Sign of the times

COP 25 Delegates by nation & aspirational virtue

Image result for brown envelopes bribe

Carbon Brief has done an admirable job denoting how many delegates from each country are attending the COP25 boondoggle, sorry, climate conference. It notes,

“The country with the most delegates is, by some distance, Côte d’Ivoire with 348. The West African nation also brought the largest delegation to COP23 in Bonn in 2017 – with 492 participants – and the fourth largest to COP24 in Katowice in 2018, with 208.

Côte d’Ivoire’s delegation is more than 50 people larger than the second-placed country, which is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with 293. The DRC also had the second-largest number of delegates at COP24 (with 237) and the third largest at COP23 (340).”

40.7% of delegates are from Africa. Similar to past years. Clearly, these COP summits create a fantastic opportunity to prey on the guilt of the West. As FNFM noted last year, the correlation with the number of delegates and the corruption index was significant.

India sent 35 to COP25 down from 182 at COP21. China sent 76, down from 326 respectively although it is more likely they sent investment bankers to see which African nation they can bribe to plunder their resources.

Australia has sent only 20 delegates but we should champion the fact that 65% of them were women. We even beat New Zealand’s 19 delegate field which only had 58% women. That should please those with Kiwi envy.

In what should rile the gender equality activists and Trump haters, the Paris Accord spurning Americans had higher proportional female representation than the EU or Norway. So much for capitalist pigs shunning socialist norms!

Syria had 100% female representation with the sole delegate. However the male patriarchy was perpetuated thanks to zero female representation from Pakistan, Yemen, Eritrea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Mauritius and Libya.

Naturally nothing will come of COP25 until a grandiose statement to tackle the climate emergency (FNFM is surprised the Wollongong City Council hasn’t sent a team after the unanimous declaration to “adopt an aspirational emissions reduction target of zero emissions by 2030 for its own operations“) comes in the death throes of the last day when the most hot air is produced.

Sports Illustrated defines our woke age

You have to hand it to society nowadays. So desperate are people to appear virtuous they will go above and beyond to prove themselves worthy. Sports awards tend to be a mix of on-field performance and off-field service to promote the game for the greater good.

Megan Rapinoe has won the Sports Illustrated 2019 Sportsperson of the Year. Yes, the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) has won the Soccer World Cup back to back. It is an admirable achievement even though the USWNT were defeated 5-2 by a bunch of 14yo boys from Dallas.

260m watched the Women’s Soccer World Cup final in 2019. The 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia saw 1.12bn tune in for the final. 4.3x the audience. Sponsors are well aware of this and tailor advertising dollars accordingly. If the women’s teams garnered more eyeballs, we can be guaranteed women would be paid more.

Unfortunately, Rapinoe is such a dreadful role model for children even though she ticks the diversity and LGBT boxes. Her profanity-laden victory parade speech (in front of kids) after the World Cup win (from 6:30 in the video) was all class. All about identity politics and screaming for “equal pay” even though the stats reveal the USWNT gets more funding than the men’s team (USMNT). The USMNT generates more revenues, despite the poorer results.

Yet Rapinoe defines the age. All about equal pay regardless of revenue generated. Perhaps every soccer player in the world should be benchmarked against Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus. Perhaps his 81mn Twitter followers and talent allow him to charge a premium for his services which the market is willing to bear i.e. $108mn in 2019. Neymar should be up in arms for the pithy $90m at Real Madrid! Surely those on the bench should be protesting the fact they aren’t on an even playing field! Equal Pay, Equal Pay!

If Sports Illustrated truly wanted to brand a female success story in sports against the odds and shove it in the face of the white patriarchy, they could have championed the brilliance of 21yo Spanish rider Ana Carrasco, who became the first-ever woman to win a world motorcycle racing championship competing alongside men. She won the World Supersport 300s crown. If there was ever a better display of rising to a challenge in a sport dominated by males, this was it! She beat them all! More than that she embodies great sportsmanship.

CM wrote in January about her first-ever race win last year on equal machines with the boys. Shows that grit, determination and skill can make the difference without this recent desire to throw handicaps to even it out. Great job indeed to win on identical bikes.

Rapinoe is a talent in her own right. No one can dispute that. It is just a shame that it comes with all unnecessary identity politics based bluster.

Perhaps Sports Illustrated should heap lashings of praise on the Football Federation of Australia’s (FFA) kneeling at the altar of political correctness by carrying through with equal pay. Little does the FFA realise that pandering to social justice does nothing to win over fans. Because if the right talent isn’t paid accordingly, an overseas league will quickly bid the best players away and hollow out the local market. Attendance will drop and the revenues and sponsorship dollars will dry up with it. Doesn’t require rocket science.

The Aussie women’s Matildas achieved a peak crowd attendance of 16,829. The men’s Socceroo team saw 77,060 supporters at ANZ Stadium on 15 November 2018. 4.6x more fans watched the men’s national team over the women’s. It is nothing to do with gender. Fans prefer watching the men’s game, including women. Because of that, sponsors are willing to pay for greater exposure.

That isn’t casting aspersions on the female players per se. It is just that sports will always be driven by the sponsorship dollar. In certain fields, men get paid more than women. Perhaps male supermodels should take umbrage that Kate Moss gets paid multiples more for the same job.

NBA ratings take a dive post HK/China saga

Last October, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters. Little did he know that the Rockets, the NBA and several key basketball stars of the game bowed to China by slamming Morey and apologizing on his behalf.

Rolling over was no surprise for the league given the attempts to drive the game into that populous market to make lucrative sums. LeBron James stands to make up to $1bn from Nike by the time he is 64 thanks to the China market.

Unfortunately, fans at home seem displeased. If the lessons from the NFL kneeling drama weren’t evidence enough, the NBA has also seen ratings plummet so far. Could it be that fans only watch to escape the stresses of a large mortgage, family and work?

Variety noted,

Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The Disney-owned network is down 19%, averaging 1.5 million viewers versus just under 1.9 million viewers at the same stage last year.

Yet more evidence of how getting woke makes you go broke.

Naturally the league has blamed it on the absence of key stars due to injury. Or maybe it is because paying customers are sick of being lectured to?!

Fauxcahontas throws a gutter ball

Democrat presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren was asked at a town hall meeting at a bowling alley about her claims to be Native American. Here is the video of her reply.

Confirming what everyone already knew, Warren said,

I am not a person of color, I am not a citizen of a tribe, and I have apologized for confusion I’ve caused on tribal citizenship, tribal sovereignty, and for any harm that I’ve caused.

Confusion? Hijacking an identity for the sole purpose of advancing one’s career. Couldn’t be much clearer.

Talk about inauthenticity. To try to pin it on her parents for leading her to believe that identity. Imagine the presidential debates if she wins the nomination. Grab your popcorn.

Comrade Corbyn, the next British PM?

Something has been burning in the back of CM’s mind as the UK election looms this week. While polls point to the Tories winning, Corbyn is likely to do way better than what the pundits predict. Could he end up as PM? It is not an impossibility. In fact, the odds are increasingly in his favour. CM thinks Corbyn might actually do it.

While it is true that 1.3mn more people voted to leave in the largest ever democratic process in UK history, almost 13mn people didn’t vote on the basis they probably assumed it was a foregone conclusion. CM fundamentally believes that referendum results should have been respected regardless. Not showing up to vote is no excuse. None-the-less we now have a ‘youthquake’ who are desperate to overturn the referendum result to consider.

Of the 18.6mn that couldn’t vote in the referendum in 2016, official figures suggest that 3.85 million registered to vote between the day the election was called on Oct. 29 and Tuesday’s registration deadline — two-thirds of them under the age of 35. The youth seem far more preoccupied with socialism than their parents. While it is safe to assume that not all of the 13mn that didn’t vote were remainers, the youth could well be a decisive factor.

CM detests pretty much every policy that Corbyn espouses as it would be a total disaster for Britain in terms of future investment and immediate capital flight. Yet young kids being offered free everything lack the lived experiences of pre-Thatcher socialism and the economic calamity that ensued. They are utterly clueless in this respect. Yet Corbyn sings all of the woke causes of climate change, social justice and equal outcomes. They are on his side.

How well do millennials know their tyrants? A CIS study in Australia showed that 58% of millennials had a favourable view of socialism. Unfortunately, 51% did not know who Chairman Mao was. Another 32% did not know Stalin and 42% hadn’t heard of Lenin. If we combine with “know but not familiar” with “don’t know” we see almost 80%, 66% and 74% respectively. Oh how wonderful to learn in school about three men whose social policies led to the deaths of 10s of millions. With Marxist teachers rife throughout academia, Corbyn will have a plentiful stock of willing comrades in his back pocket.

Still, as much as the press smears the socialist opposition leader, UK PM Boris Johnson has been the man who has been looking to avoid confrontation at all costs. Surely if BoJo possessed a winning hand and held a superior manifesto, why wouldn’t he show up on the popular BBC programme hosted by Andrew Neil to state his case? It is a terrible look. Neil eviscerated Johnson without the PM being there to defend himself. Worse for BoJo is that his video went viral. What have you got to hide PM?

Corbyn could well snatch victory.  If the Tories take the attitude of former PM Theresa May’s snap election in June 2017 they should beware the barking electorate. Don’t forget how well Corbyn did in that fight.

CM stated in May 2017 the following,

“The first thought to come across CM’s head when Theresa May called this [June] election was, “bad idea.” This hubris she’d romp home may prove yet again how out of touch many politicians are with their constituents and how one must never believe in polls. I think she scrapes home but for now, wants the nightmare over.”

History revealed she scraped home with the help of the DUP. The EU has masterfully engineered delay after delay to keep the ‘remain’ dream alive. Now the youth have gathered steam as registered voters, they could well hand the EU a gift that will keep its Ponzi scheme alive.

When will politicians realise that being less worse no longer cuts it with the electorate? They are sick of the self-interest of the political class. They want to blow it up. Johnson has not looked good and the Brexit Party, which might have smashed the European elections, looks as though it does not have the traction it had hoped for. It could underwhelm.

Many of the Labour MPs may have ignored their elderly constituents but it would be a safe bet to say that the ultimate outcome in these so-called “betrayed” constituencies is anything but a doe deal to shun them.

Polls are damned near useless now. They failed to predict Trump. Failed to pick Brexit. Why put faith that the UK pollsters are any closer to the mark?

Politics is a random walk. Trudeau managed to cling on to power in Canada despite being found guilty of two breaches of conflicts of interest, blackface, cultural appropriation and many other gaffes. Clearly, it didn’t matter enough, just as “p*ssy grabbing” didn’t impact Trump in 2016.

Therefore CM expects a much higher chance of a Corbyn PM-ship or at the very least a parliament that puts us straight back where we were before the election – a hung parliament with no rudder and a Brexit that is watered down in such a way that it achieves nothing in the way of that originally intended.

CM sincerely hopes he is wrong on Corbyn. He would be an economic disaster at a time the Tories would have left a troubling fiscal legacy that is nothing to write home about.

If Corbyn wins, the UK will face severe capital flight. The pound will tank. A second referendum will be put forward. The outcomes will be dire. This is not being hysteric in any way. The markets are simply not pricing it in at all.

At least Sir James Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame saw the light. He is a Brexiteer but his lack of faith in the process has already seen him relocate the HQ to Singapore. Many more would follow. After all, if Corbyn wants to control the behaviour of British business on the FTSE and nationalise utilities it will hardly be a fertile ground to invest.

Nativity scene in cages

A Claremont United Methodist church has decided to put the nativity scene inside cages to “consider the most well-known refugee family in the world.”

Bleeding liberal hearts don’t want to accept that if citizens don’t like particular laws, they should vote to change them. Simple. This follows on from a similar stunt in June 2019 where woke artists in NY protested kids in cages by using 24 mockups complete with audio being blasted through speakers of crying and wailing kids. pluck at those heartstrings.

While humanitarian crises are nothing to laugh about, for all of the accusations of heavy-handed, inhumane, jackboot wearing authoritarian ICE & CBP officials we hear so much about, how is it that in full knowledge of all of that, these illegal immigrants still choose to risk everything to come to America. They know that going through the legal process of filing for refugee status at an official border will likely be rejected, therefore choose to enter via the illegal route. 

It wasn’t so long ago that Trump suggested bussing illegal immigrants to predominantly Democrat-controlled sanctuary cities basing it on the idea that if they proclaim publicly how welcome they are there should be no issues. How these virtue-signalling politicians howled in protest.

The greater irony is that a growing number of illegal immigrants are choosing to move OUT of sanctuary cities. In 2007, 7.7mn (63.1%) lived in the 20 largest metros to 6.5mn (60.7%) in 2016 according to Pew. During that time 1.5m illegal immigrants were deported (12.2mn ->10.7mn).

Yet the media, too eager to bash Trump on any occasion with respect to his border policies were forced to issue retractions last month. Ouch.  Who could forget when Manfred Nowak, an expert from the U.N. Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, claimed that 100,000 migrant children were detained by the Trump administration. He also indicated that it was the “world’s highest rate” of detained children. How the mainstream media had to take a slice of humble pie the following day when Nowak acknowledged that the cited number was from 2015 — under President Obama.

No one with a heartbeat wants to see screaming kids locked in cages. Separated? Well, there is a good reason for that. When even the likes of left-leaning HuffPo admitted 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?

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 had expired. 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! Come one, come all?

While there is no doubt a case to be made for illegals who could make wonderful contributions to society, perhaps some stats from ICE’s latest annual report should shed light on reality.

ICE’s 2018 annual report notes the following situation at the border:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) has continued to use resources as effectively and efficiently as possible to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.

In FY2018, ERO arrested 158,581 aliens, 90% of whom had criminal convictions (66%), pending criminal charges (21%), or previously issued final orders (3%). The overall arrest figure represents an 11% increase over FY2017.

  • 2015: 101,800
  • 2016: 110,104
  • 2017: 143,470
  • 2018: 158,581

The number of individuals detained by ERO is driven by enforcement actions taken by ICE and apprehensions made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In FY2018, 396,448 people were initially booked into an ICE detention facility, an increase of 22.5% over FY2017.  Book-ins to detention resulting from CBP arrests increased by 32% over the previous year, illustrating a surge in illegal border crossings.

  • 2015: 307,342
  • 2016: 352,882
  • 2017: 323,591
  • 2018: 396,448

In FY2018, ERO removed 256,086 illegal aliens, reflecting an increase of 13% over FY2017. The majority of removals (57%) were convicted criminals. Additionally, 5,914 of the removed illegal aliens were classified as either known or suspected gang members or terrorists, which is a 9% increase over FY2017.

  • 2015: 235,413
  • 2016: 240,255
  • 2017: 226,119
  • 2018: 256,086

Here are some of the reasons for arrest – both criminal convictions and charges – for 2017 (2018):

  • Driving under the influence : 80,547 (80,730)  
  • Dangerous drugs: 76,503 (76,585) 
  • Immigration violation:  62,517 (63,166)  
  • Assault: 48,454 (50,753) 
  • Larceny: 20,356 (20,340)  
  • Burglary: 12,836 (12,663)
  • Fraud: 12,398 (12,862)
  • Illegal weapon possession: 11,173 (11,766)
  • Sex offences: 6,664 (6,888)
  • Stolen Vehicles: 6,174 (6,261)
  • Forgery: 5,210 (5,158)
  • Homicide: 1,886 (2,028)
  • Kidnapping: 2,027 (2,085)
  • Prostitution racketeering: 1,572 (1,739)

Since the initial surge at the Southwest border (SWB) in FY2014, there has been a significant increase in the arrival of both family units (FMUAs) and unaccompanied alien children (UACs). In FY2018, approximately 50,000 UACs and 107,000 aliens processed as FMUAs were apprehended at the SWB by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP). These numbers represent a marked increase from FY2017 when approximately 41,000 UACs and 75,000 FMUA were apprehended by USBP.

While USBP routinely turns FMUA apprehensions over to ICE for removal proceedings, ICE is severely limited by various laws and judicial actions from detaining family units through the completion of removal proceedings. For UAC apprehensions, DHS is responsible for the transfer of custody to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours, absent exceptional circumstances. HHS is similarly limited in their ability to detain UACs through the pendency of their removal proceedings. When these UACs are released by HHS or FMUA are released from DHS custody, they are placed onto the non-detained docket, which currently has more than 2,641,589 cases and results in decisions not being rendered for many years. Further, even when removal orders are issued, very few aliens from the non-detained docket comply with these orders and instead join an ever-growing list of 565,892 fugitive aliens.”

CM will quote Thomas Sowell again,

A passionate commitment to social justice is no substitute for knowing what the hell you’re talking about.

If Mitsubishi studied pigs and aviation closer

In 2007, CM suggested that the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) was doomed to failure at the concept stage.

All the tea leaves were there to be read. A simple study of the widely available Boeing & Airbus 20-yr commercial market forecasts at the time revealed how the regional jet market was set to shrink 40% in favour of larger jets.

Yet the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp (MAC) pushed on ahead regardless hoping for a 20% share of a collapsing market. What would possess a company to target a dying segment with a product that wasn’t a game changer? A plane that promised to use composites to reduce weight yet was forced back to conventional alloys and to resize because customers had no demand for the original design.

With 90% of the regional market occupied by Bombardier and Embraer, airlines get great efficiencies by sticking to the same brands during upgrade cycles – minimal marginal costs required to train ground staff and pilots. For airlines to pursue a brand new aircraft that offered little in terms of superior economics nor extensive after sales services, it was always going to be the Achilles’ heel for MAC.

Airlines would not only take on extra costs to train existing staff, but would run huge financial risks with leased MRJ’s (now called the Spacejet to rebrand the failure) if they needed to downsize fleets because there would be next to no other airlines to sell or release them to unlike Bombardier & Embraer. Pilots who chose to be certified to fly the Spacejet also risked limited career options if an airline collapsed.

So it is refreshing to read this great summary on Wolf Street of how terribly the aircraft program is (not) progressing in 2019.

It would make a great Harvard Business Review study on how not to crack into a market.