Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Corporations. The woke corporate world joined the political fray in earnest last week going after voting reform laws in Georgia and Texas.
- In Georgia, following passage of the election reform legislation, Coca Cola, Delta Air Lines and Major League Baseball all came out strongly against the legislation, with MLB pulling the All-Star Game from Atlanta at the behest of putative democrat governor Stacey Abrams. The game was moved to Colorado which has more limitations on election registration and voting than the newly signed Georgia legislation. Denver is also a far whiter city than Atlanta, a little factoid that escaped the media cheerleaders. Even President Xiden got himself involved in the name calling, referring to the new law as “Jim Crow on steroids.” And he should know, spending the better part of his early career in the US Senate sidling up to the remaining segregationists in it. They were the senior democrats when he started in 1973. For her part, Abrams, who has her eye on a reprise of her losing 2018 gubernatorial run denied any connection to the decision to move the game. FNC reports something else entirely. The move will cost Atlanta businesses over $100 million. Gonna be tough to run as a woke black in 2022 appealing to all the black voters in Atlanta when you just hammered black owned businesses statewide with that sort of loss of revenue. Coca Cola and Delta both are headquartered in Atlanta. Both get substantial tax breaks from both the state and local governments. Legislation was introduced in the Georgia legislature to strip Delta’s tax break. Similar legislation was passed some years ago but never executed by the governor at the time. This time around is something else.
- In Texas, American Airlines joined the public fray going after election reform legislation making its way through the Texas legislature. This prompted a back and forth with Texas LtGov Dan Patrick who told AA in no uncertain terms to butt out of politics.
- Over the weekend, over 100 corporate leaders banned together, signed a joint communique vowing to fight election reform legislation making its way through over 30 state legislatures. Both Legal Insurrection and Breitbart carried the story. I am linking to Legal Insurrection.
- Why is this going on? I think it is the decades-long infestation of highly credentialed, poorly educated idiots in the Executive Suites. When you look outside the technical world, the ideological capture of the soft sciences, especially the HR departments, is nearly complete. And the closer you get to graduates from the elite schools, the more left-wing worldview holds sway. It took a while to get here. It will take a while to get out. Meanwhile, the customers and state governments are about to take some very large caliber chunks of corporate flesh from the soon to be desiccated carcasses of the multinational corporations. Like the ongoing ban of all things conservative, this is also a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs on the political right.
2. Persuasion. Now that corporations are loudly and publicly telling everyone who will listen that they will no longer do business with governments who in their view do beastly things to their citizens, what do we do about it? From Scott Adams’ viewpoint, this is a Gift from God, Manna from Heaven, a persuasion opening we (conservatives) have not had in decades. What is the one thing that all the woke corporations (including sports) have in common? Every single one of them is eyeballing the China market and their billion-plus citizens as the next large marketplace. And what does China do on a daily basis? More specifically, what do the ChiComs do to their people? They run concentration camps. They run forced sterilization of dissidents. They do involuntary surgeries of imprisoned people harvesting organs and sell those organs (not unlike the chop-shop operation Planned Parenthood runs on fetal tissue). If the woke corporations are honor and duty-bound to no longer do business with Georgia or Texas based on them doing what they very publicly define as ugly things to their citizens, how can they possibly do business with China? Marco Rubio was the first one to make this point which is where Adams picked up on it. It is only a matter of time before a forced decoupling from China will be underway. And there is nothing anyone on the political left can do about it. China just had one of its worst weeks in history, with the woke corporate world not far behind. These corporations may even get roped into having to pay the reparations democrat racialists so desperately are demanding.
3. Pete. Sneaky Pete had a fun little week, this time around with his bike ride to work. He was recorded getting out of his normal transportation mode, a black SUV a couple blocks away from his office as Transportation Secretary. His security detail removed a pair of bicycles from the back of the vehicle and he and a security guy rode a couple blocks to work, all followed by the SUV and remaining security detail. Who rides a bike in a suit? So much for alternate transportation in a world where everyone has the ability to take photos, video and sound.
4. Thomas. SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas demonstrated once again that he is one of the most principled and brilliant Justice on the Court. Last week, concurring with dismissal of Twitter-based lawsuits against President Trump for blocking people from his feed, Thomas warned that a day of reconning looms for social media companies. The SCOTUS dismissed a pair of cases aimed at Trump as moot as Trump was no longer president and Twitter had banned him permanently from his platform. Thomas wrote:
“We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”
He went farther, suggesting that congress might need to enact new rules on the social media companies, using the example of the early days of the telegraph system where they were bound to serve all customers alike without discrimination. The Federalist went farther, suggesting that Thomas provided a legal roadmap to stopping social media censorship. This viewpoint is based on the monopoly power of Big Tech, where unilateral control of the public forum means no real public forum exists at all. You can’t say that something is a government forum when a private company has unrestricted authority to do away with it. Thomas did not limit his remarks to Twitter, but also included Goolag and Amazon reminding us of Amazon’s power to block listings of books. Amazon blocked a PBS video entitled “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” during Black History Month. What matters in this is that alternatives need to be comparable in power and scope to Big Tech who are using their power early and often. Today, they aren’t.
5. Density. NY based City Journal published a piece last week entitled The Death of Density describing destructive trends that the cities are going to have to deal with in the very near future. First in the crosshairs, urban density, unraveled by the internet, COVID-19 response, and incompetent blue governance. 2020 crippled the machinery that supports urban density. Taxpaying workers, revenue-generating shoppers, and free spending tourists are the people who provide the money stream that finances the infrastructure, mass transit and public employees, are disappearing. Remaining urbanism is coarser, less forgiving, more dangerous, more radical and more expensive for those who are left. The remaining cities will be left in perpetual financial crisis. And they should. Why operate a business from an expensive midtown office when all you need is a smartphone, laptop, backdrop for video calls and Amazon Prime? At a societal level, why do we need multi-billion urban infrastructure when all you need is zoom, signal and broadband internet? Last year, NY lost half a million jobs. Employment in NYC arts and entertainment sector dropped 66%. And over 300,000 residents from high income parts of town filed change of address forms. Less than half of Manhattan’s million office employees will return to in-person work by Sept. Only 22% of the city’s top employers will require employees to work on premises. Only 10% of Manhattan office employees have returned to work as of Mar 2021. Things look bleak for the cities today and they may remain that way until reformers backed by competent political leadership rescue the cities from fiscal crisis, crime, dependency, and dysfunction like they did 30 years ago. Possible? Absolutely. Likely? Not for a while, but one of the things about the world today is that when change takes place, it comes very, very quickly.
6. Fraud. A second Jay Valentine article in American Thinker on unraveling election fraud went up a week ago. This one, Election Fraud Hotspots – 10% of the Data are 70% of the Fraud delved into how the fraud was committed. The deeper this team looks, the more the election fraud looks like property casualty insurance fraud. This is driven by data analysis. If a PA trucker drove 100,000 ballots from NY to PA, how do you find that out? You find out with database analysis. Every single one of those ballots has a name and addy on it. You can hide the truck, claim it never happened. But you can’t hide the record of the ballot. How do you fake 100,000 ballots every single one of which needs names, addys, and in some cases birth dates? They are getting reports from Secretaries of State are modifying mail-in ballot data to hide tens of thousands of ballots received before they were sent. This is a bad idea, as fraud data is the world’s messiest crime. In a normal crime, if the criminal alters a crime scene, they always make things worse for themselves, generally by leaving traces of what they are trying to hide. When you alter data, you are leaving huge tracks for investigators. And in this case, citizen investigators are onto the voting fraud like stink on brown stuff. Their working theory today is that 70% of all 2020 election fraud will be eventually tied to 10% of the records. Like insurance fraud, election fraud has cultural affinities, geographic patterns, and links to a small number of people who deliver most of the fraud. People who do this tend to hang together and have similar interests. They don’t bring in strangers. Rather, they bring in friends and family. These relationships show up as a hot spots in data visualization. For example, 634 people with the same birthday live at seven related addresses, and that address is a UPS store with mailboxes. Data visualization allows all of this to be clearly seen and the citizen teams are in the process of seeing it.
More later –