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

29 March 2009

Clippings for 20 March 2009

FBI Director Pushes to Renew Patriot Act Surveillance Powers
Liliana Segure writes for AlaterNet: "Earlier this month, the ACLU released a report taking stock of the USA PATRIOT Act, almost eight years after its passage. The study, titled Reclaiming Patriotism, identifies key sections of the law that codified the most radical abuses of power under the Bush administration, interweaving stories of people who were unlawfully spied on, coerced, and intimidated through the PATRIOT Act's sweeping powers."

Constitutional Scholar Calls Bush Torture Memos Treason
Naomi Wolf writes for AlterNet: "In early March, more shocking details emerged about George W. Bush legal counsel John Yoo's memos outlining the destruction of the republic. The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against US citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress."

Recommended Audio: Truthdig Podcast - "Documenting 8 Years of Torture"
Mark Danner made headlines last week with his essay in The New York Review of Books on the CIA’s use of torture and a secret report from the International Committee of the Red Cross detailing such practices. Find out why he says, “Torture is for people with weak nerves.”

G-20 Should Think Twice About Increasing IMF

Mark Weisbrot writes for The Center for Economic and Policy Research: "The G-20 summit meeting in London on April 2nd will have a lot on its plate and will certainly fall short of expectations... There is a world recession, the worst for more than 60 years, and the immediate problem of how to get out of it through fiscal and monetary stimulus, as well as possible coordinated action to fix the global financial system. Then there is regulatory reform. And sadly, last on the agenda is aid for the poorest countries - who through the drying up of credit, shrinking exports, and falling commodity prices - pay the biggest price in human terms for a disaster caused mainly by the richest people in the richest countries."

Reform Is Needed. Reform Is in the Air. We Can't Affor to Wait.
Joseph Stiglitz writes for The Guardian: "The financial crisis that began in America's sub-prime mortgage market has now become a global recession - with growth projected to be a negative 1.5%, the worst performance since the Great Depression. Even countries that had done everything right are seeing marked declines in growth rates, and even deep recessions. And much of the most acute pain will be felt by developing countries."

An Economic Platform That Is Ours
Saskia Sassen writes for The Nation: "As Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher note in their essay, we lack a plan for a post-capitalist society. I find the idea of such a plan almost an impossibility. But we do have the elements of a map of what's to be done by the left--including socialists and other adherents of critical politics--with inconsistencies and many blanks. Together, several comments in this forum begin to draw such a map. Henwood, Solnit and Wallerstein each argue for interventions in response to today's crisis that are either already underway or that we can work on now."

Kansas Senate and House Reach Budget Compromise
Jason writes for Kansas Jackass: "The negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate tasked with making the two chambers versions of the FY 2010 budget jive have reached an agreement that looks particularly good for higher education in Kansas."

Obama Plans for Funding for Afghan War
Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe report for The Washington Post: "President Obama will deploy as many as 4,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan, beyond the 17,000 he authorized last month, as trainers and advisers to the Afghan Army, according to a senior Pentagon official who has seen the new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy Obama will unveil Friday. Obama briefed House and Senate leaders at the White House this afternoon on the strategy, while special envoy Richard Holbrooke outlined the plan to other lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The president also telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart, President Asif Ali Zardari. The result of military, intelligence and diplomat reviews that began the day Obama took office, the strategy is expected to include major increases in US military and development assistance to both countries."

Afghanistan: The Four Questions
Robert Naiman writes for Truthout: "It is widely recognized that sending more people - whether soldiers or civilians - is very unlikely in itself to change anything fundamental because the order of magnitude is wrong. The United States has not been, is not, and almost certainly never will be willing and able to commit the resources, which would be necessary to transform Afghanistan into a peaceful 'democracy' according to the present policy. The most that could be plausibly hoped for is that additional resources would help make a new policy work: a new policy based on a fundamental, political shift in US policy, including accommodation with the bulk of the political forces now backing Afghanistan's various insurgencies."

Enduring Freedom
William Rivers Pitt writes for Truthout: "Our war in Afghanistan began almost 3,000 days ago, on October 7, 2001. Our war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than World War I, World War II, the Civil War, the Korean War, the first Gulf War in Iraq and the second Gulf War in Iraq. If we are still fighting in Afghanistan a year from now, the war will have lasted longer than the American Revolution. Children who were born on the day the war began are now halfway through grammar school. All the bad economic news and the turmoil in the financial and housing markets have America looking inward these days. We rarely hear anything about Iraq anymore, and even less about Afghanistan. For the record, and to bring everyone up to speed, the following events have taken place in Afghanistan during the last 72 hours."

Strained Immigrant Detention System a Virtual Black Hole
Marina Litvinsky reports for Inter Press Service: "The U.S. government has failed to uphold international human rights standards in its detention of immigrants and asylum seekers, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) said in a report released Wednesday."

Inside Bush’s War on Birth Control
Masie Cocco writes for Truthdig: "For those whose nostalgia for the Bush administration is unfulfilled by former Vice President Dick Cheney’s snarling television appearance, there is a new window into the soul of the old regime. It is the brutally frank account of how political operatives and ideological helpmates of George W. Bush violated the law in their efforts to keep birth control away from American women—particularly teenagers at the greatest risk of an unplanned and life-altering pregnancy."

Why I Called Justice Scalia a Homophobe
REp. Barney Frank writes for the Huffington Post: "While responding to questions from journalists about my characterization of Justice Antonin Scalia as a homophobe, I realized that the fact that I made that comment in conjunction with a potential lawsuit about the Defense of Marriage Act created some confusion as to my basis for that characterization."

Hope in the Mountains
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. comments in The Washington Post: "Yesterday was a great day for the people of Appalachia and for all of America. In a bold departure from Bush-era energy policy, the Obama administration suspended a coal company's permit to dump debris from its proposed mountaintop mining operation into a West Virginia valley and stream. In addition, the administration promised to carefully review upward of 200 such permits awaiting approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers."

The Slumming of Suburbia
David Villano reports for Miller-McCune: "The financial meltdown has produced a vast patchwork of foreclosed and abandoned single-family homes across America, accelerating the decades-long migration of our nation's poor from cities to the suburban fringe. In 2005, as rising property values reduced affordable-housing stock in inner-city neighborhoods, suburban poverty, in raw numbers, topped urban poverty for the first time."

Cell Phone Scare: What So You Really Know about the Health Risks?
Elisa Batista writes for AlterNet: "Last July, renowned cancer expert Dr. Ronald Herberman sent off a rather alarming note to the 3,000 faculty and staff members at the University of Pittsburgh warning that children should limit their use of cell phones to decrease their risk of cancer. "Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use," wrote Herberman, who heads the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He also advised adults to choose texting, Bluetooth headsets, or speakerphone options instead of holding a cell phone to the ear."

Zombie Media Still Fighting the Last Gotcha War
Leslie Savan writes for The Nation: "Of all the bad questions at Tuesday's primetime press conference (and you can vote for your favorite here), the one that best illuminates why the White House press corps asks such bad questions came from a Washington Times reporter, who wondered how much President Obama has "personally wrestled with the morality" of funding stem-cell research. "

Consolidation Won't Save the Media
Craig Aaron and Joseph Torres write for the Guardian UK: "Last week, House speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose hometown San Francisco Chronicle is in trouble, asked attorney general Eric Holder to consider loosening antitrust laws to help out struggling newspapers by allowing more media mergers. Holder responded by saying he is open to revisiting the rules."

YouTube Takedowns Offer a Chilling Look at What a Filtered Web Could Look Like
Mehan Jayasuriya writes for Public Knowledge: "If you happened to page through this week's Sunday edition of The New York Times, you might have noticed something unusual about the front page of the business section. Instead of leading with a story about AIG's transgressions or the latest eco-tech startup, this week's Sunday business section gave top billing to the brewing conflict between YouTube users and aggressive rights holders, most notably the "big four" record labels. While the placement of the article may have struck some as odd, the editors at the Times were right to file the story under 'business'. In a web-driven economy, there are fewer commodities more valuable than user-generated content. And as the article ably demonstrates, unlike with most valuable commodities, there's a cadre of deeply entrenched, extremely powerful companies who possess the ability to disrupt the flow of user-generated content at will. Trivial though it may seem, the outcome of this debate could come to define the very nature of the web that our children inherit--and the long-term viability of the Internet economy may lie in the balance."

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