Obama Honors 16 With Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Reblogged from ronedtutt

99.3-105.7 Kiss FM

billOn the 50th year anniversary of J.F.K.’s assassination, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 16 people including former President Bill Clinton and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Other recipients this year include:

-Former Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks for being, as the White House puts it, “one of the greatest baseball players of all time. During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit over 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years.” In August, the Cubs paid tribute to Banks for receiving the Presidential Medal with a pre-game tribute at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Banks told fans, “You made it possible for me to receive this great honor.” The 82-year-old added, “I didn’t play in the World Series … but this to me…

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Overwhelming Amount of Information

From smoke signals to fiber optics, the evolutionary way we exchange information has expanded at such a rapid pace that we seldom realize the overwhelming amount of information we literally receive today compared to many years ago. With a majority of society having access to the internet along with the use of satellite technology, we encounter breaking news stories and pertinent information within seconds of the initial start of an event. In the 1800’s, the average time it took for a news event to circulate around the world would approximate within the range days, weeks, or even months depending on its mode of transmission. When comparing the modes of information transmission used today with those of yesteryear’s, the uncanny similarities in the art of creating systematic modes of communication for our convenience are more apparent than what we give them credit for.

For example, the concept of using smoke signals was to create a visual for the use of transmitting news and to signal danger. Although the smoke signal itself could only be seen within a particular range of view, it was much more effective in getting a message across quickly within a matter of minutes. Today’s concept of the smoke signal’s mode of transmitting live information would be equivalent to that of the satellite, with the exception being the amount of time it would take to transmit a satellite signal being narrowed down to seconds as opposed to minutes. Satellite technology offers us the guarantee to receive a vast amount of information more frequently, and to reach a wider range of audiences for a much more quicker response.

Another comparative form for transmitting information would be
the personal messenger system used during the Abraham Lincoln era and today’s electronic email system. The personal messenger system required information to be carried manually by a human carrier from one location to another, sometimes traveling by foot or with the help of an animal. This posed a problem for messages needing to be delivered immediately, for in Abraham Lincoln’s days, “immediately” could be assumed to be within the next few hours. Today’s electronic email system has a varied definition for “immediately”, which entails the time frame to be within a matter of seconds. An entire conversation that would take days to conclude during the Abraham Lincoln era can now be concluded within minutes, and also be held simultaneously with numerous parties involved.

The incredible transformation with how we receive information in today’s society when compared to many years ago does not only provide us with the ability to communicate quickly, but also adds to it the possibility of what new information transmitting concepts that can be created from it for usage in the next generation to come.

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Life Science Headed For Extinction

From the days of the Louis Pasteur era until now, scientists have made numerous successful attempts in their exploratory approach to save humanity. Science, along with technology, has become so advanced over the years that what was once thought of by scientists as an uncertainty is now a breakthrough in innovative discoveries, for scientists now have the resourceful devices necessary to further their exploration of the human body with precise detail and remarkable accuracy. With the birth of such remarkable artificial life-saving devices as the pacemaker and the dialysis machine, the possibilities for discovering complete cures to life-threatening illnesses seems more and more possible in the future as science advances in the areas of biomedical engineering, thanks to all of the financial support provided by the U.S. Government to scientific research agencies over the past few decades.

Unfortunately during this decade, one of those resources has been drastically cut this year by 10% at the very least — a percentage that cannot be ignored, especially when it pertains to biomedical research. Since humanity has been anticipating for years to hear of a much awaited breakthrough in the discovery for cures to some of the most deadliest of diseases such as cancer and HIV, it seems all hope will have to be put on hold for what seems to be a much bigger problem that appears to be taking precedence lately over healing the sick: war-related funding.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the most pertinent sources of funding for biomedical research agencies and institutions, has been commended for increasing the life expectancy of humanity since the early 1800’s. Not only does the NIH conduct their own research at their own facilities, the agency relies on its funding to be allocated within the congressional budget. The United States has already spent approximately $1.7 trillion on war-related expenses from 2001-2011, and is expected to see these expenditures rise above the $6 trillion mark by the end of the 2013 fiscal year. To avoid a government shutdown this year, Congress had to cut all expenditures until March of 2014 by at least 10%, and this includes the financial support the NIH heavily relies upon to continue its research efforts. The NIH has reported their biomedical research expenses to be at $29.5 billion for the 2013 fiscal year alone. With Congress being unable to properly negotiate a suitable national budget plan while continuously financially supporting war-related expenses to the fullest, the NIH has been forced to put a majority of their critical clinical trials on hold with no certainty of when they will resume again.

Eventually along the line, we all reap the benefits of medical research, even those who are currently considered to be in perfect health. At the rate in which science has advanced, humanity’s chances for a greater life expectancy could have been dramatically increased many years ago if it had not been for the extra expenditure of wars… or could it?

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Literacy In America

The advanced potential of technology, along with its mainstream function of being able to access information at any given time, has now overturned the way readers have access to books. Having the potential to access publications from the comfort of your own home at any given time of the day or night may be the main contributing factor as to why consumers have elected to invest in the purchasing of an e-book reader as opposed to spending money on transportation costs to their local bookstore. More recently, local and large chain bookstores have reported an enormous drop in sales since technology has introduced a more convenient way to read by way of the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Amazon Kindle, the Pandigial Reader, and the Sony Reader. While e-book sales have increased over the years in the United States, the U.S. adult literacy rates have decreased.

Literacy has a major impact on the functional ability of a country. However, statistics reveal a sad truth concerning the readers residing in the United States: approximately 32 million Americans cannot read. According to a study performed by The Organization for Economic Adult Literacy, the United States ranked 16 out of 23 countries. 1 out of 3 American adults cannot read properly, meaning either they do not fully understand the material they have read or they cannot analyze the information they have read correctly. Oddly, 33% of American adults, or 1 out of 4 Americans, own an e-reader of some sort. As the number of e-books sold has increased by 43% over the past 5 years, over 10 million e-books have been sold thus far yet this does not indicate there is hope for an increase in American literacy rates.

One possible explanation as to the awkward imbalance in statistics when comparing the number of e-reader and e-book sales to literacy rates is the decline of available bookstores where physical books may be purchased. When assessing the literacy rates, approximately 1 in 3 adults scored low in problem solving abilities within a technical environment. Not every reader is computer literate. In bookstores, customers can readily ask for assistance if needed when searching for a specific topic or publication. With e-readers, the reader is pretty much on their own. Since the sales of e-books has risen over the past 10 years, bookstores have been forced to shut down due to their low sales volume. Their low sales volume is contributed to the rising number of readers who prefer to purchase e-books rather than the traditionally printed book, and not all adult educational development resources are available in electronic form.

With bookstores becoming extinct and electronic book sales increasing, there may still be hope for raising the literacy stats for American adults as long as the number of library locations does not decline in the process…

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Veteran’s Day: We Will Never Forget

November poses as an extremely important month for a particular group of Americans who deserve an enormous amount of recognition. On this day, Veteran’s Day, there is no amount of gratitude too spectacular that can be expressed sincerely enough for protecting our nation’s freedom. As noble of an honor as it to be a Veteran, the title came with a hefty price. Some of these people are forever inevitably forced to live with the memories of the horrific traumatic visuals of death, gruesome scenes of mutilation, and unspeakable methods of torture they’ve encountered while trying to fight for their lives during times of war. Not only that, these very same unselfish heroic people were also fighting for the lives and freedom for individuals of whom they’ve never met, have never heard of, and will never see. Those who were fortunate enough to survive and return home, return with having to totally restructure their way of living due to the loss of their mobility while they watch various strangers, whom they have literally rescued, walk pass them with all their limbs still intact.

For this, each and every American citizen should acknowledge all Veterans, the living and the deceased, on every Veteran’s Day of every year in the month of November. Free and/or discounted meals are being offered exclusively to the military and ex-military community this Monday, November 11, 2013 at the following restaurants:

Applebee’s – free meal
Bar Louie – free meal
Bj’s Restaurant & Brewery – free meal
Bob Evans – free all-you-can-eat meal
California Pizza Kitchen – free meal
Carraba’s – free appetizer
Champps Americana – free meal
Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse – free meal
Cheeseburger in Paradise – free meal
Chili’s – free meal
Denny’s – free all-you-can-eat meal
Einstein’s Bros Bagel – free bagel
Famous Dave’s – free or discount meal
Fox & Hound & Bailey’s Sports Grille – Free or discounted meal
Friendly’s – free breakfast & coffee
Golden Corral – free meal
HoneyBaked Stores – free meal (lunch)
Hooters – free meal
Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House – free meal
Hy-Vee – free breakfast
IKEA – free sandwich, hot dish, or entrée salad
Krispy Kreme – free doughnut & coffee
Little Caesars® – free crazy bread®
Lone Star Steakhouse – free entrée
LongHorn Steakhouse – free Texas Tonion and alcoholic beverage
Max & Erma’s – free meal
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner
Menchi’s – free 6 oz. frozen yogurt
O’Charley’s – free entrée
On The Border – free meal
Outback Steakhouse – free Bloomin’ Onion & drink
Paciugo Gelato Caffe – free 12oz gelatte
Red Lobster – free appetizer
Red Robin – free Red’s Tavern Double & Bottomless Steak Fries
Ruby’s Diner – free Cinnamon Roll French Toast until 11:30am.
Shoney’s – free All-American Burger
Spaghetti Warehouse – buy one entrée, get one free
Sizzler Restaurant – free meal until 4pm.
Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes – buy one meal, get one free
Texas Corral – free meal
Texas Land & Cattle Steak House – free appetizer
Texas Roadhouse – free lunch
T.G.I. Friday’s – free lunch
The Olive Garden – free meal; 10% off family dining with a veteran
Tim Hortons – free donut
Tony Roma’s – free entrée
Twin Peaks – free meal
Uno Chicago Grill – free individual pizza
Village Inn – free breakfast item

Note: please call your local restaurant of choice listed above to confirm discounts, or check their websites for further details. Remember to bring your proof of military service for verification.

Aside from enjoying a complimentary meal, Veterans can also enjoy free or discounted services at the following companies and attractions:

Anheuser-Busch Parks – free admission for service member and up to 3 dependents

Bed, Bath & Beyond – 20% off entire purchase
Colonial Williamsburg – free admission
Car Washes – free car wash
Great Clips – free haircut
Home Depot – 10% discount (year around)
Historic Jamestowne – free admission
Joann Fabric & Craft Stores – 20% off entire purchase
Knotts Berry Farm – free admission
Lowe’s – 10% off entire purchase (year around)
Pro Football Hall of Fame – free admission
Sport Clips – free haircut
Walgreens – 15% off eligible store items; 20% off Walgreens brands

For those who do not qualify for the aforementioned discounts but will be out and about at any one of these locations on Monday, please show your appreciation and gratitude if you should happen to run into a Veteran, or anyone from the military community for that matter. Give them a handshake, tell them thank you, or simply stop and say hello. Do this not only every Veteran’s Day, but also on any given day of the year. By acknowledging our beloved Veterans, it is a symbolic way of expressing the context of the 9/11 slogan to them: “We Will Never Forget.”

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Woman’s Work Is Never Done

For decades on end, woman have been fighting for their equality to be recognized, in one form or another, within the workforce. Former President John F. Kennedy endorsed it – President Barack Obama ensues to enforce it. The Equal Pay Act, signed by Kennedy in June 1963, was the latest attempt to put an end to gender discrimination pertaining to unequal wages earned by women versus men who are employed in identical positions that are of equal job content. President Obama sponsors John F. Kennedy’s Equal Pay Act (or EPA) for gender wage equality with the Paycheck Fairness Act (or PFA), a legislation to end the approximate 77% difference in compensated wages earned by women when compared to that of men. This bill was approved in January 2009 by the House of Representatives, however, the United States Senate fell short of 2 votes for the 60 votes needed in order to move the bill forward. The bill was presented again for a second time in June 2012. Consequently, the United States Senate only acquired 52 votes in favor of proceeding the bill to its final consideration. Why?

Republican Senators, of whom comprise the small minority of congressional voters opposing the PFA, believe that the bill could adversely affect small businesses by making it easier for female employees to file litigation suits in regards to wage discrimination. Ironically, out of the number of Republican Senators who blocked the bill, five of them were women: Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Senator Susan Collins, also of Maine.

In a statement made by Senate Republican Susan Collins on June 5, 2012, she believes the existing workforce laws are already sufficient: “We already have on the books the Equal Pay Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Act in which I support, and I believe that they provide adequate protections. I think this bill would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses.” In a similar statement made by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky supporting Collins’ viewpoint, McConnell states “We don’t think America suffers from a lack of litigation.” In another statement made by Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, he makes it clear that he does not support pay discrimination within the workforce based on gender, but instead focuses on the issue of workforce inequality in itself: “The question is, will the Paycheck Fairness Act actually address workplace inequality? And the simple answer is no.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act, in comparison to the Equal Pay Act, would provide remedies for the loopholes found within the act signed by former President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The bill would require wages to be paid based on education, training, and/or experience, not sex-based. This bill would also protect employees from retribution from their employers should they happen to discuss their wages for the purposes of evaluating whether or not a gender differential exists. Although American women have come a long way when it comes to putting an end to being shortchanged within their professions, it is still evident that women will have to continue fight even harder for their right to be heard and understood. As the old cliché goes: “Men work from sun to sun, but woman’s work is never done.”

©2013 Learus Ohnine