Better Than Yesterday

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now We (still) live in a culture that insists that all results should be fast and obtained without any real effort. But insisting on fast results doesn’t actually produce fast results. Most of the time, the reason one needs fast results is that they haven’t been doing what was necessary to produce the results for a long period of time.The less time you have to acquire the new client and the new revenue that you need, the less likely you are to reach your goal.You can’t win new business without opening new relationships. You can’t build those relationships in a single day. But you can work on some of those relationships today. And you can work on even more of them over the course of a week.You can’t make all of the sales calls necessary to reaching your goals today, or even this week, for that matter. But you can meet with a few of your dream clients and move those opportunities forward.You can’t get the the top rung of the ladder without all of the steps in between. You can’t reach your goals without passing through all of the little milestones along the way, and you won’t hit those milestones without consistently taking the necessary actions. But you can start climbing, taking one step and following it with the next.You overestimate what you can do in a short time and underestimate what you can do over a longer period of time. Each day that you take the small actions that move you closer to your goals makes you better than yesterday. These daily small steps move you closer. It takes effort, and you don’t always notice it’s working. But taking consistent actions daily is the fastest way to produce real and lasting results.last_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: The Little Things Are the Big Things

first_imgI started this series for my three children. There are ideas here that I want them to know. One thing is true: the little things really are the big things. These things, more honored in the breach, are big things.Be Respectful of Others: Be respectful of other people. Don’t do anything that suggests to other people that you do not believe they are important, regardless of their station or position in life, and regardless of who they are.Listen Without Interrupting: Don’t speak while another person is speaking. Wait until they finish speaking before you speak, regardless of how long they speak. While listening, give the person your full and undivided attention.Give Sincere Compliments When Deserved: When someone deserves a compliment, give it. When they have accomplished something remarkable, congratulate them. Do not fake sincerity by complimenting someone as a way to gain something from them.Express Your Gratitude: Say “thank you” for any kindnesses great or small. When a great kindness is given, send a thoughtful, written expression of gratitude. When possible, return the kindness in kind.Avoid Criticism: Don’t criticize or mock others, even those with whom you disagree. Instead, say nothing. Don’t speak poorly of people not present. By doing so, you are signaling your character to those who are listening, and also what to expect from you when they are absent.Assume Good Intentions: When you don’t understand why someone is doing something that you believe to be incorrect or harmful, believe first that they are acting out of good intentions. First, it is likely that they are. Second, by assuming good intentions, you can deal with the action instead of the individual.Take Thoughtful Actions: Take thoughtful actions when possible. If you are thinking of another, send them a note. If you see something that you know they would enjoy, send it to them. Offer small kindnesses wherever and wherever possible.Put Down Your Phone: When you are in the company of others, put down your phone. Don’t allow distractions to become more important than the person or people with whom you are visiting.These things speak to your character. They say more about you than your accomplishments.Photo credit: gullevek Watch・Think・Read via photopin (license). Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Your Name Is Priceless

first_imgA few years ago, I was asked to speak to a group of salespeople. They were running a boiler room, and when I researched the company before joining them for a phone call I discovered that they took money from their prospective clients without delivering the value they promised. There was enough evidence to make me believe that the practice was widespread, and what I found was credible enough to give me pause. As I looked more deeply into the company, I also found complaints about sexual harassment and poor treatment of women inside the company. There were too many of these complaints to ignore.On a phone call with the CEO, I suggested I wasn’t the right speaker for his group. I tried to leave it at that and bow out without having to explain my reasons. But I was pressed by the executive I was speaking to for an explanation of my lack of interest in speaking to his company. I shared with him what I found when searching for information about his company in preparation for the meeting. He didn’t do much to deny anything I said but instead said, “I am offering you money. I will pay you, and you will speak.” Politely, I again refused. He pushed back, insisting that money should be enough of the motivation for me to speak to his company. I told him that money wasn’t enough for me to change my deepest held values.This individual offered to double the money and double the work. Clearly, he believed that everyone has a price and that he merely hadn’t found mine. By doing so, I was even more convinced that what I discovered about the company was true. I refused his offer and hung up the phone, only to have one of his lieutenants call me to ask me how I could refuse his offer. Nothing I said made any impact, and I eventually hung up.I was not interested in helping them. I was not interested in helping this group of people to steal faster. Nothing I would have said would have changed the culture of the organization.It doesn’t make sense to possess a “whatever it takes” attitude towards making money. It doesn’t make sense to compromise your values, especially for something you can obtain without having to do so, even if it means you must work harder, and even if it will take longer. Your character is worth more than money, and in the long run, so is your name.last_img read more

U.P. deploys ambulances for cows

first_imgUttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Monday flagged off an ambulance service that would cater to cows. Under the ‘Gauvansh Chikitsa Mobile Vans’ service, the ambulance would rescue ill or injured cows and transport them to ‘gau shalas’ or take them for treatment to the veterinary doctor. A “gau seva toll-free number” was also released so that common people can come to the help of such cows. A veterinarian will be present in the ambulance along with an assistant.Mr. Maurya, who posted pictures of the event on his Facebook page, flagged off five such ambulances from his official residence in Lucknow.In its initial phase, the service will be first available in Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Mathura and Allahabad. The ambulance service is being run in collaboration with the MNREGA Mazdoor Kalyan Sanghathan, an organisation that says it works for labourers and others employed in the informal sector. Its president Sanjay Rai said the organisation has a presence in five states.According to the brochure released by Mr. Rai, his organisation plans to take action against those people who abandon their cows once they stop giving milk, and also against municipality officials if cows are forced to eat polythene or plastic items dumped on the streets. A similar project was a few days ago reported in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, which is also ruled by the BJP. In 2015, 10 such cow ambulances were also deployed for service by an industrialist-cum-social worker.last_img read more

In jail, Karnan lives off fish curry and law

first_imgIt is now more than two months since former Calcutta High Court judge C.S. Karnan was arrested and lodged in Kolkata’s Presidency Jail. The controversial former judge, who reportedly threatened police officers with legal action when they came to arrest him in Coimbatore in June, appears to have mellowed with time. Justice Karnan was awarded a six-month prison sentence by the Supreme Court for contempt of court in May 2017.Overcoming the initial despondency of his first few days in jail, Justice Karnan is now mostly in a jovial mood, sources said. “He is treated with respect by the jail officials and inmates alike, and is on cordial terms with them,” Justice Karnan’s lawyer Mathews J. Nedumpara told The Hindu. Time passes rather more leisurely in jail, unlike the days he spent at his Kolkata residence mostly occupied with the contempt motion initiated against him by the Supreme Court, and in briefing the press on it. With ample time on his hands, he has “gone back to his days as a law student.” Lawyer’s robe“Now Justice Karnan spends his days mostly reading judgements and books on law, in his preparation to work as a lawyer after his release,” said Mr. Nedumpara.Justice Karnan has also developed a taste for Bengali food in jail, especially rice and fish curry, which has made matters easier for him since they are common to both south Indian and Bengali food.last_img read more

4,208 people sought Padma for Dera chief

first_imgMore than 4,200 people recommended ‘Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan’ for a Padma award in 2017, while the self-styled godman and now rape convict proposed his own name for the honour five times.According to the list of recommendations or nominations for the Padma Awards 2017, the Union Home Ministry received 18,768 applications.The highest — 4,208 recommendations — including two from ‘Saintgorge William Sonet’ and ‘India Saintgorge’, both from Hissar in Haryana, were received for conferring any one of the three Padma awards on the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief, reveal documents accessed by PTI.All for GurmeetAll recommendations were marked in the name of ‘Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan’, also known as ‘rockstar baba’ and ‘guru of bling’, and almost all had come from Sirsa in Haryana, the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda.Self-recommendationGurmeet Ram Rahim, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two followers this week, recommended himself five times. While his address was given as Sirsa thrice, on the other two applications, he gave Hissar in Haryana and Ganganagar in Rajasthan, as his address.The overwhelming majority of those who recommended the Dera chief’s name for the highest civilian honour in the country used single names like Abha, Aditya, Akbar, Alfez, Baljinder, Milky, Gajal Komal, Jony, Jesse and Ishwar.Padma awards seek to recognise exceptional achievements in art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, civil service, trade and industry.last_img read more

Farmers oppose bullet train project

first_imgA group of farmers in Boisar in Palghar district of Maharashtra staged a protest against the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, expressing apprehension that they would lose their land on account of it.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe launched the project in Ahmedabad on Thursday.Also Read Japanese Industrial Townships will come up in 4 states, says Modi  The farmers waved black flags and raised slogans against the project outside Boisar railway station. They alleged that the BJP-led government was going ahead with the project without taking farmers into account. Kaluram Dodhade of Bhoomi Sena, who took part in the protest, said, “Palghar has mostly small farmers, and if their land is acquired for the project, they will be ruined.”The demonstration was organised by Shetkari Sangarsha Samiti and Advasi Ekta Parishad.Palghar DSP Majunath Shinge said, “It was a symbolic protest and there was no law-and-order situation.”District Collector Prashant Narnavre said the agitation was carried out peacefully.last_img read more

297 EVMS hit snag in Himachal

first_imgHimachal Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said on Thursday that the Assembly elections were peaceful and no incidents of violence were reported. A total of 11,283 VVPAT units were used in all polling booths of the 68 constituencies out of which 297 were replaced, he said, adding this was well within the technical limits.Voting in some booths of Bilaspur Sadar, Naina Devi and Rekong Peo was disrupted when the button against the name of a particular candidate did not respond and record the voter’s choice. Supporters of the candidate protested the glitch which was later rectified.Shyam Saran Negi, the well-known first voter of the country, cast his vote in Kinnaur. A red carpet welcome was laid for the centenarian at the polling booth and he was escorted by the DM of Kinnaur. Mr. Negi, has used his electoral franchise for the 29th time in India.Former Union Minister from Congress and now senior BJP leader Sukhram cast his vote in Mandi along with his son and grandson, all of whom have now joined the BJP. Talking to reporters the octogenarian leader said the present Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was responsible for this plight of Congress in Mandi as well as the entire State.Mr. Virbhadra Singh voted in Rampur with his family, although he is contesting the elections from Arki in Solan and his son from rural Shimla. Senior Congress leader Kaul Singh Thakur voted in his native constituency of Drang in Mandi and said people would send him for ninth time to the State Vidhan Sabha.The BJP’s chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal voted along with his son Anurag Thakur and wife in Samirpur.Sixty sitting MLAs were among the 337 candidates fighting for a seat in the 68 member Assembly. As many as 7,525 polling booths were set up and 37,605 personnel deputed for poll duty in the state, which has a total of 50,25,941 voters.Security arrangementsA total of 17,850 personnel of police and Home Guards and 65 companies of central paramilitary force had also been deployed.The Congress and the BJP, led by Mr. Dhumal, contested all 68 seats. The BSP fought for 42 seats, the CPI(M) 14, the Swabhiman Party and Lok Gathbandhan Party six each and the CPI three. There are also 112 independents in the fray. Dharamsala had the maximum number of candidates at 12.last_img read more

Delhi HC denies interim stay on Sharad Yadav’s disqualification as MP

first_imgThe Delhi High Court today refused to pass an interim order on a plea for a stay on former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav’s disqualification as a Rajya Sabha member.Justice Vibhu Bakhru, however, allowed Mr. Yadav to draw allowances, perks and retain his bungalow as an MP, but restrained him from attending the Winter Session of Parliament. The session, which started on Friday, is scheduled to go on till January 5. The court also sought the response of the Rajya Sabha chairman besides member Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, who is leader of the JD(U) in the Upper House, on Mr. Yadav’s plea challenging December 4 order of the chairman disqualifying him as an MP. The court has fixed the main petition for hearing on March 1 next year. The order came on Mr. Yadav’s plea challenging his disqualification on several grounds, including that he was not given a hearing before the December 4 order was passed. Mr. Yadav had sought interim relief to attend the Parliament session.last_img read more

Mahadayi talks only after Karnataka poll: Goa BJP

first_imgThe Goa Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said bilateral talks over sharing drinking water from the Mahadayi river with Karnataka will be held only after the Karnataka elections.The party had faced criticism from environmental activists, civil society members and Opposition parties after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar wrote to Karnataka BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa to discuss the release of water from Mahadayi.Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in North Goa on Sunday, Goa BJP president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar said the party was fully with Mr. Parrikar’s stand, but added, “The CM has already indicated that this will happen only after the Karnataka elections. Therefore, the question does not arise of using the issue for elections.”Flak from all partiesAfter Mahadayi Bachav Abhiyan (MBA), an organisation working against the diversion of water to Karnataka, the Opposition as well as allies of the government have joined those criticising Mr. Parrikar for his willingness to discuss the issue with Karnataka.On Sunday, All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar said Mr. Parrikar must first provide regular drinking water to his constituents in Panaji before providing drinking water to others.Anand Shirdokar, president of the Goa Suraksha Manch, attacked Mr. Parrikar for offering to hold talks when the matter is in a tribunal, and Goa has till now said it will only go by the verdict of the tribunal.“It is clear that Mr. Parrikar has been pressurised by his party boss Amit Shah,” said Mr. Shirodkar.Government ally Goa Forward Party has also expressed reservations over the CM’s letter, and alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which had a central committee meeting on Sunday, has strongly opposed the move too. “The government must maintain status quo on the issue till the tribunal verdict is out,” MGP president and former Minister Deepak Dhavlikar told reporters after the meeting.Impact on caseMBA secretary and a member of the National Wildlife Board Rajendra Kerkar told The Hindu that the organisation fears that Mr. Parrikar’s sudden “surrender” could weaken Goa’s strong case in the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.last_img read more

Sunanda Pushkar death case transferred to fast-track court

first_imgA Delhi court on Thursday transferred the case against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in the matter of the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar to a designated fast-track court.Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmendra Singh transferred the case to the designated court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal as per a Supreme Court judgment which said that cases against politicians would be heard by a fast-track court, and fixed May 28 as the date for further proceedings.“Since he is a sitting Member of Parliament, matter is being sent to the special designated court for politicians, that is ACMM Samar Vishal. Matter be taken up on May 28,’’ Mr. Singh said.The Delhi police had on May 14 accused Mr. Tharoor of abetting Pushkar’s suicide, and chargesheeted him under Sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. While Section 498A entails maximum punishment of three years in prison, Section 306 attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years.The MP had termed the chargesheet “preposterous” and said that he intends to contest it “vigorously”.The court is yet to take cognisance of the chargesheet and summon Mr. Tharoor.last_img read more

Protesters in Rajasthan give away vegetables to the poor

first_imgFarmers belonging to Nindar village, 20 km from here on Monday staged a novel protest as part of the 10-day-long ‘gaon bandh’ (rural shutdown), to draw the government attention and the public at large to their plight.The farmers, who had stopped the supply of vegetables and milk to the cities, distributed vegetables free of cost to the poor. They also served cold milk to the passengers travelling on the Sikar-Jaipur highway.Farmers of Nindar and nearby villages of the Chomu region, including Rajawas, Jairampura, Jalsu, Modi and Chatarpura, took part in the initiative.The Nindar Bachao Yuva Kisan Sangharsh Samiti activists, led by its convenor Nagendra Singh Shekhawat, said they were ready for a prolonged struggle to get remunerative prices for their produce. “We have stopped vegetable and milk supplies to Jaipur since June 1. We will intensify our agitation if the government does not respond to gaon bandh,” said Mr. Shekhawat.Nindar village had made headlines in October last year when its residents dug pits and trenches and buried themselves waist-deep in the mud for a month to protest against acquisition of land for a housing project.last_img read more

Sitharaman reviews security situation in Kashmir

first_imgDefence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday reviewed the security situation in Kashmir during a visit to the valley, and army officials briefed her on the operational preparedness and counter-infiltration grid. Ms. Sitharaman was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on her visit, army officials said. The defence minister visited the forward areas in the frontier district of Kupwara. She was briefed by the commanders on ground on the operational preparedness and counter-infiltration grid, they said. During her interaction with the troops, the defence minister lauded their round the clock sharp vigil along the Line of Control and professionalism. She also asked them to remain alert for any eventuality to defeat nefarious designs of hostile forces, the officials said.last_img read more

Anand Teltumbde seeks judicial probe into Bhima Koregaon episode

first_imgScholar and activist Prof. Anand Teltumbde on Monday demanded a judicial probe into the entire Bhima-Koregaon episode, including the recent arrests of activists across the country for suspected Maoist links and to also to take to task all those responsible for it.Prof. Teltumbde, whose official residence at the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) campus in Sanquelim in North Goa was searched as part of the recent raids across the country on Dalit intellectuals, writers and human rights activists, was delivering a talk on ‘Decimating Dissent: The Truth behind Bhima Koregaon’, organised by Dakshinayan Abhiyan at Margao in South Goa on Monday.“There should be a judicial commission’s probe into this (Bhima-Koregaon) episode and whoever did it should be taken to task. In a democracy, the State taking a posture and acting against citizens is unpardonable,” he said.Reacting to the search of his residence, he said the police could not find anything. “The search by the police was absolute fabrication and utter nonsense. They raided my residence because I had attended the Paris convention organised by the Department of Amercian Studies in Paris in April this year. But it was not funded by Maoists; neither did it have a Naxal link,” Prof. Teltumbde said. He said he had filed a defamation suit against the Pune police.On the historical background of the Bhima Koregaon protests, he said the Green Revolution was a capitalist strategy, which reduced the Dalits” to a rural proletariat. Through the post-Independence land reforms, the Congress, a “somewhat metropolitan party”, and created a class of rich farmers in rural areas that would be allied to them, he said. “They (the Brahmin landlords) were replaced by these people (the cultivators) and all kinds of markets were created. The Dalits were utterly dependent on the farm wages of the rich farmers.” He said the battle of Koregaon-Bhima of the early 19th Century was largely unnoticed and only became popular after Babasaheb Ambedkar started visiting the obelisk that was erected by the British in memory of slain soldiers in the battlefield, which included soldiers from the Mahar clan.On the legacy of the battle, Prof. Teltumbde said: “When Ambedkar came on the scene, the recruitment of Mahars in the British military was stopped. In that context, Bhima Koregaon came in handy for the Mahars to claim that they too belonged to a martial race who had sacrificed a lot.” Mr. Ambedkar’s father too was a part of this movement, and when Mr. Ambedkar entered public life, he picked up this issue, and go to the obelisk to pay his respects. “Before that, it was not noticed by anyone. It was under cantonment control,” he said.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Ancient Brine Flows Beneath Virginia

first_imgSalty water flowing through rocks more than 1 kilometer beneath eastern Virginia came from the Atlantic Ocean when it was much smaller and saltier than today, a new study suggests. Researchers drilled samples at sites along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, analyzing water that had been trapped in the rocks as much as 1.7 kilometers below the surface. From the concentrations of helium dissolved in that water (bubbles, image), as well as the types of microfossils in the rocks, the team estimated the sediments had been laid down offshore of an ancient coastline between 100 million and 145 million years ago. At that time, the nascent North Atlantic was much narrower than it is today and was a largely enclosed basin surrounded by land—which, along with the warmer climate of the time, helps explain why the long-trapped water is almost twice as salty as today’s seawater, the researchers report online today in Nature. Geologists have long been interested in the area because an asteroid slammed into the Chesapeake Bay about 35 million years ago, blasting a more-than-80-kilometer-wide crater. Despite that crust-shattering impact, the rocks more than 1 kilometer below the surface still retain their original complement of ancient salt water, the scientists say. The water trapped in rocks at shallower depths is less salty than it once was—but still saltier than today’s oceans—thanks to infiltration of fresher water from layers closer to Earth’s surface.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

The money chase, 2016: A historian who oversees NIH’s budget looks to compromise and takes the long view

first_imgNext week, the Obama administration will kick off the annual U.S. budget process by sending Congress its spending request for the 2016 fiscal year that begins in October. Researchers will be watching the 2 February budget rollout carefully, to see where science ranks in the White House’s priorities. But the request is just the beginning, because Congress determines final spending levels in a process that isn’t likely to be finalized until late in the year.This week, ScienceInsider is running a few stories that offer varying perspectives on the process of setting science budgets—and the people involved. Yesterday, we met Representative John Culberson (R–TX), the new leader of the House of Representatives spending panel that oversees the budgets of NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other key research agencies. Tomorrow, we’ll follow the money and look at some of the numbers. Today, we meet a former historian who is the new head of a House spending panel that oversees the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the major federal funder of basic biomedical research. If you’re shocked that a member of the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives would cite a Marxist historian in defending peer review at a federal agency, then you don’t know Representative Tom Cole (R–OK).Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The 65-year-old Oklahoman has stayed below the radar screen of most U.S. scientists, despite serving in Congress since 2003 and holding a Ph.D. in history. But that’s about to change: This month he takes the reins of what is traditionally the most contentious of the 12 appropriations panels that set federal budgets, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) subcommittee. Its portfolio includes NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Cole’s impeccable conservative credentials have made him very useful to House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) in maintaining ties to the party’s unruly right wing. But Cole also has earned the reputation as a pragmatic legislator, someone who seeks common ground rather than ideological purity on contentious issues. And when discussion turns to the current fight in Congress over whether NSF and other federal agencies are making poor decisions about which research grants to fund, Cole sounds more like the history professor he once aspired to be than a partisan politician.“Now, [E. P.] Thompson is not a guy I’d agree with philosophically,” Cole told ScienceInsider during an interview earlier this month in his Capitol Hill office, referring to the influential British socialist historian. “But his [1963] book—The Making of the English Working Class—was great social analysis and a groundbreaking piece of work.”The idea of studying the diet of people in Victorian England “may not sound like real history to someone who thinks all history should be about politicians and wars,” notes Cole, whose own dissertation was on the origins and evolution of a working-class village in London’s East End. “But historians have a pretty good sense of what type of research should be pursued. And I don’t think that people who aren’t historians should be deciding whether that type of research should be done. So I have to come down more on the side of scientists on this one than the politicians.”Perils of one-party ruleCole has watched his home state of Oklahoma change from a Democrat bastion to a Republican stronghold within his political lifetime. And even though Cole has benefited from that switch, he doesn’t think it’s good for the country to have blue and red enclaves.“I don’t have a Democratic congressman living within 200 miles of me in any direction,” he says. “There are none in Arkansas, none in Kansas, none in northern Texas. And Republicans hold almost every state office in Oklahoma. It’s almost the precise opposite of when I got into politics in 1980, when Republicans had one of the state’s six congressional seats and one of two Senate seats, and one of 13 statewide offices. And this makes it extremely difficult for one side to understand the other.”In fact, Cole says his affiliation with the Republican Party is due to his mother’s belief in a strong, two-party system. The family moved around a lot because his father was a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, Cole recalls, and “every place she went where there was a competitive two-party system, government was better: more transparent and honest and efficient. She was what I call a Lord Acton Republican: She believed that power corrupts when there’s way too much of it on one side.”“She pledged that when my dad retired and we came back to Oklahoma, she’d become a member of the other party,” he adds. “I like to say that, if she were choosing today, she’d probably become a Democrat.”Cole’s political beliefs were sorely tested at the liberal-leaning Grinnell College in Iowa in the late 1960s. Terry Parssinen, then a young history professor at the college, recalls that Cole “had to keep his head down; there was certainly no Young Republican club on campus.” Cole agrees: “You didn’t talk politics at Grinnell if you were a Republican.”Instead, Cole talked history with Parssinen. “He was the best student in a class of very good students,” says Parssinen, now at the University of Tampa in Florida. “A brilliant scholar, very thoughtful, and he tended not to be impulsive. He just seemed to be drawn to working-class, British history.”Parssinen and his wife, Carol, befriended undergraduates Cole and his wife, Ellen. Several years later the couples reconnected in London when Cole, on a Fulbright scholarship, was living in the working-class neighborhood and interviewing residents for his dissertation. “They asked us about being an academic, and I had every expectation that he would follow in our footsteps,” says Carol Parssinen, an English professor who was then teaching in Grinnell’s semester-abroad program.Cole says he did, too. But stronger forces steered him in another direction.After starting a Ph.D. history program at Yale University, he left in 1974 with a master’s degree after deciding that “the history market was collapsing, and I also missed home.” However, a decision to enroll in law school at the University of Oklahoma (OU), Norman, had an even shorter shelf life.“Well, it took about a semester for me to realize that I hated law school,” he says. “There was a torts case about whether a bunch of guys on a company bowling team could keep their shirts after getting in a fight with the company. And I remember thinking that 6 months ago I was at Yale, deciding who was responsible for starting World War I.”So Cole decided to give history a second chance. The chair of OU’s history department knew his former adviser at Grinnell, Cole says, and offered him a full scholarship and a teaching assistantship. Cole took it in a heartbeat. “Sometimes God opens a door for you, and you walk through it,” he explains.It took him almost a decade to earn his Ph.D. And what he learned from his immersion in that working-class community would not have been out of place coming from a labor leader, or a liberal historian: “Urban renewal programs designed to rebuild proletarian districts should incorporate features which strengthen rather than weaken local communities,” he writes in his 1984 dissertation. “All decisions should take into account the social benefits of communal life.”By then, however, he was hooked on politics. His mother, Helen, had lost her first race for the Oklahoma state legislature in 1976, while he was abroad, and Cole felt personally responsible for her defeat. “So I told her that, if she decided to run again, I would learn how to run her campaign,” Cole recalls. “Well, she won, so I thought, ‘This is kinda cool.’ ” She never lost again, serving a total of five terms in the state House and Senate. And Cole ran every campaign.Historian Gary Cohen, part of Cole’s dissertation committee and a member of the OU faculty for 25 years, sees Helen’s victory as a seminal event in Cole’s life. “Politics became the family business,” says Cohen, now at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.Cole began working for other Republican politicians, first locally and eventually for the national party. “I still fantasized about going back to academia,” he says. “But the job opportunities were always greater for me in politics. And I was probably better at it, too.”Eventually, he became a candidate himself. In 2002 he won an open congressional seat in a solidly Republican district, and since then he has been re-elected comfortably six times.The art of compromiseSince arriving in Washington, D.C., Cole has been on a fast track within the Republican House leadership. He is one of only three Republicans who serve on both the Appropriations and Budget committees, giving him a front-row seat in spending decisions. He’s also part of the House Republican majority’s inner circle: In addition to sitting on the rules committee, which decides what legislation will move to the floor, he is a deputy whip and a member of the Republican Steering Committee.Although Cole’s party credentials are impeccable, Democrats say he’s also willing to listen to other points of view. “He has a strong partisan background, but he does not lean over backward to put politics over substance,” says David Obey, a liberal Democrat from Wisconsin who spent 42 years in Congress before retiring in 2010 and who chaired the overall Appropriations Committee as well as Labor-H. “I think he tries to see that people behave as adults.”That approach should come in handy at Labor-H, which is often ground zero for battles between liberals and conservatives over Obamacare, abortion rights, the federal role in education, and other cultural litmus tests. Cole says he plans to hold numerous committee hearings so that members can thrash out their differences and move toward common ground.That’s a good idea, agrees the ranking Democrat on the panel, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D–CT), who has already met with Cole. “He wants the subcommittee to be more active, and I reminded him that we used to bring in all the NIH institute directors and really get a chance to hear what they are doing,” she says.However, both Cole and DeLauro know that talk is no substitute for money. “The real problem is that our [302(b)] allocation has been woefully inadequate, and raising it is both his goal and my goal,” says DeLauro, referring to the top-line allotment of money that the subcommittee receives to fund all of the agencies and programs within its jurisdiction. Unless and until the Labor-H allocation increases, Cole isn’t promising that he can deliver a big boost for NIH, or even allow it to keep pace with inflation.  “Until people above the Appropriations Committee pay grade actually come to an agreement on the appropriate balance and sources of revenue and entitlement reform, we’re going to have this problem across the discretionary budget. Whether you’re a defense hawk or if you believe in a robust federal role in research, you’re both facing the need for some hard choices.”Cole’s own list of priorities starts with maintaining a strong military and protecting the National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Office in Norman—his nearby hometown of Moore has been hit by several devastating tornadoes. He’s a strong advocate for the Indian Health Service. (As a Chickasaw, he’s one of two Native Americans in Congress, and his rural district has a sizable Indian population.) He’s also a fan of NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, which steers research funds to states like Oklahoma that get relatively little federal science funding.Some biomedical lobbyists think the IDeA program isn’t the best use of scarce NIH resources. But Cole defends its value in making have-not states more competitive for NIH funding.“First of all, it’s not a very large pot of money [$273 million in a $30 billion NIH budget],” he begins. “And second, there are political and academic biases. … I don’t think there’s any shortage of human talent, but I do think that resources get directed disproportionately in some ways. And programs that make sure states that historically have been overlooked, or that give colleges a chance to show what they can do, make a lot of sense to me.”“I think that maintaining a national scientific base is just as important as maintaining a national industrial base,” he adds. “And that’s what these programs are designed to do.”The Labor-H committee is also responsible for education and workforce development. Aware of their political sensitivity, Cole declined to answer a series of questions from ScienceInsider relating to the topics, from whether NIH should do more for young scientists to the value of the Common Core, a voluntary set of language arts and mathematics education standards available to the states.“I need to learn more about how NIH works before I pontificate on what it should do,” he says. “But within education, what interests me the most are things that improve access for historically excluded communities or that help people with no college background to get prepared for college. I’m a big believer in programs like TRIO and GEAR UP [which provide scholarships for disadvantaged students].”Legislators are students, too, Cole says, and they are constantly looking for the best teachers. “There’s always some constituent who knows more about what I’m voting on than I do,” he begins, “and their job is to find a way to educate me. But they have to realize that they aren’t the only person I represent. There are lots of constituencies with a lot of competing interests. But the more educated you make me, frankly, the more likely I am to be effective in representing your point of view.”Legislators also look to their colleagues on both sides of the aisle for answers, in ways that Cole says can be mutually beneficial. “When Vern Ehlers [a retired Republican representative from Michigan] was here, he used to joke that he really was a rocket scientist,” Cole says. “But my point is, I would listen to him or to Rush Holt [the retired Democratic representative and physicist from New Jersey who is the incoming CEO of AAAS, which publishes ScienceInsider], about science and how the research process works. They both knew what they were talking about in a way that I never could. And I might have a chance to vote on something that was important to them on a committee that they didn’t serve on.”In the end, Cole says, his job as an appropriator is “to get the deal done.” And that’s where he hopes his ability to listen will pay off. “There will be things we’ll fight about, and they are fairly predictable,” he says. “But if you have enough hearings, I promise you that you’ll find some things that both sides can agree upon, and you’ll surprise one another.”Click here to see all of our Budget 2016 coverage.last_img read more

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