Month: June 2019

Oberlin College sued $44m for libel. Good

This is what happens when the identity politics of the radical left backfires spectacularly. Oberlin College in Ohio has been sued for defamation and charged $44.2m in damages. It was awarded by the court to Gibson’s Bakery for unsubstantiated claims of racism.

The whole issue started when a student from Oberlin College was caught shoplifting two bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery while trying to buy another with fake ID. Allyn Gibson, son of the owner chased down the shoplifter but was attacked by his accomplices. The perpetrators claimed racial profiling by the store.

Oberlin College’s Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo, joined in student protests calling Gibsons a “racist establishment.” It was then that Oberlein ended all business with the bakery (which had been an ongoing supplier to the college since 1885). Flyers were printed and the store attacked.

Several faculty staff joined the protestors who tried to shut down Gibsons despite the college president Carmen Twillie Ambar suggesting they were on private time and only representing their First Amendment rights, not representing the school.

After a police investigation turned over nothing to suggest racism on any level, Oberlin resumed its contract with Gibson’s but refused to publicly retract the accusations.

Gibson sued for defamation and won. The three perpetrators admitted they’d made it all up and that the shop owner had a right to charge them for their crime. Jussie Smollett style!

Gibson family attorney Lee Plakas concludes in a statement, “The recent efforts of Oberlin College and President Ambar to reframe this as a First Amendment issue, while undermining the jury’s decision, should be incredibly concerning to us all. Oberlin College was never on trial for the free speech of its students. Instead, the jury unanimously determined that Oberlin College libeled the Gibsons. Despite what spin the college places on the facts of this case, libelous statements have never enjoyed protections under the First Amendment.”

Get woke, go broke! Many at Oberlin College are the very racists they condemn.

NZ Rugby vs Rugby Australia – the franchise stats

Well, well, we’ll. Who’d a thunk? NZ Rugby (NZR) is focused on the game, not appearing to be woke. Is it any wonder Australia are unlikely to win the Bledisloe Cup for many more years to come. The investment NZR pour into the All Blacks swamps Rugby Australia’s (RA) pittance into the Wallabies because sponsors and fans see the Kiwi franchise for what it is – a united team of winners with returns!

It shouldn’t surprise us when RA & NZR reveal primary objectives.

Objective 1 in the NZR 2018 Annual Report is “REMAINING ON TOP OF THE WORLD” (p.18)

Objective 1 in RA’s 2018 Annual Report is written as, “For rugby to continue to be a sport of choice in a rapidly changing society…community coaches are responsible…for creating fun, safe and inclusive environments” (p.10).

With that RA mantra, NZR is faced with a longer term dilemma. Because the fans might have to consider they might “get tired of all this winning!”

In all seriousness, NZR should seek to form a new version of the Bledisloe with a worthy adversary in Europe because the Wallabies will drift even further away from being competitive with RA focused on such utter malarkey.

Or to even it up, perhaps the All Blacks under-18s should play the Wallabies?

So why the gap? The numbers between the two are as follows.

RA took in approximately A$30m in licensing and sponsorship last year. NZR raked in A$65m. More than double for a country with one-fifth the population. Think about it. The advertising base is smaller yet the sponsors must see the returns as superior to do so.

Total revenues for RA sum to around A$110m. NZR takes in A$182m in 2018.

Match day revenue for RA reached A$20m last year. NZR collected A$28m.

Total assets for RA sum to A$69m. NZR total assets are A$183m. Total equity for RA is A$27m vs NZR at $99m.

Just looking at financial metrics alone, RA is not going to rebuild this franchise without focusing on what NZ already knows. The business has one sole focus – the pride of a nation.

Should we be surprised that Eden Park has been sold out every game since 1962 when the All Blacks play the Wallabies? That’s a franchise. Maybe RA should ask why Australian based attendance of the same series has drifted 20-35% in the last decade.

Until the Wallabies have a priority that focuses on a winning formula that is driven from the top, expect to see turnstiles become rusty.

Pathetic really. This is exactly why the RA board and leadership need a complete overhaul. Amateurs playing against professionals. Get woke. Go broke.

The teenager and her big sister

The Guardian has published a conversation between the 16yo climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who recently told a group of adults they’re just “uninformed” and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who thinks we should go out of our way to make air travel unnecessary.

For as much as The Guardian hypes this Skype call as the intellectual version of the Jamaican men’s 4x100m Olympic sprint team, CM think it is more like Eric the Eel and Eddie the Eagle.

Despite AOC’s Green New Deal being dismissed by her own party as a “green dream” and it losing 57-0 in the Senate, The Guardian paints her as a doctorate in her field. Sadly, her younger sidekick will soon receive an honorary degree from the University of Mons in Belgium.

Anyway, the manifesto of the left is all in this conversation – the politics of envy, the evil oil lobby, the importance of tokenism and of course a 16yo telling us that she knows best.

One of the telling lines from Thunberg runs,

I saw very recent numbers, I think it was yesterday, that suggested about 2% of Sweden’s population don’t believe in the climate crisis. Here it’s not as acceptable to not believe in it. Everyone accepts that it’s a fact. But still we aren’t talking about it, and it’s not a priority. We are just treating it like any other issue.”

Two points.

First, Thunberg explains the totalitarian propaganda shaming of it “not [being] as acceptable not to believe in it

Second, any politician staring at only 2% skepticism faces next to no risks to pushing a climate agenda. Take Ireland. It too has stated a climate emergency with a glossy Climate Action Plan 2019 yet the budget papers tell the complete opposite to crisis – 0.6% of total budget spend on the environment with a cap out to 2022. Hardly the actions of an emergency mandate…

In any event Thunberg plans to travel to the UN summit in NY on September 23rd. Given she doesn’t fly she is still committed to go there. She’ll need to sail because catching an ocean liner is far more polluting than an aircraft. Having said that, her wafer thin size catching a commercial flight won’t add any net emissions to those already in the air. SH can also take solace that the Virgin Group CEO has at least muttered we should consider not to fly to save the planet instead of shutting the airline down.

The good thing is that AOC has extended every courtesy to Thunberg when she arrives. To be honest she should be thrust onto the stage at the Democrat primaries to add to the hard left tack it has already taken. He’ll, she can even claim illegal status and vote for AOC in New York, which has just joined the other 650 group thinking councils around the world to declare a “climate emergency.”

High Priest of Rugby Australia hits the nail on the head

If Rugby Australia (RA) Chairman Cameron Clyne had a decent product he wouldn’t need to worry about sponsors. Sponsors want brand exposure. That requires packed crowds following the Wallabies.

Some quick facts since 2014 vs 2018.

-Wallabies team costs (coach, support etc) +70% ($9.97m)

-Match day revenue -42.1% ($20.17m)

-Sponsorships -11.5% ($28.23m)

-Player contracts +3.2% ($16.79m)

– Licensing revenue -12.9% ($1.67m)

– RA has $18m in cash and equivalents as at 2019.

– RA made $5.87m net profit in 2018 on $119m of revenue but is expected to post a loss in 2019.

The SMH points to the very problems that RA has created for itself. To take the notion that “no” sponsors would want to be associated had they done nothing is absolute garbage. The Australian Christian Lobby might fill the Qantas void…

Does Clyne honestly believe that LGBT staff within RA may have sued it for not creating a safe and respectful environment had Folau not been shot? What a joke. If it is that easy to get a payout, CM would identify as such to ride that gravy train. How weak is the board to fold to this dross?

Did RA do anything when Pocock was arrested for chaining himself to an excavator for 10 hours at the Maules Creek mine? He was charged with “trespass, remaining on enclosed land without lawful excuse and hindering the working of mining equipment.” Raelene Castle wasn’t CEO at the time but Cameron Clyne, Paul McLean and Ann Sherry were and still are board members. Where is the balance in sanctions handed out? Wasn’t there a risk the climate skeptics inside RA might sue for the lack of a respectful environment?

Clyne also mentioned there was a risk of state and federal funding cuts if this wasn’t dealt with. In 2018, these grants totaled $3.5m out of total revenues of $119m. Less than 3%.

Once again if RA was run for the fans it would stand a far higher chance of not needing to fear its own shadow.

Alinta Energy sponsors Cricket Australia post the cheating scandal with the cheats still representing their country. Is cheating any better or worse than tweeting passages paraphrasing the Bible? The point is sponsors took advantage.

Here’s a suggestion. Put Folau back, sack Cheika based solely on (lack of) performance, drop Hooper, Foley and all the other publicly woke players to the bench, replace the board, CEO and chairman, call Qantas’ bluff and watch the fans flood back. A sponsor that is presented with an opportunity to back the team at its nadir will reap the benefits like Alinta.

If private health funds want to gain new customers…

If private health funds in Australia want to gain a lot of new business and waive some waiting periods for long term customers of HCF, they’ll stampede to their door. Strike while their competitor gets woke.

HCF joins the list of brainless corporates having to come out and show it doesn’t support the actions of Israel Folau’s wife, Maria in standing by her husband. The irony is she hasn’t said anything. Shame on her for trying to defend the couple’s livelihood.

HCF, sponsors of the Australian Netball series, said, “We appreciate the complexities of the Folau matter and acknowledge that views do differ in the community, however, we do not support Maria Folau’s stance on this matter.

If Maria Folau said she believed in mass murder, would Australians need direction from HCF to know the right path? Since when did corporates feel compelled to enforce moral and ethical codes on customers?

Corporate Australia is becoming a laughing stock. Does HCF honestly believe its customers are going to quit in droves if they don’t say something woke? It’s no better than ANZ preaching moral codes, although the bank comes from a greater history of scandal, as the Hayne Banking Royal Commission revealed.

Tell you what, if Medibank Private, nib or another private health insurer offer to waive the waiting periods, CM will happily transfer the $400/month to them from HCF.

HCF, not interested in your moral preening.

NSW Chair pleads for a truce

Could it be that those who are fed up with political correctness have proved their pockets are way deeper than Rugby Australia (RA) ever imagined? For the Rugby NSW Chair Roger Davis to pipe up that, “the game is paying too high a price for RA to be proved right in this matter” speaks volumes. Sounds like fear that RA might lose.

The ACL suspended the Folau fund raising as it went over $2m in two days. Now he can comfortably fund an excellent team of silks to prosecute the case against RA. Plenty more ammunition behind that one imagines too. RA is outgunned unless Qantas intends to deploy shareholder capital?!?

Once again, this has moved way beyond Folau’s contractual dispute. People are fed up with the lecturing from the left. Regardless of whether one agrees with what he said or not or the GoFundMe stunt, the people have spoken with their wallets. They don’t want to have corporates tell them how or what to say or behavioral awareness officers at the games marshaling their stress outlets.

Rugby Australia’s problems started way before Folau’s tweets. The attendance and performance of the Wallabies stems from the incompetence at the top. The numbers are abysmal. The identity politics obsessed board which keeps a coach despite the worst track record in the team’s history. Australia will be lucky to make the play offs.

As David rightly said, It’s not about rights or wrongs now, it’s about pragmatics. I don’t think rugby should be defining freedom of religion rights or freedom of expression rights. I don’t think it’s our job,

Exactly. Which is why $2m was lined up to let RA know it should drop all of the gender and identity political garbage period and focus on who pays the bills – the fans.