Leaked: The Internet must go!

Hey! Are you on the internet right now? Of course you are! Then you should definitely check out this amazing video about what the internet companies are planning. This move could hurt both consumers and content creators--but of course would be a huge windfall for internet providers.

How weathly are Americans?

The disparity in wealth between the richest one percent of Americans and the bottom 80 percent has grown exponentially over the last thirty years — but the video, posted by user politizane and relying on data from a popular Mother Jones post, focuses on the difference between the ideal disparity that Americans would like to see and the reality.

Tax the Rich

So long! It's been fun.

Dear listeners,

In July 2011 I started a new job teaching Italian at Kansas State University. In some ways this was a return to my roots, as I taught English as a Foreign Language for 17 years in Italy. Now I am teaching English speakers Italian. I've come full circle.

This coming full circle also means the end of an attempt on my part to start a new career in my 50s. Sadly, as much as I tried to bring community radio to Manhattan, I was not successful. So I have decided to dedicate my energy and time to my first love, being an educator.

The archive of my shows will remain active - there's a lot of great content in the shows. So I hope you continue to listen and enjoy them.

Once again thank you for your support and encouragement over the five years the show was on the air. I know many feel that my program needs to be on the air and I agree with you that a diversity of voices is sorely lacking in the local media. But alas, it is not I who will bring that diversity. It will have to be someone else.

Christopher E. Renner

09 March 2013


Jan Galitzer wrote this, I agree with the sentiment, the Manhattan Mercury would not print without payment.

In the 2011 election for city commission, only 20% of registered voters voted! There were 32,015 registered voters - 25,582 people did not vote for any of the commissioner candidates – that is - 80% of register voters did not bother to vote. That doesn’t even count the people who could have been registered and didn’t even bother to do so!

In an election for city commission the top 3 vote getters will become commissioners by simple majority. For example, in the last election, a candidate who got 3,495 votes was actually only elected by 10% of registered voters.

In the first few months after the last election, this commission reversed ordinances passed by the previous commission, sometimes claiming they had a mandate from the people because of their election. This is what a mandate of 10% of voters led to:

1. They stopped inspections of rental properties, thereby allowing landlords to rent properties that do not meet recognized safety standards. This essentially allows landlords free reign to endanger tenants and to embarrass this community in front of all of those student’s parents and all of our soldiers’ families – Manhattan, this reversal says, doesn’t care enough about you to make sure you live in proper housing.

2. Then they reversed the newly amended civil rights ordinance that included protection for LGBT citizens from discrimination. I agree it’s too bad that we have to list people to be protected….but I want to live in a community where the civil rights ordinance says that no one can discriminate against anyone for any reason! But since people DO discriminate, it is sad that 10% of the registered voters elected people who think protection of the any members of our society is unnecessary.

3. They also withdrew support for a fixed route bus system that would help residents without their own transportation get to jobs, grocery stores, doctors’ appointments, classes, etc. – even though it required less than a onetime $12,000 match of funds to grants already in place to support the system.

This commission has consistently demonstrated a lack of concern for the health and welfare of this community. They have cut support for social services and plan future cuts in funding to important agencies in our community. They are more concerned about the “bottom line” then about the quality of life that makes Manhattan the kind of place people want to live.

If you are not registered to vote – the deadline for registering for this election is March 18. The Riley County website (www.rileycountyks.gov/index.aspx?NID=1118) provides information on what you will need to register and what you will need to show when you go to vote.

If you are a registered voter – good for you! Find out about the candidates, elect people who will make Manhattan the kind of welcoming, safe and productive place that will encourage people to invest their business, bring their family and make a good life with us in this community. Help create a community where you want to live.
YOUR vote – every vote - makes a difference!

What are 1,000 votes or 100 or even 10 here and there- isn’t it obvious? Every single voter can influence the outcome of this election. Don’t blame anyone else for what happens in an election that you have not participated in! Be an active citizen – be counted! VOTE – do it for all of us!

Janis Clare Galitzer

26 July 2012

KSBOE Candidate Forum District 6

On July 23, 2012, Kansas Citizens for Science sponsored a Kansas State Board of Education candidate forum for District 6 at the Manhattan Public Library. Candidates participating in the forum included: Usha Reddi and Carol Viar, Democratic candidates, and Deena Horst, Republican candidate. After general introductory statements, questions were solicited from the audience and were asked to the candidates by forum moderator, Harry McDonald, President of the Kansas Citizens for Science Board of Directors.

09 October 2011

Podcast Special: The Hidden Hands in Redistricting

Special podcast: In the first story of a new series, Propublica reporter Olga Pierce and news application developer Jeff Larson examine how corporations, unions and other special interests are manipulating the redistricting process in their favor by funneling money through purportedly independent redistricting groups.
As these murky groups play a more dominant role, Pierce and Larson explain on the podcast this week that voters are the ones ultimately losing.
“What we're trying to point out is that drawing the maps to benefit a particular person is kind of problematic. If you're an outside group creating a safe district for a particular person, then essentially what you're doing is you're taking away people's votes,” Larson says.
Pierce adds, “What more fundamental tenant of democracy is there than ‘one person, one vote?’ If that's gone, then what else is there?”

18 September 2011

Meeting Community Healthcare Needs

On August 30, 2011, the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice sponsored a community forum featuring representatives from local hospital, mental health and dental services who responded to questions from the audience regarding the needs for low cost health care in the Manhattan area and service accessibility.

08 August 2011

Podcast Special: Kansas Equality Rally Speeches

On August 6th, Kansas Chapter of the National Organization of Women and the Kansas Equality Coalition held a rally for equality at the state capitol building in Topeka. The rally was in response to attacks on the free speech rights of Kansans by the Brownback administration. You will hear Tom Witt, Kari Ann Rinkner, Pedro Irigonegaray, and Mark Manning as well as the voices of four participants.

Additional Links:

Kansas Equality Coalition

Kansas NOW

As Brownback prays, opponents rally, by Phil anderson, Topeka Capitol Journal, August 6, 2011.

Statehouse Live: People rally at Capitol to protest Brownback policies, by Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, August 6, 2011.

Gay rights group protests Gov's trip, by Fredrick J. Johnson, Topeka Capitol Journal, June 24, 2011.

Kan. gay rights group protests at Statehouse, by John Hanna, Associate Press (via Dessert News), June 24, 2011.

02 August 2011

Kansas Equality Rally

Community Bridge opens this week with Tom Witt, President of the Kansas Equality Coalition, for a discussion of the upcoming equality march and rally at the state Capitol on August 6th. The rally is being called in response to Sam Brownback's hijacking our state government for his own agenda and his efforts to hijack as well the First Amendment rights of all Kansans who disagree with him by treating opposition groups differently than those who support his imperial governorship. Then we will hear a short clip from the Best of the Left podcast and close out the hour with Lynne Davy from the Riley County Humane Society.

Additional Resources/Links:

Sam Brownback downplays his involvement in creepy prayer rally, by David Martin, The Pitch, August 2, 2011.

Critics blast Brownback for attending prayer day hosted by ‘inhumane’ anti-gay groups, by Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, August 2, 2011.

Brownback Stops Gay Rights Group From Flying Rainbow Flag, by Christina, Plucky Magazine, July 26, 2011.

Dissent Is Patriotic: 1st Amendment, Freedom and Equality!, by Kari Ann Rinkner, Kansas Free Press, July 15, 2011.

Gay rights group protests Gov's trip, by Fredrick Johnson, Topeka Capitol Journal, June 24, 2011.

Kansas NOW sends complaint to Brownback, by Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capitol Journal, June 13, 2011.

Kansas NOW delivers $4,000 worth of miniature tires to Rep. Pete DeGraaf for his rape comments, by Peter Rug, The Pitch, June 3, 2011.

22 July 2011

The Christian Patriarchy Movement

Community bridge opens this week with Kathy Cook, Executive Director of Kansas Families for Education, discussing the upcoming Save Our Schools Rally that will take place at the Capitol building in Topeka on July 30th beginning at 11:00 am. The rally is part of a national effort to put the public back in public education! A national rally will take place in Washington DC at the same time.

Then Community Bridge welcomes Kathryn Joyce, author of "Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement," published by Beacon Press in 2009, for a discussion of the movement, how it saddles women with a life of submission and near-constant pregnancies, and a look at evangelical Christians new campaign to adopt children from around the world in order to spread its ideology.

Addition Links/Resources:

The website for the Save or Schools Rally.

Save Our School rally on Facebook.

Read Kathryn Joyce' s article on the patriarchy movement on Alternet

Read Kathryn Joyce on Quiverfull for Babble.com

Read an article based on the book in Mother Jones

Read Kathryn Joyce' s article on the Quiverfull movement on Newsweek.com

Read Kathryn Joyce' s Salon.com feature on a former Quiverfull adherent and how she left the movement

Read Kathryn Joyce an essay by Kathryn Joyce on Killing the Buddha.

Read an interview with Kathryn Joyce on BuzzFlash

July 21: Global Warming - What every person needs to know

In the second hour, Charles Rice, distinguished K-State Professor of Soil Microbiology and President, Soil Science Society of America, joins us for a discussion of what science knows about global climate change - and it isn’t what the corporate media is saying! Contrary to what the US media and the New York Times in particular has been saying, there is not disagreement in the scientific community on this topic. Global warming is happening and it could drastically alter life as we know it. Rice also gives a report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting preparing for the 5th Assessment Report which took place this past week in South Korea.

Additional Links/Resources:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Help Fight Climate Change - The Nature Conservancy

The Basics of Global Warming - Environmental Defense Fund

Climate Change - the Environmental Protection Agency

What is Global Warming - The National Geographic Society

Global Warming - National Resources Defense Council

The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription, by Ross Gelbspan

The Heat is On website.

16 July 2011

What's Causing the Flooding on Wildcat Creek?

Community Bridge opens this week with representatives from the Wildcat Creek Watershed Council to discuss the recent flooring in west Manhattan, the impact development is having on the watershed and what alternatives exist. Joining for the discussion in studio will be Rod Harms, Commissioner Rich Jankovich and Eric Bernard.

Additional Links/Resources:

Wildcat Creek Watershed Council webpage.

Rising Waters: Flooding nearly reaches 500-year storm levels, Rachel Spicer, K-State Collegian, June 8, 2011.

Quick Flooding Prompts Evacuations in Manhattan, John Milburn, Associated Press, printed in the Lawrence Journal World, June 2, 2011.

Manhattan and Riley County plan for future flooding, Lindsey Elloit, KTKA News (Channel 49), June 16, 2001.

Photos of the June 2, 2011, flooding on Wildcat Creek from NBC Action News.

15 July 2011

Exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council

In our second hour, Christopher Renner connects with journalist Beau Hodai for a discussion of the American Legislative Exchange Council. What Is ALEC? They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want to silence the American people.

On March 15th, University of Wisconsin Professor Bill Cronon posted a study guide on his blog on the history and actions of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He asked: What is behind the “sudden and impressively well-organized” wave of right-wing legislation targeting workers, students, women, immigrants, and the environment in state legislatures? He found that all roads led to ALEC.

ALEC is a conservative think-tank run by right-wing politicians and corporate and financial interests within the banking industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the big oil and gas industries, and others. They are aligned to many right-wing and conservative interests, including the election-manipulating Koch Industries. ALEC is funded by the Koch brothers to promote an agenda that curbs individual liberties, attacks unions, the social safety net and seeks to insure that corporations pay no taxes, but benefit from all sorts of tax-payer dollars in return. Much of the legislation passed in the during the 2011 Kansas Legislative session was ALEC inspired, including cuts to public education, the "administrative reforms" Governor Brownback has imposed on the state, and Kris Kobach's Voter ID bill.

Additional Links/Resources:

ALEC Exposed, website - a project of the Center for Media and Democracy.

Publicopoly Exposed: How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government, Beau Hodai, In These Times, August 2011.

Corporate Con Game: How the private prison industry helped shape Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, Beau Hodai, In These Times, June 19, 2010.

ALEC Exposed, John Nicholas, The Nation, July 12, 2011. 

ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection, Lisa Graves, The Nation, July 12, 2011.

ALEC Bills in Wisconsin, Mary Bottari, PR Watch, July 14, 2011.

The Latest Threat to Health Care, Andres Grimes, MS Magazine Blog, July 15, 2011.

ALEC Exposed: State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition, Democracy Now!, July 15, 2011.

Billy Bragg website.

ACTION ALERT: Stop ALEC's end run around the law

From Common Cause:
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a secretive front group of hundreds of corporations that are investing millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation at the expense of the middle class.

ALEC has drafted more than 800 model bills for state legislators, including efforts to privatize everything from schools to prisons, to weaken workers' rights, and to make it more difficult for citizens to vote. They even wrote a resolution in support of the horrendous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for corporate money in our elections.

Worse, they are lobbying in state capitals across the country, all while claiming to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they are a charitable organization. That means that their corporate backers can take a tax deduction by giving money to ALEC to – guess what? – push for more tax breaks and less regulation for their companies!

Under the law, charities are allowed to lobby, up to certain limits, and they must disclose what they spend on that lobbying work. ALEC's annual filings state that they have engaged in zero lobbying activity.

Tell the IRS to launch an immediate investigation into whether ALEC is committing tax fraud.