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An Unaffiliated Voter Attends CPAC

The way that the U.S. mainstream media manipulates truth makes one wonder – are we dwelling in the 1930s Soviet Union?

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The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), regarded as a highly influential gathering of U.S. conservatives, will take place on February 25 to 28, in Orlando, Florida. This will be the first time it will be held away from Washington D.C. For the previous eight years, it has been held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Fort Washington, Maryland, which cannot accommodate the conference this year due to the Wuhan Virus.

The idea to first attend CPAC occurred to me after I had been watching C-SPAN and seeing videos from the previous year. Messages from speakers on the Right don’t otherwise receive coverage by the mainstream media – which has exercised a powerful form of censorship on American society for many decades, not merely the last few years – unless it is in a derogatory way.

The views of the Left, of course, appear every single day on the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, and hundreds of other newspapers across the U.S., as well as on CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, and most assuredly on CNN.

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Welcome Stranger

The CPAC attendance fee is quite reasonable. I registered on site, in cash, so that I wouldn’t be placed on any mailing list. I arrived a day early and attended some of the sessions they had for college students and young Republicans and it was quite an eye-opener. These were good sessions, on target, with humor, and willing to address any question.

The entire event was very friendly, quite like my National Speakers Association conventions, but with even better speakers, I have to say. For a first-timer, I felt right in the swim of things, and I had a great time. The odd thing is I’m not even a conservative – I’m registered as unaffiliated – but for several years now, the Left’s worldview and socialist bent, to me, has been bordering on sheer insanity. There are a few issues on the Right with which I don’t agree, but overall, they Right has got the more well-rounded view of the world, the nation, and what needs to be done.

The media hallway, which extends for more than 50 yards, is open to anybody. That’s where I saw most of the luminaries up close. In the hallways, I personally greeted and exchanged words with Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Mark Levin, Kim Strassel, Eric Bolling, Katrina Pierson, Dan Bongino, Katie Pavlich, the political editor of the Washington Times, the editor of Judicial Watch, and editors of several lesser-known publications. I also stood within five feet of Ted Cruz, Kellyanne Conway, Alan Keyes, Sidney Powell, Libertarian Gary Johnson, and Sheriff David Clarke.

Mainstream Media Propaganda

It was quite heartening to see a significant number of African Americans, Asians, Jews, who are likely Orthodox with their yarmulkes, and other minorities in attendance. The ‘mainstream’ media goes out of its way to ensure that minorities never appear on camera, but I can tell you that they attended in good numbers and were embraced by everyone. What’s more, they played a significant role, many in leadership positions, and they will attend again next year and the next.

The manner in which the U.S. mainstream incessantly media manipulates truth makes one wonder – are we dwelling in the 1930s Soviet Union? Mainstream media propaganda amounts to much more than subtle lies or outright lies that they disseminate; it is also what does not receive any coverage whatsoever. It is camera angles, as well, innuendo, and dozens of subtle ploys, done almost reflexively to promote a socialist/Marxist agenda.

Take That

For nearly his entire first year in office, I cringed when President Trump tweeted some of his outrageous tweets. Then I thought about what a kind and decent man George W. Bush was and how the mainstream media, and the Left in general, continually portrayed him as a Hitler-type.

I learned to understand what Trump was doing. He kept slamming those who do not wish him well, and they could not keep him down. It’s odd that we had a President who sometimes acted like a fourteen-year-old. At the same time, he handed out exactly what the ‘libstream’ media deserved. Trump’s ability hit back twice as hard as he received made perfect sense. Capitulating to the distortion, hoaxes, and lies of the Left would have been of no value.

They had to cheat, massively, to remove Trump from office. On many levels, each of us senses that he is not done combating the sheer evil that the Left represents. I hope he speaks again at CPAC this year and every year.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with child-like intensity

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Author Michael J. Gelb wrote a wonderful book titled How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, which contains many insights.

“Leonardo da Vinci lived to age 67 and during his life pioneered the sciences of botany, anatomy, and geology. He drew up plans for a flying machine, parachute, and helicopter, and he invented the telescoping ladder that’s still used by firefighters today. He also painted The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.” Here is what Gelb said about da Vinci and the topic of creativity:

[ ] Ask Questions. Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with child-like intensity. For instance, “How do birds fly?” “What makes the sky blue?” The answers can lead to discovery.

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[ ] Carry a notebook at all times so you won’t forget your brilliant ideas. By the way, da Vinci’s wrote many of his notes backward. Some people think it was because he was protecting his ideas from being stolen.

[ ] Challenge your long-standing opinions. You might have formed many of your views during or immediately after important childhood events. Ask yourself whether those conclusions still make sense.

[ ] Use your eyes and ears. Focus on the various parts of an object or scene, not just on the whole. This can help expand your perception. Instead of simply looking at a mountain, notice the rock formations and trees.

[ ] Try to write with your non-dominant hand. Taxing the opposite side of your brain can help you to think in a different way. And some people will think you went to medical school!

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Business

BBQs Cook Fish, Too – Beware the Weber, Traeger IPOs

BBQ company insiders are trying to put all you fish directly onto hot coals via their IPOs.

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BBQ Fail

As we all know, Covid-19 policies have created an interesting array of winners and losers. Restaurants, travel and mall-based retail? Wah, wah. Meanwhile, any company remotely tied to housing, remodeling or recreation has been on absolute fire.

So what if your traditionally slow-growth, low-margin business suddenly had its best year ever by a wide margin? You’d probably think very seriously about trying to sell it.

That is exactly what is happening with the spate of BBQ-related IPOs that are about to pour onto this market.

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Are the upcoming initial public offerings of Traeger Pellet Grills and Weber good ideas for your investment portfolio? Be very careful.

First, it’s highly likely they’ve taken the route of public markets because they have nowhere else to go. Truly, who is Traeger’s logical acquirer? In a bygone era, Sears might have represented a possible exit but such buyers no longer exist. Maybe one of the few large competitors in this highly-fragmented industry like Weber? Whoops – they’re going public, too!

Focusing on Weber, what a story they seem to have on their hands, being able to claim 6-month revenue growth rates of over 60%! Wow!

Problem is, IBIS says annual growth of the bbq industry over the last 5 years averaged 4.7%, which means Weber caught lightning in a bottle thanks to this pandemic and they’re trying to cash in. Same with Traeger.

Unfair assessment, you say? Then why are roughly 2/3 of Traeger’s IPO shares being sold by insiders? That’s right, only 1/3 of this offering is to raise working capital for the company. The rest is insiders cashing out.

Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that Traeger grills are pretty cool. And these are familiar names so they may catch a bid based on that familiarity for a while, particularly if this housing market keeps steaming ahead. But by no means are these 10-year investments. If you just can’t help yourself and absolutely have to play with these shares, think more in terms of 10 weeks. Or 10 days.

Truly, how much longer can the explosive growth in our world of economic distortions last? Regardless, is there any way companies like this are going to keep posting 50%+ growth numbers? Pfffffffff.

Heck, as recently as 2019, Weber’s y-o-y revenues declined by 3%. That’s the nature of this industry – a little growth here, a little step back there… slow, stodgy, boring.

Even in Weber’s bounce back year of 2020, when revenues rebounded 15% compared to the prior full year? They made a paltry $88 million on $1.5 billion in revenues. Those are grocery store margins.

Yet despite this industry’s historically slow growth and non-existent margins, Weber’s market cap at IPO next week will be roughly $5 billion, meaning the shares will trade with a P/E of close to 60 like they’re some high-flying tech unicorn! Truly amazing stuff, but par for the course in today’s everything bubble.

As an aside, by the way, don’t even think about looking elsewhere in this sector, like to VELO and its recent announcement that the SPAC is taking BBQ Guys public. Does anyone recall what happened to BBQ retailers in the last economic downturn? If the phrase, “buh-bye,” doesn’t come to mind, you simply weren’t paying attention.

Make no mistake, all these BBQ industry IPOs are ‘greater fool’ investments at their finest. Sorry, but you’re the dumb money the insiders and their private equity backers are asking to buy their shares after one-time growth surges that probably surpassed even their wildest imaginations.

There’s an old saying in poker: if you look around the table and can’t figure out who the fish is, you’re the fish.

In this case, the BBQ company insiders are trying to put all you fish directly on their hot coals.

No, thanks. I’ll have a salad this time instead.

 

P.S. Yes, this is a new pen name but you probably know me. I’ve a new Twitter profile, too… please consider giving me a follow their and we’ll get this train rolling.

Photo by Martin Boose from FreeImages

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