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

07 December 2008

Clippings for 7 December

Click on titles to read complete articles.

Neoliberalism and Bottom-Line Morality: Notes on Greenspan, Rubin, and the Party of Davos
Edward S. Herman writes for Z Magazine: "From the Reagan era onward I have been impressed with how regularly liberal and left-leaning economists I knew, who went to work in industry and finance, very soon became pro-business, anti-labor, and politically right wing. I think that what got to them was not only the impact of association with businesspeople, but the fact that business profitability became central to their own performance. As business economists, wage increases would seem bad—as encroaching on that profitability and threatening inflation and business growth (and stock prices). Tough environmental rules would also hamper profitability; their relaxation by law or friendly (non-)enforcement would enhance it. It was therefore easy to slide into what we may call "bottom-line morality," with positions on key issues dictated by prospective bottom line effects, but of course rationalized with an ideology that made this all benevolent—in the long run—and made these bottom-line moralists into Good Samaritans as they collected their fat salaries and bonuses while the vast majority waited for trickle-down. (On the fraudulence of this ideology, see David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, and Ha-Joon Chang, Bad Samaritans.)"

The Neoconservatives in the Obama Era
Robert Dreyfuss, TomDispatch: "What, exactly, does Barack Obama's mild-mannered choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, former Senator Tom Daschle, have to do with neocons who want to bomb Iran? A familiar coalition of hawks, hardliners, and neoconservatives expects Barack Obama's proposed talks with Iran to fail -- and they're already proposing an escalating set of measures instead. Some are meant to occur alongside any future talks. These include steps to enhance coordination with Israel, tougher sanctions against Iran, and a region-wide military buildup of U.S. strike forces, including the prepositioning of military supplies within striking distance of that country."

Obama Should Break With Past on Latin America
Mark Weisbrot writes for the Center for Economic and Policy Research: "President-elect Obama's historic triumph was welcomed in Latin America by left-of-center governments who saw it as a continuation of their own electoral victories. Obama has an opportunity to forge a new relationship with the region after his predecessor drove US-Latin American relations into a ditch. But it will require a major change in Washington's attitude toward our southern neighbors."

HUMAN RIGHTS - Obama: Ratify the Women's Convention Soon
Marjorie Cohn comments for Truthout: "Nearly 30 years after President Jimmy Carter signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the United States remains the only democracy that refuses to ratify the most significant treaty guaranteeing gender equality. One hundred eighty-five countries, including over 90 percent of members of the United Nations, have ratified CEDAW."

Obama's Change Message and the Gay Movement
GayPolitics.com reports on the 24th International Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference: President-elect Barack Obama's mission of change is likely to lead during his term to the passage of the long-sought Employment Non-discrimination Act and the end of the military gay ban, but is less likely to lead to a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, according to panelists at the opening session of the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute's 24th international conference. "Because of this election and because of the message that the voters seemed to be sending, I think we are in a period where we are going to see exactly what change means," said John Mercurio, executive editor of The Hotline.

No Attacks Since When?
Bob Cesca writes for the Huffington Post: " In her column for the Wall Street Journal, the insufferably pompous Charles Emerson Winchester of the D.C. punditocracy, Peggy Noonan contributed to a massive hoax which I've nicknamed the 'No Attacks' Mythology.' This is an argument that's been around for a while but is newly re-emerging as the final argument for Mr. Bush: the one big thing he had to do after 9/11, the single thing he absolutely had to do, was keep it from happening again. And so far he has."

Iraqi Detention Gulag Awaits Obama
Nick Mottern and Bill Rau write for Truthout: "When Barack Obama becomes president, he will inherit a human rights debacle in Iraq, now entering a phase in which the US appears ready to bulldoze thousands of its Iraqi prisoners over a legal cliff into Iraqi government prisons where they face the possibility of torture and execution. The darkening future for the detainees comes with the approval on November 27, 2008, of the US-drafted Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by the Iraqi Parliament."

What Next for Guantanamo Bay?
Philippe Sands writes for The Guardian UK: "President Bush leaves the Obama administration with some difficult decisions: looking back, how to address a legacy of abuse, illegality and global disrepute? Looking forward, what to do with present and future detainees? Obama needs to say five things on day one, to America and to his global audience."

Who Are the Taliban?
Anand Gopal reports for TomDispatch.com: "If there is an exact location marking the West's failures in Afghanistan, it is the modest police checkpoint that sits on the main highway 20 minutes south of Kabul. The post signals the edge of the capital, a city of spectacular tension, blast walls, and standstill traffic. Beyond this point, Kabul's gritty, low-slung buildings and narrow streets give way to a vast plain of serene farmland hemmed in by sandy mountains. In this valley in Logar province, the American-backed government of Afghanistan no longer exists."

Muslim Revolution
Former Community Bridge guest Paul Craig Roberts writes for CounterPunch.com: "The attack on Mumbai required radicalized Muslims. Radicalized Muslims resulted from the US overthrowing the elected government in Iran and imposed the Shah; from the US stationing troops in Saudi Arabia; from the US invading and attempting to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, bombing weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games; from the US violating international and US law by torturing its Muslim victims; from the US enlisting Pakistan in its war against the Taliban; from the US violating Pakistan’s sovereignty by conducting military operations on Pakistani territory, killing Pakistani civilians; from the US government supporting a half century of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands, towns and villages; from the assault of American culture on Muslim values; from the US purchasing the government of Egypt to act as its puppet; from US arrogance that America is the supreme arbiter of morality."

The Colombia FTA: A Less Attractive Face for Trade?
Jennifer Acosta writes for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into being in December 1994, has been one of the more important free trade agreements of its time. The NAFTA pact was signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States in hopes of strengthening the prevailing commercial climate and promoting trade among the three member countries. NAFTA has been the model for other trade agreements, including the pending Colombian Free Trade Agreement. Both NAFTA and the Colombian FTA have been controversial in terms of market access, creation of jobs as well as the labor and environmental regulations applicable to them."

Broadband New Deal Needed to Rekindle Innovation
Diane Mermigas writes for Seeking Alpha: "There will be nothing easy or certain about Obama administration policies to advance and monetize broadband as an essential infrastructure, even as Silicon Valley's most formidable players are curtailing innovation in what economists are calling 'The Great Recession.'"

An Action Plan for America: Using Technology and Innovation to Address Our Nation's Critical Challenges
Jonathan Rintels writes for the Benton Foundation: "To provide the benefits of broadband to all Americans, the new administration must launch a well-planned, concerted national effort -- paralleling that which deployed telephone service, electricity and interstate highways across the nation -- to deploy robust and affordable broadband to every corner of our nation."

A Bridge Loan to the 21st Century
Daniel J. Weiss comments for The Center for American Progress: "To avoid the deadly consequences of bankruptcy, Congress should create a federal bridge loan program that would provide up to $38 billion in loans if the companies agree to avoid excessive executive compensation, fulfill their recently renegotiated health and pension obligations to their hourly workers and retirees, continue to implement plans to build super-efficient cars, and cease efforts to block or weaken fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. This would stabilize the Big Three, reduce oil use, and prevent an economic catastrophe that could last for years."

Naomi Klein: Outside Agitator
Larissa MacFarquhar of The New Yorker writes: Naomi Klein "followed the Dow as it pitched downward, thinking how ridiculous it was for Paulson to believe that he could control it. 'This is politicians acting like traders,' she said, staring at the television. 'A government shouldn't play the market - it should govern.'"

The Media Myth: Detroit's $70-an-Hour Autoworker

Eric Boehlert writes for Media Matters: "It's been one week since New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote that at General Motors, 'the average worker was paid about $70 an hour, including health care and pension costs.'"

A Sexual Agenda: Nine Proposals to End the Culture Wars

David Rosen writes for CounterPunch.com: "For the last three decades the religious right fought a take-no-prisoners war over popular morality. Taking power with Bush’s victory in 2000, Christian conservatives were finally in the position to impose their beliefs as public policy. And they did so with a vengeance. At the local, state and federal levels, religious zealots, working through the Republican party, took control of the apparatus of the State and aggressively implemented a diverse set of programs to further their goal of creating a morally upstanding, Christian society. Family life, sexual relations, education, scientific knowledge and popular entertainment became battlegrounds of the culture wars."

Broader Medical Refusal Rule May Go Far Beyond Abortion
David Savage reports for the Los Angeles Times: "The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new 'right of conscience' rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control."

A Call for Universal Voter Registration
The Progressive States Network writes: "The elections of 2008 served as a critical test of the nation's election systems. With changes in voting machines and procedures, coupled with expectations of record voter turnout, election administrators held their breath and hoped their system wouldn't fail. While the system didn't fail, voters faced serious obstacles in exercising their right to vote. Voter registration ended up being the problem that affected the largest number of voters. Even before the first votes were cast, it was apparent that our voter registration systems were woefully inadequate."

The Voting Rights Act: Still Needed in Obama's America
Laughlin McDonald writes for the Jurist: "When Congress amended and extended the Voting Rights Act in 2006, it found, among other things, that evidence of racially polarized voting justified continuing its special federal oversight provision. Now, some opponents of this provision - known as Section 5 - have argued that Barack Obama's election as president in 2008 shows that voting is no longer divided along racial lines, and that it is not necessary to require certain states with egregious histories of racial discrimination to get federal approval of changes in their voting practices. But the record proves these critics are wrong."

Recommended Audio: Shock Jocks: Peter B. Collins Interviews Rory O'Connor

Peter B. Collins is now on air on the EAST COAST for the first time - in Boston on WWZN 1510 AM, live 6-9pm EST Mon-Fri. He is one of our favorite and most talented progressive talk show hosts. We’re pleased to see him expanding into the East as part of an effort to level the distribution playing field in news-and-opinion talk radio, which still - as per Shock Jocks - is still more than 90% conservative! In this segment Rory O'Connor discusses his recent book.

Net Neutrality Fans Press for Gains under Obama
Kenneth Corbin writes for InternetNews.com: "The Open Internet Coalition, an umbrella group representing trade associations, nonprofits and technology companies, is calling on President-elect Obama's transition team to take several steps to ensure that the principles of unfettered Internet access permeate all levels of the federal government."

Media and Technology Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda
Free Press released 2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda. The agenda builds upon the proposals detailed in President-elect Barack Obama's technology innovation agenda by offering concrete recommendations for legislative and regulatory action.

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