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

30 August 2009

Clippings for 30 August 2009

Recommended Audio: Senator Saunders Unflitered - Farewell Senator Kennedy
Ted Kennedy will go down in history as one of the giants of the U.S. Senate and one the most accomplished legislators in American history. He will also be remembered, by those who knew him, as an extremely warm and caring human being whose public service was a brilliant reflection of his love and devotion to his country, his friends and his family.

The Deification of Gentle Ben
William Greider writes for The Nation: "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer can be thought of as the Potemkin village of American democracy. Every evening, it presents a prettified version of political debate--ever so civil and high-minded--that thoroughly blots out the substance of dissenting critics or the untamed opinions of mere citizens. PBS's sanitized version of news was deployed this summer to assist the charm offensive launched by the Federal Reserve and its embattled chairman, Ben Bernanke. The NewsHour staged a "town meeting" in Kansas City at which Bernanke fielded prescreened questions from preselected citizens. As town meetings go, this was strictly polite. As TV goes, it was deadly dull. The citizens were so deferential they seemed sedated. Jim Lehrer was so laconic, several times I thought he had nodded off. "

DHS: No Political Influence in Stimulus Funding Decisions

Christopher Flavella reports for ProPublica: "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended her department’s awarding of stimulus dollars after the Associated Press reported that political consideration influenced decisions over which border checkpoints got stimulus funding. Napolitano said the story “was just wrong and I’ll say that because there was no kind of political issues involved there.” The Department of Homeland Security reportedly keeps an internal priority list of border stations that need repairs or upgrading; according to the AP, stations higher on that list were passed over for stimulus funds in favor of lesser-used facilities because of political lobbying."

Beware Authoritative "Inside Washington" Sources
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "Washington, DC is an echo chamber in which anyone who sounds authoritative repeats the conventional authoritative wisdom about the 'consensus' of inside opinion, which they've heard from someone else who sounds equally authoritative, who of course has heard it from another authoritative source. Follow the trail to its start and you often find an obscure congressional or White House staffer who has seen some half-assed poll number or briefing memo, but seeking to feel important hypes it to a media personality or lobbyist who, desperate to sound authoritative, pronounces it as truth."

Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig: "Predictably as always, the Republicans in Congress and in the conservative media are berating Attorney General Eric Holder for deciding to investigate the CIA’s use of abusive interrogation methods on terror suspects. They warn that probing this sensitive history will compromise intelligence operations and endanger the nation. They insist that these techniques have, in the words of former Vice President Dick Cheney, saved thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives. They suggest that the attorney general should simply ignore the evidence of illegal conduct and “investigate the terrorists instead,” as if the Justice Department cannot do both."

The Washington Post's Cheney-ite Defense of Torture

Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "If anyone ever tells you that they don't understand what is meant by "stenography journalism" -- or ever insists that America is plagued by a Liberal Media -- you can show them this article from today's Washington Post and, by itself, it should clear up everything. The article's headline is "How a Detainee Became An Asset -- Sept. 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding" -- though an equally appropriate headline would be: "The Joys and Virtues of Torture -- how Dick Cheney Kept Us Safe." I defy anyone to identify a single way the article would be different if The Post had let Dick Cheney write it himself. The next time someone laments the economic collapse of the modern American newspaper, one might point out that an industry which pays three separate reporters (Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate) and numerous editors to churn out mindless, inane tripe like this has brought about its own demise."

DOJ May Skirt Court Order on Interrogation Documents
Spencer Ackerman reports for The Washington Independent: "The Obama administration may circumvent the spirit of a judge’s order to disclose hundreds of documents relating to the CIA’s Bush-era interrogation program, delivering instead generic descriptions of the documents and legal arguments for continued nondisclosure."

Flushing Blackwater
Jeremy Scahill comments for The Nation: "Blackwater, the private mercenary company owned by Erik Prince, has been thrust back into the spotlight by a series of stunning revelations about its role in covert US programs. Since at least 2002, Blackwater has worked for the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan on 'black' contracts. On August 19, The New York Times revealed that the company was, in fact, a central part of a secret CIA assassination program that Dick Cheney allegedly ordered concealed from Congress."

Victory at the Cost of Sanity in Obama's Forever War
William Pfaff writes for Truthdig.com: "The Nation magazine’s Robert Dreyfuss has just published a fascinating account of Washington establishment opinion about the war in Afghanistan. The four speakers at a Brookings Institution discussion were Bruce Riedel, adviser to the president (and believer in the catastrophic international consequences of a loss of the war in Afghanistan); Michael O’Hanlon, an adviser to Gen. David Petraeus; Tony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Kim Kagan, head of the Institute for the Study of War."

Honduras: Lessons From the Coup
John Lamperti writes for Truthout: "The June 28 military coup that overthrew the legitimate government of Honduras was a shock. When the Central American wars of the 1980s finally ended, the region seemed on a path toward electoral democracy at last. The military's ouster of President Zelaya, followed by the suspension of civil liberties and repression of non-violent protests, looks like a return to the bad old days when coups were the rule and real elections the rare exception."

War on Drugs is a War on People

James McEnteer writes for Dissident Voice: "Can theater succeed where diplomacy has failed? In August, artists from Skid Row Los Angeles teamed with Bolivian actors to perform a play about the War on Drugs throughout Bolivia. Drug issues have strained relations between the United States and Bolivia in recent years. And the “war” against drugs has claimed many victims in both countries. The idea of the tour was to see if the drug war play might stimulate ordinary citizens of the two countries to find common ground and create a more constructive dialog than their governments."

The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina
James Rideway writes for Mother Jones: "Confronted with images of corpses floating in the blackened floodwaters or baking in the sun on abandoned highways, there aren't too many people left who see what happened following Hurricane Katrina as a purely "natural" disaster. The dominant narratives that have emerged, in the four years since the storm, are of a gross human tragedy, compounded by social inequities and government ineptitude—a crisis subsequently exploited in every way possible for political and financial gain."

Recommended Audio: Media Matters - Robert McChesney interviews Chris Hedges
Pulitzer Prize winner, Christopher Hedges, whose weekly Truthdig column is published every Monday, is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Hedges, who has reported from more than 50 countries, worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times. His book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle is his latest publication.

Kennedy's Impossible Dream? I Don't Think So
Joan Walsh writes for Salon.com: "In all the crazy arguments about Sen. Ted Kennedy's life and legacy, one thread stands out: The idea that his memorial could create a so-called "Wellstone effect" – named for the right-wing hysteria over alleged liberal excess at the progressive senator's 2002 funeral. In this fantasy of liberal misbehavior, mainly peddled by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, rowdy lefty partisans would stun the country with ideological attacks on Kennedy's loyal GOP friends, and turn voters against President Obama as well as Kennedy's key cause, health care reform."

Health Industry Donates Heavily to Blue Dog Democrats' Campaigns
Halimah Abdullah reports for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer: "As the Obama administration and Democrats wrangled over health care overhaul efforts during the first half of the year, the Democratic Party's Blue Dog political-action committee was receiving more than half of its $1.1 million in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical, health care and health insurance industries, according to watchdog organizations."

Opponents of Health Reform: Stupid, Greedy or Just Gullible?

Steve D. writes on the Booman Tribune (as reported on AlterNet): "The right is very stupid, or very greedy, or very gullible on the issue of health care. Clearly, for executives of insurance companies, greed is the predominant factor. Small-business owners (and many large ones) who oppose universal health care with a public option are simply stupid, since our current system of providing health insurance for workers through the private sector costs them far more than their competitors in other countries, and put us at a competitive disadvatage."

Reverse Nazism and the War on Universal Healthcare
Patricia J. Williams comments for The Nation: "The spinmeisters of the right have done quite a job with what used to be straightforward English etymology. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, 'integration' was inverted to mean 'takeover' and 'colorblindness' is code for abandoning the advances of the civil rights movement, which itself is synonymous with an 'industry' of exclusion. It's no surprise, then, that whenever a piece of progressive legislation comes to the table, the same manipulations come into play from right-wing pundits who shamelessly profess their desire to see the Obama presidency fail. Thus it is that America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 is being turned upside down as the neat equivalent of Germany's Bankrupting Forced Death Act of 1939. "

Recommended Audio: Fiore Cartoon - Patriot or Tryant
Source: Mother Jones. In his latest cartoon, satirist Mark Fiore takes on two types of Americans: Those who want guns, and those who want health care reform. Which is the most patriotic? Watch below to find out:

Roundup Researcher: "If I know something, I will not shut my mouth."
Grain: Seeds of Information reports: "In April 2009 Andrés Carrasco, an Argentinian embryologist, gave an interview to the leading Buenos Aires newspaper Página 12, in which he described the alarming results of a research project he is leading into the impact of the herbicide glyphosate on the foetuses of amphibians. Dr Carrasco, who works in the Ministry of Science’s Conicet (National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigations), said that their results suggested that the herbicide could cause brain, intestinal and heart defects in the foetuses. Glyphosate is the herbicide used in the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified soya, which now covers some 18 million hectares, about half of Argentina’s arable land."

Business Groups Target Climate Bill
Jim Snyder reports for The Hill: "Advocates for manufacturers and small businesses are launching a multimillion-dollar ad campaign against climate change legislation in states represented by senators likely to determine the bill's fate."

New Impetus for Bill Banning Anti-Gay Bias at Work
The Associate Press reports: "Momentum is building for Congress to pass the first major civil rights act protecting gays and transsexuals, supporters say, and one of the stars in the debate is a barrier-breaking transgender staffer on Capitol Hill. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, would prohibit workplace discrimination -- including decisions about hiring, firing and wages -- based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would exempt religious organizations, the military and businesses with less than 15 workers."

Secret Camps and Guillotines? Groups Make Birthers Look Sane
Steven Thomma reposts for McClatchy Newspapers: "Is the federal government building secret camps to lock up people who criticize President Barack Obama? Will it truck off young people to camps to brainwash them into liking Obama's agenda? Are government officials planning to replicate the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, using the guillotine to silence their domestic enemies? No. The charges, of course, are not true."

Recommended Audio: What's the Right Response to Hate Speech in the Media?

In this edition of the Your Call with Rose Aguilar on KALW-FM in San Francisco, featuring Shock Jocks author Rory O’Connor, we try to define the line between appropriate and inappropriate statements on the airwaves. What exactly qualifies as hate speech? And when hateful words go viral online, do broadcast regulations still matter?

Fox Nation: A Website of Division, Not Debate
Ellen writes for Newshounds: "Fox Nation boasts that it's a community 'committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate civil discourse --and fair and balanced coverage of the news,' yet we have repeatedly documented their deliberate efforts otherwise. Today's front page is another good example. One of the top stories 'asks' "Why is Obama changing the 9/11 anniversary?" Clicking through to the story brings a paragraph of diatribe of inflammatory invective with no balance, not even a word about what Obama is trying to do or why. Add a sentence accusing Obama of being a racist and it could have been written by Glenn Beck."

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