Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Chick-fil-A effect

In 2012 the President of Chick-fil-A expressed his disapproval of same sex marriage. The left erupted in outrage. Boycotts were declared. The chain was declared unwelcome in San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere.

The link above spends a great deal of time detailing the outrage, loss of corporate partnerships and generally vilifies the company. Below is the last entry in the very long piece and, of course, my point.

"Financial effect

Sales increased after the controversy. According to news coverage following the controversy:[71]
Chick-fil-A's sales soared 12 percent, to $4.6 billion, in 2012. The good fortune follows several years of impressive expansion and strong sales, which have pushed the privately held company's valuation north of $4.5 billion, making billionaires out of its founders ... These latest sales data are just further proof that all that negative coverage didn't hurt demand for chicken sandwiches among Chick-fil-A's core consumers.
— Joe Satran, The Huffington Post"

The Huffington Post, which I referenced recently is a lefty outlet. Note how the author attempts to minimize what really happened to boost sales.  It is not "that negative coverage didn't hurt demand". Negative coverage put a rocket under demand as those of us who were fed up with the oppression of the PC culture quietly, but effectively, neutered it.

Among the most important factors that gave us President Donald Trump is the corrosive effect on our civilization of political correctness which tries to shame and/or outlaw any opinions inconsistent with their own.

The left is at it again, in spades. Boycotts of Trump brands and particularly Ivanka Trump brands are under vicious PC attack everywhere. Her brands have reportedly discontinued by several major retailers including Nordstrom and Sears/Kmart.

Meanwhile, her perfume brand has leaped to #1 at Amazon. The Chick-fil-A effect is underway, and will, no doubt, continue.

It is worthwhile noting, in my opinion, that at the time of their kerfuffle, Chick-fil-A was a significant contributor to organizations opposed to same-sex marriage and the expansion of LXQXWZ or whatever it is, "rights". Being a responsible, law abiding corporate citizen, the company stopped donating to most of those organizations after the Supreme Court decision mandating same-sex marriage.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Plausible Explanation

Like most of us I have been aware of the Dilbert cartoon series for a long time. I have read it occasionally and, for the most part, have not understood its appeal or even its point.

Thanks to the Instapundit I have been treated to a series of links to the web site of Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, since President Trump began his run for office. I have linked to him before.

His explanations of how Trump accomplished his amazing political feat have been fascinating to me.

I watched the President's press conference on Thursday for a little while. I was mostly impressed. I stopped watching at the point that he said, and I paraphrase, "No matter what I say today all the news tomorrow will be about me ranting and raving. I am not ranting." Taking his bait, as usual, this was Friday's Huffington Post cover for their reporting.





I mentioned above Mr. Adams fascinating explanation of Trump's success. In this post Mr. Adams provides a plausible explanation for another phenomenon, that apparently sane and intelligent people people can come away from the same experience with two completely different interpretations of what occurred.

With reference to HP's complete failure to predict Trump's success and the fact that they saw an entirely different press conference than I did he writes:

"When reality violates your ego that rudely, you either have to rewrite the movie in your head to recast yourself as an idiot, or you rewrite the movie to make yourself the hero who could see what others missed".

Read the whole thing.

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History? Don't know any

Via Paul Mirengoff at Powerline I accessed  this story of an argument between an anti-Trump conventional media reporter (is there another kind) and a Trump staffer.

The reporter told a tale of abuse at the hands of the staffer. Apparently the exchange was taped and the tape is unkind to the reporter's version of events.

The reporter asserts that the making of the tape, without her knowledge or approval was "Nixonian". She is correct, but not in the way she thinks.

Nixon did indeed surreptitiously tape all conversations in the Oval Office and elsewhere in the White House and at Camp David for a couple of years. He had every right to do so, as did the person who did so in this case.

What the complaining reporter meant by her claim of "Nixonian" actions was that the taping was illegal and big brotherish.

What she failed to understand is the real Nixonian aspect of the event.

The taping of the exchange is her undoing, just like it was Nixon's.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Respect for Women

I have heard all I can stand about the Republican war on women, Trump's bad behavior toward women and men's misogynistic impulses.

The real war on the dignity and image of women is being waged by women.

What is more damaging to the dignity and image of women, Trump's potty mouth and boorish actions or this?





Lady Gaga (pictured above), Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians and their entire reality show and performers cohort, who appear to be in constant competition to see how much they can resemble a real live hooker, are a far more serious stain on the dignity and image of women than poorly behaved men could ever be.

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Warren Buffet on Immigration

I have mentioned the legendary investor Warren Buffet before. It was in the context of him trying to persuade us that our income tax regime is wildly skewed in favor of the "rich" and that the "rich" should pay more taxes. He tried to make the case that his assistant who makes about $100K per year pays more taxes than he does. It is probably true, but it does not do anything in  furtherance of his point. His comparison, as I explained, was apples to oranges. (You will have to scroll to the last entry on the linked page to read the post.)

I mention in the post that, in my opinion Buffet is a liar.

He has recently sought fit to opine on the current hot-button issue of immigration.

Here too Buffet is being deceptive. He says, " “Well, immigration, this country is built on it. I always say to people that are anti-immigration, ‘let’s put it in retroactively.’ And everybody leaves,” the 86-year-old billionaire said on a panel with his friend Bill Gates on Friday at Columbia University in New York."

Do you know, or have you ever known anyone for whom you have any respect at all who is anti-immigration? I didn't think so. I haven't either. So why does he misrepresent the issues?  Why would the other panelists or audience members not point out that the issues actually being discussed are illegal immigration and immigration from failed Muslim states so we could hear Buffet's opinions on the actual issues? I don't know either.

I find it impossible to believe that he does not know what the issues actually are. I think he is doing what liberals always do. Ridicule people who don't agree with them in the hope of embarrassing them into silence.

You want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump.




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Sunday, February 12, 2017

False Comparison. How and Why They Do It.

On January 26, 2017 Dan Levine of Reuters wrote a piece entitled, "In Trump Era Democrats and Republicans switch sides on states' rights".

"States' rights" is described in Black's Law Dictionary.

" Under the Tenth Amendment, rights neither conferred on the federal government nor forbidden to the states".

He describes the situation using Scott Pruitt's position as Attorney General of Oklahoma arguing against Obamacare compared with his likely positions with respect to EPA regulations to make his case.

"...He was part of a coalition of Republican attorneys general fighting President Barack Obama's health law - better known as Obamacare - based on a core party principle: that states' rights trump federal powers, and that programs like Obamacare represent a radical overreach by the federal government.

Now, as Trump looks to undo Obama's legacy and begin constructing his own, Pruitt and other administration Republicans are showing little interest in protecting states' rights. Instead, they are embracing sweeping new environmental, health care and immigration policies that are to be imposed on all states."

That last sentence is extremely  important and indicates that Mr. Levine either does not understand the concept of states' rights or he chooses not to understand it in furtherance of his narrative.

Read this again carefully:

"...coalition of Republican attorneys general fighting President Barack Obama's health law - better known as Obamacare - based on a core party principle: that states' rights trump federal powers, and that programs like Obamacare represent a radical overreach by the federal government."

Apparently Mr. Levine thinks that a core principle of the Republican Party is "that states' rights trump federal powers". Really? A quick look at Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment might be in order.

The actual "core principle" is that the federal government ought not to expand beyond the powers conferred on it by the Constitution. In the quite widely disseminated opinion of every Republican I have ever heard on the subject, Obamacare is indeed a "radical overreach by the federal government" and rolling it back is entirely consistent with the protection of states' rights. 

The administration will not (and proclaims it very loudly, I'm surprised Mr. Levine hasn't heard about this) be imposing new environmental, health care and immigration policies on the states in violation of the states' rights principle. They will be rolling back environmental and health care policies that violate states' rights in those areas.

For reasons best known to Mr. Levine he believes that immigration law is a power to be exercised  by the states. It is not. To argue otherwise would be to suggest it reasonable and appropriate to have as many as 50 different immigration regimes. Ridiculous on its face. A quick look at Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution might help.

He may recall Arizona's efforts to gain control of its southern border. Arizona's argument was not that it was within the state's rights under the Constitution to assert control over the border. The argument was that the federal government, having completely failed to carry out its obligations with respect to the border, had forfeited its constitutionally mandated jurisdiction over it and Arizona had to step in to protect its sovereignty.

So the "how" is by misunderstanding, misinterpretation, mendacity or some combination of the three.

The "why" is to provide cover for Democrats who have long abhorred the notion of us yokels in the hinterlands making any decisions for ourselves. (New York abortion laws for Mississippi anyone?) Since "everyone" is changing sides there is no shame in it. 

They are suddenly embracing the concept, see sanctuary cities . To be fair, there was a time when Democrats fully embraced the notion of states' rights. That was in 1860 when they wrongly and unreasonably asserted the states' rights defense in support of slavery and secession. 

Welcome back.


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Friday, February 10, 2017

More winning! And more winning!

Now here is some more excellent news.

Now here is some excellent news:

"More than 7,000 refugee applicants entered Canada in 2016 through land ports of entry from the United States, up 63 percent from the previous year, according to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)."

Just more winning courtesy of Donald Trump.

According to Reuters these hapless refugees are fleeing a "worsening climate of xenophobia".

Really odd language for a "news" story to use, don't you think?

 Courtesy of Merriam-Webster

Definition of xenophobia

  1. :  fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign


    So, based on nothing more than their own prejudices, these self-righteous hacks proclaim us to be xenophobes, because every one knows we are a hateful bunch who discriminate against everyone who is not white.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fake News?

On January 26 The Washington Post's Josh Rogin wrote this,

"Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era." (Emphasis added)

Yikes! What a catastrophe. Well, no, not quite a catastrophe, more like a big fat nothing burger. Just more of the same exaggeration, hysteria and misleading nonsense that Trump has inspired in the left.

Here, courtesy of Yousef Munayyer is the State Department's organizational chart:
Embedded image

The names circled in yellow are those who resigned. Looks like there are one or two high ranking State Department officials left, doesn't it?

"Whether Kennedy left on his own volition or was pushed out by the incoming Trump team is a matter of dispute inside the department." Really?

"The State Department said that the four officials had submitted their resignations at the start of the new administration, as is standard practice with all political appointees throughout the executive branch of the government."

Actually, this is just a reporter covering his rear. All political appointees tender their resignations at the end of a presidential term. Whether and when those resignations are accepted is a decision left up to the administration. The resignations were accepted. Routine, unless a Republican is President. In that case it is an unprecedented catastrophe.

"“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry.

Maybe.

If these people had been doing their jobs properly they should have very well trained subordinates ready to step up. Shouldn't they?






The press release below explains the reality which is, business as usual. Do not take at face value a word you read about Republicans in the Washington Post or New York Times. Ever.

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About That Travel "Ban"

As I read all the hysteria regarding the temporary ban on US entry for people (mostly Muslim) from seven countries with serious Islamic terror issues, I notice that those objecting most loudly are actually missing the point.

Some, like Charles C.W. Cooke, a writer at National Review, are green card holders. I think he is from England (I can't find the link to his piece on the subject, sorry.) He describes the excruciating process one must follow to get a green card. He is correct. I remember it well even though I went through it over thirty years ago.

The implication of his piece is that green card holders have been thoroughly vetted and enough is enough.

Here is the problem as I see it. The people being targeted are not from England or Canada (like me) but from wildly unstable places with very uncertain record keeping regimes and notoriously corrupt governments. Our government has, in my opinion, no credibility on the subject of the admission of Muslims to this country.

I am sure the victims of the Boston Bombers and the San Bernadino shooter don't find the government credible. I know I don't. Trump made it plain during the campaign that he certainly doesn't. Those events, among others, would never have happened had the vetting agencies done their jobs in any competent way. People died, people were physically maimed for life. I can't imagine the psychological impact of having been a survivor of such catastrophes.

This is a temporary pause to fix our systems. That it temporarily inconveniences some people is unfortunate. One thing is certain. The one or two or three people coming here with bad intentions will not be here anytime soon. I never did agree with Obama's suggestion that we can absorb a few hits in the interest of political correctness, as he wanders about in armored cars surrounded by heavily armed people dedicated to his survival. What a pompous coward.

There are a lot of people complaining that the roll out of the policy was botched. Maybe, I don't know. I find I don't actually "hear" most of the critics, the din is so constant and loud.

Of course, that may just be exactly what Trump had in mind.

Scott Adams the creator of Dilbert, among other things, has demonstrated great insight into Trump's thinking over the last 2 years or so. I invite you to read this.



































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Friday, January 20, 2017

Good Job Mr. President

Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I have written before about my reluctant vote for him and subsequent approval of his appointments.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he appears to have meant what he said all through the campaign and then during the post-election period.

He has barged into the lions' den and informed the lions that they are being evicted, he, having already evicted both of America's political dynasties.

"Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.
This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people."

I did not  expect anything so aggressive. Obama looked as though he was trying not to throw up when congratulating Mr. Trump after the speech. Everything in the speech was a complete repudiation of him and his policies. Bill Clinton looked furious.

I thought it particularly comical when the camera showed Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell smiling, clapping and nodding vigorously. They appear not to understand that they are part of the problem and will either acquiesce to the new regime or be driven from office.

The pitchforks have been delivered, let the stable cleaning begin.

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