In a new proposed rule, the U.S. Census Bureau is recommending the creation of a new racial category: Middle Eastern-North African.
The proposal states:
Since the 1997 revision of federal race/ethnicity standards, much has been learned about their implementation. Over this same time span, the U.S. population has continued to become more racially and ethnically diverse. In accordance with good statistical practice, several federal agencies have conducted methodological research to better understand how use of the revised standards informs the quality of federal statistics on race and ethnicity.
In 2014, OMB formed the Working Group to exchange research findings, identify implementation issues and collaborate on a shared research agenda to improve federal data on race and ethnicity. The Working Group comprises representatives from 10 cabinet departments and three other agencies engaged in the collection or use of Federal race and ethnicity data.
Through its systematic review of the implementation of the 1997 revision and stakeholder feedback, the Working Group identified four particular areas where further revisions to the standards might improve the quality of race and ethnicity information collected and presented by Federal agencies. Specifically, these four areas were:
1. The use of separate questions versus a combined question to measure race and ethnicity and question phrasing as a solution to race/ethnicity question nonresponse
2. The classification of a Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) group and distinct reporting category
3. The description of the intended use of minimum reporting categories
4. The salience of terminology used for race and ethnicity classifications and other language in the standard.
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has weighed in on the proposal, stating that it has "serious concerns about the proposal and submits that OMB should reject the Working Group's proposal to establish a new pan-ethnic, pan-national classification for Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) as a distinct reporting category." It continued, the "primary effect of systematic reliance on crude racial categories is to perpetuate misinformation and reinforce irrational beliefs and stereotypes about others."
"This new Middle Eastern racial category is a sop to Islamist activists seeking to gain political power and government benefits," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "By adding 'Middle Eastern' to the already divisive government racial categories, Americans can expect all sorts of negative consequences, such as'civil rights lawsuits over criticism of Islam."
In a preview of more pain to come for US, and global, workers, moments ago Nike announced that it will soon be parting ways with approximately 2% of its 70,700 global workforce, or roughly 1,500 employees.
Nike introduced the Consumer Direct Offense, a new company alignment, resulting in leadership and organizational changes as part of which the company would see an overall reduction in about 2% of the company’s global workforce to "streamline and speed up strategic execution."
In addition to the mass layoff, Nike is realigning its regional units as it focuses on driving growth in its most important markets and getting new products to market more quickly. Among the details:
Cutting product styles by 25%, but will offer deeper selection of key franchises
Aiming to cut creation cycle in half to speed new products to market
Consumer Direct Offense program under NKE Brand President Trevor Edwards to focus on improving growth in New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Barcelona, Seoul, Milan
Sees targeted cities accounting for 80% of projected growth through 2020
Realigning geographic segments to 4 regions from 6; will report results under North America, EMEA, Greater China and Asia Pacific and Latin America starting in fiscal 2018
Discussing the corporate overhaul, Trevor Edwards, President of the NIKE Brand said that "today we serve our athletes in a changing world: one that’s faster and more personal. This new structure aligns all of our teams toward our ultimate goal — to deliver innovation, at speed, through more direct connections.” It will also deliver what is likely the start of many layoffs.
NIKE, Inc. today introduced the Consumer Direct Offense, a new company alignment that allows Nike to better serve the consumer personally, at scale. Leveraging the power of digital, Nike will drive growth — by accelerating innovation and product creation, moving even closer to the consumer through Key Cities, and deepening one-to-one connections.
“The future of sport will be decided by the company that obsesses the needs of the evolving consumer,” said Mark Parker, NIKE, Inc. Chairman, President, and CEO. “Through the Consumer Direct Offense, we’re getting even more aggressive in the digital marketplace, targeting key markets and delivering product faster than ever.”
Trevor Edwards, President of the NIKE Brand, will drive the Consumer Direct Offense through integrated category, geography, marketplace, product, merchandising, digital, and direct-to-consumer teams.
In the new alignment, the company will drive growth by deeply serving consumers in 12 key cities, across 10 key countries: New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Barcelona, Seoul, and Milan. These key cities and countries are expected to represent over 80 percent of Nike’s projected growth through 2020.
Nike is moving closer to the consumer—creating a local business, on a global scale. To improve efficiency, all key cities and countries are supported by a simplified geography structure, changing from six to four—comprised of North America; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Greater China; and Asia Pacific and Latin America (APLA). The leaders of the newly-formed geographies are: Tom Peddie VP/GM of North America, Bert Hoyt VP/GM of EMEA, Angela Dong VP/GM of Greater China, and Ann Hebert VP/GM of APLA.
As such, financial results for the NIKE Brand will be reported based on these four operating segments beginning in fiscal 2018.
The geography leaders will report to Elliott Hill, President of Geographies and Integrated Marketplace.
Nike’s Triple Double
The Consumer Direct Offense is fueled by Nike’s Triple Double strategy: 2X Innovation, 2X Speed and 2X Direct connections with consumers.
To double innovation, Nike will accelerate the impact and cadence of new innovation platforms. As an example, over the past few months, Nike launched a cushioning revolution, featuring three new groundbreaking platforms: ZoomX, Air VaporMax and Nike React. And, to give consumers more choices of the products they love, Nike is editing to amplify — reducing its styles by 25 percent, and offering a deeper selection of key franchises.
To double speed, Nike is on a path to cut product creation cycle times in half. That starts with the Express Lane, which quickly creates, updates and fulfills products in response to consumer demand. Already operating in North America and Western Europe, a new Express Lane will be activated this summer in China, serving Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo—some of the world’s most promising markets for sport.
To supercharge this faster pipeline, Michael Spillane is assuming the new role of President of Categories and Product—leading an end-to-end design-to-delivery organization, including Categories, Design, Product and Merchandising. This new integrated organization will place greater resources in the categories with the highest potential to fuel growth: Running, Basketball, Nike Sportswear, Men’s and Women’s Training, Global Football and Young Athletes. To build on the growth of the Nike Women’s business, a new dedicated Women’s team will complement each top-tier category.
To double direct connections with consumers and shape the future of retail, Nike is creating the new Nike Direct organization, led by Heidi O’Neill, President of Nike Direct, and Adam Sussman, Chief Digital Officer. This organization will unite Nike.com, Direct-to-Consumer retail, and Nike+ digital products to enhance and expand Nike’s membership experience on an increasingly global scale. Nike will also extend innovations to its strategic wholesale partners.
Leading with mobile, this team will unite physical and digital retail to serve consumers with the best of Nike. Two recent examples of innovative consumer connections are SNKR Stash, which unlocks access to exclusive Nike and Jordan product using mobile geo-locations; and Shock Drop, surprise alerts for coveted sneakers that allow consumers to buy instantly through the app or at their nearest Nike or wholesale store. Over the next several months, Nike is also launching its Nike+ and SNKRS apps globally to energize the sneaker experience in new markets.
Spillane, Hill, O’Neill and Sussman will all report to Edwards.
Nike’s leadership and organizational changes will streamline and speed up strategic execution. The changes are also expected to result in an overall reduction of approximately 2 percent of the company’s global workforce.
“Today we serve our athletes in a changing world: one that’s faster and more personal,” said Edwards. “This new structure aligns all of our teams toward our ultimate goal — to deliver innovation, at speed, through more direct connections.”
Recently a new bill was introduced on the floor of the US Senate entitled, pleasantly,
“Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.”
You can probably already guess its contents.
Cash is evil.
Bitcoin is evil.
Now they’ve gone so far to include prepaid mobile phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Evil, evil, and evil.
These people are certifiably insane.
Among the bill’s sweeping provisions, the government aims to greatly extend its authority to seize your assets through “Civil Asset Forfeiture”.
Civil Asset Forfeiture rules allow the government to take whatever they want from you, without a trial or any due process.
This new bill adds a laundry list of offenses for which they can legally seize your assets… all of which pertain to money laundering and other financial crimes.
Here’s the thing, though: they’ve also vastly expanded on the definition of such ‘financial crimes’, including failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more than $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’.
Have too much cash? You’d better tell the government.
If not, they’re authorizing themselves in this bill to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but ALL of your assets and bank accounts.
They even go so far as to specifically name “safety deposit boxes” among the various assets that they can seize if you don’t fill out the form.
It’s crazy to begin with that these people are so consumed by the fact that someone has $10,000 in cash.
But it’s even crazier that they’re threatening to take EVERYTHING that you own merely for not filling out a piece of paper, without any due process whatsoever.
Oh, and on top of civil asset forfeiture penalties, there are also criminal penalties.
Right now according to current law they can imprison you for up to FIVE YEARS for not filling out the form. Five years.
But apparently that doesn’t go far enough to protect us against evil men in caves.
So this bill aims to double the criminal penalty to TEN years in prison.
And if that weren’t enough, this bill also gives them with new authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping (including phone, email, etc.) if they have even a hint of suspicion that you might be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’.
Usually wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc.
Now we can add cash to that list.
It’s not just government spy agencies to worry about, either.
Banks in the US are already unpaid government spies, required by law to fill out suspicious activity reports on their customers.
Then Congress started expanding those requirements to include other businesses and industries that might come into contact with cash.
Stock brokers. Casinos. Currency exchanges. Precious metals dealers. Pawnbrokers. The Post Office.
According to the law (section 5312 of US Code Title 31), those industries are also required to spy on their customers for the government.
But under this new bill, they want to forcibly recruit even more unpaid spies, including any business which issues or redeems ANYTHING that’s prepaid.
So, Amazon.com, which issues and redeems prepaid gift cards, will be required under this bill to file reports to the government.
For that matter, TGI Fridays and Chuckee Cheese will also become unpaid government spies since they both issue and redeem prepaid vouchers.
Truly these Senators have figured out how to strike at the heart of ISIS.
Further, their bill wants to pull any business which “issues” cryptocurrency under the anti-money laundering regulatory umbrella.
Here’s where these people demonstrate that they have no idea what they’re talking about.
No one “issues” Bitcoin. There’s no Bitcoin central bank. There’s no Chairman of Bitcoin who decides on a whim to increase the supply.
Bitcoin is created automatically amounts that are pre-determined by its code. It’s software.
So the Senate is essentially trying to force the Bitcoin core software to comply with money laundering regulations.
How pathetically clueless.
The bill also attempts to drop a major bomb on Bitcoin by including it in the list of monetary instruments that must be reported when entering or leaving the US.
So theoretically if you leave the US with more than $10,000 in Bitcoin or Ether, you’d have to confess this fact to the authorities or otherwise face the aforementioned penalties, i.e. prison time, civil asset forfeiture, etc.
As Smaulgold.com's Louis Cammarosano explains, the bill contains a provision that would require the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to devise a “border protection strategy to interdict and detect prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States, including an assessment of infrastructure needed [emphasis added] to carry out the strategy.”
The respective Secretary and Commissioner would present their findings to Congress no later than 18 months after passage of the bill.
The obligation to declare amounts in any form over $10,000 exists, irrespective of whether custom officials have a way of detecting such holdings. Since digital currencies technically travel with the holder where ever the holder goes, one would have to declare one’s entire crypto portfolio each time the holder entered the U.S.
Such a declaration is not required for travelers who may happen to have bank accounts or precious metals worth more than $10,000 stored outside the United States.
The type of infrastructure required to detect foreign holdings may come in the form of (i) expanding Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act to currently unregulated foreign crypto currency exchanges and to non U.S. citizens. FATCA currently only applies to U.S account holders of certain foreign financial and non financial institutions; (ii) some type of global monitoring of blockchain activity; or (iii) extreme vetting at the border and penalties for non disclosure that would encourage full disclosure.
As you can see, this bill criminalizes or delegitimizes the most mundane and harmless financial activities, all under the guise of keeping us safe.
Of course nothing in this bill is about keeping people safe.
ISIS couldn’t care less about forms and penalties.
This bill is nothing more than another weapon in their ongoing War on Cash… and now cryptocurrency too.