A look at the rapid-fire evolution of cybersecurity through the lens of a veteran cybersecurity journalist who has been covering this space for more than two decades. Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor of Dark Reading, will share a historical look at how the industry has evolved – or not – over the years and why, and give the scoop on the biggest and hottest cybersecurity stories Dark Reading is chasing and covering today. Learn about what it’s like to be a journalist in the field, how the industry isn’t just for techies but also requires liberal arts skills, and what the major cybersecurity topics, technologies, and challenges will be next – everything from cybercrime and nation-state hacking to the state of the modern security operations center (SOC).
Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, Virginia Business magazine, and other major media properties. Jackson Higgins was recently selected as one of the Top 10 Cybersecurity Journalists in the US, and named as one of Folio’s 2019 Top Women in Media. She began her career as a sports writer in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and earned her BA at The College of William & Mary.
Register today for this November 13 presentation that starts at 1:00p in Room 300, Fairfax Hall.
A community’s musical sub-culture rallies around one of its own
It was a musical and social community coming together in support of one of its own on Father’s Day, June 20, 2021, at Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Virginia Beer Museum. The father and long-time musical fixture at the center of the event was James Vaughan, drummer in a series of family-grounded bands over four decades based out of Front Royal. Vaughan, whose current band is Aftershock with brother Duane (aka Dewey), daughter Reno, cousin Dean Smith, guitarist Doug Hess, and Lenny Barnhart on the chessboard, vocals and keyboards, is recovering from a series of two strokes suffered April 30.
Sunday’s benefit show, silent auctions and other fundraising efforts featuring what was advertised as a dozen musical acts, give or take, was to help defer medical costs associated with James’ stroke. But even more so as the event billed “Front Royal’s Woodstock” progressed from 1 p.m. to slightly after 9 p.m., it seemed an expression of affection and concern for an integral part of the local musical arts community.
“This is like a high school reunion, except with people you WANT to hang out with,” was one description of the myriad familiar faces with perhaps a few more years on them than the last time you encountered them on or off stage.
James brother Dewey made a point of thanking all the involved musicians for the time, talent and energy they contributed to the event. He also acknowledged the large turnout of friends, fans and patrons that made the fundraising aspect what he called “very successful”. Included among those friends and patrons Caterer Will Bryan of “So Mote it Beef” also provided exquisite beef brisket at no charge, with cash contributions going to the fundraising effort for his brother, Dewey noted.
This story will be updated if additional ID or other information becomes available – and don’t forget to scroll down beyond the ads, there are 39 more photos attached to this story:
Virginia reaches key vaccination milestone two weeks ahead of July 4 goal set by President Biden
Governor Ralph Northam announced on June 21, 2021, that 70 percent of adults 18 years and older in the Commonwealth have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Virginia is the 16th state in the nation to meet this goal set by President Joe Biden in early May and reaches the key vaccination milestone two weeks ahead of the nationwide July 4 target. To date, over 8.8 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Virginia, and more than 4.2 million individuals, or 60.3 percent of the population 18 and older, are fully vaccinated.
“Virginia has reached a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Northam. “Thanks to the millions of Virginians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, the virus is in retreat, our economy is growing, and we are closer to putting this pandemic behind us. A statewide effort has brought us to this point, with strong partnerships in our communities, health systems, the private sector, and across all levels of government. Even as we celebrate this tremendous achievement, we will continue working together to vaccinate everyone who is eligible, so our Commonwealth so can keep moving forward.”
Virginia continues to see a significant decline in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. New daily cases exceeded a seven-day moving average of 5,900 in early January and dropped under 250 by June 1. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 peaked in early January with a seven-day moving average above 2,600 and had decreased to nearly 500 by June 1. Deaths from COVID-19 reached a seven-day moving average of 83 in mid-January and fell below 7 by June 1. Additional data on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Virginia can be found on VDH’s data dashboards. As Virginia’s vaccination program proceeds, VDH will continue to monitor trends including vaccination uptake, COVID-19 variants, and outbreaks.
“We are deeply grateful to all those who have been vaccinated and to the vaccinators helping Virginia reach and surpass this milestone,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “There are still Virginians we need to reach, and our efforts to make vaccination as accessible and as convenient as possible will continue. Those who have yet to get the vaccine are encouraged to do so to protect themselves and to keep others safe, particularly children under 12, people with weakened immune systems, or individuals who cannot be vaccinated for other reasons.”
Federal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15 has made more than 400,000 additional Virginians eligible to get vaccinated, and about 30 percent of individuals in that age group have received the vaccine so far. VDH will continue working with school districts to make the vaccine available to students as the vaccination efforts shift from large-scale vaccination sites to health care providers, pharmacies, and mobile vaccine clinics.
“Virginia’s remarkable progress is a testament to the commitment, coordination, and leadership of our local health districts, community-based organizations, faith leaders, National Guard members, and so many others,” said Virginia Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny TK Avula. “While there is still work to do in addressing vaccine hesitancy, I remain confident that we can keep this momentum going and defeat this virus.”
“Reaching this goal shows that Virginians are serious about wanting this pandemic to end and wanting to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, MD. “This has been a team effort with Virginians, and we look forward to continuing to protect our communities.”
With increased vaccination rates, public health metrics trending in the right direction, and revised federal guidelines, Virginia ended all COVID-19 mitigation measures on May 28. The state of emergency that Governor Northam declared on March 12, 2020, in response to COVID-19 is set to expire on June 30.
Unvaccinated individuals and those who are not fully vaccinated should continue wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces in accordance with federal CDC guidance.
Virginians who have not been vaccinated yet are encouraged to go to vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) to find a nearby vaccination clinic. For answers to frequently asked questions or to learn more about vaccination for COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
With the creation this week of Juneteenth as a national holiday, I have seen several posts that, though meaning well in celebrating the day, have made mistakes about the history. Even my own college wrote that because the slaves in Texas had not heard about the Emancipation Proclamation, they were not free until federal troops arrived in Texas on June 19, 1865. Instead of my usual routine of making a historical comparison, I want to take time this week and clarify the Emancipation Proclamation and its role in Juneteenth. I also want to give a warning of a trend that I do not see as helpful in national healing.
I know this is a minor issue, but there is no connection between the Emancipation Proclamation and Juneteenth. The reason is that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves. If you are confused by this, trust me, you are not alone. It is one of the most misunderstood executive orders ever given. The same President Lincoln who had promised in his Inaugural Address that he had no plans to free any slaves and, even if he did, he did not have the power to do so, had a change of heart by the summer of 1862.
Having endured a string of military losses by that August, Lincoln knew he needed to do something to shake things up. He now realized that this would be a much longer war than he had originally anticipated. Also, by that summer, Lincoln, who hated the institution of slavery, had been receiving a great deal of pressure to do something about slavery from abolitionists in his party and he had been considering issuing an emancipation order. What made him nervous was that the order might hurt the war effort from Democrats, especially the border slave states like Missouri and Kentucky that had stayed loyal to the Union. Once Lincoln decided to issue the order, he needed to wait for a military victory, so it looked like he was making the proclamation out of strength, not desperation.
Finally, on Sept. 17, 1862, Lincoln got the victory he needed. Though it is hard to call the Battle of Antietam a victory, Robert E. Lee’s forces were turned back from Maryland. That was enough for Lincoln. Five days later he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The order stated, “All persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” As good as this order seems, there is a real catch. Only slaves who were in states in rebellion were set free. In other words, the order did not apply to slaves in states like Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware where Lincoln had authority. The order applied only to slaves in states where Lincoln did not.
As I stated at the beginning, the Emancipation Proclamation did not really free anyone. Slaves could now free themselves. If slaves could run away to northern lines or to the Union Army, they would be free. Prior to this, Lincoln had ordered the army to return all runaways. Even if slaves in Texas had heard about the Proclamation, it would have made no difference. They were no freer than slaves in any southern state.
So why issue the Proclamation if it did not actually free slaves? First, it was done as a military effort, which was the way Lincoln justified the legality of the order. Slaves in the fields allowed for more men to join the Confederate armies. If slaves could now be considered free and could run to Union lines, then the South would be deprived of a valuable military resource. Secondly, the order was meant to be an encouragement. Though the order was issued in September, it was not going to take effect until January 1, 1863. The idea was that if any state (Lincoln was gambling on the border states like Arkansas and Tennessee) rejoined the Union before January, then their slaves would be protected. So, the document that we associate with freeing slaves was actually a way to protect it.
When we talk about Juneteenth instead of mentioning the Emancipation Proclamation, we need to mention the 13th Amendment. The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order. As such, it could and probably would have been overturned if Lincoln had lost reelection in 1864. There was also a good chance that the courts would declare the Proclamation unconstitutional, as most executive orders should be. To guarantee freedom for slaves in all the states forever, he pushed for the 13th Amendment, which did free the slaves. The Amendment was passed in Congress on Jan. 31, 1865, when Robert E. Lee surrendered his army (only his army, not the Confederacy) on April 9. News of the surrender did not instantly reach the west. General Kirby Smith, who controlled Texas, surrendered May 26 and finally Stand Waite in Indian Territory surrendered June 23. During that time, on June 19, Texas slaves heard that the war was over and that slaves were now free. Had they known about the Emancipation Proclamation earlier, it would not have mattered. It was the end of the war and the 13th Amendment that made them free.
Finally, one quick thought. The official name of this new national holiday is Juneteenth National Independence Day. While I completely support this as a holiday, I believe the name is intentionally packed with political divisiveness. Just two weeks after Juneteenth is our nation’s actual Independence Day. Though I try to stay away from conspiracy theories in this column, it seems as if this name is an attack on our nation’s history. Many names could have been used. I would have voted for Emancipation Day, but naming it Independence Day seems as one more attempt to minimize what our Founding Fathers did in 1776. Yes, our Founders owned slaves, and yes, this nation was built upon the backs of slaves, but it is still the greatest nation on Earth. Yes, it took a hundred years for Jefferson’s words on equality to ring true – and let’s celebrate that day – but let’s not forget that first we had to create the nation and then we could try to live up its principles.
Dr. James Finck is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. He is Chair of the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium. Follow Historically Speaking at www.Historicallyspeaking.blog.
How to park on a hill
When parking a car on a hill, you must take precautions. There are regulations you need to follow to stay safe and not get a ticket.
First, unless otherwise specified, you must park within a foot of the curb, and your car must face the same direction as the flow of traffic. On a hill, you must use your parking brake and position the wheels so that the front of the vehicle is lined up with the curb.
When parking uphill, turn your wheels toward the road. That way, if the emergency brake fails and your vehicle slips backward, the rear wheels will bump up against the curb. When parking downhill, you should turn your wheels toward the sidewalk instead.
Last, engage the parking brake, slowly take your foot off the brake pedal and then shift your vehicle into “park.” If you’re driving a manual transmission, make sure you shift into first gear when parking uphill and into reverse when parking downhill.
Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – June 20, 2021
It was quite a week in Washington as all eyes were on President Biden’s first meeting with the leaders of the G-7 nations, NATO, and Russia. Now the President must turn his attention to policies that grow the economy, combat inflation, help working-class Americans, and secure the border. Legislatively this week, I continued to be involved in discussions among various groups that are trying to come together in agreement on an infrastructure package. With many proposals being floated, rest assured I will keep you apprised as the situation develops. Further, Congress passed and the President signed legislation designating Juneteenth (June 19) as a federal holiday to recognize the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
Additionally, this week, I fought to defend Americans’ First and Second Amendment rights by joining the Campus Free Speech Caucus and writing to the ATF regarding a proposed rule that would unfairly tax certain gun owners. I also had the opportunity to meet with a number of advocacy groups from Virginia’s Sixth District and honored a high school baseball team in our area for winning their conference’s state championship. This week, we also recognize all of the dads across the District and wish them a very happy Father’s Day. It was certainly a busy few days, but I will return to Washington next week to continue advocating on behalf of the constituents I am honored to represent.
Caving to Russia:
This week marked President Biden’s first meeting with Russian President Putin. Disappointingly, yet not unexpectedly, the Biden Administration has failed to back up their tough talk with strong action. Criminals from Russia have launched several cyberattacks on U.S. soil that have gone unpunished by both the Russian government and the Biden Administration. Most recently was the ransomware attack on the Colonial pipeline, which was perpetrated by a group within Russia and caused alarming price hikes and shortages of gasoline across the East Coast. To make matters worse, during the summit, President Biden gave Putin a list of sixteen American targets that were off-limits to attack. This is like wrapping a yellow ribbon around your valuables to make it easier for a burglar to find. The United States as a whole should be off-limits to Russian cyberattacks.
Further, in blatant defiance of the U.S. Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, the Biden Administration has refused to implement mandatory sanctions after Putin’s regime poisoned and arrested opposition activist Alexei Navalny. This reveals the current Administration’s passive stance on the egregious human rights violations in Russia. Additionally, President Biden has done nothing to protect our ally Ukraine, despite mounting Russian tensions as Putin continues to order more and more troops to the Ukrainian border. Finally, after canceling the Keystone Pipeline here at home, President Biden waived mandatory sanctions surrounding Putin’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline that Congress has mandated in a bipartisan effort. The use of this pipeline will endanger Ukraine and empower the Kremlin.
My Republican colleagues and I are ready to work on bipartisan solutions for improving America’s infrastructure. However, the President’s proposal is a $1.9 trillion “social justice” and “climate justice” initiative masquerading as an infrastructure plan that will raise taxes, hurt the US economy, advance unrelated Democrat policies, and dramatically increase the size of the government. Worse yet, only about 5% of the bill actually goes toward infrastructures such as roads and bridges, with much of the funding being directed toward the Green New Deal and the “Care Economy.” Some proposals from the far-left go even further, reaching price tags of $6+ trillion. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, I am working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to develop a plan that is fiscally responsible, not simply a climate bill, and ensures that rural communities like ours are not left behind.
Fighting for the Second Amendment:
Recently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposed a rule that would make firearms with stabilizing braces subject to unjust taxation and registration requirements. Stabilizing braces are attachments that were first created to meet the needs of disabled combat veterans who are no longer able to hold or stabilize heavy firearms for recreational shooting without assistance. This tax unfairly targets disabled citizens, many of whom are veterans, and infringes upon constitutionally protected rights. Should this rule go into effect, law-abiding citizens will become felons overnight unless they turn in or destroy the firearm, destroy the brace, or pay a $200 tax. I joined my colleagues this week in writing to the ATF urging the agency to withdraw this proposed rule. The letter can be found here. I have always been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and will continue to advocate for its protection here in Congress.
Protecting Free Speech:
I recently joined the Campus Free Speech Caucus, which was launched by my colleagues’ Representatives Jim Jordan and Kat Cammack, in partnership with Young America’s Foundation. The caucus was created to defend the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and all Americans’ right to free speech. We will aim to educate folks about the increasing bias of free speech in academia and shine a national spotlight on the suppression of conservative voices on college campuses. In a united front, we will hold these institutions accountable for silencing students. The fact that students are being attacked at their schools for their beliefs is simply un-American. The members of this caucus must stand strong to ensure the future leaders of our Nation are afforded the basic rights set forth by our Founding Fathers.
In my office, I display the seals of all our service branches as a daily reminder of the men and women to whom we owe our freedom. This week, I was pleased to be presented with the seal of our Nation’s sixth and newest military branch – the seal of the United States Space Force (USSF). Space Force protects the U.S. and allied interests in space and provides capabilities to the joint force. USSF supports Combatant Commands by acquiring military space systems and developing doctrines surrounding space power. Space Force will safeguard the competitive advantage of all our military branches, making America a stronger and more secure Nation now and for generations to come.
This week, Congress passed legislation, which I voted in favor of, to make Juneteenth the newest national holiday. Juneteenth, short for ‘June Nineteenth,’ commemorates the day that all slaves were effectively freed in the United States. It was not until June 19, 1865, almost two months after the end of the Civil War, that Union Army General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, TX. There, he was finally able to proclaim the end of slavery in the Lone Star State, immediately freeing more than 250,000 enslaved people. This week, we take time to remember our history and recognize the overwhelming struggle that enslaved African Americans faced for far too long. To commemorate the day I spent time with celebrants at the Juneteenth festivities at Eureka Park in Roanoke.
Grace Christian Warriors:
This week, I took to the House Floor to recognize the Grace Christian School Warriors baseball team for their come-from-behind victory in this year’s Virginia Association of Christian Athletics State Championship. Down to their last 12 outs, the Warriors trailed four to zero, but thanks to some timely hits, their comeback started as they were able to put one run on the board in the fourth.
At the bottom of the fifth, things really started turning in Grace Christian’s favor. A few hits, some heads-up base running, and costly errors made by their opponents gave the Warriors a five to four lead. However, the lead didn’t last long as the Bulldogs from Westover Christian Academy scored two in the top of the Sixth, but the Warriors battled back tying the game in the bottom half of the inning. Grace Christian’s MVP pitcher, Isaiah Riddle, mastered Westover hitters in the top of the seventh, meaning it all came down to the Warriors’ bats. First baseman Justin Hain led off with a base hit, then stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch. With another wild pitch, Hain sprinted home and secured Grace Christian the title. Congratulations to the players, coaches, parents, and staff on an incredible season and a well-deserved win.
If you are planning on traveling outside of the country anytime in the next six months, I would highly recommend you check on the validity of your passport. Due to increased demand and backlogs caused by COVID-19, it may take longer than normal to obtain or renew your passport – the State Department currently projects a 10-12 week wait time for renewals. You can begin the process of renewing or obtaining a passport here. If you are in need of assistance renewing your passport in an expedited manner, please contact one of my District offices listed at the bottom of this page.
A father wears many hats – friend, coach, mentor, spiritual guide, and so much more. Today we celebrate all of the great dads across the Sixth District who do so much for their children and families. On this Father’s Day, we thank dads for their hard work, support, and love.
As of June 20, 2021, Virginia has had 678,649 total cases of COVID-19, including confirmed lab tests and clinical diagnoses, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The current death toll in the Commonwealth stands at 11,351. Further, according to the VDH’s COVID-19 vaccine data dashboard, as of June 20th, 4,929,523 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 4,201,439 people are fully vaccinated.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.