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

19 February 2009

Clippings for 19 February 2009

Recommended audio: Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers interviews former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), MIT Sloan School of Management professor and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Bill Moyers states: "The battle is joined as they say - and here's the headline that framed it: 'High Noon: Geithner v. The American Oligarchs.' The headline is in one of the most informative new sites in the blogosphere called: baselinescenario.com. Here's the quote that grabbed me: 'There comes a time in every economic crisis, or more specifically, in every struggle to recover from a crisis, when someone steps up to the podium to promise the policies that - they say - will deliver you back to growth. The person has political support, a strong track record, and every incentive to enter the history books. But one nagging question remains. Can this person, your new economic strategist, really break with the vested elites that got you into this much trouble?'"

Part 1:

Part 2:

Good Money After Bad
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "The Republican-engineered controversy around the stimulus is a phony. The stimulus package that President Obama signed into law Tuesday is a modest effort, actually too modest, at arresting the free fall of the American economy. It's just not that expensive in light of the dimensions of the economic crisis, most of it is quite conservatively aimed at tax cuts for a suffering public and bailouts for beleaguered state programs, and it pales in comparison with the trillions wasted on the bloated military budget during the Bush years."

Reviewing Recovery.gov: How the Stimulus Site Delivers – and Doesn’t
Michael Garbell reports for ProPublica: "For a federal government that can sometimes take eight months to simply acknowledge an open records request [1], a Web site that lists every project funded by the economic stimulus plan [2] sounds like a bold adventure in transparency. The Web site, Recovery.gov [3], went live yesterday and there are a few features worth noting. At the bottom of the homepage is a timeline [4] of what happens next. For example, tomorrow, federal agencies will begin reporting formula grants to states and other agencies. On March 3, the public should get its first peek at some of the projects that will be funded."

Recommended audio: GritRadio for 16 February
As the nation struggles to save and create jobs what can workers and policy makers do to make sure workers aren't robbed. Then, one place jobs are probably safe is in the so called defense industry. Pratap Chatterjee of Corpwatch, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, and former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter on the American Business of war. Also a commentary from the father of Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by a Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. President Obama visits a Caterpillar plant to stir up support for his stimulus package, Craig Corrie sent him a message.

Burning Questions: What Does Economic "Recovery" Mean on an Extreme Weather Planet?
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch: "As anyone who has turned on the prime-time TV news these last weeks knows, southeastern Australia has been burning up. It's already dry climate has been growing ever hotter. In fact, everything's been burning there. Huge sheets of flame, possibly aided and abetted by arsonists, tore through whole towns. More than 180 people are dead and thousands homeless."

Can Green Jobs Be Good Jobs?
Jeremy Brecher writes for The Nation: "At the first Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference, held in Pittsburgh a year ago, advocates of green energy bemoaned their inability to get a modest renewable-energy tax credit through Congress over the opposition of the Bush administration. The idea of addressing the economic, energy and environmental crises through green jobs seemed a distant vision. So did the idea that a labor-environment coalition around green jobs could reach beyond the fringes of the two movements. But this year, things were different. Meeting in Washington, DC, February 4-6, speakers were reporting in from their BlackBerries on congressional negotiations of the yet-to-be-approved stimulus package estimated by the Center for American Progress to include $80 billion for green jobs."

Republicans Gamble With America's Future
Our friends at KansasJackass write: "So, I let my brother borrow $10 a couple of weeks back, it turns out I’m now America’s third biggest lender. That's nothin' though, I went to the ATM with a friend on our way to brunch and she got an 'insufficient funds' notice - we were confused if it was her or the bank.... Your recession's so big even the illegal immigrants are sayin 'I'm going to Mexico to make some money...'"

Another Conservative Crusade Against a Phantom Enemy
Alex Koppelman writes for Salon.com: "On Wednesday, a spokesman for President Obama broke the news to the right as gently as possible: The president doesn't want to see the Fairness Doctrine reinstated. This revelation might have come as a shock to some conservatives, who've been told over and over recently that liberals were planning to shut down people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity by bringing back the old FCC rule, which mandated equal time for opposing viewpoints on the public airwaves."

The Stimulus and the Auto Bailout: The Perils of Confusing American Companies With American Jobs
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich Blog: "Do not confuse American companies with American jobs. The new stimulus bill, for example, requires that the money be used for production in the United States. Foreign governments, along with large US multinationals concerned about possible foreign retaliation, charge this favors American-based companies. That's not quite true. Foreign companies are eligible to receive stimulus money for things they make here."

Obama Slows Down Troop Boost Decision
David S. Cloud writes for The Politico: "President Barack Obama is refusing to be rushed into his first decision to send troops into combat, an early sign he may be more independent-minded than U.S. military leaders expected. The new president's methodical decision-making offers an early insight into how the new commander in chief will approach the war in Afghanistan and has surprised some Pentagon officials, who had predicted repeatedly in the past two weeks that Obama would decide within days on additional forces, only to find the White House taking more time."

Army Suicides in January Outnumber Combat Deaths
Bruce Levine reports for AlterNet.org: "The U.S. Army recently reported that for the month of January in 2009, the number of soldiers who committed suicide surpassed the number of soldiers who were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. While there were 16 U.S. combat deaths, the Army believes that there were 24 suicides (the Army has confirmed seven suicides, and it believes that investigators will confirm an additional 17 other deaths as suicides). The number of suicides in January 2009 is more than five times as many as the total in January 2008."

Former Guantanamo Guard Tells All

Scott Horton reports for Harper's Magazine: "Army Private Brandon Neely served as a prison guard at Guantanamo in the first years the facility was in operation. With the Bush Administration, and thus the threat of retaliation against him, now gone, Neely decided to step forward and tell his story. 'The stuff I did and the stuff I saw was just wrong,' he told the Associated Press. Neely describes the arrival of detainees in full sensory-deprivation garb, he details their sexual abuse by medical personnel, torture by other medical personnel, brutal beatings out of frustration, fear, and retribution, the first hunger strike and its causes, torturous shackling, positional torture, interference with religious practices and beliefs, verbal abuse, restriction of recreation, the behavior of mentally ill detainees, an isolation regime that was put in place for child-detainees, and his conversations with prisoners David Hicks and Rhuhel Ahmed."

Inside USA's Biological Warfare Center; Q. A. With Citizen Activist Barry Kissin
Sherwood Ross writes for Australia.TO : "One legacy of the Bush-Cheney administration is the grandiose expansion of our germ warfare research program. This was declared to be necessary because of the September-October 2001 anthrax letters’ attacks on Congress and the media---attacks the public is now being told came not from the Middle East but from within our own government’s facilities. As a result, developmental work is going forward with deadly and loathsome pathogens capable of triggering plagues and epidemics."

Government -Funded Study Calls for an Overhaul of the Nation's Crime Labs
Ben Protess reports for ProPublica: "Forensic science has helped send thousands of suspected murderers, rapists and other alleged criminals to prison. But according to a much-anticipated report (PDF) released today by the nation's leading scientific research group, this evidence can't always be trusted. Calling the forensic science system "badly fragmented," the report's authors said their findings could trigger a massive overhaul of the nation's crime labs."

Jailing Kids for Cash
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States."

Locked Out and Locked Up
Henry A. Giroux writes for Truthout: "Already imperiled before the recent economic meltdown, the quality of life for many young people appears even more fragile in the United States in this time of political, economic and social crisis. A great deal has been written critically about both the conditions that enabled the free market to operate without accountability in the interests of the rich and how it has produced a theater of cruelty that has created enormous suffering for millions of hard-working, decent human beings."

Getting Well
William Rivers Pitt comments for Truthout, discusses the importance of stem cell research and its impact on individuals struggling with degenerative diseases. Individuals affected by such conditions, along with the scientific community, eagerly await an executive order expected from President Barack Obama, which will repeal the ban on embryonic stem cell research.

Post-Palin Feminism

Abby Scher write for PublicEye.org: "From the podium at the Christian Right’s Values Voter Summit in mid-September, National Review Institute’s Kate O’Beirne, 59, pronounced that the 'selection of Sarah Palin [as the GOP vice presidential nominee] sounded the death knell of modern American feminism.' 'She’s a prick to the liberal establishment, to the feminists, and to the men who fear them,' she jeered to the audience of Christian Right activists. And when Phyllis Schlafly, 84, threw anti-feminist red meat to the cheering crowd, a 60-plus woman in the audience turned to me and said proudly she had been with Ms. Schlafly since the campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment in the late 1970s."

The Obama Mandate: End Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs
Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check: "Republicans these days are very, very deeply concerned about 'wasteful government spending.' House Minority Leader John Boehner complained about wasteful spending in the stimulus. Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana stated: 'More big government spending ... won't cure what ails the American economy.' House Republican Whip Eric Kantor made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows talking 'waste, waste, waste.' And now, according to The New York Times, the National Republican Congressional Committee is launching ads blasting House Democrats on the stimulus bill, which it ridicules as 'chockfull of wasteful Washington spending.'"

Humor: Sex Ed for Teens from Red State Update (Adult Content)

We Are a Nation of Junkies Hooked on Media-Fabricated Outrage
David Sirota writes for Creators Syndicate: "I'm not sure if it's because we're strung out on "Lost" episodes, or if it's because we're still suffering from a post-9/11 stress disorder that makes us crave "breaking news" alerts, or if it's because the economy has turned us into distraction junkies. But one thing is painfully obvious after Michael Phelps' marijuana "scandal" erupted last week: Our society is addicted to fake outrage -- and to break our dependence, we're going to need far more potent medicine than the herb Phelps was smoking."

The US Media & Democracy in Crisis
Robert Perry writes for Consortium News: "For those of us who have criticized the U.S. mainstream media for failing to resist right-wing pressure over the past three decades, there is a sad sense of vindication watching the downward spiral of so many once-venerable newspapers. But this trend carries with it a new threat to American democracy. The core problem is this: as flawed as the MSM has been – as complicit as the New York Times and the Washington Post were in many of George W. Bush’s war crimes, for instance – journalists for mainstream news outlets provide most of the factual information that the rest of us rely on."

Obama Gives Broadband Stimulus the Green Light
Free Press writes: "President Barack Obama has signed into law the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, unleashing $7.2 billion to expand broadband access and adoption. The law attaches open Internet conditions to broadband funds and directs the Federal Communications Commission to produce a national broadband plan."

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