No Comment Diary

The News Without Comment

This content shows Simple View

August 2017

For the third time, one undocumented Houston family fled a hurricane

Both undocumented Mexican immigrants, Lorenzo and Paulina fled Houston Friday with their three children, leaving behind a mobile home a foot deep in water. Now they’re living with about 200 others in a shelter at the Delco Center in northeast Austin.

With Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center well over capacity at around 9,000 people, Austin and other Texas cities have offered refuge to those who fled the historic Hurricane Harvey. More than 30,000 people are now staying in 230 shelters across Texas, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official said Wednesday.

Lorenzo and Paulina are among Houston’s estimated 575,000 undocumented immigrants. Unlike many, they didn’t believe rumors that emergency shelters would be asking for identification or aiding deportation agents: “We’ve done this before,” Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo said his family has evacuated Houston three times in their 17 years there, including when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008. By now, it’s almost a bizarre routine for them, so they weren’t afraid when they saw friends posting on social media not to seek assistance.

Enough fear has circulated about immigration enforcement during Harvey that officials have had to go to great lengths to tamp down the rumors.

“If someone comes and they require help and then for some reason [someone] tries to deport them, I will represent them myself,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Monday.

Even Governor Greg Abbott gave immigrants tepid assurances on Friday, and FEMA has tried to quell fears in a section of its website titled “Rumor Control.”

Austin City Council member Greg Casar said there’s a reason the rumors have been hard to squash. “Austin police are not checking for immigration status at our shelters,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “However, I understand why people are afraid. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump have purposefully created this fear.”

Senate Bill 4, Texas’ “sanctuary cities” ban that Abbott championed, will take effect Friday unless a federal judge stops it. The measure will force law enforcement leaders to let cops ask about immigration status during any routine detention — for anything from speeding to jaywalking.

“The police have to do their job, but also there are bad people who will do their job badly,” said Lorenzo. Asked how she felt about SB 4, Paulina replied: “Tristeza” (sadness).

On top of SB 4, Trump could soon end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama program that has granted relief from deportation and work permits to nearly 800,000 young immigrants. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has led the assault on DACA by threatening to sue the federal government if the program isn’t ended by Sept. 5.

Lorenzo and Paulina’s oldest daughter, Maria, said she’s a DACA recipient who’s been in the United States since she was a year old. Now 18, she intends to start community college in the Houston area. If Trump fully terminates DACA, she could soon find herself back in a country she’s never known.

But like her father, Maria defies a common media narrative of the terrified immigrant: She said she’s scared, “but not really — whatever’s gonna happen will happen.”

As she spoke, Trump himself was about a 10-minute drive away on the second stop of his post-hurricane Texas tour. He toured the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Operations Center, where he was joined by about 200 protesters.

“It’s epic what happened,” said Trump earlier Tuesday in Corpus Christi, referring to Harvey. “But you know what: It happened in Texas, and Texas can handle anything.” He then waved a Lone Star flag in front of a cheering crowd.

The president, who has considered cutting FEMA to fund a border wall, made no mention of the mounting number of people killed by the storm.

Asked if he was glad Trump had arrived, Lorenzo pointed to a nearby Red Cross volunteer. “I think they’re the ones doing the helping,” he said.

The road to recovery looks rough for Lorenzo and his family. A construction worker, Lorenzo is the family’s sole breadwinner, and they’re already suffering from his lost wages. He doesn’t know when he can return to work, and he’s not sure they’ll even have money for next month’s rent.

He said he hopes to be back home by Friday.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline For the third time, one undocumented Houston family fled a hurricane on Aug 31, 2017.

http://ift.tt/2vNedV1 Source: http://grist.org



Screens 4

http://toolsandtoys.net

Screens 4

Earlier this summer, Screens was updated to version 4. So what’s new in version 4? The biggest enhancement for me is drag and drop file transfers between Macs. I use Screens to access several remote Macs, and this is a great feature. Rather than having to sync the file via Dropbox or some other method, I can just drop it right from the host Mac.

There is also an updated user interface, Touch Bar support, and a new Curtain Mode that will blank out the display on remote Macs if you want to hide what you are doing.

Screens 4 is a paid upgrade. You can buy it for $29.99 on the Mac App Store. Existing customers can get a discount off the upgrade by visiting the developer’s website. If you purchased Screens 3 after January 31, 2017, version 4 is free.

Buy Now

You May Also Like

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net



FactChecking Trump’s Tax Speech

In a speech on changing the tax code, President Donald Trump offered some political spin on the facts.

  • Trump claimed “anywhere from $3 trillion to $5 trillion” of profits are left overseas by U.S. companies to avoid U.S. taxes. But his own press office cites an estimate of $2.6 trillion in a fact sheet posted online the day of his speech. The group that published that number told us $5 trillion “seems impossibly high.”
  • The president compared apples to oranges in saying the U.S. just had a 3 percent growth rate in gross domestic product — that’s for the quarter — while “on a yearly basis” under the Obama administration, growth “never hit 3 percent.” Quarterly GDP growth exceeded 3 percent eight times under President Obama.
  • Trump said the U.S. was “dead last” in terms of business taxes. The U.S. has the highest statutory corporate tax rate among developed countries, but the rate isn’t the highest by other measures, such as when tax credits are included.
  • Trump said that “more than 90 percent of Americans need professional help to do their own taxes” because the “tax code is so complicated.” Fifty-four percent paid someone else; another 40 percent used tax software.

Trump made his remarks on Aug. 30 in Springfield, Missouri, calling on Congress to “support pro-American tax reform.”

Offshore Exaggeration

Trump exaggerated the amount of money U.S. companies likely have in offshore accounts, nearly doubling a figure the White House includes in a fact sheet, released the same day as the president’s remarks.

Trump: Because of our high tax rate and horrible, outdated, bureaucratic rules, large companies that do business overseas will often park their profits offshore to avoid paying a high United States tax if the money is brought back home. So they leave the money over there. The amount of money we’re talking about is anywhere from $3 trillion to $5 trillion. Can you believe that?

U.S. companies with business overseas do keep some profits in offshore accounts, where it isn’t subject to U.S. corporate taxes until it is repatriated to this country. The profits are declared indefinitely, or permanently, reinvested, which means the companies say they will reinvest the money abroad.

If a U.S. company does bring the money back to the United States, it would be “subject to the U.S. tax rate of 35 percent minus a tax credit equal to whatever taxes the company paid to foreign governments,” the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy explains in a March report on this issue.

The White House cites figures from that report in its Aug. 30 fact sheet on Trump’s tax remarks.

White House fact sheet, Aug. 30: Fortune 500 corporations are holding more than $2.6 trillion in profits offshore to avoid $767 billion in Federal taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

If the White House is citing a figure of $2.6 trillion for profits kept overseas, where does Trump get the $5 trillion figure? We asked the White House, but we haven’t received a response.

We also asked ITEP, a nonprofit that partners with the left-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice, about the $5 trillion figure, which Trump has used before. ITEP Senior Fellow Matthew Gardner told us in an email: “I have never seen an estimate as high as $3 trillion, and the $5 trillion number seems impossibly high.”

ITEP’s estimate is for Fortune 500 companies, but the independent research firm Audit Analytics has a database for all companies that file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Don Whalen, the firm’s director of research, told us that as of today, there were $2.8 trillion in corporate profits indefinitely reinvested.

Trump’s campaign cited a $2.1 trillion estimate from 2015 in the footnotes for Trump’s economic speech in Detroit in August 2016. In that speech, Trump said: “We are also going to bring back trillions of dollars from American businesses that is now parked overseas.” And his campaign tax plan used a figure of $2.5 trillion.

But he has established a pattern of bumping that up to $5 trillion. He told the Economic Club of New York in September 2016: “Some people say there are $2 trillion dollars overseas, I think it’s $5 trillion.” And he used the figure in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in late July.

Trump went on to say in his Aug. 30 remarks: “By making it less punitive for companies to bring back this money, and by making the process far less bureaucratic and difficult, we can return trillions and trillions of dollars to our economy and spur billions of dollars in new investments in our struggling communities and throughout our nation.”

It’s worth noting that the U.S. has tried to spur repatriation of these earnings before. In 2004, the American Jobs Creation Act created a one-year reduction that made the tax rate on repatriated profits 5.25 percent for companies that paid a 35 percent corporate rate, explains a 2011 Congressional Research Service report. About one-third of offshore earnings were brought back to the U.S., CRS said, but studies on the impact generally found that “the repatriations did not increase domestic investment or employment. They further conclude that much of the repatriations were returned to shareholders through stock repurchases.”

The president didn’t reveal details on what his tax holiday for offshore profits would be. His campaign tax plan, however, proposed a repatriation tax of 10 percent.

GDP Growth

Though he gets the numbers right, Trump engaged in some misleading spin when he compared economic growth under his administration with the previous administration.

Trump, Aug. 30: And today, a very appropriate day that this should happen, we just announced that we hit 3 percent in GDP. Just came out. And on a yearly basis, as you know, the last administration, during an eight-year period, never hit 3 percent. So we’re really on our way.

It’s true that the real GDP growth rate was 3 percent for the second quarter of this year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But Trump doesn’t make it clear that he is talking about one quarter, and then he compounds the distortion by comparing one quarter growth to annual growth under the Obama administration.

In fact, the real GDP growth rate exceeded 3 percent in eight quarters during the Obama administration, with a high of 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Trump is correct that the annual real GDP growth rate never exceeded 3 percent under Obama. The highest it reached was 2.9 percent in 2015, according to the BEA. It remains to be seen if the nation’s economy will top 2.9 percent annual growth under Trump. Real GDP increased just 1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Highest Corporate Taxes?

Trump claimed “when it comes to the business tax, we [the U.S.] are dead last.” And, he said, the U.S. rate is “60 percent higher” than “our economic competitors.” The U.S. does have the highest statutory corporate tax rate among developed countries. But the U.S. isn’t highest when tax credits are factored in, for example.

There are many ways to measure and compare corporate tax burdens, and Trump chose those that paint the U.S. in the worst possible light relative to other countries.

Trump: Today, we are still taxing our businesses at 35 percent, and it’s way more than that. And think of it, in some cases way above 40 percent when you include state and local taxes in various states. The United States is now behind France, behind Germany, behind Canada, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and many other nations. …

So when it comes to the business tax, we are dead last. Can you believe this? So this cannot be allowed to continue any longer. America must lead the way, not follow from behind. We have gone from a tax rate that is lower than our economic competitors, to one that is more than 60 percent higher. We have totally surrendered our competitive edge to other countries.

It’s not strictly true that the U.S. has a higher statutory corporate tax rate than every other country in the world. That dubious distinction goes to Comoros, a tiny archipelago off Africa’s east coast that has a statutory rate of 50 percent, and the United Arab Emirates, which selectively levies at a rate of 55 percent, Kyle Pomerleau, director of federal projects at the Tax Foundation, told us.

The federal statutory corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 35 percent, as Trump said, and that figure jumps to about 39 percent when state taxes are added in. That is highest among the 35 advanced economies tracked by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. The next highest is France at 34.4 percent.

But that’s just one way to measure corporate tax burdens. In 2014, a Congressional Research Service report found that the average effective corporate tax rate in 2008 was 27.1 percent, which tracks pretty closely to the GDP weighted average among other OECD countries, 27.7 percent.

“Although the U.S. statutory tax rate is higher, the average effective rate is about the same, and the marginal rate on new investment is only slightly higher,” the CRS report states. “The statutory rate differential is relevant for international profit shifting; effective rates are more relevant for firms’ investment levels.”

Pomerleau, of the Tax Foundation, warned however that effective tax rate calculations that simply divide taxes paid by corporate profits skew results for the U.S. That’s because the U.S. has a smaller corporate sector than many other developed nations. And that’s because the U.S. has a larger proportion of pass-through businesses, such as S corporations and partnerships that are taxed at an individual rather than corporate rate. The marginal individual rate ranges from 10 percent to 39.6 percent.

Congressional Budget Office report in March presented three measures of corporate tax. The first, the “top statutory corporate tax rate,” lists the U.S. highest among G20 nations at 39.1 percent. The second is the “average corporate tax rate,” a measure “of the total amount of corporate taxes that a company pays as a share of its income.” By that measure, the U.S. rate of 29 percent ranks third among G20 countries, behind Argentina at 37.3 percent and Indonesia at 36.4 percent. Finally, the CBO calculated the “effective marginal corporate tax rate,” defined as “a measure of a corporation’s tax burden on returns from a marginal investment.” By that measure, CBO found, the U.S. rate of 18.6 percent was fourth among G20 countries, lower than Argentina (22.6), Japan (21.7) and the United Kingdom (18.7).

A 2016 Government Accountability Office report found that from 2006 to 2012 “at least two-thirds of all active corporations had no federal income tax liability.” The GAO said: “Among large corporations (generally those with at least $10 million in assets) less than half—42.3 percent—paid no federal income tax in 2012. Of those large corporations whose financial statements reported a profit, 19.5 percent paid no federal income tax that year.”

As for Trump’s claim that “we have gone from a tax rate that is lower than our economic competitors, to one that is more than 60 percent higher,” that’s accurate when comparing the U.S. statutory corporate tax rate to the average statutory tax rate among the 35 countries tracked by the OECD. But according to a Congressional Research Service analysis of rates in 2010, when weighted to reflect the relative size of the countries’ economies, the difference between the U.S. statutory rate and the OECD average is just 32 percent.

Misleading on Tax Help

Trump discussed the complexity of the U.S. tax code that frustrates today’s taxpayers.

Trump: In 1935, the basic 1040 form that most people file had two simple pages of instruction. Today, that basic form has 100 pages of instructions, and it’s pretty complex stuff. The tax code is so complicated that more than 90 percent of Americans need professional help to do their own taxes.

Trump’s statement on professional tax help is misleading.

Fifty-four percent of taxpayers — not all Americans — paid someone else to do their taxes for tax year 2014, according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which serves as an advocate for taxpayers at the IRS. And another 40 percent of taxpayers used tax software.

That would, of course, include some Americans who choose to use online software for ease and convenience, not necessarily because they think their taxes are too complicated. Some tax filers can use software for free, if they meet income and other requirements set by several companies.

Of the 147.4 million individual returns filed in 2013, 16 percent were through 1040EZaccording to IRS data, which is one page.

He was right when he said that the 1040 instruction form in 1935 was only two pages. Today, the 1040 instruction booklet is 106 pages, although not all of them are instructions. There are dozens of pages of tables and other illustrations. His larger point, however, that filing taxes is much more complicated today is correct.

But Trump ignored one key difference between then and now: Only about 5 percent of Americans paid the federal income tax in the 1930s. It wasn’t until President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Revenue Act of 1942 that the federal income tax became a tax on the masses, according to the IRS.

IRS, Taxes in U.S. History: In 1939 only about five percent of American workers paid income tax. The United States’ entrance into World War II changed that figure. The demands of war production put almost every American back to work, but the expense of the war still exceeded tax-generated revenue. President Roosevelt’s proposed Revenue Act of 1942 introduced the broadest and most progressive tax in American history, the Victory Tax.

“By war’s end in 1945, about 90 percent of American workers submitted income tax forms, and 60 percent paid taxes on their income,” the IRS says.

In 1935, the top marginal tax rate was 63 percent; today it is 39.6 percent.

The post FactChecking Trump’s Tax Speech appeared first on FactCheck.org.

http://ift.tt/2emKXxV Source: http://ift.tt/GU1hLz



When Brands Unite For Customer Benefit

When Brands Unite For Customer Benefit

The growing movement to voice interface and search has been an evolving topic here on Branding Strategy Insider. This week, two tech giants, Microsoft and Amazon, announced a surprising (and refreshing) technology partnership wherein their proprietary assistants, Cortana and Alexa, will be accessible from each other.

On the surface, this cooperation between rivals seems unusual. Voice assistants for Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft represent ongoing and significant investments that allow the brands to stand out from one another. But it turns out that each assistant has unique strengths that could benefit the others. At least that’s how it seems Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos might be seeing it.

In an Amazon press release, Jeff Bezos says, “The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience.

The partnership truly does maximize the unique strengths of each assistant. Alexa is primarily accessed via smart speakers, Cortana is used mostly by PCs. Alexa devices will be able to call up the rich productivity features delivered by Cortana, which taps into Outlook/Office 365 and Windows 10. With 11 million Amazon Echo devices in the US, this is a likely win that will allow users to schedule meetings, check schedules, and do many other tasks that Cortana can tap into. Similarly, Cortana users will be able to tap Alexa to order products, access audio books and control home automation.

One of the core beliefs at Microsoft is that when people and technology work together, everyone wins. Amazon’s customer-obsession and Microsoft’s people-first beliefs allow both brands to overlap where it matters most: squarely on the customer. The power of software and the cloud has liberated customers from the need to play within a closed ecosystem, if they don’t want to or brands don’t force them.

While both Bezos and Nadella are hopeful Apple and Google might join in or be inspired by the partnership, given that Google owns Android and Apple owns iOS, the two dominant mobile operating system players may see significant advantage in keeping their assistants separate as a way to drive preferences especially for devices.

Brands can learn a few things from this partnership:

  • Access is the new battleground: As Mark Di Somma shared recently in an article on voice search, “Brand cannot be separated from UI or from search, for example, because consumers make no such distinctions. The brands they rely on are those that provide them with what is needed with the least friction.” This is further evidenced by Google’s recent partnership between their voice assistant and Wal-Mart.
  • Simplicity is the best kind of story: One of my favorite articles from Tom Goodwin is “We’re at peak complexity and it sucks“. Sadly, it’s still largely true, but some brands are quickly learning to put how humans work at the center of what they offer their customers. When BMW introduced autonomous parking on their 7 series, it came with an enormous touch sensitive key fob. Audi’s approach this year is to allow your mobile device to do the same thing, saving their customers the need to carry yet another device. In allowing their assistants to work together, Amazon and Microsoft customers don’t have to change devices or launch different applications.

At the end of the day, Bezos believes that the primary assistant on a device will be smart enough to route a request to whatever assistant is best equipped to answer the question. He says in a recent MSN piece, “In my view of the world, because that would be best for the customer, that’s probably what eventually happens.

This theme of ‘what’s best for the customer’ is almost ubiquitously talked about by brands, but with the help of technology and as more businesses are empowered to transform their products and services, we should expect to see more, better, stronger and valued partnerships where brands are working together with ‘what’s best for the customer’ in mind.

The Blake Project Can Help: Disruptive Brand Strategy Workshop

Build A Human Centric Brand. Join us for The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World, April 2-4, 2018 in San Diego, California. A fun, competitive-learning experience reserved for 50 marketing oriented leaders and professionals. Register before September 25th and SAVE $300!

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

http://ift.tt/2vv8lo4 Source: http://ift.tt/1rfjlia



Boris Johnson: UK military is helping Nigerian Navy to tackle piracy in Gulf of Guinea. Fantastic to meet great UK servicemen prov… https://t.co/s1NrijT8Rf



Boris Johnson: Our new UK High Commission building in Nigeria – bringing @foreignoffice @DFID_UK @DefenceHQ under one roof – is no… https://t.co/QaIXGSiExI



How Trump made it harder to rebuild a safe Houston

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Harvey’s toll is already immense. Thousands are still stranded, and the death toll is 39. Many Houston streets are lakes or raging rivers, and flooded hospitals have had to evacuate. There’s no clean water in some areas, and a chemical explosion about 20 miles from the city has forced even more evacuations. The full extent of the damage won’t be known for weeks, but President Trump has still assured the victims that Congress will move quickly to provide relief.

“Believe me, we will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before,” he said from the White House on Monday. “The rebuilding will begin and in the end it will be something very special.”

But Trump has already undermined the likelihood that Houston will be able to rebuild stronger and smarter than before. Days before Harvey pummeled Texas and Louisiana, Trump signed away the requirement that future building must comply with tougher flood standards that were set by President Obama. That means future building and rebuilding after disasters will be more prone to destruction — not just for unprecedented events like Harvey, but for the everyday kind of inundation that climate change is making more common.

A single sentence tucked into Trump’s executive order on August 15 reversed President Obama’s executive order from 2015, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard.” Obama’s order raised elevation standards for new federally funded projects to better withstand flooding, but now, federal dollars for repairing Harvey’s damage will require building standards that disaster-risk experts consider too lenient.

“You have to ask the question before something like Harvey happens again, and it will: What are we doing to save lives, property, and, frankly, taxpayer dollars,” Rafael Lemaitre, an ex-Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson under Obama said in an interview from Houston. “And one thing we can do is encourage communities to adopt higher standards for building.”

In a major storm, the security and responsiveness of hospitals, fire departments, and police stations become even more important. We’ve repeatedly seen that in real-time when disasters strike. But unless these structures are built on higher ground and “to some reasonable standard to withstand floods, you have the potential for massive human suffering,” says R Street Institute’s Ray Lehmann, an insurance and disaster preparedness expert at the conservative think tank. “We’re talking about the ability of people getting rescued. That is the biggest shame of not taking this sort of risk seriously in our infrastructure. Beyond the dollars and cents of it, the ability to respond in a crisis is seriously impaired if this emergency response infrastructure can’t withstand the storm.”

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed an executive order requiring that floodplains be built to withstand 100-year flooding. The term 100-year flood is a misnomer, because it only refers to the probability that a flood of a certain magnitude will happen in a given year in a vulnerable area. For 100-year floods, that’s 1 percent, for 500-year floods it’s 0.2 percent. (Initially viewed as a 500-year flood, Harvey is now seen as a 1,000-year event.) If it feels as if we’re now experiencing 100-year and 500-year events year after year, that’s because we are — accelerating climate change means the probabilities for these events have shifted. After Superstorm Sandy, the Obama administration reviewed those standards and raised the bar agencies would have to set for regular and critical infrastructure projects requesting federal dollars.

Agencies like the department of Housing and Urban Development, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Emergency Management Agency previously had no uniform standards, but after the new order, they began to craft rules according to the standards laid out by Obama: They could require publicly funded projects in flood-prone areas either to build to two feet above a 100-year flood, build to a 500-year flood, or adhere to climate projections for future flood risk. Critical infrastructure — such as hospitals, evacuation centers, fire stations, and police departments — had to be either three feet higher than the 100-year standard or be able to withstand a 500-year flood. The agencies were still in the process of implementing these new standards when Trump rescinded the order and reverted to the “status quo” — which returned to the out-of-date requirements from the Carter era.

“Reverting to the status quo … leaves communities vulnerable,” Joel Scata, a water attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council, tells Mother Jones. “The same issues happens over and over again.”

The status quo requires floodplains to look to historical data and be built to withstand 100-year flooding, but not go above it. Accelerating sea level rise and changing, heavier rainfall patterns from climate change means the 100-year flooding model need an update. Houston has seen three 100-year floods this year alone, and three 500-year floods in the past three years. Miami, New Orleans, Tampa, and New York all face similar growing risks.

Cities and states tend to be even less rigorous in imposing uniform building standards, and it is rare for them to account for future climate risk, says former Obama special advisor Alice Hill, who crafted the flood risk executive order. What they do have is often lower than the federal minimum, and another part of the Obama order attempted to raise that bar.

“All of our buildings are built based on assumptions looking to the past,” says Hill, now a Hoover Institution fellow. “Those assumptions are now poor, because of climate change. In the lifespan of the building, [it] changes the risk of everything.”

The White House has defended Trump’s reversal by saying that Obama’s order “were developed without sufficient analysis as to the economic impacts associated with its ultimate implementation.” But federal flood insurance claims are costly, too, costing the U.S. an average $1.9 billion a year since 2006. A White House spokesperson criticized Obama’s order to Newsweek and said that when it was “applied broadly to the whole country,” it left “little room or flexibility for designers to exercise professional judgement or incorporate the particular context of the project setting.”

In most cases, weak federal standards don’t lower the bar set by cities and states, if their flood standards are stricter. But Texas doesn’t have higher standards, generally, and most of Obama’s flood-proofing standards would have surpassed current Houston building codes for public housing and non-critical infrastructure, according to Chad Berginnis of the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Even so, Houston generally has tougher standards than the 1977 order Trump has put back into place.

An aide package from Congress would potentially mean billions of dollars for new construction. Unless the Republican-controlled Congress specifies otherwise, many parts of Texas, including Houston, may end up rebuilding to the lower status quo — thanks to Trump’s executive order, signed a mere 10 days before Harvey reached land.

“Think about it — federal (taxpayer) investments will be going back to repair facilities at a lesser standard,” Beginnis said in an email. “Doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline How Trump made it harder to rebuild a safe Houston on Aug 31, 2017.

http://ift.tt/2vvNDEr Source: http://grist.org



Our @NASA_ICE scientists seek to improve end-of-summer Arctic sea ice predictions. Learn how:… https://t.co/2OymRv6D2P



President Trump: RT @VP: .@POTUS’ team @SecretaryAcosta, @SecElaineChao, @SecretaryPerry, @SecShulkin & Acting DHS Sec. Duke discussing… https://t.co/vRxmfkFmLb



4 Animated Films That Motivate Us to Have a Positive Attitude in Life

Attitude is the compilation of how we view everything around us as well as reflecting what we think and feel towards something. It also influences our actions and decision-making which makes it all the more important. Nowadays, because of increasing problems, people are having a hard time in keeping up a good outlook in life.

However, attitudes and behaviors are easily influenced from external sources in the environment. The most common and influential external factor that can affect people is by watching television and/or movies. A recent survey shows that an average person will watch approximately 5,000 movies in their lifetime. It also revealed 10% of the people based their career paths on movies while 25% were influenced in choosing where they want to live.

Different movies can prompt varying responses to our mental capability and beliefs. Research revealed that the wrong kind of movie can affect a person negatively. Some movies can stress you further while other movies can make you gain weight. The good thing is that there are films that can motivate us to have a positive attitude.

Here are the most influential animated films promoting a better perspective in life:

1. The Lion King – Worry-free life & the art of moving forward

The Lion King has a lot to teach us. For one, it shows that maybe you just need some Hakuna Matata (No Worries) in your life. Panicking and stressing out will only make it worse for your situation and your health. Sure, it won’t solve your problems with work or pay your bills but it will calm you and give you some peace of mind to be able to think of a solution.

Every one of us has a past and everyone has something in their past that has hurt them. The severity may vary but the pain caused by our past still hurts. As Rafiki, the baboon stated, we can either run from it or learn from it. Running away from it and ignoring it is the easiest thing to do but it will still be there, haunting you. The only way for us to develop and grow to our full potential is to confront it. You have to be brave and face the pain and fear of the past and learn from it to move forward.

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” — Rafiki

2. Mulan – Empowering women & just be yourself

This movie introduced the gender discrimination that is present in the world. Responsibilities and roles are limited to women whose duty is to only give birth. However, the movie motivates women and shows them that they can be more when they want to and not limit themselves to how other people expect them to be.

Apart from empowering women, it also teaches you to be true to yourself despite the adversity that you will be facing in every corner for being that way. Challenges and struggles make us into better and stronger people. Never give up even if you fail because being yourself is your greatest weapon to overcome the problems that are blocking your way to your goals.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – The Emperor

3. Ratatouille – Dreams do come true & everyone has talent

This animated movie urges you to follow and chase after your dreams no matter what as long as you know you’ve got what it takes. Everyone can do something such as cooking, writing or acting, showing the difference between a normal talent from a great talent. Those who can be brave enough to try something new and accept failure will achieve great things.

The movie also portrays talent and genius as coming from anyone and anywhere. Even the lowest person can achieve this great talent as long as they take courage to improve it and develop it to perfection. You just have to think that you are talented and that talent can only be wielded by you and no one else so take care of it, improve it and cherish it.

“Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” – Food critic, Anton Ego

4. The Princess And The Frog – Success is hard work & never lose sight of what’s important

The Princess and the Frog revealed the value of perseverance and hard work to reach your dreams. You have to plan ahead and do your best to overcome the possible obstacles along your way. You have to face struggles and hardships but always look forward and look at your dream as an inspiration. Although daydreaming and wishing isn’t all that bad, what truly makes you see the results you want is putting in 100% effort all the time.

“My daddy never did get what he wanted. But he had what he needed. He had love! He never lost sight of what was really important.” – Tiana

Conclusion

Being an adult doesn’t mean that you can’t watch animated films anymore. Animated films are made and produced by fellow adults and successful professionals also. With it’s light hearted plot and witty humor, it might only take a little laugh here or a small smile there to jumpstart positivity back in your life. Life doesn’t need to be serious and problematic all the time.

Positivity is to never give up in order to become a winner in life because a winner is a loser who just tried again. Whether you struggle with your business, weight loss, or education it just takes the right motivation to spark a positive attitude, and it takes a positive attitude to gain the success that you are looking for.

Motivation for a positive attitude comes in different forms and in this case, this form satisfies the child in us. A child that seeks the happy, simple and stress-free life that we once had.

What motivates you to stay positive in life? Let us know by commenting below!

http://ift.tt/2gtU97W Source: http://ift.tt/2ouHuV6




top