Starbucks’ Refugees Move Costs Them With Customers

PHOTO: sillygwailo/Creative Commons

Starbucks and its CEO Howard Schultz are known well for wading in to divisive political issues and in support for liberal candidates like Hillary Clinton, yet it never seems to cost them significantly in either sales or stock price.

Even when Schultz told shareholders to sell if they don’t agree with corporation stances on issues like gay marriage, customers and investors have largely stuck around.

That trend likely won’t change after the latest controversial stance that Schultz took, utilizing the policies of the company he leads (until early April, when he steps down) to advance his political goals. But some cracks are showing with this one.

Last month Schultz announced the company would hire 10,000 refugees in its stores around the world, after President Trump’s executive order that temporarily prohibited visits from citizens of seven nations that showed a heightened terror threat to …

Clueless Tech CEOs Savage Trump Immigration Policies; Ignore Shareholders and Customers

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

When it comes to President Donald Trump and knee-jerk reactions to policy decisions without gathering all the facts, it seems the mostly liberal CEOs of the best-known Silicon Valley companies can’t help themselves. They would rather shoot from the lip first, taking their cues from all the president’s leftist enemies, instead of gathering all the evidence and speaking responsibly on the issues – if at all.

It happened again over the weekend, this time in response to the President’s executive order that temporarily suspended the admission of foreign nationals into the United States from seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – which are viewed as sources of potential threats, based upon security reviews by Obama administration officials. The reason for the suspension, Trump explained, is so appropriate security agencies that normally screen foreign nationals entering the country would have the time and …

Google is the Threat to Our Civil Liberties, Not Trump

Eric Schmidt at Hillary ‘victory’ party

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, told Google employees last week that the Trump administration is “going to do evil things as they have done in the immigration area and perhaps some others.” Schmidt is putting Google’s money where his mouth is by contributing $2 million to the American Civil Liberties Union and three other groups opposing Trump immigration policies.

It is ironic that a new Google policy that allows the company to collect even more information on users is getting far less attention. The new policy is only the latest evidence that Google, and sister companies like YouTube, represent an increasingly serious threat not only to personal privacy but also to civil liberties.

Privacy advocates have raised the alarm about the new policy that was launched in June under the guise of empowering users to see what information Google …

Trump and the Unions: How Close of a Working Relationship?

President Donald Trump and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka would seem to have nothing in common, save for the first four letters of their last names.  Yet each shares a conviction that government must protect domestic industry.  This common interest became clear on Monday when Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and later met that day with union officials.  Trumka, who during the 2016 campaign had called Trump a “fraud,” now praised his nemesis though without mentioning his name.  Teamster President James Hoffa called Trump’s order “the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.”  One asks:  Is there an alliance in the making?  The answer:  Probably not.

There can be no doubt that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, unexpected as it was successful, altered some basic “Right vs. Left” assumptions about …

Apple CEO May Be ‘Boring,’ But He’s Also Political

Earlier this month Apple Inc. announced that CEO Tim Cook (pictured) and other executives saw their pay reduced for 2016, due to a shortfall of revenues and profits against expectations.

Last year was the first time Apple’s annual revenues shrank since 2001, just before their late CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPod music device.

Business journalists cited various reasons for the disappointing results. Part of the blame was placed on weaker than expected sales of the iPhone 6s, which Apple anticipated would draw stronger interest in upgrades from current users. Others noted the lukewarm reception to Apple’s smartwatch, and the company’s failure to wow the public with any new products since Jobs died in 2011. And some point to the fact that the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has fallen behind competitors at Amazon and Google in the development of voice-activated artificial intelligence.

In light of that complaint, …

Ex-NY State Senator John Sampson Gets 5 Years

Former New York State Senator John Sampson, a Democrat of Brooklyn, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison following his conviction in July 2015 on three counts, including obstruction of justice.

In 2009, Sampson was elected Leader of the Democratic Conference of the State Senate. He served in leadership alongside former Majority Leader and Temporary Senate President Malcolm Smith, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence after his 2015 conviction on corruption charges.

Between 1998 and 2008, Sampson allegedly embezzled approximately $440,000 from the foreclosure sales of four Brooklyn properties on which he was a court-appointed referee. The embezzlement charges were thrown out because the state of limitations expired. The charges on which he was convicted relate to the cover-up.

Reportedly, the Sampson investigation was an extension of the investigation of U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), prompted by newspaper headlines based on information provided by the National Legal …

Sharpton Washington March Offers Preview of Political Intimidation

When it comes to organizing rallies on short notice, Al Sharpton has few peers. The ability of Reverend Al to generate a crowd through his New York City-based nonprofit National Action Network (NAN) was in evidence last Saturday morning, January 14, in the nation’s capital. Billed as the “We Shall Not Be Moved March on Washington,” the rain-soaked event (see photo) drew thousands of participants, overwhelmingly black, many of whom arrived by chartered bus. The stated purpose of this grievance convention, timed for Martin Luther King Day and the Donald Trump inauguration, was to pressure Congress into resisting the new administration. Accordingly, the march offered a platform for ritual denunciations of enemies of blacks, Hispanics, gays and other “disenfranchised” groups, and calls for new laws to protect their members. If lawmakers are smart, they’ll take a pass.

Al Sharpton for more than a decade has become a political player of …

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

Benefit scams, especially involving health plans, grabbed the lion’s share of union corruption stories in 2016.  Scammers came from outside as well as from inside the unions, a fact highlighting the need for trustees to exercise greater due diligence in choosing outside parties.  There were also the usual cases of six-figure (or more) embezzlement and fraud against union general funds.  Labor officials, meanwhile, expanded their misguided campaign to enact a $15 an hour minimum wage.  They also tried to undo Right to Work laws in three states, temporarily achieving success in two by way of court action.  And a deadlocked Supreme Court enabled state and local public-sector union bosses to retain their authority to coerce dues payments from unwilling workers.  In other words, there was plenty to write about.  Here were the ten stories that mattered most:

10)  Hawaii contractor pleads guilty; sentenced for scamming Painters union, benefit fund, IRS

Speaker Ryan Must Stop Sneak Attack on Office of Congressional Ethics

ryanSome House Republicans — apparently led by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) — are attempting to emasculate the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The House Conference reportedly voted last night 119-74 to place control of OCE under the Ethics Committee, effectively destroying it. The full House is scheduled today to vote on the larger Rules package of which Goodlatte’s amendment is part.

This is an incredibly stupid start to the new Congress, and badly undercuts President-elect Trump’s efforts to “drain the swamp.”

Media reports suggest that Speaker Paul Ryan opposed the move, but there have been reasons for skepticism about the House leadership’s commitment to OCE. It doesn’t matter what happened last night. It is now up to Ryan to save OCE. He must act with strength and decisiveness.

OCE was established in 2008 and is slightly more independent that the Ethics Committee because its board is comprised of former members …

PayPal, Salesforce Strategize With Pro-Transsexual Activists; Ignore Customers, Shareholders

Marc Benioff
Marc Benioff

After a tumultuous election year in which homosexual activist groups targeted battleground state North Carolina over a law that stifled inappropriate public restroom usage for self-declared transgenders, two northern California tech companies are strategizing with LGBT activists to further immerse themselves in state policies and politics over gay issues and religious freedom.

Liberal Web site Buzzfeed reported last month that San Jose-based PayPal and San Francisco-based Salesforce co-hosted a summit on November 16 – in conjunction with groups including Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal and the ACLU – to strategize against expected legislation in 2017 that does not comport with their radical agenda. The online news site said up to 100 leaders from business and LGBT groups attended the meeting.…

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