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

09 April 2009

Clippings for 9 April 2009

Our Common Purpose
Pat Williams writes for Truthout: "For almost fifty years, we Americans held common purpose with our government. From the early 1930's and Franklin D. Roosevelt through seven presidents, people believed that aggressive government made a positive difference in their lives. That belief was shared by both Republican and Democratic administrations. Eisenhower created the massive, job-producing interstate highway system; Nixon enacted vigorous federal wage and price controls to slow near-rampant inflation, encouraged the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and clean air and water; Ford, in his shortened term, vigorously negotiated the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty - SALT II. Under Democratic Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter, Americans embraced federal efforts from The New Deal through The New Frontier. Those efforts, astonishing in their boldness and success, created the American middle class, held the Wall Street money changers at bay, spread freedom around the world, and vastly improved educational attainment for our citizens."

There is No Global Economy
Mark Weisbrot reports for The Guardian UK: "'This is the day that the world came together, to fight back against the global recession. Not with words but a plan for global recovery and for reform and with a clear timetable,' said UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the end of the G-20 Summit last week."

Resist or Become Serfs
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs."

Changing the Rules of the Blame Game
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship write for Truthout: "A cartoon in the Sunday comics shows that mustachioed fellow with monocle and top hat from the Monopoly game - 'Rich Uncle Pennybags,' he used to be called - standing along the roadside, destitute, holding a sign: 'Will blame poor people for food.' Time to move the blame to where it really belongs. That means no more coddling banks with bailout billions marked 'secret.' No more allowing their executives lavish bonuses and new corporate jets as if they've won the mega-lottery and not sent the economy down the tubes. And no more apostles of Wall Street calling the shots."

On Defense Cuts, Obama Holds Cards
Roxana Tiron writes for The Hill: "Congress has little chance of stopping President Obama's sweeping changes to the military budget, which would scrap several high-profile weapons programs. Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have stirred a hornet's nest in targeting six major programs for the chopping block. But congressional and defense-industry sources said it will be difficult to oppose the popular Obama, who will argue his proposed cuts will benefit soldiers fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and better use limited resources during a recession."

A Responsible Afghan Strategy
Lawrence J. Korb and Sean E. Duggan comment for The Nation: "Long before President Obama announced his administration's strategy for Afghanistan, a schism formed in the progressive community not only over how to reverse the deteriorating situation in the country and the region but--in the first place--on whether or not the United States should even attempt to do so. Therefore it was not surprising that the publication of our recent policy report "Sustainable Security in Afghanistan" created much concern within the coalition of organizations and individuals who advocate for a swift and complete US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the region. "

Terminator Planet: Launching the Drone Wars

Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "Now, keep our present drones, those MQ-1 Predators and more advanced MQ-9 Reapers, in mind for a moment. Remember that, as you read, they're cruising Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani skies looking for potential 'targets,' and in Pakistan's tribal borderlands, are employing what Centcom commander General David Petraeus calls 'the right of last resort' to take out 'threats' (as well as tribespeople who just happen to be in the vicinity.) And bear with me while I offer you a little potted history of the modern arms race."

New Public Database Reveals Firsthand Accounts of How Toxic Burn Pits Are Making US Troops Sick
Nora Eisenberg reports for AlterNet: "Cancer, pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea, heart disease: Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans have suffered all these and more from toxic fumes spewing from burn pits on American bases. The Disabled American Veterans now has information on 182 sick veterans in a database developed by Assistant National Legislative Director, Kerry Baker. Forty-eight have developed lymphoma, leukemia or other cancers; and 16 veterans in the database have died."

Bush's Tortured Legacy
Dr. James J. Zogby writes for Truthout: "Two major stories, prominently featured in The Washington Post and The New York Times last Sunday, dealt with the Bush administration's use of torture. When combined, they raised several important issues. The front page banner headline in The Washington Post read 'Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots,' with the subhead continuing 'Waterboarding, Rough Treatment of Abu Zubaidah Produced False Leads, Officials Say.' Based on extensive interviews with former CIA and administration officials, the piece examined how the Bush administration dealt with Abu Zubaidah, a prisoner captured in 2002 in Pakistan. After a four-year stay at a 'secret CIA site', he was moved to Guantanamo. While, early on, President Bush heralded the capture of Abu Zubaidah (calling him 'a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden'), the story notes how, within weeks of his imprisonment, analysts concluded that he was not an official member of al-Qaeda."

US Muslims Still Under Siege
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig: "As President Barack Obama made his public appearance with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday as part of his first trip to a Muslim country, US federal agents were preparing to arrest Youssef Megahed in Tampa, Fla. Just three days earlier, on Friday, a jury in a US federal district court had acquitted him of charges of illegally transporting explosives and possession of an explosive device. Obama promised, when meeting with Gul, to 'shape a set of strategies that can bridge the divide between the Muslim world and the West that can make us more prosperous and more secure.'"

Far-Right Group Warns of a 'Gathering Storm' of Marriage Equality
Thinnk Progress writes: In the wake of marriage equality victories in Iowa and Vermont -- and promising signs in New York and Washington, D.C. -- far-right activists are gearing for a battle. Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) announced a $1.5 million national advertising campaign to fight marriage equality. NOM executive director Brian Brown s "the biggest lie" that marriage equality advocates tell "is that it's not going to have any affect on you." He argued, "In state after state, we've seen same-sex marriage directly conflict with the people's religious beliefs." The group's first ad featured "people describing same-sex marriage as a threat to their personal and religious freedoms against a backdrop of dark clouds and bolts of lightening." One actor warned of "a storm gathering"; "I am afraid," another woman intones. A third complained that she is "helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is OK." It's true, Center for American Progress Action Fund Fellow Matthew Yglesias noted, that with the end of Jim Crow came the end of teaching that racism was acceptable -- "a big imposition on racists." Similarly, "people who don't like gay people can be legitimately concerned that the spread of gay equality will create an environment in which their children are less likely to share their own prejudices." The Human Rights Campaign has more on the lies peddled by the ad.

Recommended Audio:Bridging the Rural Digital Divide: FCC Starts Work on National Broadband Strategy
The Federal Communications Commission, or the FCC, begins work today on a yearlong national broadband strategy to bring high-speed broadband internet into every American home. Under the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus plan, the FCC is responsible for developing a strategy to improve broadband coverage and present it to Congress in February of 2010. We speak with Wally Bowen, executive director of the Mountain Area Information Network in Asheville.

Glenn Beck and the Rise of Fox News's Militia Media
Eric Boehlert writes for Media Matters: "After a night of drinking, followed by an early-morning argument with his mother, with whom he shared a Pittsburgh apartment, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed his guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and waited for the police to respond to the domestic disturbance call his mother had placed. When two officers arrived at the front door, Poplawski shot them both in the head, and then killed another officer who tried to rescue his colleagues. In the wake of the bloodbath, we learned that Poplawski was something of a conspiracy nut who embraced dark, radical rhetoric about America."

Fox&Friends Pushes Persecuted Christian Theme to Stoke The Notre Dame “Controversy” And Smear Obama
Pursilla writes for News Hounds: "The Christian “Fox Nation” does love to play martyr and what better time to do it than Holy Week, which is a time when Christians reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus and which presents the right wing conservative Christians, on Fox News, with an opportunity to whine about how they are being “persecuted.” The poor, persecuted Christian against the evil secular liberal theme is a Fox&Friends fave. In February, good Christian Gretchen Carlson kvetched about how the atheist sign in Seattle and an image from the Sistine Chapel on a condom poster were examples of how these poor, conservative Christians are being so scourged. Recently, she used the “controversy” about Obama’s invitation to Notre Dame to work in a little editorial comment about how the “controversy” is an example of how Christians are persecuted. The culture war isn’t going too well lately; but that didn’t stop the Fox crusaders from using Holy Week, a time of pious reflection for the Christian community, as a platform for bashing Obama and the standard Christian conservative persecution meme. Such a heavy cross to bear!!!!"

Washington Post Columnist George Will Fabricates Entire Research Center
Think Progress reports: On Feb. 15, Washington Post columnist George Will wrote an error-riddled, entirely misleading column denying the calamity of climate change. Yesterday, the Wonk Room's Brad Johnson confirmed another egregious error in the column: Will cited "the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center" to falsely claim that sea ice levels have not diminished -- but no such center exists. "The Arctic climate is a research area of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's [UIUC] Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and the informal group of researchers does go by the label of the Polar Research Group," Johnson wrote. "However, 'there is no such center at the University of Illinois,' the UIUC's Dr. John Walsh has informed me in electronic correspondence. 'There is a group of scientists and students working on Arctic climate, but no formal center.'" Despite the numerous outlets that pointed out Will's false claims in his original column, the Washington Post refused to run a correction. In fact, editor Fred Hiatt defended Will at the time, saying he was simply "drawing inferences from data that most scientists reject" and calling Will's critics "irresponsible."

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