Professor publishes book

first_imgFollowing years of work, Dr. Vera Profit, professor of German and Comparative Literature, released her book “The Devil Next Door” on Aug. 8. Profit, who said the book explores the problem of evil, described her writing as an attempt to “help people live better and more efficient lives.”“The basic premise is how do you recognize an evil person?” she said. “Evil is hard to recognize. Evil is a progression, and we tend not to see the first, second, third steps, but the final.”Profit said she was inspired by M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie.”“In 1984, I read ‘People of the Lie,’ which so changed the way I looked at life, that not only did I read the text, I read all the material that was listed in the footnotes because I wanted the complete context,” she said. “[Peck] can state complex ideas in a totally approachable manner.“This book was so fascinating that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The book was about the hope for healing human evil. What he did was blend theology and science.”Profit said Peck’s book inspired her to teach a course on the subject.“I then created a course called Evil and the Lie in Modern European Prose right after reading this book,” she said. “It has always been extremely well received. You study goodness from the other side when you study evil. Because the course was so well received and many students told me it was a life-changing course, I decided to write the book after the course.”The book looks at the problem of individual evil for the most part, Profit said.“I took some of the questions that Peck raises, used his clinical experience, read copious amounts of ancillary material and formulated eight characteristics which define individual evil,” she said. “There are two types of evil – group and individual – which are both discreet and a blended phenomenon. I name the eight characteristics of evil and trace them though two novels, one written by a Swiss writer and one Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey.’ I also propose eight characteristics of group evil.”Profit said her book is meant to help other people.“I am trying to help other people not waste their life trying to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “We can learn a lot from other people’s examples. We can save ourselves and other people a lot of trouble.“Writing a book is a scary position because you have no control over how it will be received. You can give it your best shot and let it go. You have to do it despite your misgivings. The person who learns the most is not the person who reads the book, but the person who writes it. It was worth it to me because I learned so much. If it makes you look at life just a little differently than before, then it was worth it.”Tags: evil, M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie, The Devil Next Door, Vera Profitlast_img read more

Vermont is open for business

first_imgThe town of Grafton and the Vermont Country Store in Chester are open for business in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Vermont, which sustained infrastructure damage in the millions from Tropical Storm Irene, has made a remarkable and unprecedented three-week ‘comeback’ in time to host an estimated 3 million leaf peepers for fall foliage season, which begins next week. This is an incredible story of overcoming adversity, of communities, private businesses and individuals coming together to put this area back together.The video below includes footage of the Old Tavern at Grafton Inn, Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center and other businesses in the village.On September 16, Governor Peter Shumlin and other state officials celebrated the re-opening of picturesque Route 4, one of the state’s major leaf peeping corridors to provide full east-west access for a narrow season that generates $300+ million each year, a quarter of Vermont’s annual tourism revenue. Vermont’s tourism-driven businesses (resorts, inns/b&bs and restaurants) will share in the celebration too, as a large majority were unaffected or sustained little damage from Tropical Storm Irene.‘I toured the road and infrastructure repair areas yesterday with Doug and John Casella, owners of Casella Construction, and was amazed by the determination, hard work and progress made by road repair crews,’ said Bill Shouldice, president & CEO of The Vermont Country Store. ‘It made me proud to be a Vermonter. Thanks to the commitment and selflessness of construction companies like Belden, Casella, Markowski, Mosher, Wilk and many others all working together, Vermont is now open for business and ready to serve the millions of visitors that come to our great state during the fall. Their efforts and those of countless others will help Vermont avoid economic disaster!’Among those ready is The Vermont Country Store, a landmark that attracts nearly 300,000 fall foliage visitors. The business’ two retail locations ‘ the Weston store on Route 100 and the Rockingham store just off exit 6 of I-91 ‘ experienced no storm-related disruption in its operations. Store owners, brothers Cabot, Eliot and Gardner Orton, have seen traffic and sales gradually increasing and are optimistic as visitors have begun returning for the fall. ‘Vermont is open for business and The Vermont Country Store has remained ready to serve the needs of its customers, especially those making the trip to see peak foliage,’ said Eliot. ‘Vermonters are a resourceful and determined people, and we are committed to making this fall’s visitor experience better than ever.’ About The Vermont Country StoreIn 1946, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalogue’just 12 pages and 36 products’and mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list and sixty-five years later continues to be Orton family owned. As Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, The Vermont Country Store operates as a multichannel merchant through its mailed catalogs, e-commerce web site and two retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, Vermont. For more information, visit is external).The Grafton video shows the world know that Grafton is open for business and is ready to welcome visitors far and wide to the amazing fall foliage season here in Southern Vermont. All main roads to enter Grafton are fully functional; via I-91 through Chester; from the south via Route 30 in Townshend.; and from the East & West via Route 121 from Bellows Fallsand Londonderry. Source: MANCHESTER CENTER, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE) Vermont Country Store. Windham Foundation.last_img read more

United States Donates Four Helicopters to Costa Rica to Strengthen Fight against Transnational Threats in Central America

first_imgBy Lorena Baires / Diálogo September 20, 2019 The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), through the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, donated four Bell UH-1ST helicopters to the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security’s Air Vigilance Service (SVA, in Spanish), in the first half of 2019. The aircraft will extend by two more years the Air Training Program, which INL leads since 2009 to counter narcotrafficking and air and maritime criminal activities and to provide assistance in natural disasters and humanitarian crises.“The helicopters will cover the whole territory and will combat narcotrafficking and transnational organized crime. These will also have the opportunity to offer services in emergencies and other situations,” Richard Glenn, INL Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, told the press. “Year after year, we see the efficiency with which they handle the tools and training that we provide. Costa Rica shares with the United States the willpower and sense of collective mission to confront regional problems.”The U.S. investment is valued at $48 million and includes the four helicopters; their refurbishing, maintenance, and spare parts, in addition to training for SVA members. “The training program started with 25 SVA officers, including pilots, co-pilots, and maintenance and logistics technicians,” Captain Juan Luis Vargas, SVA commander, told Diálogo. “We will start a four-month module with the flight crews. When our crew is ready, we will begin executing operations to counter organized crime. The idea is for crews of both countries to merge during the missions.”The program seeks to have SVA fully manage the units after the two years of training. “These capabilities will promote and strengthen state security institutions. We will count on support from both the U.S. and Colombian Armed Forces’ instructors,” said Major Patrick Beville, U.S. Air Force Foreign Affairs officer in Costa Rica.U.S. subject matter experts inspect the donated aircraft. After two years of training, the Costa Rican Air Vigilance Service will manage the units. (Photo: U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica)The helicopters hold 15 people, three crew members and 12 passengers. They have two engines and can reach speeds of up to 127 miles per hour. With a load capacity of 7,303 pounds, they have a coverage range of 209 miles. Another advantage is that they can operate in mountainous terrain and variable conditions, ideal for the country’s geography.“It’s a functional aircraft that will give us great autonomy; we won’t have to ask other countries for help, since its load cabin allows for two configurations: one to carry passengers, and another to transport up to a ton of cargo,” Capt. Vargas said. “If we have to provide emergency assistance, the cabin can become a medical area, where we can put up to six stretchers and arrange a space for medical personnel. They come equipped with cranes for vertical rescue or humanitarian airdrops.”The aircraft cabins are armored on the sides and under the pilots’ seats. They also allow pilots to conduct instrument flights and use night goggles. With this technology, SVA will be able to execute strategies to counter organized crime together with the National Coast Guard Service and the National Police.According to INL, Costa Rica ranked third in drug seizures among Latin American countries in 2018. “In 2018, we seized 33 tons of marijuana, and so far this year [2019], we’ve seized nine,” said Miguel Soto, Costa Rican minister of security. “As this is one of the first stops to smuggle U.S.-bound cocaine, we counter speedboats that operate hundreds of miles off the Pacific coast.”Costa Rica is one of the main and strongest U.S. partners in the fight against transnational threats in the region. “For many years, our countries have been close operational and strategic partners in a variety of security cooperation activities,” said Hakim Hasan, information officer at the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. “With this combined work, our partnership transforms the country’s capabilities to secure its borders, improve security, and address the causes of crime.”last_img read more

Ex-CEO enters plea deal over $40 million theft

first_imgThe former CEO of the now-defunct C B S Employees FCU has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which he admits to stealing more than $40 million over the past 20 years.As has reported extensively here, here, and here, Edward Rostohar managed to embezzle more than $40-million from a credit union that had just $21 million in assets at the time it was shuttered and merged into University Credit Union.Prosecutors said the funds were used to pay for expensive cars and watches, private jet travel, gambling, and a number of properties, including his own 4,300-square-foot home in Studio City.  According to court documents, Rostohar has agreed to forfeit millions of dollars in assets, as well as properties in California, a café in Reno, Nev., other properties in Nevada, and a resort property in Mexico. The values of those properties was not included in court filings, although his home is valued by Zillow as worth approximately $2.3 million. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

‘Exercise helps me to reduce stress’: Pandemic sparks interest in home workouts

first_imgIf there had to be just one silver lining to the pandemic that has swept through most of the world, most people stuck at home would point to an increased awareness of their personal health.Eager to stay fit during these difficult times, millions of people have decided to exercise from the comfort of their own homes.Sports physician Andi Kurniawan said the COVID-19 outbreak had raised people’s awareness of health, as more and more people understand the importance of strengthening their immune system. “People are more aware that it is so important to maintain our immune system so we can’t be easily infected,” he said.For people like Ratna Puspitasari and Marco Puli Sandy, who have been using their spare time sheltering at home for the past two months to get into the habit of exercise, the quarantine has triggered a significant change in their pursuit of health.“Before the quarantine started, I always felt tired of making time to exercise during the weekday. So I just spend 15 to 20 minutes on the weekend to exercise,” said 26-year-old Ratna, who works for a start-up in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.“And now as I work from home, I can exercise every day.” Inspiration doesn’t even have to begin with the individual.After poring through Youtube, Ratna said she found a variety of workout channels that helped her set up a personal exercise regimen to do from the comfort of her rooming house.She even designed a detailed workout program for every day of the week, combining simple and short workouts during the weekdays with longer and more intense workouts on the weekends – all geared to help her stay fit throughout quarantine.“On the weekdays, I do exercises that aren’t too time-consuming, like a 15-minute full body stretch or morning yoga. Whereas on the weekends, I do a combination of practices from yoga to HIIT,” she said, referring to High Intensity Interval Training.“The motivation comes from within. In the beginning, it was more like I forced myself to exercise because I wasn’t feeling healthy,” she said.“Additionally, I started a clean eating program at the end of last year, so I needed to accompany it with exercise.”While Ratna takes pleasure in exercising in her own room, Marco said he likes to jog around his housing complex and play some basketball with his brother once in a while to add some variety into his exercise routine.On the weekdays, the private company employee said he liked to do a 7-minute cardio workout which he combines with strength exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups.“I almost have no social life nowadays because I cannot go anywhere [due to the pandemic]. It’s quite stressful actually. Before the pandemic, I used to go to the cinema or hang out with my friends to destress,” he said.“[Since I can’t do any of those things], I feel like exercising helps me to manage [that stress]. Now I’m used to exercising almost every day.”With millions of people worldwide going into quarantine for months, sheltering in place from COVID-19 has resulted in its own health crisis, as people are forced to stave off social engagement.The uncertainty still lingers for both Marco and Ratna, who admitted that they had been left with nothing to do about creeping anxiety other than to keep a positive mental attitude.“Now, if I feel stressed out I am willing to admit that I’m not in a good condition. But then I am able to focus on resolving [the issues] one at a time,” Marco said.“We do whatever it takes to stay sane.”Both Marco and Ratna have also promised themselves that they would maintain their exercise habits even when the pandemic ends.“I need and must maintain this habit. I used to wake up at 7 a.m. and immediately prepare for work, but now with regular exercise, I can adjust my sleeping time and wake up earlier,” Ratna said.“Without realizing it, exercise has become a habit, even if I just do it for 5 to 15 minutes during weekdays.”As for the current large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in place, they have limited the number of options to exercise at gyms and other sporting facilities are closed.But Andi suggested that people should not be tempted to just lie in bed or sit in isolation for long hours.“The thing with isolation is people are more likely to lie in bed. But we have to stay active. For instance, every one hour when we sit, we need to stretch for five minutes.“A little stretching or moving our body while in isolation is enough as calories continue to burn. Cleaning the house or following a Youtube tutorial on exercise are also good for beginners,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

‘Late bloomer’ lingerie thief jailed for breaching Singapore lockdown

first_imgA serial underwear thief was sentenced to nearly six months in jail Monday for breaching Singapore’s strict coronavirus lockdown to sneak into a backyard and steal women’s lingerie.    Lee Chee Kin was on bail on similar charges when he snuck out of home last month and climbed into a backyard on the hunt for more underwear.    The 39-year-old had stolen underwear from homes on at least 30 occasions since 2018, according to court documents, and police found more than 100 bras during a raid on his home last year. He admitted last month to breaking lockdown rules by leaving his residence without good reason, and failing to wear a mask outside.    He also pleaded guilty to theft and criminal trespass, and was sentenced to 23 weeks in jail.Lee’s lawyer told the court that the former part-time actor was a “late bloomer”.A prosecutor previously told the court that Lee “would select bras and panties to steal based on their appearance”, and that he used them “for his own sexual gratification.”   Singapore authorities imposed a partial lockdown in early April, with schools and most workplaces told to close, and people only allowed to leave home for essential purposes.    Topics :last_img read more

Italian prosecutors ‘to question PM’ over handling of virus

first_imgConte ‘not worried’ “The things I have to say to the prosecutor, I will say to the prosecutor — I don’t want to anticipate,” he said.”I will conscientiously set out all the facts of which I have knowledge. I am not at all worried.”All investigations are welcome. The citizens have the right to know and we have the right to reply.”The team, lead by chief prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota, has already questioned senior officials in Lombardy region, who say it was up to Rome to decide whether certain areas should be shut.The region’s health minister, Giulio Gallera, has said it was clear from February 23 that there were a lot of cases in the areas around Nembro and Alzano, towns in the Bergamo province.But the government failed to act, he said.Conte replied that “if Lombardy had wanted to, it could have made Alzano and Nembro red zones”.Codogno was closed on February 21. Lombardy and 14 provinces in the neighboring regions of Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna followed on March 8, and the whole of Italy shut down two days later.But a scientific committee advising the government and the national health institute had warned in early March 3 that the towns should be locked down, according to the Corriere della Sera. Prosecutors are to question Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the health and interior ministers over how the government handled the coronavirus pandemic, news agencies reported Wednesday.The prosecutors from Bergamo, the city in the northern Lombardy region worst hit by the virus, have launched an investigation into the crisis, which has killed over 34,000 people in Italy.They are looking in particular at why a red zone was not enforced in February around the towns of Nembro and Alzano. Regional officials and the government blame each other for the failure. Salvini denounces ‘lies’ Fifty relatives of coronavirus victims — members of the “Noi Denunceremo” (We Will Denounce) committee — filed complaints with the Bergamo prosecutors earlier Wednesday over the handling of the pandemic. It is the first such legal group action in Italy.”If it hadn’t been so disorganized, if [the province of] Bergamo had been made into a red zone earlier, perhaps the hospitals would not have been driven to collapse,” said Monica Plazzoli, whose husband Armando died of the virus.Far-right opposition leader Matteo Salvini, head of the League party which governs Lombardy, on Wednesday welcomed the investigation.”After so many lies and shameful attacks, justice has been done: those who have made mistakes must pay,” he said.Andrea Orlando of the center-left Democratic Party (PD), part of the government coalition, rebuked Salvini for using “a painful situation for propaganda”.It was normal procedure for prosecutors to speak with institutional representatives, he said. Italy was the first European country to be ravaged by the virus. The government imposed the country’s first red zone, around the town of Codogno, 24 hours after doctors discovered a patient positive for COVID-19.It went on to shut down 10 other towns, and then large areas of the north, before imposing a nationwide lockdown.Speaking to journalists on Wednesday evening, Conte said he would be interviewed by prosecutors on Friday. Topics :last_img read more

Anies criticized for paying respects to Saefullah at City Hall

first_imgTopics : Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is in hot water for holding a final tribute to Jakarta secretary Saefullah, who died after contracting COVID-19, by bringing his body in a hearse to City Hall before the burial on Wednesday.Public policy observer and Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta) chairman Azas Tigor Nainggolan questioned Anies’ decision, saying that Saefullah’s body should have been taken directly to a public cemetery in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.“If Anies really wanted to pay his last respects, why did he not, as the governor, come see the body of the deceased at the hospital?” Azas said in a statement on Wednesday. He had received treatment at the MMC hospital in South Jakarta since Sept. 8, before being transferred to one of the city’s COVID-19 referral hospitals, Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, on Sunday.Prior to his burial at the Rorotan cemetery in North Jakarta on Wednesday, Anies welcomed the hearse in the City Hall yard to pay final respects. Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) chairman Prasetio Edi Marsudi and other working unit (SKPD) officials were present.The funeral prayer took place at Al-Khoiriyah Mosque, which is located right next to the late Saefullah’s house, and was attended by dozens of residents, reported.Jakarta Personnel Agency (BKD) head Chaidir said the process for paying respects to Saefullah at City Hall had been carried out in accordance with COVID-19 health protocols.“Everyone followed health protocols. The body was in a coffin in a tightly closed ambulance. There was no problem,” Chaidir said on Thursday.Chaidir said paying final respects to officials who died before retiring was a common practice. Moreover, he said, Saefullah had died while helping the city fight against the pandemic.“We have a procedure for [paying tribute] to active officials [who die]. He was an authorized and active official, did not retire and was still took part in a plenary meeting when he got sick,” he said.“If you, as a leader, are let go offhand, how would you feel?” he added.Chaidir argued that those criticizing the event at City Hall did not understand bureaucratic ethics and eastern customs.center_img Azas argued that Anies had shown a superior attitude toward his subordinates, while also risking the lives of people gathering at City Hall on Wednesday.“Anies’ attitude showed that he did not care and had no commitment to protect the people of Jakarta. He only made the pandemic a stage of power and arrogance, as well as a stage for imaging,” he added.He asked the Health Ministry and the national COVID-19 task force to reprimand Anies for violating health protocols and order all attendees to get tested and undergo a two-week quarantine.Saefullah, who had worked as the Jakarta secretary since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s time as governor, died at noon on Wednesday after previously testing positive for COVID-19.last_img read more

Tornado Watch Monday Night Expires

first_imgUpdate (Tuesday 7:00 a.m.)Tornado watch has expired for the region.Showers and storms likely Tuesday with more rain in the forecast through Thursday.First Report ( Monday @ 7:19 p.m.)BATESVILLE, Ind. – A tornado watch has been issued for Decatur, Jennings and Rush counties until 1 a.m. Tuesday.Additional counties could see alerts as the evening progresses.Forecasters say a line of showers and storms are moving through the listening area. Rain is likely Tuesday with the high temperature reaching the upper 60’s.A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to form, but it also means that a few storms may be capable of producing a tornado.A tornado warning is issued when a tornado is either occurring or imminent based on radar.last_img read more

Sobriety checkpoint planned in Jennings County

first_imgJennings County, In. — Indiana State Police have announced a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location in Jennings County Thursday, September 21. Motorists are asked to have driver’s license and registration information available, the procedure will only take a few minutes if further investigation is not required.To help to ensure your weekend is safe and enjoyable, observe the following tips:Plan ahead and always use a designated driver.Don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve been consuming alcoholic beverages; call a taxi, a family member, or friend who has not been drinking to give you a ride.If you are hosting a party, always offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver or allow them to spend the night.Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.  Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think that they are about to drive while impaired.Sobriety checkpoints are designed to remove drivers from the roadways that are impaired or posing danger to others.last_img read more