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

27 May 2009

Clippings for 28 May 2009

Dissent is as American as Cherry Pie
Richard Haass writes for the Huffington Post: "The following is a commencement address I delivered today to the graduates of Oberlin College. Congratulations to everyone in the Oberlin class of 2009 -- but also to your friends and teachers and, above all, your parents. I don't know if it took a village to get you where you are today, but I expect it took a great many people giving a great deal."

Stuff the Bankers, Starve the Kids
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig: "All sorts of startling conclusions are being drawn about the failure of California’s ballot funding initiatives last week. Newt Gingrich hailed it as another Boston Tea Party, and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman insisted that it condemns California, one of the world’s largest economies, to banana republic status. But if it was such a big deal, how come the voter turnout was so low?"

The Greatest Swindle Ever Sold
Andy Kroll writes for TomDispatch.com: "On October 3rd, as the spreading economic meltdown threatened to topple financial behemoths like American International Group (AIG) and Bank of America and plunged global markets into freefall, the US government responded with the largest bailout in American history. That $700 billion bailout has since grown into a more than $12 trillion commitment by the US government and the Federal Reserve."

Taking Off the Rose-Colored Glasses
Raegen Miller writes for The Center for American Progress: "Not a dozen weeks have passed since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was lauded far and wide for its large investment in the short-term economic health and long-term reform of public schools. Balancing the act's two goals was always going to be complicated, even though the argument for a one-time federal injection of roughly $100 billion remains sound, a new report sheds light on how this balancing act may play out, and it doesn't look good for states that were already having fiscal troubles."

How the Poorest Americans Dropped Out of Politics

Lee Drutman reports in Miller-McCune Magazine: "In the 2008 election, lower-income Americans voted at significantly lower rates than higher-income Americans. This was not, in itself, news. Just as in 2004, more than 60 percent of voters came from families above the median household income of $50,000. That family income is a significant predictor of individual voting is a long-standing and oft-lamented fact of American political life."

Aerial Bombing Makes Terrorists

Abdul Malik Mujahid comments for Truthout: "During the last thirty years of wars in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians have had one safe place to escape to: Pakistan. They fled the Soviet invasion. They fled civil wars. They fled US bombing. Pakistan took care of millions of these Afghan refugees. Now that safe haven with its lush green valleys is burning with bombs."

Torture Nation (pdf)
The Reader provides a special 23-page section, Torture Nation, which examines the causes, reasons, results and reaction to the US’s counterproductive ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ carried out at Guantanamo Bay and other places during the past eight years. Essays by Andy Worthington, Ray McGovern, Bill van Auken, Jason Leopold, Mark Haas, Rory O’Connor and John Pilger. Other essays in this issue include Mark Ames’s account of a rebellion that went wrong; David Edwards on the fallacy of the left-wing media; Danny Schechter tells why he returned his American Express card; George Monbiot bemoans the state of Britain’s police forces; Jonathan Cook searches for secret prisons in Israel; while David Michael Green wonders what’s going on in the US, home of the barricaded, land of the ’fraid. Plus more essays from Joe Bageant, chris Hedges, Ramzy Baroud, Medea Benjamin, Dave Zirin and Norman Solomon. And, finally, we’ve got a wonderful photograph by Jess Hurd!

Recommended Audio: GRIT TV - The Sotomayor Selection, Credit Card Accountability?, and Auditing the Fed


How - and Why - Barack Obama Picked Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court
Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin write for Politico: "President Barack Obama called Judge Sonia Sotomayor at 9 p.m. on Memorial Day to say she was his pick for the Supreme Court. Obama showed he was willing to pick a fight with his choice - Republicans do not consider her a 'consensus' nominee and had signaled that they considered her the most liberal of the four finalists."

Obama Pick Sonia Sotomayor Reflects America
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "When Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his planned retirement, the pressure was on President Obama to add a second woman to a bench. At the same time, Obama was encouraged to pick a Hispanic justice. He did both, and a good deal more. Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as his first appointment to the high court, was made at the White House this morning, with the president hailing her as 'an inspiring woman who I think will make a great justice.'"

Will Fox News Channel Parrot RNC Talking Points on Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor?
Alex writesf or News Hounds: "Is Hannity a Catholic? Well, depending on your point of view an argument can be made either for or against the latter. But as sure as the “right” think the sun shines out of Ronald Reagan’s – errr – corpse, FNC will parrot RNC talking points as well as the other anti-Sotomayor memes that conservatives have been incubating for the past few weeks. Better yet, they won’t have to do any homework on them because the Republican National Committee have inadvertently released their talking points memo, meant for the Republican faithful, to the national media (those goddamned libruls!). Memes, themes, vaccinations, and possible antidotes for infected conservatives provided after the jump."

Recommended Audio: Bill Moyers Journal for 22 May

BILL MOYERS writes: "Welcome to the JOURNAL. Health care reform. It's the talk of the town - if the town is Washington, D.C. But some possible reforms aren't being talked about at all. Not officially, that is. The White House and Congress have kept the lid on one of the most controversial but popular options, known as single-payer. It's a story the mainstream press has largely ignored and that's why we are covering it in this broadcast."

Rx and the Single Payer
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout: "In 2003, a young Illinois state senator named Barack Obama told an AFL-CIO meeting, 'I am a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program.' Single payer. Universal. That's health coverage, like Medicare, but for everyone who wants it. Single payer eliminates insurance companies as pricey middlemen. The government pays care providers directly. It's a system that polls consistently have shown the American people favoring by as much as two to one."

Obama Promises "Basic" Health Care Coverage
J.Taylor Rushing comments for The Hill: "President Obama vowed in an interview Saturday that his health care plan will provide "basic coverage" to all Americans - a linguistically different choice than 'universal' care - but reiterated his commitment to the idea of reform. Obama said reform is more possible in 2009 than it was under the Clinton administration in 1993 chiefly because businesses and the health industry itself now realize the country cannot afford the current system. 'The fact that we've got hospitals and doctors who also recognize that the system is unsustainable on its current path, fiscal conservatives who recognize that the single biggest component of driving down our deficits and long-term debt is getting control of Medicare and Medicaid costs, and that health care reform is critical to bend the curve,' Obama said. 'All those things I think are converged.'"

Blue Cross Millionaires Scared to Compete
Dean Baker comments for Truthout: "The boys running the show at Blue Cross in North Carolina are running scared. They're worried that President Obama is going to treat them like autoworkers and make them actually compete in the market. The Blue Cross boys think that they belong in the same league as the Wall Street bankers and should just be allowed to collect their multi-million-dollar salaries without being forced to worry about things like competition."

Intimidation Nation: How US Employers Fight Unions
Seth Sandronsky writes for Truthout: "Opinion polls say that the majority of US workers want to be in a labor union, according to Kate Bronfenbrenner, a professor and director of Labor Education Research, New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. So why are just 12.4 percent of American workers union members? In brief, they fear what their bosses will do to them."

"Clean" Energy and Poisoned Water
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "In the musical “Urinetown,” a severe drought leaves the dwindling supplies of clean water in the hands of a corporation called Urine Good Company. Urine Good Company makes a fortune selling the precious commodity and running public toilets. It pays off politicians to ward off regulation and inspection. It uses the mechanisms of state control to repress an increasingly desperate and impoverished population."

EPA Mining Decisions Favor Coal Industry
Mike Lillis reports for The Washington Independent: "Despite renewed vows to protect Appalachian waterways from the ravages of mountaintop coal mining, the Environmental Protection Agency has recently authorized a number of pending mountaintop permits that will bury dozens of streams in the nation's oldest mountain range. The move has left mining supporters cheering the federal endorsement of a popular extraction method, environmentalists wondering if the Obama administration truly intends to prioritize water-quality concerns above those of the powerful coal industry, and both sides unsure what to expect of mountaintop permitting in the future."

La Cage aux Democrats
Frank Rich comments for the New York Times: "THE most potent word in our new president’s lexicon — change — has been heard much less since his inspiring campaign gave way to the hard realities of governing. But on Tuesday night, the irresistible Obama brand made an unexpected and pointed cameo appearance on America’s most popular television show, 'American Idol.' In the talent competition’s climactic faceoff, the song picked for one of the two finalists, Adam Lambert, was Sam Cooke’s soul classic, 'A Change Is Gonna Come.'”

Internet Threatened by Censorship, Secret Surveillance, and Cybersecurity Laws
Stephen Lendman writes for The Media Channel: "At a time of corporate dominated media, a free and open Internet is democracy’s last chance to preserve our First Amendment rights without which all others are threatened. Activists call it Net Neutrality. Media scholar Robert McChesney says without it “the Internet would start to look like cable TV (with a) handful of massive companies (controlling) content” enough to have veto power over what’s allowed and what it costs. Progressive web sites and writers would be marginalized or suppressed, and content systematically filtered or banned."

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