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

01 January 2009

Clippings for 1 January 2009

Click on titles to read complete articles.

The Ten AlertNet Stories from 2008 that Outraged Readers the Most
Alert Net provides a review of their top ten -- the articles that were linked to by conservative sites, ranted about on conspiracy blogs, and inspired people to send some downright nasty notes to AlterNet. They cover topics ranging from the facts about Sarah Palin, to the truth behind America's Marijuana laws, to the backwards thinking behind various conspiracy theories.

The 21st Century is Finally Here, a Bit Behind Schedule
E. J. Dionne writes for Truthdig.com: "Social and political epochs rarely end precisely on schedules provided by calendars. Many historians date the end of Europe’s 19th century to 1914 and the outbreak of World War I. What we call “The Sixties” in the United States, with its ethos of reform and protest, ended with Richard Nixon’s landslide re-election in 1972 and the winding down of the Vietnam War. In the same way, the outcome of this year’s election means that 2009 will, finally, mark the beginning of the 21st century."

Farewell to All That: An Oral History of the Bush White House
Cullen Murphy and Todd S. Purdum write in Vanity Fair: "The threat of 9/11 ignored. The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated. Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Hurricane Katrina. The shredding of civil liberties. The rise of Iran. Global warming. Economic disaster. How did one two-term presidency go so wrong? A sweeping draft of history - distilled from scores of interviews - offers fresh insight into the roles of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other key players."

Two Dangerous Bush-Cheney Myths
Robert Parry writes for Consortium News: "As George W. Bush and Dick Cheney make their case for some positive legacy from the past eight years, two arguments are playing key roles: the notion that torturing terror suspects saved American lives and the belief that Bush's Iraq troop 'surge' transformed a disaster into something close to 'victory.' Not only will these twin arguments be important in defining the public's future impression of where Bush should rank on the presidential list, but they could constrain how far President Barack Obama can go in reversing these policies. In other words, the perception of the past can affect the future."

A Hundred Eyes for an Eye
Norman Solomon writes for Truthout: "Even if you set aside the magnitude of Israel's violations of the Geneva conventions and the long terrible history of its methodical collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, consider the vastly disproportionate carnage in the conflict. 'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,' Gandhi said. What about a hundred eyes for an eye?"

Seven Deadly Deficits
Joseph Stiglitz writes for Mother Jones magazine: "When president George W. Bush assumed office, most of those disgruntled about the stolen election contented themselves with this thought: Given our system of checks and balances, given the gridlock in Washington, how much damage could be done? Now we know: far more than the worst pessimists could have imagined. From the war in Iraq to the collapse of the credit markets, the financial losses are difficult to fathom. And behind those losses lie even greater missed opportunities."

Was the "Credit Crunch" a Myth Used to Sell a Trillion-Dollar Scam?
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "There is something approaching a consensus that the Paulson Plan -- also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP -- was a boondoggle of an intervention that's flailed from one approach to the next, with little oversight and less effect on the financial meltdown."

Recommended Audio: RadioNation with Laura Flanders, 12/08/08
This week Radio Nation asks: can the people who broke the banking system fix it? Flanders discusses the question with the Nation's national affairs correspondent William Greider. In the second half of the show, she asks: can we save Motor City while at the same time greening motors?

Education After Neoliberalism
Henry A. Giroux and Susan Searls Giroux write for Truthout: "As the financial meltdown reaches historic proportions, free-market fundamentalism, or neoliberalism as it is called in some quarters, is losing both its claim to legitimacy and its claims on democracy."

College Loan Slavery: Student Debt is Getting Way Out of Hand
Nan Mooney writes for AlterNet: "Raya Golden thought she was handling college in a responsible way. She didn't apply until she felt ready to dedicate herself to her studies. She spread her schooling across five years so she could work part-time throughout. She checked that her school, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, had a high post-graduate employment rate. But there were two things she hadn't counted on. The first was the $75,000 in nonsubsidized federal student loans she'd have to take out for tuition and those living expenses her part-time jobs selling hotdogs and making lattes couldn't cover. The second was that she'd graduate into a workforce teetering on the edge of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression."

Average Woman Worker Loses Nearly Half a Million to Pay Discrimination

Press Associates, Inc.: "In Lifetime Losses: The Career Wage Gap, Jessica Arons of the Center for American Progress, a liberal and pro-worker think tank, showed lifetime earnings of average female workers trailed those of their male counterparts by hundreds of thousands of dollars. In one profession, the law, the gap is $1.48 million. And the pay gap understates the lifetime earnings chasm, Arons noted. Quoting Ledbetter, Arons pointed out the lifetime gap not only affects a woman's pay but her pension levels and her Social Security earnings base. All are lower."

The 'Magic Negro' Debacle
Jon Avalon writes for The Daily Beast: "Would-be RNC Chair Chip Saltsman's decision to send out a Christmas CD to GOP committee-members featuring a song calling our President-elect "Barack the Magic Negro" is the just latest sign of Republicans' tone deafness when it comes to race. It's a problem that has led directly to the pathetic lack of diversity on its political bench and underscores the party's long-term challenge of regaining relevance in the Age of Obama."

Advocates for Southern Voting Rights Among Madoff Victims
Chris Kromm writes in the Institute for Southern Studies' Facing South: "Most of the big names mentioned as victims of Bernard Madoff's $50 billion investor swindle are linked to New York and Hollywood. But the impact is being felt across the country, including among nonprofits working in the South that depended on foundations who used Madoff to manage their investments."

Recommended Audio: New America Media's Special on Cuba.
In January 2009 Cuba will commemorate 50 years of the revolution. Sandip looks at different aspects of Cuban life: business, politics and culture. Long before Fidel Castro, the name that symbolized Cuba was Bacardi. The family behind the rum has been part of Cuba's history from when the Spanish ruled the island. NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten looks at that story in his book Bacardi And The Long Fight For Cuba. When Castro seized power Eisenhower was in the White House. Castro is certainly the great survivor. But can Cuba survive Castro? Louis Nevaer has reported extensively from Cuba and the author of NAFTA'S Second Decade: Assessing Opportunities in the Mexican and Canadian Markets. (His stories on Cuba are listed below) As a journalist Dan Fesperman has reported from many war zones. But instead of just reporting the news, he also uses them as a setting for novels. In The Prisoner of Guantanamo, Fesperman goes into the surreal world of the US prison camp in Cuba. Cuban music has proved irresistible to musicians who wanted to explore Latin jazz. For most of Wayne Wallace's life, growing up in San Francisco, Cuba has been off limits to Americans, but this composer, arranger, trombonist, keyboardist and singer still found a way into Cuba and her music.

Independent Appeal: Modern Face of Slavery
Andrew Buncombe reports for The Independent UK: "The treatment of India's domestic workers is a topic the establishment rarely addresses. Relied upon to cook, clean, shop, wash and iron clothes and even nanny children, they become indispensable for many families. Yet while some employers treat them well, many are remarkably cruel. Stories of abuse abound. Last month, a badly beaten 13-year-old girl was rescued from the home of a professional couple in Gurgaon, Delhi's hi-tech satellite city. The couple told police they beat the child to get rid of their stress."

Child Maid Trafficking Spreads From Africa to US
Rukmini Callimachi reports for The Associated Press: "They watched through their window as the child rinsed plates under the open faucet. She wasn't much taller than the counter and the soapy water swallowed her slender arms. To put the dishes away, she climbed on a chair. But she was not the daughter of the couple next door doing chores. She was their maid."

Change Could Allow Doctors to Reject Gay Patients
Chris Johnson writes for the Washington Blade: "The Bush administration issued a “right of conscience” regulation last week that could enable health care workers to deny treatment to gay patients based on religious beliefs, according to activists. Issued Dec. 18, the rule allows the federal government to withhold funds from health care facilities if they do not permit workers to opt out of performing medical procedures they find objectionable based on religious or moral grounds."

The Most Important Number on Earth
Bill McKibben writes for Mother Jones magazine: "Sooner or later, you have to draw a line. We've spent the last 20 years in the opening scenes of what historians will one day call the Global Warming Era—the preamble to the biggest drama that humans have ever staged, the overture that hints at the themes that will follow for centuries to come. But none of the notes have resolved, none of the story lines yet come into clear view. And that's largely because until recently we didn't know quite where we were. From the moment in 1988 when a nasa scientist named James Hansen told Congress that burning coal and gas and oil was warming the earth, we've struggled to absorb this one truth: The central fact of our economic lives (the ubiquitous fossil fuel that developed the developed world) is wrecking the central fact of our physical lives (the stable climate and sea level on which civilization rests)."

Are The USDA's Organic Standards A Sham?
Dr. Marion Nestle writes for Living Liberally: "The Sacramento Bee reported on Sunday [28 December '08] that a supposedly organic fertilizer used by nearly a third of California's organic farmers was in fact spiked with the synthetic fertilizer ammonium sulfate. In 2004, a whistleblower told California's Department of Food and Agriculture that this deception had been going on for five years."

California Sues Federal Government Over Changes in Endangered Species Act

Julie Cart reports in The Los Angeles Times: "California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown filed suit against the federal government Tuesday, charging that a recent rule change by the Bush administration illegally gutted provisions of the Endangered Species Act, essentially quashing the role of science in decisions made by federal agencies. Ken Alex, senior assistant attorney general, said the state took the action because it has both the legal right and the moral responsibility to protect California's environment and resources."

Press Freedom Roundup 2008

Reporters Without Borders reports on freedom of the press in 2008 that show figures are better despite a hostile climate toward freedomof the press and more Internet repression.

Reinventing Journalism
Steven T. Jones and Tim Redmond write for the San Francisco Bay Guardian: "Journalism, the critics say, is dying. The model of news reporting that has dominated the United States for most of the past century — big, well-funded outfits paying reporters and editors to choose and produce what the public reads or views — is crumbling. The main culprits are media consolidation and corporate cutbacks, but the downward spiral is also being fed by declining readership, competition from the Internet, investor expectations, demographic shifts, self-inflicted wounds, and myriad other factors."

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