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

23 April 2009

Clippings for 23 April 2009

Building the American Clean Energy Economy
Steven Chu and Hilda Solis comment for Turthout: "On April 22, people across the country and around the world will celebrate Earth Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of our natural resources and taking real action to make a difference. For decades, while Americans in towns and cities across the country have worked to make a difference in their communities, politicians in both parties in Washington have ignored the energy crisis, imperiling our economy, our security and our planet. Now, we have a unique and critical opportunity to attack the energy crisis head on and create a comprehensive energy policy that will bolster our economy, end our dependence on foreign oil and reduce the threat of deadly pollution that is devastating our planet."

Too Big to Fail: Ecological Ignorance and Economic Collapse
Chip Ward writes for TomDispatch.com: "'Too big to fail.' It's been the mantra of our economic meltdown. Although meant to emphasize the overwhelming importance of this bank or that corporation, the phrase also unwittingly expresses a shared delusion that may be at the root of our current crises - both economic and ecological."

The Lexicon of Disappointment
Naomi Klein writes for The Nation: "All is not well in Obamafanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack. "

The Crisis That Could Bring Down Obama
Ruth Conniff writes for The Progressive: "Goldman Sachs reports better-than-expected profits this quarter. Wells Fargo cleared record profits last week. The President, understandably, points to signs of hope and encourages Americans to be optimistic about the economy. But when do we move from healthy confidence to a confidence game? The banks are reporting profits thanks to massive infusions of taxpayer bailout funds. It's simply silly to be lulled by cheery-sounding reports when the institutions are actually insolvent. At some point we have to take a clear-eyed look at the massive failure of our financial system. Ignoring it won't make it go away."

Thievery Under the TARP
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig: "We are being robbed big-time, but you can't say we haven't been warned. Not after the release Tuesday of a scathing report by the Treasury Department's special inspector general, who charged that the aptly named Troubled Asset Relief Fund bailout program is rife with mismanagement and potential for fraud. The IG's office already has opened 20 criminal fraud investigations into the $700 billion program, which is now well on its way to a $3 trillion obligation, and the IG predicts many more are coming. Special Inspector General Neil M. Barofsky charged that the TARP program from its inception was designed to trust the Wall Street recipients of the bailout funds to act responsibly on their own, without accountability to the government that gave them the money."

Arm the COP on the Bank Beat

Robert Borosage comments for the Huffington Post: "'The decisions that are made in the next six months or so are likely to set the economic course of this country for the next 50 years,' says Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the COP, the Congressional Oversight Panel charged with reviewing the banking bailout. 'That’s what happened coming out of the Great Depression, and I think that will happen now.' So Warren is pushing for Treasury to show us the money. What has been done with the $4 trillion the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporations have poured into the financial houses to date? In February, Warren’s committee revealed that Treasury provided the top ten TARP recipients with a subsidy of $78 billion over the market value of the preferred shares purchased for taxpayers, even while stating publicly that the purchases were made 'at par.'"

Declassified Report: Bush Admin Solicited Torture 'Wish List,' Ordered 'Communist' Tactics
Stephen Webster and Diane Sweet write for The Raw Story and published on AlterNet: "A report by the Senate Armed Services Committee released Tuesday night says that torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib prison and approved by officials in the George W. Bush administration were applied only after soliciting a "wish list" from interrogators."

The Shaming of America
Gene Lyons writes for SAlon.com "Anybody with an active conscience can understand why President Barack Obama ordered the Bush administration's 'terror memos' released, overruling his own CIA director. No intelligence secrets were revealed. Much of the information in the documents had previously been widely reported. They weren't classified "Top Secret" to protect national security, but the craven careerists who wrote them, and the White House officials who ordered it done."

Dozens of Prisoners Held by CIA Still Missing, Fates Unknown
Dafna Linzer reports for ProPublica: "Last week, we pointed out that one of the newly released Bush-era memos inadvertently confirmed that the CIA held an al-Qaeda suspect named Hassan Ghul in a secret prison and subjected him to what Bush administration lawyers called 'enhanced interrogation techniques.' The CIA has never acknowledged holding Ghul, and his whereabouts today are secret."

Conyers to Hold Hearings on 'Torture' Memos
Jared Allen reports for The Hill: "House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) on Tuesday announced that he will soon hold hearings on the Bush administration's legal memos justifying the use of numerous enhanced interrogation techniques. Conyers and other Democrats have labeled as torture the techniques explained in the memos, which provide a legal framework for the use of controversial interrogation practices such as waterboarding. President Obama recently declassified the memos written by Bush administration lawyers, which also detail for the first time a number of additional interrogation techniques approved for use by the Central Intelligence Agency."

Bush-Era Rule Grants FBI Unprecedented Investigative Powers

Daphne Eviatar reports in The Washington Independent: "Veterans groups and conservatives roared last week when news broke that the FBI was targeting veterans in a broad probe of extremist groups. But little noise was made in December, when the Bush administration quietly granted the FBI wide-ranging authority to investigate individuals or groups, regardless of whether they are suspected of criminal activity. The Attorney General Guidelines, proposed last summer and adopted by Attorney General Michael Mukasey, appear to be particularly problematic."

Why It's Necessary to Fast-Track Universal Health Care
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "Obama should fast-track health care and stop trying to court Republicans. Every House Republican and all but three Senate Republicans voted against the stimulus; all Republicans in both houses voted against the budget. During the recess they hosted 'tea parties' claiming that Americans are over-taxed. Over the weekend, House minority leader John Boehner called the idea of carbon-induced climate change 'almost comical.' Republicans are already off and running toward the midterm elections of 2010, even starting to run ads against House Democrats in close districts. They seem hell bent on becoming a tiny, whacky minority - the party that denies evolution, denies global warming, denies Americans need a major overhaul of health care, and denies the economy needs anything more than a major tax cut to get it moving again."

The Piracy Problem: Monsters vs. Aliens
John Feffer writes for TomDispatch.com: "In the comic books, bad guys often team up to fight the forces of good. The Masters of Evil battle the Avengers superhero team. The Joker and Scarecrow ally against Batman. Lex Luthor and Brainiac take on Superman. And the Somali pirates, who have dominated recent headlines with their hijacking and hostage-taking, join hands with al-Qaeda to form a dynamic evil duo against the United States and our allies. We're the friendly monsters - a big, hulking superpower with a heart of gold - and they're the aliens from Planet Amok."

Businesses Get Carded
Rob Larson writes for Dissident Voice: "The business world is up in arms about the Employee Free Choice Act. EFCA would make it easier for workers to unionize, by obliging companies to recognize a union once a majority of workers sign verified union cards. This would replace the more common practice of voting in union representation elections, which take several months and are conducted by secret ballot. The Wall Street Journal calls this 'antidemocratic,' but it’s the employers, not union organizers, who flex the muscle in union elections. The reality lies in two words: 'You’re fired.'"

Inhofe Will Filibuster Judicial Nominee For Ruling Against Sectarian Prayers In Indiana Legislature
Think Progress Reports: "Yesterday on the Senate floor, Sen. James Inhofe announced that he intended to filibuster Obama's nomination of U.S. District Judge David Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Inhofe's announcement comes nearly three weeks after the Republican membership of the Senate Judiciary Committee boycotted Hamilton's hearing claiming that 'they had not been given sufficient time to prepare for the hearing.' Inhofe's filibuster is surprising given the fact that Hamilton is generally viewed as representing 'some of [Indiana's] traditionally moderate strain.'"

Double Standard: Missing Black Women Still Get Less Media Attention Than Whites
Jan Ransom reports for The National Newspaper Publishers Association: "Average looking men, women and children from a variety of economic, social and ethnic backgrounds made up the more than 105,000 active missing persons in America last year, according to the National Crime Information Center. However, national media operations often fail to present what is in fact a very diverse missing persons population - African-Americans. And some observers believe race is the factor."

New Feminist Network for "Glocal" Activism
Jiyoung LeeAn reports for Inter Press Service: "Feminist activists have adopted 'glocal‚' a relatively new geolexical construct, to bridge activism from across Asia, Latin America and Africa. About 30 participants from three continents came together for a two-day intensive workshop in Seoul that was followed by a public forum on April 18 to announce the establishment of the Network of GloCal Activism (NGA) and School of Feminism (SF)."

Report: Iraqi militia kill gays with anal glue torture
The Raw Story bloggs: "Even John Yoo would never go this far. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is circulating a foreign report which claims that gay Iraqis are being murdered using a monstrous torture tactic."

Less Than Kudlow: Is CNBC Host Suffering Another Cocaine Relapse? (Radio)
Mark Ames writes for The Exiled: "Why does CNBC host Lawrence Kudlow still have a job? Not only is Kudlow a corrupt goon who has called everything 180 degrees wrong over and over, but he pretty much set the standard for Wall Street’s “most humiliating failure” back in the mid-1990s when he was fired from Bear Stears–the last smart move Bear Stearns ever made. Why was Kudlow fired, you axe? Well, it wasn’t because he called the economy wrong at every turn–hell no! Being wrong is a basic requirement for pundits and Wall Street analysts, you just have to be aggressively wrong and not worry about it, something Kudlow excels at. No, Lawrence Kudlow’s career problems in the 1990s stemmed from the fact that he couldn’t handle his drugs. Cocaine, to be exact."

Consolidation Won't Save the Media
Graig Aaron and Joseph Torres write the for 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."

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