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Combating fear and terrorism at the holidays

In Crime, history, Local News, Media, National News, News Media, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, Technology, Travel, Uncategorized, World News on November 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOAs the holiday season begins, bad guys around the world are watching and willing to do anything to disrupt safety and security. In the shadow of the Paris attacks in which 129 people died and more than 350 injured, it’s hard not to worry that another strike is just around the corner.

The level of anger and hatred leveled at peace-loving people is almost incomprehensible. But what can we do, as individual Americans, to remain safe and keep the terrorists from spreading fear?

For the most part, remaining diligent about safety should be a common sense concept. But, surprisingly, many Americans are complacent about their place on the global stage. But it’s only a matter of time before ISIS and similar groups manage to hit an American target on a massive scale, just as al Qaeda did in 2001. In other words, we’ve been lucky.

As the White House plans for the reception of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing terrorism themselves, many conservatives are debating the idea that the inrush of refugees may include planted ISIS terrorists. Although this is certainly a legitimate concern, my guess is, however, they already have people on the ground here in the States, recruiting American young people on our own soil.

It can still happen here ... again.

It can still happen here … again.

Young, mush-brained Americans are being recruited into these terrorist cells in staggering numbers. One report by CNN.com states, “ISIS takes a somewhat secular approach, portraying how much better life purportedly is in the caliphate as compared to the corrupt West.”

The article also offers a reminder that it’s not just American youth who are attracted to the ISIS recruitment process. It also appeals to a wide demographic of people from all ages and socioeconomic ranges.

Additionally, gun control in the U.S. may help reduce domestic terror violence, but taking guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens might actually make ISIS’ job easier by making them bolder. My guess is that one of the few things keeping the bad guys at bay is a “Texas” mentality – the belief that we’re all gun-crazy and packing heats everywhere we go.

While that wouldn’t scare the leaders or group on the whole, those individuals they recruit to actually act would think twice if there was a possibility of not completing their “holy” mission – the deaths of hundreds of free Americans. If the assailant were to be gunned down by a regular citizen before he can detonate his bomb or unload his weapon on innocents, he’d be a failure and dishonor himself.

Americans can’t afford to depend entirely on the federal government to protect them from these threats and should remember the advice of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On the official DHS website, the agency states, “Citizens should report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement authorities.”

DHS officials urge citizens to be “vigilant for indicators of potential terrorist activity” and watch the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Alerts for information about specific threats. While being vigilant, however, it’s important to be clear on who exactly constitutes “the enemy.”

Clearly, Americans are behind our French allies, in solidarity against a common enemy with no borders, no face, no diplomatic recognition, no motive (except murder) – the enemy could be anyone. But we must keep in mind that “alert” doesn’t mean “paranoid.”

The words “Islam” and “Muslim” are being thrown around in the reports about the most recent terror attacks. We must remember that Muslims are not the enemy – ISIS is the threat. Muslims, like most Christians, are peaceful, law-abiding citizens who are deeply harmed by what these radicals are doing.

History is full of religious extremism, from virtually every major sect on the planet. We’ll never be completely rid of it, but we can do our best to keep it from damaging our society and protect citizens of the free world as effectively as possible.

As a people and a country, America survived 9/11 and we’ll survive whatever ISIS throws at us. But anything we can do to prevent this most recent threat from any level of success is worth the effort and diligence.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

 

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Amateur radio license classes start Sept 13 in Beavercreek

In Dayton Ohio News, Education, Local News, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on August 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm

radiosGREENE COUNTY, OH – Anyone interested in obtaining or upgrading an amateur (ham) radio license should sign up for one of the Amateur Radio license classes being offered by the Greene County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (GCARES) starting on Sept. 13. The classes will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. each Sunday through Nov. 8.  A test for all classes of licenses will be given Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Training Room at Beavercreek Township Fire Station 61, 2195 Dayton-Xenia Road.

There is no charge for the classes  which are supported by the Bellbrook  Amateur Radio Club (BARC), the Upper Valley Amateur Radio Club (UVARC) and the Xenia Weather Amateur Radio Network (XWARN) in addition to GCARES.

The entry level Technician Class course will be held in the Training Center at the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club Clubhouse, Room 1 Sugarcreek Elementary School, 51 South East Street in Bellbrook. No experience is required and there is no minimum age required to earn a Technician Class license. There is no Morse Code requirement.

The General Class course and the Test Session will be held in the Training Room at Beavercreek Township Fire Station 61 located at 2195 Dayton-Xenia Road just west of Orchard Lane.

The Extra Class course will be held in the Training Room at Fairborn Fire Station 2 located at 2200 Commerce Center Blvd just south of Dayton-Yellow Springs Road just east of I-675.

To register for a courses or for more information, please contact Bill Watson K8WEW by email at wwatson4@att.net or by phone between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. at (937) 426-2166.

Public perception and the dusty GOP

In Economy, history, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized on July 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

 

DIH LOGOIt seems the republican field of presidential candidacy is bursting at the seams, not to mention getting a little ridiculous. At the time of this writing, there are a dozen GOP candidates hoping to sway voters, and the RNC, before next year’s primary season, while only four democrats have officially tossed their hats into the ring.

At this point in the game, it’s anyone’s race. Until the democratic field shakes out, it’s unlikely there will be many republican endorsements. Before that can happen, supporters need to see is how their favorite conservative candidate stands up against the opposition.

Most early candidacies are a function of money – how much they have, how much is coming in and where to spend it for the best return on the investment. Media is critical to political perception, and expensive, but, at this point many of the candidates will have to spend time doing the old grip and grin just to introduce themselves to key voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa. It seems old school in a world of nonstop social media, but it’s necessary.

1280px-Republican_National_ConventionThere are too many GOP candidates with little to no name recognition and that will be an obstacle. Keep in mind, most of the country had no idea who Barack Obama was until the eleventh hour and, two terms later, he has repeatedly made history. But, can the Republican National Committee change the perception of the GOP as the tired, dusty party to something more progressive?

Dem forerunner Hillary Clinton has experience, but not in the same “boots on the ground” role as Jeb Bush or one of the other candidates who have been state governors. Still, just having been a governor isn’t enough to guarantee any sort of mileage in a presidential campaign, especially when accomplishments in office have been lackluster, to say the least.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, for example, has announced that he will officially launch his 2016 White House bid in late July. To hear Kasich describe it, he’s earned his seat at the table having been single handedly responsible for Ohio’s economic recovery following the recession. But, economists have been clear that Ohio’s recuperation is consistent with the rest of the country, resulting instead from federal stimulus packages, short term interest rate reductions and bail outs.

Assuming respectable advancement in the primaries, the candidates could experience secondary problems based on their choice of running mate. While the announcement comes much later in the game, everyone is thinking about it now and those interested in the job are quietly knocking on the door behind the scenes.

Hitching a ride on Kasich’s coat tails as a running mate would most likely be Ohio’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, an obvious choice for the short list. Although he served in congress for a time, DeWine’s name recognition is relatively useless beyond the borders of the Buckeye State.

If Kasich chooses DeWine, he would probably also have to deal with conservative backlash for the AG’s many liberal-leaning policies, the least of which is gun control, including his sponsorship of legislation against assault weapons and personal firearm ownership. Though carefully kept out of any published information, DeWine is also rumored to have been a democrat before changing sides in order to make a political name for himself in Ohio’s largely conservative Greene County. If true, that could further impede any national conservative support of a Kasich-DeWine ticket.

But even if the GOP candidacy field narrows, republicans are still stuck with the public perception as a “rich white guys club,” despite the fact there are two minorities on the list; an African American, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and a woman, former business exec Carly Fiorina. Historically, the GOP has great difficulty connecting with younger voters and minorities and, so far, nothing has happened to mitigate that problem.

Republicans are largely seen by young voters as bigoted, gun-happy, greedy and stuck in the1950s. Until one of the many conservative candidates manages to offer an alternative to that perception for a mass audience, Americans might be looking at another term under a democratic administration.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

Join my #facebookfast and unplug for Memorial Day

In Children and Family, Health, Holiday, News Media, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on May 23, 2015 at 5:58 am

DIH LOGOOver the years I’ve done several articles and television interviews on the subject of going “off the grid,” when you put down the smartphone and tablet computer to unplug for a while. But some people simply can’t imagine letting go of their connection to the information superhighway, even for a few minutes.

Who knows what disasters might befall them if they miss that one, all-important posting that could quite literally change their lives forever. Of course, in reality, none of that stuff really matters.

It could be argued that political, racial and other social tensions might be less volatile if there were no social media to spread negativity and anger at the speed of light. Although it offers a positive outlet to promote social change, it also invites hateful rhetoric that can be distributed instantly and constantly.

Social media can sometimes even exacerbate depression in people already prone to the problem. True, it can sometimes elicit encouragement, support and sympathy. In my opinion, however, that level of support is only effective in the long term if it comes from in-person contact with people who really know you and care.

For the record, my job and my lifelong ties in technology leave me as guilty as the next person when it comes to maintaining my cyber connection. That said I still try to treat it like a tool – one for communication, maintaining a surface contact with friends I rarely get to see or just keeping up with my interests. But it can still be overwhelming at times and then I have to shut it off.

As it turns out, there is something called “social media anxiety.” Although it’s not recognized as a mental disorder (yet), from what I have read the problem results, in part, from this unrealistic sense of urgency with which we have endowed our virtual engagements. So, I think we all need a break.

Can you unplug for the #facebookfast?

Can you unplug for the #facebookfast?

If you’re one of the millions suffering from social media anxiety or just need a respite from the constant “Likes,” texts, tweets, pins and pokes, I’d like to make the following proposal. I’m inviting all of my readers, followers, and everyone else, to join me in what I’ve chosen to call, “The Facebook Fast.”

For 24 hours, we turn off all social media, going cold turkey on everything; no tweets, Facebook messages, or Pinterest posts – nothing. I considered suggesting a 48-hour-moratorium, but I thought that might send some people to a rubber room. The big question is, when?

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is always best spent with family and friends in the real world, so it seems the perfect time for a cyber-fast. Therefore, “The Facebook Fast” will kick off on Monday, May 25, 2015, at 12:01 a.m. and remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. the same day, so you even get two free minutes.

I expect this will be a challenge for a lot of people, me included. Because of the holiday, we’re all going to want to post and check in all day but we must resist temptation. If you can get your family and friends to participate too, it’ll be easier to hang in there.

Oh, I can almost feel the panic setting in at the mere thought of cutting the social media cord. But relax, consider it a “cyber cleanse.” Don’t worry; these particular DTs will pass quickly. And, in the event you can’t possibly imagine how you will stay in touch with the world for a whole day without social media, I have a few suggestions.

You could: read a book or newspaper, go outside, pick up the phone and actually call someone, meet a friend for dinner, go to a ball game, visit a local attraction, or any number of other activities that involve actual, human contact.

In something of an irony, the best way to spread the word about the fast is by using the hash tag, #facebookfast. I feel safe in guaranteeing to you that nothing bad will happen from ignoring social media for one day. The world will continue to turn and, if we’re lucky, it might also slow down just a little bit and give us all a moment to catch our breath.

 

Special Editorial Note: For fans of the late author Douglas Adams and his series of books from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” May 25th is also “Towel Day.” If you want to participate in the #facebookfast, just save up photos from Towel Day events and activities and post them at 11:59PM! If everyone hits it at once, “Towel Day” will trend on Twitter! 

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

More money needed to combat child poverty

In Children and Family, Economy, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology on May 19, 2015 at 11:51 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOFor many Americans, a day of suffering might include a flat tire on the way to work, the cable going out right before a favorite program, or a long line at the coffee shop. But for millions of children, suffering means doing without basic necessities like proper nutrition and even the most basic health care.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), more than 16 million children in the United States live in families with income below the poverty level of $23,550. That’s a staggering 22-percent of all the kids in the country.

Some people today believe that childhood poverty in America is something from the past. In fact, one in six children in the United States lives below the poverty line.

Some people today believe that childhood poverty in America is something from the past. In fact, one in six children in the United States lives below the poverty line.

Despite the political rhetoric, generally coming from conservatives who feel poverty is a problem of the lazy, the NCCP reports that most of the parents of these children do indeed work. But low wages and in unstable employment situations continue to restrict any sort of progress for them. Experts agree that poverty is the single greatest threat to the welfare of American children in modern society.

In addition, for those who believe that poverty is a problem mainly suffered by minorities, here are some statistics. The NCCP reports that among America’s poorest children, 4.2 million are white, 4 million are Latino, 3.6 million are African American, 400,000 are Asian, and 200,000 are American Indian. That’s right; the majority of American kids living in poverty are white. But, clearly, the numbers are fairly close, so it’s certainly clear that poverty doesn’t seem to discriminate.

Red Nose DayMost of what’s needed to help this problem involves, as always, more money. There just isn’t enough funding through government social service programs to provide the needed services to support poverty-stricken children and younger adults. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC), along with charity partners such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Feeding America, is sponsoring a national day of awareness and fund-raising called, “Red Nose Day,” on Thursday, May 21st.

The United Way of Orange County, California explained the event on their website, “The campaign encourages everyone from children to corporations to do something fun in the name of raising awareness around a serious global issue, while also raising funds to help identify and deliver solutions. Red Nose Day USA activities culminate in a 3-hour telethon airing on NBC Saturday May 21 at 8pm.”

In addition to events like Red Nose Day, people are encouraged to help out in whatever capacity available to them, and it’s not just about writing a check. Those interested in volunteering can check with their local chapter of The United Way or other social service organizations to find out more.

Living in the richest, most powerful country in the world should inherently provide some kind of security for a child, at the very least with regard to food and shelter. Without proper living conditions, a child will simply not be able to learn well and that makes school less of a priority than eventually helping the family to support itself.

Children who can’t learn or leave school will only continue the cycle of poverty in many instances, forever locking themselves into the lowest paying work, when employment is even available.

So the question begs to be asked, “Can’t the government do more?” Yes, it can. But it hasn’t, and it probably won’t. Annually, only a pittance of tax dollars is allocated towards this problem and local social service programs are continually scaled back because of lack of funding.

Even the great Affordable Healthcare Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), which was supposed to provide health insurance for America’s poorest citizens, has made no significant difference. Because of its incredibly complicated application procedures, among other reasons, the program has thoroughly failed to meet healthcare needs of these children and their families.

Even if someone only has a little more, there is always a way to help those with far less. Red Nose Day is a fun start, but there needs to be more done to help those living in poverty. Congress (liberal and conservative alike) and the president share the blame for this tragic disfigurement of American culture. It’d be interesting to see how they would handle living without the six-figure salaries and free insurance.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com

Greene County Treasurer a Panelist in National Legislative Conference

In Local News, News Media, Politics, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized on March 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm
Gould

Gould

Xenia, Ohio, March 10, 2015 — Greene County Treasurer, Dick Gould, served as a panelist educating attendees about county investment policies and practices at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference February 21 – 25 in Washington D.C.

Joining Gould on the panel were David Messerly, Director of Global Investor Relations for FHLBanks and Jim Powell, Senior Vice-President of Multi-Bank Securities, Inc. Included in the discussion were the impact of interest rates, strategies for approaching investment opportunities, policy restrictions, and best practices.  The session included a question and answer session with participants.

“For counties, interest rates are a double-edged sword,” says Gould.  “Given the historically low rates, investment income has decreased dramatically.  Yet borrowing costs are also down and the county has been able to restructure much of its debt to save costs.”

More than 1500 county leaders attended the national conference, which offered workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Vice President Joe Biden, who began his political career as a Delaware County council member, was the opening speaker at the event.

Dick Gould has been Greene County’s Treasurer since 2011.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Accountancy from Miami University, Ohio.

A national, online university is impractical.

In Economy, Education, finances, history, National News, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on March 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

DIH LOGOA recent CNN.com article by Kevin Carey proposed the idea that America could bring to reality George Washington’s dream of a national university by utilizing the Internet-based programs of existing institutions. Colleges and universities already receive millions every year in federal money, so some of that could be allocated towards low-tuition, online education. Good idea in concept, but not practical.

Although Internet-based programs have been in place for some time at universities around the country, many educators still believe that online education lacks the face-to-face contact necessary for students to connect with the subtleties of concepts and ideas. Questions cannot be answered immediately and written communication skills become more vital since intent and personality don’t always come across the same way virtually as in person.

Obviously, online options are not well-suited for every course of study, particularly where hands-on work is vital, such as the physical sciences or engineering. The ITDL article notes that videos would need to be produced, substantially increasing costs, while still lacking in the ability for students to get direct, immediate feedback. Flaws aside for a moment, online options have some positive aspects as well.

booksA few years ago, one article in the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning noted that some educators employ online discussion boards to compensate for absent face time. One professor referenced in the article also suggested that, “a virtual environment reduces gender differences,” creating a more equal educational setting for men and women.

A national university could potentially be cobbled together from existing web-based programs and at a considerable savings. With online education there are fewer administrative issues, no buildings to construct and no libraries to collect.

But if the intent of such a program would be a stepping stone towards achieving President Obama’s promises of free community college education, further examination is probably needed. On the surface, a virtually-based, national community college program looks like a great solution to a daunting issue. Digging down, however, the financial and educational factors that sparked the idea in the first place would also be its greatest hindrance.

In order for such a program to be of value, it would need to be within the reach of the poorest of American citizens. Computers, for all they seem readily available by the upper-middle class, are still fiscally out of reach for those of lower income.

A computer at the local library is great for submitting job resumes or checking Facebook, but long-term study on public computers is impractical and insecure. Add to that most public computers are painfully slow and out-of-date, with restricted web search capability, and they seem like a thoroughly impossible option.

Additionally, free (or nearly free) dial-up Internet access would be wholly insufficient for higher learning programs so students would need to use high-speed broadband service. Once again, pricing and accessibility become the major issues. It simply costs too much for most lower-income families to afford high-speed Internet service and, in rural communities, availability remains shockingly limited.

Finally, there is the issue of prerequisite education. Besides whatever background might be needed for enrollment and future success in any particular program, a lack of computer skills can also hamper online class work.

The average computer user has a parenthetical set of skills: they can surf the web (but tend to stay on websites they know how to navigate), use a simple word processor, send a basic email (without attachments), print something and turn the machine off and on. That’s pretty much it.

Some of college coursework would require the student to possess advanced computer skills related to online research, clerical software manipulation, media production and so on. That might be a problem for someone coming from a background of limited resources or a family where technology didn’t play a major role.

None of this is impossible, but the limits on infrastructure, funding and practicality might be too great a challenge to reach those who would most benefit. An online program alone is just not the answer to America’s higher education deficiencies. Sorry George, no national university just yet. But, hopefully, there are some smart people out there trying to make something like it a reality in the near future.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

E-commerce shoppers beware price steering

In Economy, finances, Holiday, Media, National News, Technology, Uncategorized on November 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

DIH LOGORecent surveys suggest that nearly 60 percent of shoppers will do their holiday buying online this year. That’s probably not too surprising to most people.  But did you also know that many e-commerce websites actually adjust pricing based on your personal information to get the most money they can from each shopper? It’s called “price steering,” and it’s perfectly legal. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say Bob goes online to buy a hammer using his smart phone. The e-commerce hardware site offers the item for $10 with a $2 shipping charge. From his desktop computer at work, John looking up the very same hammer on the same website, but his price is showing at $15 with a $5 shipping charge. The cost variation is based on data collected from each buyer’s Internet device.

Whenever you visit a website it leaves a “fingerprint,” on your computer, smart phone or tablet in the form of cookies, browsing history, and so on. For our example, let’s say Bob and John live in different parts of the country, work in different occupations, and have individual buying habits, so their computers, smart phones and other devices portray a very different “electronic personality,” or “E.P.”

The E.P. information is used to “steer” each buyer to the same product but with different pricing based on the collected data. That level of electronic tracking might sound a bit distressing, but it’s really been going on for quite some time.

Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd. recommends checking e-commerce prices from different devices.

Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd. recommends checking e-commerce prices from different devices.

Internet users receive a plethora of personalized information every day. As they go about their day-to-day activities, complex programming is used to sift through online profile data and previous online activity, constantly processing it through something called a “personalization algorithm.” If you’ve ever wondered why Amazon knows that you like country music or white tigers, and constantly offers you products related to those things, that’s how they do it.

A similar process is used at grocery and other retail stores, using a combination of product placement and special pricing. I often refer to it as “the milk effect,” because dairy products, meats and other essentials are positioned in the back of the store and shoppers must pass a myriad of floor and end cap displays to get to them.

This “steers” the shopper past all of the sale items, incidentals, and virtually everything else, as they make their way to the household staples. Unlike price steering online, however, this practice is fairly transparent and has few components to allow unique pricing adjustments for each buyer.

User data collection and manipulation may provide many people with better pricing but it can also be used to force others to pay more. A recent study by researchers at Northeastern University brought into question the level of transparency offered by popular e-commerce sites and price steering practices.

Price steering actually hap­pens every day and is well-advertised. In a standard retail setting, for example, senior citizens might get a dis­count at the movies or a col­lege stu­dent pays less for books. And, according to the university’s website, authors of the study note that there is nothing inherently sinister in the processes.

But before you click “buy now,” it’s up to you to make sure you’re getting the best possible price online. Here are a few simple tips to help.

First, clear the browsing history on your device and turn off tracking cookies. Websites can’t access your history if there’s nothing there to see. Be aware, however, that some websites require that cookies be allowed or the site will not work properly.

Next, view the website on different devices. Some of the data collected can tell retailers that you are using an expensive smart phone and may be more inclined to pay more at checkout.

If you’re a regular user of a particular retailer’s website, log out and log in as a guest through another device. Sometimes guests are provided with lower pricing to entice them to buy.

Finally, scroll around, making sure to check the very bottom of the web page. Lower-priced products may be displayed elsewhere besides the top of the page. Do your homework, get the best price and enjoy this holiday shopping season.

(TUNE INTO WDTN-TV2’S LIVING DAYTON AT NOON ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28TH FOR A SPECIAL SEGMENT ON THIS TOPIC PRESENTED BY DEER IN HEADLINES AUTHOR GERY L. DEER.)

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

 

Border crisis will become a local issue

In Charities, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Local News, National News, Opinion, sociology, Uncategorized on July 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

DIH LOGOUnless someone is a true bigot, it’s hard to imagine why people don’t want to help the immigrant Mexican children being sent across the border without family, without supervision. But wanting to help is not the same thing as having the resources and infrastructure to do so properly, in a way that meets the ultimate goal which should be to see that the children have better life in America than they had in Mexico.

Unfortunately, people are so focused on the problem of the immigration process, they forget about what will happen once the kids get into the United States. Without a plan, infrastructure, money and personnel, it’s unlikely that these children will be living in anything less than squalor once they arrive and are processed.

Our government should do everything they can to help these kids, even if that means the best thing to do is to send them back home. Why? Because there are some vital questions still as yet unanswered. For example: Where will they live? Who will pay to feed and clothe them? Who will pay to educate them?

Each night in the United States, an estimated 611,000 people are sleeping homeless and nearly 50 million go hungry, according to the charity groups National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Feeding America. As unbelievable as it may seem in the most powerful country in the world, organizations such as these struggle each year to find the millions of dollars needed to provide food and shelter for people already living here, a great many of which are children.

(Photo NY TIMES)

(Photo NY TIMES)

When hundreds of immigrant children become thousands, they become refugees, not immigrants and caring for the kids will eventually land squarely on the shoulders of local government. The White House and congress might clear the way for an easier method of entry or grant them all amnesty once here, but then it’s the problem of Main Street U.S.A. to care for them.

Sure, there will be federal money – probably from new taxes that will overburden a still recovering Middle America – but it will be pennies per child, per day, leaving the remainder to be covered at the local and state levels. The current welfare system cannot handle such a fast influx of need, especially while still recovering from the stress of the recession.

Some local leaders, however, are welcoming the immigrants with open arms. Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley recently stated that she would welcome the immigrant children to the area. It’s clear that Mayor Whaley, who previously served on the Dayton city commission, does not realize that what happens in Dayton affects the outlying communities of the Miami Valley region, both socially and economically. None of these suburban areas have the kinds of resources necessary to handle such a massive issue.

As expected, the democratic mayor’s comments drew a firm response from area republicans, led by Congressman Mike Turner. Turner sent a letter to President Obama signed by him and six local area leaders which states, “We are writing to express that our community does not support Mayor Whaley’s proposal and to further express that our community does not have the available resources to support such a proposal.” It goes on to point out that, while they are sympathetic to the issues related to the border crisis, the community is simply not in a position to offer assistance.

There is speculation that Whaley’s comments were little more than a publicity stunt, aimed at getting a sound bite on national news, which she accomplished without question. Others believe her intention was to gain more favor with Dayton’s large and ever-expanding Hispanic population. Only the mayor knows why she really made such a sweeping statement without discussing the concept with other local leaders.

These sentiments are playing out across the country in a constant battle. While there is an overwhelming feeling of obligation by most to help children and families fleeing poverty and abuse, there must first be resources in place to properly handle the situation without making it worse.

 

Jamestown Comet Editor Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at gerydeer.com.

 

Back to school open house focuses on computer security

In Business, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Technology, Uncategorized on July 18, 2014 at 10:14 am

CT_BEAVERCREEK_TRUCKBEAVERCREEK, OH – On Saturday, July 26, Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek (CTB), located at 3792 Dayton-Xenia Rd. Beavercreek, Ohio 45432, will host a free open house from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to promote student computer security. The event is free, open to the public and will include refreshments, door prize drawings and special deals and information related to keeping student computers secure on campus this school year.

As part of an international network of independently owned franchises, Computer Troubleshooters provides complete information technology (IT) support for residential and commercial clients. Services range from basic, home computer repair and managed business services to cloud computing for advanced medical documentation.

Cliff Brust, president of Computer Troubleshooters in Beavercreek suggests that students are at some of the highest risk of technology theft and data loss. “We’ll be providing information and some free offers with purchase of new hardware,” Brust says. “But most importantly, we want to help parents and students understand how vulnerable their data is to loss and hardware to theft.” Brust offers a few tips in the meantime.

“First, lock up your laptops and smart phones, and don’t leave them unattended – anywhere.” he says. “Many laptops include a slot designed to accept a special cable lock. Wrap the cable around something big and hard to move, insert the lock into the laptop and turn the key or combination. A determined thief could still get the device loose but only by damaging the unit and diminishing its value. Remember, it’s generally the cash from resale of the unit that the thief is interested in, not the data.”

“Next, always use password protection,” Brust advises. “Yes, it is fast and convenient to turn on your computer and have it go right to the desktop, but it’s not safe. You have to password-protect your user account and disable the guest account. When you step away from your computer a quick press of the Windows Key and L will lock your user account. Be sure to manage your passwords also, and keep track of them. Don’t use the same one for everything.”

Brust also reminds students, “Protect your email, don’t share sensitive log-in information with anyone and always keep antivirus and anti-malware software up to date and running.” His final suggestion relates to the use of public wireless Internet hot spots.

“Whether you’re using the school’s network or a free Wi-Fi in a coffee shop your connection could be snooped. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) will protect your connection and let you surf anonymously. There are plenty of good free VPN clients to choose from so use one and protect yourself.”

Brust hopes the open house will give visitors the opportunity to learn more about keeping computers and smart phones safe and secure, on and off campus. “Planning and prevention are the keys to protecting your devices and your data,” he says. “Protection plans and keeping security software up to date can go a long way towards keeping important files from being lost. We can help people with the right solution for their needs.”

Computer Troubleshooters is located just west of N. Fairfield Rd., situated between Knollwood Garden Center and Capitol Dry Cleaners. For more information about computer security, call (937) 458-2000 or visit them online at http://www.ctbeavercreek.com.