “T” out to 2050 (p.135)? Note this report isn’t a net-zero study – just lower emissions. So by that logic, net-zero will cost even more. c.100% of GDP. Just as tax revenues are about to go through the floor.

You will feel even warm and fuzzier after reading the next sentence.

CSIRO assures us that “these costs do not include the full integration costs of renewables, but that these costs are expected to be significantly less than $175 billion.” Who cares about billions in a world of trillions? Significantly less?

Why aren’t politicians and Greta looking at the world’s biggest renewable crash test dummy?

As we wrote, “Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors was even more forthright about the failures of renewables…The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results…”

Note 330,000 German households are in a state of energy poverty and have had their electricity provider cut them off. That is what happens when projected electricity prices at the time of the hysteria end up double that of the initial costings. Oops.

Yet, how eager are supposed activists willing to sign up to the green movement in practice?

We have a home-grown movement to reference commitment to climate change. 98.9% of households in the electorate of Warringah, that supposedly voted Zali Steggall OAM MP in on a climate change ticket, still haven’t signed up to her ‘Roadmap to Zero’ plans. Given their high powered V8 SUVs are getting one month to the gallon these devout climate change alarmists don’t seem that interested.

What about those on the front lines of the climate crisis? Surely they know best?

When we studied the language within the last 10 years of annual reports of the state fire services around Australia, why was ‘climate change‘, the words that 29 former fire chiefs told us is such a big factor, barely mentioned, if at all? Take Fire & Rescue NSW’s only mention of ‘climate change‘ on p.81 of its 2018/19 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.

That will do it!

Then what of green jobs?

We keep on hearing about a huge surge in “green jobs”. The ABS reported that after 5 years of straight declines, rooftop solar has been the driver of the rise in the past two years.

Annual direct FTE employment in renewable energy activities in Australia was estimated at 17,740 jobs in 2017-18, an increase of 3,890 jobs in FTE employment (28%) from the previous year (2016-17) and represents the highest level of FTE employment in renewable energy activities since 2011-12...driven by an increase in construction activity for large scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (1,950 additional FTE jobs) and roof-top solar PV (1,720 additional FTE jobs). Together, these two renewable energy types accounted for 94% of this increase in FTE employment in renewable energy.

The ABS notes there are 12,500,000 Aussies employed. Therefore full-time green jobs make up 0.14% of the total. Construction makes up 1.056m jobs. Manufacturing employs 770,000. Combined, these sectors make up 15% of all employed.

So our two biggest sectors employ 107x more than the peak in renewables FT employment.

In short

While Democrat Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez brainlessly tweeted you love to see it when referring to the recent trend in negative oil prices, restless natives around the globe will not tolerate governments that pursue green policies that prolong their unemployment pain. They want jobs, not spoon-fed ideological alarmism as their saviour.

This global lockdown is doing one important thing – waking us up to unpleasant truths. Comforting lies surrounding renewables investment will have no place other than the dining tables of crony capitalists who aren’t dealing with lived experience of scraping by without work. That is not to say we won’t get governments trying to prescribing a “reset” but it will be a one-way ticket to being kicked out of office when the results don’t live up to the promises.

Dr Tedros’ maiden WHO speech

WHOTWO

We attach a link to Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ maiden speech on July 3rd, 2017. Here are some of the goals he outlined for this deeply compromised organisation:

Let me start with the moral centre of our work, with this simple but crucial statement: WHO’s work is about serving people, about serving humanity. It’s about serving people regardless of where they live, be it in developing or developed countries, small islands or big nations, urban or rural settings.”

His leadership has shown a blatant bias toward China, not only praising its leadership but its transparency.

Health emergencies will also be the litmus test for WHO. This topic is also closely related to universal health coverage because our goal is to prevent outbreaks from becoming epidemics at their roots. And this happens at the country level, based on strong health systems which robustly implement the International Health Regulations.

Coronavirus has exposed its complete amateur execution and dereliction of duty. Furthermore, an independent review highlighted that progress at the WHO wasn’t fast enough. It wasn’t prepared for COVID19.

If you read the report of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee prepared for the World Health Assembly, you will see that they think WHO has made progress in implementing reforms, but they also think that it’s not fast enough. We mustn’t let this happen. I have met with the leaders of the Health Emergencies Programme and I am committed to making sure the world is prepared for the next epidemic.

The culture of results has been self-evident. Any CEO in the corporate world with such a woeful track record would be sacked by their board if they hadn’t resigned already.

Value for money? Surely he jests. No direct confirmation and independent verification of the problem in Wuhan. Pure acceptance of Chinese propaganda at its word and ironically from a nation that ignores UN SDGs with no consequence. Although WHO mentioned a get out of jail free card in a later manual to cope with pandemics that “ethical considerations will be shaped by the local context and cultural values.

Dr Tedros mentioned WHO needed to be run like a performance-driven business.

WHO must deliver value for money. This requires first and foremost that we develop a culture of results. We are very fortunate to have the Sustainable Development Goals.

As to resource mobilization among donors, one could argue that countries like the US are paying according to the WHO chief’s mentality. No confidence. No money.

A key priority for me is to enhance our approach to resource mobilization among donors, old and new. And that has to start by building confidence among partners, that WHO will deliver results and impact. I want WHO to be synonymous with results.”

FNF Media has raised the extreme level of travel costs in a previous post which Dr Tedros admitted was out of line. To his credit, he has knocked that bill from $202 million to $191.7 million since taking the helm.

My second example from my engagement is, among a lot actually, the recent uproar over travel costs. I am reviewing the situation thoroughly and will ensure that our resources are used efficiently. We have to be good stewards of our resources.”

Note that travel is reported in the 2018 audited financials as “The cost of travel includes both WHO staff and non-staff participants in meetings, consultants and representatives of Member States paid by the Organization. Travel expenses include airfare, per diem and other travel-related costs.

That reads like a lot of fully-funded offsites in swank hotels and flying at the pointy end of aircraft.

He closed his speech with,

My friends, we have a historic opportunity to make transformational improvement in world health. Let’s do it. Let us do it for every woman and child who died when they didn’t have to die. And for every child who failed to reach her full potential. For every victim felled by an outbreak, for every small islander who is faced with the threat of climate change.

Do any UN bodies functions without mentioning climate change even though research shows that islanders are far less at threat of rising sea levels?

In conclusion, the most important remedy Dr Tedros made in his speech was:

“Candour is the best medicine for any organization.

The one fatal flaw experts forget when seeking to mimic #Abenomics style endurance

Pain

Over three decades ago, the Japanese introduced a TV programme titled, ‘Za Gaman‘ which stood for ‘endurance‘. It gathered a whole bunch of male university students who were challenged with barbaric events which tested their ability to endure pain because the producer thought these kids were too soft and self-entitled. Games included being chained to a truck and dragged along a gravel road with only one’s bare buttocks. Another was to be suspended upside down in an Egyptian desert where men with magnifying glasses trained the sun’s beam on their nipples while burning hot sand was tossed on them. The winner was the one who could last the longest.

Since the Japanese bubble collapsed in the early 1990s, a plethora of think tanks and central banks have run scenario analyses on how to avoid the pitfalls of a protracted period of deflation and low growth that plagued Japan’s lost decades. They think they could do far better. We disagree.

There is one absolutely fatal flaw with all arguments made by the West. The Japanese are conditioned in shared suffering. Of course, it comes with a large slice of reluctance but when presented with the alternatives the government knew ‘gaman’ would be accepted by the nation. It was right.

We like to think of Japan, not as capitalism with warts but socialism with beauty spots. Having lived there for twenty years we have to commend such commitment to social adhesion. It is a large part of the fabric of Japanese culture which is steeped in mutual respect. If the West had one lesson to learn from Japan it would be this. Unfortunately, greed, individualism and self-entitlement will be our Achilles’ heels.

It is worth noting that even Japan has its limits. At a grassroots level, we are witnessing the accelerated fraying of that social kimono. Here are 10 facts taken from our ‘Crime in Japan‘ series – ‘Geriatric Jailbirds‘, ‘Breakup of the Nuclear Family‘ and the ‘Fraud, Drugs, Murders, Yakuza and the Police‘ which point to that old adage that ‘all is not what it seems!

  1. Those aged over 65yo comprise 40% of all shoplifting in Japan and represent the highest cohort in Japanese prisons.
  2. 40% of the elderly in prison have committed the same crime 6x or more. They are breaking into prison to get adequate shelter, food and healthcare.
  3. Such has been the influx in elderly felons that the Ministry of Justice has expanded prison capacity 50% and directed more healthcare resources to cope with the surge in ageing inmates.
  4. To make way for more elderly inmates more yakuza gangsters have been released early.
  5. 25% of all weddings in Japan are shotgun.
  6. Child abuse cases in Japan have skyrocketed 25x in the last 20 years.
  7. Single-parent households comprise 25% of the total up from 15% in 1990.
  8. Domestic violence claims have quadrupled since 2005. The police have had to introduce a new category of DV that is for divorced couples living under the same roof (due to economic circumstances).
  9. The tenet of lifetime employment is breaking down leading to a trebling of labour disputes being recorded as bullying or harassment.
  10. In 2007, the government changed the law entitling wives to up to half of their husband’s pension leading to a surge in divorces.

These pressures were occurring well before the introduction of Abenomics – the three arrow strategy of PM Shinzo Abe – 1) aggressive monetary policy, 2) fiscal consolidation and 3) structural reform.

Since 2013, Abenomics seemed to be working. Economic growth picked up nicely and even inflation seemed like it might hit a sustainable trajectory. Luckily, Japan had the benefit of a debt-fueled global economy to tow it along. This is something the West and Japan will not have the luxury of when the coronavirus economic shutdown ends.

However, Japan’s ageing society is having an impact on the social contract, especially in the regional areas. We wrote a piece in February 2017, titled ‘Make Japan Great Again‘ where we analysed the mass exodus from the regions to the big cities in order to escape the rapidly deteriorating economic prospects in the countryside.

Almost 25 years ago, the Japanese government embarked on a program known as
‘shichosongappei’ (市町村合併)which loosely translates as mergers of cities and towns. The total number of towns halved in that period so local governments could consolidate services, schools and local hospitals. Not dissimilar to a business downsizing during a recession.

While the population growth of some Western economies might look promising versus Japan, we are kidding ourselves to think we can copy and paste what Nippon accomplished when we have relatively little social cohesion. What worked for them won’t necessarily apply with our more mercenary approach to economic systems, financial risk and social values.

Sure, we can embark on a path that racks up huge debts. We can buy up distressed debt and repackage it as investment grade but there is a terminal velocity with this approach.

The Bank of Japan is a canary in the coalmine. It has bought 58% of all ETFs outstanding which makes up 25% of the market. This is unsustainable. The BoJ is now a top 10 shareholder of over half of all listed stocks on the index. At what point will investors be able to adequately price risk when the BoJ sits like a lead balloon on the shareholder registry of Mitsui Bussan or Panasonic?

Will Boeing investors start to question their investment when the US Fed (we think it eventually gets approval to buy stocks) becomes the largest shareholder via the back door? Is the cradle of capitalism prepared to accept quasi state-owned enterprises? Are we to blindly sit back and just accept this fate despite this reduction in liquidity?

This is what 7 years of Abenomics has brought us. The BoJ already has in excess of 100% of GDP in assets on its balance sheet, up from c.20% when the first arrow was fired. We shouldn’t forget that there have been discussions to buy all ¥1,000 trillion of outstanding Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) and convert them into zero-coupon perpetual bonds with a mild administration fee to legitimise the asset. Will global markets take nicely to erasing 2 years worth of GDP with a printing press?

Who will determine the value of those assets when the BoJ or any other central bank for that matter is both the buyer and seller. If the private sector was caught in this scale of market manipulation they’d be fined billions and the perpetrators would end up serving long jail sentences.

Can we honestly accept continual debt financing of our own budget deficit? Japan has a ¥100 trillion national budget. ¥60 trillion is funded by taxes. The remainder of ¥40 trillion (US$400 billion) is debt-financed every single year. Can we accept the RBA printing off whatever we need every year to close the deficit for decade upon decade?

In a nutshell, we can be assured that central banks and treasuries around the world will be dusting off the old reports of how to escape the malaise we are in. Our view is that they will fail.

What will start off as a promising execution of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), rational economics will dictate that the gap between the haves and the have nots will grow even wider. Someone will miss out. Governments will act like novice plate spinners with all of the expected consequences.

In our opinion, the world will change in ways most are not prepared for. We think the power of populism has only started. National interests will be all that matters. Political correctness will cease. Identity politics will die. All the average punter will care about is whether they can feed their family. Nothing else will matter. Climate change will be a footnote in history as evidenced by the apparition that was Greta Thunberg who had to tell the world she caught COVID19 even though she was never tested.

Moving forward, our political class will no longer be able to duck and weave. Only those that are prepared to tell it like it is will survive going forward. The constituents won’t settle for anything else. Treat them as mugs and face the consequences, just like we saw with Boris Johnson’s landslide to push through Brexit.

The upcoming 2020 presidential election will shake America to its foundations. Do voters want to go back to the safety of a known quantity that didn’t deliver for decades under previous administrations and elect Biden or still chance Project Molotov Cocktail with Trump?

What we know for sure is that Trump would never have seen the light of day had decades of previous administrations competently managed the economy. COVID19 may ultimately work in Trump’s favour because his record, as we fact-checked at the time of SOTU, was making a considerable difference.

Whatever the result, prepare to gaman!