#getwokegobroke

Are we witnessing sporting suicide?

People used to be able to watch sports in order to be able escape financial stress, relationship pressure, horrible bosses or politics for a couple of hours. Now politics comes as standard and is being actively shoved straight in paying customers’ faces.

The NBA has just announced it will paint “Black Lives Matter” on the courtside.

Retired NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley explained why he thought it is a bad idea for the NBA to do it based on the divisive manifesto of BLM.

This follows on from the NFL’s pandering to identity politics and promotion of segregation by introducing a “black national anthem” before Week 1 games.

As one astute reader posted this with respect to the NFL post we wrote today,

If this causes a loss of attendance will the excuse be that those missing were therefore racist? And how does that help pay the bills? What will be the steps taken to address shortfalls in revenue ? Presumably reductions in salaries and jobs to those whose livelihood depends on the attendance?

This is a very emotive issue and no one is denying that it is not an important one but enforcing dictats onto paying customers is never a good idea – asking for help to change is better than demanding change and alienating a section of society who for the most part were already onside -you cannot force their cooperation – you will just make reasonable people unreasonable.

We think the NBA and NFL are making extremely poor decisions. As corporations they have that right but since when has treating customers with contempt been a good strategy?? Gillette anyone?

We wrote a piece on the divisive nature of sports being ruined by political activism a few weeks back.

#BlackSkinMatters. J&J caves to the cancel culture mob

Now J&J is dumping hand whitening cream after social pressure surrounding racial inequality.

Perhaps sunscreen and tanning lotions should be banned by the company too? After all, those who want a darker complexion must be just as guilty of dermatological appropriation.

Or is J&J’s move really just a cynical attempt by the legal and PR departments to appear as a good corporate citizen amidst a criminal probe into whether the pharma giant lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder?

Also, did J&J ever think of the demand from similar products for coloured women?

Urban Rx deliberately targeted this space because of an absence of products tailored to their needs. Perhaps J&J should self-flagellate for not catering this area and apologize for racially insensitive product developers. Publicly sack them to appease the mob. Black Skin Matters.

Forbes says sales for UrbanRx are booming.

Urban Rx Founder Rachel Roff opened a spa in Charlotte, North Carolina 12 years ago and found that although 50% of the women in the south are African-American, Roff could not find products that provided adequate skin care for women with darker skin. Over time she developed a skincare technology she calls Cleartone Advanced Technology…Although she still operates the spa, that business is dwarfed by the skincare business, which continues to grow very rapidly.

See a need. Fill a need. We hope Roff continues to do well. After all, if coloured women care about removing blemishes surely they have exactly the same requirements as women of other skin tones. It isn’t racist. It is a choice.

Skin whitening products are extremely popular in Asian and Middle Eastern markets. Perhaps J&J should launch a targeted ad campaign shaming c.70% of the world’s female population for their dermatological privilege.

According to Grandview Research , the global skin lightening products market size was valued at US$ 8.3 billion in 2018 and a CAGR of 7.8%pa.

Didn’t J&J’s PR department study what happened to P&G when it targeted ‘toxic masculinity’ via the Gillette brand which wiped $8 billion in value?

From our perspective, J&J products are off our list. We never ask anyone to boycott companies but we are sick of being lectured to by sanctimonious businesses who want to morally preen.

These brands are totally within their rights to make commercial decisions about product lines.

However they don’t have an obligation to tell customers that their personal preferences with respect to hygiene, skincare or anything else are not in step with the times, especially in cultures that hold different views about beauty which are often centuries old.

Japanese skin whitening giants Shiseido and KOSÉ will be loving such corporate harakiri by J&J. J&J shareholders won’t.

Get woke, go broke.

More double standards in the mainstream media

Two things from last week which carry on with the theme of double standards within the mainstream media. These are so unbelievable that one could be confused to think it was satire coming from the Babylon Bee.

First MSNBC has hired Lisa Page, the lover of former FBI special agent Peter Strzok as a legal analyst. Recall their SMS conversations…no bias there…

FBI report: Anti-Trump texts 'cast a cloud' over email probe

Then The New York Times, despite an invitation, couldn’t publish an opinion piece by Senator Tom Cotton which suggested military support to support law enforcement was sensible because apparently, “Running this puts Black people, including Black @nytimes staff, in danger.”

Apparently, the words of a sitting US senator were deemed more offensive, divisive and dangerous than other NYT opinion pieces from Putin, Erdogan and the Taliban they were only too pleased to publish.

Sen. Cotton said in response, “My Op-Ed doesn’t meet the New York Times’ standards…It far exceeds their standards, which are normally full of left-wing, sophomoric drivel…in the face of the woke mob of woke kids that are in their newsroom.

Never mind the MorningConsult poll which revealed 58% of voters, including a 48% plurality of Democrats who said they’d support bringing in U.S. troops to supplement city police forces amid the protests.

All the news that is fit to print? If the left didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any.

Whoops…BLMDC whacks Mayor Bowser’s woke stunt for appeasing white liberals

DC renames part of 16th Street Black Lives Matter Way

Seems DC Mayor Muriel Bowser caught the ire of local Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter after she went to the trouble of naming a plaza after the movement. BLMDC thinks the black mayor has historically been on the wrong side of the BLM movement.

BLMDC tweeted that Bowser’s move was a “performative distraction” from her “inaction” to meet the “demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community…” which was followed up with,

“This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands…Black Lives Matter means defund the police.

Get Woke, Lose Votes

AOC booted from a union-backed party due to a lack of signatures

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC, has been booted from the ballot of the progressive union-backed Working Families Party by a judge from Queens. AOC only received 13 of the needed 15 signatures to get on the ballot for the left-wing group. One imagines that her grandstanding against Amazon which cost her constituents the prospect of 1,000s of jobs might be behind it.

Her main Democratic primary challenger, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera said, “AOC has hurt working people of the Bronx and Queens with her votes and creates disunity within our party…No wonder why pro-union forces don’t want her, and neither do our neighbourhoods.

Get woke, go broke?

We shouldn’t forget that she won the seat by a handsome margin. It would require a pretty severe swing to unseat her. Still, the one thing about politics is that history is rarely a guide to the future, especially in the time of coronavirus.

 

Cancel culture on centre court

It is hard to know where to start. A lack of professionalism? Bereft of understanding?What about a failure to ask the opinion of the very person John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova want the stadium renamed after?

FNF Media doesn’t much care for Margaret Court’s views on same sex marriage. They are her own. She has a right to hold those thoughts, no matter if others find them abhorrent. At 77yo, many of her generation probably have similar opinions. Doesn’t make it right or wrong. People should respect not everyone thinks alike. What have her views on same sex marriage got to do with tennis anyway?

Do the two former tennis champs think by staging a stunt that seeks to rename a stadium that currently honours Court’s sporting record will somehow cause her to yield on those views? Is that how society works now? Twist the arm of a septuagenerian until she squeals that she has conformed to the orthodoxy?

Let’s not forget that 38%, or 4.87m Aussies voted just like Margaret Court. Perhaps we should find out who they are and tell their neighbours. Inform their employers to ensure they are demoted, sacked and publicly humiliated.

The ultimate irony is that Evonne Goolagong Cawley said the following about Margaret Court in 2017,

“Margaret’s my hero…great player, wonderful champion and a true professional in every way.”

So McEnroe and Navratilova’s virtue signaling stunt backfired. Not only did the activists fail to gather the support of the very person they wanted to glorify in place of the one they wished to pillory, 2GB conducted a poll which found 91% of Aussies against changing the name. Double fault.

So much for two Americans trying to make a statement in Australia. Code violation – stupidity.

If FNF Media ran the network, the two would be sacked for hijacking expensive broadcast rights for personal political gain. It is an utter embarrassment to have them conduct themselves in a country they have no voting rights.

It takes some doing to be lectured by McEnroe, who personified disobeying the orthodoxy throughout his career. He cannot be serious!

Only recently, Navratilova was hung, drawn and quartered by radical LGBT activists for suggesting trans females competing in women’s sports was unfair. Court would no doubt agree with her on that score. So Navratilova better repudiate that commonality with the Aussie tennis great before smearing her on centre court if she wants to be consistent in her efforts to appear woke.

Identity politics is poison. Period.

Yael Stone forgets that the scheduled flights will still take off

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Yet more moral preening from celebrities. While Yael Stone might think such virtue signalling has a purpose, she needs to get to grips with the fact that the scheduled flights between the US and Australia will still be taking off, with or without her. Did she miss Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes introduction?

Her net impact is likely to be a number so close to zero so we thought we’d assist with the maths before she pulls the plug.

280 million trips were made by commercial aircraft last year according to the IATA. Her one way trip to Australia would mean she represents represent 0.000000357% 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% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere, her flight would make up around 0.0000000000057%.

The Boeing 777-300ER that would likely carry her has a maximum take-off weight of 351,000kg. Let’s assume she weighs 50kg and carries 50kg of luggage. Her impact on the pilot’s fuel calculations would be 0.0028%.

Overall her “skin in the game” as she calls it, would result in a 0.0000000000000022344% personal impact on flight shaming based CO2 emissions.

FNF Media strongly advises she reads the 20-year forecast from Boeing.

Demand in the commercial market is forecast to more than double in the next two decades. To meet this demand…the number of jet airplanes in service nearly doubling to 50,660.

What are banned but addicted vapers going to smoke now?

Image result for smoking many cigarettes

Tobacco companies fall foul of most ESG (environment/social/governance)/CSR (corporate social responsibility) measures. Good. Give that so much money is already loaded into corporations that focus on financial virtue signalling, tobacco companies remain forgotten. They look a great mean reversion trade.

British American Tobacco (BTI) is trading at $36 almost half the level of two years ago. Now at 1.02x book value and a 7.3% yield.

Philip Morris Int’l (PM) is at $72.60, down from $122.90 in 2017. A 6.4% dividend yield.

Imperial Brands (IMBBY) at $26.73 down from $55.55 in 2016. A 9.2% yield.

JT is less than half its 2016 number trading at $21.44. A 6.45% yield.

Philip Morris doesn’t have a vaping business but it appears with all these bans in NY etc that nicotine-addicted vapers will switch back to the old school.

Old habits die hard and cigarette smoking is pretty inelastic. Even in bonkers $40 a packet Australia, the ABS records men continued to be more likely than women to smoke daily (16.5% compared to 11.1%). Rates for both men and women have declined since 1995 when 27.3% of men and 20.3% of women smoked daily. However, these rates have remained similar since 2014-15 (16.9% for men and 12.1% for women). Therefore taxes haven’t killed off the habit.

So start underweighting the rubbish in your portfolio that has a penchant for banning plastic straws in the staff canteen to those corporates that allow yourself the opportunity to kill you!

Let’s not forget that governments aren’t going to terminate the monster taxes from this either, especially that so many national and state budgets around the world are looking seriously sick.

Why Gerry Harvey’s comments on diversity obsessed companies speak more about our superannuation fund managers

Harvey Norman is currently valued at over $5.1bn, which is c.4x the combined value of Myer and David Jones. Good on Gerry Harvey for getting stuck into the stupidity of diversity quota obsessed boards. He is right. Why are certain funds requesting Harvey Norman hit these soft and irrelevant targets adopted by David Jones & Myer so they can invest under their self imposed ESG guidelines? Surely any company’s performance (assuming they aren’t illegally exploiting child labour) should be all that matters to shareholders? If it works without this gender balance nonsense why fight to change a winning formula?

If anyone is ever fortunate enough to meet Gerry Harvey’s wife, Katie Page (the CEO), it isn’t hard to work out that her gender wasn’t a selection criteria. Fistfuls of competence were. She gets it and not for one fleeting second could anyone ever get the idea that she plays up to the gender card. An utterly pleasant, generous and intelligent individual.

If Gerry Harvey & Katie Page thought Harvey Norman shareholders’ best interests were served by an all female board it would done so based on skill and ability to add value. The gender wouldn’t even be a factor.

Have you noticed why Harvey Norman hasn’t followed the group think pervading all the other companies who pulled their adverts off the Alan Jones Breakfast Show? Because Harvey Norman doesn’t pretend to judge the personal political beliefs of its customers. They only wish to provide the best possible goods that meet market demand, not chase imaginary pixies in the quest to morally preen. However it perfectly describes the decision making processes inside less competent boards when they blindly follow the herd rather than independently validate scenarios based on data, relevance and common sense. We now know over 40 companies didn’t.

The only diversity required is that of thought – not gender, race, sexual preference or religion. However don’t be surprised to see locals run Harvey Norman’s overseas businesses – driven by the fact they understand local conditions better than a helicoptered expat.

Maybe it is high time these superannuation funds actually decide to do some homework on the companies they invest in. To drop this focus on nanny-state driven diversity targets and actually look at the companies themselves as “businesses”.

CM guarantees that the companies that focus on this socially constructed diversity balance nonsense will severely underperform when tough times approach. Because decisive leadership in a crisis can be found with leaders like Katie Page, not with those companies that put everything else but ability as the key selection criteria.

The bigger concern down the line will be that these CSR/ESG and equality obsessed fund managers will have parked so much money in the wrong names that the retirements of millions of Aussies will be severely crimped by this muck. Let there be no mistake – super holders will not thank these woke investors for chasing irrelevant internal constructs over viable businesses when reality dawns that they have much less than they anticipated for retirement. Maybe that is what CM should have said to the ATO when he set up his SMSF.

Lessons from Deutschland on why renewables are a bad idea – period

 New wind park projects face a significant amount of red tape. And then there...

The normally left of centre leaning Der Spiegel has put together two decent hit job articles on the failure of the energy transition in Germany. This is what happens when misguided altruism turns on itself and ends up costing a bomb for little result. Australia, are you listening? Germany has already done beta testing on renewables and as a culture is not renowned for doing half-baked jobs. Yet Merkel can add this to the list of failures.

Part 1 – Germany Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

“But the sweeping idea has become bogged down in the details of German reality. The so-called Energiewende, the shift away from nuclear in favour of renewables, the greatest political project undertaken here since Germany’s reunification, is facing failure. In the eight years since Fukushima, none of Germany’s leaders in Berlin have fully thrown themselves into the project, not least the chancellor. Lawmakers have introduced laws, decrees and guidelines, but there is nobody to coordinate the Energiewende, much less speed it up. And all of them are terrified of resistance from the voters, whenever a wind turbine needs to be erected or a new high-voltage transmission line needs to be laid out.”

Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures. 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,” Federal Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller said last fall, although his assessment went largely unheard in the political arena. Scheller is even concerned that voters could soon lose all faith in the government because of this massive failure.

There is also such an irony when these mad green schemes encounter scourge from animal rights groups. Former Green’s leader Bob Brown knows the feeling,

“The bird of prey [red kite], with its elegantly forked tail, enjoys strict protection in Germany…Red kites are migratory, returning from the south in the spring, but they don’t return reliably every year. The mayor would have been happy if the bird had shown up quickly so its flight patterns could be analyzed and plans for the wind park adjusted accordingly. It would have been expensive, but at least construction of the project could finally get underway.

But if the bird doesn’t return, the project must be suspended. Spies has to wait a minimum of five years to see if the creature has plans for the nest after all. Which means the wind park could finally be built in 2024, fully 12 years after the project got underway.”

Part 2 – German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

An additional factor exacerbating the renewables crisis is the fact that two decades after the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariffs will begin expiring next year for the first wind, solar and biomass facilities. Some of those who installed solar panels back then — often farmers and homeowners — are still receiving 50 cents for every kilowatt-hour they feed into the grid. Today, larger facilities receive just 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The state has redistributed gigantic sums of money, with the EEG directing more than 25 billion euros each year to the operators of renewable energy facilities. But without the subsidies, operating wind turbines and solar parks will hardly be worth it anymore. As is so often the case with such subsidies: They trigger an artificial boom that burns fast and leaves nothing but scorched earth in their wake.

As Australia continues to expand the renewables portion of our power grid, the lessons from the Germans couldn’t be clearer – market distortions and misguided investments only lead to marginal results on the back of massive investment to stop something that can’t be controlled. German taxpayers have been swindled and Aussies are sleepwalking down the same path.