Slow And Steady Overnight Success
July 2, 2019
“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” – Herbert Bayard Swope
“The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.” – Bette Midler
Iran Is Quite The Rule Nuker
The International Atomic Energy Agency announced Monday that Iran had breached the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that put the country’s nuclear pursuits on hold. Former president Barack Obama had spearheaded the agreement with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, and a number of countries signed on in support. But the accord was continually criticized by President Trump.
Experts contended that Tehran was in compliance, and leaving the agreement could impact the national security of America and her allies. Regardless, Trump abandoned the deal in 2018.
One of the key restrictions in the JCPOA was that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium must be limited to roughly 660 pounds. Exceeding that limitation doesn’t by itself give the country the material it needs to produce a nuclear weapon. But it is the strongest signal yet that Tehran could move to restore the far larger stockpile that took the US and five other countries years to persuade it to eliminate.
In June Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would never allow Iran to get within one year of possessing enough fuel to produce a nuclear weapon. Special Envoy Brian Hook has repeatedly said that under any potential new deal, the US would insist on “zero enrichment for Iran.”
From all appearances, however, Iran is on a pathway of step-by-step dissolution of key parts of the pact. As one Middle East expert put it: “Now the inevitable escalation cycle [begins].”
- Trump Left the Nuclear Deal. Now Iran’s Fighting Back. (Atlantic)
- The viral video of Ivanka Trump at the G20 perfectly captures the problem with nepotism (Vox)
- Jared Kushner’s Middle East Development Project: His conference in Bahrain hears of big dream plans divorced from reality. (NYT, $)
- Trump Fast-Forwards American Decline: The “savaging of American diplomacy,” as seen by one of the State Department’s finest. (NYT, $)
Violence Far-Right Next Door
- An avowed neo-Nazi with a long history of violence against immigrants assassinated a popular pro-migrant German politician last month. 65-year-old-Walter Lübcke, a member of the Christian Democratic Union, was a staunch defender of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy. He was shot in the head late at night on June 2 as he sat smoking on his terrace.
- It was the first political assassination in more than 50 years, and it has rung the alarm bells about a growing threat of right-wing terrorism. (NPR)
“Occupy Legislative Council” Doesn’t Have The Same Ring To It
- Monday was the 22nd anniversary of semiautonomous Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. More than 500,000 demonstrators marched peacefully through the city, continuing to protest against a proposed extradition bill and any further intrusive control by the Communist Party in Beijing.
- Some young activists smashed their way through metal barricades and glass doors to break into Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, where they wrote graffiti on walls, tore down portraits of pro-Beijing officials, and emptied rooms of chairs and desks. Just after midnight on Tuesday police began using force to clear the streets surrounding the Legislative Complex, then entered the council building and removed the protestors, who vowed to return. (WaPo)
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me
- German boat captain Carola Rackete was arrested and detained in Italy on Saturday, more than two weeks after she and other volunteers aboard the Sea-Watch 3 rescued 53 migrants from a small dinghy in the Mediterranean.
- Saturday’s arrest came after the 31-year-old captain defied authorities and docked her 165-foot boat in a small Italian port. Rackete had been told to return the migrants to war-torn Libya — instead she let 40 of them disembark.
- Italy’s far-right government has enacted strict rules banning private groups from rescuing migrants from dangerous vessels in rough waters. Humanitarian groups called Rackete a hero, while the Italian foreign minister called her a “pirate” and the docking “an act of war.” She could face 10 years in prison. (WaPo)
Additional World News
- Japan resumed commercial whaling after 31 years. New photos show what that looks like. (WaPo, $)
- Boycott by Whites of South African Restaurant Reflects Growing Sense of Grievance (NYT, $)
- How the climate crisis will change your plate in 2050: In her new book, Amanda Little explores what it will take to continue feeding 7.5 billion people in the world (Guardian)
- HPV Vaccines Are Reducing Infections, Warts — and Probably Cancer: An analysis covering 66 million young people has found plummeting rates of precancerous lesions and genital warts after vaccination against the human papillomavirus. (NYT, $)
Slow And Steady Claims A Check
- A new report published Friday says almost all Americans claim social security benefits at the wrong time, meaning they will miss out on a collective $3.4 trillion in benefits before they die.
- United Income, a money management firm providing financial advice to retirees, teamed up with former Social Security officials to simulate retiree decisions on when to claim benefits, along with factors that include income, wealth, taxes, health status and longevity. Their analysis found that 96 percent of retirees choose the wrong year to tap Social Security.
- While they can start their benefits as early as age 62, retirees could boost the size of their checks for every year they wait until age 70, when the maximum benefit accrues. The advantage in waiting is substantial: A person eligible for a $725 monthly check at 62 could get a $1,280 check if they wait to start at age 70. (Bloomberg)
- I retired at 34 with $3 million—here are 5 downsides of early retirement that no one tells you (CNBC) And a nice piece to accompany the previous one: How to Figure Out If That Personal Finance Advice Is Nonsense (Lifehacker)
Additional USA News
- Alabamians Defend Arrest of Woman Whose Fetus Died in Shooting (NYT, $)
- Under Siege And Largely Secret: Businesses That Serve Immigration Detention (NPR)
- ‘A betrayal’: Inside the bitter rift between Pelosi and Schumer over border bill (WaPo, $)
- Why Bill Barr Is So Dangerous: He is using the office he holds to advance his extraordinary lifetime project of assigning unchecked power to the president. (Atlantic)
- San Francisco Will Spend $600,000 to Erase History: The school board has voted to destroy public murals by a New Deal-era Communist. (NYT, $)
Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up (Statistically If You) Put On A Happy Face
- In the 1800s Charles Darwin was among the first to come up with what modern scientists later developed into the “facial feedback hypothesis.” That’s the idea that smiling can make you happier and frowning can make you sadder or angrier; i.e. by merely changing your facial expression you can heighten or even transform your mood.
- The notion that you can smile your way to happiness is still taught in psychology classes. So while working on his doctorate in social psychology, candidate Nick Coles led a recent study to examine whether positive facial expressions can actually create positive emotions, and contrarily, whether negative facial expressions can create negative emotions.
- The Coles team reviewed around 50 years of data, including the results of almost 300 experiments testing the facial feedback theory. What they found was that if smiling boosts happiness, it’s only by a teeny tiny bit. Past studies had produced disparate findings. A psychologist not involved in the recent Coles study said that could partially be because there are lots of different kinds of smiles. “It’s complicated,” she said. “Not all smiles are genuine smiles of joy.” (NPR)
- The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It (Official Music Video)
- The Century-Long Evolution of the U.S. Army Helmet: The long march from a steel pot to a ballistic wonder of engineering. (Popular Mechanics) Daily Pnut’s Tim Hsia hated the Army’s K-pod (Kevlar helmet). The ACH MICH was a massive improvement. But the worst thing about the helmet was not the weight. It was always the really nasty chin strap. Especially if one had to apply camouflage.
- Speaking of the military, Tim co-hosts a podcast. In the latest episode his co-host interviews two of his West Point classmates who are military veterans turned product managers: ‘The Operators’: Slack PM Lorilyn McCue and Google Senior PM Jamal Eason on becoming a product manager and PM best practices (TechCrunch) Tim likes Jamal (who doesn’t?) but will still include the links below.
- The complete list of alternatives to all Google products: Parallel universe for the super security conscious (Techspot)
- How to move from Chrome to another browser: If you want to make the switch (Verge)
- Companies are warning that earnings results are going to be brutal (CNBC) Brace yourself?
- The Paradox of Expertise: How range, not just specialization, preps us for success. (Psychology Today)
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci
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