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

18 March 2009

Clippings for 19 March 2009

We Are Entering a New Political Era, and We Need an Educated Public to Deal with It.
Doug Keeger writes for AlterNet: "Like China during the Cultural Revolution, the cultural shift in the United States over the last thirty years has created a significant void in the talent required to shift this country into the 21st economy. Clearly, we stand at a crucial point in our history as a nation. We are a house divided by race and economics but, most importantly, divided by those who mistrust the very institutions that were created to protect us."

AIG Bonus Scandal -- Bernanke and Fed Signed Off
Sharona Coutts reports for ProPublica: "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke knew of AIG's retention bonus plans well before the controversy erupted this week, CEO Edward Liddy told a congressional panel (PDF) today. Liddy also said several AIG executives have agreed to forgo their retention bonuses."

A.I.G. Using "Suicide Strategy" to Push Bonuses
Matt Renner writes for Truthout: "As nationwide populist anger boils after the news that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars may be given to employees of the insurance-giant-turned-government-liability American Insurance Group (A.I.G.), President Obama promised to try to block what he described as an 'outrage' Monday, but a group of former regulators said the administration must get even tougher in A.I.G. Economics and law Professor William K. Black, a famous figure in the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s for his role as a senior regulator who fingered the then speaker of the House and 'The Keating Five' for doing favors for bankers, has been a vocal critic of the bailout programs, which began during the Bush administration. In an interview with Truthout, Professor Black said that A.I.G. is using a 'suicide strategy' to hold the government hostage and keep the bailout funds flowing."

The Real AIG Scandal
Eliot Spitzer, Slate Magazine: "Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?"

The False Idol of Unfettered Capitalism
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "When I returned to New York City after nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans, I was unsure of where I was headed. I lacked the emotional and physical resiliency that had allowed me to cope as a war correspondent. I was plagued by memories I wanted to forget, waking suddenly in the middle of the night, my sleep shattered by visions of gunfire and death. I was alienated from those around me, unaccustomed to the common language and images imposed by consumer culture, unable to communicate the pain and suffering I had witnessed, not much interested in building a career."

Former Guerrillas Win Power in El Salvador
Catherine Bremer reports for Reuters in the Independent UK: "El Salvador's former Marxist guerrillas, who fought one of the bitterest conflicts of the Cold War, finally won power through the ballot box after a tight election victory over their right-wing civil war foes. After years as a peaceful opposition party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, cashed in on fatigue over the ruling party's 20 years in office and fears of the world economic crisis to narrowly take yesterday's presidential election."

Recommended Audio: El Salvador's President-Elect Seeks Close Ties with the U.S.
New America Media: "Editor’s note: On the Ides of March, a day known for military might, democractic freedom prevailed on Sunday, as the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) became the first leftist party in the history of El Salvador to clinch the presidential election. By 10 p.m., it became clear to Salvadorans and to the world that the former guerrillas had ended more than 130 years of oligarchy and military rule over this tiny Central American nation of 7 million. In the streets, thousands of red-shirted sympathizers chanted “Si, Se Pudo!” (Yes, We Could), as they celebrated the victory of Mauricio Funes, the man who brought an end to the 20-year rule of the Nationalist Republican Alliance party (ARENA.) Funes captured 51 percent of the vote, defeating ARENA candidate Rodrigo Avila."

The Ongoing Occupation of Iraqi Artists
Dahr Jamail writes for Truthout: "For centuries, artists, writers, and intellectuals have been meeting in Baghdad's teahouses over tulip-shaped glasses of sweet lemon tea, cigarettes, and shisha pipes. A car bomb detonated near one of the oldest teahouses a year-and-a-half ago, causing massive destruction around the area. When it reopened recently, Mohammed Al-Mumain, a 59-year-old biology teacher resumed his visits there. The portly, jovial teacher brought tea for my colleague and I before settling to talk, 'The mind needs art and education. I come here because the lamp needs electricity. The lamp of my mind, like that in all of us, needs to discuss and review life continually. That feeds me. When I come here I feel like a teenager again. All that I need, the old culture along with the new, I find here.'"

Time for Real Workplace Democracy-- not the Phony Company Version
Jim Hightower writes for the Hightower Lowedown: "Last October, Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus blew a gasket, spewing outrage in all directions. 'This is the demise of civilization,' he exploded. 'This is how a civilization disappears. I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it!' Bernie's outburst came during an hour-long conference call with various other corporate executives and their political operatives. The purpose was to collect industry funds for a campaign to kill a piece of legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Yes, the spark that ignited Bernie's fury, the hellish horror that he insisted would produce America's Armageddon, was a simple labor bill, and he was demanding that the corporate powers rally to save civilization as they know it."

Southern Oligarchy and the Labor Unions
Joseph B. Atkins writes in The Progressive Populist: "Cheap labor. Even more than race, it's the thread that connects all of Southern history - from the antebellum South of John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis to Tennessee's Bob Corker, Alabama's Richard Shelby and the other anti-union Southerners in today's US Senate. It's at the epicenter of a sad class divide between a desperate, poorly educated workforce and a demagogic oligarchy, and it has been a demarcation line stronger than the Mason-Dixon in separating the region from the rest of the nation."

Republican Temper Tanturm Hurts Kansas Schools, Kids
From our friends at Kansas Jackass: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...ad nauseum. This seems to be the mantra of the Republicans in the Kansas Legislature. We've seen it with the coal bill, now we're seeing it with K-12 funding. Angry over the Governor's line-item veto of their draconian cut to public education -- and really still smarting about the Kansas Supreme Court's decision going all the way back to 2005 -- Republicans in the Kansas House Appropriations committee voted again yesterday to cut money from the 2009 budget for local school districts."

KS Republicans Jeopardizes Federal Recovery Funds for Education
Kansas Jackass writes: "Yesterday (Tuesday 17 March), members of the Kansas Republican Party let their desire to cut the education budget of the state of Kansas override their common sense and put in jeopardy monies intended for Kansas schools allocated by the federal government in the recently signed economic recovery bill."

Immigrants Face Detentions, Few Rights
Michelle Roberts reports for The Associated Press: "America's detention system for immigrants has mushroomed in the last decade, a costly building boom that was supposed to sweep up criminals and ensure that undocumented immigrants were quickly shown the door. Instead, an Associated Press computer analysis of every person being held on a recent Sunday night shows that most did not have a criminal record and many were not about to leave the country - voluntarily or via deportation."

The Pope's Immoral Message on AIDS in Africa
Matthew Rothschild writes for The Progressive: "The Pope is in Africa, and in his infinite wisdom, he showed the utmost ignorance on the urgent subject of the AIDS epidemic."

Americas: Celebrating Women's Day
Eduardo Avila reports for Global Voices: "Bloggers from across Latin America also commemorated International Women's Day with posts about the day which is celebrated every March 8 throughout the world. Some also took the opportunity to reflect on some of the issues facing women, but also featured initiatives that are working to alleviate some of these problems."

Enough with Cramer's Apologies; Fix CNBC
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "Coming off the "meltdown smackdown" inquisition of CNC cheerleader Jim Cramer by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, a great new campaign has been launched to "Fix CNBC!" Truth be told, CNBC may be beyond repair.

Sign a petition and demand that CNBC to stop acting like a PR firm for Wall Street and instead fulfill its journalistic obligation to the truth.

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