Poverty

AOC, best remember that victory loves preparation

Poor old AOC sought to hammer former ICE Director Thomas Homan but he pointed out facts and made her look rather wanting…she is really becoming a liability for the Dems.

If she doesn’t like the laws she is in a great place to change them.

Beasts at the border?

A lot of negative noise has been made about the actions of the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) employees in the US. Notably, the arrest statistics across the entire staff of 59,178 totalled 254 people. Only 2 people were arrested for sexual misconduct. Two-thirds of the crimes that led to the arrest of CBP staff were alcohol or DV related. The Annual Report published in 2018 notes that the trend fell marginally.

The CBP Standards of Conduct state that in order to fulfill its mission, CBP and its employees must sustain the trust and confidence of the public they serve. As such, any violation of law by a CBP employee is inconsistent with and contrary to the Agency’s law enforcement mission. CBP’s Standards of Conduct specify that certain conduct, on and off-duty, may subject an employee to disciplinary action. These standards serve as notice to all CBP employees of the Agency’s expectations for employee conduct wherever and whenever they are.

Rep Jerry Nadler is calling for CBP officials to face ‘child abuse’ sanctions. Substantiated ‘crimes involving children leading to arrest numbered only 6. Six too many one might say but hardly a sign of widespread child abuse. 

We can see the total number of formal disciplinary warnings and sanctions against staff as follows over the past 3 years.

CBP.png

Note that under Trump, an 18% increase in drug testing of CBP employees (13% of the total were tested in 2017) led to a fall in positive responses to narcotics in 2017 over 2016.

A total of 12 people, or 0.02% of CBP staff, tested positive in 2017 to illicit substances.

Looking at allegations made against CBP staff, 3,806 of the 7,239 claims made were dismissed as unsubstantiated in 2017. This is down from 3,828 out of 7,740 in 2016. There were 8,253 claims in 2015. in 2017, 1,279 employees required counselling. 1,074 received written warnings. So the idea that CBP employees are merely Nazis bullying people with no consequences, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Statistically, the quarterly reported nature of the data suggest very little seasonality with respect to punishment – i.e. it is consistent.

Breaking it down by department within the CBP, 4% of the 20,954 US Border Patrol (USBP) staff were disciplined, 3% of the 29,321 Office of Field Operations (OFO) employees were cracked over the knuckles. These represented 90% of all disciplinary actions in CBP.

The highest number of CBP OFO sanctions in 2017 vs 2016 caused in the Laredo Field Office (441 -> 378), followed by the San Diego Field Office (398->408) and Tucson Field Office (328 -> 200). These figures were out of a total of 3,129 sanctions issued.

The highest number of CBP USBP sanctions in 2017 vs 2016 were caused in the Tucson Sector (809->701), followed by the Rio Grande Sector (704->568) and the El Paso Sector (317->332). These figures were out of a total of 3,168 sanctions issued.

Each year, CBP receives and reviews hundreds of allegations pertaining to use of force incidents. Authorized employees may use objectively reasonable force only when it is necessary to carry out their law enforcement duties. When these cases involve excessive force or civil rights abuse allegations, and prosecution is declined by the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the local prosecutor, the matter is then subject to an administrative investigation to determine if an employee’s actions, although not unlawful, violated Agency policy or procedure.

In FY 2015, CBP implemented a new process for reporting, tracking, and investigating use of force incidents. Under this new process, use of force cases are evaluated to determine whether the amount or type of force used was excessive or outside of Agency policy. CBP’s National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) reviews all lethal use of force incidents, including the use of firearms and uses of force that result in serious injury or death. The Local Use of Force Review Board reviews all less than lethal use of force incidents not addressed by the NUFRB. If there is a determination that an employee’s use of force was outside of Agency policy, the case returns to HRM for potential disciplinary action.

The remaining cases involving alleged use of force that are not handled through the NUFRB or Local Use of Force Review Boards, including allegations of excessive force, are referred to OPR or component management for review and consideration of disciplinary action.

In conclusion, CBP noted,

All CBP employees are guided by these principles of the public trust both on and off-duty. Those who breach it are held accountable for their actions.

Although the number of CBP employees arrested for misconduct on or off-duty declined for the second year in a row, the number of employees arrested continues to be a concern. CBP is addressing employee arrests through its ongoing efforts promoting education and resilience services to employees and their families, reducing the use of administrative leave or indefinite suspension when employees are subject to a criminal proceeding, and by ensuring appropriate discipline is applied.

CBP will continue to increase its transparency efforts with annual discipline overviews, publication of National Use of Force Board results, and through public engagement on our policies and operations. Finally, CBP’s internal complaints and discipline systems will remain focused on systemic improvements to reduce case investigation and administrative processing timelines and increase consistency in handling misconduct allegations and more timely arrive at discipline case decisions.”

Judge for yourself. Things are not exactly rosy, but the idea that border forces are unhinged and unaccounted is simply unfounded. To that end, steps taken to improve the situation are not limited to the following:

Improving Use of Force instruction for law enforcement personnel by extending basic training of new recruits to include a 35% increase in less lethal and 58% increase in use of force judgement/firearms related training; Adding mandatory live and computer-assisted scenario based Use of Force training for all.

Continuing release of information to the public immediately following use of force incidents and publishing monthly use of force statistics on CBP.gov

Implementing CBP’s Policy on Zero Tolerance of Sexual Abuse and Assault

We await the FY2018 figures due shortly to see whether the Trump administration has added a layer of Nazi stormtrooper to the data. CM guesses the statistics will prove otherwise.

Alberta cancels carbon tax

Alberta United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney has repealed the carbon tax placed by his predecessors. It was a key election promise and he has vowed to challenge any attempt by Ottawa to force adoption of a federal carbon tax.

In Alberta, Jason Kenney of the United Conservatives gained 63 seats from 25 at the last election handing victory over incumbent Rachel Notley of the New Democrats which fell to 24 seats from 52.

In Ontario, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives surged from 28 seats to 76. His main rival, incumbent Kathleen Wynne of the Liberals fell from 58 to 7. He also repealed the carbon tax soon after election.

Justin Trudeau is fighting a losing battle if he thinks a carbon tax will help his re-election.

People want jobs not useless taxes which achieve nothing.

Japanese FSA concedes defeat on pensions

Image result for japanese pensioner

So the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has finally conceded that the pot can’t sustain elderly pensioners and believe that the onus should be pushed back on individuals. Unsurprisingly the natives are upset.

On May 22, the FSA presented a draft report entitled “Asset Formation and Management in an Aging Society” to the Financial Council. This draft report summarizes the ideal form of finances based on a 100-year lifespan but also aims to encourage individuals to form assets on their own of at least ¥20,000,000 (c.US$180,000). It also recommended long-term investment in stocks formed between 30 and 60 years old. After retirement, the premise is to continue working and earn salaries to maintain the asset level.  Sadly by 2060, 40% of the population will be aged over 65! It stands at 28% today.

The focus of this report is on the clear recognition of the limits of public pensions. In the report, there is a statement that “public pensions alone may not reach a satisfactory standard of living“.

For such a greying society, the reality is that once people hit retirement age, they are often let go and rehired on fractions of what they once earned. The idea of retiring gracefully is a complete myth. Hence the increase in pensioner crime and the 50% increase in prison capacity to house the highest cohort in Japanese prisons.

So whenever you hear Western central banks wax lyrical that if worst comes to pass, we just need to follow the Japanese example of low growth and low inflation, you have even more evidence that it simply won’t work. The Japanese have a culture of shared misery in tough times. Western culture sadly does not have that feature.

CM wrote about the dangers of pension shortfalls around the globe. The unfunded liabilities in America just for public pensions alone stands at around $5.2 trillion. Such were the shortfalls in Rhode Island, that the whole structure needed to be revamped with payouts being shed 40% just to stay solvent.

At least Japan has fallen on its sword, re pensions. CM is owed a pension but always set aside the amount owed at zero.

Economic growth is an unnecessary evil, Jacinda Ardern is right to deprioritise it

This was the headline of an article CM spotted today. Of course CM wouldn’t dream of writing something that daft. To think social wellness can be achieved, let alone sustained without attention to economic growth. Magic pixie dust perhaps? Even though CM debunked the relative aspects of the Wellness Budget being considerably inferior to Australia, the left were quick to lavish praise on the the new matriarch of the woke. She is like the Obama of the Southern Hemisphere. Even regressives are progressive in the eyes of the left.

Note the NZ budget forecasts a 25% lift in tax revenues out to 2023. Income tax will rise 29.9% over the same period. Indirect taxes will jump 28.3%. That on a slowing economy and a rising unemployment rate will mean incremental taxes sting at the margin. Their data, not CMs.

Of course if the idea is to de-prioritize the economy, it can only mean that taxes as a % of GDP rise. Indeed they do from 30.6% this year to 31.1% by 2023. Compare that to 25.2% falling to 25.0% in Australia over the same period.

Effectively Australia gets way more bang for the buck on providing wellness initiatives with lower burdens on the taxpayer because that’s what happens when the economy IS prioritized. Spending on social wellbeing rises as the economy expands.

If unemployment rises (as forecast by the NZ budget) over coming years, one can imagine that wellbeing by its strictest definition should fall. One loses a job, household income falls and wellbeing declines with it, unless welfare is on a par.

Presumably if Ardern’s deprioritized economic growth leads to worse economic outcomes, she can be guaranteed that wellbeing won’t be sustainable without more shared misery in terms of debt (rising) and deficits.

As Friedrich von Hayek once said, “if socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”

Such is the madness of the left that they believe yet again that feelings are more important than facts. Even though as “woke” as many paint Ardern, her neighbour across the ditch is already there and expected to continue to outperform. That’s because economic growth is the priority. Yet don’t expect Scott Morrison to receive any praise. He is the wrong gender, skin colour and religious affiliation for starters.

Ardern is unlikely to stop the 35,000 odd Kiwis that migrated to Australia last year but she maybe lucky in doubling the 40 (yes, forty) Aussies who left the land down under to live in NZ in 2018.

Climate change to percolate coffee prices?

Climate change is such a force of nature. CM’s local newspaper said it affected household pets, a university study said it created toxic masculinity and now the Daily Mail reports that coffee prices could soar due to climate change! The thought our ritual cup of Joe in Australia could cost as much as $7! Torn asunder.

Never mind that coffee bean commodities trade at 1/3rd peak prices of 8 years ago. Bit of a buffer, wouldn’t you say? Ironically coffee retail prices have only crept higher in Sydney meaning that rent and wages have been a larger factor on our morning kick starter than the beans themselves.

The Mail reports,

Mark Dundon, 57, co-owns Seven Seeds cafe in Carlton, an inner-north suburb of Melbourne, and has been a part of the cafe scene for 18 years. 

He says climate change is making it harder for farmers in South America and South-East Asia to grow coffee and once they sell their product to major companies, the price they receive is often below the production costs.  

He believes prices could explode because producers are abandoning the industry for better work.”

He needn’t worry. The 16yo pig-tailed high priestess of the global climate emergency movement can lead worldwide protests to make sure her band of teenagers don’t acquire such a filtered caffeine habit. That way we poor adults won’t have excess demand pressures to keep us struggling through the day.

What will likely happen is a lot of consolidation driven by the majors like Nestle who will keep a lid on prices so we won’t need to sacrifice several cups a day habits.

Perhaps until Mr Dundon joins the “die-in” climate emergency protests in central Melbourne we can remain safely assured his business is doing ok, especially now that he has probably overheard his customers thinking of booking their ski trip to Falls Creek a month early due to the massive snow dumps!!

If worst comes to worst Baldrick can always find us substitutes.

Thanks to Simon F. for the flag on this story.

The Guardian cranks climate alarmism to 11

Good to see The Guardian editorial department encouraging the use of sensationalist language. Instead of climate change, “climate emergency, climate crisis and climate breakdown” should be used to describe the situation. “Global heating” is also the new norm as it sounds racier than warming. Why not use “global boiling”?

It is funny how language gets used to distort situations to fit a predetermined narrative. It is not so different to governments using consultancy firms to reverse engineer an answer they need in order to validate new spending or taxes. It’s a crock. That’s why so many public projects end up massively over budget and woefully underutilized.

It seems The Guardian has sought this divine inspiration from none other than the 16yo pig-tailed goddess of climate panic, Greta Thunberg. She has been using these words to crank up the guilt of we evil adults who are bankrupting her future. If we follow her wishes she’ll be assured of making her mates suffer indefinitely.

It doesn’t much matter. The Guardian is only making its ultimate audience even narrower than it was before. It is a sure fire way to see it having to continue to beg for charity. Appealing to those that expect everyone else to save the planet on their behalf will not attract advertisers or paying customers at anywhere the rate to sustain the alarmist stories.

Perhaps it should look at what is happening to CNN. The anti-Trump climate alarmist network has started lay-offs to stem the disastrous ratings plunge. How hilarious it was to learn CNN is shifting its NY offices by the shoreline of the Hudson River.

The Guardian should seek balance in its journalism as opposed to the echo chamber it has forced itself to live inside. Perhaps it best put flame retardant materials inside so the global heating it reports doesn’t lead to its extinction. The hot air it produces is the likely cause.