Friday, June 02, 2023

Inside the CEI system pushing brands to endorse celebs like Dylan Mulvaney

This would seem to be a very important article. The sudden arrival of the transgender madness does seem to need explanation. The CEI would seem to have a large role in it. There is also a video below on the topic

Executives at companies like Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Kate Spade, whose brand endorsements have turned controversial trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney into today’s woke “It girl,” aren’t just virtue signaling.

They’re handing out lucrative deals to what were once considered fringe celebrities because they have to — or risk failing an all-important social credit score that could make or break their businesses.

At stake is their Corporate Equality Index — or CEI — score, which is overseen by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ political lobbying group in the world.

HRC, which has received millions from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation among others, issues report cards for America’s biggest corporations via the CEI: awarding or subtracting points for how well companies adhere to what HRC calls its “rating criteria.”

Businesses that attain the maximum 100 total points earn the coveted title “Best Place To Work For LGBTQ Equality.” Fifteen of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received 100% ratings last year, according to HRC data.

More than 840 US companies racked up high CEI scores, according to the latest report.

The HRC, which was formed in 1980 and started the CEI in 2002, is led by Kelley Robinson who was named as president in 2022 and worked as a political organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The HRC lists five major rating criteria, each with its own lengthy subsets, for companies to gain — or lose — CEI points.

The CEI is made up of several main scoring components.
The main categories are: “Workforce Protections,” “Inclusive Benefits,” “Supporting an Inclusive Culture,” “Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Citizenship.”

A company can lose CEI points if it doesn’t fulfill HRC’s demand for “integration of intersectionality in professional development, skills-based or other training” or if it doesn’t use a “supplier diversity program with demonstrated effort to include certified LGBTQ+ suppliers.”

James Lindsay, a political podcaster who runs a site called New Discourses, told The Post that the Human Rights campaign administers the CEI ranking “like an extortion racket, like the Mafia.

It doesn’t just sit back passively either. HRC sends representatives to corporations every year telling them what kind of stuff they have to make visible at the company. They give them a list of demands and if they don’t follow through there’s a threat that you won’t keep your CEI score.”

The CEI is a lesser-known part of the burgeoning ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) “ethical investing” movement increasingly pushed by the country’s top three investment firms. ESG funds invest in companies that oppose fossil fuels, push for unionization, and stress racial and gender equity over merit in hiring and board selection.

As a result, some American CEOs are more concerned about pleasing BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Bank — who are among the top shareholders of most American publicly-traded corporations (including Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Kate Spade) — than they are about irritating conservatives, numerous sources told The Post.

This week, Mulvaney’s new ad campaigns with Bud Light and Nike ruffled the feathers of critics from country star Travis Tritt and Kid Rock — who tweeted a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light — to female Olympians and even Caitlyn Jenner, who said of Nike: “It is a shame to see such an iconic American company go so woke! … This is an outrage.”

Mulvaney, 26, who transitioned from male to female in the beginning of March 2021, has reportedly earned more than a million dollars from endorsements including fashion and beauty brands that also include Ulta Beauty, Haus Labs and CeraVe, as well as Crest and InstaCart.

She’s also gained 10 million followers on TikTok.

But neither Kid Rock nor even Mulvaney are who America’s top execs are trying to impress, experts say.

“The big fund managers like BlackRock all embrace this ESG orthodoxy in how they apply pressure to top corporate management teams and boards and they determine, in many cases, executive compensation and bonuses and who gets re-elected or re-appointed to boards,” entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who is running for president as a Republican and authored “Woke Inc.: Inside America’s Social Justice Scam,” told The Post. “They can make it very difficult for you if you don’t abide by their agendas.”

In 2018, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who oversees assets worth $8.6 trillion and has been called the “face of ESG,” wrote a now-infamous letter to CEOs titled “A Sense of Purpose” that pushed a “new model of governance” in line with ESG values.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Fink also let it be known “that if a company doesn’t engage with the community and have a sense of purpose “it will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders.”

In December, Florida pulled $2 billion worth of state assets managed by BlackRock. “I think it’s undemocratic of major asset managers to use their power to influence societal outcomes,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the time.

Fink has denied that ESG is political, but key staff managing his ESG operations worked in the Obama administration and donate to Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

In his first veto, President Joe Biden last month rejected a GOP-backed bill that sought to block ESG investing — especially in pension funds where, critics say, American retirement funds will be sacrificed to a radical left-wing agenda.

Protesters in Paris targeted BlackRock’s office there this week due to the company’s role in managing and privatizing pensions, which are at the heart of the French government’s recent retirement-age reforms.

ESG and CEI proponents say that adhering to socially conscious values when investing and managing a company will make the world a better place. Not everyone agrees.

Derek Kreifels is the co-founder and CEO of State Financial Officers Foundation, one of several financial officers fighting ESG on a national level.

He calls ESG itself a “highly subjective political score infiltrating all walks of life, forcing progressive policies on everyday Americans [and] resulting in higher prices at the pump and at the store.”

The Corporate Equality Index is an ominous cog in ESG’s wheel, Kreifels told The Post.

“The problem with measures like CEI, and its big brother ESG, is that it introduces an incentive structure outside of the bounds of business, often in ways contradictory to fiduciary duty,” Kreifels said. “Whether Anheuser-Busch was trying to cash in on Dylan Mulvaney’s TikTok following or chasing higher CEI ratings for inclusivity, the backlash has been significant, and the stockholders to whom the company is obligated will feel the pinch.”


‘It’s time to admit remote work doesn’t work’, tech entrepreneur David Sacks says

Working from home is the equivalent of a “two-day work week” making it a “great lifestyle” but bad for companies, according to one tech executive who says it’s “time to admit that remote work doesn’t work”.

Entrepreneur David Sacks, a close ally of Tesla boss Elon Musk, is one of a growing number of business leaders making a stand firmly against the work-from-home trend, which has emerged as a major flashpoint between companies and employees in the aftermath of Covid.

“It’s time to admit that remote work doesn’t work,” Mr Sacks wrote in a viral Twitter thread which has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.

“WFH Friday is a four-day work week. Full WFH is a two-day work week. Every interaction has to be scheduled, which means a lot of information-sharing doesn’t happen. Remote is a great lifestyle, not a way to build a great company.”

Mr Sacks was responding to earlier comments by tech executive Florent Crivello, who wrote in an April memo to staff at his AI start-up Lindy that he had “made a 180º on remote”.

“I think everyone here can attest to the fact that we tried harder than anyone else. And I’m more bummed out about it than anyone,” he wrote in the memo, which he later shared as a blog post.

“Remote is more comfortable from a lifestyle standpoint. You save on commute, have your own office, can work from anywhere, and get more flexibility on your schedule (especially important for folks with families). But it makes it harder for a start-up to succeed or find product / market fit. That’s especially so if you’re building something very new, like we are doing.”

Mr Crivello went on to explain that remote work “raises co-ordination costs”, outlining a few reasons why it was less efficient — such as people not being online at the same time and online meetings being less effective than face-to-face due to the technology — all of which “causes us to be less aligned”.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this misalignment,” he wrote.

“We in tech are building pure thought-stuff — the things we build are like icebergs, 99 per cent invisible. The quality of our work is a function of the alignment of our mental models about the stuff below that water line. And remote makes it harder to reach that alignment.”

Mr Crivello added, “Colocation is more fun too. You get to have lunch with your team, grab beers on Friday nights, play video games at the end of the day in the office, etc.”

Mr Sacks expanded on his thoughts in a lengthy Twitter post.

“In the earliest days of a start-up, it’s possible for a small team to remain continuously connected electronically,” he wrote. “This [creates] false confidence in remote. It doesn’t scale. By the time the start-up has hundreds of employees, full remote completely breaks down.”

He suggested “maybe 10 per cent of the roles in a company can naturally be remote”, such as engineers “whose code check-ins are obvious” or “field sales reps who live in their territories and close large enterprise deals”, the dollar value of with were “also obvious”.

“What makes these remote cases justified is that achievement is largely individual and fairly obvious,” he said. “By contrast, the contribution of most employees is often subtle to measure and depends on a team dynamic. Hence the importance of being together in an actively managed environment.”


Biden’s ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘Assault Weapons’ Dog Whistles

Joe Biden is a consummate race hustler and the most reprehensible “lying dog-faced pony soldier” ever to dupe his way into the White House. In his recent 2023 commencement address at the distinguished historically black Howard University, his mastery of lies shined.

It was a great platform for “President Unity™” to roll out his retread “racism” and “white supremacy” rhetoric.

How ironic that Howard gave this platform to the titular leader of the political party that is the historic architect of white supremacy and that continues to advance policies that keep millions of black and brown Americans enslaved by their poverty politics nationwide. And what a disgrace that Howard invited a serial prevaricator to preach his now-tiresome sermon of hate and division to warp the perspective of their graduates at what was otherwise a distinguished commencement.

As for Biden’s qualifications to stand before this esteemed student body, let’s recall his own “academic record.” He has falsely and repeatedly claimed he graduated “top half of my class” from law school, when he was actually near the bottom — and cheated to get that ranking. He has also repeatedly claimed he has three undergraduate degrees from the University of Delaware, though that too has been debunked.

But he gets a pass by the leadership at Howard.

Biden declared to all present, “I thought, when I graduated, we could defeat hate. But it never goes away. It only hides under the rocks.”

Of course, Democrats bank on keeping the hate they created on life support to make sure “it never goes away,” especially after a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Biden’s approval rating among black voters was at a mere 52%.

Biden was blowing his “poison of white supremacy” dog whistle hard when he absurdly insisted, “The most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy.”

Nate Jackson wrote of that colossal canard: “It’s an utterly false and divisive charge coming from a pathological liar. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the crowd from applauding because for decades blacks have marched in lockstep with the Democrat Party and its divisive racial narrative. That’s exactly what Joe ‘You Ain’t Black’ Biden is counting on.”

Biden also repeated the lie that Donald Trump said Nazis in Charlottesville were “fine people.”

Yeah, this is the same guy whose first White House stint was as understudy to the corrupt Barack Obama, whom Biden infamously described as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

Of his divisive hyperbole, The Wall Street Journal noted, “It was a low, dispiriting affair, one that aptly captured the low, dispiriting nature of his presidency: acerbic rhetoric from a partisan who demonizes opposition and divides Americans from one another; bottomless self-unawareness from a politician elected president almost accidentally in a moment of crisis, who continues to see himself as some sort of historical savior; cynical cant from a serial fabulist whose distortions are becoming as loathsome as the endless malign fictions of the predecessor he despises and whom he desperately needs as a foil.”

Of course, Biden could not get off the Howard soapbox without referencing “gun violence,” claiming he wanted to resurrect “the most significant law on gun violence … the most significant law in 30 years.” He added, “I got the Assault Weapons Ban passed 30 years ago, and we’re going to pass it again.”

The arrogance of that unchallenged assertion raises a serious question: Just how dumbed-down are the faculty at Howard and, by extension, their students?

For the record, rifles and shotguns of any description combined are used in less than 3% of all homicides. In fact, a homicide victim is far more likely to be murdered by an assailant using a knife, blunt object, or fists than by a rifle or shotgun. And despite the rare high-profile mass murders that both the Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists constantly churn, more than 99.5% of murders in the U.S. are not from mass attacks — thus aren’t useful for their gun control narrative.

What Biden would not dare say before his Howard audience is that on any day across our nation, the average victim count of black-on-black and black attacks on people of other races far exceeds the death totals of any high-profile mass murder this year.

Biden and his Demos want to avoid any mention of the inconvenient truth about race and violence: A grossly disproportionate number of violent crimes nationwide are committed by black assailants, and black-on-black assault is the most prevalent violent crime in the nation. The suspect in 88% of murders of black people is also black.

According to Manhattan Institute fellow and renowned crime researcher Heather Mac Donald: “Dozens of blacks are murdered every day, more than all white and Hispanic murder victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. Blacks between the ages of ten and twenty-four are murdered at twenty-five times the rate of whites between those same ages. Their assailants are not the police, not other whites, but other blacks.”

When considering that the young black males who committed most of those crimes represent less than 3% of the population, that racial disparity is staggering.

Furthermore, according to Pew Research, “In 2021, 46% of all gun deaths among children and teens involved Black victims, even though only 14% of the U.S. under-18 population that year was Black.”

Democrat politicos steadfastly avoid any discussion of this data because it would require studious consideration of the Democrat policies that have created these conditions. If Democrats actually believed that “black lives mattered,” they would not propagate failed urban policies that proliferate black-on-black violence.

If Biden and his ilk were really interested in public safety, they would, as I suggested earlier this month, ban alcohol.

There were 26,031 homicides in the U.S. in 2021, the latest year of record. But more than 140,000 people — five times the number of homicides — died from alcohol-related causes in the same year. Drunk drivers are responsible for 28 deaths per day, and, notably, it is estimated that alcohol is also a key factor in at least 30% of homicides involving firearms. (Include drugs, and that number jumps to about 60%.)

What a deep disservice by the academic cadre at Howard University to avoid these inconvenient truths and invite Joe Biden to launch graduates’ careers on an insidious raft of lies.


Philosophers cry freedom in gender wars/b>

Leading Australian philosophers have waded into the gender wars engulfing university campuses here and the United Kingdom, calling for stronger protection of academic freedom and robust debate of issues relating to sex, gender and gender identity.

Writing in response to a boycott campaign by student and trans rights activists against University of Melbourne feminist Holly Lawford-Smith, a group of 20 academics from seven universities backed her right to teach from a gender critical perspective without harassment or interference.

A group of fellow academics are backing the right of Holly Lawford-Smith to challenge transgender ideology.
A group of fellow academics are backing the right of Holly Lawford-Smith to challenge transgender ideology.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

“Our support for Lawford-Smith’s right to teach and research in this field is neither an endorsement nor a criticism of the substance of her views,” the group wrote in a column published this week by The Times Higher Education.

“But, in relation to this issue, it seems clear that university leaders and academics need to do more to foster climates of genuine academic freedom.

“Lawford-Smith is one of several academics globally who have faced censure, campaigns of harassment and deplatforming for their gender-critical views. Likewise, the University of Melbourne is one of several universities globally that has had legal claims lodged against it by gender critical scholars.”

Gender critical scholars argue that women are defined by sex, rather than gender or gender identity.

“When it comes to debates about sex versus gender identity, people in positions of authority must avoid conflation of a rightly non-negotiable commitment to LGBT inclusion with endorsement of the view that gender identity is more important than sex,” the authors wrote.

“This conflation lies behind claims that those who hold or express gender-critical views are de facto ‘transphobic’ or make campus unsafe for trans people.”

The authors of the column include philosophy professors at the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Monash University, ANU and Charles Sturt University.

Equality Australia chief executive Anna Brown said views that “deny the lived experience of trans and gender diverse people” do not allow for informed and respectful discussion.

“There is always an opportunity to engage with people and ideas with respect and compassion, but it makes it very hard to do this when one side denies the existence of the other or mischaracterises them as threats and frauds,” she said.

This masthead last month revealed that Lawford-Smith, the target of a two-year campaign by trans activists which escalated following her involvement in the Let Women Speak event gatecrashed by neo-Nazis, has lodged a WorkSafe complaint against the University of Melbourne claiming she has been bullied and not provided a safe workplace.

In her complaint, Lawford-Smith claims that a university investigation into her attendance at the rally and comments on social media undermined its commitment to academic freedom. The investigation found she had no disciplinary case to answer.

University of Melbourne provost Nicola Phillips last month said the universities had to balance their “resolute” commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression with the responsibility they had to provide a workplace free of harassment and intimidation.

Vicki Thomson, the chief executive of the Group of Eight – also known as the sandstone universities – said all her members strongly asserted the importance of academic freedom.

“Progress depends on our capacity to develop and challenge new ideas, to discuss, debate and at times disagree as we endeavour to contribute to a more cohesive and inclusive society,” she said.

“Upholding freedom of expression is, at all times, essential to the core mission of our universities, as is the right of students and staff to feel and be safe on our campuses.”




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