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

26 July 2009

Clippings for 26 July 2009

1 Percenters Enjoy Unprecedented Protection: Rich Have Highest Wealth, Lowest Taxes Since 1929
David Sirota writes for the Coloradaoan.com: "Here's a truism: The wealthiest 1 percent have never had it so good. According to government figures, 1 percenters' share of America's total income is the highest it's been since 1929, and their tax rates are the lowest they've faced in two decades."

A Spike in Homeless Families
The Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board writes: "The recession is changing the makeup of homelessness in America to include more families and more people in suburbs and rural areas. Private and public services for the homeless – concentrated on individuals and in urban areas – must now quickly adjust."

The Cheney Plan to Deploy the U.S. Military on U.S. Soil
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "This new report today from The New York Times' Mark Mazzetti and David Johnston reveals an entirely unsurprising though still important event: in 2002, Dick Cheney and David Addington urged that U.S. military troops be used to arrest and detain American citizens, inside the U.S., who were suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda. That was done pursuant to a previously released DOJ memo (.pdf) authored by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, addressed to Alberto Gonzales, dated October 23, 2001, and chillingly entitled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the U.S." That Memo had concluded that the President had authority to deploy the U.S. military against American citizens on U.S. soil. Far worse, it asserted that in exercising that power, the President could not be bound either by Congressional statutes prohibiting such use (such as the Posse Comitatus Act) or even by the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which -- the Memo concluded -- was 'inapplicable' to what it called 'domestic military operations.'"

U.S. Foreign Wars Not Going According to Plan

William Pfaff writes for Truthdig.com: "Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, was in Washington this week to consult with Barack Obama and American military and political officials, three weeks after the Status of Forces Agreement concerning U.S. forces in Iraq came into effect. On the same day, in Iraq, tension was reported to be increasing between the Americans, whose combat forces were supposed to leave Baghdad and other cities at the end of June, and the Iraqi military and security forces, which were supposed to take over the Americans’ responsibilities."

A Better Way for Afghan Women than War
Katrina Vander Heuvel writes for The Nation: "Earlier this year, I challenged the notion put forth by some feminists and human rights groups that a US military presence in Afghanistan is both justified and necessary in order to protect Afghan women and girls. I interviewed Kavita Ramdas, President of the Global Fund for Women, who discussed how the women of Afghanistan are hardly united on the need for the US military in their country, and many make a strong case that the war in Afghanistan and US occupation in fact exacerbates the plight of women. "

Facing the American World We Created
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "We've just passed through the CIA assassination flap, already fading from the news after less than two weeks of media attention. Broken in several major newspapers, here's how the story goes: the Agency, evidently under Vice President Dick Cheney's orders, didn't inform Congress that, to assassinate al-Qaeda leaders, it was trying to develop and deploy global death squads. (Of course, just about no one is going to call them that, but the description fits.) Congress is now in high dudgeon. The CIA didn't keep that body's 'Gang of Eight' informed. A House investigation is now underway."

Blackwater Seeks Gag Order
Jeremy Scahill writes for The Nation: "It became common practice during the Iraq occupation for the US State Department to work with private security companies like Blackwater to help facilitate giving what amounted to hush money to the families of Iraqis shot dead by private security contractors. In fact, Blackwater's owner, Erik Prince, discussed this practice when he testified in front of Congress in October 2007 and admitted to paying $20,000 to a Blackwater victim's family and $5,000 to another."

Recommended Audio: Zelaya Just One of Millions

The Real News Network: The coup regime in Honduras – and its right-wing backers in the United States and Canada – say they objected to political abuses by ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but the bigger motive appears to have been fear of empowering the long-oppressed Honduran poor. Former Reagan-Bush official Otto Reich joined in supporting the coup-regime president Roberto Micheletti because, Reich said, elected president Zelaya was getting too close to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and had proposed a referendum on rewriting the constitution, which dates back to the 1980s and the days of the Honduran military dictatorship.

Clinton call Zelaya's Return 'Reckless'
PressTV writes: "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called a move by ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to cross the border into his homeland "reckless." Zelaya briefly crossed the Honduran border on Friday before quickly returning to neighboring Nicaragua to avoid arrest. The incident occurred almost a month after the country's military sent him into exile."

Homeland Security Inspector General Report Echoes ProPublica Investigation
Joaquin Sapien reports for ProPublica: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to speedily react to a public health threat posed by formaldehyde-contaminated trailers it provided to Hurricane Katrina victims, according to a report [1] (PDF) released Thursday night by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. The report bolsters the findings of a ProPublica investigation [2] published last year, which found that FEMA misused a flawed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study to suppress public concerns about the formaldehyde problem. "

Obama's View of Education Is Stuck in Reverse
Henry A. Giroux comments for Truthout: "While President Obama and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, have focused on public education, they have done so by largely embracing the Bush administration's view of educational reform, which includes more testing, more empirically based accountability measures, more charter schools, more military academies, defining the purpose of education in largely economic terms, and punishing public schools that don't measure up to high-stakes testing measures."

Waterloo or Water Down?
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout: "The Republicans have more than health care reform in their bombsights - they want a loss for Obama so crushing it will bring the administration to its knees and restore GOP control of Congress after next year's elections. In the words of Republican Senator Jim DeMint, 'If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.'"

Limbaugh's Lies Sabotage the Health Reform Debate
Sue Wilson writes for AlterNet: "There's a showdown at the House Energy and Commerce Committee corral. Seven Blue Dog Democrat members are banding together, and if they don't get their way, they can gun down the health care bill. The Blue Dog Seven are spooked by pressure from their constituents and recent polls that show American's approval of Obama's health care initiative has dropped below 50 percent for the first time."

The Wall Street-Health Care Connection: Fat Cats Want to Tax Your Benefits
Mike Elk writes for AlterNet: "When I heard Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., floating the idea of a tax on health benefits in order to raise revenue for health-care reform, I was baffled; how could this be? Barack Obama's victory in the presidential campaign was due, in part, to his promise to never tax health care benefits. And even as tax schemes on benefits for ordinary American workers gain traction in the Senate, many conservative House Democrats -- the so-called Blue Dogs -- balk at a tax increase on the country's wealthiest citizens to help pay for a much-needed health care fix."

Recommended Audio: Getting More Value from the Health Care System

Karen Davenport, Center for American Progress, discusses what modernizing the health care system would entail. Then asks: How quickly would health care modernization bring savings? And how can the federal government promote health system modernization?

An Abortion Battle, Fought to the Death
David Barstow writes for the New Yourk Time: "Shrewd and resourceful, Dr. Tiller made himself the nation’s pre-eminent abortion practitioner, advertising widely and drawing women to Wichita from all over with his willingness to perform late-term abortions, hundreds each year. As anti-abortion activists discovered, he gave as good as he got, wearing their contempt as a badge of honor. A “warrior,” they called him with grudging respect."

Odd Are Federal Marriage Lawsuits Could Deliver a Surprise
Lisa Keen writes for the Bay Area Reporter: "The shocker at the Kentucky Derby this year was that a little known horse with 50 to 1 odds came in first. Lawsuits, too, have odds, though not the type that translates into numbers. They can have a greater chance of success or failure due to which court they are filed in; which judge is randomly assigned to the case; the scope of the issue it challenges; what arguments the lawyers use to make their cases; and, of course, which lawyers have filed the lawsuit and which are lined up to oppose it."

No Newspaper Bailouts without Civic Representation
Guy Berger writes for PBS' MediaShift Idea Lab: "Government money to bail out newspapers is a rather "un-American" suggestion. It has been put forward by various commentators who feel that emergency circumstances call for drastic measures. After all, it's not just jobs at stake, but the survival of a key pillar of democracy. If newspapers go under, the argument goes, so too does the bulk of professional journalism."

"Hundreds of Billions" Invested In Broadband And Yet We Still Lag Behind
Goeff Daily writes for AppRising: "In starting to peruse the reply comments to the FCC on formulating a national broadband policy, something NCTA said caught my eye, namely that the FCC should acknowledge that one of the many successes in the broadband marketplace has been the hundreds of billions of dollars invested by private operators in building broadband networks."

"Net Neutrality" Gets White Hot as FCC Drafts Broadband Plan
Nate Anderson writes for Are Technica: "Net neutrality has largely died down as an issue in Congress, but the war over the idea has resumed at the FCC as the agency drafts its national broadband plan. Is it just a new "price control" or a precious part of the 'public interest'?"

Senator Wants FCC to Look Harder into "Fake News"
John Eggerton writes for Broadcasting & Cable: "'Our news folks have enough problems with credibility right now without fake news being aired,' said Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) at a subcommittee hearing Wednesday (July 22) on advertising and consumer protection. She said she was infuriated by ads that mimic newscasts, with actors or even news anchors from a TV station being paid 'to pretend like it is a newscast, with a ticker running underneath.'"

Online Poll: Jon Stewart Is America's Most Trusted Newsman
Jason Linkins writes for the Huffington Post: "Well, in a result that he will probably accept as downright apocalyptic for America, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart has been selected, in an online poll conducted by Time Magazine, as America's Most Trusted Newscaster, post-Cronkite. Matched up against Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson, Stewart prevailed with 44 percent of the vote. Now, if we're being honest, he probably managed to prevail as the winner precisely because he was the odd man out in a field of network news anchors. Nevertheless, I think Jim Cramer should feel free to SNACK ON THAT."

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