Wednesday, September 12, 2018

First ‘red heifer’ born in Israel for 2000 years triggers Armageddon fears

A BIBLE prophecy predicting the End of Days is feared to come true after the first “red heifer in 2000 years” was born in Israel.

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced the calf’s birth on YouTube, saying it would undergo “extensive examination” to determine if it is red all over.

According to The Sun, if the female baby cow is found to be “blemish free”, the Institute will declare that the calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world”.

In both Christianity and Judaism, the red heifer is central to the prediction about the “end of times”. After sacrificing the red cow, construction can begin on the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple Institute and other groups worldwide were set up with the goal of building the Third Temple on Mount Moriah, or on the Temple Mount.

The red heifer (also known as the red cow) was a cow brought to priests for sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible. Jewish and Christian fundamentalists believe that once a red heifer is born they will be able to rebuild the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But in order to do this, they would have to demolish what stands on the hill today — the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic holy temple.

In mainstream Orthodox Judaism, once the Temple is rebuilt the world will welcome the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Humanity will then face the Last Judgment. Everyone who was moral and believed in God will have the privilege of having their name written in the Book of Life. Everyone whose name isn’t in there will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8)

But some theologians say the building of the Third Temple is linked to ‘Judgement Day’ or the “end of times”.

This apocalyptic event will bring what Christians call “the rapture” — where all Christian believers (living and dead) will rise into the sky and join Christ.

The fate of nonbelievers isn’t quite so promising. For them the rapture means everlasting punishment of their souls in hell.

Rabbi Chain Richman, director of the Institute, believes the time is ripe to build the Third Temple, following the birth of the red heifer.


Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility

A current school of thought urges a legal approach to stop public companies becoming involved in politically-contentious social debates via the means of ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) that are only faintly, if at all, related to their business.

The thinking is that company directors and senior managers may be breaching their duty to shareholders under the Corporations Act, and abusing company’s commercial powers and resources, by failing to “pursue only the proper purposes of the company and to maximise profits within reason.”

The first problem with this approach, as explained in my new report Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility: Preventing politicisations – and preserving pluralism – in Australian business, is that (in general) CSR is legal.

Under existing company law, corporate decision-makers have a wide discretion over the consideration of non-shareholder interests, so long as the proper purpose is to protect shareholder’s interests in general.

The second problem is that even if the courts deemed CSR illegal — probably via protracted and expensive litigation — this outcome would be counter-productive.

The burgeoning CSR industry — consisting of the multitude of ‘social responsibility’ managers and consultants employed across the corporate landscape — is pushing for greater corporate involvement in politics, by urging government action to introduce mandatory CSR laws.

Such laws would revolutionise company law and corporate governance, by explicitly defining the competing and conflicting non-shareholder interests that directors could consider.

Such a regime would leave directors effectively unaccountable to shareholders — and would make the current level of corporate meddling in all kinds of social and political debates just the tip of the iceberg. .

The fear is that if a legal challenge to CSR succeeded, this would only fuel the campaign for mandatory CSR laws.

All things being equal in the present politically-correct political environment, this campaign would more than likely succeed, and give the CSR industry what it wants — a license to play politics with shareholder’s money.

Because the legalistic approach to curbing CSR is fraught with danger, this issue can be best addressed through the existing channels of corporate governance.

However, the major problem is that corporate leaders looking to push back against the ‘social responsibility’ trend are not currently guided by any alternative set of principles, policies or institutional framework to counter the well-established CSR doctrines and structures across business.

That’s why my report has proposed introducing a new principle into the language and practice of corporate governance, which would overly qualify existing CSR philosophies.

The ‘Community Pluralism Principle’ would remind directors and senior managers of the need to ensure that company involvement in social debates does not politicise their brands and reputations.

Inserting this principle into company constitutions — or into the Australian Stock Exchange’s good corporate governance standards — would also empower corporate decision-makers to ensure that companies remain pluralistic institutions that respect, reflect and serve the whole community equally

This means ceasing to meddle in politically-charged social issues on which there is no community consensus, in these increasingly polarised times.


California aims to experiment with a gender boardroom quota law that has been tried in countries all over Europe

From making war on straws to policing speech, California leads the nation in adopting half-baked ideas from Europe.

The latest craze is a bill that would force publicly held companies to put women on their boards by 2019. The legislation passed through the California Legislature and awaits signature by Gov. Jerry Brown.

If Brown signs the measure into law, it would make California the first state to have such a mandatory quota.

The legislation likely runs afoul of the California Constitution and the Constitution of the United States, but it’s also a terrible idea on its own merits.

Over the last decade, numerous European countries—France, Germany, and Italy, among others—have adopted similar laws with generally negative results.

Norway was the first country to do so, and the results have been lackluster to say the least. Norway adopted a gender boardroom quota in 2006, requiring 40 percent of publicly traded corporate boards be comprised of women.

The result, according to The Washington Times, is that numerous Norwegian companies have either left the country or changed their practices to skirt the law.

“The number of public limited firms in Norway by 2009 was less than 70 percent of the number in 2001, according to the study, while the number of privately held firms not subject to the gender quotas jumped by more than 30 percent,” according to The Washington Times.

This won’t be good for California, which already has a problem with businesses pulling up stakes and moving elsewhere.

Though proponents of the law claimed it would improve businesses by forcing them to include more women in the upper echelons of power, there is little evidence that’s the case.

A 2012 study found that the “constraint imposed by the quota caused a significant drop in the stock price at the announcement of the law.”

“The quota led to younger and less experienced boards, increases in leverage and acquisitions, and deterioration in operating performance, consistent with less capable boards,” the study found.

In a review of the gender quota laws across Europe, The Economist concluded that they have not “proved their worth.”

Among The Economist’s findings was that the law has failed to open up jobs for women in the “lower levels of the corporate hierarchy.” The women who are succeeding in this system are typically from a limited pool that now receives additional opportunities and higher pay from multiple companies that want their services.

So, the women in the thin slice at the top do great because companies need to fill their quotas.

The fact that the quotas have had either negligible or negative impact on businesses is already problematic, but it’s also worth considering the message that’s being sent to women. The policy essentially amounts to affirmative action, which can provoke doubt in the actual capabilities of those who are promoted to high positions, whether that doubt is warranted or not.

As Carrie Lukas, managing director of the nonprofit Independent Women’s Forum, argued in The New York Times, gender quota laws are a bad way to ensure more women get into corporate boardrooms, regardless of intent.

“Board quotas may seem like a convenient shortcut to workplace equality, but they are not—nor are they a long-term solution,” Lukas wrote. “A distraction at best, they may undo women’s historic gains by suggesting that we cannot succeed on our own.”

One of the things that infuriated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his career as a lawyer was the condescending attitude insinuating that he got to where he is only through an affirmative action boost. In some ways, he saw it as worse than open bigotry.

California’s law will create the same perception of female executives, even for those who rose on merit alone—especially if the quotas foist underqualified candidates onto boards that only increase the perception that women aren’t up to the job.

Even some feminists recognize that using government power to force companies to hire more women is counterproductive regardless of end goals.

The evidence is clear. Boardroom quotas are simply a bad idea that should be left in Europe.


Globalism Undermines Patriotism

Are patriotism and corporate multinationalism mutually exclusive concepts? In an age where socialism, despite its disastrous historical track record, is more popular than capitalism among Millennials, that question can no longer be ignored. Yet as columnist Steven Chapman, who extols capitalism as the “most dynamic force for economic progress in history,” further warns, “economic systems have to retain their moral and political legitimacy if they are to last.”

Political legitimacy is a loaded term. Barack Obama’s administration had a penchant for politically legitimizing certain industries and companies that aligned with its ideological agenda, even when it proved utterly disastrous for Americans. Taxpayers were left holding the bag for “clean” energy companies like Solyndra, and nothing drove up the costs of health care — and insurance company profits — more than ObamaCare.

The Trump administration also plays the political legitimacy game, but in a different manner. His America First agenda may be equally intrusive, but it smacks of the moral legitimacy to which Chapman refers. While the 2016 election was about many things, what helped push Trump over the top were “flyover country” Americans disgusted with corporate multinationalism, a.k.a. globalism. These were the Americans whose jobs were outsourced and their futures marginalized, even as they endured bicoastal elitist lectures about the “net plus” of such a system.

While this was occurring, members of the nation’s globalist-dominated Ruling Class also made it crystal clear that they are calculatingly indifferent to both the ravages of illegal immigration and unchecked legal immigration. As recently as last week, 146 suspected illegals were arrested at the Fresh Mark meatpacking plant in Ohio. The same plant was sued — in 2001 — for knowingly hiring illegals.

E-Verify has existed since 1996. Last June, the latest effort to make it mandatory for every employer was rejected by the GOP-controlled House after members bowed to the “concerns” of the agricultural lobby that claimed it would produce a worker shortage.

A combination of higher wages and conditional welfare for able-bodied Americans to address that shortage? Not part of the equation. Moreover, businesses willing to hire illegals seemingly have a government ally: According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), there were as many as 39 million cases where names on W-2 tax forms did not match corresponding Social Security records — meaning millions of Americans have had their identities stolen, potentially by illegal aliens.

This gargantuan level of mismatches occurred during the last four years of the Obama administration, and one is left to wonder whether the Social Security Administration was grossly inept — or quietly complicit.

The legal immigrant part of the equation? While Bernie Sanders’s muddle-headed “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act,” (Stop BEZOS Act) would force companies like Amazon to fully fund federal welfare programs used by their low-wage workers — ultimately incentivizing those companies not to hire anyone from low-income families — it cannot be ignored that the retail giant has been one of the foremost champions of H-1B visas, importing more foreign tech workers in 2017 than Facebook and Google combined. And while American STEM workers languish, research by the Seattle Times reveals that 71% of Silicon Valley tech workers are foreign born.

In stark contrast to Obama, Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order has limited the use of H-1B visas. No doubt by sheer “coincidence,” America’s warehouse workers, including those who toil for Amazon, have won a 9.7% wage increase between February 2017 and April 2018.

Regardless, the globalist agenda, and the seeming lack of patriotism that attends it, remains alive and well. Last May, shares of Boeing Airlines dropped when Trump announced America was withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran. The company had a $20 billion deal to sell jetliners to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Boeing claimed the deal would support 100,000 American jobs.

Providing America with jobs and cheap consumer goods, along with the idea that we can de-escalate tensions, is the rationale behind trading with communist China — while tolerating its tariffs, currency-manipulation, and intellectual property-stealing proclivities. That rationale is a globalist-minded status quo Trump is addressing, much to the globalists’ consternation.

And well he should. In 2017, America’s trade deficit with China was $375 billion. In 2018, an increasingly belligerent China’s military budget is $175 billion. Money is certainly fungible, cheap consumer goods are attractive, and additional jobs are welcome. But is any of it a “reasonable” tradeoff for what amounts to facilitating a suicidal national security policy?

The innumerable benefits of One World-ism in general, and free trade in particular, have been communicated to Americans with an almost religious fervor. Shouldn’t the potentially disastrous pitfalls get an equal hearing?

Americans should also be more fully informed about behind-the-scenes corporatist machinations. Those wondering why a company like Nike would potentially alienate half of its American customers with its Colin Kaepernick branding campaign might be surprised to learn that Nike fits in with Apple, Starbucks, and Boeing as being among a number of multinational corporations that could have as much as $158 billion at risk in a trade war with China. That would be the same China “increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border,” Reuters reports.

Nike’s potential loss of American customers is nothing compared to the loss of a supply chain that includes slave labor. Moreover, Levi-Strauss has jumped on a customer-alienating, anti-gun bandwagon, just as the NFL has jumped on an equally antagonistic anti-police bandwagon. The common thread? To defeat the Trump trade reset by supporting anti-Trump domestic policies that obscure that horrible PR optics openly siding with China would engender.

Who abets the multinational elitists’ efforts? “At the present rate, America will soon resemble the dystopias of novels such as 1984 and Brave New World in which all aspects of life are warped by an all-encompassing ideology of coerced sameness,” writes columnist Victor Davis Hanson, who rightly holds the nation’s censorship-abetting tech titans, and their corporate media allies to account. Hanson further notes that “some $3 trillion in global capitalization is pledged to ensure that the nations’ computers, pads, and smartphones will not be polluted by traditionalist thinking.”

Few things are more traditional than patriotism.

“Despite origins steeped in sovereign favor and national interest, the modern corporation has increasingly seen its capacity for civic duty and engagement diminished,” columnist Yishai Schwartz explains. “Over time, concern for the national interest has been squeezed out by the twin forces of profit maximization and cosmopolitanism.”

Cosmopolitanism? A lack of moral legitimacy that fuels increasing calls “fundamental transformation” is more like it. A lack of moral legitimacy that has produced repugnant reactions. “Fear of nuclear war, violent revolution and pandemics has seen San Francisco’s finest start commissioning multi million pound underground bunkers in New Zealand,” The Sun reports.

Better post-apocalyptic isolation than rediscovering patriotism and morality? If that contemptuous worldview doesn’t change, it won’t be the communists or any other external enemy that hangs capitalists with the rope they’ve sold them.

More likely they’ll be hanging themselves.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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