Mike Smith: The vision of Washington is dimming

first_imgby Mike Smith When we think of Washington, DC, we often conjure up images of a city filled with political and social elites focused on self-preservation and personal enhancement. Where responsibility for others is supplanted by self-aggrandizement and concern for one’s own comfort. A city disconnected from the struggles and interests of those outside its boundaries.Columnist Peggy Noonan depicted these elites this way: “They’re barricaded behind the things the influential have, from good neighborhoods to security alarms, doormen and gates. They’re not dark in their imagining of the future because history has never been dark for them; it’s been sunshine, which they expect to continue. They sail on, oblivious to the legitimate anxieties of their countrymen who live near the edge.”And, according to Noonan, elites often have the audacity to lecture the rest of us. “The influential grind away with their disdain for their fellow Americans, whom they seem less to want to help than to dominate: Give up your gun, bake my cake, free speech isn’t free if what you’re saying triggers,” Noonan writes.For some, Washington is no different from the fictional capital depicted in “The Hunger Games,” a popular trilogy of books and movies where elites live in disregard of the needs of the citizens in outlying districts — citizens who are forcibly conscripted to meet the needs of the elites.Of course, we are far from this dystopian view of America. And rigorous debate and disagreement is the hallmark of a thriving democracy. But there are warning signs that Americans are losing faith in their government and the underpinnings of a democracy — like freedom of the press and speech — as well as in the fairness of their governmental institutions. This is dangerous stuff.It’s certainly easier to divide people rather than to unite them, because it’s far simpler to place the blame on others if your life is disappointing. Often this blame is placed on the less protected in our society.Unfortunately, our political and social elites have become accustomed to dividing Americans into political, cultural and economic groups, pitting each against one another.Politicians — of all political stripes — foster and perpetuate divisions because to divide helps them get elected and stay empowered. But politicians are not alone in their desire to divide.We often think that our form of democracy is indestructible, even perpetual, but is it? Governments throughout history have collapsed because of growing and unresolved conflicts between the wants of the powerful and the needs of the people.If Americans become so divided, then it will become impossible to bring them back together again. No government can be successful in a constant state of turmoil and where compromises and solutions are not allowed. The government will eventually collapse, and the results of such a collapse will be scary.Ultimately, isn’t it the responsibility of our leaders — our national political and social elites — to unite us rather than trying to divide us, to look out for us rather than down on us?We once turned to Washington looking for moral guidance and fairness. This vision of Washington is dimming. And the darkness that is encompassing the city should be troubling to all of us.Mike Smith is a regular columnist for Vermont Business Magazine, vermontbiz.com and VTDigger. He hosts the radio program “Open Mike with Mike Smith” on WDEV 550 AM and 96.1, 96.5, 98.3 and 101.9 FM and is a political analyst for WCAX-TV and WVMT radio. He was the secretary of administration and secretary of human services under former Gov. Jim Douglas.last_img read more

Zeiger, Gophers dominate North Dakota

first_imgThe men’s team nearly matched the effort of the women’s team, defeating North Dakota 207-89 after losing to Wisconsin last weekend.“They really did a great job of … showing lots of energy and attacking their swims,” Kremer said. “They came out of the Wisconsin meet feeling as confident as ever.”Sophomore Daryl Turner said the loss didn’t affect the way the team trained during the week prior to Friday night’s matchup.“We just put our heads in the water and kept training,” he said.Turner himself turned in another inspired performance, notching victories in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard butterfly.This marks the second consecutive week Turner has swam in a butterfly event, though he and Kremer both said they weren’t sure if he’d be a permanent fixture there.The men’s team also received a strong performance from sophomore Erick Huft, who took first place in the 1,000-yard freestyle.Kremer and Turner both raved about Huft’s performance.“He’s a hard worker,” Turner said. “You see him in these meets, and he’s gradually getting better and better every day.”The men’s divers also put together a tremendous performance, capturing the top five spots in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards.“They push each other real well,” Chen said.Though the meet proved to be a great success, with Iowa coming up this week, Kremer said there’s still work to be done.“We’ve got to get better at relay exchanges, and we have to get better coming in and out of walls,” Kremer said. “Iowa’s going to come in and give us tough races.” Zeiger, Gophers dominate North DakotaBoth the men’s and women’s teams had commanding victories over the weekend. David NelsonOctober 27, 2014Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintEven though Brooke Zeiger is a freshman, the talented young swimmer is competing with a veteran’s confidence.Zeiger took first for Minnesota in both the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle — marking her sixth and seventh victories as a collegiate swimmer.“It was fun [because] I got to switch up from the usual backstroke and [individual medley],” Zeiger said. “[They were] fresh events from what I usually swim.”The freshman’s performance helped spark the women’s dominating effort against North Dakota, a 215-81 victory.“Our team seemed to race really well,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “We cleaned up a lot of things from a week ago that we wanted to work on this week.”Zeiger’s transition from club to college swimming appeared to be practically effortless.In both of her events Friday evening, she touched the wall at least 15 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.“Brooke had a great meet,” Kremer said. “Those weren’t just good times for Brooke Zeiger — those were good times for anybody.”Fellow freshman Danielle Nack also continues to impress early in her career.The young swimmer garnered victories in the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle, and she aided the Gophers in their victory in the 200-yard free relay.Minnesota won every event on the women’s side of the competition.That also includes the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions, which junior Jessica Ramberg and sophomore Lexi Tenenbaum won, respectively.“I can tell week by week that we’re getting better, more competitive,” head diving coach Wenbo Chen said.Men rebound after losslast_img read more

Browns Waive Linebacker Tanner Vallejo

first_img Matt Loede Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. The Browns today announced that they have waived LB Tanner Vallejo, who appeared in 13 games with one start for the team in 2018.Vallejo totaled 20 tackles and one forced fumble on defense and seven special teams tackles. He was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury on December 28th.The Buffalo Bills selected Vallejo in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and in May of 2017 inked a four-year, $2.55 million contract.The Bills then waived him on on September 1st of 2018, and the Browns picked him up on waivers the following day. center_img Related TopicsBrownsTanner Vallejolast_img read more

South African scientist hailed as power woman

first_imgDr Patience Mthunzi has been named one of 20 ‘Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012’ by Forbes Magazine. In April last year, Mthunzi was honoured by President Jacob Zuma with the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze, one of the country’s highest national awards, for her local and international contribution in biophotonics. (Images: CSIR)MEDIA CONTACTS• Tendani Tsedu Media Relations ManagerCSIR+27 12 841 3417RELATED ARTICLES• Digital drum boosts computer literacy • Hi-tech solution to fix roads • Engineering improves healthcare • Green light for titanium powder pilot Wilma den HartighA South African scientist has been named one of 20 ‘Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012’ by Forbes Magazine. These are women – all under the age of 45 – who are bringing about positive change on the continent by influencing African business, technology, science, policy and media.Dr Patience Mthunzi, a scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), was recognised for her pioneering work in the area of biophotonics, a field of science that enables microscopic study of biological molecules, cells and tissue using laser.Mthunzi is one of only three South Africans to be listed in the magazine – the other two are both prominent figures in the media industry.She heard about the listing late in December last year, and she says making it onto the prestigious list was completely unexpected. “I feel so honoured and humbled for being one of the three South Africans to have made it onto this list,” she says.Mthunzi is fast gaining an international reputation for her work, and she says although she doesn’t work for accolades, the recognition inspires and motivates her to do more.In April last year, she was honoured by President Jacob Zuma with the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze, one of the country’s highest national awards, for her local and international contribution in biophotonics. This order is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement.She is South Africa’s only senior scientist for the biophotonics research group within the CSIR National Laser Centre, and she is also the first biophotonics PhD graduate in South Africa.As she was unable to study biophotonics at a local university, Mthunzi became the first South African PhD student at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews in Scotland.Developing innovative testing devicesBiophotonics is an emerging area of science in South Africa. Mthunzi explains that it is a versatile, multi-disciplinary field that can be applied to find solutions for challenges in areas such as medicine, agriculture, environmental and life sciences.Research conducted under the umbrella of biophotonics involves disciplines such as physics, biology, medicine and engineering.Part of Mthunzi’s job description is to come up with novel ideas, and that is what she loves most about her work.She’s leading a project to determine possible medical applications using laser technology. “The field has applications for any disease,” she says.She is developing an HIV testing device that makes use of lasers to test blood samples.The device will be particularly useful in remote areas of the country and could change the way HIV testing is done. “Often people in rural areas have to walk long distances to clinics to get tested,” she says. “By the time they get there, it is too late to draw blood and send it with a courier to be tested at a laboratory elsewhere.”Mthunzi explains that the testing tool would be based on site at a clinic. She would like to design the device in such a way that it doesn’t require a medical professional to operate it.“It will be possible to get results immediately and will be easy to use, even by volunteer staff who receive some training,” she says.She is also working on introducing DNA and genes into stem cells and finding applications for lasers in the treatment of cancer. “Our cancer research is looking into ways to separate cancerous and non-cancerous cells,” she says.A hybrid scientistMthunzi’s interest in the field developed when she joined the CSIR’s Laser Centre in 2004, as a biochemist. “I didn’t even know what a laser was,” she recalls. “I was encouraged to do a PhD in laser physics, and I found the field very exciting.”She’s always had an interest in various branches of science such as medicine, physics and natural sciences and even zoology. “I see science in everything,” she says.With biophotonics, she can experiment in all these areas, but Mthunzi says the country needs researchers who are experienced in multiple disciplines.“If I only knew biology, I would be limited in what I can do and come up with,” she says.“Some people call me a hybrid because my undergraduate qualification and my Master’s are in biology, followed by a PhD in physics, but I see myself as just a scientist.”Her peers in laser research are mostly physicists and from that perspective her biology background is somewhat unusual. “But it has equipped me perfectly for the job,” she says.Growing biophotonics and science in SAMthunzi set up a fully functioning biophotonics laboratory at the CSIR and the facility is closely integrated with nearby optical laboratories on the council’s campus in Pretoria. The laboratories are within walking distance of each other, which makes research work much easier.She says South Africa needs more scientists and she enjoys promoting the field. She belongs to the South African Young Academy of Science, an organisation that contributes towards the development of scientific capacity and awareness in South Africa and promotes science at all levels of education.What she would like to see is a greater interest in biophotonics in the country. Mthunzi hopes that in the future biophotonics will become an established discipline locally and be taught as a degree.She says young people also need mentors to inspire them because that’s what helped her achieve her goals.“What helped me as a child is being surrounded by good mentors,” she says. “My aunt was my mentor. She was such a guru. I wanted to be just like her.” The aunt was a teacher and the first person in her family to obtain a Master’s degree.Other South Africans on the listTwo other South African women, both prominent figures in the media industry, were also recognised by Forbes Magazine.Yolanda Sangweni is a senior editor at ESSENCE.com, one of the leading publications for black women in the US. She is also the co-founder of AfriPOP!, an online magazine that focuses on contemporary African youth culture, music, fashion and film from an Afropolitan perspective.Journalist, broadcaster and author Redi Tlhabi is the producer of a documentary on the former South African president Thabo Mbeki. She is also a columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper and author of Endings and Beginnings: A Story of Healing, a book based on her childhood experiences. Tlhabi is the host of a new talk show on Al Jazeera English television channel that will focus on politics, culture, music, health and science.last_img read more

How to Secure Your Enterprise in the Post-PC Era

first_imgThe Good NewsMalware is less of a threat: According to Forrester, mobile OSes provide a smaller attack surface, and malicious applications can do less damage. The examples of mobile malware we’ve seen so far have been pretty low-risk. There will be mobile malware – not even Apple’s screening policies will keep malware from slipping through the cracks – but it will be less frequent and less severe than Windows malware outbreaks.SMS can be used for two-factor authentication: Forrester notes that unlike PCs, which have only one network pathway into and out of a device (TCP/IP), most post-PC devices can use two-factor authentication via SMS. Security costs less: Forrester estimates that the average PC needs $400 worth of aftermarket security software and services over three years. End-point security suites, disk encryption, compliance auditing, etc. can really rack up a big bill. Forrester expects the sort of “all-in-one” security provided by device management vendors to keep the cost of securing post-PC devices down.The Bad NewsPortable devices are easier to lose or stealYou might not be able to control software deployment Particularly when dealing with employee-owned devices, you may not be able to lock-down post-PC software deployment the way you could in the past. Even if you can restrict access to downloads, you may still be depending on third parties such as the App Store to deploy approved software.Support is a lot more complicated: Plain and simple: the different types of devices you have, the more complicated support gets. (I feel for the corporate help desk staff of the future.)PC and Post-PC device management convergence is still years away: There are quite a few mobile device management vendors, but Forrester says we’re still years away from a unified PC and Post-PC device management convergence.There are legal uncertainties about data ownership: According to the report, “questions of data ownership, data protection responsibilities, and privacy boundaries on both personally owned and (surprisingly) corporate devices are anything but settled.”Forrester’s RecommendationsBuild an information control strategy for your devices.Let device capabilities, not brands, drive support decisions.Build a multidevice management capability. (See also Top 10 Most Important Features for Enterprise Smartphone Management Solutions.)Merge security and mobile operations management.Set up a company app store. (JackBe is offering the tools to do this already)Ignore security vendor hype. “Instead, use mDm tools to manage the real risks: user-installed apps that are overprivileged or overshare — not malware,” says the report.Use thin-clients like Citrix Receiver to limit exposure. Reducing the amount of data on these devices reduces the risks associated with having them lost or stolen. Using mobile web apps instead of native apps may help too. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts klint finley Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#enterprise#mobile IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now It’s happening: a shift to a post-PC era. Forrester defines a post-PC device as one with a screen, processor, memory, and storage but “in a lesser way than PCs.” Examples include iPads, smart phones and e-readers such as the Kindle. In a new report, Forrester predict that this will be the year that post-PC devices eclipse PCs in the enterprise. There are a number of factors driving this, including pressure from executives who want to use the latest devices. Regardless, it’s a shift that’s happening: more and more enterprises are embracing these devices.last_img read more