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Obama announces new Internet initiative for classrooms, educators

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 June 2013 13:41  |  Published in BUSINESS

WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- President Obama Thursday unveiled ConnectED, a plan to link 99 percent of America's students to the Internet via high-speed connections within five years.

Obama also called on the Federal Communications Commission to modernize and leverage its existing E-Rate program to meet that goal, the White House said in a release.

Obama, calling on businesses, states, districts, schools and communities to support his vision, also directed the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms and teachers trained on its advantages.

Scientists look for source of rogue GM wheat

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 June 2013 13:37  |  Published in BUSINESS

PORTLAND, Ore., June 6 (UPI) -- Scientists say it is unclear how genetically modified wheat reached Oregon, where its discovery led to some foreign markets suspending imports of U.S. wheat.

Kendall Lamkey, chairman of the Iowa State University agronomy department, said "corn pollen can travel ... a great distance" under wind power or through contact with insects, but the wheat gene is "unlikely to be moving to other varieties in any significant way."

Wheat plants generally fertilize themselves, as opposed to scattering pollen, scientists said.

49 Chicago schools to close

Written by  |  Thursday, 23 May 2013 01:22  |  Published in BUSINESS

CHICAGO, May 23 (UPI) -- The Chicago Board of Education has voted to shut 49 elementary schools and transfer 27,000 students to new classrooms, officials said.

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett gave four other schools, which were scheduled for closing, a last-minute reprieve.

Wednesday's vote came after months of arguments over Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to close dozens of schools.

The State of Equality and Justice in America: The Urgency of Now Must be Taken Seriously

Written by  |  Tuesday, 12 March 2013 08:52

We must take the urgency of now very seriously. Not just because of the pending 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, but because the future of America's people; especially those who have been long oppressed, depends on right now.

Since the beginning of this country, the one thing that has never been fully decided is who will truly determine this nation's future? Will it be America's truly wealthy - the 1 percent who can decide every political and economic move in the richest and mightiest country in the world? And who, with the economic 1 percent of Europe and Asia, could take over every major decision in this global world? Would it be them or would it be "We the people"?

It is clear by studying recent events; coupled with patterns of history, that the democratic principle of "We the people" is constantly endangered by plutocratic mindsets, those who are often controlled by greed and quests for power. Plutocracy, according to Webster, is one, "Government by wealthy people"; two, "A society governed by wealthy people"; or three, "A ruling class whose power is based on their wealth."

I caution that America could succumb to this social mindset - if we do not continue to stand guard using our democratic powers of "We the people" to the fullest. Take the last presidential election, for instance. Mitt Romney, in his derogatory comment about the so-called "47 percent" of people who he claimed "are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims" and who "pay no income tax" - appeared to dismiss nearly half of American voters. He even said, "... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Racial Disparities Linger in Disease Prevention

Written by  |  Monday, 11 March 2013 05:45  |  Published in BUSINESS

Ron Dellums

(TriceEdneyWire.com) - Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on how far America and the African American community has come, and how much more we have to accomplish. Consider the field of health care; as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health said last year, “although black people have continued to make strides and shape the United States, health rates on average for chronic diseases, infections and death have taken a toll on the population.”

True, some health issues are linked to personal responsibility, such as diet and exercise. Yet other health issues in our community are impacted by the decisions of others – and it is these issues that we must work to correct.

One Trillion Dollar Lie

Written by  |  Monday, 11 March 2013 05:35  |  Published in BUSINESS

(TriceEdneyWire) - “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”  Joseph Goebbels

Watching the TV special that reviewed information contained in the book, "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War", by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, brought back memories of articles and radio shows I had done during the run-up to “shock and awe” in March 2003.  It reminded me of how callous and shameless those high level politicians were and how low they would go to get this country into an unnecessary war.

It gave me pause as I thought of the nearly 5,000 American lives that were lost, the tens of thousands of soldiers who came home incapacitated, minus arms and legs, and the 100,000 Iraqi men, women, and children killed in a war that was supposed to “liberate” them.  This war was made even more tragic in that it cost more American lives than were lost in the World Trade Center on 911.

Unemployment is down, market is up and economy is still teetering

Written by  |  Sunday, 10 March 2013 16:03

U.S. equity markets are on a roll and unemployment is coming down -- could happy days be here again?

Not really. Although unemployment hit its lowest level in more than four years in February and the Dow Jones industrial average spent much of last week in record territory (largely because the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates near zero), other indicators show the economy is still soft and Washington's endless wrangling could put a damper on the still-nascent recovery.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday reported unemployment fell 0.2 of a point in February to 7.7 percent from January and 236,000 jobs were added to the economy.

Black Leaders Recommend Policies

Written by  |  Tuesday, 05 February 2013 15:34

A group of Black leaders who first convened Dec. 3 to discuss ways to hold the Obama Administration and other government bodies accountable to African-American concerns has returned to the table with policy suggestions for the Congress and White House.

U.S. gasoline prices spark outrage

Written by  |  Tuesday, 05 February 2013 11:13  |  Published in BUSINESS

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Union of Concerned Scientists, a supporter of hybrid vehicles, said most U.S. commuters are putting too much money into the oil industry's pocketbooks.

 A UCS report says that about 54 percent of the money spent on gasoline in the United States goes directly to oil companies rather than service station owners.

(C) 2013 Theodore Myles