Trump’s disruption: Could there be a silver lining? | FCW


Again and again, at conference after conference, when we are asked what the government needs in order to change, the answer is not new legislation or regulation, better systems or another presidential initiative. All those elements are important, but the inevitable answer is, “We need to change the culture.”

And to change the culture, we need to change old thinking, old ways of doing business, old management styles. We need to change many of the senior people.

It is time for them to go. It is time for them to go so that a new generation can take root and begin to lead the government to a more mission-oriented, solution-minded, enterprise-wide approach to current challenges.

Source: Trump’s disruption: Could there be a silver lining? — FCW

Apple is tired of making Coca-Cola and now wants to sell champagne | The Guardian


“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest,” Andy Warhol wrote in his 1975 autobiography. “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.”

Apple’s mobile product lines, like the iPhone and iPad, have suggested that it wants to make the Coca-Cola of the technological world.

Not for Apple the vast segmented portfolios of the likes of Samsung.

Instead, it has generally had an incredibly simple offer: the best phone or tablet it can make, or, for the more price-conscious, the best phone or tablet it could make last year.

Source: Apple is tired of making Coca-Cola and now wants to sell champagne | Alex Hern | Technology | The Guardian

Give Companies Easier Access to Public Markets | Bloomberg View


If we want growing companies to go public, we need our public markets to be a competitive source of growth capital.

One easy solution is to let public companies sell their shares in the same way they can now buy them back: through brokers directly into their established public markets.

Removing the outdated restrictions on selling shares publicly will lower the cost of capital and attract more growth companies to our markets.

Source: Give Companies Easier Access to Public Markets – Bloomberg View

London attack: British-born attacker ‘known to MI5’ | BBC News


The prime minister’s carefully-worded statement that the killer was once investigated raises more questions than it currently answers.

It appears that the individual was discounted as a “peripheral figure” on the edge of some other operation.

Every day they have to prioritize, or triage, who to pursue and who to discount. People who were once a threat change their thinking. They grow up, have kids and settle down. MI5, meanwhile, is tasked with focusing on those they know of with the most advanced plans.

Some of those they discount, or temporarily turn away from, later turn out to be more dangerous than initially thought.

Source: London attack: British-born attacker ‘known to MI5’ – BBC News

This is what slavery looks like today, in the eyes of slavers | Aeon Essays


Around half of the world’s slaves are held in debt bondage in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Debt bondage is a very old form of slavery in which radically marginalized members of society, often from India’s ‘untouchable’ caste, must trade all their labor for single small infusions of cash.

Broader social and economic systems ensure that they do not understand the terms of such loans, and that the time required to repay them is interminable.

Lack of other work, lack of credit, and the need to pay for schooling and marriages effectively guarantee that there is no single contractual debt between the landlord and laborer but rather a string of interconnected informal loans.

Source: This is what slavery looks like today, in the eyes of slavers | Aeon Essays

Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups | Brookings Institution


“Deaths of despair” in midlife rose most dramatically for white non-Hispanic Americans with a high school degree or less—a pattern that diverges sharply from overall rates of “deaths of despair” in midlife in other rich countries.

The chart above compares “deaths of despair” in midlife for white non-Hispanics in the U.S. with overall “deaths of despair” (all races combined) in midlife in other rich countries over time.

Source: Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups | Brookings Institution

Sweden prepares hundreds of nuclear bunkers


Sweden is reportedly preparing hundreds of nuclear war shelters to prepare for a potential attack from Russia amid growing concerns in the Baltics.

As reported by The Independent, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has ordered a review of 350 civilian bunkers on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, where Sweden has stationed permanent troops.

The shelters are designed to protect people against the shock wave and radiation from a nuclear detonation, as well as chemical and biological weapons.

Source: Sweden prepares hundreds of nuclear bunkers

Barnier outlines the three key stages of the Brexit negotiations


First, negotiators will create a good faith atmosphere, taking off the table threats “on people, money, and borders.”

Neither British pensioners in Spain nor Polish students in Britain should face uncertainty over the rights they currently enjoy, Barnier underscored.

Prime Minister May is also bound by a commitment to both Chambers of Parliament that this will be the first item of negotiation.

Source: Barnier outlines the three key stages of the Brexit negotiations

Greece and the European Union – don’t blame me | Euronews


Who is to blame for Greece’s staggering public debt which led to three consecutive EU-IMF bailouts in exchange for reforms and austerity?

Multi-billion dollar loans that most Greeks and even most Europeans believe the country can’t pay back unless there is some debt-relief.

“The irony and problem that we are all facing at the moment is that economics tell you that you need to go towards closer union and complete this construction which was created ten years ago. And the politics goes in the complete opposite direction. The politics is much more nationalistic and much more every country for itself.

“The real question is how do you reconcile the two? How do you manage to convince the citizens that the only way for the Eurozone to survive is for a deeper integration and more robust institutions than what we have at the moment? That’s what is going to be tested in 2017 in many European elections.”

Source: Greece and the European Union – don’t blame me | Euronews

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Crisis of Values Gnawing at the Ends of the EU


Financial problems, unemployment and the euro crisis aside, what is perhaps even more important for the EU’s future is the erosion of “Europe’s historic soul,” as Laura Kolbe, a professor of European history at the University of Helsinki, put it.

Kolbe characterized Europe’s foremost individual achievement as “the individual enlightened man.” A longer list of “typical European things” from a historian’s perspective includes law and order, morality and equality, as well as organization, functionality, freedom of expression, technical know-how, humanism and environmentalism.

However, Europe is commonly associated with a high standard of living and its quality of life, due to decades of publicity.

Source: Crisis of Values Gnawing at the Ends of the EU