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

16 August 2009

Clippings for 16 August 2009

Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High: STUDY
A recent update to a research paper by University of California, Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has found that income inequality is worse than it has ever been in the United States. The Huffington Post writes: "Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez. The paper, which covers data through 2007, points to a staggering, unprecedented disparity in American incomes. On his blog, Nobel prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the numbers 'truly amazing.'" The entire report is available for reading at this site.

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere with Obama

Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "The American empire has not altered under Barack Obama. It kills as brutally and indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did under George W. Bush. It steals from the U.S. treasury to enrich the corporate elite as rapaciously. It will not give us universal health care, abolish the Bush secrecy laws, end torture or “extraordinary rendition,” restore habeas corpus or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of citizens. It will not push through significant environmental reform, regulate Wall Street or end our relationship with private contractors that provide mercenary armies to fight our imperial wars and produce useless and costly weapons systems."

Lobbyists Paid Off by China vs. 30,000 US Workers: Which Side Will Obama Choose?
Mike Elk writes for the Campaign for America's Future: "As the International Trade Commission considers comments on its recommendation to impose tariffs on Chinese tire imports, President Obama stands at a crossroads in the fight to rebuild the American economy. President Obama has made a commitment in the past to uphold previously signed trade agreements. China, however, is violating these agreements by flooding the market with a massive 300 percent increase in tire imports in an attempt to wipe out American tire manufacturers."

Boycotting Big Beer
Benjamin Dangl writes for CounterPunch: "When Obama sat down for a beer in the White House Rose Garden with Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley, they all turned their backs on the smaller, craft brewers of the country. Obama chose Bud Light, Gates asked for Red Stripe, and Crowley drank Blue Moon."

Resurgence on the Right
Mark Potok, Editor of the Intelligence Reporter, comments: "As the first months of the Obama Administration unfold, a growing consensus is emerging that a resurgence of right-wing hate groups and radical ideas is spreading across the United States. Law enforcement officials, civil rights groups, and many others have all expressed worries about this troubling trend. "

SPLC Report: Return of the Militias
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports: "The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment "Patriot" movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called "sovereign citizens." Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's federal building — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists, carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theories of the militias. In the years that followed, a truly remarkable number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president. "

Biking Out of Iraq
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "The Bush administration invaded Iraq in March 2003 with a force of approximately 130,000 troops. Top White House and Pentagon officials like Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz were convinced that, by August, those troops, welcomed with open arms by the oppressed Iraqis, would be drawn down to and housed in newly built, permanent military bases largely away from the country's urban areas. This was to be part of what now is called a 'strategic partnership' in the Middle East."

Obama Faces Rising Anxiety on Afghanistan

Spencer Ackerman reports for The Washington Independent: "It was supposed to be an event detailing how thoroughly the Obama administration was preparing to handle the non-military challenges of the Afghanistan war.... But to a large degree, Holbrooke's interlocutors wanted to know about the wisdom of the entire eight-year war in Afghanistan - and President Obama's definitions of success for a conflict he may decide to escalate."

Afghanistan's Women Yearn for More
Laura King reports for The Los Angeles Times: "One is the face of despair; the other, of hope. Zeinab, 22, believed that only death could provide an escape from her husband's merciless beatings. So she set herself on fire, leaving one-third of her body covered with oozing, blistering burns. She faces a lifetime of disfigurement and, unless she returns to her abusive husband, the likely loss of her two children. Twelve-year-old Nazira's classroom is a sweltering tent, and her desk is a plastic mat on the ground. But her teachers say she is one of their brightest pupils, encouraged by a mother and father who want her to get as much education as she can. Her eyes sparkle when she describes her ambition: to become a doctor."

How to Free Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi
The editorial board at The Christian Science Monitor write: "In at least two of Asia's battlegrounds for democracy, it is sometimes women who often have their ear to the ground more than men; that have been pivotal political players."

Education ‘Miracles’ Don’t Survive Scrutiny
Michael Rose writes for Truthdig.com: "Despite a childhood of incantations and incense, of holy cards and stories of crutches being tossed, I don’t believe in miracles. So it is with less than wonderment that I watch as a language of miracles—along with a search for academic cure-alls and magic bullets—infuses our educational discourse and policy."

The Brutal Truth About America’s Healthcare
An extraordinary report from Guy Adams in Los Angeles at the music arena that has been turned into a makeshift medical center. The Independent (UK) writes: "They came in their thousands, queuing through the night to secure one of the coveted wristbands offering entry into a strange parallel universe where medical care is a free and basic right and not an expensive luxury. Some of these Americans had walked miles simply to have their blood pressure checked, some had slept in their cars in the hope of getting an eye-test or a mammogram, others had brought their children for immunizations that could end up saving their life."

If Right-Wingers Get Their Way, 22,000 Americans will Continue to Be Killed by Lackof Health Care Each Year
Mark Ames writes for AlterNet: "The right-wing anti-Obama-care movement is OK with killing off tens of thousands of Americans each year. That's what this is all about: The right-wingers and their corporate sponsors are protecting a medieval and violent health care system that kills more Americans each year than all the Americans who have died in the war on terror since 2001, including the 3,000 victims of 9/11, and the 5,000-plus U.S. service members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America's Dirty Work

Adele Stan writes for AlterNet: "The recent spate of town hall dustups may look like an overnight sensation, but they’ve been years, even decades, in the making. Since the days in the late 1970s, when the New Right began its takeover of the Republican Party, it has cultivated a militia of white people armed with a grudge against those who brought forth the social changes of the ’60s. These malcontents have been promised their day of retribution, a day for which they are more than ready. Few seem to understand that they are merely dupes for a corporate agenda that will only worsen the conditions in which they live."

The Real Death Panels
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "When Republican politicians and right-wing talking heads bemoan the fictitious “death panels” that they claim would arise from health care reform, they are concealing a sinister reality from their followers. The ugly fact is that every year we fail to reform the existing system, that failure condemns tens of thousands of people to die—either because they have no insurance or because their insurance companies deny coverage or benefits when they become ill."

The Gorilla Dust of Health Care
Michael Winship writes for Truthout: The attacks on Bill and Hillary Clinton's plan for health care reform back in the '90s were a tiptoe through the tulips compared to the current assault. That's because it's about a lot more than attempting to ease the financial pain of illness - or a socialist government takeover of medicine, depending on your point of view. Organizers (such as former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey's FreedomWorks), special interests and people who are just plain mad as hell have turned it into a shrill national referendum, reigniting age-old prejudices and fears that bubbled at the surface during last year's presidential campaign."

Recommended Audio: Olbermann - "Death Panel" Palin Dangerously Irresponsible
Keith Olbermann on MSNBC "Countdown" states: "Finally as promised a Special Comment on this terrible moment in American history, and those unfortunate and irresponsible Americans who have brought us to it. 'The America I know and love,' the quitter governor of Alaska Sarah Palin began, 'is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.' Of course it is, Ms. Palin, and that is why it does not exist, has not existed, and would never, under this president, nor any other president, ever exist, in this country."

Climate Disobedience: Is a New "Seattle" in the Making?
Mark Engler writes for TomDispatch.com: "In the early morning of October 8, 2007, a small group of British Greenpeace activists slipped inside a hulking smokestack that towers more than 600 feet above a coal-fired power plant in Kent, England. While other activists cut electricity on the plant's grounds, they prepared to climb the interior of the structure to its top, rappel down its outside, and paint in block letters a demand that Prime Minister Gordon Brown put an end to plants like the Kingsnorth facility, which releases nearly 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each day."

"Sensitive" Oil Industry Memo Lays Out Plan For Astroturf Rallies Against Climate Change Bill
Zachary Roth writes for the Talking Points Memo: "A leaked memo sent by an oil industry group reveals a plan to create astroturf rallies at which industry employees posing as 'citizens' will urge Congress to oppose climate change legislation. The memo - sent by the American Petroleum Institute and obtained by Greenpeace, which sent it to reporters - urges oil companies to recruit their employees for events that will 'put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy,' and will urge senators to 'avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill.'"

Whole Foods boss: We sell a 'bunch of junk.'
The Telegraph UK reports: "Mr Mackey admitted shoppers had been let down by filling his shelves with fat-laden products. He said: 'We sell a bunch of junk. We've decided if Whole Foods doesn't take a leadership role in educating people about a healthy diet, who the heck is going to do it?'"

Bill Clinton Heckled at Netroots Nation; Answers on DADT, DOMA
Andy Towle writes at Towleroad Blog: "Blogger/activist Lane Hudson stood up and interrupted Bill Clinton's keynote last night at the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh, asking, 'Mr. President, will you call for a repeal of DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Right now?' Clinton responded to Hudson that he ought to go to one of the health care town halls. 'You'd do really well there.' But Hudson did get the answer he wanted, and more on DOMA." You can watch video clips of the exchange at this site.

Hope and History
Michael Joseph Gross writes for the Advocate: "As a candidate Obama promised us a lot; as president he’s delivered very little -- and many gay people are getting impatient. Does the outcry unmask this president’s indifference, or reveal our own impotence as a movement?"

American Psychology Declares Homosexuality Can't Be "Cured"
Jean-Claude Leclerc, Le Devoir (English translation by Trouthout): Homophobia's "persistence is often attributed to archaic dogmas that hold such an orientation in horror. The major religions, certainly, stigmatize homosexuals less and less, but the justice system in several countries still continues to persecute them. Even circles that purport to be modern, scientific, even secular, are not exempt. Medicine has only recently rejected the diagnosis of mental illness it once applied to this subject." For original French version, click here.

Lou Dobbs: Secret Single-Payer Socialist?
Leslie Savan writes for The Nation: "Lou Dobbs is a strange man. One day he's railing against "Obamacare," stoking the birther and deather paranoia that an illegitimate president's health care plan will mandate euthanasia. Next day he's practically singing the praises of single-payer healthcare systems 'round the world. "

Think Again: Media Ethics "So Last Century"
Eric Alterman writes for the Center for American Progress: "Pity poor Ben Stein, fired by The New York Times for an egregious conflict of interest. Although he was trusted by Times readers to offer unbiased economic commentary, Stein could also be found in advertisements hawking a company that soaks suckers for $30 a month for access to a “free credit score” when in fact these are available to everyone, by law, and actually free. According to the Times, this clearly violated its ethics policy, which states 'it is an inherent conflict for a journalist to perform public relations work, paid or unpaid.'"

The Wrong Stuff: What we don’t know about how to correct misinformation
Greg Marx writes for the Columbia Journalism Review: "Pushing back against political misinformation has lately become a growth industry. The Obama administration is trying to counter false claims that proposed health care reforms will lead to government-sponsored euthanasia, both via appeals from the president and on a new Web site. Meanwhile, the British government, a sort of innocent bystander to the debate, is quietly setting the record straight about its own form of universal health care. And, as Michael Calderone reported in Politico, MSNBC recently devoted a lot of time to the unhinged “birther” theories about the president’s provenance, in order to mock or debunk them."

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