All posts by Cate Sullivan

Government Surveillance Versus Citizen Privacy

The attacks of September 11, 2001 provided an opportunity for the government to pass both the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security, which provide the federal government with unprecedented, so-called “preventive” powers to block potential threats to the nation and its citizens.  As a result, the nature of surveillance has changed dramatically over the years. The original form required an evidence-based court order to intercept the communications of an individual suspect. Surveillance was authorized if it was necessary to capture potential terrorists, and the infringement on liberty was proportionate to the nature of the crime at hand. Today, however, surveillance agencies intercept massive quantities of communications from millions of people and then search through this database for information related to terrorist suspects.

Government Secrecy Versus National Security- A White Paper

Buckle that Seatbelt and Drop your Phone

I am one to testify, thinking, “those things don’t happen to those around me…it’s something you hear about on the news.” Well, it has a whole different meaning once it happens to your  family. Whether you’re just driving around the block, or just sending a text saying “sure,” IT’S. NOT. WORTH. IT. AND YOU CAN DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT THIS.

My 28 year old cousin was in a self-inflicted car accident this past summer and is going to be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life. Absolutely no other body movement other than being able to talk. Bed ridden for the rest of his life, and only able to receive sustenance through a feeding tube. He was not wearing his seat belt. He has a 10 month old baby that he will never be able to hold or play with as she grows up. While we are incredibly thankful that he survived, our family has been changed forever. If John’s SUV had a system that prevented him from pulling out of the parking lot at work without his seatbelt on that evening, perhaps he would be at the Redskins game this afternoon holding his daughter, rather than watching it on a hospital T.V. Unfortunately, it takes devastation and heartbreak to get people to put their seatbelt on or to put down their phones while driving.

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Video Transcript:  Continue reading Buckle that Seatbelt and Drop your Phone

Speaking Truth to Power

Speaking Truth to Power

 

The fall of 2001 was an eventful and memorable time in United States history, but not for positive reasons. First, there were the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11. Before our nation had even digested the horrific attacks of 9/11, Enron, the nation’s seventh largest company and the world’s largest energy trader, rapidly came unraveled, leading to their declaration of bankruptcy on December 2. Enron’s stock prices had dramatically decreased on October 16, just two months after Sherron Watkins had brought imperative accounting and investment questions to the attention of CEO Kenneth Lay.[i] Was Watkins utilizing deontological or utilitarian ethical approaches in blowing Enron’s whistle? Was her intent to bring the greatest good to the most number of people, or was she doing it for the future profitability and reputation of Enron? Continue reading Speaking Truth to Power

Cathleen Marie Sullivan

My original birth certificate had Rosemary Marie Sullivan on it. Thank God my mom had the hospital change it to Cathleen as soon as she saw the name write out on my birth certificate. She knew I was I not a “Rosie” (which I could NEVER imagine myself as being named). She changed my name without telling my dad, which I find pretty funny. Continue reading Cathleen Marie Sullivan

Steve Jobs the Jerk?

Clearly I lack creativity.

Regardless, I imagine Steve Jobs had a domineering, “better than you persona”. While I’m sure I could Google his characteristics and find out what his overall tone was,  for the purpose of this script, I am going to refrain from doing so, and go with my instinct.

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Me: There has been a lot of upset regarding the treatment of Foxconn workers who manufacture your company’s products. Do you feel as though Apple is responsible?

Jobs: Apple is not the company implementing the harsh working conditions in such factories, nor is Apple the only company whose products are manufactured in these factories. Plenty of our competitors’ products are manufactured under the same roofs, and I do not see them under fire. Continue reading Steve Jobs the Jerk?

News Journalist Brian Williams

Turn on NBC Nightly News and there is Brian Williams. Looking at him, you would expect him to be an Ivy League graduate with a graduate degree in journalism. After attending a community college, Catholic University and George Washington University, Williams ultimately ended up interning for the Carter administration, and never returned to college. Nevertheless, he has been an incredibly impactful figure in the homes of millions of Americans. Continue reading News Journalist Brian Williams

Is Technology Enhancing or Crippling our Relationships?

The first topic I would like to address is in reference to this week’s blog prompt video. I do not think that Americans necessarily would pay for the Japanese services seen in the video. For one, I do not think that people would settle down from their go-go-go-go lifestyle to cuddle with an absolute strange for $80. But then again, maybe they would, considering the fact that Americans pay for strippers and prostitutes.

Switching gears, I most certainly think that technology has an influence on close relationships. While texting and social media sites have given us the capability to stay in constant contact with one another, just how meaningful are our interactions on these sites or via text? Personally, I would say that I do not really have any desire or purpose to stay in touch with the majority of my Facebook friends. Most of them I hardly even know and am very unlikely to ever interact with again. How many of you can say that each and every one of your Facebook friends are people that you keep in touch with on a regular basis? Or do you really just “keep in touch” by looking at their new photos? While I am grateful to know that, for example, my friends from high school, look like they are having fun in college, how meaningful is “liking” their new picture? It makes us feel like we are more in touch with them than we really are. In reality, we probably have not talked to them since graduation day.

However, I do not intend to imply that texting and social media are entirely negative to maintaining our friendships and relationships. I am incredibly grateful for iMessage, which allows me to keep in touch with my best friend from high school, who deleted her Facebook and who has always been incredibly bad at returning phone calls. If it were not for texting, we would have no way of telling each other something that happened to us today that we wish the other one had been there for. Or making each other’s day by shooting each other a text saying “remember that time….”

Ultimately, I think that human interactions are changing for the worse. While I do think that technology is helping societies interact in ways that were never possible before. Likewise, I think that friendships and relationships are becoming less meaningful based on our constant capability to communicate with one another, which I think leads to under appreciating the importance of our friends and loved ones.

Millennials on the Rise

I sat at my dining room table after dinner last night while my aunts and uncles of the Baby Boomer and Generation X generations got in an intense conversation regarding what their generations were leaving behind for my cousins, my siblings, and myself- the Millennials. I sat there quietly listening to them, thinking how utterly convenient the timing of this conversation was, considering the topic of this week’s blog post. Continue reading Millennials on the Rise

Were you satisfied with Freeman’s talk?

Ed Freeman was much more down to earth than I anticipated him to be. I expected that he would be a more theoretical speaker, and that he would focus more on ideas from what he has written at a more in-depth level, or at least discuss more about shareholder versus stakeholder value theory. Continue reading Were you satisfied with Freeman’s talk?