Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, Trump: The risks and rewards of corporate activism : The Conversation


Companies are increasingly taking stands on hot-button political issues from LGBT rights to Black Lives Matter. New research shines light on whether and when it can benefit the bottom line.

Source: Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, Trump: The risks and rewards of corporate activism : The Conversation

Americans on the right and left change their minds after hearing where Trump stands : The Conversation


In recent years, voters have shifted their views on issues based upon the positions of politicians – even when that shift clashes with their ideology.

Source: Americans on the right and left change their minds after hearing where Trump stands : The Conversation

Michael Cohen’s testimony on Trump business reveals conduct that’s widespread in corporate America : The Conversation 


The Trump Organization, Donald Trump’s private, family-run business, is well known to have operated at the fringes of what’s legal. Trump got his start in the rough-and-tumble atmosphere of New York City real estate development, after all.

And so, as someone who pays close attention to how businesses operate, I was glued to the Feb. 27 testimony of former Trump “fixer” and personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who also served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

While I learned little that was new, the testimony was still troubling – but not for what it said about the Trump Organization.

Rather, what I found most noteworthy is how the conduct attributed to Trump the businessman, however extreme, actually reflects actions and attitudes that are widespread within corporate America generally.

Putting leaders on a pedestal

It is well known that Trump runs his enterprises – both business and governmental – on loyalty, rather than, say, competence or performance.

What Cohen highlighted was just how debilitating, even destructive, the lionization of individual leaders and expectation of loyalty can be, whether we’re talking about Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Cohen said he was “mesmerized” by Trump, calling him a “giant” and an “icon.” Being around Trump was “intoxicating,” he said, and “everyone’s job at the Trump organization was to protect Mr. Trump.”

Cohen’s testimony revealed just how blinding that commitment to a mesmerizing individual became, leading him to replace judgment with worship. Cohen admitted both to lying to Congress and to falsifying campaign finance reports in the name of standing by his boss.

Cohen’s description may seem startling. But to someone who has extensively studied leadership in business organizations, I recognize an unfortunate pattern that dominates corporate America.

Corporations all too often fall into the trap of romanticizing leaders, often to the detriment of performance. By placing their own role front and center, CEOs enhance their self-esteem and justify their power and prodigious financial rewards.

 

 

Source: Michael Cohen’s testimony on Trump business reveals conduct that’s widespread in corporate America : The Conversation

Salt doesn’t melt ice – here’s how it actually makes winter streets safe : The Conversation


Brrr … it’s cold out there! Children are flocking to the television in hopes of hearing there will be a snow day; the bread and milk aisles at grocery stores are empty because of an impending snow storm; and utility trucks are out spraying salt or salt water on the roads.

We all know why the first two happen – kids are excited for a day off of school filled with hot chocolate and snowmen. Adults are stocking up on necessities. But what’s up with those trucks?

They’re working to protect drivers from slippery conditions by spraying rock salt or a solution of salt water to prevent ice formation. This salt is very similar to the salt you have on your dinner table – it’s the same sodium chloride, NaCl. There are some proprietary mixtures that contain other salts – such as potassium chloride (KCl) and magnesium chloride (MgCl) – but they’re not as commonly used.

Road salt isn’t as pure as what you use on your food; it has a brownish gray color, mostly due to mineral contamination. Subjecting the environment to this salt via runoff can have some unintended consequences including negative effects on plants, aquatic animals and wetlands.

But it’s a cheap and effective way to protect roads from ice due to a simple scientific principle: freezing point depression of solutions. The freezing point of pure water, the temperature at which it becomes ice, is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. So if there’s snow, sleet or freezing rain and the ground is 32 F or colder, solid ice will form on streets and sidewalks.

If the water is mixed with salt, though, the freezing temperature of the solution is lower than 32 F. The salt impedes the ability of the water molecules to form solid ice crystals. The degree of freezing point depression depends on how salty the solution is.

 

Source: Salt doesn’t melt ice – here’s how it actually makes winter streets safe : The Conversation

Why Trump will likely lose the government shutdown : The Conversation


One of the biggest myths about government shutdowns is that presidents usually win.

This may explain why President Donald Trump threatened to continue the shutdown for months, even years. However, a poll conducted in the first week of January shows that 51 percent of adults believe Trump is to blame for the shutdown.

I’m a scholar of political science and often research presidential politics. I did an analysis of Gallup data, a group that does public opinion polling, from its Presidential Job Approval Center.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/fXWM3/4/

 

Source: Why Trump will likely lose the government shutdown  : The Conversation