Multiculturalism

Identity Politics rejected by those who would seemingly benefit

Quillette columnist Coleman Hughes testified in front of a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on the subject of a bill proposing to conduct a commission into slavery reparations. Hughes’ testimony was not what activists wanted to hear so he was heckled by them.

He argued that such a path would further divide the nation. Such is the scourge of identity politics and the victim mentality.

He was booed when he said, “Black people don’t need another apology. We need safer neighborhoods and better schools. We need a less punitive criminal justice system. We need affordable health care. And none of these things can be achieved through reparations for slavery.”

He went on to describe that reparations were not only divisive, but an “insult to many black Americans by putting a price on the suffering of their ancestors, and we would turn the relationship between black Americans and white Americans from a coalition into a transaction

Reparations by definition are only given to victims, so the moment you give me reparations, you’ve made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that, you’ve made 1/3 of black Americans who poll against reparations into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner...

The question is not what America owes me by virtue of my ancestry, the question is what all Americans owe each other by virtue of being citizens of the same nation…And the obligation of citizenship is not transactional. It’s not contingent on ancestry. It never expires, and it can’t be paid off. For all these reasons, bill HR 40 is a moral and political mistake.”

Isn’t it ironic how out of touch the political class is when the very people they hope will give them the answer they want to hear do the exact opposite.

They’ll never get it

Yet another example of the lunatics within the Extinction Rebellion (XR). Printing 1000s of paper leaflets and using those evil fossil-fuel based adhesives to fasten them to public and private property. CM is reminded of the echo chamber within XR when they claimed that many corporates backed their cause with a joint letter to The Times UK. As a reminder,

“CM attaches their own published business models in brackets below. We also attach the distance of each HQ from the protest epicentre in LondonIt’s easy to say how woke you are about impacting local businesses when you’re nowhere near it. Read on

The letter to the Times

Sir, Contrary to belief, there is business support for the Extinction Rebellion (XR) agenda. The multi million-pound costs that the Extinction Rebellion protests have imposed on business are regrettable, as is the inconvenience to Londoners. But future costs imposed on our economies by the climate emergency will be many orders of magnitude greater.

Hard pressure drives change, but even the most committed businesses will need time to respond. We welcome the news that  Extinction Rebellion is evolving a new platform, XR Business, to engage business leaders, investors and advisers. To drive things forward, the idea is to convene a meeting of XR activists and experts with business leaders and influencers.

Most businesses were not designed in the context of the developing climate emergency. Hence  we must urgently redesign entire industries and businesses, using science-based targets. 

To kick start the process, businesses should make a declaration that we face a climate emergency and organise a session at a full board meeting to consider the case for urgent action. We will encourage the senior management teams of which we are part to do likewise.

Signed

Seb Beloe, partner at WHEB

(“WHEB is a positive impact investor focused on the opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon and sustainable global economy.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 1.3km

——

Thomas Bourne, CEO and co-founder, Greenheart Business Ltd

(“Using the B Corp framework to assess, plan for and embed positive social & environmental impact improvements within your business – from specific operational improvements through to comprehensive or transformational (i.e. business model) change.)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 337.6km

——
Amy Clarke, co-founder, Tribe Impact Capital LLC

(“We use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for uncovering client’s values and to measure and report portfolio performance…To facilitate this we have created four Tribe Themes…we actively select positive investments that directly contribute to global sustainable development and address a social, economic or environmental issue society is facing.)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.5km

——
Chris Davis, CSO, The Body Shop International Ltd

(Social activism has been a part of the Body Shop since 1986 when it proposed an alliance with Greenpeace to save the whales“Protecting and regenerating habitats is also known as ‘re-wilding’. Find out how you can help us re-wild the world and protect our animal friends by fighting against deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 107.2km

——–

John Elkington co-founder and Louise Kjellerup Roper, CEO, Volans Ventures Ltd

(“By conducting inquiries into our planet’s most wicked problems, we help business drive positive change at an unprecedented pace and scale.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.2km
——-

Brad Frankel, CEO and co-founder, Flooglebinder Ltd

(“Our aim is to inspire students to become changemakers and future leaders through a range of educational programmes that connect young people with the outdoors. Our programmes firmly adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By understanding, enjoying and respecting these environments through adventure and play, we hope to develop more global citizens and positive ambassadors for our planet.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 267.2km
—–

Jake Hayman, CEO, Ten Years’ Time

(“Whether the cause area is climate change or economic fairness, mental health, homelessness or education, we work with those who are ready to leave the safe ideas behind and want instead to understand, challenge and do their bit to reinvigorate failing systems.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 6.4km

——

Jeremy Leggett, founder and director, Solarcentury Ltd

(“We’re in business for a purpose: to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change through the widespread adoption of solar power.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 4.8km

——

Charmian Love and Amanda Feldman, co-founders, Heliotropy Ltd

(“We broker partnerships across sectors  to support private sector engagement in social and environmental issues.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 6.4km

—-
Andy Middleton, founder and chief exploration officer, TYF Group

(“Our mission is to inspire long lives of adventure and promote discovery and care for nature.We create life-changing adventures with a light touch on nature, focus young people’s sight & skills for the future and help organisations with innovation & sustainability. We play for the planet.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 387.2km

—-
Safia Minney, founder & Former CEO, People Tree Fair Trade group.

(“Fairtrade promotes training on climate change mitigation for farmers. For example, some training offers advice on switching to environmentally friendly practices, such as developing nutrient-rich soils that support healthy plants and encouraging wildlife to help control pests and diseases.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.2km

—–
James Perry, partner, Snowball LLP

(“Project Snowball LLP is a pioneering investment organisation that targets social and environmental impact alongside financial return.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 60.8km

——
Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever plc

(“The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental footprint, while increasing our positive social impact. “)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 361.6km

—–
Samer Salty, co-founder and managing partner, Zouk Capital LLP

(“Zouk’s ESG Policy includes an Ethical Investment Policy for negative screening and an innovative and bespoke methodology for assessing the value creation across Environmental, Social, and Governance principles driven by the portfolio companies…Zouk adheres to and is a signatory of the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) and is also fully Carbon Neutral.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.2km

—–
Sir Tim Smit, founder of The Eden Project, executive chairman of Eden Regeneration Ltd

(“Get a feel for what we believe in – from the way we run our site to the transformational social and environmental projects that we run on our doorstep and around the world.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 396.8km

—–
Hermione Taylor, CEO and founder, The Do Nation Enterprise Ltd

(“If changing behaviours was easy, we’d all be super-fit with PhDs, empty inboxes and spotless bathrooms. And, what’s more, climate change probably wouldn’t be a problem.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 6.4km

—–
Diana Verde Nieto, CEO and co-founder, Positive Luxury Ltd

(“Fashion recycling has been on the rise in recent years – so how are consumers shopping pre-worn today? To celebrate Earth Day, we investigate the popularity of the more environmentally-friendly way to stay stylish.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 4.8km

—–
Dale Vince OBE, founder, The Ecotricity Group

(“We’ll use the money from your energy bills to develop new sources of green energy. So you can help build a green Britain – just by being with us.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 171.2km

—–
Bevis Watts, managing director, Triodos Bank UK

(“Our bank was founded on the conviction that banking can be a powerful force for good. We offer a range of financial and banking services to savers, investors and entrepreneurs who want to change the world for the better. By connecting these groups, we are building a community of people united in their desire to make a positive impact on society, culture and environment.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 189km

—–
Tim Westwell, co-founder and former CEO, Pukka

(“Doing good things helps make good things happen. We create things that help you, help nature and everything inbetween. It’s called conservation through commerce – striving to positively change the world for you, business and the planet.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 182.6km

—–
Gail Bradbrook (co-founder)  Extinction Rebellion
Fiona Ellis (XR Business)

We’ve covered XR in previous posts. They’re leading this disruption.

—-

So there you have it. Every co-signatory has a vested interest with a business model attached to climate change. Many advertise the brands of other co-signatories on their respective websites. There is nothing woke about signing a letter which seeks self-promotion. Is this about saving the planet or cynically riding off the back of a movement to get press based marketing?

Children in cages and the hypocrisy of the left

Good to see the woke artists of NY protest kids in cages by using 24 mock ups complete with audio being blasted through speakers of crying and wailing kids. pluck at those heart strings.

Where were these same people in 2014 when the Obama administration had a policy of kids in cages? It is far from ideal but let’s explore the facts.

No one wants to see screaming kids locked in cages. Separated? Well there is good reason for that. When even the likes of left-leaning HuffPoadmitted in December 2014 that 80% of women and girls are sexually assaulted while trying to make it across the border there is a good reason to question the proof of identity of the supposed parents. Even if 90% of parent/children pairs are legit, what of the 10% that aren’t? Do ICE risk it?

Australia had an experience of a mother from Nepal (a democracy not at war) who deliberately poured boiling water on her infant to expedite processing on the mainland. Are these the values of people we should provide refuge to? We should not forget that many people make the journey knowing ALL the risks that confront them yet still attempt it despite the warnings.

To emphasize the danger of lax screening, multiple kids were found dead after being abandoned once across the border as their usefulness as a golden ticket on compassionate grounds was expended. If that isn’t some of the worst forms of child abuse then what is? Moreover these people are hardly the type that decent Americans would want to embrace with open arms!

In Jan 2016 WaPo noted, “The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, failed to do proper background checks of adults who claimed the children…several Guatemalan teens were found in a dilapidated trailer park near Marion, Ohio, where they were being held captive in squalid conditions by traffickers and forced to work“. So slave labour to repay human traffickers? Let’s encourage more to attempt the crossing!

Then ICE has the trouble of finding the parents/guardians (sponsors) already living (often) illegally to collect their unaccompanied children at pre-arranged court hearings. The media went into a frenzy saying that ICE had lost the records. The truth came out in Feb 2016 that,

“The head of ICE’s removal operations, Thomas Homan, told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that 7,643 immigrants who arrived as children were sent home between the 2012 and 2015 budget years…More than 171,000 children, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, were arrested at the border during that same time…The number of children caught crossing the border illegally spiked in 2014 [see impacts in NY Times graphic below] and the Obama administration promised that those who were not eligible for protections in the United States would be swiftly sent home… And with an immigration court backlog of more than 474,000 pending cases some cases can take years to move through the court system…

…about 40% of immigrants are no shows at court…Finding immigrant children with outstanding deportation orders is also complicated by the fact that they often are no longer at the addresses provided to the government.”We are out looking,” Homan said. “But they are hard to find. A lot of these folks who don’t show up in court, we don’t know where they’re at.”

The pictures of kids in concentration camp style cages were from 2014. Yet don’t let that get put in the way of a narrative to show the nationalist tendencies of the current administration.

While we can express outrage at the treatment of illegal immigrants at the border, the tougher laws have started to resonate with Ana Garcia Carias, wife of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who said, “Stay in the country and let’s look for solutions to support you.” She visited the border and said that she didn’t recommend her citizens go to the US undocumented. If a court system has nearly 500,000 backed up in the system, it seems reasonable to push for a zero tolerance policy to end.

So typical of the left – it’s not the principle but the side that counts. Of course Trump is a single handed villain using Gestapo tactics to jail kids despite Obama starting the practice of caging in the first place.

More stats on ICE can be found in CM’s report here.

When will the insanity end?

83yo murals at George Washington High School in the San Francisco Unified School District are apparently traumatizing students of non white backgrounds. Activists have successfully voted for their removal.

The Reflection & Action Group committee comprised of activists from minority groups, students, teachers and local artists reported,

At its conclusion the group voted and the majority recommended that the ‘Life of Washington’ mural be archived and removed because the mural does not represent SFUSD values.

Why not just stop teaching history all together? Or better still just a concocted version of it. Demonize these horrible white supremacists. Stage public floggings in place of detention for white kids in the schoolyard to atone for the sins of their forebears.

If only these teachers started to teach reality of how far society has come over the decades? Take the FBI hate crime stats which is close as we can get to true figures surrounding victimization.

Anti Black Hate Crimes have more than halved since 1996. As a % of the black population, Anti-Black hate crimes have fallen from 0.0131% to 0.0046% of their background.

As a % of all hate crimes, African Americans have fallen from 51% to 28.1%. Anti-White hate crime has also slid from just under 16% to 10.3% between 1996 and 2017.

As a % of the total population, anti-white hate crimes have slid from 0.00052% in 1996 to 0.00023% in 2017, up from 0.00016% in 2011. The media would never run a narrative that hate crimes against whites have jumped 44% since 2011.

The rest of the data can be found here.

It boggles the mind that these apparatchiks think that erasing history and reversing discrimination is the way forward to seek a better society.

How about the latest US history textbook which paints Trump as a liar and many of his followers are racists? Then the publisher wrote that an independent review justified such ridiculous additions as adding to debate and critical thinking. After you!

The media is no less complicit. Just as they wrote about racial bias in high schools. The data proves them emphatically wrong. Yet it paints a narrative so they push it that a cabal of racist teachers are deliberately targeting kids of colour.

Surely time to rename the George Washington High School to the Barack Obama High School instead?

This oppression obsession must end. We must stop bending over for activists who find problems where they don’t exist. This will end up in civil disruption if we aren’t careful.

Boycotters’ bluster

CM was not a fan of Israel Folau’s tweets on homosexuals, fornicators, sinners, adulterers etc. Yet CM defends his right to say it. Come to think of it, CM has never sought moral guidance from the controversial Wallaby rugby star. Nonetheless Folau thinks CM and many others are destined to burn in hell too. Yet he is protected by the Constitution of Australia whether we like it or not. That supersedes an ARU contract.

We now hear that if his contract is sustained, several players have threatened to boycott the side if he is selected.

That’s their choice. However the threat sounds so much like all of those Hollywood celebrities who promised to leave the country if Trump was elected. Pretty much every single one remains in the US. Even Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef, said he’d leave the UK if Brits voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. He still lives in a £9m mansion in Hampstead, London. Idle threats. Here is betting every player threatening to boycott Folau will end up putting lucrative player contracts ahead of virtue signaling when pressed to make a stand. Which is hypocritical. If they stand for nothing, they’ll fall for anything.

Folau had very similar views publicized ahead of the Same Sex Marriage (SSM) debate when he first caught the ire of social media opinion. He was on record for telling team mate David Pocock of his beliefs on the matter leading into the plebiscite. Pocock still played with him and there is plenty of footage showing both embracing after tries were scored even when SSM was legislated.

We live in a society that is constantly threatening free speech. Folau’s comments may well cost him other endorsements. That is the market price he bears for holding his deeply devout Christian views in a society too afraid to say anything controversial. He never called for the murder of these groups. Only that their ultimate destiny was decided by God as written in the Bible.

Hypocrisy in the way the West deals with (certain) faiths is rife. The tragedy that was the Christchurch terror attack has led the Canterbury Crusaders rugby team to reconsider its name so as not to offend Muslims. Devout Muslim Sonny Bill Williams even played for the side after his conversion to Islam. Didn’t seem to phase him and he didn’t protest once. Although he did take exception to having Bank of NZ sponsorship displays on his uniform as it conflicted with his religious beliefs. Did we call for an inquisition? His religious beliefs were protected.

Where have those same activists been to bully The Saracens in Middlesex to select a more palatable name for the sake of countless victims of Islamic terror? Nowhere and most wouldn’t find any links between the two. No one in their right mind ties the Saracens or Crusaders as inciting hatred against the religions of either. They’re rugby clubs – period. 99.99% get that. Yet activists make out the majority leans the other way.

Izzy Folau May have offended some with his tweets. Everyone gets it. Many have just dismissed it with a roll of the eyes. Surely their lives have moved on without so much as a skip in the beat.

Yet we live in a world where some see offense and outrage in everything to the point of demanding litigation to protect hurt feelings. Canada even introduced a bill (C-16) compelling speech where jail terms for the incorrect use of a pronoun are a punishment. It is a slippery slope.

We should be careful what we wish for. The free speech noose will only tighten and eventually we won’t be able to speak our minds or the truth. That’s when society splinters.

Best let the Folau’s of the world make grandiose tweets and let society judge on an individual basis rather than trying to force our value sets on others. Do we honestly think we can force Folau to repent? If his contract was rescinded would he suddenly give up the teachings of his faith? Not a chance. We need to accept the views of others, even those we disagree with.

Do we truly believe the overwhelming majority of homosexuals/fornicators/sinners/adulterers a) believed Folau’s tweet or; b) were deeply offended? Or did most shake their heads and chuckle at his views?

CM is surprised that white Christian missionaries haven’t been chastised for converting so many Pacific Islanders, including Folau, to become devout followers over the centuries. Surely that must follow.

Harley delinquencies at 8 year high

Just noted from the conference call that Harley-Davidson (HOG) motorcycle loan delinquencies (30+ days in arrears) are at an 8 year high of 3.73%. While actually loss experiences have tracked sideways for the past few years, they are still higher than 8 years ago.

Interestingly, HOG loans outstanding were $7.53bn in 1Q 2015. In 1Q 2019 that figure was $7.63bn. So next to no loan growth against c.20% lower unit sales. In 1Q 2015 HDFS made $683.6m in new loans, 80% prime out of $1.5bn in 1Q motorcycle (incl parts/accessories) sales (43.6% financed). In 1Q 2019, $685.3m in new loans were made with a claimed 80-85% “prime” against $1.124bn (61.0%) of m/c and P&A sales. Essentially total sales would be worse without the finance arm. Why does CM smell Ford Credit all over?

So delinquencies up against a strategy to pump more bikes through financing. Is it the non-prime portion is faltering at greater rates? Or the prime?

Luxury motorcycles are generally considered discretionary spend items. Are aspirational consumers just tapped out?

HOG’s 2mn new riders in the US by 2027 seems an irrelevant target. 200,000 “new” riders per year by definition should not include existing customers. Management combine new and used sales using IHS Markit Motorcycles in Operation (MIO) data, not their own! That is fine if all are new Harley customers yet the brand has some of the highest loyalty rates of any maker period. Are we to believe that long term Harley owners didn’t upgrade?

Of the 138,000 new domestic US sales in 2018, the brand assumed 278,000 new riders to the family. It also cites that 50% of that were 18-34yo (implies poorer product mix), women (smaller capacity hence poorer product mix) or ethically diverse (irrelevant) riders. So by definition at least 140,000 sales were used bikes. Harley used bike sales in America are around 2.5x new, or 350,000 units. So assuming half were new customer sales for new bikes, 60% of used sales must have been to ‘never owned a Harley’ customers. Seems high.

It doesn’t much matter if HOG hit targets for new riders, the actual financial results point to further deterioration across the board at the top of the cycle. Most competitor luxury brands are ticking along just fine.

100 new high impact motorcycles has all the hallmarks of chucking spaghetti at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.

This stock should continue to flounder. CM thinks it will get back to the GFC $8 handle.

CM is not invested in HOG nor short the stock. This doesn’t constitute financial advice.

Populist Finns Party set to more than double number of seats

The nationalist, anti-immigrant and eurosceptic Finns Party is set to grow seats from 17 in 2015 to 38 in today’s election, or represent around 17% of parliament. The party election video is an interesting one to say the least.

Whatever one’s personal views on populism, in Europe it is the fastest growing segment in politics. With 118m Europeans below the poverty line, 50% higher than 2007 is it any wonder the citizens of many member states have had enough of EU control. Finland has only 15.7% (up from 12.6% in 2007) poverty as a percentage vs 22.4% (16% in 2007) in the EU-28 but that is enough to trigger the ice cold welfare state to revolt.

Mrs May, do you understand more EU members don’t want to be held captive by Brussels?