Mainstream media

Kathy Griffin’s most hilarious black humour yet because the truth really hurts

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Kathy Griffin has made a video pleading for networks to put her on shows and value her two Emmys. It is perhaps the funniest thing she’s ever done in comedy given she is being serious about how inhumanely the system that she’s made $20mn out of is now treating her – blacklisted as she calls it. Watch her go through the routines of how she is a woman and deserves to be paid as much as men if she gets another go. She should consider herself lucky to get a 30 second snippet on an unknown local network for free such is her poor form and complete lack of understanding of why no one will touch her because networks know audiences won’t bother watching and no advertisers will back her. Perhaps she needn’t have abused Aussie breakfast TV hosts with “you’re full of crap”. She openly admitted she showed no remorse for what she did yet now begs for forgiveness because her brand of apology is unaccepted by the main. Pass me the Kleenex.

EU pushes for 40% female representation on company boards

The EU in its infinite wisdom said that it wishes to mandate that company boards achieve a quota of 40% women. Even Germany considers this an overreach (even though its own goal by 2018 is 30%). This EU’s socialist charter to push for affirmative action was challenged in 1981 by Dr Thomas Sowell who completely debunked the myths put forward about the gender pay gap, discrimination and other stereotypes of minimum wage and income inequality. It is truly worth watching the 50 minutes or so of Sowell dispose of lawyer Mrs Pilpell whose weak liberal agenda gets ripped to shreds because is based on a lack of understanding and being loose with facts.

Don’t mistake the position of CM. If based on merit then have 100% female boards should they outqualify men. So assume that boards hit 40% women then what next? Should we hire a minimum percentage of LGBT, minorities, religious groups or disabled people to run companies? Since when should gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability be a bigger factor than capability  in running company boards? Shareholders expect one thing – returns. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote a puff piece on those boards without women on them underperforming. CM proved the hypothesis false.

CM wrote with respect to the SMH’s false assertion, “Note that the twenty companies listed in the article have the following 1yr and 3yr relative performance (i.e. vs. ASX 200). Note on an unweighted average over these 1 & 3 year periods, these chauvinistic men’s clubs outperformed the broader index by 22.7% and 89.9% respectively.”

Once again, gender ought to have nothing to do with it. Every ambitious, hard working female that has become truly successful in a man’s world never complained at any disadvantages they may or may not have had. They never played the woman card and I absolutely admire them to this day. One is a mentor some 18 years after we first met. So shouldn’t it be an insult to industrious women like her to see less hungry females given unfair advantages that weren’t earned through individual merit and effort like she had to endure to get there?

Yet such diversity programs designed to remove inherent biases in the system actually create the very discrimination it is designed to stop. All that matters is diversity of thought and if that happens to be women that provide that wisdom sign me up as a shareholder of every corporation that does so on merit. Listen to Dr Sowell – it is truly intelligent stuff. Poor Mrs Pilpell.

Fox News – you should be happy a Democrat wants to run impeachment ads on your network

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Black mark for Fox News. On Monday the network said that it would no longer air an ad calling for President Trump’s impeachment paid for by a wealthy Democrat billionaire Tom Steyer citing, “Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money,”

This is utter nonsense. Surely a network that beats the drum of pointing out fake news should allow free speech (that Hannity, Tucker Carlson et al) to reign. Indeed if the likelihood is that most of Fox’s audience is pro-Trump shouldn’t they see it as a) farcical comedy, b) a waste of time and money and c) supporting free speech.

It is hard to believe that the ad donor is so blind to be unaware of Fox’s political views nor Newscorp’s revenue collection policies. Indeed if the donor wishes to spend money and it is contractually signed off provided the content meets all “criteria” of normal (i.e. not lewd) advertising. In fact why not get Hannity to run the tape and poke fun at it on his prime time show? That way they could keep the hordes contented that free speech is indeed beautiful and they should entertain what the other side has to say regardless of how immaterial they may view it.

CNN had the “carp” story. Fox has the “crap” excuse. Moving right along.

How the fishy mainstream media keep getting stuck on their own clickbait – hook, line and sinker

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They can’t help themselves. There is not one attempt to be objective. The mainstream media is so fueled with Trump hatred that they won’t let facts get in the way of a good story. The full video of Japanese PM Abe emptying his fish food by tipping the box before POTUS followed suit was actually pointed out by someone progressive, presumably tired of seeing this biased one-sided reporting. Indeed he knows full well that the mainstream media risks alienating even their own ranks if there is no attempt to be impartial. Remember the “we got ‘em!” statement from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow referring to Trump’s tax returns? The insane thirst to play the man not the ball, which back-fired so badly that even the left turned on her for being so obtuse and showing that he legally paid a lot of tax.

Yes, the President has many short comings but trying to beat him up over trivial things like paying taxes or tipping a box of fish food only proves why trust in the media languishes well below his own sub-par rankings.

Therein lies the problem. It seems media is completely dominated by ‘clickbait’. Every journalist hoping that they get the ‘break’ which sends them to the top of ‘trending’. So regardless of content quality, a clickbait headline and heavily edited video is enough. Sadly it doesn’t take long for it to be disproved by some other video footage showing the opposite. Yet they never learn.

However the people that seem to trend are those who come from utter obscurity. Take former Arizona Police officer Brandon Tatum whose videos went viral because of the content. Over 70 million views of his first video. He now works at the Conservative Tribune.  Such was the ‘content’ that the media came for him, not him chasing the platform for glory.

Is it any wonder profitability of the mainstream media wallows. A strong driver for this blog was because I became sick and tired of one-sided reporting from both sides.

Yet I will never ask for likes or shares because that is for you, my audience, to decide for yourselves. That is the ultimate test of any product – a value proposition. If the growth of the blog doesn’t take off then it is a problem of content or the delivery. That is perhaps the most fascinating element of writing the blog – to see which subjects actually engage. It is growing, so to that extent I need to work out why, but I won’t be commentating on exciting topics such as fish food delivery do’s and don’ts.

Tesla – 30 reasons it will likely end up a bug on a windshield

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Contrarian Marketplace ー Tesla – 30 Reasons it will likely be a bug on a windshield

Contrarian Marketplace Research (CMR) provides 30 valid reasons to show Tesla (TSLA) is richly valued. Institutional investors have heard many of the financial arguments of its debt position, subsidies, cash burn and other conventional metrics. What CMR does is give Tesla all the benefits of the doubt. Even when extended every courtesy based on Tesla’s own 2020 production target of 1,000,000 vehicles and ascribing the margins of luxury makers BMW Group (BMW GR) & Daimler (DAI GR) the shares are worth 42% less than they are today. When stacked up against the lower margin volume manufacturers, the shares are worth 83% less. There is no fuzzy math involved. It is merely looking through a different lens. We do not deny Tesla’s projected growth rates are superior to BMW or DAI but the risks appear to be amplifying in a way that exposes the weak flank of the cult that defines the EV maker- ‘production hell’.

Follow social media feeds and Tesla’s fans bathe in the cognitive dissonance of ownership and their charismatic visionary, CEO Elon Musk. No-one can fault Musk’s entrepreneurial sales skills yet his business is at the pointy end of playing in the major leagues of mass production, which he himself admitted 18 months ago was a ‘new’ challenge. Let us not kid ourselves. This is a skill that even Toyota, the undisputed king of manufacturing, a company that has coined pretty much every industrial efficiency jargon (JIT, Kanban, Kaizen) has taken 70 years to hone. It might have escaped most investors’ attention but Lockheed Martin called on Toyota to help refine the manufacturing processes of the over budget F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. If that is not a testament to the Japanese manufacturer’s brilliance Tesla is effectively Conor McGregor taking on Aichi’s version of Floyd Mayweather.

Yet Tesla’s stock has all the hallmarks of the pattern we have seen so many times – the hype and promise of disruptors like Ballard Power, GoPro and Blackberry which sadly ended up in the dustbin of history as reality dawned. Can investors honestly convince themselves that Tesla is worth 25x more than Fiat Chrysler (a company transformed) on a price to sales ratio? 10x Mercedes, which is in the sweet spot of its model cycle?

Conventional wisdom tells us this time is different for Tesla. Investors have been blinded by virtue signalling governments who are making bold claims about hard targets for EVs even though those making the promises are highly unlikely to even be in office by 2040. What has not dawned on many governments is that 4-5% of the tax revenue in most major economies comes from fuel excise. Fiscal budgets around the world make for far from pleasant viewing. Are they about to burn (no pun intended) such a constant tax source? Do investors forget how overly eager governments made such recklessly uncosted subsidies causing the private sector to over invest in renewable energy sending countless companies to the wall?

Let us not forget the subsidies directed at EVs. The irony of Tesla is that it is the EV of the well-heeled. So the taxes of the lawnmower man with a pick-up truck are going to pay for the Tesla owned by the client who pays his wages to cut the lawn. Then we need look no further than the hard evidence of virtue signalling owners who run the other way when the subsidies disappear.

To prove the theory of the recent thought bubbles made by policy makers, they are already getting urgent emails from energy suppliers on how the projections of EV sales will require huge investment in the grid. The UK electricity network is currently connected to systems in France, the Netherlands and Ireland through cables called interconnectors. The UK uses these to import or export electricity when it is most economical. Will this source be curtailed as nations are forced into self-imposed energy security?

So haphazard is the drive for EV legislation there are over 200 cities in Europe with different regulations. In the rush for cities to outdo one another this problem will only get worse. Getting two city councils to compromise is one thing but 200 or more across country lines? Without consistent regulations, it is hard to build EVs that can accommodate all the variance without boosting production costs. On top of that charging infrastructure is an issue. Japan is a good example. Its EV growth will be limited by elevator parking and in some suburban areas, where car lots are little more than a patch of dirt where owners are unlikely to install charging points. Charging and battery technology will keep improving but infrastructure harmonisation and ultimately who pays for the cost is far from decided. With governments making emotional rather than rational decisions, the only conclusion to be drawn is unchecked virtuous bingo which will end up having to be heavily compromised from the initial promises as always.

Then there are the auto makers. While they are all making politically correct statements about their commitments to go full EV, they do recognise that ultimately customers will decide their fate. A universal truth is that car makers do their best to promote their drivetrains as a performance differentiator to rivals. Moving to full EV removes that unique selling property. Volkswagen went out of its way to cheat the system which not only expressed their true feelings about man-made climate change but hidden within the $80bn investment is the 3 million EVs in 2042 would only be c.30% of VW’s total output today. Even Toyota said it would phase out internal combustion in the 2040s. Dec 31st, 2049 perhaps?

Speaking to the engineers of the auto suppliers at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, they do not share the fervour of policy makers either. It is not merely the roll out of infrastructure, sourcing battery materials from countries that have appalling human rights records (blood-cobalt?) but they know they must bet on the future. Signs are that the roll out will be way under baked.

While mean reversion is an obvious trade, the reality is that for all the auto makers kneeling at the altar of the EV gods, they are still atheists at heart. The best plays on the long side are those companies that happily play in either pond – EV or ICE. The best positioned makers are those who focus on cost effective weight reduction – the expansion of plastics replacing metal has already started and as autonomous vehicles take hold, the enhanced safety from that should drive its usage further. Daikyo Nishikawa (4246) and Toyoda Gosei (7282) are two plastics makers that should be best positioned to exploit those forking billions to outdo each other on tech widgets by providing low cost, effective solutions for OEMs. Amazing that for all of the high tech hits investors pray to discover, the dumb, analogue solution ends up being the true diamond in the rough!

Sexual and domestic violence against males – the statistics

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It is perhaps unsurprising to see some women come out and blame men for their ‘silence culture’ in the aftermath of the Weinstein saga. Indeed it was some of the sisters who chose to stay silent while they collected the trappings of stardom as others suffered. If we were to believe the Me Too crusade we would think that only men commit sex crimes, right? The US National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey (NIPSVS) conducted in 2010 showed that 25 million men and 53 million men had claimed they were victims of some form of sexual violence by an intimate partner or acquaintance. Both figures are shocking to be sure but the statements in a rather one-sided piece from Heather Jo Flores in The Independent with respect to Me Too.  were of particular interest:

Men, it’s not our job to keep reminding you. Remind each other, and stop abusing. It’s as simple as that. Until men speak out against men who abuse, this will never stop. How about y’all post “I ignored it and I won’t anymore” instead? Because #hearyou doesn’t cut it. Just hearing us doesn’t cut it. Taking action, speaking out, and showing zero tolerance for abuse is the only way through. Silence enables. Be the change..So why do men need to have multiple victims come forward before anybody says a damn thing”

If Flores opened her eyes she might see that we are exactly as she claims we are not.  For much of the utter rubbish men may brag about amongst themselves (e.g.bro-culture), talking up how they conducted street justice is never one of them. Take a look at the multiple social experiments on domestic violence which show random men stepping up to defend women they have never met who look to be in trouble. That is taking action. Immediate. No looking the other way. They are hardwired to protect her. It is instinctive. In the reverse, no one defended the male being attacked in the same video. If anything males smirked, some feeling sorry for him, others joining in but not stepping in the way. Where were the girls that leapt into action to protect the defenseless male? Yes, nowhere. The pot calling the kettle black?

A study conducted by the IDF showed mixed battalions had far higher casualty rates than segregated ones because the enemy would deliberately target the women knowing the men would be men and do extraordinarily risky things in harms way to protect the women. It was not that the female soldiers were any less effective in combat. These weren’t random acts of stupidity but a sense of moral duty not found in training manuals. Indeed it is men being men.

Many of us are told from our tender years that we must never hit women. To open doors, walk behind women going up escalators in case they fall, to walk on the kerbside to prevent women from potentially being drenched by a passing car hitting a puddle. In Japan one would be amazed at the reactions of surprise if one suggests women exit the elevator before men. There is a look of “are you crazy?” Followed by a polite smile and bow. We certainly feel a strong bond to defend. Is it any wonder men are 93% of war casualties?

Flores goes on to say, “Yes, I know men get abused too. Once in a lifetime, maybe a handful of times, in extreme situations. And they get abused by men, mostly. Just like us..I write this to ask: why are we still demanding that women out themselves as survivors, again and again and again, rather than demanding that men out themselves as abusers? Violence against women is a daily reality,.”

In the 12 month period conducted in the NIPSVS survey 6.46mn women and 6.1mn men were victims of sexual violence by their partner, an acquaintance or stranger. 4.74mn women were victims of physical violence by men and 5.365mn men were victims of phyiscal violence by women. Hardly a handful of times, nor at the hands of men.

1.555mn men claimed their intimate female partner hit them with fists or a hard object vs 1.289m women claiming the reverse. 3.13mn men were slapped by their women vs 1.85mn in the reverse. Awful stats on any measure. Still it puts paid the notion that men are generally victims of other men once a blue moon. When it came to psychological intimidation around 20.5mn men were victims of it vs 16.5mn women.

The NIPSVS survey was conducted again in 2011 and revealed much the same trends.

If men must out themselves as abusers, perhaps female abusers should do likewise and male survivors should speak out just as women do.

According to a UK study,

“Male victims  (39%) are over three times as likely than women (12%) not to tell anyone about the partner abuse they are suffering from. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police (26% women), only 23% will tell a person in an official position (43% women) and only 11% (23% women) will tell a health professional.

The number of women convicted of perpetrating domestic abuse has increased seven fold since 2004/05. From 806 in 2004/05 to 5,641 in 2015/16…In 2015, 119,000 men reported to English and Welsh police forces stating they were a victim of domestic abuse. 22% of all victims who report to the police are male. In 2012, 73,524 men did…

Men don’t leave abusive relationships for various reasons – the top reasons being: concern about the children (89%), marriage for life (81%), love (71%), the fear of never seeing their children again (68%), a belief she will change (56%), not enough money(53%), nowhere to go (52%), embarrassment (52%), not wanting to take kids away from their mother (46%), threats that she will kill herself (28%) and fears she will kill him (24%). 

Of those that suffered from partner abuse in 2012/13, 29% of men and 23% of women suffered a physical injury, a higher proportion of men suffering severe bruising or bleeding (6%) and internal injuries or broken bones/teeth (2%) than women (4% and 1% respectively). 30% of men who suffer partner abuse have emotional and mental problems (47% women). Only 27% of men sought medical advice whilst 73% of women did.

The percentage of gay or bi-sexual men (6.2%) who suffered partner abuse in 2008/09 is nearly double the number for heterosexual men (3.3%). Lesbian women (12.4%) as a percentage also suffered far more partner abuse compared to heterosexual women (4.3%).

Ms Flores then goes on to say,

Don’t forget that, for 500 years in Europe (and still in many many countries) a woman saying “no” was punishable by death, legally. Show me one example of a man being legally executed for saying no to sex, and I’ll consider changing my position.

While men may not be at risk of being executed for refusing sex, find one Anglo, Asian or European country where women can be. Answer is none. It is only in certain cultures that practice female genital mutilation among other arcane laws that would seek to do so. A sect which feminists, who have no qualms shaming Western society, often choose to turn a blind eye to. It is hardly a credible argument that connects her belief that male silence and ignorance of female abuse is somehow linked to a claim of something that happened half a millennia ago.

None of this points to pleasant reading. Sadly it is this prevalence to continually point fingers at men for not doing enough. Unfortunately it is sometimes these same feminists who are busy trying to change ‘men’ so they stop being men. That somehow we should feel ashamed for being men. That we should take responsibility for every wrong doing conducted by a small minority and be brow beaten for not being the very men you are trying to force us not to be. Ms Flores you can’t have it both ways.

#METOO – shame on #YOUTOO

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I really didn’t want to do this. Seriously. Not for the reason you think either. To all the women posting ‘Me Too’ and encouraging others to do the same ought to think very carefully about what they are doing. So much of what of what I’ve read so far is to be honest trivial. It doesn’t condone bad behaviour but life isn’t perfect.

When I was 13 I was raped by a total stranger. A man. I buried that trauma for over 25 years. I didn’t tell my parents, family or friends. Even today I’m tormented by the sheer horror of that night. I live with it every day. He is likely dead by now but it is etched in my memory. A stain that can’t be bleached. Which is probably why you might read me protest at the professional victimhood industry as I do via this blog. Maybe you understand a bit better as to why I am such a fighter of the truth.

In my year at high school there have been six suicides. People I knew in some case for 40 years. As tragic as it is we are sometimes are so tied up in our own lives that we fail to see warning signs of our friends. Of course in my darkest days the thought crossed my mind but I made a pact with myself that taking the easy way out was letting that bastard win. Not on my watch. In fact I think it is in part why I am so stubborn. I tend not to believe anything I read unless I study it first. I have a statistical database in my memory in the widest of fields – from gun ownership, illegal drugs price/purity coinciding with economic cycles to education levels and almost anything else you can think of. My mind is always spinning looking for data that challenges conventional group think.

In the previous post I wrote of the sexual assault of my daughter on a train in Tokyo. I think I was worse than she was. I was a mess. I wanted to take her place because the last thing I wanted was for her to experience any of the years of emotional troubles it might bring down the line.

I could consider myself a legitimate victim in every sense of the word and I haven’t written this post to receive sympathy or soothing words! Please understand that. On the contrary real victims are the ones who shout the least. They’re too busy dealing with it to bother seeking sympathy and cyber hugs. The fake victims are ones that scream about stuff that is more attention seeking than anything else.

The difference is I am not out here today to draw attention to my own situation. I’m here to say that unless you’ve truly been impacted by something heinous that has given you endless trauma don’t post willy-nilly #metoo post about some drunk jerk at a bar trying to pick you up.

I honestly had no intention of telling people about my past but this constant “poor me” attitude that pervades the world today must end. If one wants to raise awareness to any cause don’t dilute it with petty claims you probably haven’t thought about til given this opportunity. You discredit the real people battling with demons and actually make it far worse in helping them cope.

Men can be impacted by sexual harassment, abuse and assault. It is just underreported. So to the feminists using #metoo to attack (in many cases innocent) men with this campaign – shame on you.