So Much For That Diversity Thing

I remember once attending a board meeting of a company I worked at, and one of the agenda items was replacing a deceased board member.  One of the nominations for the replacement was some woman I’d never heard of, but as the nominator stated, “It’s time we had a little diversity on this board.”  And that’s all he said;  no mention of her qualifications, experience, nothing.

As the most junior executive in the room, I wasn’t going to say anything, but I couldn’t help wondering why nobody else had either.

Anyway, a vote was held and the nomination passed unanimously, albeit with one abstention (guess who).

This was back in the mid-1990s.

Anyway, it appears that one company has recently followed the same route — one assumes for the same reasons, only it backfired horribly on them.

Here’s the story:

On December 5, 2023, Breitbart News noted that shareholders disgruntled over Smith & Wesson’s continued manufacture of AR-15 platform rifles had filed a lawsuit. The suit claims that the defendants, who are Smith & Wesson board members and the company’s senior management team, “knowingly allowed the Company to become exposed to significant liability for intentionally violating federal, state, and local laws through its manufacturing, marketing, and sales of AR-15 style rifles and similar semiautomatic firearms.” . 

And who were these “disgruntled shareholders”?

Plaintiffs in the case included the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sisters of Bon Secours USA, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary.

…making me wonder:  what the fuck were Our Ladies Of The Blessed Disarmament doing anywhere near S&W’s management?

Anyway, they failed, the rotten rosary-swingers, and a jolly good thing it was too.

On March 13, 2024, Breitbart News reported that Nevada’s Clark County District Court signaled no “substantial likelihood” Smith & Wesson would be found liable, saying the activist shareholders appear not to be aligned with the company’s best interest and requiring them to post a half-million-dollar bond to continue their suit.

The plaintiffs were instructed to post the bond by April 23, 2024, but they did not.

On May 6, 2024, Judge Joe Hardy pointed to their failure to post the bond as ordered and dismissed the lawsuit against Smith & Wesson.

Errrrr the activist shareholders appear not to be aligned with the company’s best interest” — I’ll say they aren’t.  They tried to get into the company to subvert its business — kinda like the Commies do in our school system — but it didn’t work.

If I were on the S&W board, I would file suit against these BoCs for compensatory damages for the legal fees, at least.

I know, I know:  something about “Vengeance is mine,”  saith the Lord.

Bollocks.

Alternatives

Everyone’s always talking about concepts like “plant-based” or “knowledge-based” (A.I.) nowadays.

How about “reality-based”?  Here’s one company who thought they had it all worked out, until reality stepped up and said, “Nazzo fast, Guido” (actually, “Noch langsamer, Fritz” ):

Mercedes-Benz has backtracked on their plan to transition to selling only electric vehicles after 2030, with company officials saying that “market conditions” have not allowed that to happen.

Ah, those pesky “market conditions”, wherein customers tell their supplier companies to take a hike after said corporations make unbelievably stupid decisions (Bud Lite, coff coff).

The background:

The company said it would commit $47 billion to electrifying its fleet, with CEO and board chair Ola Källenius saying, “We are convinced, we can do it with strong profitability, and we believe that focus on electrical is the right way to build a successful future and to enhance the value of Mercedes Benz.”

In other words:  we’ve bought into the whole Green New Deal, hook, line and sinker, and we’ll just force customers to adapt to the New World Order by giving them no option to do otherwise.

And then came Q4 ’23 results.  Oh, and a few other things which might have made potential (and existing) customers reevaluate their options:

The business model change comes after multiple highly-publicized instances of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles catching on fire and causing massive damage.

Yeah.  Imagine that.

My question is quite simple:  other car companies have also declared their intention to be all-electric by x date (e.g. Jaguar, Volvo).  Does anyone think they’re going to have a change of heart too?

Or will they just do the Lemming Thing and plunge off the reality-based cliff, secure in their own virtuousness?

Proper Attire

Oh FFS, this just takes the cake:

British Airways bosses have apologized for telling cabin crew members what bras to wear under new ‘transparent’ uniforms which led to comments from passengers.
The see-through blouses were issued as part of a new uniform, unveiled earlier this year, designed to ‘take the airline into the next chapter’ and for a non-binary crew.
Last year BA relaxed the rules around its strict uniform policy and went gender-neutral to allow male pilots and crew to wear make-up and carry handbags.

Lemme just deal with the low-hanging fruit first.

  • Companies have every right to create a “uniform” policy, and to dictate what does and does not constitute “proper” clothing under that policy
  • the corollary is that if the uniform consists of “transparent” clothing, they also have the right to set policy for “proper” undergarments
  • but if they do specify transparent clothing, they deserve everything that comes to them.

Now for the ugly stuff.

I’m sick and fucking tired of companies feeling that they have to apologize to their employees for bullshit like this.  Were the topic that of terrible salaries, foul working conditions and in short things that deserve corporate groveling, okay;  but for causing hurt feeewings?  Screw that.

But in to the topic at hand.

Nothing would make me question the capabilities of an airline’s crew faster than the whole thing turning into some kind of costume party, with the “men” wearing clown makeup and the “women” wearing no bra under a transparent blouse (although at first glance the latter wouldn’t seem too bad, please consider that the average age of trolley-dollies now appears to be 50, and all seem to have been recruited from branches of the Ugly Tree).

And frankly, I’m not sure I want to see any of the flight crew wearing transparent clothing, given that said crew will likely include girlymen and butchygirls, all of indeterminate gender.

I don’t know why I bother fulminating about this stuff anymore, considering that my chances of flying at all are minuscule, and on any British airline even less than that.

I’d give this one a try, though.

Roost, Chickens Coming Home To

Well, well, well.  Here’s the macro event:

Hours after murder charges against a former Philadelphia police officer were dropped on Tuesday, large groups, mostly made up of teenagers, looted multiple stores in the city. 

Police started receiving calls around 8 p.m. Tuesday night about a large crowd moving into Center City, the main dining and shopping scene in downtown Philadelphia, NBC 10 reported. The crowd eventually turned riotous, ransacking a Foot Locker, Lulumelon, and an Apple store, among other businesses, before at least 20 were arrested. 

Note that Philly has one of those “Soros-style” prosecutors who distinguish themselves by not prosecuting anyone for crimes like this.  There’s also evidence that, far from being “spontaneous”, the raids are being coordinated and targets established via social media — almost the very definition of organized crime.

And speaking of targets, here’s a micro event:

Target is closing nine stores in major cities across four states, claiming theft and organized retail crime have made the environment unsafe for staff and customers – and unsustainable for business.

The big box chain is part of a wave of retailers – both large and small – that say they’re struggling to contain store crimes that have hurt their bottom lines. Many have closed stores or made changes to merchandise and layouts.

…which is likely to cause an epidemic of Schadenböners among conservatives because the Minneapolis retailer is easily one of the wokest corporations in the world.

The only good thing about the Philly situation, by the way, is that unlike the Portland OR police, some Philly cops are getting into the spirit of the thing.

Try to contain your guffaws of delight.  I couldn’t.

Clear Alternative

It’s all very well to boycott foul companies like Anheuser-Busch and Target, but what are the alternatives available?  Reader JC_in_PA writes about one such organization:

“Kim,

“I heard the founder of this company on Mornings with Maria (Bartiromo) radio show, she’s a legit conservative in business broadcasting.  To counter the ESG nazis driving American companies to adopt insane Global Cooling Climate Warming Change postions, and kowtowing to the LBGTQRSTUVWXYZ fanatics, he created a business network for businesses called Public Square, to proclaim their opposition to this nonsense by proclaiming a set of principles that guide their business practices and connect them with like-minded consumers.  I’ll relay my experience with them shortly, but this is their statement of principles.

“Our Values

    • Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Pro-Freedom.
    • We are united in our commitment to freedom and truth — that’s what makes us Americans.
    • We will always protect the family unit and celebrate the sanctity of every life.
    • We believe small businesses and the communities who support them are the backbone of our economy.
    • We believe in the greatness of this Nation and will always fight to defend it.
    • Our Constitution is non-negotiable — government isn’t the source of our rights, so it can’t take them away.
    • When a business signs up with PublicSq, they agree to respect the values above.

“I heard that interview a month or so ago and never checked out their website. But I needed new blue jeans and I’ll be damned if I’ll buy from Levi Strauss or Wrangler with their anti 2A stance. So I started emailing American jean manufacturers (there are a surprising number of them) with something like the following. ‘I need new jeans and while I don’t need you to make a positive statement of support for 2A, I need to know you have not made any public statements which are anti-2A, I just need to know you are at least neutral.’  Needless to say, crickets, all around.

“So I went to Public Square’s website and found L.C. King Manufacturing, a 115 year old American company making quality work wear at reasonable prices, and got a 25% discount from them for a Public Square promo code! The site is fairly new, but they have a number of clothing companies, housewares, skin care… all sorts of stuff, and the network is growing. I find it fascinating. Much as I love the travails Bud Light and Target are going through right now, I think this is better than boycotts. Spend our money with firms that actually RESPECT their customers. What a concept!

“Anyway, I don’t do this often, but I thought you might find this blog-worthy, and I’d sure like to get the word out about this group.”

And now you know.  I especially like the links just under the masthead:

That’s some good-looking stuff right there.

Give them a shot, and let’s do our bit for the America we want, as opposed to the fucking shit we’re having shoved in our face every day.

Not So Sure

Here’s an interesting take on the whole Bud Light debacle:

“When the company was bought over by InBev, a lot of things changed [from] when it was owned by Anheuser-Busch. You know, it’s an American brand,” the whistleblower remarked.

He explained that the company previously offered many benefits prior to its purchase by InBev. Through the fall in sales for the Bud Light brand, the former employee stated, the corporation could restructure both employee benefits and its company standards through layoffs and renegotiating contracts.

“Bud Light has been failing for many years. We’ve talked about that for many years. The numbers of just, you know, little by little deteriorated. And it feels like they said, ‘Let’s put this nail in the coffin,’” he said. “Now we have a lot of layoffs, a lot of loss in production. It would be easy for them to restructure, let’s say, pay or contracts.”

“It’s too obvious that they wouldn’t just mistakenly do this and not expect these repercussions. Anybody could tell you what was going to happen,” he commented.

Um, maybe.  Okay, I’m not so sure about that.  In the first place, when it comes to giant corporations, never ascribe to malice what can also be ascribed to stupidity.  Sometimes it happens, but that ain’t the way to bet.

The most telling rebuttal to this assertion is quite simple.  Regardless of whether Bud Light was in decline, or not, it was still the best-selling beer brand in the United States.  And yes, while A-B might have stood to gain from restructuring salary scales or employment contracts, I hardly think that those savings would equate to anything like the amount of money that’s been lost (and will continue to be lost) from their plummeting sales and the equally-dismal drop in their share price.  If some toad in Finance suggested this, he needs to be castrated, in the corporate sense, because if even someone like me can see this, then he’s truly stupid.

Regardless of everything else, you just don’t willfully destroy your #1 brand, especially when it’s as large a brand as Bud Light.  The sums of money are just too vast, the possible repercussions too dreadful because they’re unknown — the ramifications could see A-B split up as a company into separate operating companies (Michelob, Busch, etc.) and the loss of economies which stem from shared brands would cripple all of them.  They’d become no different from a bunch of craft brands — and regardless of what anyone thinks, A-B brands are about as far from craft beers, in both quality and consumer regard, as one could get.

No, the whole thing is just way too Machiavellian and too complex — and trust me, it’s not like InBev is staffed with people of the strategic vision of, say, the German General Staff of WWII, even.  They’re a bunch of Belgian and American bureaucrats, a breed not known for their perspicacity.  And let’s be honest, the Belgies are among the wokest people on the planet, so I’m more likely to ascribe all this bullshit to simple corporate vanity.

Of course, if I’m wrong and this really was just part of some diabolical Master Plan, I hope it all falls apart and the whole A-B/InBev house comes crashing down.  The world will survive and who knows, we might just end up with a few decent beers out of the wreckage.