Woke Brands Back Off Pride Month as American Fury Grows thumbnail

Woke Brands Back Off Pride Month as American Fury Grows

By Family Research Council

For most CEOs, Pride Month couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. As companies like TargetBud Light, and others desperately try to control the flames burning down their brands, this annual test of LGBT loyalty is putting most businesses in a position they’d rather not be in: outraging an already agitated consumer base or ticking off the lobby they’ve worked two decades to appease. Faced with the choice of becoming unprofitable or politically unacceptable, what will the big companies do?

Already, Newsweek is pointing out the surprising hesitancy of otherwise woke brands to go all in on June 1. After plastering the rainbow and progress flags across their platforms last year, North Face, Lego, and Miller Lite were unusually quiet on the social media front this time. “Other brands — such as Target, Bud Light and Adidas — have yet to post, despite doing so in June of last year,” reporter Aleks Phillips points out. Not surprisingly, all three are facing blistering criticism after either replacing women with trans-identifying men or aggressively marketing gender confusion to kids. “Of the accounts reviewed by Newsweek, only Kohl’s and PetSmart had defied critics so far in posting Pride Month content.”

“They’re feeling the pinch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins acknowledged on “Washington Watch.” Target and Bud Light are significantly cratering, with Anheuser-Busch scraping and clawing for any idea that would bring them back to solvency. Target CEO Brian Cornell, who bragged that the stores’ controversial “tuck-friendly” swimwear and other trans merchandise was “great for our brand,” is eating those words this week after their stock was officially downgraded by JP Morgan after an astonishing $12.4 billion in losses. “I really think we should help them out and downgrade [the stock] even further by refusing to shop there,” Perkins insisted.

“I do think we’re at a tipping point,” he said to Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on Thursday. “It’s one thing to push the whole LGB [agenda],” Perkins insisted, “But this transgender thing … [is] a bridge too far. … [Americans are] seeing their children and grandchildren transformed by this ideology. And it’s frightening. … And when you have corporate America jumping on the bandwagon, pushing this, and it’s in your face at every turn, [then this becomes] a different moment.”

Mohler, like most people, can’t understand why major American corporations aren’t counting the cost of their social extremism. Everyday people “aren’t buying … the revolutionary stuff they’re selling,” he insisted. And yet, even Anheuser-Busch, who’s taken an absolute beating on Wall Street since its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, can’t bring itself to cut those controversial ties. Just last week, in the midst of one of the biggest PR scandals of the century, leaders poured gas on the fire with another $200,000 donation to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. This, after losing an eye-popping $27 billion since April.

“That’s a huge number,” Stephen Soukup shook his head. “I saw a story earlier today that Bud Light is selling for $.14 a can. …You have distributors … who are turning in their franchise credentials because they can no longer make a living distributing Anheuser-Busch products. … This is pretty much unprecedented in American consumer behavior,” he said, “and it’s really caught a lot of people off guard and has done a lot of damage to some of these companies.”

“Target is struggling as well,” “The Dictatorship of Woke Capital” author told Perkins on “Washington Watch” last week. “[They’ve] had their roughest week in the markets in probably a decade. You know, shareholders are selling saying that we don’t want to be part owner of a corporation that cares less about us than it does about pressure groups.”

Soukup believes brands need to take a much more cautious approach to their activism, especially on this issue. “My advice to businesses would be eschew the entire woke capital complex [and] say, ‘Look, we’re not playing that game anymore. We’re not political. What we want to do is make the best widgets we can. We want to be the best business that we possibly can, do the best for our employees, do the best for our customers, and especially do the best for our shareholders.’ They should be getting out of the game of politics all together.”

Amazingly, though, even brands with deep Christian roots seem content throwing their values overboard. News that Chick-fil-A, a favorite chain of conservatives, had embraced the diversity, equity, and inclusion fad, came as a big blow to families, who’d believed that this longtime holdout could weather the cultural storm.

“Their woke roosters have come home to roost,” Perkins warned about the Cathys empire. “But this is not new,” he pointed out. “… Over the last decade, [they’ve been] backing further and further away, even to the point of funding groups that have Drag Queen Story Hours. [They’ve] funded the Southern Poverty Law Center and cut off all Christian organizations like Salvation Army because their views on marriage were too ‘radical.’”

Of course, Perkins said, “[I]t’s even more offensive when an organization that has prospered off of its Christian holdings and drawn in Christians then walks down this same path. Maybe [it’s] not as bad as Target. I mean, you’re not blinded by rainbow flags when you walk in, but it’s a betrayal, quite frankly.”

Mohler agreed, hoping that “sounder policies will prevail [at Chick-fil-A].” But until then, he urged, “Christians [need to say], ‘We really are not going to do business with a company that violates and flaunts its violation of what we believe is Christian morality.”’ And while we “don’t have a choice as to whether we pay our taxes [which finances plenty of objectionable things] we do have a choice about where we buy our socks,” the seminarian insisted. “And it turns out that, these days, that can be a pretty powerful moral question. And so I want to affirm what you’re saying here. We are stewards, and it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. And that means that we can’t live in willful ignorance of what these companies are putting right in our face.” That’s why, he believes, “We’ve reached a really crucial moment.”

A moment, Perkins believes, that the church’s years of silence and acquiescence has led to. “I wish we didn’t have to be at this point, [but] I am somewhat encouraged that people still have enough resolve to push back.”

And push back they have, running from brands like AnthropologieAdidasAnheuser-BuschCalvin KleinDisneyHersheyJack DanielsKohl’sLegoLevi StraussMaybellineNikeNorth FaceSports IllustratedStarbucks, and Target, whose in-your-face transgender advocacy has millions of Americans taking their business elsewhere. It can be morally complicated, Mohler agreed, since no national corporation is probably “pure” in this area. “[But] at the very least,” he said, “these companies that are so aggressive [are hearing from Christians], ‘That’s the last product I’m going to buy from them.’”

Personally, Mohler said, “I believe all kinds of people will lie to me. But when they put the pride flag out front, I take them at their word. I think we know exactly what that means.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Climate Czar Kerry: Emissions From Agriculture Must be “Front and Center” thumbnail

Climate Czar Kerry: Emissions From Agriculture Must be “Front and Center”

By Bonner Cohen

Farmers and ranchers who assume that their main job is to produce food to feed hungry people stand corrected. John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy on climate, wants to enlist them in the global struggle to combat the “climate crisis.”

“A lot of people have no clue that agriculture contributes about 33% of all the emissions in the world,” Kerry said during his May 17 keynote address at the Department of Agriculture’s AIM Climate Summit. “We can’t get to net zero, we can’t get this job done unless agriculture is front and center as part of the solution. So all of us here understand the depths of this mission.”

“Food systems themselves contribute a significant amount of emissions just in the way we do the things we’ve been doing,” he continued. “With a growing population on the planet – we’ve just crossed the threshold of 8 billion fellow citizens around the world – emissions from the food system alone are expected to cause another half a degree of warming by mid-century.”

“Needs Innovation More Than Ever”

“This sector needs innovation now more than ever,” Kerry went on. “We’re facing record malnutrition at a time when agriculture, more than any other sector, is suffering more than ever from the impacts of the climate crisis. And I refuse to call it climate change anymore. It’s not change. It’s a crisis.”

“We need economic, social, and policy innovation in order to scale adaptation of these technical solutions and get them into the hands of the folks in the fields of small farmers on a global basis. This is the promise of AIM for Climate Summit.”

Farmers won’t have to wait long for the “innovations” Kerry mentioned to come their way. The Biden administration has already pledged to take an “all of government” approach to address the “climate crisis,” and they mean business. Every agency of the federal government – from the Pentagon and HUD to the energy and agriculture departments – are pouring taxpayer-supplied resources into ever-expanding climate programs. The Department of Agriculture is already exhorting farmers to adopt “climate-smart” policies when it comes to producing food. It is even dangling “climate-smart” grants before agricultural groups to get them to change their ways and grow food the way John Kerry and his ilk want them to do.

Though the Department of Agriculture has yet to elaborate on what it means by “climate-smart,” it most certainly entails the agricultural sector severing ties to fossil fuels, either “voluntarily” or through coercion in the form of regulations. But because of natural gas’s role in making fertilizer, the government-forced transition will be a messy one. Farmers in places as far apart as Sri Lanka and the Netherlands were ordered by their respective governments to shrink their carbon footprint by reducing their nitrogen emissions. Protests in the Netherlands have been widespread, and in Sri Lanka, the government was overthrown, with the president forced to flee the country.

*****

This article was published by CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Debunking Another Misleading Green Energy Study thumbnail

Debunking Another Misleading Green Energy Study

By Jack Spencer

A popular talking point among green energy evangelists is that gas, oil, and coal are, in large part, successful because they are highly subsidized. Wind and solar, so the argument goes, would win in a fair fight, but, alas, the playing field is far from fair. But the supposed data they are drawing on to come to such a conclusion is misleading and geared more toward generating headlines than good policy.

A primary source used to back this claim up is a working paper presented by a group of International Monetary Fund authors titled “Still Not Getting Energy Prices Right: A Global and Country Update of Fossil Fuel Subsidies.”

The paper claims that hydrocarbon-based fuels—like gas, oil, and coal—enjoy $5.9 trillion in subsidies annually. Though often presented in the media as an IMF paper, it is specifically not an official publication of the organization but rather a working paper that is meant to, according to the IMF, “elicit comments and to encourage debate.”

Well, here is your debate, IMF.

As is often the case with so-called academic studies, the top-line number here makes for a much better headline than it does a basis for public policy. Indeed, even a cursory look into how the study came to its fanciful conclusions shows how misleading it ultimately is in general and how trivial it is for the United States.

There are three basic problems with the study.

First, it so broadly defines “subsidy” as to be completely meaningless. In fact, the study states that only 8% of its reported costs reflect actual, direct subsidies. The rest predominantly comes from the amorphous “undercharging for environmental costs” that supposedly occur from the extraction, refining, transportation, and use of fossil fuels. Such environmental costs include “underpricing for local air pollution” (42%) and “global warming costs” (29%). What’s left goes to the equally tenuous congestion and road accidents costs (15%) and forgone tax revenues (6%).

Though characterizing any of these so-called indirect subsidies as a pro-hydrocarbon bias is problematic, we will focus on the undercharging environmental costs, which are divided between global warming and local air pollution, because they represent the preponderance of their calculations.

The problems with the global warming number are many. For example, there is virtually no evidence that man-made global warming is having any costly impact on today’s world. The real costs, if one buys into global warming alarmism, come in the future—thus the study relies on the extremely tenuous and theoretical social cost of carbon calculations.

As my Heritage Foundation colleague Kevin Dayaratna has pointed out, the use of the social cost of carbon is so unreliable that it is virtually useless as a basis for public policy.

Second, the study presents its overall findings in global terms when the numbers only have meaning at local and regional levels. For example, the largest contributor to its bottom-line number is local air pollution. Putting aside the fact, as my colleague Travis Fisher points out, how easy it is to cook the books and exaggerate the assumed costs of things like small particulate matter in the air, the other problem is that regional variances for local air pollution are so immense that any broad policy conclusion, such as “tighten local air pollution standards,” would be irrelevant.

It would make no sense to apply the same policy response in the U.S.—where local air pollution levels are very low and getting lower—that you would apply to countries in the East Asia and Pacific region, where, according to the study, local air pollution levels are high. The study undermines its own credibility by presenting a cumulative, global number that serves no purpose other than to inflate its bottom line.

And third, the study provides no accounting for the massive contribution to human flourishing that has resulted directly from the use of hydrocarbons. This is perhaps the biggest problem with this study specifically, and the modern environmental movement more broadly.

The truth is that human well-being has skyrocketed in terms of wealth, health, and life expectancy since the Industrial Revolution, which was fueled by hydrocarbons. No statistic demonstrates this more clearly than the fact that climate-related deaths are down a staggering 92% since the 1920s, when the statistic was first recorded.

Nonetheless, the IMF authors took the time to give us their number on the alleged subsidy costs associated with gas, oil, and coal; so, in the spirit of fairness, a look at the benefits associated with fossil fuels seems appropriate.

Let’s break it down, and for the sake of consistency, all numbers will be adjusted to 2019 dollars. Prior to 1700, per capita gross domestic product (the sum value of all goods and services produced within a nation’s borders) in the West stagnated at around $955 per year. Today, the average North American can expect a per capita GDP of around $66,935.

While historians and economists may debate at the margins, most can agree that two things were key to this astronomical rise in economic production. First was the spread of free enterprise (thank you, Adam Smith), and second was the broad availability of affordable, scalable, and efficient energy (thank you, hydrocarbons).

For hundreds of years, people in Western nations made around $955. Then they started using coal, then oil, and then natural gas. Now, Americans make around $66,935. So, the average income, one could argue, has increased nearly $66,0000 as a direct and indirect result of hydrocarbons (using the same rationale as the study authors). That’s a big number, for sure.

Of course, the study authors took their localized numbers and globalized them. For the sake of comparing apples to apples, let’s do that for the United States.

There are approximately 331,900,000 Americans today. Had we stayed on the same GDP trajectory that we had been on for hundreds of years prior to the use of hydrocarbons, we would have a GDP today of around $316,964,500,000. Subtract that from 2022’s GDP of approximately $22.24 trillion and you get $21,926,692,686,448! That’s nearly $22 trillion in a single year in increased economic output and wealth due to free enterprise and the use of hydrocarbons.

Now, to be fair, let’s subtract the $5.9 trillion ($5.5 trillion in 2019 dollars) in alleged direct and indirect government subsidies for so-called fossil fuels that the working paper cites, which, remember, is a global number; it’s not just limited to the United States. When you subtract those alleged subsidies from the increased economic output, you still get over $16 trillion in direct and indirect benefits from hydrocarbon use. And that’s just for the United States—globally, the benefits would be immensely more!

Oh, and by the way, the environment—despite what the authors suggest—is getting better and better all the time, even with those pesky local pollutants that they pin 42% of their costs on. While some regions of the world do have work to do, the United States shows that gas, oil, and coal use and economic growth do not dictate poor air and environmental quality; and, indeed, Americans have enjoyed ever increasingly clean air for decades.

On its face, my benefits of hydrocarbons calculation could look like a version of the same screwy math used by the IMF working paper. That would be a fair critique. The point is, however, any broad assessment of the alleged costs of using coal, oil, and gas must also be paired with the immense benefits those fuels have brought all of society. When that is done, the only logical conclusion is that these fuels have made the world a better place for all of us, and any contention otherwise is about as valuable as a solar panel at midnight.

*****

This article was published at The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

‘Mocking Women’: Glamour Magazine Blasted For ‘Pregnant Male’ Cover Model thumbnail

‘Mocking Women’: Glamour Magazine Blasted For ‘Pregnant Male’ Cover Model

By The Daily Caller

The popular fashion magazine Glamour UK is featuring a pregnant woman who identifies as male as a front cover model for its June 2023 edition.

“I’m a pregnant trans man and I do exist. No matter what anyone says, I am literally living proof,” the model, Logan Brown, said in an interview with the magazine.

The cover quickly drew backlash.

“Glamour magazine wants you to believe a man is pregnant….THIS IS A BIOLOGICAL WOMAN THAT IS PREGNANT!!! Men can’t get pregnant ONLY women can!!” radio host Graham Allen wrote on Twitter.

“To be fair, she’s no less attractive than other recent Glamour cover models. Apparently BLM requires that beauty be CANCELED,” political commentator Ann Coulter wrote.

Kaeley Triller, co-founder of the pro-life group Hands Across The Aisle, ridiculed the magazine for denigrating womanhood.

“When ‘trans men’ make the news, it’s usually because they’re doing something womanly, like having babies,” Triller wrote. “A woman chopped her hair off and got pregnant, and this is cover story material.”

Introducing Logan Brown, GLAMOUR’s June Pride cover star ❤️

“I’m a pregnant trans man and I do exist. No matter what anyone says, I’m living proof.”

🔗https://t.co/445NHyTcbH #Pride #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/6NNdgsmXIF

— British GLAMOUR (@GlamourMagUK) June 1, 2023

“Shame on you @GlamourMagUK for mocking women and everything they have to go through during pregnancy!” wrote Oli London, an internet personality who frequently criticizes transgenderism.

Brown became pregnant by her “non-binary” drag queen male partner Bailey Mills, according to Glamour.

“I met Bailey nearly two years ago. We’ve not even been together that long, to be honest,” she said. “That’s why it’s a big shocker that we’re even having a baby together.”

Brown says that when she found out she was pregnant, “all my manlihood that I’ve worked hard for, for so long, just completely felt like it was erased.”

“I had to get to the point of being confident with who I am and being a pregnant man,” Brown added. “I’ve started educating people on it.”

AUTHOR

SARAH WEAVER

Social issues reporter.

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DeSantis Gets Heated In Shouting Match With Heckler: ‘We’re Gonna Stand Up For Our Kids’

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Here Are The 17 GOP Senators Who Voted For Unlimited Spending thumbnail

Here Are The 17 GOP Senators Who Voted For Unlimited Spending

By The Daily Caller

The U.S. Senate passed legislation late Thursday night to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, and the bill is now headed to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The legislation passed with 17 Republicans joining 46 Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling until Jan. 2025. Five Democrats broke with their party. Ahead of the June 5 deadline, the federal government will now avoid a default on its debt.

Here Are The 17 Republicans Who Voted For Unlimited Spending:  

  • Arkansas Sen. John Boozman
  • West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
  • Maine Sen. Susan Collins
  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn
  • North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer
  • Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst
  • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley
  • North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven
  • Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran
  • Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski
  • Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin
  • Utah Sen. Mitt Romney
  • South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds
  • South Dakota Sen. John Thune
  • North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis
  • Indiana Sen. Todd Young

After passing the legislation, Republicans such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supported the bill, released statements detailing why they voted in favor of the legislation.

“Four months after Speaker McCarthy invited President Biden to begin negotiating a resolution to the looming debt crisis, an important step toward fiscal sanity will finally become law. Thanks to House Republicans’ efforts, the Fiscal Responsibility Act avoids the catastrophic consequences of default and begins to curb Washington Democrats’ addiction to reckless spending that grows our nation’s debt.”

On the Senate floor, Sen. Cornyn said, “This bill will reduce federal spending by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, which is a strong start in the fight to right America’s financial ship.”

However, Republicans who voted against raising the nation’s debt ceiling, such as Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had different tones.

“On the debt ceiling, my view is the most important deficit we face is the trade deficit with China. Every dollar represents jobs lost (60k & counting in Missouri), industry lost, communities decimated. We’ve got to quit making China rich & get good blue-collar jobs back in USA. This deal doesn’t do that. So I’m a no,” Hawley, who voted against the legislation, said in a statement Thursday.

Cruz said: “While there were some good elements to this deal, such as reclaiming some unspent Covid-19 funds, there were a lot of elements that were disappointing. I’m upset this agreement did not cut more, and I’m frustrated this agreement adds a lot to the debt in exchange for relatively few spending cuts.”

AUTHOR

HENRY RODGERS

Chief national correspondent.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Here Are The Senators Who Voted Against Bill To Raise Debt Ceiling

Can Trump Win A General? The One Thing The Media Is Ignoring

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Boycott Target’ Rap Hits Number 1 on iTunes thumbnail

‘Boycott Target’ Rap Hits Number 1 on iTunes

By Family Research Council

For those who didn’t know about the Target controversy already, they likely know now.

Forgiato Blow, nicknamed “Trump’s Nephew,” released a song about boycotting Target last week, and it is rapidly climbing the charts. Blow’s music video has at least 705,000 views on YouTube, and the song has been growing in popularity ever since its reveal. “Boycott Target” was ranked #1 for top songs according to iTunes Top 10 Music Charts U.S.A. and has been a headliner in the news this week.

“Boycott Target” was released as a response to Target’s inclusion of LGBTQ products and partnership with a Satanist designer earlier in May. There was a firestorm of backlash from conservatives. Many were upset at the inclusion of over-sexualized ideas in children’s books and children’s clothing. The idea of boycotting Target went viral on social media, and many well-known conservatives have championed the revolt.

Forgiato Blow is an American rapper who has written many songs to demonstrate his love for Donald Trump, America, and conservative ideals. He saw the Target controversy as an opportunity for a hit single, and he took it. Some of his song lyrics include, “Target is targeting your kids” and “We need a clean up on every aisle, inside this store Satan resides.” The music video is filmed inside of the department store, while Blow and other featured artists wave the controversial items at the camera, clearly articulating their views on the products.

While the uproar has been ongoing in the limelight for a few weeks now, this hit song has likely brought attention to a wider, younger audience. A recent Forbes study shows that 94% of Gen Z survey respondents say that music is important to their lives. In that same study, 40% say that music plays a role in shaping their social circle.

“Now that sites have ‘trending’ features, it’s an easy way for the same ideas to be planted in all our heads at the same time,” Zach Sprouse, Regent University student and Family Research Council intern says. “In a way, it’s a good idea to reach Gen Z through trending songs and posts, because most young people are way more likely to listen to the #1 song of the day rather than turn on the news.”

So, is it beneficial for politics to merge with modern arts to impress different ideas? Studies show that this is already happening. “We ought to just embrace it and use trending features to spread our objectives,” Sprouse concludes. Music and the arts are highly influential in modeling our perception of the world. Artists like Forgiato Blow understand the ripple effect of their music and will most likely continue pushing agendas in their work in the future.

AUTHOR

Baylie McClafferty

RELATED ARTICLE: Target and Kohl’s Face Greater Backlash for Funding an Organization That Promotes Child Mutilation

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Fighting ESG all the way to the CEOs thumbnail

Fighting ESG all the way to the CEOs

By Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow


ESG, or “environmental, social, governance” investing has become a pernicious threat to our free market.

Large financial institutions such as banks and fund managers are using the gigantic sums of other people’s money they control to push ideological agendas that have nothing to do with investing.  Substituting a woke agenda for sound business practice constitutes fundamental breach of the fiduciary duty between investors and those they entrust to manage their funds.

This is institutional leftism at its worst.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall writes at the WSJ that, “America’s self-proclaimed ‘socially responsible’ financial institutions, which should be competing in the free market, are instead joining forces with one another and their global counterparts to decide which companies—and, in some cases, which industries—should be permitted to continue their market participation unimpeded… America’s self-proclaimed ‘socially responsible’ financial institutions, which should be competing in the free market, are instead joining forces with one another and their global counterparts to decide which companies—and, in some cases, which industries—should be permitted to continue their market participation unimpeded.”

The ability of banks and investment houses to cut off businesses from the capital they need to operate is an abuse of power.

CFACT is tacking the ESG threat head on.  One tactic CFACT pursies is playing an active role in company shareholder meetings.

Adam Houser reports at CFACT.org on this recent question I put to Blackrock CEO Larry Fink:

“Numerous states like Texas, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana are pushing back against ESG criteria and taking action to divest from BlackRock. Why doesn’t BlackRock change course and repudiate the divisive nature of ESG criteria, admit it erred in ever getting involved with it, and move on?’”

This question, lumped together with similar ones at the meeting, forced Fink to dodge and filibuster.  It’s clear he’s not used to being put on the spot by a conservative voices.

A few weeks before that I also got a chance to ask Bank of America CEO Bryan Moynihan this question:  “The large number of shareholder proposals regarding climate change clearly indicates that Bank of America’s strategy of trying to appease the activists is not working. Why doesn’t Bank of America simply focus on maximizing value for shareholders and just ignore these people?”

Again, the CEO’s answer was evasive, but it was also defensive.  This is a good thing.  This kind of aggressive questioning and awareness raising is having an impact.

Governors and legislators are taking a stand against ESG investing.  Shareholders are pushing back hard.

A series of left-wing energy and environmental proposals before the shareholders in recent Exxon and JP Morgan meetings CFACT took part in were shot down in flames.

The free market is the most efficient way to allocate financial resources known to man.

Companies must be allowed to innovate and compete in the free marketplace unimpeded by left-wing virtue-signaling by banks and fund managers.

For nature and people too.

Great Reset: WEF Demands Fewer Private Cars, Increase in Public Transport thumbnail

Great Reset: WEF Demands Fewer Private Cars, Increase in Public Transport

By Catherine Salgado

The insidious World Economic Forum (WEF) of the “Great Reset” is now pushing cities, countries, and companies around the world to adopt a new “scorecard” to encourage the expansion of supposedly “green” energy and public transportation, and fewer private cars. You will own nothing, you will ride public transport, and you have no say in the matter. You’re welcome.

WEF’s May 2023 briefing paper, “The Urban Mobility Scorecard Tool: Benchmarking the Transition to Sustainable Urban Mobility,” produced in collaboration with Visa, specifically states the goal to “reduce the number of vehicles on the road.” Why? People dependent on public transport are also dependent on those who control public transport. It’s all about reducing independence and freedom and increasing top-down control.

Recall that WEF is also working with at least two governments to roll out a digital ID required to do or buy anything. In China, the way a similar digital ID works is, if you say or do something the government doesn’t like, you are not able to travel anywhere or do anything. That’s exactly what WEF has planned for your future.

Indeed, public transport and a total absence of private cars for ordinary citizens are essential parts of WEF’s plan for how it wants the world to be in 2030. “It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car,” WEF wrote. Ah, paradise, where a single tweet critiquing the government leaves you transportation-less! In that same piece, WEF let the cat out of the bag about the stark reality of this supposed future utopia:

“Once in a while I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. Nowhere I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.”

Meanwhile, in its recent briefing paper, WEF says, “By 2050, almost 70% of people will live in urban areas.” The globalist push to make the vast majority of people live in cities, particularly “15 minute cities,” is all part of the vision I just quoted from above where everything is owned by the government. Control is easier in a city. In fact, WEF specifically demanded “more compact cities” in the briefing paper. Yes! 15-minute cities with an insane amount of surveillance and complete dictatorial control! All to save the planet, of course.

WEF went on, “electrifying private vehicles is not enough to achieve the emissions reduction targets agreed in the Paris Agreement on climate.” Of course, climate change alarmists have been wildly and consistently wrong in their predictions for 50 years now, but we should definitely trust them this time, right? I have noted many times how supposedly “green” energy is actually worse for the environment, and how it is impossible to produce enough electricity for modern societies using green energy, which involves destructive and toxic sources like windmills, solar panels, and toxic batteries. Yet WEF pontificated:

“Electrification needs to be accelerated in sync with a powerful push towards more efficient, accessible and connected public transport, improved infrastructure and priority for cycling and walking…It is only with a combination of these solutions that we can cut emissions to address the urgent climate emergency, reduce the number of vehicles on the road to make our streets safer and more accessible, all while transporting a growing urban population.”

That section was written by Visa’s “Chief Sustainability Officer” and WEF’s “Head of Urban Transformation.”

To ensure this utopian future happens, WEF is pushing a “user-friendly scorecard tool, trialled with cities and backed by the private sector, to help cities track progress towards shared, electric and connected mobility.”

Don’t be fooled—the climate alarmist movement is merely the tool for achieving a one world dictatorship, with your housing, transportation, everything dependent on the whims of the elites. That’s all WEF’s “scorecard” is about.

*****
This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Chick-fil-A Has Been Woke for Years. You Just Didn’t Want to Believe It. thumbnail

Chick-fil-A Has Been Woke for Years. You Just Didn’t Want to Believe It.

By Family Research Council

When the rest of the world lost its corporate marbles, conservatives liked to think that there was one place that would never let them down: Chick-fil-A. As far as they were concerned, the churchgoers’ chicken of choice had been solidly built on Truett Cathy’s strong family values. While other CEOs took their brands in wildly liberal directions, Christians took solace in the fact that at least one franchise could stand against the mob. Now, with the news that Chick-fil-A is catering to the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) crowd, customers feel deeply betrayed. But the reality is, the chicken empire’s capitulation started years before this.

Those of us who’ve watched Chick-fil-A up close know the company’s moral compromise didn’t happen overnight. For groups like Family Research Council, the bloom was off the nugget as far back as November of 2019 when, after years of holding the line, Chick-fil-A decided to put as much distance between Christians and their brand as possible.

To most people in the public square, the U-turn was completely unexpected. Chick-fil-A had already endured years of LGBT abuse, surviving movements to ban them from airportsrest stops, and college campuses. Despite the attacks, the Cathys didn’t just weather the storm, they thrived in it — doubling sales since the moment liberals decided it was a “controversy” to give to religious charities with biblical views.

Then, well into their heroic pushback — for no apparent reason — Chick-fil-A abruptly caved to the leftist pressure. In a punch to the gut of their loyal base, management announced that they were ending donations to faith-based groups like the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes because their positions on marriage and sexuality were too “controversial.” The defection cut deep for families, millions of whom had driven out of their way to support Chick-fil-A — not because the chicken was good, but because their conviction was better. Before there was a Donald Trump or a Ron DeSantis or a Brian Kemp, the Cathys had proven: you could stand on principle and win.

“If Chick-fil-A thinks that caving to PC pressure will help them grow as a company, they might want to check with the folks over at the Boy Scouts to see how well that strategy works,” Matt Walsh warned at the time. Governor Mike Huckabee was equally blunt. “Chick-fil-A made a huge mistake thinking they can appease these people,” he told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, “because they can’t.”

Days later, another bombshell dropped. Not only had the company stopped giving to Christians, it was quietly funding radical abortion and LGBT activists in their place. News broke that the Chick-fil-A Foundation had funneled at least $230,000 to Covenant House, an organization that, among other things, hosts Drag Queen Story Hours. Conservatives were in disbelief — so much so that The Federalist felt the need to spell it out: “Yes, Chick-fil-A Really Is Funding a Group that Hosts Drag Queen Story Hours,” their headline read.

Turns out, that wasn’t the worst of it. Reporters dug into the business’s tax returns and found that the chicken chain had also gifted money to the extremists at Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — the same leftist bullies that inspired a gunman to storm the headquarters of FRC with the intent to murder as many staffers as possible and, in a final act of defiance, smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in our faces. The shooter, Floyd Corkins, told the FBI he’d picked FRC as a target from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. Ironically, his outrage was sparked by 2012’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day for the Cathys’ marriage stance, which our staff had publicly celebrated.

To us, the company’s departure from biblical truth was personal. The same family who insisted their corporate mission was “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us” had publicly disassociated from groups actually living up to that standard. It stung. Former employees, like FRC’s vice president for Communications, J.P. Duffy, were distraught. In a somber farewell to the chain in USA Today, Duffy wrote, “Chick-fil-A once inspired me to live out my values in the workplace. Those days are gone.”

Four years later, he says this latest treason is just par for the chain’s course. “Sadly,” Duffy told The Washington Stand, “I’ve come to expect this from Chick-fil-A, a corporation that has been moving Left for years. While they’ve kept their motto and their long-standing closed-on-Sundays policy, they’ve made a number of moves to appease the Left.” He cites the severing of ties with Christian charities and the partnerships with Covenant House and SPLC as proof that they aren’t the franchise Christians have come to know and love. “I’m not surprised that Chick-fil-A is promoting the left-wing DEI agenda espoused by SPLC and woke corporations. Chick-fil-A has drifted very far from its biblical roots.”

The fact that this fast-food favorite is now chasing the approval of the DEI crowd is just the fruit of their recent capitulation. The only surprise is that so many Christians have either ignored Chick-fil-A’s activism or lived in denial that it ever happened. Maybe they didn’t want to believe that the place where they felt at home, the place turned to for comfort in the cultural storm, betrayed them. It’s certainly a lot easier than the alternative, which is accepting and grieving the fact that this company — a brave holdout for so many years — has run away from the people and principles that made them who they are.

Now, with the chain going full-woke, even hiring a vice president of DEI to prove its allegiance to the Left, conservatives are finally forced to face facts. Chick-fil-A hasn’t been true to its values for years. And to many, including this writer, their sins are even more unforgiveable than other brands on the consumer chopping block — because unlike AnthropologieAdidasCalvin KleinHersheyJack DanielsKohl’sLegoLevi StraussMaybellineNikeNorth FaceSports Illustrated, Starbucks, and Target, Chick-fil-A continues to exploit — and profit from — its Christian reputation.

A Christian reputation that, under grandson Andrew Cathy’s leadership, looks an awful lot like surrender.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Target Stocks Continue to Plummet Despite Cutting Ties with Satanist Designer

Dozens of Major Corporations Have Abysmal Protections for Free Speech, Religion: Study

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Dozens of Major Corporations Have Abysmal Protections for Free Speech, Religion: Study thumbnail

Dozens of Major Corporations Have Abysmal Protections for Free Speech, Religion: Study

By Family Research Council

Dozens of major corporations lack adequate protections for free speech and religion even as several companies have improved since last year, a new study suggests.

The study was conducted in partnership with the investment technology service Inspire Insight, which provides faith-based investing data and ratings to thousands of institutions.

Only two of the 75 companies examined had scored over 25 in their respect for speech and religion. ADF contends that “millions of everyday Americans are at risk of cancelation or punishment for their views.”

The bottom five companies when it comes to respecting free speech and religious freedom rights are Airbnb (2%), Amazon.com (4%), Alphabet (Google) (4%), eBay (5%) and Microsoft (5%). Those companies saw their scores drop by 3%, 2%, 5%, 2% and 0%, respectively, compared to last year.

“Threats to freedom don’t just come from the government, but from major corporations like financial institutions and big tech companies that have concentrated power over essential services and communication channels,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco. “Too often, these corporations de-bank or deplatform Americans, citing policies that give them unbounded discretion to censor people for their views.”

Only one of the companies analyzed, Fidelity National Information Services, received an overall score of 50%. This marks a 32% jump from last year, when it received a score of 18%. M&T Bank received an overall score of 25%, an 11% jump from the 14% it earned last year.

Businesses studied in the research include those in “industries that have the greatest potential to impact individuals’ or institutions’ freedom of speech or religion,” including banking companies, payment processing services, and social media platforms. Scores were compiled based on responses companies provided to a survey commissioned by ADF.

Higher scores were given to companies that have “terms of use/service” that “avoid unclear or imprecise terms” and “avoid viewpoint discrimination” as well as “harmful conduct policies” that “apply equally.”

Additional factors that give corporations higher scores on the index include “harmful conduct policies” that “apply equally,” the presence of a “public anti-viewpoint discrimination policy,” “notice of content or service restrictions,” as well as policies promoting “respect for diverse beliefs at work” and religious discrimination.

A corporation’s score is also impacted by its advocacy on behalf of political spending, specifically whether or not it spent money in support of laws or litigation that are “harmful to speech or religion.” A company’s policy regarding written religious accommodations, or lack thereof, also factored into its score.

Other companies that saw slightly higher scores compared to last year include Citigroup, whose score rose to 11% from 8%; Morgan Stanley, 9% to 11%; Meta, 9% to 10%; Apple, 7% to 8%; Adobe, which scored 6% in 2023 compared to 5% in 2022; and GoDaddy, which rose from 2% score to 8%.

Besides the bottom five, a handful of other notable companies saw their scores decrease from last year: Rackspace (14% to 13%), Capitol One (13% to 12%), Visa (11% to 10%), Wells Fargo (13% to 10%), Citizens Financial Group (10% to 9%), JP Morgan Chase (15% to 9%), Mastercard (10% to 9%), Bank of America (10% to 8%), Discover (13% to 8%), Oracle (9% to 8%), PayPal (7% to 5%) and Twitter (6% to 5%).

Tedesco maintained that “companies need to take seriously the way their policies and practices can chill the exercise of speech and religion and deter individuals from participating in the democratic process.”

“All Americans benefit when powerful corporations respect free speech and religious freedom,” he added. “Our goal is to help the largest corporations implement positive and lasting changes that protect everyone’s free speech and religious freedom from corporate overreach. Each survey completed, resolution filed, and conversation with senior leadership advances the ball.”

Examples of troubling policies listed in the detailed report about the research, obtained by The Christian Post, include Twitter deplatforming The Babylon Bee under a “hateful conduct policy,” Netflix holding employee training promoting critical race theory and Bank of America’s restriction on donations to religious charities.

Twitter also de-platformed The Christian Post for nine months last year for factually reporting that a Biden official is a man and not a woman. CP’s account was reinstated after Elon Musk took over.

AUTHOR

Ryan Foley

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post.

This article originally appeared in The Christian Post.

RELATED ARTICLE: Target Stocks Continue to Plummet Despite Cutting Ties with Satanist Designer

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Billion Dollar Losses For Companies That Went Woke Are Staggering – Bud Light, Target, Kohls, North Face thumbnail

Billion Dollar Losses For Companies That Went Woke Are Staggering – Bud Light, Target, Kohls, North Face

By The Geller Report

For some psychiatric reason, the left can’t grasp that we don’t care what they do with their peckers, just keep them out of the classrooms and away from our children.

BUD LIGHT VALUE HAS FALLEN $15.7 BILLION SINCE APRIL

National Review: Sales for the beleaguered beer company, Bud Light, have fallen for a sixth consecutive week following its partnership with transgender social-media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Beer Business Daily, a trade publication, found that the volume of Bud Light sales had dropped by 28.4 percent in the second week of May, up from 27.7 percent the week prior. The consumer cutback on Bud Light has become so bad that one store is even reportedly offering cases of 24-packs – which normally retail close to $20 – for just $3.49 to offset some of the costs of inventory before the beverage expires (National Review). Investors Business Daily: The market value of Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose fourth bestselling brand is Bud Light, dropped $15.7 billion since April 1 (Investors Business Daily).

HITS BOTTOM, KEEPS DIGGING: Bud Light To Sponsor Pride Parades Despite Ongoing Boycott, Joining Children’s Hospital Which Sexually Mutilates Children

Woke Bud Light Can’t Give Their Beer Away – Literally, Now Forced to Buy It Back

Bud Light Sales Plummet For Fifth Straight Week Since Promoting Trans Influencer

Anheuser-Busch Loses $5 Billion Since Announcing Sponsorship of Trans Influencer

TARGET LOSES $10 BILLION IN 10 DAYS

Daily Mail: Target has lost more than $10 billion in market capitalization in the span of 10 days – as it continues to face backlash for Pride-themed merchandise. Prior to the controversy – which stems over a LGBTQ-geared clothing campaign that touts ‘tuck-friendly’ bathing suits and pro-trans T-shirts for kids – Target shares were trading at $160.96, giving the retailer a market valuation of roughly $74.3 billion. By the time The New York Stock Exchange closed Friday, the blue-chip stock was trading at $138.93 – marking a market valuation of 64.2 billion, and loss of $10.1 billion (Daily Mail).

Target Shares Plummet Following Trans Push To Children, Posts 10 Billion Dollar Loss

On a happier note…

Target has lost $10 Billion in market cap in only 10 days. It’s stock has fallen to its lowest value in a year. @Target keep that crap away from our kids! pic.twitter.com/NnWyP2iUyx

— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) May 28, 2023

KOHL’S CATERS THE WOKE CROWD, GETS BURNED

Daily Mail: Kohl’s has become the latest retailer to receive backlash for catering to the ‘woke crowd’ after shoppers slammed their LGBTQ+ apparel for infants. The onesies with the LGBTQ+ pride flag on them, specifically tailored to June, which is known internationally as Pride Month, have even sparked calls for a store boycott (Daily Mail).

End Wokeness: Looks like Kohl’s didn’t learn a thing from Bud Lite and Target (Twitter). Fox News: Kohl’s Corporation has seen its stock plummet over the last year, sinking by over 50% due to various worrying signs. In July 2022, the stock dropped almost 21% after the retailer revealed it had ended a potential deal to be acquired by Franchise Group and warned of a decline in sales exacerbated by a drop in consumer spending (Fox News).

Looks like Kohl’s didn’t learn a thing from Bud Lite and Target pic.twitter.com/qRzlmepW4B

— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) May 28, 2023

North Face is pushing this for 2-7 year olds pic.twitter.com/jhKbdRyAAT

— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) May 24, 2023

What the hell is Northface thinking ?pic.twitter.com/q1EcsLotoQ

— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) May 25, 2023

Can anyone explain how the heck this ad helps @thenorthface sell outdoor clothes? They’re screaming at you to not buy their products if this violates your values. Accept their challenge. The North Face is owned by the VF Corporation which also owns Supreme, Vans, and Timberland. pic.twitter.com/9RwVljsa9N

— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 24, 2023

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

RELATED TWEET: We added this tweet at the behest of a Anheuser-Busch distributor.

pic.twitter.com/T3TVGEzIi0

— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) April 14, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump and His Allies Attack Tax Reform thumbnail

Trump and His Allies Attack Tax Reform

By Neland Nobel

Recently we felt it necessary (Trump Is Out of Line) to slap down President Trump for his attacks on Ron DeSantis in relation to Medicare and Social Security.  We contended that no serious effort at controlling the deficit can be undertaken with the reform of “entitlement” programs.  The reason:  that is where the overwhelming bulk of the money is spent and these systems are demographically flawed.  If you truly want to deal with deficit spending, entitlement reform must be discussed.

Now we must slap him once again over his attack ads about DeSantis voting for the “Fair Tax”, while a member of Congress.  The Fair Tax is a plan to replace the income tax and the IRS with a fairly simple national sales tax.

For some reason, Trump has decided to run to the Left of Governor DeSantis on key issues.  We see this with entitlement reform, Covid lockdown and vaccinations, Disney and corporate “wokism”, abortion, and now tax reform.

The TV ad that you can view below is misleading to the point of lying, which is beneath the former President.  It mentions the expected 23% sales tax and fails to mention it replaces the income tax.  No Conservative is going to vote for a national consumption tax without eliminating the income tax.  Trump makes it sound as if DeSantis wants both at the same time, a flat-out lie.

The Fair Tax idea has been floating in Conservative political circles since at least the mid-1980s.  It was advocated by Bill Archer, a Congressman from Texas who became head of the House Ways and Means Committee in the mid-1990s.  Archer was an advocate of what at the time was called “starve the beast”, a theory that we could only stop the rise of the leviathan government by eliminating the income tax and thus restricting the flow of money.

Even moderate Republicans such as Senator Richard Lugar, supported the idea.  This is not a wild and crazy idea hatched by Governor DeSantis.

It reportedly even came up recently during the fight amongst Republicans for House Speaker.  Apparently, some would not support Speaker McCarthy unless he pledged to let the Fair Tax out of committee and allowed an up or down floor vote.

So, Trump’s attack on DeSantis not only is unfair to his chief rival (why do you think he singles DeSantis out for abuse and not others) but he does a grave injustice to the idea of the Fair Tax.

There are several iterations of the Fair Tax but rather than get into the technical weeds, let’s look at the broad outlines of its appeal.

First of all, the income tax has always been a product of the Left.  Plank two of the 1848 Communist Manifesto calls for “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax”, and that idea has been a mainstay of socialist thought since.  The idea was to use the mechanism of the state police power to redistribute income to create income equality.  Morally, the Maxists said the more a man rises above the level of subsistence, the less claim he has on his output.  Why is that?  Because Marx said so.

Forcible redistribution of wealth is not something Conservatives or Libertarians should accept.  Why does Trump support a plank out of the Communist Manifesto?

The purpose of the tax system should be to raise revenue for the government efficiently and grow the economy while protecting the individual rights of its citizens.  The tax system should not be used as a tool to impose one particular view of mankind by force and compulsion.

If you don’t think the government is force, just try not paying your income taxes.  Try running a business without withholding taxes on employees.

The US largely ran for many years on excise and consumption taxes, revenues from land sales, and tariffs.  In those years, we had a smaller government and it was not in the business of income redistribution.

It is doubtful the Administrative State could have arisen without the compulsory aspects of the progressive income tax and that is why it came as part of the Progressive package under Woodrow Wilson, which also included the Federal Reserve and the direct election of Senators.

The Fair Tax repeals the 16th Amendment and eliminates the IRS as we know it.

Some Conservatives have supported a Flat Tax, basically a flat income tax.  There is much good in that idea too but since it leaves the IRS and the Income Tax both in the statutes and as an Amendment to the Constitution, there is nothing to say a progressive tax won’t simply grow back.  We have seen a version of that over the years with 5 tax brackets, then 3 brackets, taxes as high as 90%, the Alternative Minimum tax, and so forth.  The income tax is always morphing and is always a tool for politicians and the special interests that fund them.  The same can be said for the corporate income tax.

The only way to kill the Income Tax is to totally replace it, which the national consumption tax would do.  That also eliminates the estate tax and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, the corporate income tax, taxes on dividends, and interest.  The government would instead be funded by a simple tax collected at the final point of consumption by a consumer.

An important feature of consumption taxes is that they are self-regulating while income taxes are not.  Right now, the level we all pay in taxes is in the hands of politicians, special interests, and government administrators.

Writing in the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton noted: “It is the signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess.  They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is an extension of the revenue…this forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this call, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.”

So, Mr. Trump, are you for the tax system of Karl Marx or Alexander Hamilton?  Are you for self-limited taxation (limited by the consumer or citizen) or limited by politicians and bureaucrats?

Look at how abusive politically speaking the IRS has become.  Whether it be trying to ruin Conservative organizations under Lois Lerner or recently invading the privacy of journalist Matt Taibbi, the IRS has been used from its inception to attack political enemies.  Lyndon Johnson used the IRS against enemies and so did Richard Nixon.  It is not a matter of partisan abuse alone, it is a violation of the rule of law.

And why, as Open the Books has found, does the IRS need millions of rounds of ammunition and over 2,000 agents trained in the use of deadly force?

Would not it be a net plus for liberty to eliminate the system that gave rise to this abusive organization?

And then there is the cost.  Estimates vary, but the burden on the economy to comply with income taxes goes well beyond the bloated budget of the IRS.  Think of what you have paid over the years for accountants and CPAs.  How much time do you spend keeping records and shuffling paper? That is the real cost of the current system.

And how about simplicity and the time spent to understand the code? Really, should we have to consult a priesthood of lawyers and accountants just to pay our taxes?

The IRS code runs more than 70,000 pages, and the most recent Fair Tax legislation, about 130 pages.  Not only must we deal with the IRS code, but there are many more pages of court cases and administrative rulings.

And then there is the cost on business to comply, which is simply passed on to the consumer in the end.  Complying is simply a cost of doing business and will be embedded in all costs and those costs cascade or get added to each other much like railroad cars in a train wreck.  Commodity producer A pays taxes and regulatory costs, to provide a product to processor B who pays taxes and regulatory costs, who move the product to manufacturer C who pays taxes, who then delivers to transport company D which pays taxes, then delivers to retailer E, who pays taxes, to sell to you, who pay for sales taxes on the end product, and income taxes on the money you use for the purchase. Perhaps worse it is hidden and you are not even aware of it.

Everywhere along the chain, there are compliance costs and taxes paid that get surreptitiously added to the cost of products we all buy.  In fact, estimates are it costs about $1 in compliance costs for about every $4 collected in revenue.

But even that does not come close to the actual cost, which is hard to know because much of the cost is never recorded.  It is the cost of actions NOT taken or actions taken that are not productive. For example, if you decide not to sell an investment because you will pay capital gains tax, you may be making a decision that has nothing to do with the best and highest use of your capital, but simply to avoid taxes.  Contrarily, if you purchase municipal bonds to avoid taxation on income, that may not be the highest and best use of the capital either for your family or the economy.  How much do such decisions cost productivity because the tax tail is wagging the entire dog of the economy?

Productivity is what drives our standard of living.  You reduce productivity and you reduce our standard of living and nobody knows by how much or why.  What a system!

The only people who benefit from such economic and capital distortions are politicians and tax lawyers.  The rest of us don’t.

And finally, there is the politics of the thing and civic education.  Do you think for a moment the voters would buy into “the rich are not paying their fair share” if they really had any idea of who pays taxes in this country and what their true level and administrative costs really are?

One really nice feature of the Fair Tax is it eliminates all the web of hidden taxes, withholding taxes, excise taxes,  and other gimmicks used to obscure the true cost of government and makes it simple and upfront.  When all these taxes and compliance costs are cascading through the cycle of production and consumption,  how could you possibly know what you really are paying in taxes?

With the fair tax, it is on the receipt for the purchase of final consumption.

If citizens really knew how much they were paying to the government,  would they feel the same way about the government?  Would they be so casual about the immense waste?

And we would further submit, no one getting benefits from the government should not know the cost and be free from some of the cost.  If people don’t feel the sting of the cost of some of the things they want from the government, they will make endless demands.  Why not if you can get benefits that are paid for by someone else?  No, everyone needs to pay something and every citizen needs to know the true cost of government.   That is indeed the true meaning of  “fair share.”

In short, our current tax system needs to be fundamentally reformed.  We need a tax system that removes Marxist philosophy from the process, is efficient and simple, and allows the ultimate level of taxation to be determined by consumers.  Getting rid of an abusive agency and a tax code that is longer than the Bible is an added benefit.

There is much to like about the Fair Tax.  If you want to learn more, here is a website to get started.

Imagine a world without the IRS, where there are no taxes on investments and savings.  April 15th would be just another day. No year-long effort to keep records. Imagine the capital accumulation and increase in productivity.  Imagine a smaller, less intrusive government.  Imagine a higher standard of living.

The ultimate point of our criticism of Mr. Trump and his PAC is that they have reduced quite a serious problem for the economy and liberty, to a tacky song and misleading attack ad on a political opponent.  

The Fair Tax has its problems and its critics.  But, like its sister the Flat Tax, at least it is a serious attempt to mend a broken, expensive, uneconomic, and abusive system.  It is exactly the type of thing that should be debated among candidates.

In this argument, we think those that wish to reform the progressive income tax and the IRS, have the upper hand.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Without Economic Freedom, None of the Others Matter thumbnail

Without Economic Freedom, None of the Others Matter

By Paul Schwennesen

[One Fine Spring Day, Over the Phone…]

“Oh, and by the way, your background check says there’s a warrant out for your arrest.”

This is not, mind you, the kind of thing one expects to hear updating teaching credentials in a very staid University bureaucracy. Nevertheless, there it was.

“Oh?,” I retorted, a bit stunned. “Anything indicating why?”

“It says something about a zoning infraction?” the all-too-chipper HR Department lady replied.

“I’m sure it will be fine—it’s no issue for us, but we thought you might like to know.”

Why yes, yes I would.

It turns out that my little experiment in entrepreneurial civics had gone horribly wrong, and I was one short step away from spending time in the clink. I had, you see, committed the jailable offense of putting up a tent.  On my own land.  Without permission from the State. I won’t rehash the details but feel free to get the skinny here.

The long and short of it is this: our county sent us a nastygram some time back informing us that our AirBnB platform tent was strictly verboten without first going through the labyrinthian protocols of special use exemptions, business licensing, and building permits. We dutifully took the listing down and began the unconscionably dumb process of doing it the “right” way — Site Plan Reviews, public meetings, fights with a water district that wanted us to buy a water meter for a tent with no plumbing, the whole deal.

That all was bad enough, but somewhere along the line, a local county zoning official acting on the basis of an “anonymous tip” referred our case to the prosecutor’s office because she had been “told” we were still operating in contravention to guidelines.

I called her up.

“Can you confirm that there is an open arrest warrant in my name, on the basis of a zoning violation?”

“That is correct sir.”

“Are you telling me that I could be stopped at any moment and incarcerated, that I would be arraigned for a tent infraction?”

“Yes, sir, we have policies which you have not conformed to.”

“But didn’t I tell your office personally that we have taken the listing down, and haven’t we been working diligently with your own staff to get this thing resolved? Aren’t you even now reviewing the oodles of forms, maps, and requests we sent you?”

“Yes sir, but we were told you were still operating the tent as a rental, which means you are still in noncompliance.”

“Told by whom?”

“I can’t relay that information, sir.”

Ah. I see.

**Spoiler Alert**

I’m not writing this from a Platte County prison cell. It turns out that petty official X just needed to hear me say that I wasn’t breaking their rules, and she would call the prosecutor’s office and have the warrant rescinded based on “proof of compliance” or some such.

Everything, just as University Human Relations predicted, is “fine.”

Except that it isn’t.

There are two issues at stake here.  The first, of course, is a flagrant yet ultimately trivial matter of basic professionalism and due process — Platte County clearly has some deep house cleaning to do. But it is tangential to the much larger matter, which is that the bureaucratic indiscretions on display here can only occur in an administrative system that weaponizes regulations to consolidate power. This overregulation, in turn, is the inevitable outcome of our collective giveaway of rights to the forces of “planning,” “safety,” and “zoning.”

We have a real crisis on our hands in the form of basic property rights arrogation. In an age of “epic crisis,” it’s difficult to know which looming threats are real and which are hyped fantasy, but this one surely tops the list, if for no other reason than that it is so subtly devious: zoning rules have been quietly adopted nationwide and have led inexorably to administrative despotism and bureaucratic sclerosis. This isn’t just irritating red tape, it is a reflection of basic freedom lost.

Ludwig von Mises properly noted that economic freedom undergirds the rest of them:

Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of what is called economic freedom. Where there is no market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead letter.

And indeed, economic freedom has been dragged into the deep end by the dead hand of zoning restrictions. For a citizen to be forbidden from such a simple economic act as offering a tent for rent on his own land means that state administration has metastasized into an all-encompassing prohibition on economic activity more generally. Forbidding entrepreneurial ventures that have not been granted prior approval and design review by unelected officials is, practically speaking, state ownership of the means of production. This has enormous implications not only for the economic outlook of our nation, but for the broader freedoms it prides itself on.

The United States is on a precipitous plunge into the inky waters of a command economy. We have fallen from the top-tier of economic freedom indexes to 25th in just a few short years and the trend is getting worse. To fix this, it is high time to repeal vast swaths of local zoning laws and recover our rich heritage of Life, Liberty, and Property.

*****

This article was published by AIER,  American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

RINO McCarthy Caves On His Debt-Ceiling ‘Deal,’ He Sold Us Out thumbnail

RINO McCarthy Caves On His Debt-Ceiling ‘Deal,’ He Sold Us Out

By The Geller Report

Apparently McCarthy was no match for the corrupt, diaper-wearing, cracked, child-sniffing mental patient.

WATCH: @RepChipRoy SLAMS the terrible deal to raise the debt ceiling

“Not one Republican should vote for this deal — it is a bad deal. No one sent us here to borrow an additional $4 trillion to get absolutely nothing in return.” pic.twitter.com/45r1cQZk8O

— Tea Party Patriots (@TPPatriots) May 30, 2023

McCarthy’s debt-ceiling deal with Biden comes up short on his vow to reign in IRS

By Miranda Devine, NY Post, May 28, 2023:

Kevin McCarthy trumpeted a debt-ceiling deal Sunday, but increasing debt another $4 trillion with minimal concessions is nothing to boast about.

To be fair, the House speaker has a razor slim majority and Republicans don’t control the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his sidekick Lindsey Graham have announced that the only thing they care about is Ukraine.

But McCarthy’s one deal breaker should have been his promise to defund President Biden’s massive $80 billion to turbocharge an already weaponized IRS.

This was the totemic centerpiece of his pitch to become speaker.

It was the most memorable promise of the Republicans’ midterm campaign to win back the House.

It struck a chord with voters, wary of funding a new “army” of armed IRS agents to harass middle-class families and small business owners and abuse their powers to target political dissidents, Soviet-style.

“Our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents,” McCarthy vowed.

“You see, we believe government should be to help you, not go after you.”

Sure enough, the House voted 221-210 to repeal the extra IRS funding.

“Promises made,” the newly minted speaker said Jan. 9, banging the gavel on the first bill of the Republican-controlled House.

What about promises kept?

In the debt-ceiling deal outlined Sunday and due to be inked later this week, McCarthy has allowed the lion’s share of that extra IRS funding to remain unmolested: preserving $78.1 billion of the $80 billion.

Overpromising and underdelivering is what turns voters off the GOP.

You don’t mount a powerful six-month fear campaign about 87,000 new, armed IRS agents ready to break down people’s doors, and then meekly capitulate at the first sign of resistance.

Even if those fears were exaggerated, your credibility rests on delivering a lot more than 2% of what you promised.

In any case the fears about a weaponized IRS targeting Biden’s opponents are very real.

If anything, the IRS is worse today than it was during the Obama administration, when Lois Lerner presided over the targeted harassment of Tea Party groups and other conservatives.

Not a single IRS employee was held accountable for the scandal. Lerner retired on a full pension without even a slap on the wrist.

This is the same IRS which went after journalist Matt Taibbi last December, three weeks after he started reporting on the so-called “Twitter Files,” which revealed that censorship on the social-media platform had been coordinated by federal government agencies such as the FBI and CIA.

Keep reading.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

RELATED TWEET:

RINOs will pass a do-nothing bill saying they don’t want 87,000 IRS agents knowing it’s DOA in the Senate

But when they actually have the leverage to get it done, they concede and keep 98% of the new IRS agents

They think we’re stupid
https://t.co/fOfboELyPb

— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) May 28, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

When Corporations Act Like Politicians thumbnail

When Corporations Act Like Politicians

By Family Research Council

As the 2024 presidential primary begins to take shape, pundits of all descriptions treat their readers to theories of whether this or that candidate can hold onto the partisan base or persuade independents. Strangely, many corporations — all Democrats, apparently — are behaving in the same, partisan way. Their unbusinesslike behavior is hurting their bottom line.

The gravest recent example is Anheuser-Busch, manufacturer of Bud Light, who sponsored an Instagram post by Dylan Mulvaney, a man who pretends to be a girl, during March Madness. Even though senior management apparently never signed off on the decision, the backlash was furious, rapid, and sustained. Bud Light sales fell 21.4% in April and continue to drop, sinking 28.4% lower in the boycott’s sixth week, according to Beer Business Daily, which noted, “nobody imagined it would go on this long. … It struck a nerve.” This, despite Anheuser-Busch’s attempts to re-entice former customers, including a patriotic ad campaigncamo-print bottles, and a statement from the CEO admitting that they “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”

Now, Bud Light is basically giving beer away and buying back expired beer from wholesalers in efforts to boost sales. Shares in the company have plummeted nearly 15% since the end of March, a loss of nearly $20 billion (with a “B”) in market value. Oh, and left-wing pundits are attacking Anheuser Busch for its weak attempt at an apology, which NBC News’s Ben Collins characterized as, “Bud Light caves to a mob.” Bud Light was last seen sponsoring Pride parades for the upcoming Pride Month, with all of the revenue they aren’t making.

In the last week of May, retail giant Target joined the fun, rolling out a 2023 “PRIDE” collection that featured Satanic symbolism and trans-specific items like a “tuck-friendly” swimsuit, prompting some conservatives to call for a boycott. Target responded by relocating the unsightly Pride displays from the front of some stores and removing some offensive items from its website, but CEO Brian Cornell doubled down on the decision, claiming that partnering with a Satanist to design pro-trans merchandise was “just good business decisions” and “a great thing for our brand.”

It’s too early to tell if Target’s sales numbers have been affected, but its stock has crashed more than 13% since last Wednesday, a loss of more than $10 billion in market value (for perspective, Target saw a “full-year operating income of $3.8 billion in 2022”). Leftists rewarded Target for its transgressive Pride display and non-apology by slamming it. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) complained that Cornell was “selling out the LGBTQ+ community,” while National Black Justice Coalition executive director David Johns said Target’s allyship with the LGBTQ community was merely “superficial.” For their part, Target rebounded from the Pride boycott with an email to their employees to “remember the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.”

The corporate flip-flop is not only for manufacturers and retailers. The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team planned to award an anti-Catholic group of “queer and trans nuns” — whose D.C.-based chapter was formerly led by former Biden nuclear official Sam Brinton — with their annual “Community Hero Award” at their Pride Night on June 16. Not surprisingly, this provoked Catholics to call for a boycott of the Dodgers. The Dodgers rescinded the group’s invitation, acknowledging their controversial nature. But when they did so, LA Pride, which produces the city’s Pride parade, also dropped out, “forcing” the Dodgers to “offer our sincerest apologies” and reinvite the drag troupe.

You might have noticed a pattern developing here: Company X tries to promote the LGBT agenda without generating any controversy — and generates controversy. First, conservatives get mad at the promotion, leading the company to publish a half-hearted apology or half-step back. Next, progressives get made at the company’s supposed capitulation to conservatives. The company winds up angering both sides. Its effort to boost its image winds up backfiring. From this pattern, other companies should learn to ask: if we proceed with this marketing campaign, what’s the end result? Will there be backlash among our customers?

You also might have noticed that the products for sale — baseball, home furnishings, beer — appeal to broad, diverse customer bases. Everyone needs a rug or lamp or articles to fill their domicile. A large swath of American society drinks beer aplenty. And baseball is an American classic. This makes the promotion of trans ideology — a polarizing and un-inclusive issue — wholly unfitting for these brands. Not only does the ideology alienate religious Americans, but it is so unnatural — to a degree surpassing same-sex marriage — that it even alienates people who haven’t thought deeply about it, but who instinctively abhor transgenderism nonetheless.

The point of marketing campaigns is to make your product appealing to your customer base. If that customer base is broad, the marketing campaign should have broad appeal: lovable characters (Geico), memorable slogans (Capitol One), catchy jingles (Liberty Mutual), enticing visuals (anyone selling a burger). Statistically speaking, the percentage of the population who identify as transgender is tiny, even smaller than the percentage that might be turned off by overt appeals to them. Even if they sell such products, Nike doesn’t advertise shoes over size 20, Allstate doesn’t advertise insurance rates for Lamborghinis, and Chick-fil-A doesn’t advertise the vegan options on their menu. Such niche promotion is not worthwhile — unless the product being marketed is also niche.

Furthermore, these products — baseball, home furnishings, beer — are inherently nonpartisan and are in no way enhanced by association with the Pride agenda. A father-son outing to the ballpark is in no way improved by drag performers competing to disgust Catholics. Men drinking at a bar actually prefer that their beverage of choice not be marketed by a TikTok influencer caricaturing an underage girl. A store’s embrace of transgender ideology adds nothing to the take-home value of a shower curtain or candle or desk lamp purchased there. Even the sliver of the population to whom they’re trying to appeal are already as likely to purchase these ubiquitous products and brands as anyone else.

Way back in the 1990s, basketball great-turned-entrepreneur Michael Jordan resisted pressure to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt in his challenge to Republican Senator Jesse Helms. “Republicans buy sneakers, too,” he reasoned. More corporations today would be wise to heed his advice.

Somewhere along the way, America’s major corporations have stopped behaving like businesses and started behaving like politicians. A politician succeeds by winning votes — which increasingly involves performative virtue-signaling in our culture obsessed with performative identity. A business succeeds by producing the best product and selling it for the lowest price. But investing in pride campaigns is a dubious method for improving a product, and by raising costs it actually increases the price.

Corporations are busy trying to win votes by performative virtue-signaling, but it turns out that is a horrible way to deliver the best product for the lowest price.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Body Reveals the Person: Moving Beyond Sexual Identity Obsession

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Lululemon Fires Two Employees FOR CALLING POLICE While Store Is Ransacked By Masked Thieves thumbnail

Lululemon Fires Two Employees FOR CALLING POLICE While Store Is Ransacked By Masked Thieves

By The Geller Report

What fresh hell is this? Why work? Why produce? Why obey any laws?

These corporations are going to be the death of us. This is how they thank us for their success. The normal people better get organized. We didn’t come this far in human history to hurl ourselves back to subsist in savage, uncivilized mayhem.

Watch this:

Lululemon fired two employees that confronted masked robbers

By Katherine Donlevy, NY Post, May 27, 2023:

Two Georgia women — including an assistant manager — are blasting Lululemon for sacking them from their jobs after they called the police while three masked men pillaged the store.

Shocking video shows the brazen thieves burst into the Peachtree Corners store in metro Atlanta earlier this month to grab as many fistfuls of athletic clothing as possible.

“No, no, no, you can march back out,” former assistant manager Jennifer Ferguson can be heard saying.

The looters — who had allegedly struck the store nearly a dozen times prior — momentarily stood in the store doorway and stared at the women before jumping back inside to snatch several more pairs of leggings.

“Seriously? Get out,” the frustrated retail worker says to the men.

“Chill, b–tch, shut your ass up,” one of the thieves can be heard responding.

The women follow the group outside and watch as they pile into their getaway car, but notably do not try to physically stop the thieves — which has caused workers to lose their jobs or face charges in the past.

Instead, they reported the robbery to the Gwinnett Police Department, who later tracked down the thieves and charged them with felony robbery charges.

The move, however, cost them their jobs, they claim.

“We are not supposed to get in the way. You kind of clear path for whatever they’re going to do,” Ferguson told 11Alive.

“And then, after it’s over, you scan a QR code. And that’s that. We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”

Ferguson and five-year team member Rachel Rogers — who captured the robbery on camera — said they were openly questioned by a regional manager on their decision to call the police before they were fired from the store.

Ferguson’s husband, Jason, took to Facebook to commend the women and slam Lululemon for punishing their brave

Keep reading.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

RELATED ARTICLES:

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RELATED TWEET:

JUST IN: Lululemon employees confirm they were FIRED FOR CALLING THE POLICE on thieves ransacking store.

pic.twitter.com/2uRyS6mCYm

— Mike Sperrazza (@MikeASperrazza) May 26, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Fed’s Favored Core PCE Price Index Re-Accelerates, Driven by Services, Motor Vehicles: Inflation Stuck on High, Shifts from Item to Item thumbnail

Fed’s Favored Core PCE Price Index Re-Accelerates, Driven by Services, Motor Vehicles: Inflation Stuck on High, Shifts from Item to Item

By Wolf Richter

Not encouraging: core PCE price index refuses to come down, and has moved sideways since July last year.

The inflation index favored by the Fed, the core PCE price index – which, by excluding the food and energy products, is a measure of underlying inflation – re-accelerated in April, as services inflation re-accelerated back into the red-hot zone, and as durable goods prices rose, after falling for months, driven by a jump in motor vehicles and parts.

Inflation is just churning from one product category to another, falling here but popping up again over there like the arcade game of Whack A Mole. And so the core PCE price index continues to be stuck near the 5% level when the Fed’s target is 2%. And the Fed uses this core PCE index as yardstick.

On a year-over-year basis, the core PCE price index jumped by 4.7%, same as in July 2022, and up from a 4.6% increase in March, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis today. It has now gone sideways at just under 5% for nearly a year, and is not coming down, but is only shifting from category to category.

Inflation in services re-accelerated in April from March, driven by spikes in insurance and financial services, and “other” services such as personal services, and big increases in healthcare and housing costs.

Inflation is particularly difficult to wring out of services, but services are where the majority of consumer spending ends up: healthcare, housing, utilities, education, travel, entertainment, restaurant meals, streaming, subscriptions, broadband, cellphone services, etc…..

*****

Continue reading this article at Wolf Street.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

THE NORTH FACE Becomes Latest Brand to Promote the Grooming of Kids thumbnail

THE NORTH FACE Becomes Latest Brand to Promote the Grooming of Kids

By Church Militant

‘Out in Nature’ campaign targets kids as young as 2-years old.


DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – Another popular clothing brand is promoting the homosexual grooming of children and transgender ideology just in time for so-called Pride Month.

On Wednesday, the apparel brand The North Face released a new ad featuring a gay drag queen named Pattie Gonia, who invites listeners to “come out.”

Conservative political activist Robby Starbuck tweeted, “Can anyone explain how the heck this ad helps @thenorthface sell outdoor clothes? They’re screaming at you to not buy their products if this violates your values. Accept their challenge.”

The video aims to promote the company’s “Out in Nature” campaign, which suggests, “Each one of us is a reflection of the glittery, messy, beautiful diversity that is Mother Earth. This Pride, we celebrate the transformational power of finding our runway in the outdoors together.”

Can anyone explain how the heck this ad helps @thenorthface sell outdoor clothes? They’re screaming at you to not buy their products if this violates your values. Accept their challenge. The North Face is owned by the VF Corporation which also owns Supreme, Vans, and Timberland. pic.twitter.com/9RwVljsa9N

— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 24, 2023

“We are nature. Our connection to the outdoors is cyclical and reciprocal. We are colorful auras of light. Alive like a stream of water or a breath of mountain air,” states the Out In Nature webpage. “Mother Nature guides us to where we need to be — and we dress up to honor her.”

The company’s Pride Collection features designs modeled by young people and children and is intended for toddlers as young as 2 years old.

Along with clothing, there are two so-called Summer of Pride Tour events open for registration: one in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the other in Atlanta, Georgia. The one-day events feature “hikes, speakers, community, drag and so much more.”

This is the second year in a row the company has partnered with Pattie Gonia for its Summer of Pride.

If you own any clothes made by North Face, go ahead and burn them. pic.twitter.com/5rdWUBVSQn

— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) May 25, 2023

Conservatives are outraged by the video, which they argue serves no purpose other than pushing what they consider to be a degenerate ideology.

One commenter posted: “This is the new normal. Every company will push this and will accept the conservative backlash until we do something. Bud Light was only the beginning of how bad it’s going to get.”

Bad Business Abounds

The North Face joins Bud Light and Target as companies conservatives are calling out and attempting to pressure through boycotts.

Bud Light has still been unable to stop the negative impact of its failed ad campaign featuring trans activist Dylan Mulvaney. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The brewer recently told its wholesalers that it would buy back unsold cases of beer that have gone past their expiration date.”

Target has recently faced criticism for its pride displays, which included products targeting children and so-called tuck-friendly swimwear for men masquerading as women.

The company reportedly held an emergency meeting last Friday to address the backlash. Some stores were instructed to change their displays, particularly in the South.

An insider told Fox, “We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that’s a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage.”

Wednesday, Target released this statement:

For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.

Target has reportedly lost $9 billion in the past week due to the boycott.

CEO Brian Cornell doubled down on the pro-gay decisions declaring, “The things we’ve done from a DE&I [diversity, equity, and inclusion] standpoint, it’s adding value.”

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh asserted, “I think this Target boycott has real staying power. Target has now branded itself as a far left organization, to the point where it’s embarrassing to shop there. This is the branding that makes the boycott stick. It happened to Bud Light. I think it’s happening to Target.”

Not the First Time

It’s not the first time Target has faced financial losses after embracing immoral ideology.

The big-box store took a substantial financial hit, losing billions of dollars, over its 2016 trans bathroom policy.

“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the company boasted in 2016.

As Church Militant reported in 2017, “The implementation of Target’s transgender bathroom policy in 2016 ushered in an onslaught of sex offender incidents in Target store bathrooms in DallasIdahoTorontoCaliforniaSeattle and Oregon involving men accessing women’s restrooms and changing rooms.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Econ Expert on the GOP’s Debt Ceiling Hand: ‘We’re Holding Four Aces’ thumbnail

Econ Expert on the GOP’s Debt Ceiling Hand: ‘We’re Holding Four Aces’

By Family Research Council

When members of Congress started boarding their flights home Thursday, not one of them knew how long they’d be gone. The possibility of a shorter-than-usual Memorial Day recess looms large as negotiators desperately try to hammer out a deal on the debt ceiling before June 1. “Every hour matters,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told ABC. “That’s why the White House has to become very serious about this.” To the average observer, it sounds ominous. But as Americans prep for the long weekend, plenty are wondering, how does any of this affect me?

Former congressman Dave Brat, who has a Ph.D. in economics, gets that question a lot. But first, he told “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice, it’s important to understand one thing: “It’s impossible to default.” You’ll never hear that in the mainstream media, he explained, but “we have way more money [available]. A default means you default on the U.S. Treasury Bond. If we ever defaulted on the U.S. Treasury, we’d all be fishing under a bridge with Frodo,” the dean of Liberty University’s School of Business joked. “It would be the end of Western civilization. So that’s not even in play.”

All of this hysteria, Brat says, stems from the “word games” the Left and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are playing. “What she’s talking about is paying all the bills for all Democratic spending. That may not happen, and that’s not a big deal. You just prioritize your spending in order. But we have plenty of money to pay off any interest on the debt in treasuries. And so, the American treasury holder doesn’t need to be worried about that.”

That doesn’t mean this isn’t a critical moment for our country, Brat explained. Right now, the Democratic-run Senate doesn’t have a budget plan. House Republicans do. “So all the leverage is on the Republican side right now.” And what does the GOP want? To cut spending. President Joe Biden and his party have, so far, flatly refused. But we’re on the verge of having $50 trillion dollars in debt to “hand off to the kids in 10 years,” Brat warns. With an interest rate of 5%, taxpayers are looking at $2.5 trillion a year just in interest payments. “That’s three times the U.S. military budget right now,” he emphasized, and none of it pays down the actual debt.

In other words, “there are $2 trillion deficits for the next 10 years around the necks of the kids. Everybody knows this, but the mainstream press will not cover any of [it],” Brat shook his head. To deal with that, “our friends [in the House] Freedom Caucus, who are being called every nasty word there is — ‘MAGA Republicans,’ ‘Republican extremists’ — they want to trim $4 trillion off of the $50 trillion in debt.” We’re not talking about a radical amount, he insisted. America would still be $46 trillion in debt in a decade. So it should be “an easy case to make to the American people” that we need to start trimming back.

As Hice pointed out, “We’re talking numbers that are astronomical that no one can even imagine [them].” And that’s part of the problem, Brat agreed. Another problem is that most people are too comfortable borrowing themselves. “The American consumer right now is $17 trillion in debt. Consumers have $1 trillion in credit card debt, $1.5 trillion in college loan debt. We’re in debt up to our eyeballs. And we’ve got a recession coming up, another financial crisis caused by the Federal Reserve for their mismanagement.”

By keeping the interest rate at 0% for a decade, the Fed has done the country a major disservice. [They’re] in a tough bind,” he explained, “[because] they basically want inflation, so they can pay the debt back with cheaper dollars. And so that’s where we stand.”

But this idea that we’re going to default on the total spending package, on $50 trillion, is baloney. “There’s no way,” Brat insisted. Even so, both sides need to come together on the debt ceiling, and Republicans “have the moral high ground for a change.” All they have to do is “tell the American people the basic facts, and you win.”

Changing America’s spending habits is “a hard, hard fight,” Brat agreed. “So you better fight now while we’ve got the leverage.” Remember, he went on, “Our team passed a bill. The Senate has not. Everything is on our side. Biden said. ‘I’m not going to negotiate. I don’t care’ and thumbed his nose at the whole thing. … But we need to hold strong. It’s time to take care of the American people and the kids. The liberals say they care about the kids. Fifty trillion dollars in debt means otherwise. They do not care about the kids.”

At least GOP leaders seem to understand the stakes, Hice said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a time where the Republicans [have appeared so] unified. … Literally in the hands of Republicans right now is the tool to roll back out-of-control spending.” But will Republicans hold together?

“Yeah,” Brat replied. “If they do not, they will cease to be a party,” he warned. “We’re holding four aces.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

HITS BOTTOM, KEEPS DIGGING: Bud Light To Sponsor Pride Parades Despite Ongoing Boycott thumbnail

HITS BOTTOM, KEEPS DIGGING: Bud Light To Sponsor Pride Parades Despite Ongoing Boycott

By The Geller Report

Anheuser-Busch Joining Children’s Hospital Which Sexually Mutilates Children.


This is textbook business school case study stuff. Lose touch with your audience, go down in flames.

America’s woke companies have lost their way. Make your products. Sell your products. And STFU.

Bud Light To Sponsor Pride Parades Despite Ongoing Boycott

By Spencer Lindquist, Daily Wire • May 25, 2023:

Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch are sponsoring at least three different upcoming Pride events despite backlash over the partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a social media influencer who identifies as transgender.

Bud Light is listed as a sponsor on the Cincinnati Pride Parade website. Planned Parenthood and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which medically transitions minors, are both also listed.

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, Missouri, where Anheuser-Busch is headquartered, the company is listed as the presenting sponsor of the St. Louis Pride Parade. A sponsorship packet explains that there are only four “presenting sponsor” slots available. The “Rainbow” sponsorship tier, located below the “presenting sponsor” tier, requires entities to pay $25,000.

Bud Light is also listed as a “Diamond Sponsor” of Stonewall Columbus, which organizes and hosts the annual Columbus, Ohio, Pride Parade. The “diamond” sponsorship tier requires companies to donate $20,000, a document from the organization specifies. The document also adds, “All Stonewall Columbus sponsors must affirm Stonewall’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policies AND agree to donate no less than 8 hours of volunteer time during a calendar year.”

Anheuser-Busch was also listed as a premier sponsor for the San Francisco Pride Parade in 2022. The 2023 sponsors of the San Francisco Pride Parade have not yet been released.

Keep reading.

Here’s what they are sponsoring:

Little girl at a pride parade pets a man dressed up in pup fetish gear as another whips a man shaking his ass right in front of her.

It isn’t rocket science as to why acceptance of our “community” is plummeting.

Parents, we beg you to please not take your children to Pride. It… pic.twitter.com/WJMcxqJl0M

— Gays Against Groomers (@againstgrmrs) May 26, 2023

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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‘A Very Hard Day’: Target CEO Bemoans Backlash, Commits To Standing By LGBTQ Community

Woke Bud Light Can’t Give Their Beer Away – Literally, Now Forced to Buy It Back

Bud Light Sales Plummet For Fifth Straight Week Since Promoting Trans Influencer

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JUST IN: Bud Light is doubling down by funding pride events around the country.

Bud Light will be sponsoring the Cincinnati Pride Parade alongside Planned Parenthood and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital which medically transitions minors.

Things keep getting worse for the… pic.twitter.com/nZAVE9Evh4

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 25, 2023

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