Truth in advertising?


Imagine if Delta released an ad like this today? 45 years ago it offered military personnel cheap tickets. In an era where sex, drugs and rock’n’roll ruled, such a risqué advert (torn asunder all the promiscuous women are seemingly white) was one can only guess “in step with the times” back then.  Then again the same Delta Airlines has just cut off its association with law abiding NRA members for simply flying to see the inlaws. CM noticed that National Geographic has just issued a formal apology for its racist and bigoted articles from 100 years ago. The editor wrote, “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.” One would imagine that all the editor did was raise an issue that a majority of its readers never thought about and hold present journalists and photographers to some sort of ‘Day One, Year Zero’ doctrine.

What is it with this “shaming” culture we live in today where corporates must make collective apologies for things that were done before people were born to people who are most likely dead on matters they had zero control over? Just spare the sanctimonious lectures and thought control. I can’t remember the last time I heard a wolf whistle but some want this made a ‘hate crime’. Not condoning it but a wolf whistle is generally viewed as a compliment not a slur. Just like those Hollywood actresses wearing three postage stamps held together by dental floss chanting #METOO all the while they kept quiet about mass sexual harassment because their careers were more important than principle. Spare us the hypocrisy.

Surely people’s sensitivities can’t be such that this should be a jailable offence? Even Qantas staff have been handed newspeak dictionaries on what they can and can’t say to customers to avoid the 0.00001% risk of offending someone. Where do we draw the line? Seems like the line is being drawn further to the point of endorsing a whole industry built on victim culture.

Instead of acknowledging humans have flaws, celebrating differences and accepting it we are being cornered into smaller and smaller ‘legal’ boxes of what is deemed ‘with the times’ and straying outside that risks an innocent person being labeled a bigot, racist, sexist or homophobe. Worse, more laws (like Canada’s M-103 or Australia’s 18-C) risk jail or massive fines for anyone that makes a factual statement. The worst part about it is that lives have been ruined based on trumped up charges willingly egged on by groups like the heavily biased Australian Human Rights Commission, a group that encourages people to lodge complaints but gladly tweets justices it self-serves on its own side  no impartiality

We can all look at the above advert from Delta 45 years later and see it doesn’t really fly (no pun intended) but most of us do not need some sort of state sanctioned manual to ensure we all are indoctrinated to know it is bad form with a law laced on top. Yet this is exactly the type of thing we are seeing day in and day out.

Twitter – why Stephen Fry quit


Stephen Fry quit Twitter two years ago and so eloquently explained why:

What fun twitter was in the early days, a secret bathing-pool in a magical glade in an enchanted forest. It was glorious ‘to turn as swimmers into cleanness leaping.’ We frolicked and water-bombed and sometimes, in the moonlight, skinny-dipped. We chattered and laughed and put the world to rights and shared thoughts sacred, silly and profane. But now the pool is stagnant. It is frothy with scum, clogged with weeds and littered with broken glass, sharp rocks and slimy rubbish. If you don’t watch yourself, with every move you’ll end up being gashed, broken, bruised or contused … The fun is over…

…To leave that metaphor, let us grieve at what Twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. It doesn’t matter whether they think they’re defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists … the ghastliness is absolutely the same. It makes sensible people want to take an absolutely opposite point of view.

We’re all beholden to a paymaster but we have the freedom to choose


CNN gleefully chose to publish an article written by the plainly unbiased and objective author of the book “The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness.” Jill Filipovic:

If you’re going to vilify others for supposedly disrespecting a song, you should probably choose to sing it loud and with pride, not just sing a few of the words. The upshot of Trump’s cynical anthem ploy is to feed racist white anger at blacks who don’t stay in their place — football players are apparently supposed to risk their own health and safety to entertain spectators and line the coffers of mostly white team owners, but not demand basic human rights.

Surely for feminists she might consider that these NFL players ‘choose’ to play cognizant of all the risks associated with it. Take it another step. Isle of Man TT motorcycle racers are often privateers fighting for glory with little or no pay. 250 people have died in practice and races there over the time it has run. Where are Filipovic’s tears? She should note that women are also risking their lives in the TT. Surely another chapter in her book?

Interesting to see that seats for certain NFL games are selling for as little as $3 each. Of course better games starring more popular teams show firmer (albeit deeply discounted) pricing but one can’t help but think this is a continuation of the backlash against the kneeling saga. Regardless of the views of the players, their employers (aka the fans) are evaluating them by their wallets. Seems like the message hasn’t got through. If they wish to continue to kneel deep discounts which incorporate the social cost to the fan have to be provided until the ultimate financial impact to the players is reached.

Filipovic complains at the oppression of blacks. She overlooks that Asians post WW2 in America had even fewer rights and privileges. They adapted and overcame and now are among the highest paid ethnic groups from one of the lowest. So much so that the market now says, according to Thomas Sowell,

When statistics showed that black applicants for conventional mortgage loans were turned down at twice the rate for white applicants, the media went ballistic crying racial discrimination. But whites were turned down almost twice as often as Asian Americans — and no one thinks that is racial discrimination.”

CM doubts Filipovic will fight for the oppressed white mortgage borrowers.

2018 – no more space for multiple ‘elephants’ in the room


The Contrarian Marketplace wishes everyone a Happy New Year and prosperous 2018.

As oft the case people are busy making new year’s resolutions. CM mission doesn’t change. It aims to further energize the spirit of enquiry. To be the maverick voice that will not be silenced. We live in a world where we need to become comfortable being uncomfortable. We can no longer hide behind group think Because we feel it is dangerous to challenge consensus views. CM won’t buckle to identity politics, victimhood or social justice.

However that will never exclude us from criticism and we welcome feedback to improve the offering. We will not take The Guardian approach of refusing to acknowledge the content might be the problem when appealing for readers to ‘donate’. CM is self funded. It will remain so because it never wishes to be beholden to others to peddle tailored messages to keep the lights on.  If CM doesn’t survive on its own merits then it dies through market forces.

In 2017, Brandon Tatum showed what impact a Tucson, Arizona police officer can have on today’s media. His videos have gone viral (50mn+ views) on topics from the NFL, BLM to anti-Trump protests. He is now working for the Conservative Tribune such has been his impact. He speaks in cold hard truths. One doesn’t have to agree with what he says but he makes compelling arguments. No accolades from the journalist associations to self congratulate. As we used to say at high school sports competitions- “look at the scoreboard.”

CM started two years ago to challenge conventional thinking on all manner of topics.  It was born out of a growing realization that the mainstream media on both sides of the fence was too biased. Investigative journalism has all but disappeared, replaced with clickbait headlines and little more than biased piffle for what can only loosely be described as content. It seems that journalists are paid on the number of shares or likes rather than the quality of input.  As Ariana Huffington once said, “I’ve long said that those of us in the media have provided too many autopsies of what went wrong and not enough biopsies.”

2017 has been a continuation of the ridiculous pandering to political correctness and our lawmakers seem even more determined to avoid censure from social media, somehow thinking it speaks for the majority. Gender neutral toilets, removing statues and same-sex marriage take priority to the oncoming fiscal/monetary train wreck and a fracturing geopolitical landscape. It is almost as if our elected leaders have the blinkers on.

2018 is shaping up to be one that our political class is ill prepared for. Out of one’s depth is not a harsh enough criticism. Too many governments (including conservatives) are running up the national credit card trying to bribe bewildered constituents into tolerating more of their nonsense. However at some point, appeasement will not work because government’s can’t economically afford it.

Silent voices are increasingly pushing back. Traditional parties are seeing their constituents abandoning them. Australia’s conservative Liberal Party is Exhibit A. It is no longer a party true to its core. After the Turnbull coup it has taken its constituents for mugs but they have left in droves. While the Libs champion superior leadership, how is it One Nation has taken a huge bite out of it’s support base? It doesn’t add up and its this sense of denial that guarantees they’ll be destroyed at the next election.

Look at the growth in nationalist parties in Austria, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and even America. While they may not have outright majorities in every case the reality is that all of these parties surged in the most recent elections. Mainstream parties can mark it down as a one-off or ‘they’ll be back’ mentality but this time is different. Take Trump. His GOP hate him almost as much as the Democrats. While the mainstream media ties itself into knots over the relevance of well done steak and tomato ketchup to running a country or the fact he paid millions in tax, his brand of political incorrectness is refreshing.

Sure his words are vulgar at times and Obama knocks the sports off him for eloquence or as a nice guy but we are in a world of ruthless people. The geopolitical landscape is rapidly changing. The last US administration allowed a free-for-all for nations such as China and Russia to roam free on the global landscape. Russia’s actions in the Ukraine, Syria and Iran or China building man made military bases in contested Asia-Pac waters have filled a vacuum vacated by the US. We should be glad that we have a Trump who is putting his foot down that things have changed.

While Trump’s use of ‘Rocketman’ to describe North Korea’s leader may seem juvenile, China hasn’t fully worked him out. They stroked his ego by allowing him to be the first President to dine in the Forbidden City after his rhetoric saying that if they don’t deal with Kim he will. The resumption of Chinese oil trading with North Korea in full defiance of UN sanctions tells two things. China thinks the UN is a waste of space and it is testing Trump’s resolve to carry out his threats to take care of business with minor provocations. China’s military is nowhere a match for the US so this could backfire badly if they miscalculate. This will escalate again in 2018.

Don’t rule out India’s growing frustrations with China. China’s built a naval port in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota. Recently the Maldives signed a FTA with China which should be ringing alarm bells in Delhi. For the last decade, China has been strengthening its armed (ground and air) forces to India’s north too, including the funding of the upgrade of the 1300km construction of the Karakoram Highway (aka China-Pakistan Friendship Highway). It is no surprise that Russia has been replaced by the US and UK as preferred arms suppliers to India.

As written several days ago, the Middle East seems to be an unstable powder keg. The way the stars are aligning with respects to the death of the former Yemeni President Saleh, the cleaning of the House of Saud, the repudiation of Qatar by the Gulf states and ructions in Iran point to something larger to kick off. Do not be surprised to see Israel and Hezbollah clash again in 2018. It won’t be an Arab Spring. Afterall this is more a shift toward a more direct clash between Sunni and Shia, not just played through proxy wars in Yemen, Syria or Lebanon. One can’t sink Saudi and Emirati naval vessels off Yemen’s coast with Iranian Revolutionary Guard support indefinitely.

These geopolitical problems will only put pressure on global markets which are already overstretched asset bubbles in almost every form – equities, bonds and housing. The realisation that unfunded pensions are likely to wipe out the retirements plans of millions causing even more pressure on economic growth. There is no escaping the fact that the can has been kicked down the road for too long. Whether 2018 is the precise year it unfolds is still a moot point but we are moving ever closer to the impending financial collapse which will be uglier than 1929.

Central banks have no plausible ammunition left to play with. Bloated balance sheets filled with mislabeled toxic assets (liabilities). Record low interest rates offer next to no policy flexibility and tapped out consumers face oblivion if asset prices keel over. A systemic banking collapse is absolutely plausible. No amount of QE will work this time.

Yes, it would be nice to see 2018 trump 2017 for good news (it wouldn’t be hard) but sadly the punch bowl at the party is empty and the hangover won’t be pleasant. No amount of painkillers will let one avoid a throbbing headache which will last a very long time.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Children’s book about Hillary designed to put kids to sleep


Just when victim based identity politics couldn’t plunge any lower, a children’s book about Hillary has been written. If anything Michelle Markel’s ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born To Lead’ could be a cure for overworked parents with insomniac children. Indeed it would be a fairytale if it ended up with her as the President! The real tale of the story should be that little girls can get ahead on ability, not just fall back on gender i.e. the very opposite of the campaign she ran. As long as the story stays clear of the horror of the Clinton Foundation and the deleting of 30,000 emails (rather apt for today’s generation) kids will be spared endless trauma.

Instead of adding Hillary to a list of illustrious but by no means complete list of amazing females that got ahead through their own efforts, Markel talks of the difficulties of the 1950s. She forgets the following –

Nobel Prize in Physics, 1903: Marie Curie

Nobel prize in Literature, 1909: Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1911: Marie Curie

Nobel Peace Prize, 1931: Jane Addams

Prime Minister of Israel: 1969 Golda Meir

Prime Minister of England, 1979: Margaret Thatcher

Mostly women who never used gender as an excuse but triumphed through ability. The best lesson of all for ambitious kids although in this day and age everyone wins a prize which I guess should be the tenet of the book.

In fact her latest autobiography would make a better children’s book, perhaps the (rather unfortunately named) Mr Men series as ‘Little Mrs Blame it on Eveyone Else’ because Roger Hargreaves could tell kids how her constant whining eventually stopped people listening. Perhaps a book best that would be best read by herself.

Perhaps Melania Trump should offer Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born To Lead to libraries and schools to see whether liberals would be as triggered and outraged when she sent Dr Seuss!

The true colours of the NFL in two predictable plays


So the NFL is starting to back down. Two plays that were so predictable that the quarterback would be stretchered off the field for its transparency.

1) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to the 32 teams requesting them to stand during the anthem. A Trump tweet suggesting that tax concessions get revised seemed to move Goodell toward making a decision based on the already worsening financials with several sponsors looking to pull out and ratings continuing to slide. Week 4 stats were down another 7% according to Nielsen. Some put the hurricanes as a factor.

2) Colin Kaepernick has said he promises to stand during the anthem on the next team that hires him. So for all of the principle-ladened action that cost him his job have come to the realization that financial security outweighs politics. The irony of his BLM support became massively diluted after everyone started taking knees for pretty much any issue, mostly a protest against the President who called them out for lacking patriotism.

For all of the kneeling in the world, there has been a more powerful protest at play – fans. Yes one can hear the calls of racism and how it’s insensitive whites turning their backs but the reality is that black and Hispanic viewers in all age groups are down in percentage terms as much as White fans according to Nielsen since the protests started in 2016. Only Asian fans in the 18-34 cohort are up year on year.

Once again, no one has ever argued these players don’t have a right to protest in their own time. When they’re on the clock, they should do as the boss requires of them. Let’s put it another way. Next time your boss asks you to cover a horribly rude but paying client, take a knee and see how far you get!

Is it just me or is there a voice Columbus Day to be scrapped? Tear down statues? Same arguments as those made over Australia Day. Rasmussen Reports that support for the day is up. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of American Adults think America should still honor Christopher Columbus with a national holiday, up from 50% two years ago. If you want to unite a country, start by not dividing it by every unique identity. The idea of unity is to become one at the same time recognizing our differences. Not recognize all differences and unless demands are met refuse to unify.

Lynching the lightbulb


“Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom – and no one will have noticed”

It is time for conservatives around the world to stand up to the totalitarian tsunami. From local councils stacking polls to ram through their own sanctimony to reckless destruction of public property there is an ugly tide of intolerance. The ‘your opinion doesn’t matter because we know better’ brigade will not learn. Their only aim is to shut up dissenting voices and push through their agenda with no respect for free speech and open debate. What is worse is that the longer libertarians turn a blind eye for fear of being labeled bigots, racists and nationalists, the more we will see these demands, sold under banners of political correctness, grow bolder. Why wouldn’t they? The funny thing is that voters are actually becoming tired of identity politics. If they weren’t we wouldn’t have Trump in the White House nor the Brits leaving the EU.

Tearing down monuments seems the topic of the month. These Confederate statues have caused such hostility, despite representing history. These statues of Robert E. Lee and the Civil War are supposedly causing such angst that yesterday someone decided extend the grievance remit by taking a sledge hammer to the oldest memorial of Christopher Columbus. In the fight for victimology, this makes as much sense as obese people taking umbrage at a statue of Ronald McDonald or Colonel Sanders for pushing their BMIs above 35.

In Australia we have an indigenous TV presenter who thinks that memorials to Captain James Cook, who discovered Terra Australis two and a half centuries ago, should be torn down because of the atrocities committed to the locals. Have the Jews, Gypsies and Roma demanded that memorials at Auschwitz, Birkenau, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek and so on be razed to the ground to erase the memories of the millions of them that were gassed and systematically murdered? Not a chance. They view these monuments as a reminder of atrocities that happened in recent history. It isn’t about grievance. One sign in Auschwitz 1 reads, “the one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.”

The one group that stands above all else in favour of destroying monuments is ISIS. Think of their narrow minded actions to flatten the 2000 year history of Palmyra in Syria. Because of their own narrow minded corrupted fear of theological inferiority they want to rid the world of anything that challenges societies superior to their own. Even civilizations before Islam was even around.

However erasing history by removing monuments and pushing grievance based identity politics is the blood sport of the radical left. Take the two councils (Yarra and Darebin) in Melbourne who went out of their way to ask their own activist groups to rig polls to cancel Australia Day. Forgetting the 220,000 residents across the two cities, a handful of people who were bound to give the desired response were targeted. Even then it wasn’t a slam dunk. One mayor said they made the decision because their constituents are too ignorant of history so they were going to educate them without their opinion. When breaking down the composition of the councillors in these two cities we can’t be surprised. Both Greens led with a smattering of Labor, Socialist and left leaning independents. The perfect cocktail for the totalitarian.

Where local council remits are really to take care of rubbish collection and maintain parking meters, Yarra and Darebin told 99% of their rate payers to take a hike. The irony is that many Aboriginal leaders are pro Australia Day as a way to celebrate ‘inclusiveness’. Yarra and Darebin want to push for exclusiveness.

It begs the question, if the indigenous community is so outraged at the day the British invaded Australia in 1788 why haven’t the cities in the northern part of the country which have a far higher incidence of indigenous residents pushed for this? The reality is most embrace Australia Day. Many are more annoyed that people try to use their history as a political tool. Yet the identity politics brigade led by the Greens and other left wing radicals want Australians to feel ashamed of events they had no hand in, much less were around for, to fuel the victimology that no doubt supports their dwindling voter base. Pathetic.

What is disturbing is the wish to silence debate. We see it with same sex marriage (SSM). The lobbyists and activists are in full flight. The push to silence and vilify those who oppose it is disturbing. Whether one regards those in the ‘No’ camp as bigoted or homophobic is beside the point. They should be free to debate their arguments and beliefs without being physically attacked and threatened. Should hotels be forced to surrender business because activists want to bully them to deny groups from discussing opposing views? Did the pro-SSM groups look to compensate the hotel for the lost revenues suffered? Not on your life.

Do people have right to be concerned that putting SSM in the Marriage Act breaks down the idea of ‘traditional’ marriage which could lead to a similar sort of push for polygamy and acceptance of child brides down the line? Even if such views are overreactions does it warrant the Australia Post union refusing to post anti-SSM materials? If the anti-SSM groups wish to expend millions on a mail out (most likely to wind up in the bin) why does a deeply loss making government run service have any say in what they deliver provided it doesn’t endanger their physical health?

Indeed if people wish to back the rights of posties, then Qantas CEO Alan Joyce should refrain from using shareholder funds to ram his pro-SSM agenda down staff and passenger’s throats. To suggest ‘equality’ in a plebiscite over ‘equality’ only highlights how there is no intention from the pro camp to practice what it preaches.

It is not about the principle but the side. Alan Joyce fails to recognize that the ‘acceptance ring’ stunt earlier in the year was a terrible breach of free speech in the workplace. Some staff may support SSM but not wish to openly express their feelings by wearing the ring. Yet failure to visibly show one’s support could end in ostracism. An exemplary employee may face censure and see career progression stifled because they don’t wish to be overt in the causes they support. If these employees feel pressured to wear it they effectively become slaves of the bosses who force the agenda.

Switching to Canada, it was disappointing to see new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer bow down to the idea that it was acceptable for government run universities to decide on who could speak. The idea of a school that receives taxpayer funding be able to control ‘free speech’ shows the exact type of spineless surrender to identity politics. When universities go out of their way to shut down the very foundation of their existence – free thought – what hope have we got? Scheer should be a great comfort for Trudeau. Whereas former interim leader Rona Ambrose had the PM’s measure at every turn, Scheer looks like another Turnbull-esque liberal-lite conservative. To glibly submit to such an embarrassing affront to free speech what hope have the youth got to openly express their opinions?

Sadly the activists are winning the culture wars. Bit by bit, people are having their freedoms yanked from beneath them because governments are too afraid to ruffle the feathers of those that scream the loudest. This unilateral decisions making their way into schools which push sexual indoctrination, cross dressing and all manner of shaming masked as anti-bullying programs is further evidence of submission.

Is it any wonder why Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party continues to grow in popularity. While many abhor her brand of politics and stunts, her rise in the polls is simply down to saying what the conservatives won’t. Voters don’t want soft alternatives. No matter how much one might detest the constant shenanigans of the Trump administration, he won his ticket because Clinton was more of the same old brand of identity politics that failed to give a growing number of people hope. He was always an experiment but one more were willing to take.

The culture of victimhood needs to end. Most of what we are seeing is on the fringe. One wonders why politicians fear it as the norm. This interview was great food for thought on the subject of debunking senseless liberal virtue signaling.