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

24 July 2008

The Minimum Wage: A Disgrace and a Scandal
Jonathan Tasini writes on Working Life: "There will be a lot of chatter about today's hike in the minimum wage. We should be happy for the people who will get another seventy cents an hour in their gross pay. But, we should keep in mind that, at the grand new sum of $6.55 an hour, the minimum wage is a disgrace and a sad commentary about the state of our social safety net, the economy and our political system. If you do the math, it's pretty stark. If you worked 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, you would earn $13,624. Not a single day off. No sick days. No health care. No pension."
The the complete blog entry, click here.

Witnesses: Bush Labor Department Wage & Hour Enforcement Drops, Workers Cheated
Mark Gruenberg for Press Associates, Inc.: "Enforcement of wage-and-hour laws, to ensure workers get at least the minimum wage and the overtime pay they deserve, has dropped drastically under the GOP Bush government, impartial investigators and a low-income workers' advocate told Congress. As a result, low-wage workers are routinely cheated."
For the complete story, click here.

Close Wage Gap That Hurts Women
Representative Louise Slaughter, in a Rochester Democrat and Chronicle column: "As we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the 1848 Women's Rights Convention, we must remember that we are still struggling to achieve equality. Among the most distressing disparities between men and women is the significant pay gap for the same work."
For the complete commentary, click here.

New Reports Show Impact of School Funding; Student Achievement
The Kansas Association of School Boards is releasing new information about the impact of additional school funding provided in response to the Montoy school finance lawsuit. School boards and administrators should find these reports helpful as they prepare to adopt budgets for the upcoming school year, and explain finance and achievement issues to their public.
It is also important to remember this additional funding for school districts was only narrowly approved by the Legislature. Many legislators who supported the increases are facing election challengers. School leaders can use this information to help candidates and voters understand the positive impact increased funding has had on schools, student achievement and local economies.
KASB is providing the following documents, in PDF format, on the KASB Web site (click here), or click on each document title to be taken to that document. For additional information on these reports, contact the KASB Advocacy or Research Departments.
This report uses a recently released study by the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit plus additional research by KASB to focus on three issues: how school districts spent the additional funding provided by the Legislature, how Kansas students have performed on state and national measures of educational programs, both before and after the additional funding, and why student achievement matters to Kansas.
This report lists each school district by county within each of KASB's 10 regions, and provides the following information from the Kansas State Department of Education about changes between 2004-05 and 2006-07:
(1) change in full-time equivalent enrollment;
(2) percentage change in FTE enrollment;
(3) change in general fund and local option fund expenditures;
(4) increase in per pupil spending;
(5) percentage increase in per pupil spending;
(6) change in number of all employees;
(7) percent change in number of all employees;
(8) change in average teacher salary; and
(9) percent change in average teacher salary (if available).
This information allows comparisons of individual district funding, enrollment, employees and teacher salaries with other districts in the county and region, as well as with statewide changes.
This report shows the economic impact of school districts in Kansas counties, grouped by KASB region, and provides the following information:
(1) estimated population of each county;
(2) total number of jobs in the county and percent of jobs held by school district employees;
(3) total per capita wages paid in each county; percent of those wages paid by school districts; total per capita income in the county and percentage of income from wages paid by school districts;
(4) average wage paid in the county; average teacher salary; teacher salary as a percent of average wages; and benefits paid by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System for school retirees in that county; and
(5) percentage of the total general fund budget paid by state aid (the remainder is raised by local property tax).
To calculate this information, districts are assigned to the county where the district is headquartered.
This information demonstrates the economic significance of school district spending, especially after most of the increased school funding was used to increase jobs, salaries or both.

US Military Recruits Children
For Truthout, Michael Reagan writes: "In May of 2002, the United States Army invaded E3, the annual video game convention held in Los Angeles. At the city's Convention Center, young game enthusiasts mixed with camouflaged soldiers, Humvees and a small tank parked near the entrance. Thundering helicopter sound effects drew the curious to the Army's interactive display, where a giant video screen flashed the words 'Empower yourself. Defend America ... You will be a soldier.' The Army was unveiling its latest recruitment tool, the 'America's Army' game, free to download online or pick up at a recruiting station, and now available for purchase on the Xbox, PlayStation, cell phones and Gameboy game consoles."
For the complete story, click here.

Better Ballots

Lawrence Norden, David Kimball, Whitney Quesenbery and Margaret Chen of The Brennan Center: "The notorious butterfly ballot that Palm Beach County, Florida, election officials used in the 2000 election is probably the most infamous of all election design snafus. It was one of many political, legal, and election administration missteps that plunged a presidential election into turmoil and set off a series of events that led to, among other things, a vast overhaul of the country's election administration, including the greatest change in voting technology in United States history."
For the complete report, click here.

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