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

22 January 2009

Clippings for 22 January 2009

The Day the Earth Still Stood: What Will Obama Inherit?
Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch.com, discusses the impact of Tuesday's inauguration and the legacy the Bush administration will leave behind.

Seven Questions for Barak Obama
The Colombia Journalism Review staff write: "As the inaugural crowds pack their bags and head home from Washington, suffused with the sense of having been part of history, the time has come for the media to pack away their superlatives and start treating Barack Obama like a president, not a monument."

And Now, the Hard Part
BillBoyarsky writes for Truthdig.com: "President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech was an inspiring call to national service. But you have to read it closely. The words were challenging: 'What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility—a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.'"

Let There Be Light
The editors of the Columbia Journalism Review write: "Over many years, Americans have come to embrace the idea that democracy suffers when the work of government is excessively secret—the people are shut out, corruption and cynicism thrive, and accountability wanes. Yet President Bush and Vice President Cheney have run an administration in which the executive’s lust for power outstripped the public’s right to know. One of the most troubling aspects of Bush’s campaign against government transparency was the ease of its advance. Battles were won with brief memos, unilateral executive orders, and signal flags from on high."

Obama Has to Hold Bush Accountable for the Laws He Broke
Elizabeth Holtzman writes for The Nation: "President Obama, on his first day in office, can make a number of changes that will mark a clean break with the Bush presidency. He can, and should, issue an executive order revoking any prior order that permits detainee mistreatment by any government agency. He should begin the process of closing Guantanamo, and he should submit to Congress a bill to end the use of military commissions, at least as presently constituted. Over the coming months he can pursue other reforms to restore respect for the Constitution, such as revising the Patriot Act, abolishing secret prisons and 'extraordinary rendition,' and ending practices, like signing statements, that seek to undo laws. While these steps are all crucial, however, it is not enough merely to cease the abuses of power and apparent criminality that marked the highest levels of George W. Bush's administration. We cannot simply shrug off the constitutional and criminal misbehavior of the administration."

Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Former Community Bridge guest, Chris Hedges, writes for Truthdig.com: "I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza. "

MLK's Dream Also Included Economic Justice
Deepti Hajela reports for The Associated Press: "While the election of Barack Obama is a huge step toward King's dream of a time when people are judged on the content of their character and not their skin color, economic data shows racial disparities are still pervasive when it comes to financial equality."

The Bailout: TARP Failing, Next Step Unclear
Paul Keil reports for ProPublica: "The TARP hasn't saved [1] the nation's major banks, and the Obama administration doesn't know what to do [2] to save them. That is the unusually sober takeaway in the morning's major papers, following yesterday's sharp decline for banks in the stock markets. Bank stocks have been sliding all month: "The common stock of the major banks tracked by the Dow Jones Wilshire U.S. Banks Index has fallen roughly $287 billion in value since Jan. 2, a 43% decline in just over two weeks," reports the Wall Street Journal [3]."

TARP II: Money for Banks, Not Homeowners
Dean Baker, Truthout: "TARP II, the second helping of $350 billion that is supposed to restore the health of our financial system, will soon be dished out by the Obama administration. Ostensibly, much of this money will go to help homeowners stay in their homes. But, as is the case with many Washington policies, this money is also going to end up in the bankers' pockets."

Fiddling While the Coal Burns
Bill McKibben writes for Grist: "Given the sheer number of candidates for 'worst legacy of the Bush years,' it may seem perverse to pick the hundreds of coal-fired power plants that have opened across China during his administration. But given their cumulative effect - quite possibly the concrete block that broke the climate-camel's already straining back - I think they may be what history someday seizes on. And they are emblematic of George W. Bush's utter failure to help the world rein in carbon emissions at what may have been the last possible moment."\

Gas Drilling Update: An Industry Set Back in Utah
Abrahm Lustgarten writes for ProPublica: "A U.S. District Court judge put the brakes on a 110,000-acre last-minute sale of federal lands for natural gas drilling in Utah last week, adding another voice to a chorus of concerns over the environmental prudence of the Bush administration's energy policy. The judge, Ricardo M. Urbina, found that the Bureau of Land Management's management plans and environmental analysis for the lands that border Arches National Park and other significant scenic areas failed to adequately study air pollution and other impacts. His decision to stay the highly contested sale, which took place Dec. 19, will allow the court time to fully evaluate a lawsuit brought by environmental organizations challenging the sale."

Learn the Myths of Roe vs. Wade
Gary Bauer of Politico.com writes: "Few Supreme Court decisions have had as much of an impact on American life as has Roe v. Wade, which subsequent courts have interpreted as having discovered a constitutional right to abortion for virtually any reason and at any time during pregnancy. Since Roe, abortion has taken the lives of at least 50 million Americans (equal to the combined populations of 25 states). The demographic repercussions of Roe continue to shape voting patterns and are a driving force behind America’s fast-approaching entitlements crisis."

End Torture, End Domestic Violence
Rhonda Copelon writes for On the Issues Magazine: "When one compares what is done to a woman in an advanced domestic battering cycle and to prisoners subjected to torture, the situations are frighteningly similar. But only recently have they begun to be equated legally and culturally."

Getting over the Rev. Rick
David Kirp writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: "There has been much gnashing of teeth, and not only in the gay community, over the selection of the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the premier prayer at tomorrow's Inauguration. Understandably so -after all, the televangelist had famously likened same-sex marriage to incest, polygamy, and 'an older guy marrying a child.'" It would be a mistake, though, to read the choice as signaling that the Obama administration will leave gays out in the cold. The decision to ask Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop and the center of a religious firestorm, to deliver the invocation at the opening ceremony is smart politics. What's more important, the fact that Barack Obama sought out Robinson during the campaign - asking him "what it's like to be first"; discussing Obama's commitment to gay civil rights as well as to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for reducing poverty and disease - speaks volumes about the breadth of the president-elect's worldview.

Lynn Jenkins, CPA Blunder: Legislators Want Multimillion Dollar Mistake Fixed

From our friends at KansasJackass: "One of the several reasons no one, save Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins herself, thought she would beat former Congresswoman Nancy Boyda in November was that, while treasurer, Jenkins overlooked a massive accounting error- effected by her predecessor in the treasurer's office- that resulted in her office misallocating tens of millions of Kansas tax dollars."

Network VP Dismisses Military Pundit Scandal
Ali Flick writes for Think Progress: "Yesterday, the Department of Defense Inspector General released its report on the military analyst program first revealed by the New York Times last April. The report said there was 'insufficient evidence to conclude that OASD(PA) conceived of or undertook the type of disciplined public relations effort' alleged by the program’s critics. The report concluded that the program 'was not a secret or covert effort,' and thus not propaganda, which it defined as activities that 'are covert, that is, the communications do not reveal to the target audience the government’s role in sponsoring the material.'”

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