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South Florida Seen: LGBTQ+ Social Justice & Equity Funders, Yacht Rendezvous

South Florida Seen is a weekly photo feature of events hosted by local companies and nonprofit organizations......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 25th, 2021

Conflict Of Interest? AG Garland"s Family Getting Rich Selling Critical Race Theory Materials To Schools

Conflict Of Interest? AG Garland's Family Getting Rich Selling Critical Race Theory Materials To Schools When it comes to conflicts of interest, Attorney General Merrick Garland appears to have a huge one. Merrick's daughter, Rebecca Garland, is married to the co-founder of an education resource company that pushes critical race theory - which angry parents across the country are protesting. Taking matters into his own hands, AG Garland tapped the FBI on Monday to huddle with local leaders to address a "disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence" against teachers and school board members. As the Conservative Treehouse writes: Well, well, well… This is interesting.  U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently instructed the FBI to begin investigating parents who confront school board administrators over Critical Race Theory indoctrination material. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a memorandum to the FBI instructing them to initiate investigations of any parent attending a local school board meeting who might be viewed as confrontational, intimidating or harassing. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s daughter is Rebecca Garland.  In 2018 Rebecca Garland married Xan Tanner [LINK].  Mr. Xan Tanner is the current co-founder of a controversial education service company called Panorama Education. [LINK and LINK]  Panorama Education is the “social learning” resource material provider to school districts and teachers that teach Critical Race Theory. Conflict of interest much? Yes, the Attorney General is instructing the FBI to investigate parents who might pose a financial threat to the business of his daughter’s husband. Screen-grabs and citations below: (New York Times LINK)(Panorama Education Services Link) [ZH: More on Panorama] In June, several meeting attendees and newly elected board members at the Moore County School District in North Carolina pushed back against continuing their contract with Panorama - with one calling it an "indoctrination platform" which aims to mold students into "social justice warriors." Those claims are based more on the company’s webinars and virtual workshops for teachers than the surveys Moore County Schools plans to conduct over the three-year term of the contract. The district would pay $184,300 for Panorama’s services over that time period. Before starting in on their business agenda Monday night, the board heard from about 10 speakers who opposed the contract extension. At the core of the debate is resistance to the idea that public schools might teach Critical Race Theory: in short, the hypothesis that racism has persisted in American institutions throughout history to the detriment of minorities and still does. Board members Robert Levy and David Hensley pointed to one of the company’s leaders having done economic development work in Cuba, and online webinars dealing with things like “equity, care, and connection” and “dismantling white supremacy” to suggest that Panorama is a vehicle for what Levy termed “really hardcore Critical Race Theory.” -The Pilot In May, the Johnston County Report - a local North Carolina outlet - did a deep dive on Panorama in an article entitled "Activists In Our Schools: Big Data" in which they described Panorama as a "Big Data company that collects and performs analytics. Data Analytics takes in raw data and formulates it to make process decisions." I came across a Twitter post from Johnston County Public School (JCPS) Student Service Counseling Office – Social Emotional Learning (SEL). It was a graphic with a bunch of buzzwords like Restorative Justice, Adult SEL, Staff Equity Committees, and Panorama. All of the terms were familiar to me, but not Panorama. I had no idea what it meant or just how deep the well would go with that one word. Examples of @JCPS_NC SEL in Action. #SELday #jcpsselday @JcpsSel #SEL pic.twitter.com/DUmRVzOvUE — JCPS SEL (@JcpsSel) March 26, 2021 ... From a 2013 interview in Inc. “Feuer says it was the promise of Panorama’s social impact, not its financial return, that first caught Zuckerberg’s eye.” Zuckerberg’s foundation called Startup:Education infused $4 million dollars into Panorama in 2013. Panorama has found multiple social change and educational technology equity partners including; Spark Capital a San Francisco Bay area company- capital funders behind Twitter and Tumblr, Emerson Collective a Palo Alto company self described as a social change organization, and Owl Ventures, the world’s largest holder of education technology with $1.2 billion in assets- based out of Silicon Valley founded in 2014. By 2017 Panorama Education had raised $32 million in venture capital to data mine children and implement social transformation into schools. The rolling out of Panorama as an educational tool that measured feelings, observable behaviors, and thought perception was timed perfectly with the implementation of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which replaced No Child Left Behind. The Obama era Act gave a new opening to measure emotions as an academic category. Under ESSA federal public school funding was more able to be funneled directly to school counseling programs. The schools had money and Panorama was ready to provide service. Panorama charges between $500 to $3,000 per school for their basic data tools and Playbook. Just the annual survey screener for the Chapel Hill- Carrboro City Schools was $29,000 for a one year contract. Through a records request it was disclosed in 2020-2021 JCPS paid $214,000 for a one year contract with Panorama Education.  Meanwhile, Panorama officially took a 'stand against systemic racism' in the wake of the George Floyd murder - in which they say "Decisively: Black people matter. Black students matter. Black educators matter. Black teammates matter. Black lives matter." "We attack racism, discrimination, and oppression, and work towards justice, equality, and opportunity," the statement continues. And for any parent who has a problem with this, daddy Garland just activated the FBI. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/06/2021 - 09:59.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 6th, 2021

What Is The Relationship Between The Political Left And Globalism?

What Is The Relationship Between The Political Left And Globalism? Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, No one educated and sane likes the political left. This is not a shocking revelation. As I have been outlining for many years (but specifically in the past few years), leftists are the ONLY people in the country that consistently support draconian government policies and oppressive corporate monopoly. They are the only people that support mass censorship of opposing viewpoints through Big Tech and social media. They are the only people demanding the deplatforming and “canceling” of public personalities that dare to utter any views that are contrary to the leftist narrative. They are the only group that has a vast majority in support of the authoritarian covid lockdowns and mandates. They are the only people that aggressively call for forced vaccinations of the populace. They are the only people demanding that the unvaxxed be removed from their jobs or face potential criminal charges. They are the only people that push for the indoctrination of school children with Critical Race Theory (which is essentially racism repackaged as academic activism). And, they are also the only people that are hyper-obsessive about propagating sexual politics in public schools. These folks are exceedingly unlikable. One would think that they would remain on the very fringes of society where they can do little harm, but this has not been the case. Why? Well, it’s not because they are the majority, at least not in any traditional way. They are actually a minority on most issues with a few exceptions. However, they are highly organized, single minded (some would say hive-minded), and, they have the full support of our national power structures. Here’s the thing – A lot of conservatives wrongly assume that the political left has become some kind of autonomous force within our culture that has the power to influence massive government and corporate interests, bending these interests to their will. This is simply not true and these groups do not think for themselves. The reality is that it’s the opposite dynamic; it is government, corporate and decidedly GLOBALIST institutions which have direct influence and control over the political left. Leftists are tools of the globalist system, they are not some “grassroots” movement “sticking it to the patriarchy.” They are all slaves on the globalist plantation. Where do the leftists of the social justice cult actually derive their power from? Is it the pervasive threat of mob violence? No, it’s not. Ask yourself, when was the last time you saw an organized police presence and riot response to leftist mobs looting and burning down cities? In almost every case the police are told to stand down by city and state officials; they are told to do nothing. I have seen actual riot control used against actual peaceful protesters at events like G20. I have witnessed it personally, and it’s not pretty. When cops actually want to control and disperse a crowd, they have a lot of weapons in their arsenal to make this happen. The fact is, leftist riots continue for several days at a time exactly because they are ALLOWED to continue for several days at a time. When they do get arrested for their activities they are usually released without charge. What about the prevalence of “cancel culture” and the use of online mobs to discredit or deplatform people that leftists don’t like? This has been working less and less because the rest of the public has been made aware of the tactic through the tireless efforts of the alternative and liberty media, but for around four years the leftists had free rein to destroy the lives and careers of anyone they pleased. Just look at Actress Gina Carano or Virginia police officer William Kelly as a prime examples of cancel culture in action. The problem is, leftists would have no power to cancel anyone without the constant support of Big Tech, Hollywood, the mainstream media and international corporations. These companies don’t actually care what social justice warriors think, and they’re certainly not afraid of a tiny minority of lunatics with zero consumer leverage. Yet, they are the base of control that allows leftists to wield legitimate tools for deconstructing people’s lives. The corporate world aids the leftists because leftist goals serve corporate interests (for now). And what about government overall? I remember a few years ago I warned people that the extreme end of the leftist spectrum would become the norm for the Democratic Party by the time Trump was out of office. I noted that people like AOC and Ilhan Omar were the intended future successors of the party and that cultists like them would dictate the Democrat platform. Many people said that I was crazy and that the rise of Trump indicated that the opposite would happen. Now look at them. Biden and half of all Democratic leaders spout off about white supremacy and social justice on a regular basis. The party has become exactly what is was always intended to become – a vehicle for communist subversion. Regular democrats and moderates might not agree with this kind of extreme ideological zealotry, but most of them keep their mouths shut because they are fearful of being labeled heretics and cast out. Many say they support the cause just to avoid standing out from the herd. Being called a “bigot” or “misogynist” or “racist” only works on people that actually care and think those words still have meaning. That is to say, most social justice control mechanisms are designed to entrap other leftists, not free thinking conservatives. Leftist activists would have no political influence at all without the avid support of leaders within the Democratic party. The politicians give leftists the teeth they use to bite the ankles of their opponents. This brings us to the underlying center of all sociopolitical influence – The globalist foundations. Where do leftist groups get all the funding to launch organizations like Black Lives Matter? How do programs like social justice and Critical Race Theory find their way into college academia and all the way down to the public school system? What is the source for cultural Marxism and how did it become so pervasive in the first place? Globalist foundations like Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Tavistock Institute, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, etc. are usually the source of the seed money and often the curriculum for most leftist movements. For example, Open Society and Ford Foundation, partnered with Borealis Philanthropy, were key in the creation of BLM, funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into the movement in its early days. Ford Foundation, Open Society, Rockefeller Foundation and dozens of other globalist institutions are also deeply involved in the funding and proliferation of Critical Race Theory and gender studies programs. Once again pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into social justice groups as well as university indoctrination. By extension, globalist institutions and international corporations have invested around $50 billion total in the development of social justice programs. Corporations implement indoctrination courses for their employees, but they also spread SJW propaganda to the public subconscious through commercials and popular media. This has actually been going on a very long time by more subversive and secretive means. It was globalist institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation that funded different elements of the feminist movement and “gender studies” movements from the late 1960’s onward. We can’t forget to include the Rockefeller Foundation’s large donations to ‘The Feminist Press’ and the Ford Foundation’s programs to groom teachers for inserting social justice talking points in their curriculum. This is openly admitted in Alison R. Bernstein’s book ‘Funding The Future: Philanthropy’s Influence On America’s Higher Education’. Bernstein is the vice president of Education at the Ford Foundation and the former Associate Dean of Faculty at Princeton. It is no coincidence that almost every facet and goal of leftist activism is also listed within the goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030 initiative, which mixes some very nice sentiments about “equality” and ending poverty into a disturbing mission statement about “transforming the world” through global “inclusivity”, aggressive “sustainability” and racial and gender “equity.” If you are not familiar with these buzzwords you should be; they represent an Orwellian program of social engineering which the UN is seeking to spearhead. I have been asking this question of leftists lately and I have yet to receive any concrete or meaningful answer: If you are supposed to be the underdogs and the revolutionaries, then why is it that all of the evil money elites are on your side? Why are the all the people you say you are fighting against giving you billions of dollars and enforcing your political will? Is it possible that corporatists, globalists and you leftists are all part of the same machine? Think about it… The relationship between the agenda of globalists and the agenda of the political left is growing increasingly obvious and intertwined. The globalists want to dismantle traditional western structures, and so do leftists. Globalists want to dictate economic growth through carbon controls and climate change doom mongering, and so do leftists. Globalists promote a decidedly communistic approach to private property and economy, arguing in favor of the “Sharing Economy”, Universal Basic Income (UBI) and a world in which “we own nothing and are happy.” Leftist are embracing this concept because many of them are self serving and they prefer to take what others have worked for rather than earning it for themselves. Of course, the money elites will continue to keep their wealth and influence while the rest of us are made “equal” through the equality of poverty, but let’s not dwell on that… What I see moving forward is that the left is becoming the Cheka, or the political commissars of the globalist “Great Reset.” They have been molded for decades for this role and their purpose is to provide an element of social force and the illusion of consensus. The interesting thing about this strategy is that it seeks to exploit people who feel as if they are “oppressed” by the existing system, or they have been taught to feel oppressed. As with any Marxist takeover, Globalists use the “have-nots” as a shield while they grab more power. Every time any conservative criticizes the lies and manipulation of the Black Lives Matter movement, for example, we are accused of “racism.” And this is the big trick: We all know that BLM (founded by devout Marxists and funded by globalists) has nothing to do with civil rights or racial justice, it’s just a means to destroy western society and replace it with a dystopian nightmare. That’s what we are criticizing. Black lives are not the issue, globalism and communism are the issue. Social justice and leftists movements are a smokescreen for a bigger agenda, and the leftists love to be used. Why do they do this? It’s a mistake to assume they are merely “useful idiots.” Yes, some of them are, however, I think the people that fall into the leftist cult are people that are naturally inclined to do so. They are narcissists, psychopaths, degenerates, lazy, spoiled, and weak. They are people that are generally not capable of surviving independently and they know it, so they seek out collectivist frameworks to join and feed off of. Question: How does a mob of BLM leftists attack Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha and EVERY SINGLE PERSON he shoots or tries to shoot ends up having an extensive and violent criminal record? It is because leftist movements attract such people in droves (look are what a BLM advocate and career criminal just did in Waukesha, Wisconsin). They are not innocent in all of this. They don’t care if they are being exploited by the elites because they think it’s a trade for power and control they would not have otherwise. They are partners with globalism, and globalism breeds and encourages evil. It is important to understand this dynamic going forward because I see the argument often that the globalists are trying to “divide and conquer” America. In truth, we are ALREADY divided and have been for some time. Trying to talk with and educate moderates on the facts is one thing, but there is very little point in trying to engage in diplomacy with leftists. They have already chosen a side, and it’s not the side of reason or freedom. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sat, 11/27/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 27th, 2021

Why The Border Is Such A Problem For Biden... And America

Why The Border Is Such A Problem For Biden... And America Authored by Charles Lipson via RealClearPolitics.com, The Biden administration is drowning on issue after issue, and many of the bubbles are coming from the Rio Grande River. The problem, which dare not speak its name, is illegal immigration. The administration, its political party, and the mainstream media refuse to say the very word “illegal.” For a while, they called it “undocumented,” pretending the migrants somehow forgot their papers in the top dresser drawer in Guatemala or Haiti. Now, even that bland phrase is deemed too clear and honest. The new woke term is “irregular immigration.” Anything to minimize the problem, sway public opinion, and avoid plain talk. The obfuscation goes much further than a few phrases. Consider Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’ testimony to Congress last week, where he faced awkward questions about the administration’s decision to stop building the border wall, including portions that had already been contracted and paid for. Mayorkas’ reply, “We are not going to construct a border wall along the ragged and jagged cliffs along certain parts of the border." He was addressing a fake issue, answering a question that had not been asked so he could avoid answering the one that actually had been. His misdirection was intentional. Even hardline Republicans agree that a wall is not needed for remote, rugged areas. High-tech solutions work well there and cost less. It’s true that Donald Trump once proposed a wall along the entire border. It’s also true that he abandoned that idea long ago. No one is proposing it now. What Mayorkas was asked was why the administration had stopped building the wall in flat, accessible areas where hundreds of thousands of people have been streaming across. He had no answer. So he spewed more bubbles from a drowning administration. Mayorkas’ performance illustrates George Orwell’s observations in what is perhaps the best essay ever written about politics and the English language. “In our time,” he asserted, “political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.” What Orwell wrote in 1946 is still true. Some political acts are “too brutal for most people to face, and ... do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” Watching its policies fail catastrophically on the U.S.-Mexican border has not nudged the Biden administration into discussing this issue forthrightly. The public isn’t buying either the gobbledygook or the policies. In the latest Rasmussen survey, 57% of likely voters say the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Only 20% rate the level of government action as about right; 65% of independent voters say the government is doing too little. Why are the poll numbers so stark? The two most compelling reasons are that illegal border crossings have reached record numbers and the public believes that conditions won’t improve without major policy changes. They’re right. According to official data, first obtained by the Washington Post, “U.S. authorities detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the Mexico border during the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September, and arrests by the Border Patrol soared to the highest levels ever recorded.” In October alone, the Border Patrol apprehended over 160,000 people, more than double the number for the previous year and larger than the population of Syracuse, N.Y. That’s in one month. And they keep coming. Third, the public fears this surge of illegal migration will harm communities far beyond the Texas border, both because the administration is secretly transferring migrants and because drug cartels are using the open border to transport massive quantities of opioids, heroin, and fake pharmaceuticals. The administration keeps repeating, “The border is closed,” but the cartels, coyotes, and caravans know better. Fourth, voters can see the Biden administration has no answers. None. Even worse for Democrats, the best answers are those pursued by his predecessor — the ones Biden junked as soon as he took office. The administration cannot restore those policies without admitting error. To do so would say, in effect, that President Trump’s harsh approach worked better. That would be intolerable to the party’s left wing and many in the center. Instead of proposing practical solutions, the administration floated the quixotic idea of fixing the “root causes of emigration” in Central America and the Caribbean. That’s an elusive goal at best, and, in any case, would not help the U.S. for years. It’s hand waving, not serious policy. Since Kamala Harris was handed responsibility for this latest initiative, it’s tempting to blame her. But the failure is not hers. It’s Biden’s. The White House sent her on a fool’s errand. Washington simply doesn’t have the tools needed to reverse the region’s endemic poverty, danger, and corruption. Nor does it have a track record of solving these problems, despite decades of effort. It’s hard to imagine the administration could come up with worse policies, but it is trying. The administration’s latest brainchild is to pay massive sums to every family of illegal immigrants separated at the border during the last administration. (They were given the opportunity to return home together but declined.) The idea is so unpopular the White House refuses to defend it at press briefings. So does Mayorkas. All of them say, “Talk to the Department of Justice.” The DoJ’s lips are sealed. Finally, the public is starting to connect rampant lawlessness on the southern border with rampant lawlessness in American cities. After all, Democrats control both and defend their policies on the same specious grounds: social justice. Criminals find this new terrain inviting. They have dramatically increased shoplifting, carjacking, armed robberies, and murder. Police see the same pattern. When they see mayors refusing to support them and prosecutors refusing to do their jobs, cops on the beat won’t do theirs, either. Why risk your life and career to arrest someone who won’t face serious jail time? Why chase criminals down mean streets when it’s safer to stay in your patrol car? Voters are troubled by these failures and are deeply unhappy with the officials responsible for them. That’s the message from recent elections in New York City, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Virginia, New Jersey, and now Columbia, S.C., where a Democrat lost the mayoralty only a year after Biden carried the city by 40 points. The theme here is the same one heard in the movie “Network”: People are “mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.” That’s also the message from the latest poll by YouGov and The Economist, which shows only 27% of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. Illegal immigration is a big part of that “wrong direction,” along with inflation and COVID. The public’s frustration is understandable. Citizens, to use another verboten concept, want to see basic laws enforced and social order restored. Those aren’t unreasonable demands; they are the most basic responsibilities of government. Before Washington takes on even more responsibilities and piles on more taxes to pay for them, as Biden proposes with his social-spending bill, they want it to perform the tasks it already has. Law-abiding citizens — whatever their race, whatever their income — want to go about their lives in peace. They want criminals caught and punished so others will be deterred. They want public servants who understand that responsibility and do their jobs. That’s what Americans are saying in poll after poll, vote after vote. They have soundly rejected candidates who justify the chaos in the name of social justice and racial equity. They want is better policing, without prejudice  and without excessive force. They don’t want defunding and dismantling. Their demands are reasonable and realistic. Meeting them is essential for a stable democracy. Politicians ignore them at their peril. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

We Don"t Get A Vote On The Woke Revolution

We Don't Get A Vote On The Woke Revolution Authored by J.Peder Zane via RealClearPolitics.com, You don’t get to vote on the revolution. That’s kind of the point. From the happy example of Colonial America to the terrors that mutilated and murdered innocents in France, Russia, and China, revolutionaries work outside the established system to impose a new order. So it is with today’s woke revolution. The potent cultural forces that have mainstreamed radical concepts such as “white privilege,” “microaggressions,” and “gender fluidity” are beyond the reach of American democracy. No one voted for any of it; it cannot be stopped at the ballot box. Electing anti-woke politicians in 2022 and 2024 will not turn the tide. The embrace of woke ideology by many prestigious news outlets – as symbolized by the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which recasts American society through the cramped lens of racism and oppression – is not subject to popular approval. Neither is the American Medical Association’s move to view health disparities between blacks and other Americans as the result of “systemic racism” (rather than biology, personal behavior, or cultural influences). We don’t get to vote on the decision by the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s largest funder of biomedical research, to commit $90 million in funding along with “every tool at our disposal to remediate the chronic problem of structural racism.” The same goes for the diktat in corporate America to mandate race and gender into their hiring decisions, or the woke-saturated culture that predominates at most American colleges and universities, where faculty applicants are asked to sign loyalty oaths to diversity and equity. Parental opposition to the influence of critical race theory in public schools shows that pushback is possible. School board meetings are one of the few public venues where ordinary Americans can voice their discontent to this ideology, which casts white kindergarteners as oppressors and non-white tots as victims. But these critics are labeled “domestic terrorists” for their efforts — and it’s still not clear what, if any, impact the parents will have on what and how children are taught. In fairness, broad swaths of the culture always operate and evolve outside of politics. The world of ideas and entertainment – the books we read, movies we watch, groups we join – must never be subject to electoral will. But the woke revolution feels different. First, it is an explicitly political ideology that is, at bottom, about power. Second, it is remarkably ambitious: It seeks a wholesale transformation of America’s past, present and future. Third, while some of its ideas resonate with plenty of people, it is a top-down movement that seeks to impose alien ways of thinking and being on everyone – hence the rise of cancel culture and other illiberal mechanisms to silence and punish those who fail to conform. One of the great paradoxes of the social justice movement is that even as it claims to fight inequality, it is itself a reflection of the growing inequality in America: both of wealth and culture. Like most revolutions, it is not led by the downtrodden but by the elites. It is not the person of color on the streets but the swells at the top (most of them white) who are imposing the new order. Although it might seem that the woke revolution erupted in 2020 with George Floyd’s murder, or with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement following Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, its intellectual framework – which includes critical race theory, postmodernism, anti-colonialism, black power and queer/gender studies – emerged at America’s universities in the 1960s and 1970s. Heavily influenced by Marxism, leftist scholars suffered a crisis of confidence after communism was discredited 30 years ago as the Soviet Union collapsed. In response, activist academics essentially repackaged their old ideas. They still saw politics as a zero-sum battle between oppressors and the oppressed, with themselves in the moral vanguard, but they replaced the concept of class with new identity markers: racial and sexual identity. The struggle was no longer between capitalists and the proletariat, but privileged “cisgendered heteronormative” whites versus the rest of humanity. There was always a kernel of truth to this narrative – America, like every other nation, has unequal distributions of wealth and power (hierarchy is inevitable; even the communists, who pledged to create true equality, simply replaced the tsar’s hierarchy with their own, one dominated by party leaders and apparatchiks). But the expansion of rights and opportunities we’ve achieved over the last half-century – the fact that legions of people defined as “oppressed” enjoy status, respect, wealth and power only dreamed of in most corners of the globe – exposes the absurdity of the claim that race and gender determine one’s fate. Nevertheless, this narrative increasingly informs the education delivered at Western colleges and universities, especially at elite schools. The graduates of these institutions, in turn, become the professors, journalists, managers, administrators and other moral enforcers using their positions to advance the woke revolution from within. The key question – why would seemingly intelligent people commit to an ideology so at odds with reality? – requires a complex set of answers. The collapse of traditional social norms, the offshoring of the blue-collar sector, the baneful influence of social media, the realignment of legacy media into tribal factions, the creation of overeducated citizens saddled with crippling debt, rapidly rising living standards that create rising expectations — all this and more play a part. Radicalism is opportunistic, lying dormant for decades until the right combination of conditions presents itself. But a pivotal, if underappreciated, force is the rise of the information-based global economy, which has doubled the number of millionaires in the United States in just a decade, opening a chasm of envy between the haves and the super-haves. Statista reports that there were close to 6 million U.S. households with financial assets worth more than $1 million in 2019; more than double the number in 2008. At the same time, Pew reports that “as of 2016, the latest year for which data are available, the typical American family had a net worth of $101,800.” This growing inequality is not based on the false claim that the wealthy are benefiting at the expense of non-rich – they are, more accurately, getting a bigger slice of a growing pie in a world where living standards continue to rise. But this increase does make it easier for radicals to exploit the false argument, insistently advanced by prestigious news and information outlets, that the current system is unjust and that, given America’s history, today’s disparities stem from race. To buy peace, and peace of mind, many well-off Americans – especially the well-educated ones who now call the Democrat Party home – are happy to acquiesce to ideas that, as a practical matter, will have little immediate impact on their own comfortable lives: agreeing that the American Revolution was fought over slavery, that social justice requires reparations, that gender identities are malleable, that reality is socially constructed, that “silence is violence.” It costs them nothing to spout these slogans, which allow them to feel morally superior. In the long run, I hope, truth will out. But those who oppose the revolution should know they are battling powerful and entrenched forces that are, in significant ways, beyond their reach. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/24/2021 - 20:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 24th, 2021

Most Americans support CEOs speaking out on inequality, racism, and diversity, new survey shows

63% of Americans think CEOs "have a responsibility to take a stand" on societal issues. Many say more work is needed around income inequality, per JUST Capital research. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has become an outspoken advocate for leaders paying their workers fair wages.Evan Agostini/AP 63% of Americans believe CEOs "have a responsibility to take a stand" on societal issues. That's according to a recent poll conducted by the nonprofit research firm JUST Capital. The survey found Americans support CEOs speaking out on climate change and income inequality.  Since the summer of 2020, there's been debate in the business and political community over whether "woke" CEOs are going too far. But a new survey of 3,000 Americans shows most people support CEOs embracing their new role as arbiters of social good. Though 63% of Americans believe CEOs "have a responsibility to take a stand" on societal issues, according to the poll conducted by the nonprofit research firm JUST Capital, many say there's more work to be done, especially when it comes to paying workers a living wage. Leaders—from billionaire investor Ray Dalio to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates—are condemning the rise of inequality and supporting racial justice. Large companies like Best Buy, Accenture, and Google are signing on to pledges to advance the hiring and retention of women, people of color, and people with disabilities, and are committing to reducing greenhouse gases. "CEOs have increasingly taken a public stance around advancing racial equity and climate change, especially over the last two years," Jennifer Tonti, JUST Capital's managing director of survey research and insights, told Insider. While the survey found 61% of Americans think companies are making progress advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, it also found people think there is still work to be done, especially when it comes to income inequality. Only 36% said companies have a positive financial impact on their lowest-paid workers. CEOs paying fair wages has consistently been a top issue for Americans since JUST Capital began polling the public regarding business behaviors in 2015, Tonti said. Some leaders are making important strides on this front. In 2017 PayPal's chief executive, Dan Schulman, along with other company executives, began hearing that some of the company's hourly and entry-level employees were facing financial hardship. Schulman conducted a financial-wellness survey of his employees in 2018 that found many were barely making enough to save, despite being paid what the company says were at or above market-rate wages. Since then, he raised wages and is encouraging other CEOs to investigate their workers' pay too. Prudential, Verizon, Chobani and others are embarking on the initiative, led in part by JUST Capital.   "We understand that we have to start at home, with our employees," Lata Reddy, Prudential's senior vice president of inclusive solutions, previously told Insider. "Only then, by addressing their needs and making sure that they're able to be engaged and productive in the workplace, can we then meet the needs of our customers and, ultimately, our shareholders."There's a clear business case at play driving CEOs to embrace their new role in society. For one, well paid employees are happier employees, and happier employees are more loyal and productive, according to economists. Secondly, employees want their leaders to share the same values as them, especially around anti-racism, addressing income inequality, and climate change, the JUST Capital survey found. So when it comes to hiring and retention, it makes sense to speak up on issues. A 2019 survey by the Brunswick Group, a corporate-leadership firm, found that over 50% of workers said they identified a leader's stance on social issues as an important consideration when weighing a job change or joining a new employer.According to JUST Capital's Tonti, people are feeling more emboldened today in pressuring companies to advance issues they care about like fair pay and anti-racism. "If corporate leadership doesn't step up to the plate, the public will," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021

A Top CEO Was Ousted After Making His Company More Environmentally Conscious. Now He’s Speaking Out

(To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) The battle within Danone—producer of Activia and Oikos yogurts, Silk soy milk, and Evian water, among others—might have been dubbed a “food fight,” had it not erupted in such serious times. But it was no laughing matter. Months of… (To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) The battle within Danone—producer of Activia and Oikos yogurts, Silk soy milk, and Evian water, among others—might have been dubbed a “food fight,” had it not erupted in such serious times. But it was no laughing matter. Months of tension within the executive board of the $36-billion global food giant exploded in March 2021, just as the world began easing its lockdowns and launching mass vaccination campaigns. In a gloves-off power struggle, two small stakeholders maneuvered a coup, ousting the company’s CEO and chairman Emmanuel Faber, whose four-year leadership had made him a star among environmentalists and climate activists. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Faber had turned Danone into an “enterprise à mission,” France’s new category similar to an American B-Corp, whose purpose was far broader than profits and growth. He named his strategy “One Planet, One Health,” and created a carbon adjusted earnings per share indicator, pegging Danone’s success directly to its environmental performance. While that brought applause from climate activists, the company’s shares lagged behind peers like Nestlé and Unilever during the pandemic, as sales of some key Danone products like Evian water plummeted. Amid the shock of Faber’s ouster, there were roiling questions over what it all meant. Do CEOs now face an impossible dilemma: Either to please their shareholders, or to join the fight for climate justice and social equity? Faber had placed those issues at the core of the company. And outside it, he threw himself into activist CEO coalitions like the B Team and Business for Inclusive Growth, or B4IG. Little wonder, then, that his firing left palpable distress in some circles, from Paris to the U.N. “Are these two objectives, environmental and economic, irreconcilable?” asked France’s liberal Le Monde of Faber’s ouster. “It plunges us into a confusion of emotions over the ethics of capitalism,” the paper said. Faber, for his part, was more sanguine. At 57, he escaped to his beloved Alps, where he was born and raised, and climbed the peaks, reflecting on what to do, after a 24-year career at Danone. In October, he took a partnership at agritech impact fund Astanor Ventures. Far from irreconcilable, environment and economic objectives are, he believes, becoming inexorably aligned. Over green tea and Perrier in Paris on Nov. 16, Faber spoke with TIME about the role business leaders must play in solving the world’s urgent crises. Fresh off the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, he believes companies will be key—perhaps the key—to fighting climate change and inequity. (This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.) It’s been a very strange year for you. Did you feel sideswiped by what happened at Danone? Danone had grown to become my family, so it’s like leaving your family. I didn’t choose that. But I suddenly discovered that I was totally free to reinvent myself, in terms of where I do want to spend time and with whom and how. Which is a privilege, really. What happened was a few people that saw a window of opportunity and for personal reasons pursued that opportunity at the moment where it was easy to destabilize the governance of the company. The outside world believed you wanted to create a climate-driven company, and were punished for it. You know, they had voted the equivalent of public Benefit Corporation [B-Corp] status, 99%, not even a year before, they had agreed with the €3 billion climate and digital acceleration plan that we had announced a year before. … None of them were opposed to what we were doing. You need to read the end of the story, which is unfortunately on the 29th of July. The whole board had to resign. They said they would not seek any reappointment, and all of them would step down with one year in advance. The board had lost total credibility to shareholders. How should corporate boards be changed? What needs to happen in this new generation of corporate leaders? Climate change is there. I don’t think you would find one CEO in the business ecosystem that would say it is not there. That is behind us, different from five years ago… Five years ago, that recently? Oh yeah. I think the pandemic has also taught us lessons, about the fact that there were elements in our supposedly well-controlled and old system that we did just not control. This virus is only half a living organism, and yet it played havoc with the health system. Suddenly we discovered that our food systems were entangled in such a complex web that food sovereignty became huge in the agenda. We suddenly learned that what we felt was a predictable model and a safe model wasn’t, that we hadn’t been super good at being efficient, but we were tested in our resilience in the system. The other thing is, I think last summer’s extreme weather events, fires all over the place, floods all over the place, brought to the public attention that climate change was not in five or 10 years, it was not for remote countries. It is here now. Agriculture is the first victim of climate change warming. The yields are declining, water stress all over the place, soils are eroded. We see a number of situations where civil society and citizens are going after governments for action or inaction against climate change. Governments will have no other way than turning to companies and corporations to do the job, because governments are not doing the job themselves. The private sector will be front and center of the climate transition. So that’s one. Employees collectives are asking questions about ESG [Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance], big time. More and more, the war for talent is there for the larger companies. So many of the highly educated talents don’t want to work for these large companies. More and more employers are asking the new generation what they want: Meaning, they want impact. And then you have the shareholders. Already now it’s harder for the most carbon-emitting companies to find the right appeal from shareholders. I’ll just give you one example. Anglo American [Corporation] wanted to spin off their coal-mining operations, Thungela. Typically, the market would be ready to pay you 20 years of your current earnings because they believe these earnings have great potential to grow in the future. In the case of Thungela, when they spun it off, they got four months of EBITDA [Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization] multiple. They couldn’t find enough investors that would be willing to pay the cost on their reputation to consciously, in 2021, choose to invest in the business which is purely coal mining. So how do you even keep a business like that going? Well, that’s exactly my point. The global financial markets are increasingly reluctant to finance these assets. So far, ESG has been sort of an easy path for CEOs and boards that wanted to look good, but weren’t ready to really walk the talk. That’s the whole question of greenwashing. I think there will always be greenwashing. All this greenwashing noise is paralyzing everybody. It’s penalizing the people that are doing the real stuff, because they can’t prove that, and it’s favoring the people that are not doing the real stuff, because they can claim without being challenged on the reality of this stuff, because there are no metrics. The big announcement at COP26 for me was when the IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards, which sets rules for public companies] said that they have prepared a prototype for a climate standard that is going to be transparent, comparable, and reliable and audited. It’s huge news. What they are essentially saying is by 2023, all companies will be able to—and in some cases compelled to—report under these new standards. Essentially, 140 countries already agreed to be part of the IFRS metrics in the past, so they would take the additional metric on climate, and adopt it as part of their IFRS. Each company will have to report on its targets on CO2 emissions and its pathway to reduce that. If a company is ahead of its plan, the market will look at this positively. If you’re late, it means that there are some capital expenditures that you need to do in the future. That will mean additional debt. So immediately, the valuation of companies in the stock market will be impacted. Which means as for profits, when you are ahead of your forecast, you get a bump on your share price, and a bump down if you’re super late on your emissions trajectory. Suddenly you can be compared, within peers, within an industry. And you start having a situation where the capital allocation can be based not only on profit but also on carbon. So it’s a huge change. How many companies followed your model of using a carbon-adjusted earnings per share metric, to show the financial cost of the company’s carbon emissions? Zero. Because it takes time. There was a whole journey for those shareholders to understand where I was coming from. We took them into the fields. We had food scientists coming to speak to them. We had been constantly and consistently over years speaking about this to our shareholders. When we decided to become a B-Corp, we were puzzled about how to explain that to our shareholders. I received a short note from my friend Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, and he said, “Emmanuel, that’s so great.” So I call him and say, “Would you shoot a short video saying why you think it’s great? You’re my biggest customer.” So he he did that. It was 2017. The Investor Day started with a video of my biggest customer, saying why it was great. It cut 80% of the questions. So when like two years later, we come up with this CO2 adjusted metric, they knew that this carbon charge was not just here to save the planet, it was to save the business, because we needed that carbon in the soil, not in the air. Beyond the food and agriculture system, you don’t have the same magic of telling a story that it’s actually good for the business to put carbon back into the soil. The absence of metrics on carbon made it very difficult to do this. I think the day you have those climate metrics it will become obvious. Maybe we were just ahead by a few years. … The metrics may not be the ones that we had, but there will be one, which will make it a market conversation instead of just one company that had this crazy idea. What got a lot of people’s attention from COP26 in Glasgow was Greta Thunberg’s protests. I think maybe most people will remember her saying, “It’s all blah, blah, blah.” Is that just cynical? And what’s the impact of that on the real work being done? Is it just a sideshow? Unfortunately, it’s a combination of all of that. I don’t think this is only cynicism. I think there has been blah blah. I have myself said that we had not moved either fast or far enough. But I can see many things moving fast. We’re still behind the curve, but we have never been as close as coming to a tipping point. CEOs are held back in talking, by their legal teams, by their comms teams, by their PR teams. They have this polished, you know, sometimes bullshit kind of communication. Shareholders were not so interested in all these discussions three years ago, but now they got very interested, and so everyone is super nervous. But in themselves, [CEOs] know that there is a problem, and they know that there is an opportunity. The food industry, your industry, is a big carbon business. We started the journey on carbon emissions in 2008. By 2009, all the team managers at Danone had a significant incentive [to reduce our] carbon footprint. An incentive bonus. A third [of the bonus] was on social and environmental issues, among which was carbon. The EBITDA level of the company and the carbon footprint had an equal weight in my bonus. So that’s how far we and I went into walking the talk and putting our money where our mouth was. Were you losing some money because that was part of the equation? No, I was making money. We established in 2009 a trajectory that said our peak carbon emissions would be in 2025. And the result of the hard work of 15,000 team leaders, incentivized in their bonuses, led us to reach peak carbon six years in advance, in 2019. So we have constantly been ahead of our plan and the reduction of the intensity of carbon. When you speak about agriculture, carbon is 60% of the organic matter of the soils. And the intensive agriculture, the monoculture kind of agriculture that is the dominant food system, is actually extracting carbon from the soil. Danone was the first—Patagonia and ourselves—to start a regenerative organic certification in the U.S. in 2015. When we started, no one understood what that was. It started by saying we need to regenerate the soil health by going from intensive agricultural practices to practices that actually put carbon back into the soil. We know how to do that. How big has the idea of putting carbon back in the soil become? In 2019, I gathered 30 of the largest companies in the world that that are using resources from the soil: Textile companies, fashion companies, cosmetics, food retailers, some data companies, Microsoft, Google, joined…. So we are now two years after, we have a set of indicators, a framework for what regenerative agriculture stands for. And you find these huge companies. After Danone, you have Nestlé, that this year said by 2030, we will supply from regenerative agriculture. These people needed a safe place where they could incubate and think and work and get their teams to meet together and discuss as an ecosystem. You talk about monoculture agriculture—growing only one type of crop at a time, as is popular at large American farms—ruining soils and the need to put carbon back into the soil, so they’re actually seeing the effects in terms of the quality of their crops? The International Union for Nature Conservation, which is a UN agency on biodiversity, ran a big study. They looked at the wild relatives of the varieties that are being used in the fields. Wild vanilla. Wild coffee, etc. They found out that a third of all the wild relatives in beans are under threat of extinction. They found out that 100% of the sample they used on vanilla’s wild relatives are under the threat of extinction. The seeds of those wild varieties, they constantly adapt to the climate conditions, to the water availability, to the shades or no shades, to the temperature, to the sun, to everything. They mutate naturally. So with climate change, these wild varietals are going to be just way more able to deal with things, and it is so important that we bring them on board. If you are a Cargill or others, or the big coffee companies or the big cocoa companies, that are directly dealing with this reality, with the farmers who see their yields declining and the water scarcity more and more, they have either the choice of going up in altitudes—meaning lower lands at lower volumes, more expensive to adapt—or to find alternatives. This is one of these topics on which I see CEOs’ minds just opening when they realize that there is this opportunity. Because climate change is knocking on the door saying, “Here is the huge problem we have.” But also nature is saying, “Here are the huge abilities that I have to solve your problems.” In your new role in Astanor Ventures, are you going to be putting investments in the future of agriculture? I think at the juncture of technology and nature-based solutions. I’ll say something which is terribly unpopular, but which I’ve been saying for 10 years: We are not paying the true cost of food. We are just not. Do you think that should be reflected when we go to the supermarket? Yes, it should be more expensive. Because it’s not sustainable in terms of farmer income, in terms of animal welfare, in terms of your health sometimes. When we walk into a supermarket in 10 years’ time, is it going to look different? Will there be different products on the shelves? What do you think, and what would you like to see? I hope it is going to be different. There is one aspect that I think I am absolutely convinced about: The food system will relocalize. The second biggest topic for governments through the pandemic has been to make sure that there would be enough food. And they suddenly realized that with the complexity of the food system, there were these bottlenecks. The reduction of the food system carbon emissions will also come from the fact that the ingredients will travel less. In 20 years from now, you will have much more local food. I would like to see more diverse local food, and more expensive than you have today. Some subsidies should be redirected in order to make sure that the people that cannot afford to pay are being given the possibility to do that. At the end of the day, we know where the food systems have led us: About two billion people that are overweight in the world, about 700 million people that have diabetes. Instead of dealing with these obesity and diabetes issues, by providing better food aid and supporting people that need to be supported, you’d actually save money for the future. This is the whole theory of where I think we can gradually move. And climate change will force us to move there. I want to get back to the original thing we were talking about: What we call “conscious capitalism.” You sound almost kind of optimistic, that there are really big changes to come out of this pandemic. And yet inequality is worse, and the profit motivation seems as strong as ever. What makes you so hopeful that people are going to act in the common good rather than in their own self interest? I’m not sure they will. I’ve seen the worst and the best in this pandemic. We see all over the place that growing inequalities are a danger for democracies. So I’m not optimistic. But we’ve seen solidarity, social bonding, people changing their behaviors in many ways, again for the worse and for the best. I see climate change as such a huge frontier for us as a species, that I’m sure it will bring the worst. And I see signs that it can also bring the best. It would be illogical to blame capitalism and the global financial markets for ruining the resilience of our species. I’ve defined myself as a business activist. I’m an activist of business being part of the solution, being the fundamental solution, the solution. I saw you said that when you were 33, you thought of leaving business. Now you think it is the place to be. Yes, I really think so. Do you think the next generation of CEOs is going to be quite different? The next, I don’t know. But the next-next? I think yes. Maybe they will not join the companies. That’s the point. And this is why CEOs are paying a lot of attention to these collectives of employees that have started all around the world. They are highly educated, talented managers. And they will be candidates for CEOs. They are part of a generation that was born with these questions already. So it’s not a cultural shift [for them]. We were talking about this climate skilling and upskilling. How to make people aware of [climate change]. This is not a problem for that generation. They’re entirely into it already, sometimes too much, with climate anxiety and everything. So they will leave these large companies, in which case I think these large companies will simply not survive, because they will not have the skills. Put it this way, if you’re not able to lead climate strategy 10 years from now, you should not be a CEO. It’s as simple as that. Your company will not find capital. I’m pretty clear on that......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 21st, 2021

Fighting "Information Disorder": Aspen"s Orwellian Commission On Controlling Speech In America

Fighting "Information Disorder": Aspen's Orwellian Commission On Controlling Speech In America Authored by Jonathan Turley, The Aspen Institute has issued the results of its much heralded 16-person Commission on Information Disorder on how to protect the public from misinformation. The commission on disinformation and “building trust” was partially headed by Katie Couric who is still struggling with her own admission that she edited an interview to remove controversial statements by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Aspen recommendations however are a full-throated endorsement of systems of censorship. The findings and recommendations are found in an 80-page report on how to combat “disinformation” and “misinformation,” which are remarkably ill-defined but treated as a matter of “we know when we see it.”  From the outset, however, the Commission dismissed the long-standing free speech principle that the solution to bad speech is better speech, not censorship. The problem is that many today object to allowing those with opposing views to continue to speak or others continue to listen to them.  The Commission quickly tosses the free speech norm to the side: “The biggest lie of all, which this crisis thrives on, and which the beneficiaries of mis- and disinformation feed on, is that the crisis itself is uncontainable. One of the corollaries of that mythology is that, in order to fight bad information, all we need is more (and better distributed) good information. In reality, merely elevating truthful content is not nearly enough to change our current course.” In addition to Couric, the Commission was headed by Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and Chris Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Robinson was also a notable choice since he has been one of the most outspoken advocates of censorship. While some of us have been denouncing the expanding system of censorship by companies like Facebook, Robinson was threatening boycotts if the companies do not “rein in” those considered racists or spreaders of misinformation. The Commission also includes Prince Harry who has referred to free speech protections under the First Amendment as “bonkers.” Much of the report seems more aspirational in recommendations like “endorsing efforts that focus on exposing how historical and current imbalances of power, access and equity are manufactured and propagated with mis- and disinformation — and on promoting community-led solutions to forging social bonds.” The Commission also appears to endorse the movement against “objectivity” and “both sideism” in the media: “Commissioners also discussed the need to adjust journalistic norms to avoid false equivalencies between lies and empirical fact in the pursuit of ‘both sides’ and ‘objectivity,’ particularly in areas of public health, civil rights, or election outcomes.” Former New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones was one of the journalists who pushed the New York Times to denounce its own publication and promise to curtail columns in the future. In so doing, she railed against those who engage in what she called “even-handedness, both sideism” journalism.  Likewise,  Stanford Communications Professor Emeritus Ted Glasser has publicly called for an end of objectivity in journalism as too constraining for reporters in seeking “social justice.” In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Glasser insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.”  Thus, “journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” However, the most chilling aspect of the report is the obvious invitation for greater forms of censorship. It calls for the government to become involved in combatting misinformation, the scourge of free speech and an invitation for state controls over speech. Ironically, there is no need for such direct government involvement when social media companies are acting as the equivalent of a state media in the censorship of public debates. The import of the recommendations are abundantly clear:  “Reducing Harms: Mitigating the worst harms of mis- and disinformation, such as threats to public health and democratic participation, and the targeting of communities through hate speech and extremism. Comprehensive Federal Approach: Establish a comprehensive strategic approach to countering disinformation and the spread of misinformation, including a centralized national response strategy, clearly-defined roles and responsibilities across the Executive Branch, and identified gaps in authorities and capabilities. Public Restoration Fund: Create an independent organization, with a mandate to develop systemic misinformation countermeasures through education, research, and investment in local institutions. Civic Empowerment: Invest and innovate in online education and platform product features to increase users’ awareness of and resilience to online misinformation. Superspreader Accountability: Hold superspreaders of mis- and disinformation to account with clear, transparent, and consistently applied policies that enable quicker, more decisive actions and penalties, commensurate with their impacts — regardless of location, or political views, or role in society. Amendments to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996: 1) Withdraw platform immunity for content that is promoted through paid advertising and post promotion; and 2) Remove immunity as it relates to the implementation of product features, recommendation engines, and design.” The ill-defined terms of “misinformation” and “disinformation” become more menacing when those terms are used as the basis for a government and private sector system to take “decisive actions and penalties” against those who spread such information.  The Commission is more focused on harm than the specific definition: “Disinformation inflames long-standing inequalities and undermines lived experiences for historically targeted communities, particularly Black/African American communities. False narratives can sow division, hamper public health initiatives, undermine elections, or deliver fresh marks to grifters and profiteers, and they capitalize on deep-rooted problems within American society. Disinformation pours lighter fluid on the sparks of discord that exist in every community.” In the end, the Commission dismisses the classic defense of free speech while calling for greater regulation of speech to address “deep-rooted problems in American society.” However, the deepest rooted problems in our society include the denial of free speech. Indeed, the First Amendment is premised on the belief that this right is essential to protecting the other freedoms in the Constitution. It is the right that allows people to challenge their government and others on electoral issues, public health issues, and other controversies. The Aspen report is the latest evidence of a building anti-free speech movement in the United States. It is a movement that both rejects core free speech values but also seeks to normalize censorship. In the last few years, we have seen an increasing call for private censorship from Democratic politicians and liberal commentators. Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship. Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new and more limited role for free speech in society. Tyler Durden Sat, 11/20/2021 - 18:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 20th, 2021

Radical Rent Control Measure Blows Up In St. Paul In Less Than A Week

Radical Rent Control Measure Blows Up In St. Paul In Less Than A Week Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com, Unlike almost every rent control law in the country, the ordinance passed by St. Paul voters includes no exemption for new construction... A radical rent control measures capping increases at 3% passed in St. Paul Minnesota. The payback was immediate.  Reason reports Developers Halt Projects, Mayor Demands Reform After St. Paul Voters Approve Radical Rent Control Ballot Initiative. In last Tuesday's municipal election, 52 percent of voters approved Question 1, an ordinance that puts a hard annual 3 percent cap on rent increases. It makes no allowances for inflation or exemptions for vacant apartments and new construction that are typical in other rent control policies. The new ordinance doesn't go into effect until May 2022. Nevertheless, several real estate companies with large projects in the works have already announced that they're pulling their permit applications. That includes Ryan Companies. Local NBC affiliate KARE 11 reports that the company pulled applications for three buildings in its proposed 3,800-unit Highland Bridge project. Other developers are singing a similar tune. "We, like everybody else, are re-evaluating what—if any—future business activity we'll be doing in St. Paul," Jim Stolpestad, founder of development company Exeter, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Star-Tribune reports that developers have also been calling Nicolle Goodman, the city's director of planning and economic development, to say that they were placing hundreds of new units on hold in response to the passage of rent control. All of this could well encourage landlords to just get out of the rental market altogether and sell their properties to owner-occupiers. Rising home values in St. Paul, where prices have increased 12 percent in the last year, only make this option more attractive for landlords. This is what happened in San Francisco where an expansion of preexisting rent controls led to a 15 percent reduction in the supply of rental housing, according to one 2018 study. That study found that incumbent tenants benefited handsomely from the limits on rent increases but that their windfall came "at the great expense of welfare losses from future inhabitants." Mayoral Lie Despite the insanity of doing something that's tried and failed everywhere, St. Paul voters upped the ante by passing the most restrictive measure ever. Blame Mayor Melvin Carter. He backed the initiative and it only barely passed. Carter's not so brilliant idea (lie) was he could amend the law after it passed. Whatever the outcome of this ballot question, our work will continue. Bold action on our housing and equity goals cannot wait. (2/2) — Melvin Carter (@melvincarter3) October 12, 2021 But he can't materially change the bill nor can the city council.  The problem for Carter, which he knew in advance, is the council cannot by law make "substantive" changes to the law.  The city council president admitted what Carter now wants to do is "substantive". Rent Control Advocates Celebrate  Despite the clear housing disaster that awaits, Rent Control Advocates Celebrate.  “We didn’t wait for policymakers or funders. We leveraged the power of the people and direct democracy to do this for ourselves,” said Danielle Swift, an organizer with the Frogtown Neighborhood Association. “Text banking, phone banking, door-to-door, 100 percent grassroots organizing got it done.” Alarmed by overnight rent hikes for low-income tenants, organizations such as the Housing Justice Center, TakeAction Minnesota, the Alliance and the West Side Community Organization gathered signatures to get their own rent-control proposal on the Nov. 2 ballot by petition. Swift blamed “generations of economic exploitation and exclusion from homeownership” for marginalizing communities of color — some 82 percent of the city’s Black households rent, compared to 39 percent of white households.  “This policy will have a dramatic and immediate impact in advancing housing and racial justice in our city,” she said. Shortages Loom Judging from rent prices, there is already a severe shortage of housing in St. Paul. The most likely reason is fear of something like this or insurance and maintenance hikes in the wake of George Floyd riots. And now that the bill has passed many new development projects, some for thousands of units, were cancelled.  Small landlords will sell to live-in owners further reducing supply.  Finally, with 3% caps regardless of tax hikes, inflation or any other issues, landlords will not make capital improvements to their property. The overall quality of remaining rental units is sure to decline. *  *  * Like these reports? If so, please Subscribe to MishTalk Email Alerts. Tyler Durden Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 14th, 2021

A foundation that promotes social justice is calling on Alphabet to commission a racial equity audit

In its proposed shareholder resolution, Nathan Cummings Foundation pointed to alleged discrimination at Google and reported biases within the company's artificial intelligence systems......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 12th, 2021

Medical Research Rapidly Adopts "Systemic Racism" As Truth, Risking Scientific Credibility, Part 1

Medical Research Rapidly Adopts "Systemic Racism" As Truth, Risking Scientific Credibility, Part 1 By John Murawski of RealClearInvestigations, Part 1 of 2 Rejection used to be common for medical sociologist Thomas LaVeist when he tried to get his research published on the effects of racism on the health of black people. “Now,” said the 60-year-old dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, “I have those same journals asking me to write articles for them.” LaVeist’s experience illustrates the dramatic transformation in medical research, accelerating in the past few years. While few would dispute that black Americans are more prone to chronic health problems and have shorter life expectancies than whites, the medical community generally sought answers in biology, genetics and lifestyle. Research, like LaVeist’s, that focused on racism was frowned upon as lacking rigor or relevance, an amateurish detour from serious intellectual inquiry. Thomas LaVeist: His work focused on racism was once frowned upon as lacking rigor or relevance. Not any more. Today medical journal editors are clamoring for a racial lens and apologizing for what they call their past moral blindness. In recent years, and especially since Black Lives Matter protests erupted last year, systemic racism has been transformed from a fringe theory to a canonical truth. Medical researchers are now able to offer a sweeping socio-political explanation for racial health disparities by citing the hundreds of peer-reviewed articles authored by LaVeist and a host of others, thus conferring upon the study of systemic racism the imprimatur of scholarly authority and even settled science. This year, top officials at the National Institutes of Health issued an apology to all who have suffered from structural racism in biomedical research. The NIH, the nation’s largest funder of biomedical research, announced that it is dedicating $90 million to the study of health disparities and structural racism, engaging in more than 60 diversity and inclusion initiatives, and committing “every tool at our disposal to remediate the chronic problem of structural racism.” In an August special issue dedicated to racial health disparities, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association stated that systemic racism is a scientific fact beyond dispute, and disagreeing on this point is “wrong,” “misguided” and “uninformed.” Systemic racism is a reality to be assumed in medical research rather than a sociological hypothesis to be tested by skeptical researchers.  Deemed incontestable, systemic racism provides the political rationale for “dismantling” — in the words of no less an authority than the National Institutes of Health — the social institutions and cultural standards that, according to the framework’s advocates, were constructed and are maintained to uphold white supremacy.  The consequences of ignoring this new prime directive for racially focused research were made abundantly clear this year when the top two editors of JAMA were pressured to resign after the organization ran a podcast that questioned whether systemic racism explains health disparities between blacks and other Americans. “When JAMA sends a call for paper on structural racism, when the NIH director sends out an apology letter for racism in the NIH and when the CDC for the first time uses the term ‘racism,’ these are highest-level determinants of what research will be done in coming years in this country,” said Shervin Assari, an associate professor of family medicine and urban public health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, one of four historically black medical schools in the nation. Shervin Assari: Now the feds are "paying good money to the best researchers in this country who are competing to understand how structural racism works, rather than if it exists.” “This is the first time the NIH has issued a call for research on structural racism. This is the first time JAMA fires an editor who said something wrong about racism,” said Assari, who has published more than 350 papers on race, social determinants and health equity. “Now NIH is paying good money to the best researchers in this country who are competing to understand how structural racism works, rather than if it exists.” Systemic racism, generally unseen but known by its perceived effects, doesn’t directly cause diabetes, hypertension or depression, but it purportedly creates the living conditions in which chronic conditions opportunistically thrive, advocates say. Such living conditions include unsafe neighborhoods, aggressive policing, substandard schools, discriminatory workplaces, inferior medical care and the resulting stress, despair and self-destructive behavior, the theory states.  To institutionalize its new policy, JAMA is revising its peer review standards and diversifying its ranks to advance health care equity, a term that refers to narrowing or even eliminating racial health disparities in chronic conditions and life expectancies. Similar steps are being adopted throughout the medical profession — by the cluster-hiring of minority applicants, hiring of diversity and equity officers, and training staff on “white privilege,” implicit bias, microaggressions, and allyship. A lead editorial in the August special issue, co-signed by 15 people, including JAMA’s newly installed executive editor and executive managing editor, along with other JAMA leaders, said all medical journals are morally obligated to assume systemic racism as a fact and document this fact in their research. “At this point in the arc of medicine and scientific publication,” JAMA stated, “it is crucial for all journals to fulfill renewed editorial and journal missions that include a heightened and appropriate emphasis on equity and publication of information that addresses structural racism with the goal of overcoming its effects in medicine and health care.” This rapid turn of events has blindsided traditional doctors, who are put off by the intense focus on race and the strong rhetoric. “The spectacle of the gatekeepers of medical publications announcing a political blueprint that medical authors must follow — or else — is pretty breathtaking,” Thomas Huddle, who retired this year as professor at the medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said by email. Thomas Huddle, dissenter: “The medical gatekeepers are in the grip of a moral panic.” “The medical gatekeepers are in the grip of a moral panic,” said Huddle, who has published on medical ethics and edited several medical journals. “The JAMA convulsion over the podcast was positively Maoist in its fervor for achieving moral correctness and purging the impure.” It's an open secret that some find the systemic explanation to be nothing more than leftist polemic, while others are skeptical it convincingly explains everything it claims to explain. These skeptics worry about the career implications of publicly dissenting from the new orthodoxy, but it's not inconceivable that blaming an entire national culture for racial disparities will prompt independent scholars and conservative think tanks to produce opposing research that explores black-on-black murder, racial disparities in IQ testing and other taboo subjects.  The dramatic transformation sweeping through the health care profession is not happening in a vacuum. It mirrors social justice movements committed to exposing structural racism that allegedly pervades education, criminal justice, the arts, hard sciences and other domains of U.S. society. Activists in those fields, as well as medicine, talk of dismantling white supremacy and other “structures” that operate by means of race-neutral laws and colorblind norms that cause racial and gender power imbalances and harm non-white groups. Skeptical physicians say that medical journal editors are essentially replacing the scientific method with a political ideology, namely critical race theory, and leaving little room for alternative explanations — such as personal agency or cultural differences. “There’s a tremendous amount of groupthink,” said Stanley Goldfarb, a former dean for curriculum who taught about kidney disease at the University of Pennsylvania medical school before retiring this summer. “If you don’t agree with all that, you’re a bad person.” “This is an argument that you’re not allowed to have — that’s the problem here,” said Goldfarb, who has served on the editorial boards of three medical journals and was editor-in-chief of a nephrology journal. Racial health disparities underlie the four-year gap in black-white life expectancy in the United States. The factors that contribute to this disparity include chronic conditions, unintentional injuries, suicide and homicide, which is the leading cause of death for black males aged 44 and younger. Scholars committed to the systemic racism explanation blame the disproportionately high crime rates in poor black neighborhoods on discrimination, substandard schools and other manifestations of systemic racism.  The body of research into racial health disparities has broken into the mainstream after establishing credibility through the time-honored system of academic citations and referrals. Since LaVeist began his work in the 1990s, a small stream of articles has swelled into a critical mass that now allows medical researchers to assume systemic racism as a proven fact and cite the evidence in footnotes, as established knowledge, instead of arguing the case each time. “When the weight of the evidence becomes so overwhelming that we reach consensus, we no longer continue to question whether or not [it is true],” LaVeist said. “We don’t question gravity anymore because the consensus is that gravity is a thing.” One of the JAMA articles in the August special issue found that the major health care spending disparity is that whites spend more on dental, pharmaceutical, and outpatient care, while blacks spend more on emergency room and inpatient hospital care, suggesting that black people are more likely to be uninsured and otherwise lack access to routine medical care. Instead of detailing the precise reasons that may explain this gap, the authors invoke previous articles: “There are many mechanisms that have already been identified that explain how structural racism shapes health and healthcare.” In a phone interview, the lead author, Joseph Dieleman, associate professor of health metric sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said: “These are taken as a given by us. These are not to be debated, or being tested, in our analysis.”  Health Affairs, dubbed by a Washington Post columnist as “the bible of health policy,” is redoubling its focus on systemic racism, anti-racism, and equity, not only in its published content but also in attending to the racial makeup of its published authors and reviewers. “We acknowledge that the dominant voices in our work are those with power and privilege,” Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil wrote in January. “Even as we have dramatically increased the volume of our content focused on equity, the narrative has primarily been written by those in power. We vow to change this.” Weil, who was trained in critical legal theory, a precursor to critical race theory, as a Harvard law student in the 1980s, said in a phone interview that the concepts of merit and quality are often used to maintain power and privilege, and these structures must be examined for bias. “We’re just talking about — forgive the language that is used by the believers — interrogating ourselves,” Weil said. Systemic racism, a core tenet of critical race theory, doesn’t have a settled definition but it has broad applicability. One of the peculiar features of systemic racism is that the mechanism is not evident to those who are not initiated into the theory, but ubiquitous to its acolytes. For best-selling and award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi, whose writings are considered essential reading at some medical schools, any disparity can signify racism. The concept can refer to all manner of disparate outcomes —  in murder rates, arrest rates, life expectancies, education levels, school discipline, household income, standardized tests scores and grades — even in the fact that black people are nowhere to be seen in the corridor portraits of medical school dignitaries and are underrepresented in symphony orchestras. Ibram X Kendi: Any disparity can signify racism. “There is no ‘official’ definition of structural racism,” states a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine.  “All definitions make clear that racism is not simply the result of private prejudices held by individuals, but is also produced and reproduced by laws, rules, and practices, sanctioned and even implemented by various levels of government, and embedded in the economic system as well as in cultural and societal norms.” One line of attack against the status quo is the movement to eliminate long-accepted practices to promote merit and excellence that, according to activists, operate as colorblind mechanisms to produce unequal outcomes: gifted and talented programs, gifted schools, and admissions tests for elite high schools, as well as standardized test scores for university admission. In medicine, the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination test is changing from a graded score to pass/fail to help minority students, while Northwestern University and its Feinberg School of Medicine are promoting diversity by eliminating a six-decade-old Honors Program in Medical Education. Still, the concept provides special challenges for medicine. Unlike bacteria, for instance, systemic racism is an invisible force that can only be measured indirectly, by its perceived effects. Nevertheless, LaVeist is convinced that systemic racism is the best explanation for racial health disparities because the correlation of race and health is consistent across numerous studies for multiple chronic conditions. “We cannot make direct causal inferences. The best we can do is look at plausible causality,” LaVeist said. “What we have is a case where once you’ve ruled out all of the plausible explanations, the only thing left is systemic racism.” LaVeist and Weil agree that health and other disparities can have other causes than systemic racism, and good scholarship should be cognizant of other potential variables. LaVeist said that without allowing for other factors, people of color would have no free will, but it is important to note that African American culture is also shaped by white racism. One of LaVeist’s early co-authored papers that was rejected by several journals before finding a publisher concluded that black people who experience rudeness at the hands of white people have longer life expectancies if they blame systemic racism, or some other external factor, for being treated disrespectfully. An implication of the study: Even if the rude behavior by the white person isn’t caused by racism or an external factor, it’s strategically beneficial for black people to attribute the rudeness to someone else’s racism, boorishness or insensitivity, rather than blaming themselves. “Yes — racism, or some other external attribution,” LaVeist said. “If you make an external attribution, that is going to be healthier than you thinking, ‘Oh they’re right, I am a bad person, I deserve to be mistreated.’” Assari specializes in the study of “diminished returns” in quality of life and health that black people and other marginalized groups experience as they gain education and income in U.S. society. His research contends that black people reap fewer benefits — such as income and health — as they rise in education, compared to white people, which he attributes to structural racism. He has written half of the 300-some academic papers on that subject cited by the National Library of Medicine. He makes connections that would not be self-evident to someone who lacks training in his specialty. One of his recent papers, published in the Journal of Health Economics, says that Americans are less likely to smoke as their income level rises. But that rule doesn’t hold for high-income Chinese Americans, who are more likely to smoke as they generate more income.  So Assari postulates that upwardly mobile Chinese Americans resort to nicotine as a means of coping with the anti-Asian bias they encounter in this country’s elite institutions.   Yet, he also said that even though the anti-racist movement seems invincible now, overweening claims about systemic racism will eventually invite scholarly criticism, especially if equity policies and interventions now being implemented fail to deliver results. “I think there will be a very strong backlash against critical race theory very soon,” Assari said. “I don’t think it is sustainable. And it is falsifiable. So there would be an anti-CRT movement among other group of social scientists.” Nevertheless, Assari said systemic racism is a reliable theoretical framework because it parsimoniously explains the marginalization of many racial groups. “This is one model which explains many of our observations,” Assari said. “A theory is [reliable] when an observation or assumption holds regardless of the context, setting, place, population, design, sample. It is replicated many times across a diverse group of settings, age groups, resources, and outcomes.” LaVeist said segregation, much of it rooted in historical practices such as redlining and Jim Crow, is the primary driver of disparities. Poor neighborhoods are generally more polluted, closer to highways and industrial zones, and have less access to quality restaurants, grocery stores, public schools, and green spaces. Such environments tend to breed despair, which leads to crime and an overly aggressive police response. The constant stress of dealing with these hassles and micro-aggressions wears on the body, research into health disparities says, echoing arguments made by critical race theorists in the 1980s. One medical paper, published in The Lancet in 2017 and cited more than 1,500 times as of November, says that residential segregation is the foundation of structural racism, and notes that “growing research is linking interpersonal racism to various biomarkers of disease and well-being, including allostatic load, inflammatory markers, and hormonal dysregulation.” There are those who say the medical establishment is not going far enough in this research direction. The STAT News health information website reported in September that anti-racism and equity have become so trendy that “white scholars are colonizing research on health disparities.” According to the STAT investigation, white researchers are caught up in “a gold rush mentality” and “rushing to scoop up grants and publish papers.” The white scholars are replicating work done by black researchers without giving sufficient credit, a new form of exploitation practiced by “health equity tourists” and “opportunistic scientific carpetbaggers.” One of the worst offenders: JAMA’s August special issue on health disparities. “Not one of the five research papers published in the issue included a Black lead or corresponding author, and just one lead author was Hispanic,” STAT reported. Weil sympathizes with these concerns and said Health Affairs is creating a mentorship program to help scholars of color get their papers published in the journal. Weil, who said about 5% of submitted papers are accepted for publication at Health Affairs, is confident that dismantling power and privilege won’t necessitate compromising standards of excellence, and he considers such criticisms to be “generally false and intentionally inflammatory.” “Equitable representation should be the outcome of an equitable process, not the jerry-rigged result of a change of standards for one group — that is not where we want to be,” Weil said. “So if the fix here is an equitable outcome by lowering standards for a certain group, our readers will notice, and that’s not the end point I’m looking for.” Weil’s biggest concern is not that the anti-racist movement in medical research will go too far, but that the momentum and resolve will fizzle out. “I think it’s very hard to tell where you are on a swinging pendulum when you’re in the middle of it,” he said. “I am much more concerned that this will become a rote exercise where everyone genuflects to anti-racism but does nothing about it, than I am that this is an overcorrection.” Tyler Durden Fri, 11/12/2021 - 21:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 12th, 2021

The US military is under fire over how it handles race. Uncensored WWII-era surveys show US troops struggling with the same issue 80 years ago.

When challenged on race-related issues during World War II, the US War Department took the position that it did not see skin color. African-American messmen aboard a US Navy cruiser who volunteered for additional duty as gunners under the instruction of the officers at the right, July 1942. PhotoQuest/Getty Images Recent controversy over how issues of race are taught in the US has ensnared grade schools, universities, and even the military. As World War II-era surveys show, the military has grappled with those issues for decades and often falls short of its own standards. Edward J.K. Gitre is an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech and director of The American Soldier in World War II project. Months of protests over how the US's troubled history of race is taught came to a head on Election Day in Virginia.If Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin bans critical race theory in the commonwealth's public schools on "Day One," as he vowed on Fox News in the closing hours of his campaign, the battle will hardly be over.In those same remarks, Youngkin implored viewers to heed Martin Luther King Jr.'s "immortal words" that "we're called to judge one another based on the content of our character and not the color of our skin." Heirs of King's work and others have pilloried invocations of his "I have a dream" sermon to justify banning discussion of systemic racism.The agitation over critical race theory - a field of scholarly inquiry that examines how racism, intentional or not, is institutionalized and embedded in laws, systems, and policies - and competing citations of King are only the latest expressions of a long-running conflict over persistent racial inequality in America.This phase has focused on schools, but for 80 years, and well before King's sermon, the US military has struggled with the same issue.'We will do better' Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley before the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 28, 2021. Alex Wong/Getty Images Over those eight decades, the military has espoused the precept that people ought to be judged by their character and performance, not their skin color. It has fallen well short of its own standard.The Department of Defense does now have its first Black secretary, Lloyd Austin. While African-Americans represent 19% of all active-duty service members, the military has only two Black four-star generals and admirals, as Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown, a retired Army colonel, reminded Austin during a hearing this summer.Pressed by Brown on the "significant underrepresentation" of people of color and women in the senior ranks, Austin touted the military's diversity as reflective of the American public but concurred with Brown: "We need to do better. You have my commitment. We will do better." African-American soldiers in Army trucks at the Las Vegas Army Air Force Airfield, 1942. Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images The military hasn't avoided backlash over critical race theory, either. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made headlines at the same hearing for his considered but forceful response to another congressman's accusation that cadets were being indoctrinated with critical race theory.The military's handling of other race-related issues has received much less coverage, however.At the same hearing, Brown asked more pointed questions about a 2019 study by the Government Accountability Office, which found that minority personnel across the military were more than five times as likely as White personnel to be court-martialed for similar conduct."Why are the commanders woefully failing our Black service members who serve at higher rates than any other demographic group?" Brown asked Austin. "And how do we fix this system so that there is truly equal justice under the Uniform Code of Military Justice?"Fighting 2 wars A "Colored Waiting Room" sign at a bus station in Durham, North Carolina, May 1940. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images When challenged on similar issues during World War II, the US War Department took the position that it did not see skin color.Before and long after Congress passed the country's first peacetime draft in September 1941, Black leaders lobbied the Roosevelt administration to enact anti-discrimination policies.To one such recommendation, the Secretary of War Henry Stimson responded that not only was "everything possible" being done, but also that "Our policies make no distinction between white and colored soldiers."Distinctions, of course, were made every day across the force and in the communities that surrounded and served the department's facilities and installations - and it was official department policy.Despite this "extensive campaign," Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall assured one northern senator that the department's policy "not to intermingle colored and white enlisted personnel in the same regimental organization" would hold.Preventing racial commingling was costly and difficult. It required the construction and maintenance (of differing quality) of separate barracks, latrines, mess halls, clubs, theaters, swimming pools, and post exchanges, among others - expanding Jim Crow's reach as more bases were built. African-American soldiers in England, September 12, 1942. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images Beginning in August 1942, the War Department delegated the segregation of recreation facilities, including theaters and post exchanges, to local commanders.The following March the department went a step further, prohibiting separate Black and White recreation facilities where two or more races were garrisoned.Resistance was predicted. From surveys administered to monitor morale, the Army already knew that the majority of White soldiers - from the north and south - opposed integration.Only 148 of the 4,793 enlisted personnel who participated in a large cross-section survey given in March 1943 thought Black and White soldiers should serve in the same outfits. Just one in 12 thought it OK to share service clubs, and only one in seven approved of sharing post exchanges.Opponents listed the likelihood of conflict as their primary concern."If negroes & whites were in same outfits, naturally there would be much blood shed. It would lead into serious developments, in the future. In fact I believe we would be fighting two wars, negroes & the Axis," wrote one White soldier.Some commanders responded to the new order by replacing the offending signs and maintaining Jim Crow in other ways. Others simply ignored it.Non-enforcement coincided with a buildup of Black troops, and by summer 1943 discontented Black Americans took to the streets across the US. US soldiers in a mess hall, 1942 Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images The Army did take steps to address segregated transportation facilities - a frequent source and site of racial intimidation, conflict, and violence - by ordering local commanders to eliminate discrimination based on color, race, or creed.Those commanders, even cooperative ones, still had to rely on civilian services that maintained those practices. But with White soldiers and officers in open defiance of the military's efforts to end discrimination, resentment mounted.Handwritten open-ended responses from an August 1944 survey, which have only recently been transcribed, reveal the depth and breadth of what Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy described as a "radical change" in attitudes."Sooner or later there will be some changes made one way or the other," warned one Black soldier. "The boys are getting tired of it. We all fighting like any other soldier and it is a god dam[n] shame that some people can let such conditions exist & call this a democracy.""Fascism is fascism, whether in America or in Europe and if we are all fighting for the same common purpose why must there be a White Army and Negro Army," wrote another.Lessons unlearned Men assemble cylinder barrels for an engine at Buick's aviation plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, 1942. Buyenlarge/Getty Images The Army could not wait for White attitudes to change. A pressing need for replacements in Europe led the Army to compromise its commitment not to intermingle personnel.Gen. John C. H. Lee, deputy theater commander in Europe, issued a letter on December 26, 1944, recruiting Black volunteers to join White rifle companies. Mixed companies were soon formed in 11 divisions in two separate armies.The results, documented by before-and-after surveys of White officers, were remarkable.Only one-third of those initially surveyed were in favor of leading mixed companies. After integration, that rose to 77%.When asked how Black troops had performed in combat, 84% of the officers and 81% of the platoon sergeants said they had done so admirably, improving relations between Black and White troops. US troops with a captured Nazi flag in front of a wrecked German tank in Chambois, France, August 20, 1944. CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images Aware of the political potency of such unambiguous data, especially for anti-segregationists, the Army initially withheld it, but it made its way into the recommendations of the Faye Committee, which supported President Harry S. Truman's 1948 executive order ending segregation in the military.Army survey researchers also later assisted defendants in Brown v. Board of Education, the case that rejected the segregationist doctrine of "separate but equal."That Brown could speak of the committee's recommendations as unfulfilled as he did during his questioning of Austin this summer, after all these years, shows the US's failure to learn World War II's lessons.As the military saying goes, all soldiers bleed green and their color is camouflage, but without justice, opportunity, and leadership - and without enforcement of rules and guidelines meant to undo that inequality - the notion that skin color doesn't matter only masks social and racial inequities and ensures the status quo.Edward J.K. Gitre is an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech and director of The American Soldier in World War II project.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 11th, 2021

From fashion star Telfar Clemens to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, these 10 leaders are transforming how America addresses racial equity

2021 was a year of incredible change when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, in large part because of these individuals. The summer of 2020 and the year of 2021 forced business leaders to confront racism and racial inequity in new ways. Warrick Page/Getty Images For millions of Americans, 2020 and 2021 marked a turning point in the journey for racial equity. Industry leaders doubled down on the anti-racism work they'd been toiling over for years. Insider highlights the top 10 people transforming diversity and inclusion in business. Visit Insider's Transforming Business homepage for more stories. The echoes of protest chants, ear-splitting police sirens, and whirling helicopter rotors have subsided since the summer of 2020, but the country hasn't forgotten about the murder of George Floyd. For millions of Americans, 2020 was a turning point in the arduous journey for racial equality. The conversation shifted from if racial justice and diversity matter to why they matter and how to achieve a more equitable society for people of color. After Floyd's murder, phrases like "anti-racism" and "critical race theory" became more popular in the American lexicon and took on deeper meaning. Some 64% of Americans said racism was a significant problem in the country, an increase from 49% in a separate 2015 poll. Books on anti-racism flooded bookshelves and topped bestseller lists. This year, business leaders set up in a major way. The fashion mogul Telfar Clemons championed inclusion with the emergence of what many have dubbed the "Bushwick Birkin." Heads of the world's most prominent financial institutions spearheaded multimillion-dollar investments in Black and brown communities.In reflection, Insider has featured 10 business leaders across a variety of fields who are driving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the US. They are pushing for their companies, industries, and the broader society to become places where people from all backgrounds can not just exist, but also thrive. Insider's list includes business magnates like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and former Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, who have used their influence to try to push society toward improving the lives of marginalized communities. The list also includes names of people you might not know, like LinkedIn's Rosanna Durruthy or the anti-racist researcher Ibram X. Kendi, who have dedicated their lives to promoting inclusion. "The murder of George Floyd highlighted something we already knew: More must be done by all of us to address systemic racism," Dimon, who recently expanded the bank's $30 billion investment on racial equity, told Insider. "This will take time. We might not always get it right, but we will keep testing, learning, building, and growing." In the months after Floyd's death, industry leaders doubled down on the anti-racism work they'd been toiling over for years. Shannon Schuyler, cochair of the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, a pledge for CEOs to advance diversity in their workplaces, worked with dozens of companies like Best Buy and Boston Scientific to roll out new DEI plans. Jill Houghton, CEO of DisabilityIN, a nonprofit encouraging companies to increase the representation of people with disabilities, persuaded multiple top companies to sign the pledge. Cathrin Stickney, CEO and founder of Parity.org, expanded her mission to get CEOs to not only interview one woman for every leadership role, but also one person of color. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and the artificial-intelligence ethicist and computer scientist Timnit Gebru drove powerful conversations about equality in their industries. They and others comprise Insider's 100 most powerful people transforming business. Their courage, time, action, and advocacy have pushed the boundaries of racial equity and social justice. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 9th, 2021

Rabobank: We All Know That If Stocks Slump, The Fed Will Boost QE To Push Them Back Up

Rabobank: We All Know That If Stocks Slump, The Fed Will Boost QE To Push Them Back Up By Michael Every of Rabobank The Fed’s bi-annual Financial Stability Report is making headlines: "Prices of risky assets keep rising, making them more susceptible to perilous crashes if the economy takes a turn for the worse." It also notes asset prices remain vulnerable to significant declines should investor risk sentiment deteriorate, or if progress on containing the virus disappoints. Presumably the latter is why the White House insists businesses proceed with its vaccine mandate despite a court ruling the process be halted: Think of the stocks, man, think of the stocks! Except, of course, we all know that if stocks slump, the Fed will increase QE again to push them back up, because stocks are what it cares about. FOMC members themselves play the markets and would lose out personally if they let asset-prices crash. Moreover, how did asset prices get to such risky levels? Did a financialized, asset-based economy ‘just happen’? I recall Alan Greenspan warning about “excessive exuberance” once upon a time too. Even if the Fed isn’t venal, it is political. Powell may or may not get reappointed as Chair, but today he is attending a conference presenting “research about diversity and inclusion in economics, finance, and central banking.” Is that a backdrop against which the Fed could pivot towards cracking down on financial excesses, when such hairshirt policy could be decried as running counter to demands for higher public spending and social justice? In short, it looks another reason for the Fed to stay loosey-goosey, even if this asset-based approach is actually driving massive economic inequality across all of society. Indeed, the Report notes: “Leverage continued to be high by historical standards at life insurance companies, and hedge fund leverage remained somewhat above its historical average.” – and who regulates financial leverage? “Structural vulnerabilities persist in some types of MMFs and other cash-management vehicles as well as in bond and bank loan mutual funds.” - and who regulates MMFs and mutual funds? “There are also funding-risk vulnerabilities in the growing stablecoin sector.” – and, yes, it’s the SEC who seem to have acted a little on crypto….because the Fed has sat there while a $3 trillion ‘print- your-own-money’ fest has happened right under its nose. Bitcoin is now at another record high of$67,000. And IOU Chicken, man, IOU Chicken. Only in one area do we see a fire the Fed didn’t start or watch burn, as they note: “stresses in the real estate sector in China caused in part by China’s ongoing regulatory focus on leveraged institutions, as well as a sharp tightening of global financial conditions, especially in highly indebted emerging market economies (EMEs), could pose some risks to the US financial system. If realized, the effects of near-term risks could be amplified through the financial vulnerabilities identified in this report." Yet can argue China’s US-style housing-bubble driven economy is the underlying problem, not its attempt to finally deal with it in a way the US would never dream of. (Prompting further ‘green’, i.e., no debt red-lines crossed, Chinese developers’ bonds to suddenly collapse in normal trading.) The Fed is thus warning other people not to firefight for it! The Report also noted that while corporate balance sheets are sound, “the expiration of government support programs and uncertainty over the course of the pandemic may still pose significant risks to households.” Time to get back to those low-wage jobs then, rather than hold out for better pay, or to pass the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill? We can guess which Janet Yellen, who often speaks as if she were running both Treasury and Fed, would prefer. The Report also warns that “difficult-to-predict” volatility like the meme-‘stonks’ frenzy could become more frequent as “social media influences trading”: that, not ludicrous liquidity, “I see no ships” regulatory oversight, and a socio-economic paradigm which does not reward work, just asset speculation. The Fed don’t appear to mention the “difficult-to-predict” volatility in bond markets after their “We are going to take away the punchbowl – ooh, look, here’s a big bottle of Absinthe, drink up!” approach to monetary policy. In short, it’s a worrying Fed headline. But burn after reading, because the arsonists are doing the firefighting. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself what the Fed is now going to do about any of the points it has listed. Even optimists should watch the final scene from the Cohen brothers’ Burn After Reading for guidance. And ask the markets. US stock futures were happily in the green at time of writing, and “CALM” was the Bloomberg daybreak headline, which sums it up nicely. I am not sure how many dollars, crypto, or stonks the yacht pictured on a placid sea in the accompanying Bloomberg graphics is worth, but I am sure the majority of the Bloomberg readership, and the Fed, are far better acquainted with these kinds of social niceties than I am. Meanwhile, the arsonists are also firefighting in geopolitical terms too. On top of a long and growing global list of potentially dangerous flashpoints, Belarus is now creating a refugee border crisis with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, playing with fire there, like someone else is in the Balkans. Poland is already doubling the size of its army: the EU are just doubling the size of their rhetoric. Von der Leyen warns sanctions could be placed on Belarus and “third-country airlines,” but this was already threatened in mid-October by Borrell and hasn’t happened – and where was the appropriate EU response to the Belarus plane incident back in May? Hypothetically, what happens if this is soon all linked to critical Russian gas or Belarussian potash exports to the EU? Nice way to divide it even more, if so. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/09/2021 - 10:40.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 9th, 2021

University Of Minnesota Seeks "Design Justice" Architecture Professor

University Of Minnesota Seeks "Design Justice" Architecture Professor By The College Fix Faculty hires in ‘cluster’ should ‘support our BIPOC and other marginalized communities within their respective discipline’ A good architecture professor should be able to teach his students about building strong structures, but what is more important at the University of Minnesota is dismantling structural racism for the school’s latest hire. The new “Design Justice Cluster-Hire Initiative” seeks to “create space, policy, and practices that support the inclusion and retention of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) as well as other communities who have been historically underinvested.” Applicants to the College of Design should be “committed to advancing a scholarly, pedagogic, and/or service agenda specifically focused on design justice.” This could be evidenced “either through architectural design teaching, in their design studio pedagogy, and/or in research, practice or service to the discipline of architecture.” The tenure-track teaching hire should display “excellence in the teaching of design studios” and be “supported by the strong promise of significant creative achievement in the field through design work, scholarship, research, professional practice, or a combination thereof.” The mission of the design justice initiative is to advance “anti-racism” and refugee rights, among other liberal agenda items. The university defines the Design Justice mission in this way: Design Justice is supported by a group of individuals across design disciplines, known as the Collective, who are committed to anti-racism, decolonized pedagogy, and the liberation of communities who have been underinvested historically, in both design academia and the design industry. Areas of scholarship, teaching, and/or service will involve: anti-racism, racial justice, racial disparities, and/or racial discrimination; equity, power/privilege, and/or bias; benefits to the BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee populations; environmental and social justice; and/or other forms of studying and countering systemic oppression. Other hires that should understand design justice include the college’s job openings for graphic design, interior design and product design. The university may have to compete with a fellow Big Ten university for applicants. The University of Michigan posted a job opening in June that sought a “Anti-Racism By Design” professor. “Candidates will show a deep understanding of racial formations as they relate to design practices,” the university said. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/08/2021 - 18:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 8th, 2021

Millennials own nothing because the economy screwed us over for 25 years - but older generations still try and blame it on our work ethic

Older generations don't understand just how much harder it is for millennials and younger generations to build wealth. Millennials have been screwed over by the economy. Allison Nicole Leung/Insider Intelligence My parents don't understand why I don't own a house, a car, or a retirement savings account. My generation has fewer job opportunities, more student debt, and outrageous housing prices. It's far worse for us than it was for previous generations. Ingrid Cruz is a freelance writer based in Mississippi. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. A few months ago my parents chastised me for not really owning anything. I have few savings, don't own a house, investments, or even a 401K due to financial pressures prior to the pandemic, some of which only worsened last year. This is a struggle many millennials face, but I, a first-generation immigrant, often feel guilty and unworthy knowing my net worth is in the negative. As a child, my mother wanted me to go into a respectable, high-paying, stable profession, such as a lawyer, accountant, or perhaps a high-ranking corporate position. She always expected me to buy a home, get married by a certain age, and eventually take care of her as she got older. Instead, I am a writer on a freelance income with student loan debt that will wreck my finances once repayment provisions begin again in 2022. It's hard to make my parents understand that the United States they dreamt of and brought me to in 1989 has drastically changed. The economy is stacked against millennials According to a CNBC report, millennials owned only 5.19% of the United States' total wealth in 2020 - four times less than what boomers owned at the same age. We are a generation that saw income inequality increase just as the Great Recession caused hiring freezes, decreased our odds of finding a good job, and student loan debt skyrocketed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that high student loan debt caused millennials to delay major life decisions. Fewer earnings meant delaying marriage, home and car purchases, and not being able to move out of our parents' homes - or having to move back in during a crisis. In drastic situations, fewer earnings also leads people to delay medical care and avoid scheduling routine physical checkups, leaving issues undiagnosed. Navigating the maze of health insurance costs and policies in the United States is also difficult, and takes a toll on our finances. Even for a healthy person, the price of having a child at a hospital can be prohibitive and childcare, care for aging parents, and other line items necessary to sustain a healthy family are frequently financially debilitating. The Great Recession also affected housing, creating shortages that were driving up rent even before the pandemic. Stagnating and low wages are only part of the problem: Even with higher wages, many millennials live paycheck to paycheck because of the many debts they've had to take on in order to get by. The rising costs of living we are currently experiencing, and will be sure to continue experiencing without intervention from the federal and state government, are only going to make it more challenging for millennials, Gen Z, and future generations to build wealth unless we work to ensure pay equity and reasonable costs of living. Rent control, controls on house-flipping that artificially increases the cost of land and rent, and even climate justice that would prevent devastating fires would give millennials peace of mind when it comes to securing housing. Most personal finance advice doesn't apply for our generation Though well-intentioned, many articles on saving money or generating wealth aren't helpful to working-class, marginalized, or economically hard-hit people who have little access to wealth and social capital to begin with. Such finance articles often assume that people who want to save money can afford to spend money at coffee shops, subscriptions, gyms, or can afford online shopping to start with. There's no way to save $4 per day on a cup of coffee if you're not in the position to do so in the first place. Many millennials, especially immigrants and refugees, grew up with the idea that we'd not only come to this country to live a better life, but to own nicer things. In family structures where scarcity was often a factor in everyday life, one of the few ways we can prove our parents' investments and sacrifices were worth it is to achieve an extraordinary amount of financial success.Some people have done so, but they're the exception rather than the rule. Learning financial literacy is a challenge for people who grew up with survival as their main goal. Fact is, it's harder for millennials to move up in their social and income status than previous generations. According to a 2019 analysis by Stanford University, there are also racial homeownership gaps among millennials because every gain from the reforms meant to help people of color own homes after the Civil Rights Movement has been lost.Though many millennials are able to secure wages that are higher than the federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour is 31% less than the minimum wage in 1968, once inflation is accounted for. As millennials, we're constantly at the whim of market forces that throw us into disarray, with little or no safety nets, and we regularly have to fight against misconceptions about our work ethic or ambitions. But that can change.Success does not equal owning something First, we can stop tying our success and sense of accomplishments to owning things. It's okay to grieve the opportunities and wages we've lost while recognizing that we have done our best. We were taught we lived in a world of promise just as the opportunities conferred to past generations began to disappear. Then, we had a pandemic to consider. Millennials can also talk to the elders in our lives and explain our side of this. The systemic obstacles and injustices we've faced in our quest to make a living are real and different from what our parents faced. Our cost of living, healthcare, childcare, and education expenses are exorbitant, and they weren't this high for previous generations. This may not change the minds of our elders, but it can give us something to consider.We can keep voting, educating, and organizing for our rights, and people of all generations can work to understand how decisions made in the past created the systems, inequities, and issues millennials and the next few generations must grapple with. On top of everything I've mentioned, we also have climate change to deal with - all of which will impact our finances and mental health. The constant need to continue changing minds and ensuring the next generations don't go through what we go through can be exhausting, but chasing after it is well worth it.Finally, we can surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who understand us and can provide moral support and remember to rest whenever we can. Our world and its prospects are exhausting. We needn't feel guilty about finding a few moments of peace and quiet. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 7th, 2021

Cannabis Watch: New York’s new cannabis chief vows that half of legal licenses will go to social justice efforts

In her first speech as chair of the New York State Cannabis Control Board, Tremaine Wright vows to craft regulations that supports the spirit of New York's social equity requirement to help local communities hurt by the War on Drugs......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchNov 5th, 2021

Seven Reasons Democrats Lost Virginia

Seven Reasons Democrats Lost Virginia Authored by Carl. M. Cannon via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours), When Terry McAuliffe kicked off his third gubernatorial candidacy last December, some leading Virginia Democrats had mixed emotions. On one hand, party activists believed that in Jennifer Carroll Foy and Jennifer McClellan — two female African American lawmakers in the state legislature — they had credible candidates waiting in the wings to make history. The worry, which turned out to be accurate, was that the presence of a former governor with a famous fundraising prowess would squeeze them out. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) At the same time, party elders figured that McAuliffe’s candidacy would prevent the worst-case scenario: namely, that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was accused of forcing himself sexually on two women, would somehow win the Democratic primary. So Democrats consoled themselves. “Terry” had been a popular governor the first time around, they told themselves, and was always an energetic campaigner. “Certainly, he comes into the race in a very formidable position,” veteran Virginia political scholar Bob Holsworth said at the time. “He’s a popular former governor. He has tons of resources. And he loves to campaign. At the same time, the open question in this campaign is whether he is the person for the moment.” The answer turned out to be no. On Tuesday, after a rolling election that lasted two full months, none of those assets was enough. McAuliffe lost a close election to Republican neophyte Glenn Youngkin. The tally, with 94% of the vote counted, is 50.7% to 48.6%. Meanwhile, in a potentially shocking upset in New Jersey, Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli holds a 1,200-vote edge over incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy with 97% of the total counted. If Ciattarelli holds on for victory, the result will defy the pre-election polling — and leave Democrats stunned and Republicans counting the days until the 2022 midterms. In Virginia, a large and diverse state, a close election hinges on many factors. Here are seven. Reason 1: McAuliffe’s previous tenure in office wasn’t an advantage. Because Old Dominion governors cannot succeed themselves, McAuliffe was hampered from running on his record in the traditional way, i.e., boasting how well the state’s economy is doing, for instance, because someone else currently occupies the governor’s mansion. At the same time, McAuliffe was an old familiar warhorse who ran in 2009 (when he lost the primary) and 2013 (when he won the general election), and who was a top Clinton fundraiser and foot soldier and Democratic Party leader for decades. By contrast, Glenn Youngkin was a fresh face in a year in which the electorate in Virginia, as elsewhere, is in a sour and restive mood and incumbency itself — as Gov. Murphy may have learned in New Jersey — is its own liability.  Also, McAuliffe’s tenure in Richmond seems like a long time ago in U.S. politics, even though it really wasn’t. Since he left office, Americans have endured a lethal and disruptive pandemic, the turbulence of the Donald Trump years, and a spike in the culture wars. And the Virginia campaign was sucked into the vortex of all of it.  Reason 2: Terry McAuliffe rarely said why he wanted to be governor again. Did he want to be in a position to run for president in 2024, a goal he hinted at in 2018? Was he bored? Is he simply addicted to competitive politics? On the rare occasions when McAuliffe engaged this subject, his utterances were anodyne. “This pandemic is a turning point in our lives, and our goal can’t be just to go back to where we were before,” he said as he began his campaign. “We need to think big and act bold to take Virginia to the next level. And the one thing that has the opportunity to lift up all Virginians is education.”  In one sense, this boilerplate rhetoric proved prescient: Education — specifically, how and who should run the commonwealth’s public schools — was the issue that probably decided the outcome, albeit not in a way Democrats foresaw. Reason 3: It’s the parents, stupid. On Sept. 29, a day when the RealClearPolitics polling average showed McAuliffe leading with 46.9% support (to Youngkin’s 43.4%), the candidates squared off in a debate. That night, Youngkin made two points that resonated with many voters with school-age children. The first was a broad, pandemic-era complaint: “What we’ve seen over the course of the past 20 months is school systems refusing to engage with parents.”  To illustrate this claim, Youngkin invoked an issue usually associated with cultural conservatives: a bill Gov. McAuliffe vetoed that would have given parents more agency over sexually explicit books in school libraries. “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education,” Youngkin added. McAuliffe took the bait — and then some. He began his rebuttal by scoffing at Youngkin for being “clueless” because he’d never held elective office. “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions,” McAuliffe added. That would have been sustainable, possibly even deft. But for some reason, he punctuated that thought with these 12 fateful words: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”  The Youngkin campaign promptly ran ads consisting simply of a video clip of the exchange. By Election Day, Youngkin pressed his advantage repeatedly. “This is no longer a campaign,” he said. “It is a movement where we are … standing up and saying we have a fundamental right to be engaged in our kids’ education.”  Youngkin may have been a political novice, as McAuliffe pointed out snidely, but his instincts were better than those of an opponent who’d been in politics all his adult life. McAuliffe, with controversial teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten at his side, managed to galvanize thousands of tiger moms in opposition. Dads, too. Exit polling showed that 53% of voters said that parents should have “a lot of say” in their children’s education.  “That was a disaster for him,” veteran political strategist David Axelrod said Tuesday night as the votes rolled in. “I think the context was a little skewed … but it clearly galvanized voters.”  Reason 4: As the race tightened, McAuliffe doubled down on his approach to education. In the homestretch, he sounded less like the moderate middle-aged swing state Democrat who won the governorship eight years ago and more like a Gen-Z social justice warrior angling for a sinecure in a teachers’ union local. Critical race theory? Not taught anywhere in Virginia, McAuliffe maintained repeatedly — and inaccurately. Merely mentioning CRT, he sneered, is “a racist dog whistle.” McAuliffe also accused Glenn Youngkin of plotting to make abortion illegal in Virginia — which is not a power the governor possesses — and did so without feeling constrained by the facts.  By the last days of the campaign, McAuliffe was in full-on identity politics mode, asserting that minority students are made uneasy by the mere presence of white teachers. “In Virginia schools, K-12, 50% are students of color and yet 80% of teachers are white,” he said. “We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school, so let’s diversify.”  What was the strategy here? To pump up the African American and Hispanic vote, one assumes, by making race a central component of the campaign. It may have backfired. At the least, it didn’t galvanize enough minority voters. Nor did the presence on the stump of Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris change the equation. President Biden campaigned in Virginia, too, echoing all of McAuliffe’s negative talking points, most especially the one that ultimately became the Democrats’ whole ballgame: trying to morph Glenn Youngkin into Donald Trump’s clone.  [ZH]: Turns out telling parents that they have no say in their kids education and their kid is also a racist was a bad campaign strategy — Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) November 3, 2021 Reason 5: For his part, Youngkin threaded the needle nicely on Trump. When this race began last summer, Glenn Youngkin was unknown in Virginia politics. Those who did know his name remembered him as a high school basketball star in the Tidewater area whose father played hoops at Duke. Youngkin himself played collegiately at Rice before going into business. With wealth accrued as a partner in a private equity firm, Youngkin was able to self-fund a Republican primary campaign in which he dispatched with not one, but two, Trump disciples. But he managed to do so without alienating the former president. Trump might have preferred one of the others, especially when Youngkin quietly rebuffed his offer to come campaign. But Trump clearly appreciated that Youngkin never bad-mouthed him, and the 45th president responded accordingly: He told his supporters to flood to the polls. Successfully negotiating the mine field of Trump’s prickly ego not only helped Youngkin win on Tuesday. It also illuminated the path for future GOP candidates competing in states and districts that aren’t deep Republican red. Reason 6: Virginia gubernatorial elections are traditionally tough for the party in the White House. Of the last 12 Virginia governors going back to 1977, when Republican John Dalton won office during Jimmy Carter’s first year in the Oval Office, 11 of them belonged to a different party than the president. This phenomenon can’t be blamed on Joe Biden any more than it can be blamed on Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, the Bushes, Barack Obama — or Donald Trump. In some years, the Virginia results portend a sea change, as was the case in 1993 when George Allen’s victory was an early sign of the “Republican Revolution” that gave the GOP control of both houses on Capitol Hill just one year later. Other times, such as in 1997, it foreshadowed nothing. One historical footnote: The only time in the past 44 years that a Virginia gubernatorial candidate belonging to the same party as the president won was in 2013 when Barack Obama was president (and Joe Biden was vice president). That candidate? None other than Terry McAuliffe. It was asking a lot of him to repeat that feat. As it happened, it was asking too much. Reason 7: Something was afoot Tuesday night, not just in the Virginia governor’s race — and not just in Virginia. In the Old Dominion, Republicans also picked up the lieutenant governorship — electing the first black woman to win statewide in Virginia history — while ousting a Democratic attorney general. In Minneapolis, voters overwhelmingly rejected a change in the city charter that would have restructured the much-maligned local police department. In Buffalo, a socialist who had won the Democratic primary for mayor was defeated by a write-in vote that went overwhelmingly to the incumbent. New York City’s new mayor is an ex-police officer who favors gun rights. Across the river in New Jersey — in the shock of the night —Ciattarelli has the incumbent Murphy on the ropes. This, in a state Joe Biden carried by 16 percentage points just one year ago. Is President Biden a disappointment to voters, a drag on down-ticket Democrats? Perhaps, but that seems too tidy an explanation. It’s true that after a healthy honeymoon with voters, Biden’s job approval rating has plummeted amid continued spikes in violent crime, the debacle in Afghanistan, chaos at the border, the continuing coronavirus pandemic, inflation in food and energy prices, and economic uncertainty propelled by a novel problem — employers can’t find enough workers to fill the jobs they have. And though it’s also true that Republicans are giddy this morning about finishing what they started come next year’s midterms, one plausible conclusion from Tuesday’s vote is that a majority of voters want Biden to be the president he promised to be. He was the moderate who defeated a slew of presidential contenders to his left — the one who vowed to work for all Americans, not just those who supported him. Yet he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi somehow find themselves under the thumb of the left wing of their own party. This nation’s electorate rejected the excesses of Trumpism. Tuesday was another corrective, a reminder to the Democratic Party that although few moderates remain in Washington, tens of millions of them live outside the Beltway. They are paying attention and they vote. Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/03/2021 - 20:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 3rd, 2021

World leaders are convening to address the urgent climate crisis. Sustainability experts at Citi and Deloitte share 3 things business execs need to do now.

On Sunday, the global climate conference COP26 began. Watch Insider's panel on how the business community can do its part. The world is falling behind on the climate crisis, scientists wrote in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Maria Alejandra Cardona/Contributor/Los Angeles Times COP26, the United Nations global conference on the climate crisis, began Sunday. Insider hosted a video event with business leaders on how CEOs can address the climate crisis. They said CEOs need to start working together, with nonprofits, and with marginalized communities. As the climate crisis worsens, business leaders will have to get comfortable having more uncomfortable conversations around how they need to improve. Humanity's future is in a precarious state, according to the United Nations' recent 4,000-page report, written by over 200 scientists.On Sunday at COP26, the UN's 26th conference on the state of the world's environment, policymakers and business leaders began to negotiate key deals that might help the climate crisis. Last week, Insider hosted a virtual panel with three of business leaders making strides in sustainability. Jennifer Steinmann, the global ESG marketplace leader at Deloitte, said more business leaders needed to start working with one another to imagine cross-industry solutions to reduce emissions. The climate activist Charles Orgbon III agreed and added that CEOs would benefit from engaging with youth activists and nonprofits in their plans to elevate the voices of marginalized communities. Valerie Smith, chief sustainability officer at Citi, encouraged leaders to embrace the movement for accountability and transparency. "Climate change is going to be some calculus of mitigation, adaptation, and human suffering," Orgbon told Insider. "How we act today is going to tip the balance on which of those we're going to experience more of." Break down silos and work with more corporate and business partners More businesses need to begin partnering with one another and with governments, according to Steinmann, which helps companies adopt new environmental, social, and governance goals. "No single company, industry, or individual can solve this alone," she said. "We need to work together and take immediate action, and it's important for businesses and governance to work together."The appetite for collaboration is apparent, she said, CEOs just need to start. She cited how 63% of executives believe now is the time to act on the climate crisis, according to a 2021 Deloitte survey of 750 CEOs. "We compartmentalize as organizations; that's a natural thing to do, but we need to get much better at putting things together," she said. "There's a need to work together across multiple organizations and collaborate across industries in a way that's not happened before." Listen to marginalized communities, young people, and nonprofits CEOs need to have more conversations with those most affected by the climate crisis, according to Orgbon, the founder of the youth climate group Greening Forward. He reinforced the notion of equity and justice that many leaders are having today with regard to diversity and inclusion and applied it to the climate-justice movement. Research shows that the climate crisis will affect historically marginalized communities disproportionately. For example, Black and Hispanic Americans are much more likely than white people to have the water they drink and air they breathe polluted. Black Americans also face significantly higher rates of lead poisoning and asthma."I think what's really important is that we start to bring people into the conversation who don't know what COP26 is," Orgbon said. "I think our challenge is really getting out the word and the message to people who are not traditionally engaged in these conversations." Orgbon added that CEOs and business leaders should embrace working with nonprofits. These organizations, he said, help corporations realize when they're having a negative effect on or ignoring a certain community and can identify solutions. They provide "access to information, awareness, and transparency," Orgbon said. Embrace the call for more transparency "There's incredible demand, including from youth, to have companies be really transparent about what progress they're making, even where it's harder than expected," Smith said. In September 2020, executives from major accounting firms such as Deloitte unveiled a new reporting framework for ESGs. A reporting framework helps companies assess their compliance using a set of metrics and report it in the same way they would with financial performance. And many companies publish annual ESG reports. But even Smith suggested companies could be doing more. "Climate-change disclosure shouldn't be about choosing your own adventure," she said. "We do need a common template for disclosing our progress, our metrics, as well as our ambitions." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021

Futures Meltup To New All Time High As November Begins With A Bang

Futures Meltup To New All Time High As November Begins With A Bang US futures and European stocks rose to a new record high to start the historically stellar month of November... ... and Asian markets jumped amid positive earnings surprises and as concerns of a global stagflation and central bank policy error faded for a few hours (they will return shortly). TSLA melted up by another $35BN in market cap "because gamma." S&P 500 futures climbed 0.4% after the cash index posted the biggest monthly gain since last November. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed confidence in the continuing recovery from the pandemic, helping spur gains in equity markets. Health-care shares rallied in Europe. The dollar and Treasury yields advanced as investors awaited this week’s Federal Reserve meeting to announce the start of tapering (which will then lead to rate hikes next July according to Goldman). Oil rebounded on fresh supply concerns. In addition to the now absolutely batshit insane meltup in Tesla, which won't end until the SEC cracks down on gamma squeeze manipulation, other mega-cap technology stocks such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon.and Apple, aka oddly enough GAMMA, traded mixed. Exxon and Chevron added about 0.7% each as JP Morgan raised its price target on the oil majors following their strong quarterly results last week. Major Wall Street banks gained between 0.2% and 0.8%. The broader S&P 500 financials sector slipped last week, breaking a three-week winning streak. Lucid Group Inc. rose 4.8% in premarket, extending its advance from last week, after the new U.S. tax plan included a proposal to make EV tax credits more widely available. Harley-Davidson Inc jumped 8.2% after the European Union removed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products including whiskey, power boats and company’s motorcycles. Here are the most notable pre-market movers: Tesla shares rise 2.3% in U.S. premarket trading after their biggest monthly gain in almost a year in October ABVC BioPharma jumps more than 700% as thelittle known biotechnology company garners attention from retail traders on social media Ocugen and Zosano (ZSAN US) are some other top gainers among retail trader stocks in premarket A largely upbeat earnings season has helped investors look past a mixed-macro economic picture, with the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq recording their best monthly performance since November 2020 in October. Of the 279 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, 87% have met or exceeded estimates. Among members of Europe’s Stoxx 600 index, 68% surpassed expectations. On the economic data front, readings on October factory activity data from IHS Markit and ISM are due after market open, followed by non-farm payrolls on Friday. Focus is now on the Fed’s two-day policy meeting which concludes at 2pm on Nov 3, where the central bank will announce the tapering of its $120 billion monthly bond buying program by $15 billion. With recent U.S. data showing inflation pressures building, the market has also started pricing in rate hikes next year. November and December tend to be among the strongest months for stocks and any hawkish tilt in the Fed’s message could catch equities by surprise.  Meanwhile, Biden’s economic agenda seemed to be on track as Democratic lawmakers worked to overcome their differences on a $1.75 trillion social-spending plan. “Depending on where you are looking, you are getting very different stories on the outlook for global markets,” Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “If you look at equities and the rally you are seeing, you think everything is OK. If you look at the bond market and how yields are moving, there’s obviously a lot more concern around inflation and policy normalization.” European stocks hit the afterburner out of the gate with the Euro Stoxx 50 adding as much as 1% before drifting off best levels. FTSE MIB and IBEX outperform, FTSE 100 lags slightly. Banks, construction and travel are the strongest sectors; tech the sole Stoxx 600 sector in the red. Barclays Plc fell 1.5%. Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley stepped down amid a U.K. regulatory probe into how he characterized his ties to the financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Asian stocks were poised to snap a three-day decline thanks to a rally in Japanese equities, which got a boost from an election victory for the country’s ruling party and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.6%, while Japan’s benchmark Topix and the blue-chip Nikkei 225 Stock Average each added more than 2%. Sony Group, Toyota Motor and Tokyo Electron were among the single-largest contributors to the regional measure’s rise. By sector, industrials and information-technology companies provided the biggest boosts.  Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party defied worst-case scenarios to secure a majority by itself in a closely-watched election Sunday. Analysts said the outcome signals political stability, paving the way for economic stimulus to be executed as anticipated (see Street Wrap).  “Indicators of market activity show that there will be a positive market impact to the election, as although it was not greatly different than expectations, the LDP clearly surpassed some of the more dire polls of last week and there will not likely be any party shake-up in the intermediate-term,” John Vail, Tokyo-based chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management wrote in a note.  The market is also “reacting positively” to Friday’s share-price gains in the U.S., Vail said. Futures on the S&P 500 rose during Asian trading hours after the underlying gauge added 0.2%.  Asia’s regional benchmark capped a weekly drop of 1.5%, its worst such performance since early October, as disappointing results weighed on big technology stocks. More than half of the companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index have reported results for the latest quarter with about 37% posting a positive surprise, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to 7,370.80, recouping some losses after Friday’s 1.4% plunge. Health and consumer discretionary stocks contributed the most to the benchmark’s gain. WiseTech was among the top performers, snapping a four-day losing streak. Westpac was the worst performer after the bank delivered a smaller share buyback than some had expected. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 13,030.31. In rates, fixed income trades heavy with gilts leading the long end weakness. Treasuries were slightly cheaper on the long-end of the curve as S&P 500 futures exceed last week’s record highs. Yields are cheaper by 2bp to 2.5bp from belly out to long-end, with front-end slightly outperforming and steepening 2s10s spread by 1.7bp; 10-year yields around 1.58% with gilts underperforming by 1.1bp, Italian bonds by 3.5bp. Gilts and Italian bonds lag, with Bank of England rate decision due Thursday. In the U.S., weekly highlights include refunding announcement and FOMC Wednesday and Friday’s October jobs report. Bund and gilt curves bear steepen with gilts ~1bps cheaper to bunds. Peripheral spreads swing an early tightening to a broad widening to core with Italy the weakest performer. Overnight futures and options flows included block seller in 5-year note futures (3,900 at 3:09am ET) and a buyer of TY Week 1 129.00 puts at 3 on 10,000, says London trader. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar index held a narrow range. SEK and CHF top the G-10 score board, GBP lags with cable snapping below 1.3650. TRY outperforms EMFX peers. The BBDXY inched up and the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers, with many of the risk-sensitive currencies leading gains The pound retraced some losses against the dollar, after dipping earlier in the European session. The yield on 2-year gilts hit the highest since May 2019. Financial markets are almost fully pricing in a 15-basis point increase in the Bank of England’s benchmark lending rate on Nov. 4, while economists increasingly share that view, even as they see the decision as a far closer call. A record share of U.K. businesses are expecting to increase prices, adding to the inflationary pressures confronting Bank of England policy makers ahead of their meeting on Thursday Australian bonds extended opening gains as traders positioned for the Reserve Bank’s policy decision Tuesday. The Aussie fell, tracking losses in iron ore prices following a weak China PMI, which showed signs of further weakness in October The yen fell for a second day after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party retained its outright majority in a lower-house election, reinforcing bets for fiscal stimulus and reforms. Hedge funds boosted net short positions on the yen to the most since January 2019, raising the risk of a squeeze should risk appetite deteriorate suddenly and demand for havens rise The Turkish lira edged higher after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had “positive” talks with U.S. President Joe Biden In commodities, crude futures drift higher. WTI adds 40c to trade near $84; Brent rises ~1% near $84.50. Spot gold is quiet near $1,786/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME nickel and tin outperform, zinc lags. Looking at today's calendar, earnings continue on Monday with PG&E and ON Semiconductor reporting pre-market, and NXP Semiconductors post-market. We also get the latest Mfg PMI print and the October Mfg ISM print. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 4,612.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 479.40 MXAP up 0.4% to 198.04 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 645.49 Nikkei up 2.6% to 29,647.08 Topix up 2.2% to 2,044.72 Hang Seng Index down 0.9% to 25,154.32 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,544.48 Sensex up 1.3% to 60,079.40 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,370.78 Kospi up 0.3% to 2,978.94 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $83.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,783.20 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.14 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.091% Euro up 0.1% to $1.1571 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg House Democratic leaders are pushing hard to get Biden’s package finalized, with votes on both that bill and a smaller infrastructure plan this week -- the latest in a string of self- imposed deadlines. The Senate, which already approved the public-works bill, is likely to vote on the larger package later in the month Leaders of the Group of 20 countries agreed on a climate deal that fell well short of what some nations were pushing for, leaving it to negotiators at the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week to try to achieve a breakthrough The U.K. said it will trigger legal action against France within 48 hours unless a dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights is resolved, as the growing spat threatens to overshadow the United Nations’ climate summit Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she believes Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has taken “significant action” in the wake of revelations over the personal investments of U.S. central-bank policy makers; Yellen dismissed recent moves in the bond market that have signaled concern about monetary policy makers squelching economic growth, and expressed confidence in the continuing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic The U.S. and the European Union have reached a trade truce on steel and aluminum that will allow the allies to remove tariffs on more than $10 billion of their exports each year Asia-Pac bourses traded mostly higher amid tailwinds from last Friday's fresh record highs in the US where Wall St. topped off its best monthly performance YTD, but with some of the advances in the region capped as participants digested mixed Chinese PMI data and ahead of this week’s slew of key risk events including crucial central bank policy announcements from the RBA, BOE and FOMC, as well as the latest NFP jobs data. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was led higher by the consumer-related sectors amid a reopening play after Australia permitted fully vaccinated citizens to travel internationally again and with several M&A related headlines adding to the optimism including the Brookfield-led consortium acquisition of AusNet Services and Seven West Media’s takeover of Prime Media. Conversely, the largest weighted financials sector failed to join in on the spoils with Westpac shares heavily pressured following its FY results which fell short of analyst estimates despite more than doubling on its cash earnings. Nikkei 225 (+2.5%) was the biggest gainer with the index underpinned by favourable currency flows and following the general election in which the ruling LDP maintained a majority in the lower house although won fewer seats than previously for its slimmest majority since 2012, while the KOSPI (+0.4%) was kept afloat but with upside limited by slightly softer than expected trade data. Hang Seng (-1.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) were subdued amid a slew of earnings releases and following mixed Chinese PMI data in which the official Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs disappointed analysts’ forecasts with the former at a second consecutive contraction, although Caixin Manufacturing PMI was more encouraging and topped market consensus. Finally, 10yr JGBs initially declined amid gains in stocks and recent pressure in T-notes due to rate hike bets with analysts at Goldman Sachs bringing forward their Fed rate hike calls to July 2022 from summer 2023 citing inflation concerns, although 10yr JGBS then recovered despite the mixed results from the 10yr JGB auction which showed a higher b/c amid lower accepted prices and wider tail in price. Top Asian News Japan’s Kishida Mulls Motegi for LDP Secretary General: Kyodo Home Sales Slump; Another Bond Deadline Looms: Evergrande Update Two Thirds of China’s Top Developers Breach a ‘Red Line’ on Debt Hedge Fund Quad Sells Memory Stocks Citing Demand Uncertainty European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.6%) have kicked the week off on the front-foot with the Stoxx 600 printing a fresh all-time-high. The handover from the APAC session was a largely constructive one with the Nikkei 225 (+2.6%) the best in class for the region amid favourable currency flows and the fallout from the Japanese general election which saw the ruling LDP party maintain a majority in the lower house. Elsewhere, performance for the Shanghai Composite (-0.1%) and Hang Seng (-0.9%) was less impressive amid a slew of earnings releases and mixed Chinese PMI data in which the official Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs disappointed analysts’ forecasts. US equity index futures are trading on a firmer footing (ES +0.5%) ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC announcement and Friday’s NFP data. The latest reports from Washington suggest that House Democrats are hoping to pass the social spending and bipartisan infrastructure bills as soon as Tuesday. Back to Europe, a recent note from JPM stated that Q3 European earnings “are coming in well ahead of expectations in aggregate”, adding that results are healthy when considering the “trickier operating backdrop”. Sectors in the region are higher across the board with Auto names top of the leaderboard. Renault (+3.3%) sits at the top of the CAC 40 with the name potentially gaining some reprieve from agreement to resolve the US-EU steel and aluminium trade dispute (something which the Co. has previously noted as a negative). Also following the resolution, Thyssenkrupp (+2.8%) and Salzgitter (+4.5%) are both trading notably higher. Barclays (-2.0%) shares are seen lower after news that CEO Staley is to step down with immediate effect following the investigation into his relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein; Barclays' Global Head of Markets, Venkatakrishnan is to take over. UK homebuilders (Persimmon -2.1%, Taylor Wimpey -1.9%, Barratt Developments -1.9%, Berkeley Group -1.7%) are softer on the session amid concerns that the sector could fall victim to higher mortgage rates given the shape of the UK yield curve. Ryanair (+1%) shares are higher post-earnings which saw the Co. continue its recovery from the pandemic, albeit still expects a loss for the year. Furthermore, the board is considering the merits of retaining its standard listing on the LSE. Finally, BT (+4.2%) is the best performer in the Stoxx 600 ahead of earnings on Thursday with press reports suggesting that the Co. could announce that its GBP 1bln cost savings target will be met a year earlier than the guided March 2023. Top European News SIG Proposed Offering for EU300m Senior Secured Notes Due 2026 Delivery Hero’s Turkey Unit CEO Nevzat Aydin to Step Down Goldman Sachs Says ‘Lost Decade’ Is Looming for 60/40 Portfolios URW Sells Stake in Paris Triangle Tower Project to AXA IM Alts In FX, the Greenback is holding above 94.000 in index terms and gradually ground higher after pausing for breath and taking some time out following its rapid resurgence last Friday to eclipse the 94.302 month end best at 94.313 before waning again. Hawkish vibes going into the FOMC are underpinning the Dollar and helping to offset external factors that are less supportive, including ongoing strength in global stock markets on solid if not stellar Q3 earnings and economic recovery from COVID-19 lockdown or restricted levels. Hence, the DXY is keeping its head above the round number and outperforming most major peers within and beyond the basket, awaiting Markit’s final manufacturing PMI, the equivalent ISM and construction spending ahead of the Fed on Wednesday and NFP on Friday. JPY/AUD - Little sign of relief for the Yen from victory by Japan’s ruling LDP part at the weekend elections as the 261 seat majority secured is down from the previous 276 and the tightest winning margin since 2012. Moreover, Security General Amari lost his constituency and new PM Kishida concedes that this reflects the public’s adverse feelings towards the Government over the last 4 years. Usd/Jpy is eyeing 114.50 as a result and the Aussie is looking precarious around 0.7500 against the backdrop of weakness in commodity prices even though perceptions for the upcoming RBA have turned markedly towards the potential for YCT to be withdrawn following firm core inflation readings and no defence of the 0.1% April 2024 bond target. NZD/EUR/CHF/CAD/GBP - All narrowly mixed vs their US counterpart, and with the Kiwi also taking advantage of the aforementioned apprehension in the Aud via the cross, while the Euro has pared declines from just under 1.1550, but still looks top-heavy into 1.1600. Elsewhere, the Franc is pivoting 0.9160 and 1.0600 against the Euro with more attention on a rise in Swiss sight deposits at domestic banks as evidence of intervention than a fractionally softer than expected manufacturing PMI, the Loonie is keeping afloat of 1.2400 ahead of Markit’s Canadian manufacturing PMI and Sterling is striving to stay above 1.3600, but underperforming vs the Euro circa 0.8470 amidst the ongoing tiff between the UK and France over fishing rights. SCANDI/EM - Robust Swedish and Norwegian manufacturing PMIs plus broad risk appetite is underpinning the Sek and Nok, in contrast to the Cnh and Cny following disappointing official Chinese PMIs vs a more respectable Caixin print, but the EM laggard is the Zar in knock-on reaction to Gold’s fall from grace on Friday, increasingly bearish technical impulses and SA energy supply issues compounded by Eskom’s load-shedding. Conversely, the Try has pared some declines irrespective of a slowdown in Turkey’s manufacturing PMI as the CBRT conducted a second repo op for Lira 27 bn funds maturing on November 11 at 16%. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer this morning with gains of between USD 0.50-1.00/bbl, this upside is in-spite of a lack of fundamental newsflow explicitly for the complex and is seemingly derived from broader risk sentiment, as mentioned above. Nonetheless, Energy Ministers are beginning to give commentary ahead of Thursday’s OPEC+ event and so far Angola, Kuwait and Iraq officials have voiced their support for the planned 400k BPD hike to production in December. This reiteration of existing plans is in opposition from calls from non-OPEC members such as the US and Japan that the group should look to increase production quicker than planned, in a bid to quell rising prices. Separately, Saudi Aramco reported Q3 earnings over the weekend in which its net profit doubled given strong crude prices and sales volumes improving by 12% QQ; subsequently, some analysts have highlighted the possibility for a end-2021 special dividend. Elsewhere, base metals are mixed and fairly contained in-spite of the EU and US announcing an agreement to resolve the ongoing aluminium and steel trade dispute. While spot gold and silver are modestly firmer this morning as the yellow metal remains contained after its slip from the USD 1800/oz mark in the tail-end of last week. Currently, spot gold is pivoting its 100-DMA at USD 1786 with the 50- and 200-DMAs residing either side at USD 1780/oz and USD 1791/oz respectively. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Oct. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.2, prior 59.2 10am: Oct. ISM Manufacturing, est. 60.5, prior 61.1 10am: Sept. Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Welcome to November. I had three halloween parties over the weekend which is probably more than the entire number I went to before I had kids. I still have some spooky make up on this morning that I just couldn’t get off from last night. So there’s a reason alone to zoom into the call at 3pm today. As it’s the 1st of November Henry is about to publish our monthly performance review. It was a hectic month of higher inflation expectations and commodities, and also the best S&P 500 month of the year. Bonds underperformed across the board but these small negatives masked great volatility and stress under the surface, especially in the last week. See the report that should be out in the next 30-60mins. With all due respect to our readers in Australia, I’m going to open the market section this morning with a line I don’t think I’ve written in 27 years of market commentary and probably won’t again. And it’s not about England thrashing Australia at cricket on Saturday. Yes the most important event of the week could be the RBA meeting tomorrow. 2 year yields last week rose from 0.15% on Wednesday morning to 0.775% at the close on Friday as the RBA were conspicuous by their absence in defending the 0.1% target on the April 24 bond. I’ve absolutely zero idea what they are going to do tomorrow which should help you all tremendously but their absence again this morning gives a decent indication. I was taught economics in an era where central banks liked to keep an element of mystery and surprise. As such I’ve always disliked the forward guidance era as it encourages markets to pile on to much riskier, one way positions that a normally functioning market should naturally allow. But to go from forward guidance to silence (that rhymes) is a recipe for huge market turmoil if the facts change. It's unclear if the full implications of last week’s carnage at the global front end has yet been cleared out. There is lots of speculation about large unwinds, big stop losses etc. Liquidity was also awful last week. Much might depend on central banks this week. Make no mistake though there is considerable pain out there. The latest this morning in Aussie rates is that the 2y yield is down around -7bps while the 10y yield is down -19.0bps. So we wait with baited breath for tomorrow. Elsewhere in Asia, the Nikkei 225 (+2.42%) is charging ahead this morning as Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party kept its majority after lower house elections, thus boosting optimism about a potential fiscal stimulus. Elsewhere, the KOSPI (+0.43%) and the Shanghai composite (+0.07%) are outperforming the Hang Seng (-1.10%). In terms of data, China’s official manufacturing PMI fell from 49.6 to 49.2 (49.7 expected), not helped by commodities price rises and electricity shortages. The non-manufacturing PMI also fell to 52.4 from 53.2 (consensus 53). The Caixin manufacturing PMI did beat at 50.6 this morning (consensus 50). In terms of virus developments in the region, Shanghai Disneyland is closed amid recent COVID outbreaks, while Singapore is adding ICU beds in response to high levels of serious cases. The S&P 500 mini futures is up +0.23% this morning, the US 10y Treasury is at 1.56% (+1.2bps). It’s strange to have a likely Fed taper announcement on Wednesday be third billing for the week but the BoE on Thursday might be the next most important meeting as it’s still a finely judged call as to whether they hike this week or not. DB (preview here) think they will raise rates by 15bps with two 25bps hikes in February and May. They’ll also end QE a month earlier than planned. So over to the third billing, namely the Fed. They will announce a well flagged taper on Wednesday. In line with recent guidance, DB expect that the Fed will announce monthly reductions of $10bn and $5bn of Treasury and MBS purchases, respectively. With the first cut to purchases coming mid-November, this will bring the latest round of QE to a conclusion in June 2022. The Fed has some flexibility with this timetable but it will be interesting to hear how much Powell pushes back on markets that price in two hikes in 2022, including one almost fully priced for before the taper ends. If markets attacked the Fed in the same way they have the RBA the global financial system would have a lot of issues so it’s a fine balance for the Fed. They won’t want to push back too aggressively on market pricing given the uncertainty but they won’t want an outright attack on forward guidance. Moving on, a lowly fourth billing will be reserved for US payrolls on Friday. DB expect the headline gain (+400k forecast, consensus +425k vs. +194k previously) to modestly outperform that of private payrolls (+350k vs. +317k) and for the unemployment rate to fall by a tenth to 4.7% and average hourly earnings to post another strong gain (+0.4% vs. +0.6%) amidst still-elevated hours worked (34.8hrs vs. 34.8hrs). Outside of all this excitement, we have the COP26 which will dominate all your news outlets. The other main data highlight are the global PMIs (today and Wednesday mostly) which will give insight into how the economic recovery has progressed in the first month of Q4 with the surveys shedding light onto how inflation is affecting suppliers. There is lots more in store for us this week but see the day by day calendar at the end for the full run down The market also enters the second half of the 3Q earnings season. There are 168 S&P 500 and 85 Stoxx 600 companies reporting this week with 52% of the S&P 500 and 48% of the STOXX 600 having already reported. DB’s Binky Chadha published an update on earnings season over the weekend (link here). In the US, the size of the earnings beat has declined over the course of the season and is on track to hit 7%, well below the record 14-20% range post pandemic. Excluding the lumpy loan-loss reserve releases by banks, the beat is even lower at 5%, bringing it back in line with the historical norm. Quarterly earnings are on track to be down sequentially from Q2 to Q3 by -1.1% (qoq seasonally adjusted), the first drop since Q2 2020. The flat to down read of earnings is broad based across sector groups. Forward consensus estimates have fallen outside of the Energy sector. The S&P 500 nevertheless has seen one of the strongest earning season rallies on record. See much more in Binky’s piece. This week’s highlights include NXP Semiconductors, Zoom, and Tata Motors today before Pfizer, T-Mobile, Estee Lauder, BP, Mondelez, Activision Blizzard, and AP Moller-Maersk tomorrow. Then on Wednesday we’ll hear from Novo Nordisk, Qualcomm, CVS, Marriott, Albemarle, and MGM resorts. Thursday sees reports from Toyota, Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, and Deutsche Post and then a busy Friday with Alibaba Group, Dominion Energy, Honda, and Mitsubishi. Looking back now and reviewing last week in numbers, it was a week of heightened intraday volatility within rates, as markets brought forward the expected timing of central bank policy actions across advanced economies while revising down growth expectations. Position stop outs almost certainly played a role as the magnitude of the moves were out of sync with macro developments while FX and equity markets were not nearly as volatile. Global front end rates started moving in earnest on Wednesday, following the Bank of Canada’s surprise decision to end net asset purchases, while bringing forward the timing of liftoff, which sent 2yr Canadian bonds more than +20bps higher. In the following days, the RBA opted not to defend their yield curve control target, and ECB President Lagarde did not use her press conference to provide much of a forceful pushback on recent repricing. All told, almost every DM economy saw their 2 yr bond selloff, including the US (+4.4 bps, +0.8 bps Friday), UK (+4.9 bps, +5.9 bps Friday), Germany (+5.2 bps, +3.2 bps Friday), Canada (+23bps) and Australia (+65bps). The long end went the other direction in the core countries, with many curves twist flattening over the week as negative growth sentiment weighed on the back end. Nominal 10yr yields declined -6.2 bps (-2.8 bps Friday) in the US, -11.1 bps (+2.5 bps Friday) in the UK, and were flat in Germany (+3.0 bps Friday). Unlike the rest of October, the decline in nominal yields coincided with declining inflation breakevens (albeit from historically high levels), with 10yr breakevens declining -5.2 bps (-0.6 bps Friday) in the US, -25.4 bps (-8.5 bps Friday) in the UK, and -16.3 bps (-11.5 bps Friday) in Germany. Note that outside the core there were some bond markets that moved higher in yield with 10yr bonds in Canada (+7bps), Australia (+30bps) and Italy (+19bps) all higher for different reasons. Some of the bond moves above don’t do the intra-day volatility any justice though. Elsewhere Crude oil prices dipped to close out what was otherwise another very good month, with Brent and WTI -1.34% (+0.07% Friday) and -0.23% (+0.92% Friday) lower. Meanwhile, equity markets marched to the beat of a different drum. The S&P 500 (+1.33%, +0.19% Friday), Nasdaq (+2.71%, +0.33% Friday), and DJIA (+0.40%, +.25% Friday) all set new all-time highs, while the STOXX 600 increased +0.77% (+0.07% Friday), cents below the all-time high set in August. Generally strong earnings relative to a worried market prior to the season again supported equity markets. Calls were replete with mentions of supply chain woes and labour shortages though, but companies sounded an optimistic note on end-user demand. Many big tech stocks reported, to more mixed results than the broader index. Alphabet and Microsoft beat on both revenue and earnings, Facebook and Apple missed analyst revenue estimates, while Amazon and Twitter missed revenue and earnings estimates. Ford and Caterpillar, two bellwethers particularly exposed to current supply chain and labour maladies, fared especially well. So far this season 279 companies have reported, with 206 beating on revenue and 237 beating on earnings Out of D.C., after prolonged negotiations within the Democratic Party, US President Biden unveiled a new social and climate spending framework, containing $1.75 trillion in spending measures as well as revenue-raising offsets. Once the text is finalized, it should enable a vote on the social spending package as well as the separately-negotiated bi-partisan infrastructure bill. More is likely to come this week. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/01/2021 - 07:59.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 1st, 2021

Philadelphia Passes "Anti-Driving While Black" Measure That Bans Minor Traffic Stops

Philadelphia Passes "Anti-Driving While Black" Measure That Bans Minor Traffic Stops Today in "liberal cities are moving one step closer to total lawlessness" news, it was reported that Philadelphia's City Council has passed a measure that bans officers from pulling over drivers for traffic violations like broken taillights or expired registrations. The measure, being called an "anti-driving-while-black" law, is being seen by social justice advocates as a "victory for equity", according to the Delaware Valley Journal.  Councilmember Isaiah Thomas’ Driving Equality bill supposedly seeks "to address the tension between members of the Black community and police by reducing the number of minor traffic stops". Thomas wants to redirect police time toward "keeping the community safe" while removing negative interactions that "widen the racial divide". We guess the idea of reprimanding officers for pulling people over for no reason, instead of actually having a valid reason, never crossed his mind. Because keeping things "safer" now apparently means you can drive around in a car with busted headlights and no registration. Ah, the sweet smell of progress. Thomas commented: “To many people who look like me, a traffic stop is a rite of passage – we pick out cars, determine routes, and plan our social interactions around the fact that police will likely pull us over. With this vote, I breathe a sigh of relief that my sons and my friends’ children will grow up in a city where being pulled over is not a rite of passage but a measure of the safety of your driving and vehicle, regardless of the skin color of the driver. That’s why I am grateful to my colleagues for voting to pass my Driving Equality bills.” NYPD deputy inspector John Hall conducted an analysis of the approach and said: “Experience during the pandemic has revealed that removing police from traffic enforcement leads to more dangerous streets, more disorder, and more crime. Public safety policy decisions and legislation must be informed by data and made with eyes wide open to their consequences.” Once Mayor Kenney signs the measure into law, it'll also create a database of all traffic stops. Thomas concluded: “Data will tell us if we should end more traffic stops or amend how this is enforced. Data will also tell other cities that Philadelphia is leading on this civil rights issue, and it can be replicated. Data and lived experiences showed us the problem, and data will be key to making sure this is done right.” The bill passed city council 14-2, with the council's only two Republican members voting against it.  Former Upper Darby Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood, who had also worked as a police officer in Philadelphia, said: “Some of the best arrests that I ever made were based on a headlight out or a turn signal off. I can recall arresting an individual with six handguns in a trunk of a car and masks and rope based on the fact that his rear light wasn’t working.”   Tyler Durden Sun, 10/31/2021 - 19:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 31st, 2021