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

21 May 2009

Clippings for 21 May 2009

Wall St. and the Media Are Trying to Make Us Forget Who Started the Financial Crisis
Les Leopold writes for ALterNet: "
It’s fast approaching the time Wall Street has been waiting for: the time when the media and the public forget what got us into this economic mess. As massive doses of taxpayer Viagra lift the stock market ticker, we hold out hope that our 401k and pension plans will re-erect themselves along with our jobs. We feel stimulated by the stimulus package… and the morning after we forget. The crisis, whatever it was, is over, isn’t it? Surely, it’s time to move on."

As Smash-and-Grab Capitalism Collapeses, the French Economy Shines
Willian Pfaff writes for Truthdig: "Many in Britain and the United States are in mourning for what’s taken as the suicide of the American (or Thatcherite, or Chicago-school) model of capitalism, accompanied by the non-interventionist state that hands the national economy over to business and financial leaders to run."

Recommended Audio: Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis: "The Worker Control Solution"
Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman for Democracy Now!: "'Shock Doctrine' author Naomi Klein and Al Jazeera host Avi Lewis discuss the workers who are taking over their factories and plants rather than lose their jobs, some to owners who owe money to bailed-out banks. They also address the latest news in the nation's global economic collapse amidst the White House and Democratic-led Congress's rejection of single-payer health care."

America's Poor Are Its Most Generous Givers

Frank Greve reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "When Jody Richards saw a homeless man begging outside a downtown McDonald's recently, he bought the man a cheeseburger. There's nothing unusual about that, except that Richards is homeless, too, and the 99-cent cheeseburger was an outsized chunk of the $9.50 he'd earned that day from panhandling."

The Disease of Permanent War

Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "The embrace by any society of permanent war is a parasite that devours the heart and soul of a nation. Permanent war extinguishes liberal, democratic movements. It turns culture into nationalist cant. It degrades and corrupts education and the media, and wrecks the economy. The liberal, democratic forces, tasked with maintaining an open society, become impotent. The collapse of liberalism, whether in imperial Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Weimar Germany, ushers in an age of moral nihilism. This moral nihilism comes is many colors and hues. It rants and thunders in a variety of slogans, languages and ideologies. It can manifest itself in fascist salutes, communist show trials or Christian crusades. It is, at its core, all the same. It is the crude, terrifying tirade of mediocrities who find their identities and power in the perpetuation of permanent war. "

Why We Can't See the Trees or the Forest: The Torture Memos and Historical Amnesia
Noam Chomsky writes for TomDispatch.com: "The torture memos released by the White House elicited shock, indignation, and surprise. The shock and indignation are understandable. The surprise, less so. For one thing, even without inquiry, it was reasonable to suppose that Guantanamo was a torture chamber. Why else send prisoners where they would be beyond the reach of the law - a place, incidentally, that Washington is using in violation of a treaty forced on Cuba at the point of a gun? Security reasons were, of course, alleged, but they remain hard to take seriously."

The Trials of Ehren Watada

Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith write for The Nation: "The Army's behavior toward Watada has been disgraceful from the start. The entire controversy could have been forestalled if the Army had not refused his initial request to resign. The Army charged Watada not only with 'missing movement' but with 'conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman' for speaking critically of government policy and President George W. Bush in ways that the military's own courts had repeatedly established to be constitutionally protected. In an effort to intimidate Watada's supporters, Army prosecutors subpoenaed journalists and organizers of public meetings."

After Claiming He Couldn’t ‘Imagine’ The CIA ‘Would Mislead Us,’ Boehner Acknowledges They May Have
Matt Corley writes for Think Progress: "Last week, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asserted in a press conference that she believed the CIA had misled her in a briefing on interrogation, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) scoffed at the idea that the CIA could have been dishonest. “It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone in the intelligence areas would mislead us,” said Boehner in his own press conference."

Donald Rumsfeld: And He Shall Be Judged
Robert Draper reports for GQ: "Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has always answered his detractors by claiming that history will one day judge him kindly. But as he waits for that day, a new group of critics - his administration peers - are suddenly speaking out for the first time. What they're saying? It isn't pretty."

GQ Report Blames Rumsfeld for Military Delay After Katrina
The Times-Picayune comments: "A report on the GQ magazine Web site is quoting an unnamed former Bush administration official as blaming former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for many failures, including a delay in military assistance in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The report says in speaking with the former Bush officials, it becomes evident that Rumsfeld impaired administration performance on a host of matters extending well beyond Iraq to impact America's relations with other nations, the safety of our troops, and the response to Hurricane Katrina."

GOP Senator Leading the Leading Attacks Against Health Care Reform Admits Gitmo Detainees Get Better Care than Americans
Satyum Khanna writes for Think Progress: "Last week, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) visited the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and declared that even if detainees are held without charge, they should remain at Guantanamo “until the war against terrorism ends.” “They are like having Charles Manson times whatever factor — these people are so dangerous,” Ensign said. "

Why is Washington, D.C. So Afraid to Even Talk about Single Payer?
David Sirota writes for The Huffington Post: "After high-profile arrests on Capitol Hill, there's a very simple question on health care that hasn't been answered: Why are top Democrats afraid to even discuss the concept of a single-payer health care system? This is the question I explore in my latest newspaper column."

Who's Afraid of Industrial Policy?
Max Fraser writes for The Nation: "When President Obama announced Chrysler's bankruptcy filing, on April 30, as "one more step on a clearly charted path to Chrysler's revival," even the most Pollyannaish of observers must have done a double take. Plagued by years of declining international competitiveness and now the worst economic downturn in three-quarters of a century, Chrysler, General Motors and even the temporarily healthy Ford have no clear path to recovery. And with much of the public discussion about how to "save" the industry focused on slashing workforces, eliminating surplus productive capacity and ditching obligations to current and retired employees, one could hardly expect autoworkers to share the president's optimism. "Our marching orders were to do both Chrysler and GM the way we would do a strictly commercial deal," an unnamed member of the Treasury Department's Auto Task Force told the New York Times, with the martial tone and menacing verb "do" sounding an awful lot like they were borrowed from Jack Welch's lean-and-mean corporate playbook of the 1980s. "

The State of the Employee Free Choice Act
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Ali Frick, Ryan Powers, and Pat Garofalo write for the Progress Report: "The Los Angeles Times yesterday -- in an article titled, 'Labor unions find themselves card-checkmated' -- made the case that 'business groups have outmaneuvered workers groups, jeopardizing key components of a congressional proposal that has been unions' top priority,' the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). 'We were outspent, outhustled and outorganized,' said one union adviser. However, lost among the doom and gloom was the simple fact that labor reform is still vitally necessary and has a good chance of getting through Congress. And while much of the debate around EFCA has been on the bill's majority sign-up provision -- which would have allowed workers to form a union by signing cards of consent -- there are other important measures aimed at ensuring fair contract negotiations and instituting penalties that actually deter labor law violations. Last week, Vice President Biden reaffirmed the White House's commitment to labor reform, telling union members, 'You've got to climb up a hill with so many roadblocks on the way to organize that it's just out of whack. ... If a union is what you want, then a union is what you should get.' President Obama has also reiterated his support for the principles in the bill, saying, 'What I think we have to do is to find ways in which the core idea of the Employee Free Choice Act is preserved.'"

Coal, Electric Industries Big Winners in Climate Bill Deal
Mike Lillis reports for The Washington Independent: "Even as House Democrats are celebrating their deal with conservative-leaning colleagues on climate change legislation, the real winners under the compromise have been the coal, electric and auto industries, who are largely the source of the nation’s carbon emissions to begin with. Details of the compromise are still emerging, but already the chief sponsors of the measure - Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) - have been forced to lower carbon-reduction targets, cut renewable fuel standards and dole out billions of dollars in benefits to the nation’s largest polluting industries."

Big Business Gearing Up to Defend Protectionism Against UN Climate Negotiators

Mark Weisbrot writes for the Huffington Post: "The battle over "intellectual property rights" is likely to be one of the most important of this century. It has enormous economic, social, and political implications in a wide range of areas, from medicine to the arts and culture - anything where the public interest in the widespread dissemination of knowledge runs up against those whose income derives from monopolizing it."

Chernobyl's Legacy as Psychological Problem
Adeleivd Velden writes for Dialy Censored: "Did you know people are protesting every day in front of the WHO offices in Geneva against access of the International Atomic Energy Agency to all WHO communications with a right to veto nuclear related content?” A friend who sent me a clipping on Chernobyl children, came up with the question. Unaware of the tightly-knit relationship between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and WHO, I did some research – and discovered his account was accurate. Since April 2007 activists for an independent WHO have been standing in front of the offices from 8 till 6, Monday to Friday."

Rallyin' for Planned Parenthood
Jason Croucher writes for Kansas Jackass: "Yesterday, as I said I would, I attended a rally at the Kansas Statehouse in support of Planned Parenthood and to encourage Governor Mark Parkinson to line-item veto the so-called Huelskamp Amendment from the budget passed in the waning days of this year's legislative session."

Politics Punctuate the Terrorism Debate
The Pew Research Center for Excellent Journalism: "With two of the nation’s more politically polarizing figures helping fuel the narrative, the U.S. campaign against terrorism was the No. 1 story last week. The news included the president’s change of heart in opposing the release of photos of prisoner abuse by U.S. troops as well as a highly charged Congressional hearing on interrogation techniques. But some coverage also focused on the second and third leading newsmakers of the week—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was embroiled in a controversy with the CIA over waterboarding briefings, and former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who continued his public campaign against Barack Obama’s policies."

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