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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Financial crisis subject of Federal Reserve lecture series

Beginning on March 20, 2012, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will deliver a four-part lecture series about the Federal Reserve and the financial crisis that emerged in 2007.

The series begins with a lecture on the origins and missions of central banks, followed by a lecture that will discuss the role and actions of the Federal Reserve in the period after World War II. In the final two lectures, the Chairman will review some of the causes of, and policy responses to, the recent financial crisis, focusing specifically on the actions of the Federal Reserve.

The lectures are being offered as part of an undergraduate course at the George Washington University School of Business through March 29.

Live video of each lecture will be available to the public at Transcripts and video recordings will be made available following each lecture.

For more information on the lecture series, go to

Why you can't get a decent job...a reporter's opinion

Obama speaks about "insourcing"

In Barack Obama's 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, in the chapter entitled "Opportunity," Google's workforce is mentioned. "As far as I could tell, not one was black or Latino," Obama wrote.

When he confronted one of Google's executives with this observation, he was told that in order to stay competitive, only top graduates from "the top math, engineering, and computer science programs in the country" were being hired.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the number of unemployed persons in the U.S. was 12.8 million in January 2012.  Companies, however, are still looking for employees with specific skills.  Some of these skills are not being absorbed by black and Latino students, therefore, many people with these skills are brought in from Asia and Eastern Europe with proper immigration credentials and are hired.

Although most companies pride themselves on being good at hiring a diverse workforce, many remain mostly lopsided when it comes to racial diversity and top heavy on technology skills. Many companies are looking for people who can hit the ground running in sales and engineering positions and possess strong cognitive abilities, meaningful work experiences, and have made major contributions to society.

Some companies seem to be looking for super men and women! There are not too many of these godlike folks around, and the regular Joe and Joan who have had mediocre careers without the advantages of publishing a book, bringing their company millions in revenue, or simply known for showing up at work everyday and not causing trouble may have a hard time in today's job market.

According to CNN Money, ten top companies are looking to hire some 56,000 people. These companies are probably looking for employees with similar skills possessed by their company's leaders.  Let's take a closer look at major companies to see the training their leaders received.

Adobe Systems Incorporated
Shantanu Naraven, President and Chief Executive Officer - B.S. in electronics engineering from Osmania University in India, a master’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Haas School of Business 

Chesapeake Energy
Aubrey McClendon, Chairman of the Board & CEO - Duke University graduate 

Edward Jones 
James Weddle, Managing partner - graduate of DePauw University and earning an MBA from Washington University, St. Louis 

Larry Page, CEO - B.S. in engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University
Sergey Brin,  Co-Founder - B.S. with honors in mathematics and computer science from the University of Maryland at College Park. Brin is currently on leave from the Ph.D. program in computer science at Stanford University. 

Paul S. Otellini, President and CEO - bachelor's degree in economics from the University of San Francisco, MBA from the University of California, Berkeley 

Dennis Nally, Global Chairman - graduate of Western Michigan University, Mr. Nally also completed the Columbia University and Penn State University Executive Programs 

Irwin Mark Jacobs, Founder  - B.E.E. degree from Cornell University and his M.S. and Sc.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

The Boston Consulting Group
Hans-Paul B├╝rkner, President and CEO -  received diploma from University of Bochum, M.A. from Yale University, and D.Phil from University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar 

Wegmans Food Markets
Danny Wegman, CEOHarvard University graduate with a bachelor's degree in economics 

Whole Foods Market
John B. Elstrott, Chairman of the Board - undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and a doctorate degree from The University of Colorado

©2012 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Ohio prosecutor states accused school shooter is "someone who is not well..."

Chardon, Ohio prosecutor David Joyce said in a press conference following the first hearing for T.J. Lane, the accused killer of three students in a school cafeteria, that Lane was "someone who is not well." This opens up the defense for an insanity plea. Joyce also said that Lane told police investigators that he shot five students at random and did not know them.

Under Ohio law R.C. 2901.01(A)(14), "A person is 'not guilty by reason of insanity' relative to a charge of an offense only if the person proves, in the manner specified in section 2901.05 of the Revised Code (i.e. by a preponderance of the evidence), that at the time of the commission of the offense, the person did not know, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, the wrongfulness of the person's acts."

Lane remains in protective detention, ordered by Juvenile Court Judge Timothy Grendell. More news is unfolding as the investigation moves forward.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Africa Heritage Center (AHC) opens on SPSU campus

Ambassador Diarra poses with Dr. Zvi Szafran, SPSU vice president of Academic Affairs, and portrait of Frederick Douglass. 

A delegation of United Nations dignitaries from Africa visited the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in Marietta, Ga. today in celebration of Black History Month and the launch of an Africa Heritage Center (AHC).

The delegation was led by Ambassador Cheick Sidi Diarra, under-secretary general, special advisor on Africa and high representative for least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states. Accompanying him was his special assistant, Kavazeua Katjomuise, and his personal assistant, Mary Nyumu.

Some classes were cancelled, with professors giving students assignments to report on the event.

The dignitaries met with university and African Heritage Foundation (AHF) officials who recently formed an alliance that seeks to build bridges between the 55 nations of the African Union and the United States. More than 26 African nations are represented in the SPSU student body. Tunde Adetunji, a cultural ambassador from Nigeria, founded the AHF and serves as its president and CEO.

The delegation also visited the "Celebrate Africa: Journey Through the Ages Exhibition" currently on display in the Architecture Gallery as part of Black History Month. The exhibition has been commissioned for a world tour. "Celebrate Africa" made its debut during the 1996 Olympics and traveled extensively afterward to various institutions throughout the U.S., Brazil and Canada detailing the splendor and significance of African culture.

After touring the campus and planting trees to represent the U.N., the ambassador gave a presentation on economic opportunities in Africa. Notes on the event will be posted when completed.

Photo courtesy of SPSU newsroom photo gallery.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spotlight on nonprofit: SEWA International USA

Dance for Sri Lankan Tamil Rehabilitation

Don't judge an entertainer until you've danced in her/his barefeet!  That is what I took away from the artistic performances and informational presentations provided by SEWA International USA in THIRKAN 2012 on February 18 at Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Ga.

SEWA, with a motto of "Service Above Self," is a 501 (c)3 organization started in India in 1989, morphed into the UK in 1991, and branched out into Atlanta in 2003. Its leader is Dr. Sree N. Sreenath, a director of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University who is also involved in cultural affairs and fundraising for Srilankan refugees.

"We can relate to their daily hardships. We are proud of our culture and strive to help...the orphaned,  widowed, mentally ill, distressed youth, and deserving students. "Our duty is to share. We sleep well, but we have a greater task ahead than just keeping ourselves comfortable," Sreenath told the crowd of about 300.

Another notable guest at the event was Dr. Ravi Sarma, an oncologist and practicing doctor. “One’s spirit can be kept alive by giving a little of ourselves to make a lot of someone else’s life,” Dr. Sarma was quoted as saying in a previous interview.

SEWA is billed as the only Hindu, faith-based NGO permitted to operate in Sri Lanka.

The organization lives by the creed, "Love Ever, Hurt Never." The event brought to my mind the idea that the inhabitants of Sri Lanka have a shared history of sacrifice faced by other displaced and suffering peoples around the globe. Despite their suffering, the result is relational caring.

A history lesson focusing on Portuguese and British invasions of Sri Lanka was also given during the 4 1/2 hour event.

Participants gave a portion of their tenacity, beauty, bells, henna, gold and pearls, flowers, prayers, simplicity, fluttering hands, barefooted humility, strength, courage, sadness, joy, seductive control, fortitude, and organizational skills. The financial goal is to raise an additional $30,000 for their cause. Revenue in 2011 is reported at $910,000.

 The experience gave me a different respect for Indian and Hindu culture and renewed my faith in social justice and nonviolent change espoused by Gandhi and later adopted by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We do have a lot in common," said Rakesh Pathak, one of the event's organizers.
 Bhutanese Artists of Georgia

To learn more about SEWA, go to or email

Photos courtesy of SEWA International USA.
©2012 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Denzel Washington's new character completes sociopath research

In the new movie thriller Safe House, Academy Award winner Denzel Washington plays a killer with no conscience.

Interviewed this morning on NBC's Today Show, Washington said he researched how to play the role by reading Dr. Martha Stout's book, "The Sociopath Next Door: the ruthless versus the rest of us."

The movie, directed by Daniel Espinosa, will be released in U.S. theaters on February 10 by Universal Pictures and was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.

To view the movie trailer, go to

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Romney's republicanomics evident in "poor" speak

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did say what he meant, that he wasn't concerned about the poor because they have a "safety net" with holes he will fix if he becomes leader-in-chief. What the???

I have heard this 'ole Republican philosophy before, that the poor are being taken care of and will continue to be taken care of by the compassionate, well-educated, philanthropic rich folks!

I used to utilize services from a chiropractic clinic that is operated by a chiropractic college in the facilities of one of the largest black churches in metro ATL. Both the doctors running the clinic are white conservatives who supported Herman Cain first, and then switched to Gingrich, probably because he's a fellow Georgian. They were very adamant about their choices and voiced them during clinic hours.

Although 99% of the people served in this clinic are black, 100% of the doctors are white, and approximately 90% of the interns are white. Most of these interns have to complete clinical work to graduate.

Anyway, I've stopped going there because of the tone of the talk I've gotten from one female doctor who has the same Romney lingo: "I'm sick of hearing about the poor," she told me. "Poor folks are in the state they are in from making bad choices." This same doctor frowned and gave the "gagging herself" sign when she saw a black woman wearing a jacket with Obama's image on the back of it. She told me she hates Obama's arrogance, especially the way he walks off Air Force One.

Little does she want to recognize it, but if it weren't for the poor, she would not have a job at the outreach clinic! It is also my belief that the rich often profit from the poor who are scammed because they are not smart enough (did not have quality education) to not be hoodwinked! The rich, who mostly inherit their money, always like to blame the poor for not being successful and failing to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

What more do you expect from trickle-down Republicanomics!

©2012 by Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012