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Our politics are broken – The CT Mirror

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Our politics are broken. Our people are divided. Our America is under attack. Our rule of law is being challenged by our own leaders and our great nation is facing a great threat. As our politicians divide our nation with the use of propaganda, we are falling victim to our own weaknesses and our beautiful country, the land of the free, is being ruined from within by none other than our own citizens.

As we attack each other and disparage the good name of good people many times by members of their own party our politics have evolved into a free-for-all, full contact event that spares no one.

Rick Bush

I listen to people talk politics and what I hear are the sounds of anger, frustration, disappointment and fear. The cycle of information that we are fed through social media, television, and our own personal information sources is corrupted by sensationalism and the need to attract eyeballs.

Even more sinister is that the information we see through the internet is biased by our own personal belief systems. The more we “click” on articles and follow content that perpetuates our own ideals the more the algorithms, that watch our every keystroke, learn our interests and the more of the self-fulfilling stream of similar stories shows up on our screens.

Two recent documentaries on Netflix, “The Social Dilemma” & “The Great Hack” speak directly to this from the point of view of industry insiders and explain how elections all over the globe are manipulated by “weapons grade” information abuse of our personal data.

It is important that we understand that we are not always getting news. We are not getting truth and we are definitely not getting all the facts. We are seeing the story that we believe we want to see, and it is different than what other contemporaries of ours are seeing. Websites and apps need content, and the more outrageous the content the more views it gets. The more views the more money and the more money the more power is concentrated into the hands of the few.

Do not be fooled by what you see every day. We are being manipulated by Artificial Intelligence that is designed by the best & brightest minds in the industry, using psychological tricks learned at some of the best universities in America to addict us to our device and capture our attention.

There was a time that only the best of the best in the field of journalism were afforded the luxury to provide the “news.” The great journalistic institutions were held to a high standard of truth to the best of the ability of the journalists and editors. They did the best job they could to provide information that was as factual and unbiased as possible. Yes, they failed on occasion but at least we and they believed that they were held to the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability.

Now, anyone with an internet connection can publish whatever they want. There is no editor, no journalistic integrity nor any ethical standard by which the information we digest every day is held or judged to be truthful, accurate or factual. Our information sources are as unreliable as the people publishing the information.

This is the America we have created. We are in for terrible times ahead if we don’t change our course. We will destroy ourselves, our democracy and our planet if we do not demand the truth.

Money defines the truth and money creates the facts and those with the most money are able to control the flow of information and spin it whichever way they need to control the dialogue. When the Supreme Court struck down limits on “independent” expenditures and established the controversial idea that spending money for political campaign purposes is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment it doomed America to be at the mercy of money. One person with a million and one dollars has a louder voice than a million people with one dollar each.

Big tobacco, big oil, big agriculture, plastic, global warming, and the most valuable commodity in the history of the human race – our own personal data, all of it is just money speaking to power to control even more money. There is no truth required. Just look at the most powerful companies on earth and see how they have manipulated all of us with hundreds of millions of lobbying dollars to further their own enrichment in contradiction to the benefit of the planet & the people who live on it.

We have elected a new aristocracy with our apathy and let our lives be led by lesser Gods in the form of artificial intelligence.

Free speech is the freedom to not be denied speaking your mind. It should not be the freedom to deceive and disparage for political gain. Free speech should not be used to provide a platform for racism and conspiracy theories. We need to wake up from our device-induced comas and fight for our survival because we only have ourselves, our country and our future to lose.

Rick Bush of West Hartford is a self-employed business owner. He is a Republican candidate for State House District 18.


CT Viewpoints will entertain first-person position statements of candidates for elected office that focus on policy ideas and principles, but will not publish third-party endorsements for candidacies or direct appeals for support. It is our policy to offer all candidates for elective office equal opportunity for comment. The views expressed by candidates are intended for voter education and are not endorsements of, or opposition to, those views by CTViewpoints or the Connecticut Mirror.

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What Really Happens When You Bring Politics To The Job Search And Office – Forbes

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The United States is weeks away from its 2020 presidential election. Animosity, anger, apprehension and anxiety are at an all-time fever pitch. The nation is divided into two warring factions and there is just no escape from all of the political fodder. Cable news, papers, social media and dinner conversations invariably turn toward the political hot topic of the day—accompanied by acrimony and arguments.

It’s even pervaded the office. While good-natured trash-talk about how poorly your co-worker’s football team fared on Sunday was accepted behavior, politics wasn’t a freely discussed topic of conversation. Things have dramatically changed and now talk about politics and social causes have become commonplace at work.  

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Silicon Valley-based cryptocurrency exchange and broker Coinbase, told his employees that he won’t stand for politics and the championing of social issues at the office. Armstrong bluntly said that he’d gladly offer severance packages to employees who aren’t comfortable with the new corporate policy of “political neutrality” in the workplace. The chief executive wrote in a letter to employees, “Life is too short to work at a company that you aren’t excited about. Hopefully, this package helps create a win-win outcome for those who choose to opt out.” About 60 Coinbase employees have accepted a buyout offer after Armstrong announced the controversial new policy curbing political activism inside the company.

Tech giants Facebook and Google had to enact policies and procedures to deal with heated conversations on their respective internal message boards.

Job seekers seem comfortable putting their political activities on their résumés and LinkedIn profiles. As a recruiter, I couldn’t care less about someone’s politics. I just want to place someone. The same may not hold true for a hiring manager, human resources professional or senior management.  

Job hunters have the right to campaign and vote for whomever they desire, but you must recognize the reality that at least half of the people you’ll interview with won’t share your political views. Of that half, a good percentage probably despise your candidate. You are taking a big risk of alienating people when you promote your political preferences. This even encompasses seemingly harmless activities, such as volunteering and knocking on doors for the reelection of President Donald Trump or to get out the vote for former Vice President Joe Biden. 

No matter how important the race is to you, it’s not worth blowing up your chances of getting a new job or promotion by alienating people. Admittedly, this is a sad commentary on our current toxic climate that people will automatically form negative opinions about you based on your political preferences. The “cancel culture” is real and many prominent professionals have lost their jobs and livelihoods over it.  

Potential hiring managers and those involved with the interview process will formulate stereotypes about you if you favor a certain candidate or politician. It’s not just Democrat versus Republican. You may be a Democrat, but not left leaning enough. You may be too centrist for a staunch, right-wing Republican. 

There is a time and place for everything. While seeking a new job or striving toward a promotion, the risks are far greater than the reward. You could luck out and meet with a hiring manager who shares your views, but it doesn’t mean they’ll hire you. Your prospective supervisor may fear that others in the office believe you’re playing favorites and it could reflect poorly on their judgement. 

Job seekers and workers have to be careful of their social media presence. Hiring managers and recruiters search Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other sites to conduct due diligence on a candidate before making a hiring decision. If a job seeker posts mean-spirited, angry and foul-language-laced comments and photos that could possibly be construed as suggesting violence against their political adversary, it will be viewed with disdain and disgust.  

Even if someone heartily agrees with your politics, the person may feel uncomfortable with your lack of discretion and self-control. No one wants to hire a person who could turn into a liability and potential human resources issue. They’ll question whether your politics or job is more important. They’ll worry that you’ll post on Twitter and Facebook during working hours and start arguments with co-workers that don’t share your ideologies. Again, both sides—the people agreeing with your political stance and those who don’t share your views—will not feel comfortable hiring someone who would rather preach their politics than do the work that they are getting paid to do.

This advice isn’t just for those on the job hunt. Managers, co-workers and human resources professionals may curiously check out your social media postings and make snap judgments about you. They may strongly disagree with your political stance and formulate a negative perception, which results in direct consequences. A manager with an alternative opinion may pass you up for a promotion, raise or bonus, as they feel some animosity against you. You might never know why this happened since the offended persons never brought the matter up to you directly. You’ll be going through your daily activities unaware of the rancor held against you by the professionals who have control over your future at the company.

It’s the American way to be passionate about politics and fight for your preferred political party. Sadly, in this day and age, it’s a poor decision to bring this fervor into the interview process and workplace. You’ll only set yourself up for failure. Save the political arguments for the dinner table or when you’re out with friends. You could also low-key continue doing what you’re doing under the radar that can’t be detected at work. 

When interviewing or advancing your career, focus on winning over the hiring managers, decision makers and bosses—based on your skills, background, academic achievements, personality, hard work and dedication—not on who you campaigned and voted for.

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Despite politics and coronavirus, Hong Kong’s enduring love affair with real estate

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By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong is showing that its affinity for real estate has been unaffected by a year of anti-government protests and concerns over the coronavirus, with a large housing project launched this month registering the highest response in over two decades.

When the Pavilia Farm development in the New Territories district opened for subscription, eager buyers stocked up on food and water as they prepared for a long wait at the end of a snaking queue where signs read: “Expected waiting time: 8 hours.”

The project, attractively priced and close to the busy Kowloon district, received close to 23,000 subscriptions for its first 391 units. When completed in late 2022 it will have 3,000 apartments.

All 391 units were sold, the developer said on Sunday night, adding more units would be launched soon.

Realtors said the take-up at Pavilia was the strongest in more than 20 years in one of the world’s most expensive property markets and matched the frenzy seen at the time of the 1997 handover of the former British colony to China.

But it comes after social upheaval in the past year over China’s plans to introduce a national security law in Hong Kong, which has led many investors to question the future of the global financial hub.

However, Hong Kong’s home prices dropped just 4% since a peak in May last year before the outbreak of protests and the spread of the coronavirus, supported by strong demand, a severe land shortage and low interest rates. This followed a six-fold rise in the index of private home prices since 2003.

“The property market has accumulated over a year of demand since the social movement last June; the monthly transaction volume has been lower than usual,” said Richard Lee, CEO of realtor Hong Kong Property Services.

“People’s confidence has come back after seeing (residential) prices have stayed resilient even during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Property consultancy Knight Frank’s executive director Thomas Lam said, however, the real estate market will continue to be under pressure in an economy under recession and with high unemployment. He said he expected home prices will fall around 5% this year before getting stable next year.

“Now the property market is very ‘deformed’; home prices remain high but…commercial and shop rents and prices are falling non-stop,” Lam said.

LOCATION, PRICING

Pavilia Farm is being built by New World Development 0017.HK> and MTR Corp. 0066.HK> above the Tai Wai railway station, on the train line into Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, and will have a large shopping mall in its lower floors.

On one of the early days of the launch, organisers stopped people queuing from 11.30 am local time (0330 GMT) as lines extended from a show flat to a footbridge outside despite social distancing concerns.

Buyers said they were unconcerned about the exodus of residents following the protests last year as well as the possibility of a crash in prices.

Grace Wong, a 40-year-old fitness trainer, said she wanted to buy a one-bedroom home for investment, although if prices dropped she said she would live in it herself.

Wong said she’s staying in Hong Kong because she’s single and doesn’t have to worry about the future of any children.

“(Otherwise) I’d choose to migrate elsewhere and not buy a property here,” she said. “I’m not young any more; if I don’t buy a property now it’ll be more difficult to secure a mortgage in the future.”

Property agents said Pavilia Farm’s pricing was around 10% lower than nearby developments, making it attractive to buyers who have been waiting for opportunities.

“The overwhelming response for this project demonstrates a rebound in the Hong Kong property sector and confidence from home buyers who are in search of high quality properties as the new normal settles in,” Edward Lau, deputy chief financial officer of New World, told Reuters.

Candy Lau, 26, who works in the consumer industry, said she was also confident about Hong Kong’s property market. She said she expects it to remain stable or rise slightly in the near future and had signed up to buy a one-bedroom apartment in Pavilia and rent it out.

“Property is still a better way of capital conservation. There’s limited investment channels right now; equity is volatile,” Lau said.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source:- The Guardian

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Despite politics and coronavirus, Hong Kong's enduring love affair with real estate – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong is showing that its affinity for real estate has been unaffected by a year of anti-government protests and concerns over the coronavirus, with a large housing project launched this month registering the highest response in over two decades.

When the Pavilia Farm development in the New Territories district opened for subscription, eager buyers stocked up on food and water as they prepared for a long wait at the end of a snaking queue where signs read: “Expected waiting time: 8 hours.”

The project, attractively priced and close to the busy Kowloon district, received close to 23,000 subscriptions for its first 391 units. When completed in late 2022 it will have 3,000 apartments.

All 391 units were sold, the developer said on Sunday night, adding more units would be launched soon.

Realtors said the take-up at Pavilia was the strongest in more than 20 years in one of the world’s most expensive property markets and matched the frenzy seen at the time of the 1997 handover of the former British colony to China.

But it comes after social upheaval in the past year over China’s plans to introduce a national security law in Hong Kong, which has led many investors to question the future of the global financial hub.

However, Hong Kong’s home prices dropped just 4% since a peak in May last year before the outbreak of protests and the spread of the coronavirus, supported by strong demand, a severe land shortage and low interest rates. This followed a six-fold rise in the index of private home prices since 2003.

“The property market has accumulated over a year of demand since the social movement last June; the monthly transaction volume has been lower than usual,” said Richard Lee, CEO of realtor Hong Kong Property Services.

“People’s confidence has come back after seeing (residential) prices have stayed resilient even during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Property consultancy Knight Frank’s executive director Thomas Lam said, however, the real estate market will continue to be under pressure in an economy under recession and with high unemployment. He said he expected home prices will fall around 5% this year before getting stable next year.

“Now the property market is very ‘deformed’; home prices remain high but…commercial and shop rents and prices are falling non-stop,” Lam said.

LOCATION, PRICING

Pavilia Farm is being built by New World Development and MTR Corp. above the Tai Wai railway station, on the train line into Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, and will have a large shopping mall in its lower floors.

On one of the early days of the launch, organisers stopped people queuing from 11.30 am local time (0330 GMT) as lines extended from a show flat to a footbridge outside despite social distancing concerns.

Buyers said they were unconcerned about the exodus of residents following the protests last year as well as the possibility of a crash in prices.

Grace Wong, a 40-year-old fitness trainer, said she wanted to buy a one-bedroom home for investment, although if prices dropped she said she would live in it herself.

Wong said she’s staying in Hong Kong because she’s single and doesn’t have to worry about the future of any children.

“(Otherwise) I’d choose to migrate elsewhere and not buy a property here,” she said. “I’m not young any more; if I don’t buy a property now it’ll be more difficult to secure a mortgage in the future.”

Property agents said Pavilia Farm’s pricing was around 10% lower than nearby developments, making it attractive to buyers who have been waiting for opportunities.

“The overwhelming response for this project demonstrates a rebound in the Hong Kong property sector and confidence from home buyers who are in search of high quality properties as the new normal settles in,” Edward Lau, deputy chief financial officer of New World, told Reuters.

Candy Lau, 26, who works in the consumer industry, said she was also confident about Hong Kong’s property market. She said she expects it to remain stable or rise slightly in the near future and had signed up to buy a one-bedroom apartment in Pavilia and rent it out.

“Property is still a better way of capital conservation. There’s limited investment channels right now; equity is volatile,” Lau said.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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