You are viewing the NationofChange archives. For the latest news and actions, visit the new www.NationofChange.org.
Friday, December 19, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
Get Email Updates | Log In | Register

Published: Tuesday 23 September 2014

Small and medium businesses aren't the only ones at risk for massive financial miscalculations. Immense corporations also make their own share of supreme blunders, which can lead to backpedaling and leadership restructuring. Your company can take these cautionary tales and learn from them. Here are four of the biggest corporate financial blunders. Canceling Sales In 2013, former J.C. Penny CEO Ron Johnson made the huge mistake of doing away with sales at J.C Penny. Instead of having limited sale events throughout the year, the company moved forward with discounted pricing "Every Day." Apparently, Johnson didn't get the memo about how American's really love to hunt down sales and get a deal, even if the benefits aren't offered constantly. Perhaps Johnson was too influenced by his time at Apple, a company that is notorious for its lack of special sales and discounts. However, this "no sales" approach didn't work out for the retailer - J.C. Penny's bottom line suffered with negative quarterly earnings after the strategy was implemented.   Merging with the Wrong Companies Remember the Time Warner and AOL fiasco? Well, the executives of these companies didn't count on the dot-com bubble bursting, AOL Time Warner ended up losing $99 billion and shares plummeted. Much of these merger troubles stemmed from executive disagreements and internal fighting. Many consider the temporary alliance between Time Warner and AOL to be the worst merger in history. Failing to Adapt General Motors filed bankruptcy in 2009 after losing billions of dollars during the recession. Many attribute this economic downturn to GM's failure to respond to the needs of automotive ...

Published: Tuesday 23 September 2014

Autism and autism spectrum disorders have created unique challenges for parents for years. These disorders are often misunderstood, which makes it more difficult for parents who want their children to live normal lives. It's very important for people to understand that children with autism have many talents and interests that should be embraced, especially in the process of helping them to adapt. Autism and autism spectrum disorders are often misunderstood. Children who have autism spectrum disorders are often thought to have behavioral issues or learning disabilities when the true problem is the fact that they need a learning experience that provides sufficient stimulation. A child who lives with autism has a great chance of living a fulfilling life if they have a learning experience that caters to their talents and abilities. Many youths who live with autism have trouble communicating with others in traditional ways. However, they may feel more comfortable expressing themselves through writing, composing or performing music and creating unique artwork. Many who have an autism spectrum disorder feel more comfortable with online interactions than in-person interactions.Journaling is a good form of self-expression for those who have difficulties communicating with others. This is sometimes a good way for autistic children to work through issues that are troubling them without having to open up and talk to people. Writing also helps children to express feelings to others when they have difficulty doing so verbally. Technology is a useful tool for autistic youths who have creative hobbies. The latest technology makes it easier for kids to share their love for their hobby of choice with others. There are many online communities for people with autism to share their work.For one example of how important technology has become for those with autism to express themselves, in Alabama, ...

Published: Tuesday 23 September 2014

Let’s face it, the world used to seem like a huge place. A place in which there were areas, towns, cities and countries which most of us would never even dream of visiting. When you used to read about far-off locations, in your mind Norway might as well been on Neptune, Madagascar on Mars and Japan on Jupiter.Air travel was once the sole domain of the wealthy, and even recently some people only took to the skies for a relatively short journey to a sunnier clime once a year. The idea of actually taking a flight in order to explore rather than sun-bathe seemed to be just a fantasy that the inquisitive among us enjoyed every once in a while.These days, our global community seems to be shrinking right before our eyes, with more and more exotic locations becoming closer than ever before. Kids are growing up in the 21st century with a wider understanding of the world, because they see it every day on TV and they get the chance to visit so many countries on holiday.When you watch a television documentary about the wonderful samba schools in Rio de Janeiro, the chic fashion stores of Paris or the exciting jazz scene in Vancouver, you’re doing far more than just observing nowadays. In some cases, you will be subconsciously researching your next overseas trip. The world really is that small. Small world, big plansThanks to the ease and simplicity of air travel, we can get from A to B in less time than ever before, and in relative terms we can do so for a fraction of the cost. We can send parcels around the world thanks to an international courier, check real-time weather news for another hemisphere and see exotic life passing by on a webcam.This ease of travel will broaden horizons and increase ...

Published: Tuesday 23 September 2014

Recently, when I trying to define what the term “global energy markets” really meant, I stumbled upon an organization named Securing America's Future Energy or SAFE. One PDF popped up that was issued by the P.X. Kelley Center for Energy Security in April 2014, which was part of SAFE. The PDF was a so-called ten-page “intelligence report” titled “Russia-Ukraine Crisis and Its Implications for Global Energy Markets” which declared that “the situation in Ukraine remains uneasy, with potentially profound implications for geopolitics and energy markets” and that “Russia is highly vulnerable to changes in the price of oil and gas.” After introducing the crisis in Ukraine, the report predicted that there was a high possibility of either Russian military incursion in the country or continued destabilization of the Eastern part of the country, and then the energy implications of these “scenarios.” By the end of the report, SAFE recommended four policy actions for the U.S. government to stop so called “Russian aggression”: more effective use of U.S. and global strategic petroleum reserves; investments in energy efficiency aimed at reducing the impact of oil and gas price volatility on economic growth; increasing U.S. LNG [Liquified Natural Gas] Exports; and exporting the “fracking boom” to Europe in order to “stimulate European oil and gas production” through facilities such as those created by the Export-Import Bank, which President Obama, when a senator, once called “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.” With such policies, it is no surprise that in CounterPunch, writers would call SAFE “

Published: Tuesday 23 September 2014

Ukraine and neo-NazisEver since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet.On the 13th, the Washington Post showed a photo of the sleeping quarter of a member of the Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian paramilitary units fighting the pro-Russian separatists. On the wall above the bed is a large swastika. Not to worry, the Post quoted the platoon leader stating that the soldiers embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of “romantic” idea.Yet, it is Russian president Vladimir Putin who is compared to Adolf Hitler by everyone from Prince Charles to Princess Hillary because of the incorporation of Crimea as part of Russia. On this question Putin has stated:The Crimean authorities have relied on the well-known Kosovo precedent, a precedent our Western partners created themselves, with their own ...

Published: Thursday 18 September 2014

Transitioning from childhood to the college years, and then to full-fledged adulthood can put a lot of financial pressure on young people. Some kids grow up working from an early age, while others don’t obtain a job until after college graduation. Learning how to navigate banks, car and home loans, and more is an integral part of becoming independent, but it’s also challenging if you hope to find a healthy balance. Take a look at the following nine tips for how young adults can achieve balanced, secure financial independence in a responsible manner. Nine tips for every young adult Here are a few specific tips every young person -- regardless of financial standing -- should understand and follow: Lower your expectations. While you may be used to living with your parents and enjoying the luxuries and benefits of their wealth, you can’t let their success blind you. You probably won’t be living like your parents immediately, and it may take some time to get access to certain things on your own that you’ve become accustomed to having over the years. Understand banking 101. Every time you open a new bank account or make changes to your existing one, you need to study the fine print, ask questions, and make sure you know what you’re doing. Many banks impose hidden fees, administrative expenses, and transfer penalties. Keep an eye out for these tricks to avoid wasting money. Start saving right away. Once you get your first taste of steady cash flow and independence, it can be tempting to start purchasing everything your heart desires. While there should certainly be room to spend, it’s at least as important to start saving. According to Charles Rotblut, ...

Published: Thursday 18 September 2014

How foolish Americans are, or rather, until a few years ago, we Americans. This writer himself got caught up in the greatest of all confidence games: The Two Party Monte!  Using an embedded media, the ‘Two Party, One Party ‘political system (created by our Military Industrial Empire) keeps chugging along. Whether it is a Reagan or Clinton, a Bush or a Kerry, a Romney or an Obama, it matters not to the puppeteers who run things. They choose who the so called ‘ field of candidates ‘ will be, and then most of the time let the suckers ( we voters ) make the final decision from Column A or Column B. Of course, sometimes, when the empire’s agenda is too urgent, they go ahead and fix the game a bit. Case in point the elections of 2000 and 2004. The movers and shakers decided that they needed a malleable dope in the White House sign off on what then followed: The illegal and immoral invasions and occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan. As if right out of a scene from Scorsese’s Casino, when the five Mafia leaders were discussing their puppet union leader Andy Stone’s future. Four of the dons stated how Andy was a good guy and could be trusted to not ‘flip ‘and turn against them with the Feds. They then all looked to the head of the commission, the fifth don, and he quietly offered: “Why take a chance? “  Soon after Andy Stone was murdered. The Tuesday, September 9th New York Times ran a brief story buried on page A 16, entitled ‘Laughs and Accolades as Clinton and Bush Introduce a Leadership Program’. There was the usual fluff about the two former presidents collaborating with their respective presidential libraries etc. The picture that accompanied the article showed the two of them sitting side by side laughing hysterically. What really got to this writer were the quotes from Clinton about Bush Jr.: ...

Published: Thursday 18 September 2014

Too often we see headlines about goods being sold for ridiculous prices at auction. A dead person’s painting sells for a hundred million whilst on Ebay a jar of bellybutton lint goes for $302.65 – I kid you not. But an auction is a professional playground for those sourcing goods for their company. Online bankruptcy auctions in particular are proving to be a honey pot for satisfying steals due to some key advantages. First off, corporate foreclosures often yield a decent assortment for bidders to pick and choose. What’s more, the equipment itself is almost always fully intact and ready to go – the company may be broke but the goods don’t need fixing. This means even large industrial machines are often already primed for production. Last and most certainly not least is price. A liquidator’s priority is getting rid of goods fast, at short notice and without reserve prices – which gives bidders the perfect chance to swoop in and bag themselves a bargain. Despite our recovering economy, prospective bidders shouldn’t be discouraged from bankruptcy auctions because corporate insolvency is still high. Take Germany, for example, whose corporate insolvency rates stand more or less where they were fourteen years ago. The country’s economic slump in the early 2000s hit companies hard, with a staggering 39,320 companies going under and, despite Germany being one of the strongest standing countries in the global financial crisis, insolvency peaked again in 2008. After years of tumultuous economic weather, figures settled in 2012 to just under 27,000 and have stayed there ever since. On the big scale, you can notice the relative long-term consistency. Bankruptcy auctions will be alive and kicking, whatever the year. It’s bad news for companies struggling to stay afloat, but great news for others those who are savvy enough to convert insolvency into a profitable outcome for ...

Published: Thursday 18 September 2014

First the GOP Guv, Now Kansas’s Senator in Electoral Peril(September 11, 2014) The Newsletter once again visits Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback is not the only Republican fighting for his political life.Until very recently, the US Senate race looked like a cakewalk for three-tem incumbent Pat Roberts (R-KS). His opposition was split between Democrat Chad Taylor, the Shawnee County district attorney, and Independent Greg Orman, a wealthy businessman who has supported both Democrats and Republicans in his lifetime. Kansas had not elected a Democrat to the US Senate since 1932.Democrat Chad Taylor Withdraws From Senate RaceThe status quo was rudely interrupted when Democrat Taylor withdrew from the race. On September 3, 2014, Taylor filed papers to exit the race, leaving Kansas’s Senate contest a horserace between two very viable candidates. According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, “Employees in [Secretary of State Kris] Kobach’s office accepted Taylor’s letter of withdrawal.”Two days later, Secretary of State Kobach changed course and insisted that Taylor must remain on the ballot. Kobach, an anti-immigration activist, “birther” and card-carry member of the GOP wing-nut brigade, cited a 1997 provision in Kansas election law that requires withdrawing candidates to detail why they are incapable of serving office.On ...

Published: Thursday 18 September 2014

A logo resembling that of the Islamic State (IS) – locally known as Daash – is seen in an Islamic textbook of a third grade primary school, which sparked a wide debate and criticism among educators in Saudi Arabia. According to the local Arabic newspaper Alhayat, the deputy of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh, clarified that what is in the textbook is actually the seal of the prophet cited in the literature 14 centuries ago, and is different from that of Daash.Daash and Al Qaeda must have stumbled upon the seal of the prophet in some historical books and references, and adopted it to be their slogan so as to succeed in convincing others to sympathize and join them.Some historical references, however, state that the last seal the prophet had used was actually of a rectangular shape and is quite different from the logo, and is displayed in a museum in the Turkish city of Istanbul.Regardless of the accuracy of the historical references to the actual seal of the prophet, criticism from educators has grown, calling for the logo to be removed and or replaced.Throughout the past few years, Saudi school curricula have gone through several attempts to revise the textbooks and filter out extreme views. A logo such as this, albeit incidental, seen at the present time, in a school textbook, is heavily frowned upon and the relevant textbook must be reprinted or replaced as soon as possible. Schools are supposed to educate and teach kids to be tolerant of others instead of being the breeding grounds for Islamic radicals.

Make your voice heard.
Write for NationofChange
Small and medium businesses aren't the only ones at risk for massive financial miscalculations....
Autism and autism spectrum disorders have created unique challenges for parents for years. These...
Let’s face it, the world used to seem like a huge place. A place in which there were areas, towns,...
Recently, when I trying to define what the term “global energy markets” really meant, I stumbled...
Ukraine and neo-Nazis Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western...