Crowd Funding

Facebook face plant?

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Facebook is the dark blue line. Its popularity has been waning. Some people are complaining (and others cheering) that Tommy Robinson has been banned from Facebook & Instagram (he had already been banned from Twitter in March 2018) after he exposed the BBC in his ‘Panodrama‘ documentary with his own undercover video  claiming allegations of threats, blackmail and intimidation to smear him. BBC News was clearly happy to report on the outcome today. Regardless of one’s view on the legitimacy of the life ban on Robinson, FB is a corporation that has the power to exercise its own guidelines, no matter how farcical some might judge them. There are countless examples of censor bias across multiple social media platforms. The managements admit as much.

The flip side for Facebook to ban him only makes him more desirable to his followers and increase their willingness to leave the platform.

If conservatives are becoming frustrated at the bias shown by Facebook, Twitter or any other social media forum why not set up a rival? If conservatives feel their voices are being suffocated by political correctness and the actions of arbitrary thought police why haven’t they set up a platform that will not silence what they covet?

Even if they have a very good case to argue against being silenced they have two options; stop using these social media players who they feel obstruct or build a fresh site which would surely see conservatives flock to it.

Fighting Facebook or Twitter to play fair has been proved worthless countless times (e.g. black conservative Candace Owens being suspended for replacing the word “whites” from Sarah Jeong’s tweets with other races). So it is a war that won’t be won.

The publishing of Google’s internal post-election debrief video shouldn’t have surprised anyone in the slightest either. All the outward appeals to the group’s impartiality were smashed by this leak. In a sense Google was the victim of the half-life nature of the very digital media feeds it seeks to control. Even worse it was all the senior management talking about what really goes on. Sunlight is truly the best disinfectant.

There is an opportunity to plug the gaping hole in social media – one that is willing to support all free speech and not shut out those that ideologically disagree with the apparatchiks in the censorship department. The question is why conservatives haven’t stopped complaining and moved to finance a rival? Or is there an inner fear that the authorities will become the judge and jury on what is considered free speech and shut the platform, not the individual…

COP24 – checking cash, corruption and cars

It should come as no surprise that the COP24 summit is a time to put the money where the mouth is. Look at the numbers of the delegates from Africa to stake their claim of the wealth redistribution. Guinea has sent the biggest delegation of 406 people. In 2016 the country received over $10.7mn in climate grants. DR Congo’s 237 delegates garnered $45 mn in aid for climate mitigation projects according to the OECD. The Ivory Coast received $114 million in 2016 for environmental aid. Indonesia got $250 million in climate related aid in the same year.  Poland can be forgiven being the host nation to be 3rd place. It receives zip, much like the US and Australia. The COP summits are nothing more than networking events to collect cash from virtue signaling Western governments.

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Putting that in context of the representation amongst all delegates to their representative population, Guinea is at 15.5x. America at 0.1x. Guinea is 86 people lighter than in 2017. The Ivory Coast had halved its delegates on the previous summit.

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One has to question how efficiently these millions given away get to be spent on the intent. Take a look at Transparency International’s global 2017 corruption index. 180 is the worst. 1 is the best. Note the correlation of delegates attending COP24 to those countries with a higher prevalence of corruption?

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There is a touch of irony that the transport recommendations to/from Katowice airport made by the UNFCCC are all diesel vehicles. Not an EV in sight. Surely there was an opportunity to team up with an EV maker to co–sponsor the event? Did the 7,331 observers going to the summit pick up on this? Why didn’t they take advantage of the virtual attendance technology that was available? Better to be there and enjoy the banquets and political graft.

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Live free and negotiate

Save James

As Tasmania looks to remove gender from birth certificates, take note of a 6yo boy named James who is facing chemical castration when he hits 8yo in America.

The father claims his son has always identified as a boy when with him and has testimony from others that proves his stance. He always chooses to dress as a boy when with his father.

Yet his mother has dressed him as a girl since the age of 3, calls him Luna, enrolled him as a girl at his local school and takes him to social transitioning therapy which the courts are requiring his father to pay. The bills will be extended to transgender surgery and sterilization drugs when he is of age.

The mother is seeking to remove custody from the father – who challenges her assertion – for child abuse in her divorce proceedings.

Walt Heyer, author of Trans Life Survivors and former transgender female, warned a misdiagnosis could ruin the boy’s life. Heyer claims he was secretly cross-dressed by this grandmother as a young boy. He went on to say

The diagnosis is critical, because labeling a child with gender dysphoria can trigger a series of physical and mental consequences for the child and has legal ramifications in the ongoing custody case. Get it wrong and the boy’s life is irrevocably harmed…[and] hinges purely on the diagnosis of gender dysphoria by a therapist who wraps herself in rainbow colors, affirms the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and dismisses evidence to the contrary,”

Putting an acrimonious divorce to one side, should courts be determining the life of a 6yo kid based on a therapist’s diagnosis? Has the therapist got decades of scientifically backed research and proof to back her assertions? Or is this a case of confirmation bias? If we think about it, a therapist’s repeat business thrives more from confirmation than rejection of gender dysphoria. This is also a question of ethics.

Coming out as transgender is one thing. If the child reaches an age when they are biologically fully formed and can decide for themselves then they should be free to choose. There is no question everyone should have equal rights under the law but allowing parents the right to chemically castrate kids at age 8 before they can possibly understand the ramifications of those actions is criminal.

There is no 100% guarantee every child won’t switch back to identifying as their birth gender, but once the hormone sterilization begins the child has been permanently damaged. What will James’ mother say if she is wrong about him? “Mommy’s sorry”? Legally she bears no risk.

Let’s pray the right thing happens for James’ sake.

Ocasio-Cortez’s DC dilemma

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One would hope that newly elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be quick on her feet when it comes to dazzling her colleagues. She is complaining she can’t afford a property in DC before her $172,500pa salary kicks in 3-4 months down the line.

She could do three things:

1) ask her multi million dollar gated mansion, rent-a-cop guarded Democratic colleagues to let her stay in one of the spare rooms. Obama has an $8.5mn 8-bedroom mansion in DC. Surely she won’t cramp them too much especially with Malia at college and Sasha likely to move out soon.

2) crowd fund for the 3 months which will likely win her millions  so she can buy a place of her own.

3) or in her own words to justify everything that costs money  – “you just pay for it”

How long will it take to learn from Chuck, Nancy, Maxine, Elizabeth and so on that some pigs are more equal than others? My guess isn’t very long. First world problems for someone with third world policies.

 

Musk to be investigated by SEC over tweets

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CM has always thought that Elon Musk is the ultimate salesman. CM has also wrote that the biggest risk to being a short seller was then”cult” status of the company. On any rational investment grounds the stock is ridiculously priced but as the old adage goes, “the market can stay irrational longer than you can remain solvent!

Tesla is a car company that is worth more than GM, Ford & FiatChrysler combined. One that trades at 5x Daimler in valuation terms, a luxury competitor that is in the sweet spot of its product line up and rudely profitable.

Back in June, Musk bought $35mn worth of shares in Tesla. The whole idea that someone is willing to fork out $75bn on a whim seems somewhat implausible. Is it safe to assume that all of 100s of lawyers, bankers and brokers would need a little bit of time to prepare the necessary documentation to cement such a ridiculous sum? Or is money now just so free and easy that a billionaire deploys a vault full of cash loaded full of Zero Halliburtons into a private jet after a few phone calls?

SEC enforcement attorneys had already been gathering general information about Tesla’s public statements on manufacturing goals and sales targets. Now SEC attorneys are investigating whether his tweets about securing funding were factual.

CM is not accusing Musk of insider trading albeit as a matter of course the SEC should investigate when he knew about his mega financier. One wonders how it is that we know so little about the buyer, the term sheet, the question of shareholder approval and how “secure” it is? Taking it private will remove the lens of quarterly reporting but it doesn’t remove the fact of how dreadfully the company is run or how amateur production is. Even if public scrutiny is removed, the problems of profitability don’t disappear and the need for funds, credit ratings etc if he taps public markets for debt capital remain.

If Musk pulls it all off and the company becomes a roaring success then CM will gladly eat a whole humble pie and openly admit it was wrong.

As to the SEC investigation let’s hope it has learnt the lessons of its bumbling incompetency over Bernie Madoff and doesn’t miss anything that might be bleeding obvious.

Politicians true colours come through via crowd funding

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What a joke. The spat between Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SHY) of the Greens and Senator David Leyonhjelm (DL) of the LibDems over defamation is ridiculous. Yes, DL’s words were hardly statesman like and SHY’s double standards not withstanding the public deserves better. Period. Yet so vigorously are these politicians willing to defend YOUR supposed right to free speech that they want YOU to crowd fund it. Talk about principles in action. Supposedly if either loses they’ll crowd fund the penalties as well? Apart from the generous salaries ($200k) and perks (free cars, accommodation, flights etc) of being a politician they still unashamedly come to you to support their own stupidity. If it means so much to them they should back their rights of being offended or protecting free speech on their own dime. #UnfitToServe

Oi vey Australia! Time to develop innovation

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While the Australian school system seems obsessed dealing with LGBT awareness, gender fluidity and social causes, a day in the most up to date Israeli cyber park in the Negev Desert shows just how seriously the small nation deals with the real world and preparing future generations for it.

It should come as no surprise that Israel lives under constant threat. The Jewish State is happy to leave LBGT 20yr celebrations to rainbow flags on the beachfront in Tel Aviv. When it comes to education it is all about working kids hard to be competitive, hungry and innovative. Primary school students learn computer coding and mathematics. They don’t hold cross dressing presentations or participate in Family Day as a replacement for Mothers Day to show inclusiveness for minorities. Survival matters.

Those same primary schoolers learn even more skills when they hit high school. The government monitors 13yo kids for their cyber acumen to screen the best possible assets for the future. By 16yo the weeding out process is all but done.

The notorious IDF cyber unit 8200 is relocating to this cyber centre in Negev where over a dozen buildings are being erected to gather the finest innovators in the world. It’s a $50bn investment. Even the Israeli Defence Force standard cyber units will relocate there. As Israelis have compulsory military service from 18 years of age, the best and brightest get automatically assigned to these cyber teams.

The universities are collaborating with corporates and government. They work on real solutions that matter rather than shoot for research on questions nobody is asking. Companies like Intel are setting up R&D centres in Israel because the talent is there.

Australia may have a Department if Innovation & Science which has a billion dollar budget. The Israeli tech infrastructure organizers in places like the Negev encourage start ups. They award grants thru competitive processes based purely on merit. Instead of cutting grant cheques to all for participating in the Aussie “everyone wins a prize” mentality, the idea is that only the “best” idea out of 500 wins. The rest are forced to make more compelling arguments and work to secure alternative funding. That weeds out waste. If Australia just divvies out with fairness in mind, resources are misallocated and it is more likely the capital allocators are clueless.

The system is impressive beyond words. Listening to a dozen presenttions ranging across medical, cyber and agricultural fields, one cannot be thoroughly in awe of an early-thirties doctor from the neighboring university who has racked up 20+ patents for his inventions.

Then there is the tale of a 17yo intern who was given an asssignment to hack the vulnerability of a mobile phone manufacturer whose PR department lied through its back teeth to cover up a flaw in the system they boasted was secure. They cited the original hack wasn’t done over a secure VPN. In 3 days the 17yo kid hacked that too. Take about a face plant.

The same group told a large American corporate that it’s video streaming had a bug. Instead of admitting the lapse, the tech giant hunkered down and dug in its heels. They put a bandaid on it and were hacked again. They have managed to make a computer that is next to another but not connected in anyway, even via WiFi to make functions purely based on heat.

The answer is simple though. There are many cultural reasons why this type of education system works in Israel. While Australia has no hope of holding a candle to the Israelis there are huge lessons to be learnt about fostering a culture of individual excellence rather than move down the slippery slope that fails to prepare our kids for the future. It maybe too late.