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

17 May 2009

Clippings for 17 May 2009

Saving Troy Davis: Executions, Troy Davis and the Approaching Police State
Ron Jacobs writes for Dissident Voice: "One wonders how many times this scenario has played out in the United States. Like a classic crime movie, the details go something like this: A group of young men, usually African-American, get involved in an activity of questionable legality. A police officer (often off-duty) intervenes. Weapons are drawn by the officer and someone else. The officer ends up dead. One of the young men is accused of the crime even though the evidence (if there is any) offers no clear link between the accused and the crime. Prosecutors rely on witnesses with minimal credibility to get a conviction. The accused young man is then sentenced to death. While he sits on death row, questions about the prosecution and conviction begin to appear in the press. The prosecution conspires with the judicial system to keep their conviction intact, refusing any motions for retrial based on new evidence. The convicted man grows old in prison, facing multiple execution dates that are only stayed by appeals that never lead to a new trial."

Populism Is Not A Style
Jim Hightower writes for the huffington Post: "Gosh, everyone's a populist now: the corporate-funded teabag rallies, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck -- pretty much anyone or any group claiming to speak for the people and doing it in a mavericky, mad-as-hell fashion is labeled "populist" by the media."

Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama
Jeremy Scahill writes for AlterNet: "As the Obama administration continues to fight the release of some 2,000 photos that graphically document U.S. military abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, an ongoing Spanish investigation is adding harrowing details to the ever-emerging portrait of the torture inside and outside Guant√°namo. Among them: "blows to [the] testicles;" "detention underground in total darkness for three weeks with deprivation of food and sleep;" being "inoculated … through injection with 'a disease for dog cysts;'" the smearing of feces on prisoners; and waterboarding. The torture, according to the Spanish investigation, all occurred "under the authority of American military personnel" and was sometimes conducted in the presence of medical professionals."

Ex-CIA Official: Agency Brass Lied to Congress About Interrogations
Jason Leopold writes for Truthout: "Claims that Democrats were fully briefed on the Bush administration's torture program have been leveled as recently as last December by Vice President Dick Cheney and in books by former Bush officials such as John Yoo, the former deputy assistant attorney general at the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), who helped draft one of the four memos released last week. But the veracity of those assertions have been called into question by former CIA official Mary O. McCarthy, who said senior agency officials lied to members of Congress during an intelligence briefing in 2005 when they said the agency did not violate treaties that bar, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees during interrogations, according to a May 14, 2006, front-page story in The Washington Post."

Giving Some Love to the Inquisition
Robert Parry writes for Consortium News: "'One of the reasons these techniques have been used for about 500 years is that they work,' Graham said on May 13 in the latest Republican justification of Bush’s authorization of tactics such as forced nudity, sleep deprivation, painful stress positions and the near-drowning of waterboarding."

Afghan Women's Situation a Test Case for Obama Administration's Foreign Assistance Policy
Ritu Sharma writes for The Huffington Post: "President Obama has signaled a change of course on the military side of US policy in Afghanistan this week, replacing US military leadership in the country. The jury is out on whether these are the right changes to be making and whether this new military policy will succeed, but there is another aspect to Afghanistan policy that is also in need of a serious fix: foreign assistance. While our focus is on the war on terror, we have yet to figure out how economic development, which is the crying need of Afghanistan, fits into our engagement in that country."

Why Congress Won't Investigate Wall Street
Thomas Franks writes in the Wall Street Journal: "The famous Pecora Commission of 1933 and 1934 was one of the most successful congressional investigations of all time, an instance when oversight worked exactly as it should. The subject was the massively corrupt investment practices of the 1920s. In the course of its investigation, the Senate Banking Committee, which brought on as its counsel a former New York assistant district attorney named Ferdinand Pecora, heard testimony from the lords of finance that cemented public suspicion of Wall Street. Along the way, the investigations formed the rationale for the Glass-Steagall Act, the Securities Exchange Act, and other financial regulations of the Roosevelt era."

Lobbyist Skirt Disclosures on Stimulus Lobbying
Olga Pierce and Brian Boyer write for ProPublica: "President Barack Obama’s March 20 memo [1] was quite clear on stimulus lobbying: every communication between a lobbyist and a government agency regarding the stimulus has to be documented, and those records have to be posted. "

Missing in Action on Healthcare?
Trudy Leiberman writes for The Nation: "It should come as no surprise that Barack Obama does not support a national health insurance system like most other countries have. He made that clear during the campaign. What is surprising is that he has been so vague about exactly what kind of healthcare reform he has in mind. It's becoming clearer that reform will include some or all of these options: requiring everyone to carry health insurance (an individual mandate à la Massachusetts); subsidizing a portion of the 85 percent of the uninsured who can't afford to buy a policy; taxing some of the health benefits workers now get from employers to pay for insurance for the uninsured; letting people keep the coverage they have even though it's likely to cover less as time goes on; shoving more people onto Medicaid; and trying to get insurers to insure sick people. There may or may not be a public insurance option--maybe like Medicare, or maybe not--that would compete with private insurers and theoretically reduce the cost of insurance. "

Dems: Don't Push Health Care Too Far Left
Chris Frates writes for The Politico: "Two powerful groups of moderate Democratic lawmakers have met with their House leaders to warn against pushing health care reform proposals too far to the left. The New Democrat Coalition and the Blue Dogs met separately Thursday with Democratic leaders to push for legislation they could embrace."

Recommended Audio: Baucus's Raucous Caucus
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: "Advocates of single-payer universal health care - the system favored by most Americans - continue to protest their exclusion from discussions on health care reform. On Tuesday, five doctors, nurses and single-payer advocates were arrested at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, bringing the total number of arrests in less than a week to thirteen. We speak with two of those arrested: Single Payer Action founder Russell Mokhiber and Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program."

Let Them Buy Health Care at Wal-Mart
Ellen and Brian write for News hounds: "Another Fox News day, another unbalanced discussion about health insurance options in America. On Forbes on Fox last week (5/9/09), David Asman and Fox tried to argue that because people can buy $4.00 prescriptions at Wal-Mart (skipping over the fact that it's only for generic drugs), there's no need for government intervention in the rest of our health care."

Some Educational Action Items for Obama
Paul Cummins writes for Truthdig: "So, with the economy in the proverbial toilet and the D word (depression) hovering on the periphery, what is the Obama administration supposed to do about education? What can it do? Will additional and new funding be necessary to address his main concerns?"

From Free Press' Summit: Changing Media

News Media Shouldn't Pay for 'Old Media Sins'
Michael Copps says: "Two decades of mindless deregulation -- only briefly interrupted -- topped off by a veritable tsunami of consolidation across not just communications, but most business sectors, have succeeded in bringing our economy low and endangering the essential civic dialogue on which democracy depends. The sins visited upon old media must not be permitted to deny the promise of new media."

Journalism is a Public Service
Craig Aaron says: "A writer and an editor are lost and wandering through the desert. They’ve gone days without food or water. The sun is beating down. Their clothes are torn. They’ve got sand in their teeth. They’re a mess. As they come to the top of yet another sand dune, the writer spies an oasis on the horizon. The writer breaks into a sprint; the editor is close on his heels. Their arms are churning; they’re kicking up sand, tripping over each other. They reach the water’s edge. It’s no mirage."
For more by Craig Aaron check out: Fairness Doctrine: Secret Republican Agenda Exposed!

Journalism and Internet Policies Must Be Linked

Josh Silver, Free Press, says: "What we are proposing is a new direction. A fair, regulatory approach that protects consumers, promotes competition and allows the companies with the best ideas and products to make money -- a combination of public policy and market forces will achieve these outcomes. It's not an either-or proposition. Companies can make profits and the public interest can be served simultaneously."

Copps: “It’s the Democracy, Stupid”
Radio Business Report writes: "Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps says that democracy runs on information, and that two decades of consolidation are taking a toll on its availability. He sees an obvious decline in the quality of both print and broadcast journalism, and believes that strong intervention may be needed to turn the situation around. Among the steps he would take are a stronger public interest requirement and a reduction in license terms from eight to three years."

Copps Pushes Localism, Non-Discrimination Principle

John Eggerton writes for Broadcast and Cable: "Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps Thursday said it was time to do away with the eight-year, "postcard" station license renewal process and replace it with a three-year renewal with public interest obligations attached."

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