AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1395619 times)

Offline knarf

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This Berlin office is a glimpse into the future
« Reply #11820 on: January 15, 2019, 05:34:28 AM »

The Berlin headquarters of Zalando is seen during the final construction phase in this company photo released from Berlin, Germany on December 14, 2018



Employees will not need a key to get into the office of the future when it opens in Berlin this year, featuring ample meeting space, plenty of copy machines always stocked with paper along with high-quality air processed to maximize worker health and minimize sick time.

Their smartphones will help guide them around their new workplace — and they may need the assistance because they will not have permanent desks.

With technology changing how and where we work, property developers are tapping artificial intelligence to create more sustainable workplaces to help staff work more efficiently and comfortably.

Fierce competition for talent is turbo-charging the trend in Berlin. While the city used to be a bit of a business backwater, in recent years it gained a reputation as a start-up hub. Office vacancy rates have tumbled to just 1.5 percent as rents are rocketing, making it an ideal place for developers to showcase these new offices.

Property owners in Berlin are taking a cue from the Netherlands, home to several intelligent and sustainable office projects.

Rapid growth of local start-ups such as Zalando and Delivery Hero is driving demand for office space in the German capital. Two new smart offices are under construction in the former no-man’s land of the Berlin Wall, next to the city’s main train station.

The Cube, being built by Austrian real estate company CA Immo, will be completed by the end of this year, and The Edge Grand Central by EDGE Technologies, a subsidiary of Dutch firm OVG Real Estate, is planned for 2020.

“The office building is the new company car. In my world, people do not want a car as a perk anymore. They look around and say, ‘This would be a nice place to work,’” said Martin Rodeck, executive managing director at EDGE Technologies Germany.

Both offices are packed with a network of sensors that measure everything from motion, temperature and lighting to humidity and C02 and are connected to a cloud platform.

In The Cube, the technology is dubbed “the brain”, a self-learning software that analyses all the data it receives and optimizes how the building is run.

For example, if part of a building is unoccupied, it can turn off the lights and heating systems. If a meeting room is crowded it can pump in more oxygen.

Users access the building via a smartphone app that knows their schedules and may suggest sitting by a window or on a floor where a meeting is scheduled. The app can be used to book meeting rooms, order food and navigate the building.

Workers will need the navigational aid to find their desk. The offices feature a “hot desking” system in which employees do not have a permanent desk, but rather the appropriate workspace for the type of work they want to do. Lockers will be available to store belongings.

Smart offices can also minimize daily frustrations such as the printer running out of paper or being unable to locate a colleague, Rodeck said.

The printers work along the predictive maintenance model. In the same way that a car warns it is running out of fuel, printers send alerts to the building’s management system when a machine needs paper, so someone can fill it up.

But to take advantage of these benefits, users need to actively opt-in to be tracked, visible to their colleagues, and their boss, while in the building. In doing so, they override the default setting to be ‘hidden’.

Falling Sick Rates

Studies show people work better in environments providing good air quality as well as comfortable noise and humidity levels. Comparing sick leave rates in older and new offices highlights the potential benefits of state-of-the-art buildings.

When consulting firm Deloitte moved into OVG Real Estate’s landmark smart building The Edge in Amsterdam in 2015, the firm found sick rates fell drastically while the number of job applicants increased, Rodeck said.



Before online fashion retailer Zalando designed new headquarters, the company asked staff to share opinions on existing workspace. Employees complained about too few meeting rooms and the challenge of concentrating due to noise.

In its new headquarters, due to open in early 2019, workers can choose from a library for quiet work, telephone booths for private conversations as well as living rooms located on the open catwalks to encourage interaction.

“The important part is that we provide a work environment for everyone,” said Zalando’s vice president for real estate Raimund Paetzmann.

Zalando plans to install smart technology to make it easy to reserve a desk from home and take away the stress of arriving at the office and not knowing where to sit.

While shifting to hot-desking can control costs, a survey by CCL consulting and property agents Savills found half of those aged under 34 and 60 percent of those over 35 did not want to give up their fixed desk.

“We all need our home, a haven and part of the office that belongs to us,” said Franz Kuehmayer, a trend researcher at think-tank Zukunftsinstitut.

“Many employees question how they will organize their daily work life and where they can put pictures of their children.”

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/this-office-in-berlin-is-controlled-by-a-self-learning-brain/
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JPMorgan misses profit estimates as bond trading slumps
« Reply #11821 on: January 15, 2019, 05:39:26 AM »
JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:JPM) reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as a slump in bond trading outweighed gains from higher interest rates and loan growth.

Shares of the largest U.S. bank by assets fell 3 percent in early trading as the lender posted declines in revenue in three of its four main businesses in the fourth quarter.

Overall adjusted fixed income trading revenue fell 18 percent as investors fled commodities and credit trading markets due to spikes in volatility toward the end of 2018.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) also cited the same reason for its sharp drop in fixed income revenue on Monday.

Trading desks at banks have been shaken by global growth concerns and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, with bank stocks underperforming the S&P 500 index in 2018 by 13 percent.

"As we head into 2019, we urge our country's leaders to strike a collaborative, constructive tone, which would reinforce already-strong consumer and business sentiment," Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said.

JPMorgan's profit also took a hit from a 6 percent rise in expenses as it invested in technology, marketing and real estate.

The bank's net income rose 67 percent to $7.07 billion, or $1.98 per share, from a year ago when it took a one-time charge due to the U.S. tax reform. It, however, missed analysts' average estimate of $2.20 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net interest income rose 9 percent to $14.5 billion, helped by higher interest rates in 2018.

The bank's average core loan book rose 6 percent compared with the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue rose 4.1 percent to $26.80 billion, just shy of analysts' average expectation of $26.83 billion.

Well Fargo & Co (N:WFC) is scheduled to report results later in the day.

https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/jpmorgan-misses-profit-estimates-as-bond-trading-slumps-1747119
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Talks Underway to Build Gas Pipeline to Egypt, Israel Says
« Reply #11822 on: January 15, 2019, 05:42:18 AM »
Talks are in progress to build an underwater natural gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt, part of efforts to transform the eastern Mediterranean into an energy export hub on Europe’s doorstep, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. Israeli gas stocks rose.

Construction could begin as early as next year on the pipe to transport gas from Israel’s offshore Leviathan and Tamar fields to Egypt’s existing liquefied natural gas plants for processing and re-export, Steinitz said.

The new line would allow Israel to export much more to Egypt than the maximum 7 billion cubic meters per year that can flow through the existing EMG pipeline connecting southern Israel to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

“There’s no final decision yet, but there are talks,” Steinitz told Bloomberg in an interview in Cairo, where he took part in the first East Mediterranean Gas Forum. The event was aimed at boosting cooperation among the region’s nascent gas producers, consumers and transit countries. The next meeting will take place in April.

Oil ministers from Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian Authority joined the gathering Monday, where they agreed to work together to monetize reserves by using existing infrastructure and adding more capacity.

The meeting came nearly a year after the signing of a $15 billion deal to export Israeli gas to Egypt over a decade -- a landmark deal reached after years of litigation.

Israel-Egypt $15 Billion Deal Boosts Energy Hub Prospects

The companies developing reservoirs in Israel and Cyprus, led by Noble Energy Inc. and Delek Drilling LP, are working on a deal to sell around 12 bcm of natural gas to the Idku LNG facility in Egypt, which is partly owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Progress has been held up by a dispute between the Israeli and Cypriot governments over the development of the Aphrodite field that straddles both countries’ economic waters.

Shares of Delek climbed as much as 2 percent on the news. Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, which owns 15 percent of Israel’s Leviathan, also gained as much as 2 percent in Tel Aviv trading.

Steinitz is the first Israeli minister to visit Egypt since the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and his attendance reflects growing Egyptian openness toward cooperation with Israel. The two countries signed a peace deal in 1978, but ties had remained frigid for decades.

“Today’s meeting is extremely important, as it delivers a very important message to the international community that we’re working together in order to exploit our natural resources,” Steinitz said.
EMG Exports

Egypt’s East Gas and the companies developing Israel’s largest natural gas fields agreed in September to buy 39 percent of the East Mediterranean Gas Co., which owns the existing pipeline once used to export Egyptian gas to Israel. The buyout will allow the pipeline to transport gas in the other direction.

Steinitz said Egypt would begin to receive small quantities of Israeli gas through the EMG pipeline in April. Significant quantities would begin to flow in October or November, and the pipeline could reach full capacity next year.

Egypt to Receive First Israeli Gas as Early as March
Link To Europe

Major offshore gas finds have transformed the eastern Mediterranean region into an energy hot-spot.

Steinitz said work on the planned underwater East Med pipeline that will connect Israel, via Cyprus, to Greece and Italy was expected to start next year, and would take five or six years to complete. The European Union estimates the initial cost at $7 billion, with construction expected to be financed by private companies and institutional lenders, he said.

“It will be the longest and deepest gas pipeline in the world,” Steinitz said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-14/asia-stocks-look-set-to-remain-under-pressure-markets-wrap
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Offline knarf

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There’s a Quiet #MeToo Movement Unfolding in the Government’s Comments Section
« Reply #11823 on: January 15, 2019, 05:48:37 AM »
Betsy DeVos wants to change how schools deal with claims of sexual assault and harassment. Survivors are fighting back.

On December 2, just after the Department of Education began collecting public feedback on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plan to overhaul how schools handle reports of sexual harassment and assault, a nearly 60-year-old woman who identified herself as “Lynn Anonymous” decided tell the department about being raped at age 19.

“I had never met him,” she wrote on Regulations.gov, which collects public comments on proposed federal rules. “We just happened to cross paths. Looking back i guess he was looking for his version of fun.” She described being at a “teenage hangout” when the man invited her outside to talk, and how he pushed her down and held her despite her protests. “And at the end of this I had no recourse,” she wrote. “I could not do anything. Because at the time we were told it was a woman’s fault.”

Lynn was writing to criticize the proposed standards for how federally funded schools should apply Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, to cases of student sexual assault and harassment. DeVos has argued that the plan would protect the rights of both survivors and students accused of sexual misconduct. Among other measures, her proposal would narrow the Education Department’s definition of “sexual harassment,” allow administrators to ignore some off-campus incidents as well as complaints made to coaches and professors, and let schools raise the standard of evidence for survivors to prove they were assaulted or harassed. It would apply both to college and K-12 students.

But before the new rules can take effect, the Education Department must go through a process known as “notice and comment”—a 60-day period in which the public is invited to weigh in on proposed regulations. And the government is legally required to read the feedback and consider whether to incorporate it into the final rules.

Few proposals that go through a notice-and-comment period garner more than a handful of comments. DeVos’ plan has so far racked up 53,453. They include include notes from a concerned grandparent and a worried high schooler, form letters from activists outraged by the proposal, and arguments against it from teachers, school administrators, and mental-health professionals. A small minority of comments support the proposed rules. And there are a growing number of stories like Lynn’s, by people—both anonymous and named—who cite personal experiences of sexual violence to oppose the regulation. 

“I have been a victim of multiple cases of sexual assault and already do not feel comfortable at my own university,” wrote an undergrad in Pennsylvania.

“I was raped while in college,” said a woman from Austin.

“I am a student survivor who can, off the top of my head, name 10 other victims of sexual assault,” another added.

Many of the commenters who self-identified as survivors argued that the proposed regulation would discourage victims from reporting sexual assault and harassment to their schools. Some criticized more specific provisions. One former student from North Carolina, who said she was raped twice off-campus as an undergraduate, wrote about the part of the regulation that would give schools the discretion not to investigate sexual misconduct that happens “outside” their “education program or activity.” (For instance, experts say the proposal’s language isn’t clear on whether schools must investigate incidents that occur in off-campus housing.) Lynn argued that the proposal seemed designed to decrease schools’ liability for responding to sexual assault.

A few commenters focused the part of the proposal that redefines sexual harassment from “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” to “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal access to the [school’s] education program or activity.” An anonymous commenter who said they experienced sexual harassment feared that under the proposed rule, schools would only be required to investigate the “most extreme” harassment complaints. Another writer worried that under this language, colleges may not consider her experiences harassment because it didn’t stop her from attending class. “Despite my attacks, and the depression and anxiety that followed, I was still able to force myself to go to class and try my best,” she wrote. “Survivors shouldn’t be punished for their resilience and bravery. ”

Since the public feedback period opened in late November, activists have worked to turn out even more comments before the deadline on January 28. College students hosted parties with free food and advice on how to submit effective letters of protest. Graduates planned get-togethers to write their comments over wine. Alyssa Milano read aloud from a Dr. Seuss parody book that likened DeVos to the Grinch and her rules a “shitty gift” while urging supporters to send in their feedback. Activist groups like End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX launched a hashtag campaign, #HandsOffIX, and published guides for submitting comments online.

Meanwhile, in the comment period’s final weeks, some organizers are attempting to overwhelm the Department of Education with handwritten comments opposing the legislation. Organizers of Women’s March Los Angeles and the Enough is Enough Voter Project, a super-PAC focused on sexual violence, say they have printed at least 100,000 postcards to distribute at Women’s Marches across the country and to chapters of groups like Indivisible and the American Association of University Women.

The idea is not just solicit more public feedback, but also to throw a wrench into the Education Department’s procedures for processing each comment by forcing staffers to read each handwritten comment individually, rather than using machines. “Online comments are read by software which searches for terms and spits out an automated response,” explains Enough is Enough Voter Project founder Michele Dauber, who led the successful campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky after he sentenced convicted campus rapist Brock Turner to six months in jail. “We are forcing the Trump administration to assign a human to actually read and respond to every single comment and give this issue the time and resources it deserves.” (The Education Department did not respond to a request for comment.)

There’s no guarantee that DeVos or the Department of Education will actually change the proposed regulations in response to feedback. Last year, a study by Barry University School of Law researchers examined responses to the Trump administration’s call for public comments to identify “unduly costly or unnecessarily burdensome” regulations. It found that 12,035 responses were about Title IX—and 97 percent of those responses supported the Obama administration’s approach to the issue. But the day after that public comment period closed, DeVos rescinded the Obama administration’s guidance on Title IX, claiming it was a “failed system” that was “widely criticized.”

But this time around, the process is more formal—so if the Department of Education does not respond to comments, they could face a lawsuit, explains Nancy Chi Cantalupo, one the study’s authors. “There are potential legal consequences,” Cantalupo says. “The agency has to be able to justify to the courts that it read these comments, that it considered these comments in good faith, and that it had a reason for not responding directly to the public.”

In her comment, Lynn wrote that in the 40 years since she was raped, she had seen a a cultural shift away from blaming victims of sexual violence. “Seeing changes in attitudes that put the proper responsibility in the proper place gave me a lot of Hope,” she wrote. But still, she had internalized her experience. She spent years telling herself she was stupid, or inadequate, and, she says, never trusting anyone. “I will sign anonymous,” she ended her letter, “because I’m still scared.”

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/01/betsy-devos-title-ix-sexual-assault-harassment-metoo/
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Offline knarf

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One of the notable recent elements of this partial government shutdown -- the longest in history -- is that the Trump administration keeps designating more and more of the federal government essential, or excepted from the furlough, ordering many thousands of workers back to the office to process tax returns, perform safety inspections and more -- all without pay.
The practical effect is that more government workers will be doing their jobs without their paychecks, but it will also work to mute the impact of the shutdown in the everyday lives of Americans who aren't directly touched by the shutdown.
  Only about 25% of the government was affected by the shutdown to begin with since Congress had already funded the Pentagon and other agencies. But there are a growing number of essential tasks performed by that quarter, which includes the Department of Justice, the Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security, among others. All have been working without pay. That includes members of the Coast Guard, who had been working throughout the shutdown, but on Tuesday became the first US service members to not be paid because of a shutdown when their paychecks came through empty, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl L. Schultz said.
  The largest and most incredible of the switches from furloughed to essential is that the Internal Revenue Service will officially be recalling tens of thousands of workers -- 36,000 of them -- to process tax filings and refunds. The move runs afoul of previous guidance but will be welcome news to Americans who rely on refunds. Less so for the IRS workers forced to work without pay if the shutdown carries forward. That means well more than half the IRS workforce -- 57% -- will be working despite the shutdown.
  They aren't the only IRS employees being recalled.
When the mortgage industry faced the prospect of issuing fewer mortgages because employees of the IRS income verification service were furloughed, potentially slowing home purchases, the mortgage industry complained and the IRS decided to get the service back up and running and allow those few workers to collect paychecks by diverting fees the service collects.
The top official at the Mortgage Bankers Association told The Washington Post he made a direct appeal to officials at the Treasury Department. "Could you make these guys essential?" was the question Robert Broeksmit, chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association, told the Post he directed at the Treasury Department. Those workers will be paid using user fees.
Federal courts, which are not controlled by the administration, have now twice announced that existing funds could help their work force limp along with pay. The latest guidance is that court offices will run out of money January 25, at which point essential staff will work without pay.
One group that hadn't been working is Food and Drug Administration food inspectors, who hadn't been inspecting food since the partial shutdown began. But it was announced Monday that inspectors would return, without pay, to start inspections again.
The FDA administrator praised the inspector workforce for being the "tip of the spear" of consumer safety when he announced the move on Twitter.
 
Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

@SGottliebFDA

UPDATE ON FOOD INSPECTIONS AND OTHER INSPECTION ACTIVITY: The response from our outstanding field force and inspectorate has been overwhelming and outstanding. They're among the finest, most dedicated professionals in our federal workforce and we're grateful for their service ->
80
3:32 PM - Jan 14, 2019

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday it would recall an additional group of furloughed employees, according to the New York Times, adding thousands of unpaid workers to the air traffic controllers and other FAA employees who had been working since the shutdown started.
Food inspections, law enforcement and taxes -- the list of essential or recalled employees grows. And it also includes the National Park Service, which has recalled some rangers to keep parks open, as some were overflowing with trash and waste, despite the shutdown.
When it looked like hunters might not be able to use federal grounds to hunt, the US Fish and Wildlife Service ordered some workers back on the job using funds carried over from the previous appropriations for the next month, according to NPR.
An Alaska office of the Bureau of Land Management found a way to stay open to get required public comment sessions on a new pipeline out of the way.
There's a big difference between public comment sessions and food inspections or law enforcement activities. But as the shutdown continues with nothing in the way of constructive debate on how to end it occurring, it's notable that parts of the government are finding ways to stay open even though they have no funding. The idea is that workers will eventually get back pay.
Much has been written about how this longest-ever government shutdown is hurting federal workers who are either furloughed or working without pay and the human and financial toll of so many having to either dip into savings or, as their government suggests, offer to do chores in lieu of pay their rent. Those called back to work will have a harder time making that barter.

The last time the government shut down, Mick Mulvaney, who was then director of the Office of Management and Budget and is now acting White House chief of staff, said the Trump administration would treat shutdowns differently and keep them from being "weaponized" as he alleged the Obama administration did to make the shutdown seem worse than it actually was.
The opposite seems to be happening in this record-breaking shutdown as more and more government workers are being recalled to lessen the effects on the rest of the country. It only suggests more and more of the government is, in point of fact, "essential."

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/politics/trump-workers-essential-furlough/
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T-Mobile announced a merger needing Trump administration approval.
« Reply #11825 on: January 16, 2019, 08:03:26 AM »
The next day, 9 executives had reservations at Trump’s hotel.



Last April, telecom giant T-Mobile announced a megadeal: a $26 billion merger with rival Sprint, which would more than double T-Mobile’s value and give it a huge new chunk of the cellphone market.

But for T-Mobile, one hurdle remained: Its deal needed approval from the Trump administration.

The next day, in Washington, staffers at the Trump International Hotel were handed a list of incoming “VIP Arrivals.” That day’s list included nine of T-Mobile’s top executives — including its chief operating officer, chief technology officer, chief strategy officer, chief financial officer and its outspoken celebrity chief executive, John Legere.

They were scheduled to stay between one and three days. But it was not their last visit.

Instead, T-Mobile executives have returned to President Trump’s hotel repeatedly since then, according to eyewitnesses and hotel documents obtained by The Washington Post.

By mid-June, seven weeks after the announcement of the merger, hotel records indicated that one T-Mobile executive was making his 10th visit to the hotel. Legere appears to have made at least four visits to the Trump hotel, walking the lobby in his T-Mobile gear.

These visits highlight a stark reality in Washington, unprecedented in modern American history. Trump the president works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump the businessman owns a hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania.

Countries, interest groups and companies like T-Mobile — whose future will be shaped by the administration’s choices — are free to stop at both and pay the president’s company while also meeting with officials in his government. Such visits raise questions about whether patronizing Trump’s private business is viewed as a way to influence public policy, critics said.

Last week, a Post reporter spotted Legere in the Trump hotel’s lobby. In an impromptu interview, the T-Mobile chief executive said he was not seeking special treatment. He chose the Trump hotel, he said, for its fine service and good security.

“It’s become a place I feel very comfortable,” Legere said. He also praised the hotel’s location, next to one of the departments that must approve the company’s merger.

“At the moment I am in town for some meetings at the Department of Justice,” Legere said. “And it’s very convenient for that.”

The VIP Arrivals lists obtained by The Post — in which Trump hotel executives alerted their staff to foreign officials, corporate executives, long-term guests, Trump family friends and big spenders — provide an inside look at some of the hotel’s customers. The Post obtained lists for about a dozen days in 2018.

Those lists showed 38 nights of hotel stays by the T-Mobile executives; because The Post’s data is incomplete, the number could be higher.

Rooms at the luxury hotel routinely cost more than $300 per night.

The Post shared details about those stays — gleaned from the VIP Arrivals lists and eyewitness accounts — with both T-Mobile and the Trump Organization. Neither challenged the findings. After Legere’s brief interview at the Trump hotel, T-Mobile declined to comment further for this report.

Trump’s hotel also has hosted parties put on by the Kuwaiti and Philippine embassies, rented hundreds of rooms to lobbyists paid by Saudi Arabia, and hosted a large meeting of the oil industry’s lobbying group.

But the T-Mobile case stands out because the company’s executives were expected at the hotel so soon after announcing they needed a win in Washington.

“It’s currying favor with the president. It’s disturbing, because it’s another secret avenue for currying favor with the government,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

She said that even if they weren’t directly ordered by Trump, the president’s appointees might feel pressured to help Trump’s customers. That might undermine public confidence in the decisions that result, Krumholz said.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Eric Trump — who is running the family business while his father serves in the White House — said in an email that the hotel has “absolutely no role in politics.” Asked about the stays by Legere, Eric Trump said that his hotel offers extraordinary service: “It should come as no surprise that a CEO of a major corporation would want to stay with us.”

Before last year, Washington had been a place of disappointment for T-Mobile, the third-biggest of America’s four big cellphone providers, which has long sought a merger to grow bigger.

In 2011 and in 2014, the Bellevue, Wash.-based company planned to combine with rivals: first AT&T, then Sprint. But both times, the Obama administration rejected the mergers on antitrust grounds, saying they would decrease competition and hurt consumers.

On April 29, 2018, T-Mobile announced it would try again with Sprint.

The deal required approval from agencies including the Justice Department, which handles antitrust enforcement, and the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the airwaves that cellphones use. Those two agencies declined to comment.

Sprint, the market’s fourth-place player, is largely owned by SoftBank, a Japanese company whose founder, Masayoshi Son, has built his own relationship with Trump. After Trump’s election, Son was praised by the incoming president for a promise to invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the United States. Sprint declined to comment for this report.

Legere, the T-Mobile chief executive, also had a history with the president.

But it wasn’t a good one.

“I will obviously leave your hotel right away,” Legere wrote on Twitter in April 2015, during a public spat that began with complaints about Legere’s stay at a Trump hotel in New York, and escalated when Trump called T-Mobile’s service “terrible.”

Later, Legere mocked Trump’s hotels after checking out. “I am so happy to wake up in a hotel where every single item isn’t labeled ‘Trump,’ ” he wrote, according to news coverage. Those tweets appear to have been deleted.

Three years later, on the day after the T-Mobile merger was announced, Legere was scheduled to arrive at the Trump hotel in Washington.

That day’s VIP Arrivals list included 39 names. There were executives at a Defense Department contractor called AxleTech; a spokesman said they chose the hotel because they had a meeting at a corporate office across the street. Two other VIPs were connected with the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, which was hosting a dinner with the president at the hotel that night. A spokeswoman said one room was for the event photographer, the other for staff preparations.

And there were the nine T-Mobile executives. Of them, only Legere was listed with an “R” next to his name — signaling to Trump hotel employees that he was a repeat Trump customer.

Inside the hotel’s busy, soaring lobby, Legere was noticed quickly.

“Everybody knew. You couldn’t miss it,” said Jake Loft, who was in the lobby for a regularly scheduled networking event. He spotted Legere by his outfit, which was — as usual — a walking billboard for T-Mobile. Legere wore a black-and-magenta hoodie with a T-Mobile logo over a bright-magenta T-shirt with another T-Mobile logo. “He wasn’t dressed appropriately,” Loft said.

“It was essentially like a track suit,” said Tim Briseno, who was there with Loft. Briseno remembered Legere giving out business cards, with an offer of a discount. “He was like, ‘If you guys switch, you’ll get 40 percent off for the rest of your life.’ ” T-Mobile did not respond to a query asking whether that offer was legitimate.

They asked Legere for a photo.

“I didn’t look at the photo until after I left,” Loft said. Legere had given them both bunny ears. “I was like, ‘That was good.’ ”

Legere wound up in several photos on Instagram, giving bunny ears in every one.

On that first visit, the T-Mobile executives were expected to stay between one and three days apiece, according to the VIP Arrivals list.

In late May, the Trump hotel expected T-Mobile’s general counsel, David Miller, for a return visit, staying two days. Then, on June 17, 2018, the VIP Arrivals list showed that Legere, Miller and T-Mobile Executive Vice President David Carey would be returning for five-day stays.

By that time — just six weeks after the merger was announced — the list shows that the T-Mobile executives were already experienced Trump customers. Legere and Carey were members of the “Trump Card” program. Carey’s entry also contained the notation “R(10).”

That — according to Trump hotel staffers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t permitted to speak to the media — was an indication that Carey was making his 10th visit to the hotel. The listings also contained the words “Long Term” because of the length of their stays. Carey and Miller did not respond to requests for comment.

After that, Legere came a few days later. On June 27, the same day that Legere testified to Congress about the merger, he was spotted at the hotel by independent journalist Zach Everson, according to an account Everson posted on Twitter. Everson said he saw Legere in the hotel lobby, talking to former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has advised T-Mobile during the merger talks.

Lewandowski is a frequent patron of the Trump hotel: He has held two book parties there and often appears in social-media photos mingling in the lobby. Lewandowski did not return requests for comment this week.

The visits by T-Mobile executives cumulatively are probably worth tens of thousands of dollars to the Trump Organization, the president’s company, which he still owns despite criticism from government ethics experts.

Since Trump was elected, his hotel has been patronized by other groups with lobbying interests in Washington: foreign embassies, industry associations, religious groups. Lobbyists working for the Saudi government — a close U.S. ally that has grown closer under Trump — paid for 500 hotel rooms in the first four months after Trump was elected.

Opponents of the T-Mobile merger say they believe the executives’ repeated stays are an effort to influence policy.

“I can’t believe this is a coincidence. In mergers, companies look for any potential advantage they can find,” said Gene Kimmelman, who was chief counsel for the antitrust division at the Justice Department under President Barack Obama. He now leads the good-government group Public Knowledge.

Kimmelman said he doubted that the career Justice Department officials would be moved by it but said it could “sway others in government” appointed by Trump.

Daniel Schuman, of the liberal group Demand Progress, is part of a coalition opposing the merger, arguing that it would reduce choice for consumers. The coalition, called the 4Competition Coalition also includes labor unions and some smaller cellphone providers.

“This isn’t justice with a blindfold on, right?” he said. “It creates a fundamental corruption in the way that the work of the American people is done.”

Analysts say Legere’s own shares in the company would probably grow if the merger is approved.

In the interview at the Trump hotel last week, Legere said that although the hotel was clearly a place to be seen, he did not believe the president knew about his staying there.

Did he expect that his staying there might earn his company any special treatment?

“Certainly not. I don’t know why it would,” he said.

Sometime after that interview, Legere apparently checked out of the Trump hotel. By the next evening, Legere was tweeting about the great bar at “my current DC hotel” — the Four Seasons in Georgetown.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-place-i-feel-very-comfortable-t-mobile-executives-seeking-government-approval-for-merger-stayed-at-trumps-hotel-repeatedly/2019/01/15/6a114d3e-142c-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.70286794122b
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Offline knarf

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5 ways students can graduate fully qualified for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
« Reply #11826 on: January 16, 2019, 10:02:12 AM »
Sixty percent of full-time college students fail to complete four-year courses – so why not make them shorter?



As students consider their options for higher education, they must ask themselves: will the cost of my education be repaid by its value? Will my education allow me to balance technical skills at risk of being replaced by automation, with timeless “soft” skills? Will my education prepare me for a career, and will that career even exist by the time I’m ready to join the workforce?

The answers to these questions are not simple. Leading up to the G7 summit in Montreal, The Montreal AI Ethics Institute gathered input from about 400 people on the topic of the "Future of Work” to bring diversity and on-the-ground experience from citizens to the discussions at the summit. Two significant concerns brought forth via the engagement process were the lack of nuance and evidence-based research in the understanding of the future of work and education.
The challenge of underemployment

According to a report by Burning Glass and the Strada Institute, 43% of recent college graduates in the United States are underemployed in their first job out of college. Of those graduates, two-thirds remain underemployed after five years and a full half remain so after 10 years.

This underemployment contributes to the devastating problem of student loan debt, which currently totals more than $1.5 trillion in the United States alone. Among the more than 44 million US borrowers, the average debt load is over $37,000, and some owe substantially more.





And the situation is subject to increased risk. The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report predicts that 75 million jobs worldwide will be displaced by automation by 2022. In the same period, 133 million new jobs will be added to the global economy, but in most cases, the workers who lose their current jobs will not have the necessary qualifications to fill the new positions, ones that are already emerging and going largely unfilled. The aptly named “skills gap” has been a problem for the last half-decade, and the problem will not resolve until our institutes of higher education find ways to adapt to the new demands of the global economy.
Rethinking higher education

Positive changes have begun to take hold in higher education on a small scale. These innovations, updates and refocused ways of thinking about higher education have proven successful in individual schools, leading to better outcomes for students and thus for the economy at large. If ideas like these could take broader hold over the coming years, higher education could become more effective for students, educators and employers.

1. Condensing the academic experience

A traditional four-year degree is widely considered the standard requirement for career success. But in a wide range of fields, four years of higher education is superfluous. Rather than demanding that students arbitrarily extend their education over the course of four years, more focused, affordable and practical alternatives should be encouraged.

The premium placed on a four-year degree can prevent many people who do not have the means or opportunity to delay their careers for four years from obtaining the same level of success as their peers. About 60% of full-time college students fail to complete their degrees in four years. This argument also holds for graduate schools, such as law school – at its heart a technical training that could be completed in two years rather than three.

Part of the grandes écoles system in France, La Grande Ecole du Numerique is a network of short, free digital training programs that have no required prerequisites. These programs specifically target young people and aimed to train 10,000 people by the end of 2018.

2. Doing away with focus on credentials

According to The Atlantic, the average education level across 500 occupational categories increased by 1.2 years from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. Over the same period, the education required to hold those positions did not rise. The implication is that workers obtained (and paid for) more education to do the same jobs.

If less emphasis were placed by schools and employers on paper credentials that do little to affect actual job preparedness, job-seekers would be encouraged to improve their qualifications in other ways, such as through online courses, credentialed certificate programs, self-teaching and entrepreneurship.

With locations in Paris and San Francisco, 42 is a complete redesign of higher education. Not only are there no credentials offered, but the engineering school also doesn’t have professors or classes. Students take charge of their own education and have their projects graded by their peers.

3. Aligning the incentives of students and educational institutions

One way to align the incentives of students and educational institutions is to do away with or supplement traditional tuition models with Income Share Agreements (ISAs).

With an ISA, students can complete their education without the burden of high tuition and instead repay the school after they graduate with a set percentage of their income. The result is a system that avoids student debt, holds schools accountable for student success, and affords more students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to higher education the opportunity to attend the schools of their choice.

Located in Rwanda, Akilah Institute describes itself as a “radically different” women’s college with an academic focus on sustainability. Akilah Institute has partnered with Germany-based Chancen to offer ISA financing for in-demand careers like information systems, hospitality management, and business management and entrepreneurship.

4. Forging stronger ties between industry and education

When institutes of higher learning partner with industry, everyone benefits. Students get increased access to mentors and internships, schools improve the relevancy of their curriculum, and companies get the first pick of rising talent.

Hyland, an Ohio-based software company, partners with local higher education institution, in addition to middle and high schools. By co-teaching, guest lecturing, sponsoring team projects and providing mentorship, it’s a win-win for students and Hyland. Stronger relationships mean better outcomes for students and a hiring pipeline for the company.

5. Implementing project-based learning

Modern careers require creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, writing ability, presentation skills and negotiation. Crafting and presenting a reasoned argument, asking the right questions and seeking out the answers – these are skills that must be taught in combination with any sort of technical education.

One way to integrate these real-world skills into the classroom is through project-based learning. By having students plan, design and execute their own projects, they learn to function as they will in our ever-evolving job market.

Based in San Francisco, Make School is a first-of-its-kind two-year bachelor’s degree in applied computer science. Students are treated like junior developers and engage in project-based learning with a curriculum that blends liberal arts, computer science and character development.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/how-students-can-graduate-qualified-for-fourth-industrial-revolution/
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Offline knarf

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The recession alarms are ringing
« Reply #11827 on: January 16, 2019, 10:12:15 AM »
Economic data is pointing downward and investor sentiment is turning negative.

Driving the news: Perhaps most worrisome is the massive pile of highly leveraged debt that continues to grow. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's monthly survey of fund managers finds that, for the first time since 2009, corporate leverage is the top concern among investors surveyed.

    52% of investors said they expect global profits to deteriorate — the most since 2008.
    60% surveyed say global growth will weaken in the next 12 months, levels not seen since the financial crisis.
    U.S. manufacturing activity dropped in December by the most since October 2008.
    2018's Treasury auctions saw the weakest demand since 2008, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.
    The yield spread between 2- and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes is the thinnest since 2007, and the yield on 2- and 3-year notes has already risen above that of 5-year notes, meaning a curve inversion.

UBS estimated in September that there was a "record $4.3 trillion in lower-quality corporate loans and high-yield bonds — up from $2.4 trillion in 2010 — that could ... see rising defaults if the healthy U.S. economy starts to wobble," USA Today reports.

    “I view this as the most severe threat to the economy and financial system,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told USA Today in response to the UBS figures.
    Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen warned in a recent interview, “I am worried about the systemic risks associated with these loans. There has been a huge deterioration in standards; covenants have been loosened in leveraged lending.”

Still, there seems to be a consensus among many in the market that it's not yet time to panic.

    “Investors remain bearish, with growth and profit expectations plummeting this month,” said Michael Hartnett, BAML's chief investment strategist. “Even so, their diagnosis is secular stagnation, not a recession, as fund managers are pricing in a dovish Fed and steeper yield curve.”

https://www.axios.com/recession-economic-data-debt-manufacturing-208f9975-c731-47f1-b629-f79118ba15d3.html
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Offline Surly1

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Re: The recession alarms are ringing
« Reply #11828 on: January 16, 2019, 05:00:09 PM »
Economic data is pointing downward and investor sentiment is turning negative.

Driving the news: Perhaps most worrisome is the massive pile of highly leveraged debt that continues to grow. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's monthly survey of fund managers finds that, for the first time since 2009, corporate leverage is the top concern among investors surveyed.

    52% of investors said they expect global profits to deteriorate — the most since 2008.
    60% surveyed say global growth will weaken in the next 12 months, levels not seen since the financial crisis.
    U.S. manufacturing activity dropped in December by the most since October 2008.
    2018's Treasury auctions saw the weakest demand since 2008, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.
    The yield spread between 2- and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes is the thinnest since 2007, and the yield on 2- and 3-year notes has already risen above that of 5-year notes, meaning a curve inversion.

UBS estimated in September that there was a "record $4.3 trillion in lower-quality corporate loans and high-yield bonds — up from $2.4 trillion in 2010 — that could ... see rising defaults if the healthy U.S. economy starts to wobble," USA Today reports.

    “I view this as the most severe threat to the economy and financial system,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told USA Today in response to the UBS figures.

https://www.axios.com/recession-economic-data-debt-manufacturing-208f9975-c731-47f1-b629-f79118ba15d3.html

I typically let most financial posts go by, since money isn't really in my wheelhouse. I note that the pile of shitty debt covered up by the TARP bailout is still being hauled around like a dead body in the trunk of an old Crown Vic. And I find myself wondering about the follow-on effects of the Trump McConnell shutdown on the economy.

I have friends that are Coasties who are directly affected, and folks at NASA that are likewise on the streets. The Coast Guard types are compelled to work. My NASA friend (and his wife who is a contractor) will probably have reserves to get them through a couple of months, but if your nut is @$4K per month, and since most people don't have more than $.60 in savings, it doesn't take long to torch through your running room.

How many rounds of evictions will it take to take a good healthy dump on the economic numbers? And how long before the Trumptards connect the dots? I for one am NOT optimistic.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: The recession alarms are ringing
« Reply #11829 on: January 17, 2019, 04:27:48 AM »

How many rounds of evictions will it take to take a good healthy dump on the economic numbers? And how long before the Trumptards connect the dots? I for one am NOT optimistic.
If there is one thing I love about the MSM is when they interview some Trumptard that has had misfortune fall on them because of something Trump did and then they whine that They Voted for Him, Schadenfreude  :icon_mrgreen: WTF did they think would happen :icon_scratch:
AJ
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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #11830 on: January 17, 2019, 11:26:34 AM »
Thought I would post this blog post by Jem Bendell here as his attitude toward collapse seems to have a buddhist slant to it.
His article on Deep Adaptation is a must read for all doomers.
Link to his site:https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/hope-and-vision-in-the-face-of-collapse-the-4th-r-of-deep-adaptation/
enjoy,
AJ

 Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse – The 4th R of Deep Adaptation
Posted by jembendell on January 9, 2019

“People need hope, Jem.”
“It’s really important to have a vision of a better future, Jem”

As someone who worked in environmental campaigning and then organizational change, I learned about the role of hope and vision in helping to align and motivate people. As someone who worked at the heart of political communications during the 2017 UK General Election campaign, I’m also aware of the power of a positive narrative when told well, consistently and authentically. In my professional world of leadership and its development, hope and vision are recognized as key. I still teach such skills to senior executives in business, politics and civil society and am proud of the way they feel empowered in their purpose as a result.

But, but, but…

Since my return to analysing climate science last year led me to conclude we face inevitable near-term societal collapse, where might we find any hope or vision?

The question used to be a quiet one, raised in private conversations. But since the unexpected impact of my paper on Deep Adaptation and the attention generated by the peaceful Extinction Rebellion protest movement, I am hearing it a lot. When faced with evidence of forthcoming collapse, people not only wonder about their personal need for hope and vision, but also what should be said to others – whether fellow professionals, kids, parents or the general public. You may have read or heard people saying we must not give up hope or destroy another’s hope: that to lose hope would undermine action that might prevent catastrophic climate change. Or you may have heard people say that we need to be able to believe in a positive vision of how life could be, whether that is averting, living through or beyond a breakdown in our society due to climate chaos.

Right now, people are seeking to frame the future and the meaning of our activism on climate. So although I am still working things out for myself, perhaps unendingly, I want to share my current and provisional thoughts on the topic of hope and vision. In so doing, I will offer a new “R” to my framing of Deep Adaptation – reconciliation – and invite feedback on this and related ideas (in the comments below).

The subject of my following reflections is one that has been explored for millennia and across cultures. In comparison to that, my level of intellectual inquiry, experiential reflection and lived practice is a bit like a skin cell on the floor of a crowded temple. I feel some embarrassment writing about these things. But our current predicament means that none of us should postpone finding our provisional answers to existential questions, and we might help each other with that by sharing things in writing. So here goes…

When exploring this matter, I recommend you do not follow people who say that people like me look at the world in an overly pessimistic or defeatist way. The suffering of this world today and to come, and in ourselves, is something to be witnessed, but, with intention, I am beginning to sense that we can feel and realize peace and happiness through it all. That will not happen through a desperate belief in stories of personal or collective salvation in this world or the next. Instead, we can turn away from frantic chatter or action, relax into our hearts, notice the impermanence of life, and let love for this momentary experience of life in all its flavours flood our being and shape our next steps. Expressing that aspiration in our words, actions and inactions may invite people who are fear-driven to put down their microphones for a time and join people living from love. It is with that sentiment I share the following ideas.

ON HOPE

If we say to a terminally ill person that they should not give up hope then that could become cruel. If by that we mean hope that they could survive, or that they could live while forgetting their situation, then it reflects unresolved and pathological fear of death. It suggests the person spend their last days in struggle and denial, rather than discovering what might matter after acceptance.

I’m not saying the human race has a terminal diagnosis in the near term. But we do in the long-term. Many hominids have gone extinct and so will homo sapiens one day. When that will be is another question – a difficult one, and I am not currently convinced of the arguments for near term human extinction. But I have concluded that our way of life has a terminal diagnosis. Because rain-fed agriculture will continue to breakdown over the next decade. Unless we immediately build massive irrigated greenhouses, and plan for compulsory plant-heavy diets and food rationing, we will see malnutrition in the West and resultant civil unrest, lawlessness and a breakdown in normal life.

One problem with hoping things will be OK is that it means we give up our agency. We assume someone will fix things. That is what some call “passive hope.” Meanwhile, any unrealistic hope steals possibility, by wasting the precious time we have to attempt to reduce harm and save humanity. So the problem with proponents of the hope that “we can fix this” is that it makes taboo the needed conversations about what to do given that we can’t fix things. That is what we could call “magical hope”, as it often comes with an overt or implicit suggestion that we can make the reality evolve according to moments where we are choosing to hope (as an aside: if we are co-creating our reality through our consciousness then it is through every moment of attention, not just those moments when we choose to pull ourselves together and do some magical hoping). In distinction to passive hope some have called for an “active hope” where we drop mainstream or received ideas of hope and instead face what we think is reality and construct a new hope based on what we believe in. That is a powerful rethinking of what hope means, as it makes us realise that hope involves actions to make it real. But I don’t think it is a sufficient reworking of the concept of hope. Because it can downplay whether we really think our actions will add up to the outcome we are actively hoping for. Instead, the emphasis is on intention, without being precise about the nature of intention, such as love, compassion, forgiveness, and so on. Therefore, people who speak of “active hope” may actually be practising magical hope, and avoiding either deeper inquiry into the intentions they value or into the implications of the futility of their actions.

In my work I have begun to invite people to explore what a radical hope may look like. In my Deep Adaptation paper, I explain how this was inspired in part by how some Native Americans responded to a realisation of the inevitability of the destruction of their way of life. Some elders decided that they had to let go of all their existing hopes and construct a new one that was possible. In comparison to their past way of life, this form of hope would seem more like a horror, but in comparison to complete annihilation, it was chosen by some tribes. Radical hope is a form of hope that’s consciously chosen after denial. It is a form of hope that is empowered surrender to a situation. It accepts difficult realities about what is happening as well as one’s capabilities to influence things, but still connects with deeper values and requires action to make it real.

To explore what a radical hope might be for humanity facing global breakdown, I realised it is useful to set aside discussing hope for a time and consider what I really believe in.

ON BELIEF

So we need to turn to the matter of belief. Yikes. Now I am really out of my depth. But please join me while I sink…

Some spiritual perspectives on the ‘oneness’ of oneself with the universe suggest that we have power to create our reality. That view has been misunderstood and deliberately marketed to people seeking ways to improve their lives. A more accurate insight from both wisdom traditions, contemporary physics, and current experience, is that we are co-creating our reality with others, the material and ineffable dimensions in ways that we can never fully comprehend through human thought and language. We each participate in shaping our experience of the world, but not autonomously of others or the world. Now, even with this perspective, it means that the current calamity facing humanity is one of our own mutual volition. Crikey. Why have we done this to ourselves?

Partly because what is happening, as painful as it is, is normal. Yes, the cosmic nature of things is that everything must go. Sure, we don’t like death. It hurts. But death has always been the partner of life, not its enemy. Impermanence makes everything and everyone around us totally sacred and significant. It invites our heartfelt gratitude for all that we experience. Certainly, sensing a nearer end to my own life has meant the rebirth of my ability to love being alive. The tragedy of climate chaos is also an invitation to drop our illusions of permanence. Abundant life, coming and going, shows just what the cosmos can do. While some religious buildings might be nice, it’s our whole planet that is an altar for the adoration of the creative cosmos. We can worship it in all that we do, and all that we do not do.

Climate chaos can invite us to consider the life force of consciousness that came before material organic life. And to consider the way in which aspects of our conscious being will continue after our death. Also, the way our lives may affect a universal field of consciousness and thus the future of life in whatever forms. Indeed, perhaps consciousness has chosen to experience itself in our minds and bodies at this moment and time. How else would we come to exist?

Climate chaos invites us to bring all of that into our present awareness. It may be a shock. But it can wake us up to that impermanence so that things fall away to leave us with love, curiosity, play, compassion, and creativity. Upon reflection, I wondered whether in our ‘heart of hearts’ we really do want this civilisation to continue more than anything; or even the human race to continue more than anything. I wondered if we want something else more than that. I wondered if we desire that our hearts bulge with love and we merge our consciousness with the all. And that we hope all other people might have the chance for the same experience. I wondered if in our hearts we want the planet to continue as a living organism more than we want our species to do so. I present these as musings, as I’m not going to pretend I am certain about these views. I recommend reflecting on these questions and finding your own sense of things.

I particularly like how an Extinction Rebellion leader Skeena Rathor, expressed it in her speech on Westminster Bridge in London on Rebellion Day (November 17th 2018).

“If we are honest with ourselves and look into our heart’s deep interior, if we are honest from there then this isn’t about saving humanity this is about our courage to love as we have never loved before… Let us live now at the edge of our courage to love.”

But don’t take my word for it, or Skeena’s. Rather, once you have explored what you really believe in, then stared back into the abyss of an imminent societal collapse, so you may be find a radical hope of your own.

A RADICAL HOPE OF RECONCILIATION

If you, like me, hope that through growing realisation of a coming collapse, more people will awaken to a deeper understanding of themselves and life, and live with love and compassion, then that is not an idle hope. Because it is not prediction. People respond in myriad ways when the shit hits the fan. There will be some horrible reactions. Indeed, there already are. Therefore, a radical hope of humanity awakening is one where we are actively engaged in it.

In my case, that feels like why I am putting out this blog, with my half-baked ideas on the cosmos, God and all that. Because my radical hope is that many more of us will begin to explore together publicly what “spirituality” and love are and can mean today.

To make this more explicit in the Deep Adaptation framework, I now propose a 4th R to the existing ones on Resilience, Relinquishment and Restoration. The original Deep Adaptation paper has been downloaded over 100,000 times. Like Skeena, people have told me it changed their life. What I have noticed is, however, that some people who report being woken up by that paper are now calling for anything to be done to stop collapse. That is, to attempt whatever draconian measures might cut emissions and drawdown carbon. I still think bold cuts and drawdown measures are essential. But that is not the focus of Deep Adaptation, which invites us to prepare for what is now inevitable. Therefore, to make that even more explicit, I propose a fourth question to guide our reflection on how to navigate our climate tragedy:

“What could I make peace with to lessen suffering?”

This question incorporates the idea of Reconciliation with one’s death, including any difficulties and regrets in one’s life, any anger towards existence itself (or God). It also invites reconciliation between peoples, genders, classes, generations, countries, religions and political persuasions. Because it is time to make our peace. Otherwise, without this inner deep adaptation to climate collapse we risk tearing each other apart and dying hellishly. My radical hope is that more of us work together to achieve this reconciliation, in all its forms, as a basis for the fuller deep adaptation agenda that I explain in my paper.

VISIONS WANTED

Unless you are a spiritual leader, then a hope for mass awakening and reconciliation does not sound very specific. It may not immediately seem to support straightforward campaign strategies or policy development! If we are to offer a vision where our radical hope of awakening is realised, then what would that look like? From my work as a Professor of Leadership, I know a vision is meant to be tangible, relatable, credible, and relevant to the problems faced. I would really like to see your own ideas on visions in the comments below (but I wont grade them 😉)

To whet your own imaginations, here is one idea…

I envision seeing whole neighbourhoods and camps of people spontaneously singing and dancing together of their pure joy of experiencing all sensations of life, both during and between working together on useful tasks. Not because they are singing from habit, custom, obligation, or recreation, but because they are so connected to the wonder of experiencing life while serving life. I envision people feeling grateful they suddenly found there is time in their lives to sing, dance and connect with nature and each other. I envision this connection also supporting ways of production, sharing, consumption, and caring, that mean people are able to live happily with fewer resources and less certainty.

If that sounds hippy, then so be it. For me it is a highly aspirational, credible and relatable vision, one I can truly hope for and work towards. But please share your own visions below!

GETTING THERE

In the coming months and years there will be many views emerging on how to achieve change, for both cutting and drawing down emissions, as well as adapting to disruptive impacts of climate change. Some will argue for eco-socialist revolution to take over the key infrastructure, so we have the chance of everyone being fed, watered, housed and cared for as best as possible. Others will seek to harness the powers of the existing system, and turn to transnational corporations, financial institutions and international organisations. Others will continue to hope that elected representatives will be able to suddenly find within themselves the heart and boldness to act and the talent to explain sufficiently to their electorates to remain in power. Others will turn to their neighbours, local associations and local governments, to organise as best they can locally and regionally. I do not yet have a hope or vision in relation to any of those ideas, but welcome people exploring these and other ideas.

IMPOSSIBLE CONCLUSIONS

With this blog I intend to open up conversation on hope and vision rather than close it down. However, as it is a long blog, here is a summary…

We can no longer stop disruptive climate change. We might be able to slow it. We can try to reduce the harm coming from it. We can explore how to live and die lovingly because of it. But all of that we can do because we have a faith or sense that this is the right way to be alive, not because it will work. Most calls for hope that I’m hearing are from, or for, those fearful of living with death in their awareness. That’s typical, but also a recipe for discussion and action that is counter-productive to life, love and understanding. Which is exactly the opposite of the effect of those who say “don’t take away our hope”. It is time to drop all hopes and visions that arise from an inability to accept impermanence and non-control, and instead describe a radical hope of how we respond in these times. I believe it’s possible and necessary, though mutual inquiry and support, for our fears, beliefs or certainties of collapse to be brought to a place of peaceful inner and outer resourcefulness. Ours is a time for reconciliation with mortality, nature and each other.

We can develop and share a vision of more of us experiencing the invitation to live lovingly, creatively, and truthfully, in acceptance of mortality and impermanence. After all, any other hope or vision were always a tactical delusion for temporary benefit. Ultimately, many more of us may come to see that we love love more than we love life. Hopefully before too much unnecessary suffering and destruction.

You can hear me in conversation about these topics here.


Discussing with Skeena and Gail of XR

 

 
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Offline knarf

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Thousands of Gulf Arabs are abandoning their homeland
« Reply #11831 on: January 17, 2019, 03:17:37 PM »
Fed up with social restrictions and political repression, Saudis are leading the way.



CANADA LIES far north of her intended destination, but Rahaf Muhammad is happy to be enduring its harsh winter. The 18-year-old Saudi hoped to end up in Australia after escaping her allegedly violent family. But she was stopped on the way, in Bangkok. Saudi authorities pressed Thailand to send her back home. Ms Muhammad warned that her father, a provincial governor, would kill her. After several harrowing days in an airport hotel she was granted asylum in Canada, where she arrived on January 12th.

Her case drew global attention, but thousands of other Saudis have been making a quieter exodus from the kingdom. Some, like Ms Muhammad (who dropped her family name, al-Qunun), are women escaping a rigid patriarchy. Others flee because of their political activism. The absolute numbers look small: 815 Saudis applied for asylum in 2017, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency. But that is a 318% increase over 2012 (see chart).

The trend is not limited to Saudi Arabia. About three times as many from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sought asylum in 2016 as in 2012. Tiny Qatar saw its count more than double in the same period. Saudi Arabia has seen the steepest increase, though. It would be tempting to blame this on Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince, who has overseen a ruthless campaign of repression. Yet the increase started even before he became heir apparent in 2017.

Though most Gulf states weathered the Arab spring without serious unrest, the revolutions elsewhere unnerved them. The UAE stepped up domestic surveillance and rounded up activists. Qatar passed a “cyber-crime” law that is broad and easily abused. Political activity was never encouraged in the Gulf, but after 2011 it was ruthlessly punished.

Asylum claims do not tell the full story, because it is a step that many are unwilling or ineligible to take. Jamal Khashoggi would not have shown up on the UN’s tally. But the Saudi journalist took himself into exile in America, fearing he would be unsafe back home—a fear that was confirmed when Saudi agents murdered him in Istanbul last October. Liberal-minded Saudis who can afford to leave the country often cool their heels in London or Washington.

Barely two years ago young people were flocking home to work with Prince Muhammad. Many found the kingdom’s social strictures stifling. In the crown prince, though, they saw a kindred spirit, a fellow millennial who wanted to reform the economy and culture. He delivered on the latter, permitting women to drive and allowing once-banned cinemas and concerts.

“And then everything changed,” says one 30-something who took a government job. Hardly a fire-breathing dissident, she supports the monarchy and the goals of the Saudi-led war in Yemen (if not Saudi tactics there). But after Khashoggi’s murder and the arrests of hundreds of activists at home, she is planning to resign.

The kingdom, as is its wont, blames foreigners for the case of Ms Muhammad. A state-backed “human-rights” group said other countries were “inciting” young women to leave. Saudi Arabia cut ties with Canada in August after the Canadian foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, criticised the arrest of women’s-rights activists. Diplomats have given up hope of resolving the spat, so Ms Freeland was there to welcome Ms Muhammad to Toronto.

Ms Muhammad, for her part, hopes to use her new-found freedom and platform to campaign for other Saudi women. But one of the first things she did on arriving in Canada was buy some warm clothes.

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2019/01/19/thousands-of-gulf-arabs-are-abandoning-their-homeland
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Offline knarf

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Thanx AJ
« Reply #11832 on: January 17, 2019, 03:23:33 PM »
Thought I would post this blog post by Jem Bendell here as his attitude toward collapse seems to have a buddhist slant to it.
His article on Deep Adaptation is a must read for all doomers.
Link to his site:https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/hope-and-vision-in-the-face-of-collapse-the-4th-r-of-deep-adaptation/
enjoy,
AJ

 Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse – The 4th R of Deep Adaptation
Posted by jembendell on January 9, 2019

“People need hope, Jem.”
“It’s really important to have a vision of a better future, Jem”


In the coming months and years there will be many views emerging on how to achieve change, for both cutting and drawing down emissions, as well as adapting to disruptive impacts of climate change. Some will argue for eco-socialist revolution to take over the key infrastructure, so we have the chance of everyone being fed, watered, housed and cared for as best as possible. Others will seek to harness the powers of the existing system, and turn to transnational corporations, financial institutions and international organisations. Others will continue to hope that elected representatives will be able to suddenly find within themselves the heart and boldness to act and the talent to explain sufficiently to their electorates to remain in power. Others will turn to their neighbours, local associations and local governments, to organise as best they can locally and regionally. I do not yet have a hope or vision in relation to any of those ideas, but welcome people exploring these and other ideas.

IMPOSSIBLE CONCLUSIONS

With this blog I intend to open up conversation on hope and vision rather than close it down. However, as it is a long blog, here is a summary…

We can no longer stop disruptive climate change. We might be able to slow it. We can try to reduce the harm coming from it. We can explore how to live and die lovingly because of it. But all of that we can do because we have a faith or sense that this is the right way to be alive, not because it will work. Most calls for hope that I’m hearing are from, or for, those fearful of living with death in their awareness. That’s typical, but also a recipe for discussion and action that is counter-productive to life, love and understanding. Which is exactly the opposite of the effect of those who say “don’t take away our hope”. It is time to drop all hopes and visions that arise from an inability to accept impermanence and non-control, and instead describe a radical hope of how we respond in these times. I believe it’s possible and necessary, though mutual inquiry and support, for our fears, beliefs or certainties of collapse to be brought to a place of peaceful inner and outer resourcefulness. Ours is a time for reconciliation with mortality, nature and each other.

We can develop and share a vision of more of us experiencing the invitation to live lovingly, creatively, and truthfully, in acceptance of mortality and impermanence. After all, any other hope or vision were always a tactical delusion for temporary benefit. Ultimately, many more of us may come to see that we love love more than we love life. Hopefully before too much unnecessary suffering and destruction.

You can hear me in conversation about these topics here.


Discussing with Skeena and Gail of XR

Yep, some very smart people are getting the REAL message. Great Article, Thanx!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 03:26:00 PM by knarf »
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Offline knarf

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‘If true, he’s done’ - RAWSTORY
« Reply #11833 on: January 18, 2019, 07:04:58 AM »
Internet dances on Trump’s political grave after report the president suborned perjury.

The bombshell Buzzfeed News report that President Donald Trump suborned perjury by directing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the president’s Trump Moscow hotel project.

From listing all the applicable federal laws that may have been violated to ridiculing Trump’s political future, Twitter lit up over the revelations.


Here are some of the most insightful — or funny — tweets:


There about 30 tweets that follow, and i am not cutting and pasting them. If you would like to read them click on the link.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/true-hes-done-internet-dances-trumps-political-grave-report-president-suborned-perjury/
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Offline Surly1

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Re: ‘If true, he’s done’ - RAWSTORY
« Reply #11834 on: January 18, 2019, 10:46:09 AM »
Internet dances on Trump’s political grave after report the president suborned perjury.

The bombshell Buzzfeed News report that President Donald Trump suborned perjury by directing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the president’s Trump Moscow hotel project.

From listing all the applicable federal laws that may have been violated to ridiculing Trump’s political future, Twitter lit up over the revelations.


Here are some of the most insightful — or funny — tweets:


There about 30 tweets that follow, and i am not cutting and pasting them. If you would like to read them click on the link.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/true-hes-done-internet-dances-trumps-political-grave-report-president-suborned-perjury/

If, if, if...

I've been all over this story, and one thing troubles me: the name "Jason Leopold" attached to it. He has rushed to scoop age before, in re Enron and about a Karl Rove indictment, and has been proven wrong. Tis may well prove to be true, but it could also be another spurious scoop that ends up being a career killer a la Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.

Stay tuned and keep your powder dry.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound