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

15 April 2009

Clippings for 16 April 2009

Tax Rates for America
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes for The Nation: "With Tax Day just around the corner, and the nation attempting to recover from our worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) -- "Reversing the Great Tax Shift" -- offers seven strong recommendations on how to pay for the recovery and rebuild an economy of shared prosperity."

Party Like It's 1995
Joan Walsh writes for Salon: "Protests are as American as apple pie, and that includes the Glenn Beck, Fox News and CNBC backed "Tax Day Tea Parties" on Wednesday. The work of a small if increasingly angry echo chamber of Obama obstructionists, they'll come and go without hurting the president's political approval ratings. We're covering them -- and we're asking you to help us cover them -- but it's entirely possible to make too much of them."

Fake Teabaggers Are Anti-Spend, Anti-Government: Real Populists Want to Stop Banks from Plundering America
Mark Ames, Yasha Levine and Alexander Zaitchik write for AlterNet: "This afternoon, groups of angry conservatives will gather on street corners and in parks across the country to protest. They will carry signs and deliver speeches expressing outrage over the Democrats' stimulus bill, over entitlements, over budget pork, over taxes. They will dump boxes of tea on the ground and wear three-cornered hats. The leading lights of the Republican Party will be on hand to cheer them on. But as with so much on the right, these apparent displays of populist rage are not what they will seem."

End Game for Gramm
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig: "One wonders if Phil Gramm has been made just a tad nervous by the news on Tuesday that one of UBS’ super-wealthy private clients has pleaded guilty to tax evasion. That’s the second case in two weeks involving the bank at which the former senator is a vice chairman, and 100 other clients are under investigation for possible bank-assisted tax fraud. "

Naked Emperors
Vanessa Baird writes for the New Internationalist: "We should thank Bernard Madoff – the Wall Street broker with ‘impeccable credentials’ – who is charged with having swindled investors (including some of his best friends) to the tune of $50 billion. Few individuals have so eloquently exposed how easily gulled are the supposed experts of the financial world."

If the Bank Bailout Fails, Will Anyone Get the Boot?
Dean Baker comments for Truthout: "The prospect of taxpayers losing hundreds of billions on a bank bailout, which doesn't even fix the banks, is not very inspiring. In fact, it is a complete disaster. Even in Washington, $200 billion is real money. This would be enough to pay for almost 70 million kid years of SCHIP. If the government loses this much money on a failed bank bailout effort, it would be a true disaster."

Why We're Not at the Beginning of the End
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "Are we at the beginning of the end? Mortgage interests are now so low (the average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages was 4.87 percent Thursday, slightly higher than the 4.78 percent last week, but still the lowest level since 1971) that President Obama has begun urging Americans to refinance their homes so they can save money and start spending again. Presidential aide Larry Summers says the country is likely to see positive economic signs in the next few months. Wells Fargo Bank rallied stocks and surprised analysts Thursday when it predicted a strong $3 billion first-quarter profit, citing surging mortgage originations."

Introducing our New Bailout Guide
Paul Kiel writes for ProPublica: "We’ve been working hard over the past six months to keep tabs on the billions flowing from the Treasury Department. But as the government’s response to the financial crisis has grown and scattered, it’s gotten harder and harder to lay it all out for readers.The site we’re unveiling today will hopefully make all that a lot easier. It gives readers plenty of ways to break down the data: You can see every recipient of bailout money and the programs the money is being funneled through. We’ve done our best to translate the Treasury’s bureaucratese to plain English (e.g. “Targeted Investment Program” really means “More Money for Citigroup and Bank of America”). "

Krugman Calls Out GOP Hypocrisy on Job Creation and Defense Cuts
Think Progress writes: In February, only three Republican senators broke party ranks to vote for the economic recovery package. Zero House Republicans voted for passage. Part of their opposition centered around their supposed belief that an increase in government spending would do nothing to create jobs. "Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job," RNC Chairman Michael Steele declared. "Instead of focusing on three major issues -- job creation, housing and compassion for Americans who have lost jobs through no fault of their own -- to boost the economy, this bill has morphed into a bloated government giveaway," Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said similarly. However, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced plans to freeze production of the F-22 at the current 187 planes -- down from the 381 planes the government was expected to order -- many of these same conservatives were up in arms over the jobs they said would be lost. Chambliss, in particular, said that he was concerned people in his state would lose jobs if F-22 production was cut, because "when it comes to stimulating the economy, there's no better way to do it than to spend it in the defense community." Yesterday on ABC's This Week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called out this hypocrisy. "What's so wonderful is watching Republican congressmen saying, 'But this will cost jobs!' The very same Republican congressmen who were denouncing the stimulus, saying government spending never creates jobs, but cutting defense spending costs jobs," he explained. Military correspondent David Axe has pointed out that very few workers are likely to lose their jobs because of Gates's announcement.

The Exploitation of Young Boys
Henry A. Giroux writes for Truthout: "Casino capitalism may be getting a bad rap in the mainstream media, but the values that nourish it are alive and well in the world of Disney. As reported recently in a front-page article in The New York Times, Disney is in the forefront of finding ways to capitalize on the $50 billion dollars spent worldwide by young boys between the ages of 6 and 14."

What Should Be the Goal of Health Care Reform?

Monica Sanchez writes for The Campaign For America's Future: "To guarantee everyone has access to quality, affordable health care when they need it requires system-wide reform that will lower the cost of health care and slow its ridiculously high inflation rate.... The way to lower overall health care costs, stem their inflation rate and guarantee everyone access to quality, affordable health care is to give everyone the choice of a public health insurance option."

Food Industry Pursues the Strategy of Big Tobacco
Yale Environment 360 interviews Kelly Brownell: "Increasingly, the question of what we eat and how it affects our health is a subject that is important not just to those concerned about nutrition but to environmentalists. Kelly D. Brownell, a psychologist who is director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, has been a leading researcher into America’s obesity epidemic and its links to the practices of the food industry. Author of the 2004 book, Food Fight, Brownell has recently become interested in the connections between obesity, the environment, and hunger, believing that sustainably growing and producing more nutritious foods can help solve each of these challenges."

Killing of Gay Iraqis Shouldn't Be Ignored
The Denver Post writes in an editorial: "The U.S. State Department must not stand idly by if the Iraqi government fails to protect basic human rights, even if the persecution stems from traditional cultural or religious beliefs. We applaud Colorado Congressman Jared Polis for his efforts last week to shine the spotlight on the killings of homosexuals in Iraq, and to press the State Department to demand accountability from the Iraqi government."

ERA Would End Women's Second-Class Citizenship
Carolyn Cook writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer: "When our forefathers broke from Britain, they left nothing to chance. They put it in writing. In unified thought, spirit, and action, the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 white, male landowners representing 13 colonies. Hardly reflective of America today, it formally challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and guaranteed wealthy men equal rights."

Recommeded Audio: Pacifica Radio at 60: KPFA Remains a Sanctuary of Dissent
Amy Goodman Comments for Democracy Now: "Pacifica Radio, the oldest independent media network in the United States, turns 60 years old this week as a deepening crisis engulfs mainstream media. Journalists are being laid off by the hundreds, even thousands. Venerable newspapers, some more than a century old, are being abruptly shuttered. Digital technology is changing the rules, disrupting whole industries, and blending and upending traditional roles of writer, filmmaker, publisher, consumer. Commercial media are losing audience and advertising. People are exploring new models for media, including nonprofit journalism."

US News Media Fails America, Again
Robert Parry writes for Consortium News: "Watching Glenn Beck of Fox News rant about 'progressive fascism' - and muse about armed insurrection - or listening to mainstream pundits prattle on about Barack Obama as the 'most polarizing President ever,' it is hard to escape the conclusion that today's U.S. news media represents a danger to the Republic. By and large, the Washington press corps continues to function within a paradigm set in the 1980s, mostly bending to the American Right, especially to its perceived power to destroy mainstream journalistic careers and to grease the way toward lucrative jobs for those who play ball."

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