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 July 2009

Clippings for 9 July 2009

The Crooks Get Cash While the Poor Get Screwed
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "Tearyan Brown became a father when he was 16. He did what a lot of inner-city kids desperate to make money do. He sold drugs. He was arrested and sent to jail three years later for dealing marijuana and PCP on the streets of Trenton, N.J., mostly to white kids driving in from the suburbs. It was a job which saw him robbed at gunpoint and stabbed in the chest. But it made him about $1,400 a week."

Wall Street's Toxic Message
Joseph E. Stiglitz writes for Vanity Fair: "Every crisis comes to an end - and, bleak as things seem now, the current economic crisis too shall pass. But no crisis, especially one of this severity, recedes without leaving a legacy. And among this one's legacies will be a worldwide battle over ideas - over what kind of economic system is likely to deliver the greatest benefit to the most people."

Financial Lobby Gears Up Effort Against Obama Plan

Silla Brush writes for The Hill: "A coalition of financial services interests is in the process of organizing a major lobbying campaign against the Obama administration's plan for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.... The budget could be as high as several millions of dollars to organize grassroots opposition to the plan, launch an advertising campaign and contact congressional offices, according to one source."

What Are Afghan Lives Worth?
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "In the two weeks since, however, that's been on my mind -- or rather the lack of interest our world shows in dead civilians from a distant imperial war -- and all because of a passage I stumbled upon in a striking article by journalist Anand Gopal. In 'Uprooting an Afghan Village' in the June issue of the Progressive magazine, he writes about Garloch, an Afghan village he visited in the eastern province of Laghman. After destructive American raids, Gopal tells us, many of its desperate inhabitants simply packed up and left for exile in Afghan or Pakistani refugee camps."

Adding Up the True Costs of Two Wars
Joseph Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes write for The Capital Times: "Last week the US 'stood down' in Iraq, finalizing the pullout of 140,000 troops from Iraqi cities and towns - the first step on the long path home. After more than six years, most Americans are war-weary, even though a smaller percentage of us have been involved in the actual fighting than in any major conflict in US history."

So This Is What Victory Looks Like
Scott Ritter writes for Truthdig: "Fireworks lit up the Baghdad sky on the evening of June 30th, signaling the advent of “National Sovereignty Day.” Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared the new holiday to commemorate the withdrawal of American combat troops from the Iraqi capital and all other major urban centers, although thousands of “advisers” would remain in the cities, embedded with Iraqi forces. The celebration transpired inside a city that has been radically transformed over the past six years. Even with American combat forces ostensibly withdrawn, Baghdad remains one of the most militarized urban areas in the world. It wasn’t always so. When I was in Baghdad during the 1990s, I was struck by the lack of an overt military presence for a nation purported to be governed by one of the world’s worst militaristic dictatorships."

Rove Deposed in US Attorney Probe

John Bresnahan and Josh Gerstein report on The Politico: "Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed Tuesday by attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel's chairman. Rove's deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said. Conyers would not comment on what Rove told congressional investigators, what the next step in the long-running Judiciary Committee investigation would be or whether Rove would face additional questioning."

Howard Dean: "This Is Ridiculous. We're 60 Years Behind the Times" on Fixing Health Care
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "During the 2004 presidential primaries, the conventional wisdom among Howard Dean's energized supporters was that the over-the-top conservative attacks on the Vermont governor reflected the degree to which the right feared his nomination. With his blunt, plainspoken populism, the argument went at the time, Dean represented a threat to the Bush administration's prospects for re-election that his more polished Democratic opponents lacked."

Life, Liberty and Employer-Provided Health Insurance
Dean Baker comments for Truthout: "As Congress starts to delve into the dirt of a health care reform package, the clearest point of conflict is over the existence and structure of a public health care plan. Some members of Congress have thrown down the gauntlet, insisting that they could never allow the public to have the option of buying into a government-run plan."

US Justice Department Eyeing Telecom Probe: Report
Reuters reports: "The US Justice Department has begun looking at big telecom companies such as AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications to try to determine if they have abused their market power, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Monday. The journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, said the Antitrust Division's review was in its very early stages and was not yet a formal probe of any specific company."

WaPo Not Alone on Corporate-Sponsored "Salons"

Zachary Roth writes for Talking Points Memo: "Last week, Politico reported that the Washington Post had planned to put on an exclusive off-the-record 'salon' at the home of its publisher, where corporate lobbyists would pay as much as $250,000 to gain access to Post reporters and editors, as well as Obama administration officials and members of Congress. The news provoked an outcry in DC journalism circles -- the Post's own ombudsman called it 'pretty close to a public relations disaster' - and the event was quickly canceled. But the notion that the Post's gambit represents some sort of new and uniquely outrageous collapsing of the wall between the editorial and business sides of a news publication is badly off the mark."

The David Bradley Effect: The corrupting effect of his off-the-record salons
Jack Shafer writes for Slate Magazine: "The off-the-record-for-dollars salon scheme that got Katharine Weymouth and the Washington Post in so much trouble last week prompted TPM Muckraker to flush David Bradley - owner and publisher of the Atlantic - into the open about his salon-happy organization."

Colin Powell: Time to Review Policy on Gays in US Military
Reuters: "American attitudes have changed and the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy toward gays serving in the U.S. military should be reviewed, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Colin Powell said on Sunday. President Barack Obama favors overturning the policy, which bars gay troops from serving openly in the military."

Stonewall Plus Fourty
Hendrik Hertzberg comments for The New Yorker: "The most improbable of America’s mass movements for civil rights—improbable at the time, inevitable in retrospect—got its start at a most improbable hour in a most improbable place. The hour: two in the morning, forty years ago. The place: the sidewalk in front of the Stonewall Inn, a questionable bar (as it might then have been called by persons of delicate sensibilities) on Christopher Street, in the heart of Greenwich Village. Like most such establishments, the Stonewall was more or less openly run by the Mafia; it served prodigious quantities of watered-down booze, though it had no liquor license; it dealt in cash and seldom paid taxes, unless you counted the envelopes regularly provided to representatives of the local police precinct. But none of these was the ultimate reason that the N.Y.P.D. vice squad raided the Stonewall that night. The reason was that its customers were homosexuals."

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