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

13 February 2009

Clippings for 12 February 2009

Where's the Top Gun?
Marie Cocco writes for Truthdig.com: "The split-screen image of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s speech on a new-and-we-all-hope-improved financial industry bailout plan was of a banker trying to do a politician’s job while the markets he was trying to calm jumped off the cliff. Things got worse when Geithner went before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to explain himself. How much worse?"

Tiny Tim Sings Off Key
Willian Geirder writes for The Nation: "The look and tone of the Treasury Secretary reminds me of the third grade. The smartest kid in the class, the one teachers loved, was the boy who always raised his hand and waved it impatiently while some other student fumbled for an answer. If the teacher stepped out of the room for a moment, bedlam usually followed and this kid would try to restore order. 'Be quiet or I will tell.' Kids threw things and tormented him until the teacher returned. "

The Stimulus Deal: The Latest Tally
Michael Garbell writes for ProPublica: "Well, we wanted to tell you what’s in the final, $789 billion stimulus package, but guess what? The bill still hadn't been released as of late Thursday. So the best we can do is this partial account, which is based on summaries (PDF) released (PDF) so far. In our chart, where an item is blank, it means we don't yet have the figure. For those of you following education spending, note that while school construction has been cut out, about $41 billion of the amount for state fiscal relief is for schools. States will have the option to use that money for school repairs."

Humor: Red State Update - We're all mad at the Wall Street bigwigs


Cut the Military Budget - I
Christopher Hayes writes for The Nation: "The cardinal rule of bargaining is that the first number you propose should never be the number you actually think you can get, and nobody knows this better than the Defense Department. In September the Army Times reported that the Pentagon was preparing to box the new president in to a major increase in military spending by drawing up a budget before the election had been decided. The number it eventually leaked was $584 billion, a whopping increase of $68.6 billion over last year. It was kind of like telling the new boss that your old boss had already agreed to give you a $100,000 raise. In any other context, the sheer hubris would get you fired or laughed out of the room. "

How Economists (and Pundits and Politicians) Helped Steer American Off a Cliff
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "As the economy crashes around us, Dean Baker's star has been on the rise, and for good reason. While most of his colleagues were following the herd, swept up in the irrational exuberance of an economy fueled by the growth of a massive housing bubble, Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, was one of the few voices warning of the housing market's impending crash."

Cut the Military Budget -- II
Rep. Barney Frank writes in The Nation: "I am a great believer in freedom of expression and am proud of those times when I have been one of a few members of Congress to oppose censorship. I still hold close to an absolutist position, but I have been tempted recently to make an exception, not by banning speech but by requiring it. I would be very happy if there was some way to make it a misdemeanor for people to talk about reducing the budget deficit without including a recommendation that we substantially cut military spending. "

Taliban Stealing War From US
Shahan Mufti writes for the GlobalPost: "Throughout the ages, this ancient Silk Road town near the border of Afghanistan has been the place where the black market thrives and the military spoils of empires are hawked openly. Here in the storefronts you can still buy antique field rifles left over from the British presence of the 19th century and find uniforms and revolvers from the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Now the shops in this industrial rim of Peshawar are filling with military equipment and computers looted from the most recent empire to bog down in this hostile and impenetrable terrain: the United States of America."

Obama's Canada Trip May Spell Change for NAFTA
Rick Arnold writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "Canadians are looking forward to Barack Obama's February 19 visit to Ottawa - the president's first trip to a foreign country since he took office. Many of us here dare to hope Obama's 'change' agenda will inspire some fresh thinking among our own politicians. Ironically, Canadians concerned about our country's economic future (along with the well-being of our social programs) may now find a more sympathetic ear in Washington than in Ottawa - particularly when it comes to the subject of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)."

Petraeus Leaked Misleading Story on Pullout Plans
Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service: "The political maneuvering between President Barack Obama and his top field commanders over withdrawal from Iraq has taken a sudden new turn with the leak by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus - and a firm denial by a White House official - of an account of the Jan. 21 White House meeting suggesting that Obama had requested three different combat troop withdrawal plans with their respective associated risks, including one of 23 months."

The Real Economics of Immigration Reform
Cristina Jimenez writes for The American Prospect: "Shortly after the November election, a few congressional offices privately acknowledged that it would be smart for the Obama administration to try to include pro-immigration provisions in the upcoming stimulus package. Some policy staffers were reading studies and hearing testimonies about how hardworking immigrants drive productivity and job creation across many different sectors of the economy. But as the stimulus bill gets finalized in conference this week and heads to Obama's desk for a signature, immigration will be debated only in the narrow terms of E-verify, the Bush-mandated system that all businesses benefiting from the stimulus may be required to use to verify the immigration status of their employees."

The GOP's Jihad on Obama
Robert Parry writes for Consortium News: "The Republicans and their right-wing media allies are doing whatever they can to strangle the Obama phenomenon in its cradle; the mainstream media pundits are stressing the negative so they don't get called 'in the tank for Obama'; and the Democrats are shying away from holding the Bush-Cheney administration accountable for its crimes. None of these developments is particularly surprising. Indeed, they track closely to the political-media pattern that took shape the last time a young Democrat won the White House, when Bill Clinton became President in 1993."

Big Pharma Gone Wild
Martha Rosenberg writes for AlterNet: "Risperdal (risperidone), an atypical anti-psychotic, may have contributed to the deaths of 31 children since its 1993 approval, according to The New York Times - including 11 treated for unapproved uses."

A Dubious Equality for Women
Ellen Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "I suppose this falls under the general heading 'Be Careful What You Wish For.' There are a whole lot of folks who once looked forward to the day when women would become equal participants in the work force with men. They tracked the gradual increase of women. They debated why progress stalled over the past decade. They talked about work-family conflicts and the appeal of 'opting out.'"

What Would Harvey Milk Say about President Clinton's Speech at the Manchester Hotel?

Cleve Jones writes for the Huffington Post: This Sunday, President Clinton is scheduled to give a paid speech at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego to the annual convention of a major political action committee, the International Franchise Association. To give this speech, President Clinton will have to violate a union boycott and labor dispute - the workers at the hotel lack job security and the housekeepers face onerous workloads. He will also offend gay and lesbian Americans, including myself - the owner of the hotel, Doug Manchester, contributed $125,000 in early seed money to the Proposition 8 campaign. President Clinton should move this speech.

Kansas Jackass of the Century: Sen. Dennis Pyle
Our friends at KansasJackass write: "Apparently, Dennis Pyle decided today he was going to lock up the award for most insensitive, bigoted and just down-right ignorant comment of this legislative session. The bill in question, SB 169, would add sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class, protecting Kansans from being discriminated against in job firings, eviction from rental property and other forms of harassment. Note it doesn't add "being gay," just sexual identity. This means that you couldn't be fired for being straight either."

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