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 April 2009

Clippings for 19 April 2009

Congressional Budget Office: Income Inequality Gap Hit Record High in 2006
Matt Corley writes for Think Progress: "Arloc Sherman of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities writes today that 'new data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that in 2006, the top 1 percent of households had a larger share of the nation’s after-tax income, and the middle and bottom fifths of households had smaller shares, than in any year since 1979, the first year the CBO data cover.' According to Sherman, this means that 'the gaps in after-tax incomes between households in the top 1 percent and those in the middle and bottom fifths were the widest on record...'"

The Need to Tax the Wealthy
Dean Baker comments in The Economist UK: "The quest to increase taxes on the wealthy is not a gratuitous attack on upper income households; it is driven by the need to raise more revenue to run the government. While many deficit hawks been irresponsible in raising fears of an impending collapse of the American government, the projected deficits for years following the recovery are in fact larger than is desirable. There are areas of American spending at the federal government level that could be reasonably cut, but even after we have zeroed out the 'waste, fraud, and abuse' category of federal spending we will still likely need additional revenue of between 1-2% of GDP to keep budget deficits in an acceptable range. That leaves a choice between increasing taxes on the wealthy or imposing more taxes on the middle class."

Armey's Tea Party Army
Jason Conason writes for Truthdig: "If conservative leaders no longer even try to offer serious solutions to national problems, nobody should underestimate their capacity or their will to mobilize angry Americans. Behind the April 15 “tea parties” rallying against President Barack Obama’s economic program—promoted as a new phenomenon by Fox News Channel and right-wing bloggers—stands a phalanx of Republicans whose ideology is all too familiar."

The Geithner Bubble
Jacques Attali reports in L'Express: "In some people's eyes, a miraculous emergence from the crisis is brewing: Through the combined play of the Geithner plan, (which allows investment funds and banks to buy other banks' toxic assets, borrowing most of what they need to do so from the Federal budget) and accounting changes (which allow banks to carry those assets at an inflated value), we see a derivatives market take hold in which some will sell these assets at a very high price to others in order to buy more of those assets at a still higher price: so that an asset value bubble will form, entirely financed by the taxpayer." For original French article, click here.

Iraq Study: Executions Are Leading Cause of Death

Kim Gamel reports for The Associated Press: "Execution-style killings, not headline-grabbing bombings, have been the leading cause of death among civilians in the Iraq war, a study released Wednesday shows. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, point to the brutal sectarian nature of the conflict, where death squads once roamed the streets hunting down members of the rival Muslim sect. Estimates of the number of civilians killed in Iraq vary widely. The study was based on the database maintained by Iraq Body Count, a private group that among other sources uses media reports including those of The Associated Press. The authors concede the data is not comprehensive but maintain that the study provides a reliable gauge of how Iraqis have died in the six-year conflict."

Report: Iraq Air Raids Hit Mostly Women and Children
Kim Sengupta reports for The Independent UK: "Air strikes and artillery barrages have taken a heavy toll among the most vulnerable of the Iraqi people, with children and women forming a disproportionate number of the dead. Analysis carried out for the research group Iraq Body Count (IBC) found that 39 per cent of those killed in air raids by the US-led coalition were children and 46 per cent were women. Fatalities caused by mortars, used by American and Iraqi government forces as well as insurgents, were 42 percent children and 44 percent women. Twelve percent of those killed by suicide bombings, mainly the tool of militant Sunni groups, were children and 16 percent were females."

Bush Memos Suggest Abuse Isn’t Torture If a Doctor Is There
Sheri Fink writes for ProPublica: "Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden was fond of saying [1] that when it came to handling high-value terror suspects, he would play in fair territory, but with “chalk dust on my cleats.” Four legal memos [2] released yesterday by the Obama administration make it clear that the referee role in CIA interrogations was played by its medical and psychological personnel."

General Taguba: Accountability for Torture Does Not Stop at White House Door
Andrew Kalloch writes in the Harvard Law Record: "Major General Antonio Taguba called for an independent commission to investigate war crimes committed by senior members of the Bush Administration in remarks in Ames Courtroom on Tuesday, April 14. The event was sponsored by Physicians for Human Rights and the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School."

Limbaugh’s Proof That Torture Works: McCain Was ‘Broken By The North Vietnamese’
Ryan Powers at Think Progress writes: "On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh responded to the Obama administration’s release of four of the OLC torture memos with a full-throated defense of of torture and its effectiveness for gathering useful intelligence. As evidence of the effectiveness of torture, Limbaugh noted that — in his speech to the Republican National Convention last summer — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said the North Vietnamese “broke” him while he was a POW. Limbaugh suggested that in saying the North Vietnamese “broke” him, McCain was saying that torture worked:"

Recommended Audio: U.S. Future Depends on Torture Accountability

Keith Olbermann states: "As promised, a Special Comment now on the president's revelation of the remainder of this nightmare of Bush Administration torture memos. This President has gone where few before him, dared. The dirty laundry — illegal, un-American, self-defeating, self-destroying — is out for all to see." For a complete trnscript, click here.

Obama Outlines Vision for High-Speed Rail Network
Jim Abrams reports for The Associated Press: "President Barack Obama on Thursday outlined plans for a high-speed rail network he said would change the way Americans travel, drawing comparisons to the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system."

Global Warming Study: Nations Need to Cut Emissions by 70 Percent
Environmental Leader reports: "The threat of global warming can be significantly lessened if nations cut emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 70 percent this century, according to a new study. This would help reduce the most dangerous aspects of climate change including massive losses of Arctic sea ice and permafrost and significant sea level rise, although global temperatures will still rise."

New EPA Regulations Might Quash New Coal-Fired Plant Regardless
Jason Crouvher writes for Kansas Jackass: "When the Kansas Legislature comes back into session April 29, one of the first items of business will be attempting to over ride Governor Kathleen Sebelius's veto a bill that would pave the way for the construction of two massive coal-fired power plants in western Kansas."

Recommended Podcast: Racial Justice Communications in Obama’s America
Have a listen to this new audio from a forum called "Talking about Racial and Economic Justice in Obama's America" with Amaad Rivera (United for a Fair Economy), Tasaro Luis Ramos (Political Research Associates), and Doyle Canning (smartMeme).

Book Tells of Female US Soldiers Raped by Comrades
Christine Kearney reports for Reuters: "Female US soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have more to fear than roadside bombs or enemy ambushes. They also are at risk of being raped or sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers. 'The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq,' a book based on 40 in-depth interviews, recounts the stories of female veterans who served in combat zones and tells of rape, sexual assault and harassment by male counterparts."

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month visit http://www.nsvrc.org/saam for more details.

Columbine Questions We Still Don't Ponder
Davis Sirota writes for Truthdig: "As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games."

Abstinence-Only Not Worth the Rate
Texas state Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), vice chair of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education, writes in a San Antonio Express-News that Texas has the third highest teen birth rate in the nation -- 50% higher than the national average -- he notes, adding that increases across all "races and ethnicities ... demonstrate that the current lack of sexual health curriculum in our schools is seriously harming all of our children." Texas taxpayers spent $1 billion on teenage pregnancies and an estimated $15.1 billion over a 13-year period, according to a 2004 study by the National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

'Getting Real' about Bullying-Related Suicides
Debra Chasnoff writes for the Huffington Post: "This week another young life was silently lost in our nation's schools. Eleven year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover killed himself after enduring months of anti-gay bullying at his school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Carl's shocking suicide is the latest in a growing trend. Just last week, parents in Ohio filed a lawsuit against the school district where their son, Eric Mohat, was also subjected to ongoing anti-gay harassment before, he too, committed suicide. The pervasiveness of bullying, and more specifically bullying targeted at boys who do not fit into the narrow box of masculinity proscribed for them, has raised alarms among educators and mental health professionals for over a decade"

Journalism's Confession: Playing Twister ... to the Right

Will Bunch writes for The Philadelphia Daily News: "It's so true that freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose -- and so our brush here with terminal illness is occasionally truly liberating for America's newsrooms. This week, in fact, it seems that journalists are rushing to admit something -- openly in one case, tacitly in another -- something that's been true ever since the Nixon-Agnew era, but was rarely talked about. This uncomfortable truth? That to accommodate the perceived notion that the news media warps things so far to the left, journalists have been playing Twister to bend over backwards to accommodate conservatives -- and tying ourselves in knots."

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