Davos goes down 1

Have those arrogant globalist elites trying to rule the world been stopped at last?

Have the nationalists, slowly awaking from their passivity and apathy to vote for Brexit and Donald Trump, to put on yellow vests and shout angrily in the streets of their Western cities, stopped them?

We quote Michael Barone writing at Investor’s Business Daily on 2/1/2019:

Turnout at Davos was lousy this year. President Trump, preoccupied by the government shutdown, was a no-show at last week’s World Economic Forum there. So were British Prime Minister Theresa May (Brexit) and French President Emanuel Macron (“gilets jaunes”). Chinese President Xi Jinping, Davos’ 2018 star, and Russian President Vladimir Putin weren’t there either. Neither were some of the usual financial and media big names.

From all of this, you might get the impression that the world’s political, financial and media elites have lost much of their prestige these days, which, of course, they have.

It’s an enormous contrast with elites’ sunny confidence, over much of the quarter century after the fall of the Soviet Union, that they could remake the world … 

Consider Mexico. The NAFTA trade agreement was proposed by the Reagan administration, negotiated by the Bush administration and ratified by the Clinton administration, with plenty of support from both parties, especially Texans (Lloyd Bentsen, the Bushes) close to the border. They hoped to make Mexico more like the United States, and to regularize Mexican immigration.

There has been some convergence, with life in much of Mexico resembling Texas, but also with large parts of California resembling Mexico. Illegal immigration surged up until the 2007 economic crisis.

Even more ambitious was the bipartisan elites’ project of bringing China into the world trading system. The hope was that an increasingly prosperous Chinese populace would demand more freedom and democracy. That hasn’t happened; instead, Xi Jinping has regressed toward one-man rule.

Meanwhile, serious academic studies have substantiated non-elite charges that Chinese imports have cost America hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. In return, American consumers have been able to buy clothes, toys and gadgets at increasingly low prices. But for many, it is at the cost of the dignity and sense of self-worth achieved by earning a paycheck.

The chief project of European elites, the “ever-closer” European Union, has arguably worked out worse. The Euro currency that was supposed to tie Europe together has instead (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher predicted) widened the rift between the Mediterranean countries and an increasingly dominant Germany. Britain voted for Brexit — leaving the EU — in 2016, and elites, despite astonishing contempt for voters, have so far failed to reverse that verdict. …

In each case, these elites have underestimated the force and persistence of national cultures

Perhaps the success of American military leaders in transforming post-World War II Germany and Japan turned out to be misleading. Those two countries drew on ethical and parliamentary traditions rooted in those societies and not wholly destroyed by short periods of dominance by Nazi thugs and murderous militarists. Mexico and China have different traditions, and there is no vital tradition of European unity.

Elites are impatient with people they regard as their inferiors. If you question Eurocrats’ undemocratic drive for an “ever-closer Union”, you are told that without the EU, France and Germany would once again go to war — obvious nonsense. If you advise more respect for nationalist traditions, you are told that all nationalists are Nazis — obvious nonsense again.

If you say that competition from low-wage workers in Mexico and China might cause substantial job loss in the United States, you are told what every college grad learns in Economics 101 (but what sounds counterintuitive to non-college grads), that free trade benefits both importers and exporters. You can argue that Mexican immigration and Chinese job competition peaked before 2007, but they still obviously rankle many voters.

So the political, financial and media elites have taken beatings at the ballot box … Their failures to make course corrections and their lack of respect for decent nationalism have been costly. Something to talk about if they slink back to Davos next year.

“Slink back” is good!

But to answer our opening questions: No, there is still many a battle ahead before Merkel, Macron and May – probably never accepting that they were wrong – are driven from power. The rickety EU is not yet about to be pushed over to explode in a cloud of dust. And in the US, because badly educated 18-24 year olds who have no stake in the economy are allowed to vote, there is a real danger of socialist environmentalist race-obsessed feminist globalists coming to power in the next decade.

The new tyranny 12

An imminent and severe threat to freedom is the policy of certain businesses and ostensible facilitators of business that suddenly see themselves as arbiters and dictators of moral rectitude rather than what they are needed to be and essentially are – profit-makers.

To be in business to make a profit is enormously useful, supremely  important, and highly moral. 

Visa and Mastercard are among those that have decided otherwise. They are refusing their services to people and organizations with whom they have political disagreements.

As once it was religious disagreement that the powerful punished, now it is political disagreement. In both cases the punishers believe their views are  morally correct. It is not dissent, they believe, but immorality that they are punishing, for the long-term good of all humankind. 

It is very short-sighted of them. If they stick to a policy of selling their services only to their political like-thinkers, and implement it efficiently, they will be excluding as clients half the population of every Western country. We wonder if they have understood and accepted that consequence.

Among the people and organizations they are punishing are Jihad Watch and the Freedom Center. Both are politically conservative. So we presume that the people making the decision to deny them service are Leftists, and we must look at the issue through a Leftist lens to understand why they are thinking this way.

A Leftist lens is one that picks race, color, ethnic origin and sex as prime measures of virtue and deservedness. (The Left is obsessed with race and sex.) 

So who are the people at Mastercard and Visa who are punishing conservatives by refusing to serve them? 

The Management Committee of Mastercard is made up thus: 

26 members, of which 

5 are women, including the Vice Chair 

6 are Asian 

4 are Hispanic

11 are white men

The Management Team of Visa consists of :

11 members,  of which 

4 are women all bearing  the title of Executive Vice President and 1 more who is Vice Chair   

2 Asians 

5 white men including the CEO

(Who will wager us a dollar or two that they all vote Democrat and contribute to the Democratic Party?) 

Wallace Nunn writes at Front Page, a Freedom Center website: 

Every day there is a new report about how Facebook, Google,Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other giants of social media censor content, banish certain commentators for incorrect views, and otherwise work in a steady if unsystematic way to homogenize political opinion within an acceptably progressive bandwidth.  Ideas are scoured for “racism” — as contentiously defined by the intellectual stylebook of the hard left Southern Poverty Law Center, which the media have set up as an “authority” on hate speech; freedom of speech is seen as a nuisance rather than a guarantee of personal liberty and true diversity of opinion.

But there is an even more sinister threat to the first amendment than the social media, a threat that operates in a stealth way in the most crucial arena of our economic system.  It is corporate giants MasterCard and Visa, which now use their unparalleled financial power to determine what speech should be allowed and what speech should be silenced.

Most Americans use a credit or debit card every day and take these two corporations as much for granted as the light switch or the automobile ignition. We buy things with their cards ranging from the annual vacations to the daily groceries. These two interlocked corporations are the drum majors marching us into a cashless society. They are powers unto themselves, but their eminence rests on our money and the fees they exact to accommodate our transactions. 

The cards they issue are even more critical to the vendors whom they pay. Without the ability to accept charges to these cards as payment many businesses would in effect be out of business.

Unlike the comparatively clumsy and very public efforts of the social media to erase “offensive” — all too often a synonym for conservative — opinion, the cognate machinations of Visa/Mastercard take place more remotely and without response in the dark space of the mundane financial transaction.

It is as simple and as faceless as a lethal injection: An individual who wants to support an organization online makes the digital donation and is then informed that Visa/Mastercard will not process it. Neither the individual nor the organization he wishes to support are told that they are on a blacklist, let alone informed how they got there or how to get off.  The donor is denied his right to put his money where his mouth is. …

The Freedom Center had such an experience a few months ago when online donations were overnight peremptorily refused by Visa/Mastercard with no reason given and no protest accepted.  We were able to create enough noise about this injustice — in the media and with the threat of legislative attention — that the credit card giants turned the power back on just as capriciously as they had turned it off.

We were lucky. Robert Spencer, whose jihadwatch.org is one of the indispensable sites for understanding the intentions and the threat ofIslamic terrorism, has been shut down from receiving supporters’ donations for several weeks now, and is forced to try to keep Jihad Watch going on a shoestring while Visa/Mastercard imperiously ignores demand letters and threats of court action from his attorneys

The anti-Semitic Nation of Islam’s credit card donations are processed; the anti-Islamist Jihad Watch’s are not.

This oligopoly acts with the faceless finality of an IRS lien when it sets itself up as lawmaker, judge and jury with the power to decide which speech should be allowed and which should be shut down.  It kills free speech not by arguing against the ideas it disapproves of, but by the silence of the arbitrary act, using the financial system to accomplish the deed.

Over half the people of the United States who own a debit or credit card use it as their sole method for paying bills. (Most of the other half use them too, just not as frequently.) In 2015 there were 69.5 billion debit card payments with a value of $2.56 trillion and 33.8 billion credit card payments with a value of $3.16trillion — together adding up to around 6 trillion in an economy of 19 trillion.

This is a very sizable public accommodation. More importantly it is immense power, power that can be and is being used to shutdown the civil rights of people who want to support the speech of the Freedom Center, Jihad Watch, other conservative groups and anyone else in our political universe. … 

We have come to a point in our history when government must once against step in to preserve rights and prevent wrongs just as it did in 1964. Civil Rights are as much imperiled now as they were then. The technology revolution has undeniably brought much that is good and fruitful, but as it has evolved, this revolution has developed a dark side that concentrates increasing power in the hands of fewer people. …

We too are exasperated by Visa/Mastercard, but we are not convinced that  government should step in. It’s better to keep government out. The cure is surely to be found, as always, in the free market. Competition is the right way to bring companies that exploit near-monopolies to their commercial senses – and will keep them morally clean and decent.   

Posted under Business, Economics, Ethics, Leftism by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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Starbucks infects itself with the lethal blight of Soros 1

Businesses should hear this as a cautionary tale.

Judicial Watch reports:

When private companies close thousands of stores for an afternoon to conduct anti-bias training it usually doesn’t affect American taxpayers, but in Starbucks’ case it does. In addition to approximately $400,000 in U.S. government contracts, the global coffeehouse chain has received millions of dollars from Uncle Sam for a coffee yield improvement project in Colombia, records uncovered by Judicial Watch show.

Additionally, the anti-bias curriculum that was recently forced upon 175,000 employees was designed by a nonprofit that’s largely funded by leftwing billionaire George Soros.

The group’s (Perception Institute) leadership has close ties to Democratic party politics, including Planned Parenthood and the Obama administration, Judicial Watch’s investigation found.

The special training was called to order after a manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called police on two black men who sat in the store without buying anything. The men were eventually arrested for trespassing and the race card was quickly played.

They sat in a Starbucks for hours without buying anything, occupying space reserved for customers.  They demanded to use the restroom. They were several times requested to buy something or leave before the police were called. Doing this, the manager was acting in accordance with company policy – but was scapegoated once “the race card was played”.

Because if you are black you have an unalienable right to make free use of other people’s property?

Starbucks responded by closing 8,000 stores in the U.S. for four hours “to come together for a conversation and learning session on racial bias”.

Watch that word “conservation”. It has become very popular with theLeft. It means encounters in which you shut up and listen to them.

The goal, according to the company, was to take a foundational step in renewing Starbucks as a place where all people feel welcome. “Starbucks partners shared life experiences, heard from others, listened to experts on bias and racial anxiety, reflecting on the realities of bias in our society and talking about how all of us can work together to create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong,” the company wrote in a statement. A national newspaper described it as a “dramatic move toward racial reconciliation”.

Actually everyone had to watch propaganda videos that did not deal with the incident, but were made to impress on the audience that blacks feel they are victims of whites.

Here’s one of them:

Why? What was it really all about?

At the helm of this so-called racial reconciliation was the Perception Institute, which lists Soros’ Open Society Foundation among its major supporters. The group’s executive director, Alexis McGill-Johnson, co-founded the Democrat marketing firm Brand Architects and is a former board chair for Planned Parenthood.

She was also the political director for Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and executive director of Citizen Change, a nonprofit founded by rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs. Perception Institute’s director of research, Rachel Godsil, was “the convener for the Obama campaign’s Urban and Metropolitan Policy Committee” and an advisor to Obama’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) transition team. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Godsil chair of the city’s Rent Guidelines Board.

Years ago, Judicial Watch obtained documents exposing de Blasio’s dark past as an active supporter of a brutal communist regime well known as one of Latin America’s worst human rights abusers.

The Perception Institute’s research advisor, DeAngelo Bester, is a renowned leftist who served as a project manager with the National People’s Action, an  Alinskyite community-organizing group dedicated to progressive social change and economic and racial justice.

Besides advising the nonprofit that helped conduct Starbucks’ racial sensitivity training Bester is executive director of the Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, a Chicago nonprofit founded by a group of unemployed and formerly incarcerated black workers. In 2015 the group co-sponsored a Black Lives Matter protest at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention along with the Malcom X Grassroots Movement, the International Socialist Organization and similar leftwing groups. A few years ago, the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice received a $250,000 grant from Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

Soros dedicates monstrous sums of money to spread his radical globalist agenda by funding liberal media outlets, supporting leftwing politicians, advocating for open borders, fomenting public discord and influencing academic institutions.

In the United States Soros groups have pushed a radical agenda that includes promoting an open border with Mexico and fighting immigration enforcement efforts, fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist black separationist organizations, financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups involved in the Ferguson Missouri riots, weakening the integrity of the nation’s electoral systems, opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts and eroding 2nd Amendment protections.

He has also funded a liberal think-tank headed by former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the scandal-ridden activist group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), so corrupt that Congress banned it from receiving federal funding.

Then comes this from Townhall:

Starbucks announced Tuesday that it is closing 150 of its U.S. stores in the next year, three times as many as the chain normally closes in that time period.

“While certain demand headwinds are transitory, and some of our cost increases are appropriate investments for the future, our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable,” Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

In May, Starbucks closed all of its more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon so that their employees could participate in “racial bias training” following an incident in Philadelphia in which a store employee called the police on two black men who were arrested for trespassing. Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw reportedly acknowledged that the incident “had an impact” on the low same-store sales growth rate of 1 percent expected for the quarter beginning next month.

“In this last quarter, we had an unplanned initiative related to the incident in Philadelphia that culminated in closing stores,” Johnson said on a call from the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference, according to CNN. …

Outgoing Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz acknowledged at the time that the racial bias training closures would cost “tens of millions” but that he saw the closures as an investment in Starbucks employees.

Oh yes. Tens of millions. Worth paying for the approval of the Far Left.

And the company will venture further for that approval. Into the Fetish Fields of the “Resistance”. Though of course it doesn’t put it that way. It says it will “improve its food options and shift from sugary drinks to  ‘lean into more plant-based beverages’.”

Love the commerce-talk!

“We’re putting more of our energy into that afternoon day part and the portfolio of beverages that are offsetting some of the declines we’re seeing in Frappuccino beverages,” Johnson said.

Translation: Not coffee so much as more veggies and veggie drinks.

And so – we expect – more store closures.

The slow suicide of a hugely successful capitalist enterprise.

A victory for Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, and George Soros.

The Colossus … and the enriching of America 26

Watch Donald Trump, President of the United States, as the Colossus standing astride the world, to whom the CEOs of the biggest companies in the world bring their tribute – their promises of doing business, more business, much more business in America, with investments of vast sums.

Several of the CEOs acknowledge that President Trump’s tax reform and deregulation have prompted them to grow their business in the United States.

Could any other American politician do this?