Thursday, June 1, 2023

Anti-Woke backlash


First it was Bud Light getting boycotted because they decided to associate their brand with an attention-seeking cross-dresser, then Target put their 'June is Pride Month' merchandise front and center, featuring 'tuck-friendly' women's bathing suits aimed at those 'trans women' who haven't yet had their gender-reassignment surgeries.  Now Disney is facing the wrath of parents over a (sales)man in a dress helping little girls pick out their favorite Princess gown at the 'Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique' at Disney World Orlando.

Anheuser-Busch was certain the Bud Light brouhaha would blow over in weeks if not days, but they have been very disappointed thus far.  Target, apparently not prepared to become the next Bud Light, has made motions that look a lot like 'backing down', but their sales are off and their stock price is falling — not like ABInbev's, but showing signs.  Several recent Disney movies have turned in unusually poor box office results.  It looks like parents are taking the kids to the zoo instead of the theater.  What the heck is going on?

I think what's happening is that the normies have reached the limit of their tolerance.  This isn't new.  During the Age of Covid, parents discovered to their horror what their children were learning at school — and they didn't like it.  They didn't like it so much that they descended on school board meetings en masse to let the administrators know how much they didn't like it.  It could all have ended there, but the newly-installed Democratic administration decided to make an example of those uppity parents by siccing the Famous But Incompetent FBI on them.  Lots of normies suddenly were awakened (not 'woke') to the truth that they were a mere complaint away from getting the same treatment.

And their response has been a collective middle-finger.

In this game of economic 'chicken', the consumer has options; the retailers don't.  The LGBTQIA-LS/MFT community is a fraction, a puny fraction of the retail audience.  Even if that community doesn't initiate their own boycott because some retailer backs off their full-throated support of their tiny population, they aren't enough to rescue a brand that has — for all practical purposes — poisoned the well.  That's what Anheuser-Busch has discovered, much to their chagrin.  In some parts of the country, Budweiser brands, not just Bud Light, have lost up to 30% of their market share along with their #1 spot.  Miller, Coors, and Yeungling have gleefully stepped in to take up the slack.  That looks suspiciously like a Kiss of Death.  It's not outside the envelope of reality that ABInbev might be making some serious changes, perhaps 'ownership'.

It will only take one major corporation to crumble to end, completely, the current fascination with 'ESG scores'.

All things considered, I think that would constitute 'a good thing'.


Monday, April 24, 2023

Galatians 4:16


The hot news today is that Tucker Carson and FOX News have parted company.  The #1 most popular cable news host has, if we can believe what we're hearing, been fired.  Who does that?  Alienating their most prolific revenue producer?

People, my spouse among them, love to accuse Tucker of lying, but I have thus far seen no evidence of that.  I believe the more likely explanation is Galatians 4:16 :

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

If someone posits that Carlson orchestrated this parting, I would be hard-pressed to dispute that.  He is not 'one of', but usually the only FOX commentator covering certain stories.  It's because of him that the difference between 'conspiracy theory' and 'breaking news' is down to about three weeks.  In fact, that may be why he's the #1 most popular cable news host... in history.

For the longest time, I believed Carlson was not an actual FOX employee, and instead produced his own content and then sold that content to FOX.  Anecdotal evidence now suggests that impression was wrong.  According to Buck Sexton, Carlson wanted tonight's program focused on a defense of his part in the recently-concluded Dominion Voting Systems suit against FOX.  When FOX executives forbade Carlson doing that, Sexton said, "he quit".

That sounds more plausible than "he was fired", but it makes little difference.  Whether the rock hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the rock, it's bad news for the pitcher.

The 'pitcher' in this case is FOX News.  They're about to find out how many eyeballs watch Hannity simply because they were already tuned to that channel.  If Hannity's Nielsen ratings take a serious hit, it means that FOX didn't simply lose Carlson's audience, but also Hannity's, and perhaps Laura Ingraham's and Gutfeld's as well.  Time will tell.

Dave Rubin recounted the time Tucker visited him and saw Rubin's garage-studio.  "You're livin' the dream!" Tucker exclaimed.  Tucker has been broadcasting from his Maine home for several years now, and I have no doubt his garage currently looks a lot like Rubin's.  If he's not already an independent content producer, what's to stop him now?

As for FOX, I think they're about to find out what happens when you kill a golden goose.


Update 2023-05-30:  We can now opine with high confidence regarding the amount of traffic Carlson was providing to Hannity and Laura Ingraham.  It was substantial in the true meaning of the word.  FOX's 8pm primetime slot is now losing to both MSNBC and CNN, and the 9pm and 10pm slots are not faring any better.  FOX News has bitten down — hard — on a cyanide pill.

Liz Wheeler, several weeks ago, hypothesized that the FOX-Carlson break spells 'the end of cable news'.  It's looking now like she was ahead of the curve.


Wednesday, April 5, 2023



I normally wait a day or two to let the dust settle before opining on current events.  This is long enough.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg yesterday indicted Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States, with 34 felony counts of falsifying records.  If you have not yet read the actual text of the indictment, I encourage you to do so now by clicking the provided link.  What you will find there (in case you don't want to take the time) is 34 nearly identical charges:

...with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof, made and caused a false entry in the business records of...

All of these 'crimes' are dated between February 14, 2017 and December 5, 2017 and refer to General Ledger entries for various vouchers and checks.  Nowhere in the indictment is there any reference to the '[]other crime' that is the predicate for the indictment.

A few days back, I quoted the 6th Amendment:

Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

I concentrated then on the 'compulsory process' provision — which is a serious problem for Alvin Bragg, since it allows Trump's lawyers even to subpoena the staff in Bragg's office and compel them to testify under oath and under threat of felony prosecution for perjury.  Ouchie!

This is much more serious now.  The indictment should have been quashed for not specifying the underlying crime that generated the 34 felony counts.  Which 'underlying crime'?  We're talking here about an alleged payment to Stormy Daniels for a NDA regarding an alleged affair with Donald Trump.  Bragg is indicting Trump for (we have to assume) not marking those transactions as 'Hush-money for Stormy Daniels NDA',  But, as Alan Dershowitz pointed out to Tucker Carlson last night, there has never been a (successful) prosecution for mischaracterising 'hush money' payments.  Why?  Because forcing people to state the true purpose of such a payment constitutes forcing them to self-incriminate, and the 5th Amendment prohibits governments at all levels, including NY State and NY City, from doing that.  To the extent that NYS law requires that, the law is prima facie unconstitutional.

Beyond that, that 'underlying crime' is only so because it would have interfered with the election of 2016.  But look at the dates: February 14, 2017 to December 5, 2017.  The election was over by then.  There could not have been any interference with an election that ended and was certified before any of the 'election interference' that Trump is charged with.

Conclusion: Alvin Bragg's career is about to end, and that's just one more thing we need to thank Donald Trump for.  How could Bragg be that stupid?  I've recently started wondering if Bragg is actually working undercover for Trump, his main task being to get Trump re-elected in 2024.  If that were true, what would Bragg be doing differently?


Friday, March 31, 2023

"Compulsory Process"


Of all the words in the U.S.Constitution that I like, the words "compulsory process" are the ones I like best.  They appear as part of the 6th Amendment:

Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

"Compulsory process" means that, at trial, the defense can subpoena witnesses and force them to testify.  Yes, the 5th amendment protects them from having to testify against themselves, but they can be asked questions like "What did Miss Jones say on that occasion?" and that question they must answer truthfully or risk felony prosecution for perjury.

This is the beast that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has now unleashed.  Do you think Trump's lawyers will put it to good use?  Does anyone think they will not?

Let the games begin.


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Disparity of Protection


Well, it's happened again: some psycho confused about her gender has killed a bunch of school children and school teachers.  In response, one talking head after another is bleating that our schoolchildren should get the same level of protection that our lawmakers get.

I now think that's exactly the wrong way to think about the problem.

Lawmakers should get the same level of protection that the children get.


Monday, March 20, 2023

Extinction As A Corrective Measure


We've recently watched several banks (Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank) suddenly go 'casters up' in IT-speak, and the government in the guise of the FDIC has jumped in to assure their depositors (and investors... let's not forget the investors) that all will be well.

Just kidding...  All is not going to be well... except for those depositors and investors.  You?  You're going to pay the butcher's bill.  'FDIC', let's keep in mind, is the Federal Deposit Insurance Company.  Normally, banks pay premiums to FDIC based on the number of deposit accounts at their respective institutions and the value of those accounts up to insured limits.

Suddenly, bank depositors are being reimbursed well above the limits that were insured.  Actuarily, that's a losing business model — for the FDIC.  (It's great for the banks.)  If deposit insurance rates are being set correctly, we should expect that the FDIC will end each fiscal year with a small surplus or a small deficit.


So, when the FDIC comes up short by a huge pile of loot (and I use that term deliberately), where does the FDIC — which cannot go out of business — find the funding for its sudden and unexpected (heh heh heh) flood of red ink?

I know, Dear Reader, that you are way ahead of me on this.  You have already guessed, haven't you, that the U.S.Treasury is going to write a nice fat check to FDIC to help them over their sudden and unexpected (heh heh heh) 'difficulties', and you already know that you fund the U.S.Treasury.

Extinction, they say, is the engine of evolution.  When a species goes extinct, it makes evolutionary 'room' for a successor species that, we hope and expect, will be 'better' however that term is defined.

When a banking species is artificially protected from the consequences of Natural Selection, things don't get better.  That is why I can confidently predict that the 'failures' of SVB and Signature Bank will not only not be the last such, but that we should expect more of the same within The Planning Future.

Get out your checkbook.


Friday, February 10, 2023

Gender-Affirming Surgeries


I know I'm going to get pushback on this from certain quarters, but I'm going to say it anyway.  The GOP and GOP-aligned elements should stop militating against so-called 'gender-affirming practices'.  It's fine to say — periodically — that they think it's a bad idea.  Heck, I think it's a bad idea, but no one's doing gender-affirming surgery on me or anyone I care about.

Now, why would any right-thinking person hold such a position?  The reason is very simple:  we constantly bleat that actions (like elections) have consequences.  What better way to forcefully make that point than to let those consequences occur?

We're told that 'often', 'generally', or maybe 'always' such surgeries leave the patient sterile.  That means the gene, if that's what it is, or the political ideology, if that's what it is, is not going to be passed on to the next generation — because there won't be a next generation.  It's a self-correcting problem, meaning:  we don't need to do anything about it.

There is a time to make things happen, and there is a time to let things happen.  It's important to know the difference.