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 February 2010

Clippings for 28 February 2010

Fighting the Subversion of Our People's Sovereignty
Jim Hightower comments for Truthout: "As you've probably heard, corporations are now 'people' - humanoids that are equivalent to you and me. This miraculous metamorphosis happened on January 21. Accompanied by a blinding bolt of lightning, and a terrifying jolt of thunder, five Dr. Frankensteins on the Supreme Court threw a judicial switch that endowed these pulseless paper entities with the human right to speak politically."

Grim Milestone Reach in Afghan War: 1,000th U.S. Soldier Killed
Stephanie Gaskell reports for the New York Daily news: "The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan has reached a grim milestone - 1,000 American troops have been killed since the war began nine years ago. And that number is expected to rise as the largest military offensive since the fall of the Taliban continues in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan."

The Road to Armageddon
Paul Craig Roberts writes for VDare.com: "The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the "Inside the Beltway" report, "Explosive News," [By Jennifer Harper, February 22, 2010] about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members."

Senate Panel Blasts Blackwater Over Theft of Assault Weapons, Civilian Deaths
Grace Huang reports for Truthout: "'Multiple irresponsible acts' and 'troubling gaps in government oversight' plagued the Afghan operations of a Blackwater Worldwide affiliate defense contractor named Paravant, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday."

National Archives, Watchdog Demand DOJ Probe Destruction of John Yoo's Emails
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "The National Archives and a watchdog group sent letters to the Justice Department (DOJ) Thursday demanding an investigation into the destruction of John Yoo's emails in the summer of 2002, when he and other government attorneys prepared and finalized legal memoranda for the CIA that redefined torture and authorized interrogators to brutalize war on terror detainees."

No Banker Left Behind
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "They do have a license to steal. There is no other way to read Tuesday’s report from the New York state comptroller that bonuses for Wall Street financiers rose 17 percent to $20.3 billion in 2009. Of course that is less than the $32.9 billion for bonus rewards back in 2007, when those hotshots could still pretend that they were running sound businesses. "

The Great American Bank Robbery
The following is Part I of a two-part excerpt from Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph Stiglitz ( W.W. Norton & Co., 2010). Read AlterNet's recent interview with Stiglitz by Zach Carter.
Jospeh Stiglitz writes for AlterNet.org: "Bankruptcy is a key feature of capitalism. Firms sometimes are unable to repay what they owe creditors. Financial reorganization has become a fact of life in many industries. The United States is lucky in having a particularly effective way of giving firms a fresh start—Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code, which has been used repeatedly, for example, by the airlines. Airplanes keep flying; jobs and assets are preserved. Shareholders typically lose everything, and bondholders become the new shareholders. Under new management, and without the burden of debt, the airline can go on. The government plays a limited role in these restructurings: bankruptcy courts make sure that all creditors are treated fairly and that management doesn't steal the assets of the firm for its own benefits."

Silicon Sweatshops: Another Black Eye for Apple Supplier
Kathleen E. McLaughlin writes for GlobalPost: "A Taiwanese manufacturer that makes LCD screens and components for tech giants like Apple confirmed Thursday that more of its workers in China were sickened by chemical exposure than it previously reported."

What's in the President's Health Care Plan?
Jason Rosenbaum writes for The Campaign for America's Future: "Over the past few weeks, House and Senate Democratic leaders have been working to craft a compromise between their two health care bills that were passed over the last few months. Today, President Obama has released what Dan Pfeiffer, communications director at the White House, is calling the administration's 'best shot' at bridging the differences between the House and Senate."
Read the Article

Bust Up the Health Insurance Trusts
Robert Reich, RobertReich.org: "Years ago I worked at an agency in Washington called the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC predates the New Deal. It was set up in 1914 during the administration of Woodrow Wilson, at a time when many of America's industries had combined into giant trusts that had enormous market and political power. The FTC was designed to root out such unfair practices. It ought to take on the health insurance trusts."

Why Growing Numbers of Baby Boomers and the Elderly Are Smoking Pot
Daniela Perdomo writes for AlterNet.org: "Conventional wisdom dictates that as younger generations slowly replace the old, conservative social traditions are jettisoned. This may be true for issues such as gay marriage, where there are clear divisions among younger and older voters, but when it comes to marijuana reform, the evidence indicates that simplistic divisions of opinion along age lines don't apply for pot."

What Do Republicans Stand for?
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III comments for Truthout: "This past weekend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held its annual conference in Washington, DC. Many Republican Party stalwarts and presidential hopefuls, such as Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and former Vice President Dick Cheney, were in attendance."

Behind the Tea Party Facade, Just Another Bush-League Republican
Yasha Levine and Mark Ames report for Truthdig.com: "The Tea Party Revolution has struck the Texas gubernatorial race, with the insurgent Republican candidate, Debra Medina, gaining in the polls and threatening the leading candidates, incumbent Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Medina has positioned herself as a radical anti-government outsider who would cut Texas free from federal government programs and influence in favor of the free market. However, according to an investigation of Medina’s business records, her company, Prudentia Inc., benefited greatly over the past decade from federal government subsidies and lucrative municipal government contracts."

Ten things You Can Do to Reduce Your Carbon Foorprint
The Nation writes: "Most environmentalists agree that government, with its power to regulate, is critical in finding and enforcing solutions to global warming. But consumers represent 70 percent of US economic activity--indeed, the average American's carbon footprint is twenty metric tons, five times the global average. Individuals can be a powerful engine for change by demanding green products and reducing consumption of fossil fuels. This can make you healthier and save you money too, says Mindy Pennybacker, editor of GreenerPenny.com and author of Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices, to be published in March. Here are some of her recommendations for small steps that make a big difference."

The Attack on Climate-Change Science: Why It’s the O.J. Moment of the Twenty-First Century
Bill McKibben writes for TomDispatch: "Twenty-one years ago, in 1989, I wrote what many have called the first book for a general audience on global warming. One of the more interesting reviews came from the Wall Street Journal. It was a mixed and judicious appraisal. 'The subject,' the reviewer said, 'is important, the notion is arresting, and Mr. McKibben argues convincingly.' And that was not an outlier: around the same time, the first president Bush announced that he planned to “fight the greenhouse effect with the White House effect.”

Look Out for the Nuclear Bomb Coming with Your Electric Bill
Alethro News writes: "Obama’s provision of $54 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry will cost Americans much more than the probable 50% default rate that the Congressional Budget Office anticipates. While the federal government will guarantee the profits of investors, rate payers will suffer the inevitable rate hikes. Higher electric rates will appear, not when plants begin operating, but years, if not decades, before they come on line. Several states allow customers to be billed for expensive new nuclear plants in advance. Naturally, these are the states where the initial, new, entirely untested, plants are proposed for construction. This arrangement further reduces investor exposure to cost over-runs or rising interest rates that are imposed due to the downgrading of credit ratings for facilities with deteriorating economic prospects."

Facing Down Danger to Make Reproductive Freedom a Reality
Mary Lou Greenberg and Eleanor Bader write for On The Issues Magazine: "Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the country; ironically, those professionals and staff who make sure that abortion is safe may find their own safety compromised. Since it began tracking anti-abortion violence in 1977, the National Abortion Federation has tabulated more than 156,961 incidents of violence and disruption at clinics."

Chris Hedges on ‘The Death and Life of American Journalism’
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols in “The Death and Life of American Journalism” argue correctly that the old models for delivering the news are dead. They see the government as the savior of last resort. The authors cite the massive postal and printing subsidies that lasted into the 19th century as a precedent for government intervention. And they propose building a new generation of journalists and publications from new government subsidies and from programs such as their suggested News AmeriCorps, which would train the next generation of journalists."

A four-month investigation into the covert corporate influence on cable news found that since 2007 at least seventy-five registered lobbyists, public relations representatives and corporate officials have repeatedly appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business Network with no disclosure that they are paid by corporate interests. Amy Goodman speaks to journalist Sebastian Jones, a New York-based journalist. His cover story in the latest issue of The Nation magazine is The Media-Lobbying Complex.

The Pros and Cons of Newspapers Partnering with 'Citizen Journalism' Networks
Gerrry Storch writes for the Online Journalism Review: "Bleacher Report, which calls itself "the Web's largest sports network powered by citizen sportswriters," made a big breakthrough for itself on Feb. 22... and the citizen journalism movement. The company announced it was beginning a partnership with Hearst to introduce local online editions in the newspaper publisher's four largest markets, including San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate, the Houston's Chronicle's Chron.com, the San Antonio Express-News' MySan Antonio.com, and Seattlepi.com. Essentially, headlines will be pulled into the main sports page, highlighting local content from Bleacher Report's citizen journalists."

Art and Diversity in the Little Apple

This week's Community Bridge opens with Elliott Pujol and Gerry Craig. Pujol is a master metalsmith and is one of six receiving the 2010 Governor's Arts Award from the Kansas Arts Commission.

Pujol is recognized as one of the most important metalsmiths working in the United States. With over 200 exhibitions and 18 solo exhibitions to his name, he was chosen the Master Metalsmith in 2005 by the National Ornamental Museum in Tennessee, and was selected as and Outstanding American Craftsman in 2004 by the National Endowment for the Arts. As a metals professor at Kansas State University, he has published extensively on metalsmithing and craftsmanship, tirelessly taught students, guided the metals program and served as an integral member of the university community.

As part of our on-going series for African American History Month, for the second half of this show, Christopher Renner welcomes Tiffany Powell, PhD, Coordinator of the Office of Diversity at USD 383, to discuss the challenges she faces in closing achievement gaps, supporting student involvement and making sure our district reflects the diversity of its student body.

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"Reality Not Celebrity" featuring journalist George Pyle

When the Salina Chamber of Commerce invited Sarah Palin to speak at the annual meeting on February 5th, a group of Salinans "instigators." who think answers to difficult questions require more than a “you betach,” organized the RNC to stage a counter event. Thus "Reality Not Celebrity" came to be. In addition to a great meal, wonderful conversation and ironical skits, the instigators were able to bring former Kansan George Pyle back to Salina to deliver the keynote for the evening.

George Pyle is the editorial writer at The Buffalo News in New York, but he grew up in Hutchinson and graduated magna cum laude from Wichita State University with a degree in journalism.

Pyle was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1998. He is the author of Raising Less Corn, More Hell: Why Our Economy, Ecology and Security Demand the Preservation of the Independent Farm, in 2005.

David Norlin comment as he introduced Pyle "buckle your seat belts. You are about to witness a high-wire act of the best celebrity-denying, hi-def-defying, not-a-bit-of-lying speechifying you've heard in a long time."

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26 February 2010

Distinguished Sociologist Gay Sedman to Speak about Global Production and Citizen Activism

Note:  This press release was written by Spencer D. Wood, For more information contact him at: 785-532-7178, sdwood@k-state.edu.

MANHATTAN — Noted sociologist Gay Seidman will be visiting Kansas State University to deliver the 10th Annual Donald J. Adamchak Distinguished Lecture Monday, March 8th (International Women's Day) at 7 pm in Forum Hall of K-State Union. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Professor Seidman is the Conway-Bascom Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, director of their African Studies program, and an internationally recognized expert on global production, labor, and human rights. Her lecture, Citizens, Markets, and Transnational Activism: Can Consumer Boycotts and Independent Monitoring End Sweatshops? builds on her recent book, Beyond the Boycott: Labor Rights, Human Rights and Transnational Activism (Russell Sage, 2007). Professor Seidman has won graduate and undergraduate teaching awards, is a prolific scholar, and has experience as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. In 1976 she became the first woman president of the Harvard Crimson, which under her leadership began covering the anti-apartheid movement earlier than most major US newspapers.

Professor Seidman’s lecture provides important reminders and serious consideration of the human costs of global production. The lecture and discussion that follows will help us learn more about the labor conditions that yield our clothing, consumer goods, and much of what we eat.

Each year since 2001, the Donald J. Adamchak Distinguished Lecture Series in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work has presented stimulating speakers to the K-State campus and the wider community. The series covers a wide range of topics related to Professor Adamchak’s own interests in demography, Africa and development studies. A major focus is the interaction between population processes and social issues in a variety of fields from political attitudes to public health, global developments to changes in the Great Plains.

Donald J. ‘Adam’ Adamchak (1952 – 2000) spent 22 years of his professional life at K-State. A prolific author, he had an inter- national reputation as a scholar in the area of aging and inter- generational support; fertility and family planning (particularly focusing on the role of men in decision making); gender relations and status of women; and knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding HIV/AIDS. He also conducted research on the consequences of demographic change in rural America.

A gifted and dedicated teacher, Adam prepared scores of sociology graduate students, many of them international, for careers in research and teaching in social demography. He was exceptionally active through his formal and informal mentoring of students in addition to his teaching. In recognition of his concern for and commitment to his students, the Graduate School awarded him its Distinguished Service Award.

Event sponsors include the K-State Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, the Lou Douglas Lecture Series, and the K-State College of Arts and Sciences.

21 February 2010

Clippings for 21 February 2010

What Are We Bid for American Justice?
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout: "That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment of American politics. No wonder people have lost faith in politicians, in parties and in our leadership. The power of money drives cynicism deep into the heart of every level of government."

Seven Deadly Traits: Decoding the confession of the Austin plane bomber.
David Cullen writes for Slate.com: "Joseph Stack spent months on his manifesto. He was adamant about convincing us—or himself—why flying his plane into an IRS building was an act of charity. The five-page rant the software engineer wrote before his performance murder is illogical, hysterical, hyperbolic, and deeply dishonest. Stack's convoluted arguments explain nothing, and the thumbnail sketch of his impoverished life is absurd. And that's exactly why it's so revealing. The software engineer tried to con us with a deceptive self-portrait, but the real Joseph Stack reveals himself in the way he concocts it."

Terrorism: The Most Meaningless and Manipulated Word
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "Yesterday, Joseph Stack deliberately flew an airplane into a building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas, in order to advance the political grievances he outlined in a perfectly cogent suicide-manifesto. Stack's worldview contained elements of the tea party's anti-government anger along with substantial populist complaints generally associated with "the Left" (rage over bailouts, the suffering of America's poor, and the pilfering of the middle class by a corrupt economic elite and their government-servants). "

Obama's Pentagon Rebrands Iraq War, Rolls Out PR Offensive in Afghanistan
Liliana Segura writes for AlterNet: "This week, the same week that saw the U.S. military launch a major new assault in Afghanistan -- a much ballyhooed effort that is as much a PR offensive as a military one -- the Pentagon decided to formally rebrand the Iraq War. In a one-page memo dated Feb. 17, 2010 and signed by Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense officially requested that U.S. Central Command "change the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn."

DOJ Report on Torture Memo: Yoo Said Bush Could Order Civilians "Exterminated"
Jason Leopold writes for Truthout: "A long-awaited report into the legal memos former Justice Department attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee prepared for the Bush administration on torture was released Friday afternoon and concluded that the men violated 'professional standards' and should be referred to state bar associations where a further review of their legal work could have led to the revocation of their law licenses."

Bagram, Obama's Secret Penal Colony
Sara Daniel reports for Le Nouvel Observateur (English translation by Truthout.org): "It's the biggest American prison outside the United States. No journalist has ever been able to penetrate this no-law zone situated to the north of Kabul. Arbitrary detentions, humiliations, even torture, in the name of the 'war against terror' ... From Afghanistan, Sara Daniel reports horrific testimonies. After Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the next scandal to threaten America?"

A Convenient Truth
Ken Sayers writes for The Daily Censored: "How convenient it is that the Justice Department has decided the person who sent weapon’s grade anthrax to key Democratic offices, like Senator Patrick Leahey’s, is a dead person. Yes, It is Obama’s justice Department, but the people in it were hired in the last nine years. I think Obama’s Justice department is working under a bit of a handicap. Unless, of course, Obama is actually happy with the Justice Department, declaring the “torture memos” as being within the law — that it coincides with his idea of Justice. If that is the case, than we are operating under a handicap."

Private Contractors "Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot"
Anthony Fenton reports for Inter Press Service: "Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging 'shock doctrine' for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a 'Haiti summit' which aims to bring together 'leading officials' for 'private consultations with attending contractors and investors' in Miami, Florida."

Anniversary of Stimulus Met with Praise and Scorn
Christopher Flavelle reports for ProPublica: "A year ago, Congress passed one of the biggest-ever attempts to spend the United States out of an economic maelstrom. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stands as one of President Obama’s signature initiatives — a mix of tax cuts, financial aid and infrastructure projects worth some $800 billion. Has the stimulus lived up to its promise? As we’ve reported before, where you stand depends on where you sit."

The Wal-Mart Counter Revolution
Adam Turl writes for CounterPunch: "Once upon a time, GM was the biggest employer in the U.S. In the historic labor battles of the 1930s, GM workers formed the United Auto Workers (UAW). During the economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s, they won substantial gains in wages and benefits. Of course, both GM and the UAW are now pale shadows of their former selves. Today the largest employer in the U.S. (and the world) is the anti-union behemoth Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart's 1.4 million U.S. "associates" often earn poverty or near poverty wages."

Recommended Audio: News Dissector Radio - Economic Elite Vs. The People
MediaChannel’s David DeGraw joins Danny Schechter on the weekly News Dissector Radio Show to discuss his new report on how the economic elite are at war with the American people.

Looting Social Security
Paul Graig Roberts writes for Counter Punch: "Hank Paulson, the Gold Sacks bankster/US Treasury Secretary, who deregulated the financial system, caused a world crisis that wrecked the prospects of foreign banks and governments, caused millions of Americans to lose retirement savings, homes, and jobs, and left taxpayers burdened with multi-trillions of dollars of new US debt, is still not in jail. He is writing in the New York Times urging that the mess he caused be fixed by taking away from working Americans the Social Security and Medicare for which they have paid in earmarked taxes all their working lives."

Rescuing Socialism
Jeremy Seabrook writes for The New Internationalist: "The Left is so demoralized that even in the worst recession in 70 years, it poses no threat to capitalism. Most who ‘like to think of themselves as on the Left’ (that refuge of fantasy), ritually deplore the loss of popular support, bleakly placing faith in ‘the swing of the pendulum’ or telling each other that ‘the world has changed’ and we must make the best of it."

The GOP's Mixed Medicare Message
Joe Conason comments for Truthout: "For voters listening to the Republican leadership over the past year, the most startling surprise was the shift in their attitude toward Medicare. Where faithfulness to true conservatism was once measured by fierce hostility to the popular insurance program for the elderly, as articulated by Ronald Reagan at the birth of Medicare in 1965, today the Republicans claim to be its staunchest defenders."

Post-Katrina Shootings by Police Get Federal Attention
A.C. Thompson, ProPublica, Laura Maggi and Brendan McCarthy Times-Picayune, report for ProPublica: "Federal agents have broadened their investigation of the New Orleans Police Department and are now looking into three post-Katrina police shootings detailed in a news series published by ProPublica, The Times-Picayune and the PBS series “Frontline” in December. Assistant Superintendent Marlon Defillo of the NOPD confirmed that the FBI has subpoenaed documents relating to the shootings—which included police investigative reports, as well as other related files—in the past two months."

Recommended Audio: Countdown Special Comment - Racial discrimination inherent in the Tea Party movement
On Presidents Day, Keith Olbermann makes a special comment about racial discrimination and its inherency in the tea party movement. Olbermann once again show his great ability of articulation and right on examples. The essay not only enlightens the listener, but shows that we, as a country, have a lot of work to do.

Here's to You Glenn Beck
Samuel Jacobs writes for The Daily Beast: "Conservative America crowns a new king this Saturday night, when Fox News broadcaster Glenn Beck gives the keynote address to 10,000 activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. The Washington confab is a must-attend event for any right-winger worth his salt, and Beck’s address—last year’s was given by Rush Limbaugh—is yet another sign of the talker’s ascendancy."

Defying Progressives, Obama Revives Nuclear Power
Randy Shaw writes for CommonDreams.org: "Those who continue to insist that President Obama would implement progressive measures if he only had 60 Senate votes (ignoring that he had this for most of 2009) will have a hard time explaining his move this week to launch the first nuclear power plants built in the United States since the 1970's. Anti-nuclear power activism, coupled with the Three Mile Island near-meltdown, doomed the nuclear power industry, and major environmental groups have long opposed new plants. But as with Obama's dramatic escalation of the war in Afghanistan (and the covert sending of troops to Pakistan), there was little outcry from progressives in response to an action that would have brought thousands into the streets if initiated by a Republican President. Is it not becoming clear that President Obama uses the 60-vote filibuster Senate threshold to justify inaction on progressive goals, while almost consistently acting against progressive interests when the 60 votes are not a factor?"

Book Review: The Food Wars by Walden Bello
Tom Fawthrop writes for The New Internationalist:
According to the gospel of corporate globalization, only large-scale farming methods can feed the world. Well, just as the real-estate mess burst one capitalist bubble, so The Food Wars shows that another has already exploded. Agribusiness and supermarkets control an unprecedented extent of the food chain, yet hunger and food prices have soared. Filipino activist-academic Walden Bello traces the causes of today’s food crisis back to the World Bank’s strategy of structural adjustment, which was applied to around 90 countries in the South. Small farmers and local producers were marginalized as export-orientated food production was promoted and foreign corporations privileged. The result: loss of food security in many parts of the South.
Bello’s is a convincing critique. The alternatives he proposes centre on the notion of food sovereignty – prioritizing local food production, harnessing new technology and meshing it with traditional knowledge. Exactly how this can be elevated from a local and regional alternative to a global one is less clear. Bello seems to assume that all countries can and should be self-sufficient in food production, as if they all had an equal capacity and land fertility. Nonetheless, The Food Wars is a valuable contribution to the urgent debate on how to thwart further Tesco-ization of the world and land-grabbing from small producers. If we don’t move in this direction, food riots – such as those that erupted in Egypt and Haiti – will surely escalate into food wars.

The President's Budget: A Mixed Bag for Women's Health
Susan Cohen reports for RH Reality Check: "On February 1, President Obama sent his proposed budget for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2010 to Congress. On the domestic front, the administration's top priority for reproductive health and rights is teen pregnancy prevention, for which the administration is recommending a significant boost in funding. With the abstinence-only-until-marriage approach of the bygone era defeated, the new initiative will emphasize an evidence-based approach to reducing teenage pregnancy and the underlying factors that put teens at risk."

ACLU Sues USAID: Are We Exporting US Taxpayer-Funded Religion?
Amie Newman writes for RH Reality Check: "The ACLU has waited long enough. On Thursday, February 18th, they filed a lawsuit against USAID for refusing to comply with their Freedom of Information Act requests from July and September 2009, for documents related to USAID-funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs abroad. The ACLU has patiently awaited documents that may help shed light on an audit completed last year suggesting USAID is dispersing money, unconstitutionally, for religiously-based HIV prevention programs."

The '70s: Wichita Women Change the World
Diane Wahto writes for the Kansas Free Press: "During the 1960s, while male activists were out in the streets protesting the war, the draft, the CIA, Dow Chemical, or what have you, their female counterparts often complained that they were left behind to brew the coffee and tidy up the meeting rooms. By the beginning of the decade that started Jan. 1, 1970, however, the ferment that had started to percolate in the '60s erupted into a movement that eventually became a feminist tsunami of marches, political appointments, laws, and legal decisions that changed forever the lives of women and the men who lived and worked with them."

Outraged Citizens Campaign Forces History Channel to Rethink Miniseries About the Kennedys
Daniela Perdomo reports for AlterNet: "Media observers are abuzz with talk of a History Channel mini-series called The Kennedys.  While the scripts for the eight-part show, slated to air in 2011, are still unfinished, that hasn't stopped 40,000 people from signing a petition calling the series "right-wing character assassination" and "politically motivated fiction."

Facing Our "Crisis of Jourmalism"
Christopher Renner writes for the Kansas Free Press: "In 2005, I attended the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis sponsored by Free Press. While I had always been an "activist," this conference change my outlook on US culture and society like nothing else I have even been involved in. In particular, Bill Moyers's speech (you can watch it here) articulated much of the frustration I had and have with the direction our nation has taken since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980."

Charging for Content Elicits Strong Objections among Bloggers
The Pew Reserch Center's Project for Excellence in Jourmalism reports: "Social media last week dove into the debate of free versus pay online content. Sparked by Warner Music's plan to favor Web sites that charge users, bloggers answered in force: It's free or we flee. Twitter users also joined voices last week-in this case to criticize the privacy settings on Google's new social networking tool, Google Buzz. And Google, for its part, quickly responded. In the blogosphere, the top subject was the news that Warner Music was no longer going to support free online music streaming services such as Spotify, We7 and Last.fm. From February 8-12, this topic received 19% of the week's links according to the New Media Index produced by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism."

FCC Proposes Turning Federal Buildings into Broadband Anchor Institutions
John Eggerton writes for Broadcast and Cable: "The FCC said Feb. 18 that it would propose using federal buildings as anchor institutions for broadband service, saying federal assets have 'not [been] used effectively to spur local adoption and deployment of broadband.'  That was one in a series of proposals the FCC signaled will be part of a national broadband deployment and adoption plan due to Congress March 17."

Sen. Feingold Doesn't Like Cable Industry's Bundling Habits
Joe Flint writes for The LA Times: "Looks like Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.) isn't a fan of bundling. In written questions to Comcast and NBC Universal about their $30-billion merger proposal, the senator, a member of the Judiciary Committee, asked: "Is it common practice now to require a television distributor ...  to carry several less popular channels in order to get a cable channel that they and consumers really want?" He then wondered whether Comcast and NBC would stop the practice, according to people familiar with his letter."

Media Matters reports: "Over the past several months, right-wing media have promoted the Oath Keepers, a group established in 2009 and identified by the Anti-Defamation League as 'encourag[ing] members of the military and law enforcement to pledge not to follow certain hypothetical 'orders' from the federal government' that 'echo longstanding conspiracy theories embraced by anti-government extremists.' On February 17, Bill O'Reilly said that he intended to host a member of the group on his next show to 'give forth their point of view.'"

19 February 2010

Feb 18, 2010 Pt. 2 - Repealing the Kansas Death Penalty

For our second hour this week, we discuss the effort to repeal the Kansas Death Penalty (SB 375) with Linda and Roger Johnson of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. Then for American American History Month we rebroadcast an interview Tavis Smiley conducted with Myrlie Evers, wife of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, on his show on PBS.

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18 Feb. 2010 - The Impact of Budget Cuts on Seniors

Community Bridge opens this week with Julie Walter and Karen Mayse from the Area Agency on Aging to discuss the impact budget cuts have had on senior citizens.  For the second half of this podcast we will hear an interview with Justin Krebs, Executive Director of Living Liberally, who discusses the organization and how people can get involved.

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Clippings for 18 February 2010

Action Alert - Tell Rupert Murdoch: Get the Facts Straight!
The Union of Concerned Scientists write: "Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is a global media company that owns everything from newspapers to television networks to film studios. The company has stated publicly that 'News Corporation is committed to addressing its impact on climate change.' They also say they 'hope to engage our audiences and enable them to find ways to reduce carbon emissions in their own lives.'" To send a letter click here. 

People for the American Way Poll Results RE: Citizens United
The numbers don't lie. And they show that elected officials who were quick to praise the Roberts Court's judicial activism in Citizens United are woefully out of touch with Americans.
  • 78% believe that corporations should be limited in how much they can spend to influence elections, and 70% believe they already have too much influence over elections.
  • 73% believe Congress should be able to impose such limits, and 61% believe Congress has done too little in the past to limit corporate influence over elections.
  • Of the over 60% of Americans who have an opinion on a constitutional amendment to fix Citizens United, support runs greater than 2 to 1.
  • 82% support limits on electioneering by government contractors, and 87% support limits on bailout recipients.
  • 85% support a complete ban on electioneering by foreign corporations.
  • 75% believe that a publicly traded company should get shareholder approval before spending money in an election.
  • 69% think that the President, in the event of a Supreme Court vacancy, should nominate a Justice who supports limits on corporate spending in elections.
The People for the American Way poll of 1,200 Americans is the largest of its kind so far, but other polls conducted in recent weeks corroborate their findings.

Here's some actions YOU can do to add your voice to those who are expressing outrage on this attack on our democracy by the Robert's court:
  1. If you have not done so, please make sure you are counted in this growing national movement -- sign our petition calling for a constitutional amendment (the only true comprehensive "fix").
  2. Get organizations and clubs of which you are a member to endorse our coalition's resolution.
  3. Call your members of Congress and tell them that you support a constitutional amendment to undo the hard the harm of Citizens United and save our elections from corporate domination. (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121)
America's Global Weapons Monopoly: Don't Call It "the Global Arms Trade"
Frida Berrigan writes for TomDispatch.com: "On the relatively rare occasions when the media turns its attention to US weapons sales abroad and shines its not-so-bright spotlight on the latest set of facts and figures, it invariably speaks of 'the global arms trade.'"

The Real Roots of the CIA's Rendition and Black Sites Program
H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Jeffrey Kaye report for Truthout: "On Tuesday, February 10, the British High Court finally released a 'seven-paragraph court document showing that MI5 officers were involved in the ill-treatment of a British resident, Binyam Mohamed.' The document is itself a summary of 42 classified CIA documents given to the British in 2002. The US government has threatened the British government that the US-British intelligence relationship could be damaged if this material were released."

Cheney Admits to War Crimes, Media Yawns, Obama Turns the Other Cheek
Jason Leopold writes for Truthout: "Dick Cheney is a sadist. On Sunday, in an exclusive interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News' "This Week," Cheney proclaimed his love of torture, derided the Obama administration for outlawing the practice, and admitted that the Bush administration ordered Justice Department attorneys to fix the law around his policies."

Conversation With Daniel Ellsberg: Evaluating Obama So Far
Joan Brunwasser writes for OpEdNews: "Daniel Ellsberg is definitely a name out of our national past. Baby Boomers immediately conjure up images of the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers. For the younger set, or those whose recollections have faded, there's a brand new documentary about Ellsberg and his historic actions. "The Most Dangerous Man in America" opened in theaters across the country this past weekend and is guaranteed to bring you up to speed. In it, whistleblower and activist Ellsberg is both star and narrator."

Recommended Audio: ColorLines - Race and Economic Recovery
President Obama says the stimulus saved or created 2 million jobs in 2009. But is the recovery really working? The American dream of good jobs and strong communities is still just a dream for too many. The unfair economy hurts certain groups more, and that ends up hurting everyone. From the bottom line to the unemployment line to the color line, watch a new in-depth program from Link TV and Applied Research Center for a closer look.
ColorLines: Race and Economic Recovery follows communities making ends meet in The Great Recession. The program narrates the moving story of Tisha, mother of three in Connecticut, facing a social safety net shredded further by the crisis. Then the program goes to Los Angeles where community-based organization SCOPE has mobilized to win green jobs for communities of color.
   This half-hour magazine-style show is hosted by Chris Rabb, founder of Afro-Netizen and author of forthcoming book Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity.
   The in-studio guest is Tram Nguyen, journalist who has written extensively on racial justice issues and author of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant America After 9/11. Tram is former editor of ColorLines magazine and now works at the California Reinvestment Coalition.

A co-production of the Applied Research Center and LinkTV. Originally aired on LinkTV on February 12, 2010; posted with rights.

Playing Both Sides of the Stimulus
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Pat Garofalo, and Alex Seitz-Wald write the Progress Report for Think Progress: "Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the day that President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, i.e. the stimulus) into law. "One year later, it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility," said Obama. 'So far, the Recovery Act is responsible for the jobs of about 2 million Americans who would otherwise be unemployed. These aren't just our numbers; these are the estimates of independent, nonpartisan economists across the spectrum.' Indeed, as the New York Times' David Leonhardt detailed, "perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs." The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, estimates that the stimulus saved or created between 800,000 and 2.4 million jobs. The gross domestic product also grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 5.7 percent last quarter, much of which can be attributed to the stimulus package. 'The economy has shed some three million jobs over the past year, but it would have lost closer to five million without stimulus,' said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com and former adviser to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign. 'The economy is still struggling, but it would have been much worse without stimulus.' However, Republicans are using the Recovery Act's anniversary as an opportunity to continue making false claims and clouding public perception regarding its effectiveness."

Gross Inaccuracies: The debate over why the GDP is flawed is about more than numbers.
David Moberg writes for In These Times: "There’s a useful old carpenter’s adage—measure twice, cut once—that’s also pretty good advice for other projects, like crafting public policy. Knowing as precisely as possible how a society is ticking helps both to better understand problems and formulate solutions."

Greed Trophy Up for Grabs
Jim Hightower comments for Truthout: "By gollies, the top executives of health insurance corporations are not giving up without a fight! To paraphrase every high school football coach who ever lived, 'When the going gets ugly, the ugly get going.'"

Chamber of Commerce No Longer "Represents" 3 Million Businesses
Josh Harkinson writes for Mother Jones: "Late last month, for the first time in more than a decade, the US Chamber of Commerce changed the boilerplate language that appears at the bottom of its press releases. The nation's largest business lobby no longer claims to be 'representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.' Instead, it claims to be "representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses" (emphasis added). The smallness of the tweak masks its major significance: Representing somebody, which strongly implies a direct relationship, is very different from representing their interests. The Chamber is in effect acknowleging that the '3 million' businesses aren't actually its members."

House Dems Say Deal Close on Health Reform; White House Could Release Plan This Weekend
Women's Health Policy Report writes: "On Wednesday, House Democrats familiar with efforts to develop a final compromise between the House and Senate health reform bills (HR 3962, HR 3590) said an agreement is close, but they stopped short of providing details or saying when a final bill would be released, Roll Call reports. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that although a deal is near, President Obama wants to ensure that Republicans have the opportunity to add their ideas to the bill before it is released (Dennis, Roll Call, 2/17)."

Holland's Background Offers Challenge for Brownback
Marty Keenan writes for the Kansas Free Press: "State Senator Holland's biography offers some interesting comparisons and contrasts with his Republican opponent U.S. Senator Sam Brownback. One of these men will be the next Governor of Kansas. Sen. Holland.One area where Holland has a huge edge over Brownback is in business experience, time spent working in the private sector. Holland has spent 29 years in the information technology business, first working on a major IT systems initiative at the ATSF railway. He founded Holland Technologies, Inc., an information technology firm in 1992, serving as the company's president. Holland is clearly a "private sector" guy, who got involved in politics fairly late in life to push for better education opportunities for Kansas children."

Profiting From Immigration Injustice
Max Blumenthal reports for Truthdig.com: "When an architect named Norman Pfeiffer designed the Evo DeConcini Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Ariz., he claimed to have been inspired by its natural surroundings. “From afar,” Pfeiffer told Architecture Week, “the desert tells little of what it knows. ... But upon closer scrutiny it reveals its true self.” The 413,000-square-foot, $67.3 million monolith that Pfeiffer erected blends easily with the pale desert landscape flanking downtown Tucson. The earth-toned structure appears so bland a casual passer-by might not even take a second glance. Only a few observers have ventured inside to witness the spectacle that takes place on the third floor."

The Tea Party Movement Is a National Embarrassment
Stuart Whatley writes for the Huffington Post: "Last summer, when mass protests broke out in Iran following what was seen as a rigged election, Americans cried out in support of the uprising through all possible channels. Some commentators here went so far as to claim credit for the "revolution," as if it never could have happened without American political movements having already set the example. But despite the arrogance of that claim, the Iranian Green movement is indeed an exertion of democratic will that resonates closely with many Americans -- and for good reason. "

Obama Pledges Billions for 20th Century's Most Expensive Technological Failure -- Nuclear Power
Harvey Wasserman writes for AlterNet: "As Vermont seethes with radioactive contamination and the Democratic Party crumbles, Barack Obama has plunged into the atomic abyss. In the face of fierce green opposition and withering scorn from both liberal and conservative budget hawks, Obama has done what George W. Bush could not---pledge billions of taxpayer dollars for a relapse of the 20th Century’s most expensive technological failure. "

How Sustainable is 'Socially Responsible' Mining?
Matt Kennard reports for The Nation: "In a six-day period over Christmas, two prominent anti-mining activists in El Salvador were shot dead in broad daylight. First, Ramiro Rivera Gomez, vice-president of the Cabanas Environment Committee, which is campaigning to stop Canadian mining company Pacific Rim from opening a gold mine in the area, was killed while walking with his 14-year-old daughter. Six days later, Dora "Alicia" Recinos Sorto was shot returning from washing laundry in a nearby lake. She was eight months pregnant and another prominent member of the CEC."

Kansas Bill Would Restrict Abortion Coverage in Private Health Insurance Plans
The National Partnership for Women and Families reports: "A bill (HB 2564) in the Kansas Legislature would prohibit insurance providers from covering elective abortion unless the customer purchases a separate rider for the coverage, the Kansas City Star reports. The coverage ban would not apply to procedures needed to save the woman's life, or in cases of incest or rape if a police report is filed (Klepper, Kansas City Star, 2/12)."

Openness Driving Nation Forward
Deb Price comments for Truthout: "What's the difference between 'homosexuals' and 'gay men and lesbians'? Turns out a lot - a whopping 14 percentage points of support, a New York Times-CBS News poll released on February 11 revealed. Only 44 percent of adults support the idea of 'homosexuals' serving openly in the military, while 58 percent favor allowing 'gay men and lesbians' to serve openly."

Ira Glass, Storyteller
James Rainey writes for The Los Angles Times: "Over the last 15 years, his "This American Life" has become a public radio institution, as Glass has continued to defy convention. He took his quirky feature program and aimed it at hard news. He beguiled enough solitary radio listeners that they came together last year, en masse, to watch his live show in movie theaters. He defied the notion that "This American Life" would lose its soul on TV, producing shows of little compromise and substantial heart."

Glenn Beck Loses 103 Sponsors as His UK Broadcast Runs 5 Days With No Ads
Amanda Trekel writes for AlterNET: "Today, Color of Change and StopBeck.com announced that the United Kingdom has forcefully rejected Fox News host Glenn Beck. In fact, the UK broadcast of his show “was forced to run without any advertisements” for five days in a row as of yesterday. Additionally, 103 companies have agreed to stop their ads from appearing on his program. Some of the latest defections include Allstate Insurance, Anheuser-Busch, Idaho Potato Commission, Marriott International, Volkswagen, and Western Union."

How to Make the Internet a Lot Faster
Erica Naone writes for Technology Review: "Last week, Google announced its plans to build an experimental fiber network that would offer gigabit-per-second broadband speeds to up to 500,000 U.S. homes. Among other goals, the company said it wanted to 'test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere.'"

The Media-Lobbying Complex
Sebastian Jones writes for The Nation: "President Obama spent most of December 4 touring Allentown, Pennsylvania, meeting with local workers and discussing the economic crisis. A few hours later, the state's former governor, Tom Ridge, was on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews, offering up his own recovery plan. There were "modest things" the White House might try, like cutting taxes or opening up credit for small businesses, but the real answer was for the president to 'take his green agenda and blow it out of the box.' The first step, Ridge explained, was to 'create nuclear power plants.' Combined with some waste coal and natural gas extraction, you would have an "innovation setter" that would 'create jobs, create exports.'"

15 February 2010

Clippings for 14 February 2010

Democracy and the Threat of Authoritarianism: Politics Beyond Barack Obama
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: "With the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, there was a widespread feeling among large sections of the American public and its intellectuals that the moment and threat of authoritarianism had passed. And, yet, there are many troubling signs that, in spite of the election of Obama, authoritarian policies not only continue to unfold unabated within his administration, but continue outside of his power to control them."

The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class
David DeGraw writes for AlterNet: "We all have very strong differences of opinion on many issues. However, like our founding fathers before us, we must put aside our differences and unite to fight a common enemy. It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99 percent of the U.S. population no longer has political representation. The U.S. economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us."

Reid and Obama Abandon the Jobs Front
Matthew Rothschild writes for The Progressive: "What planet are Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and the Democrats on? Obama's own economic advisers say that unemployment is going to average 10 percent this year and 9.2 percent next year. And yet all that Harry Reid now is proposing to spend on a new jobs bill is $15 billion over the next decade, which is peanuts. And most of those peanuts are going directly to businesses, which is the least efficient way to stimulate the economy. There is no money to extend unemployment benefits. There is no money to extend health care coverage to the unemployed. There is no money to support state governments, which are having to make vicious cuts to balance their own budgets. There is no money to create a federal jobs program."

Questions Raised About Role of Military Chaplains
John Lasker reports for Truthout: "While the US military continues to aggressively recruit Roman Catholic priests as chaplains, some Catholics question whether the military seeks priests as spiritual guides or as 'force-multipliers.' Within the US Armed Forces there are a large number of Catholics: of 1.2 million military personnel, nearly 400,000 are Catholic, not counting an estimated 800,000 dependents, according to Catholicmil.org, a Web site for chaplains and military personnel."

Our Human Rights vs. The Others
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "Ten American Baptists were arrested two weeks ago in Haiti on charges that they exploited the chaos in that country by attempting to smuggle 33 young Haitian children across the border without permission -- either to bring them to a life of Christianity or (as some evidence suggests) to filter them into a child trafficking ring.  National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez is deeply upset by the plight of at least one of the detained Americans, Jim Allen, whom she contends (based exclusively on his family's claims) is innocent.  Lopez demands that the State Department do more to "insist" upon Allen's release, and -- most amazingly of all -- complains about the conditions of his detention.   She has the audacity to cite a Human Rights Watch description of prison conditions in Haiti as "inhumane."  Lopez complains that Allen was waterboarded, stripped, frozen and beaten has "hypertension," was shipped thousands of miles away to a secret black site beyond the reach of the ICRC and then rendered to Jordan allowed to speak to his wife only once in the first ten days of his confinement, and was consigned to years in an island-prison cage with no charges denied his choice of counsel for a few days (though he is now duly represented in Haitian courts by a large team of American lawyers)."

Recommended Audio: Rachel Maddow - Maddow Calls Out GOP Rep For Flubbing Facts Of Abdulmutallab Case
On Meet The Press yesterday (14 February), Rachel Maddow challenged Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) on the issue of the Miranda warning read to the attempted Christmas bombing suspect, correcting Schock's assertion that Abdulmutallab stopped talking after he was read his rights.

Read complete story at Talking Points Memo.

Recommended Audio: Real News Network - The Goldstone Report Returns
The three month deadline the United Nations General Assembly gave Israel and the Palestinians to begin investigations into allegations of war crimes in last year's attack expired last week. Now, the Secretary General was expected to issue his conclusions regarding sending the Goldstone's recommendations for implementation by the UN Security Council. Because the five member organization has indicated it will not pursue it further and the investigations the Israelis and Palestinians conducted were "inadequate," and "disappointing" The Real News' Lia Tarachansky asks what alternatives exist.

More at The Real News

Revisionaries: How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
Mariah Blake reports for Washington Monthly: "Don McLeroy is a balding, paunchy man with a thick broom-handle mustache who lives in a rambling two-story brick home in a suburb near Bryan, Texas. When he greeted me at the door one evening last October, he was clutching a thin paperback with the skeleton of a seahorse on its cover, a primer on natural selection penned by famed evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. We sat down at his dining table, which was piled high with three-ring binders, and his wife, Nancy, brought us ice water in cut-crystal glasses with matching coasters. Then McLeroy cracked the book open. The margins were littered with stars, exclamation points, and hundreds of yellow Post-its that were brimming with notes scrawled in a microscopic hand. With childlike glee, McLeroy flipped through the pages and explained what he saw as the gaping holes in Darwin's theory. 'I don't care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,' he declared at one point. "Evolution is hooey." This bled into a rant about American history. "The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation," McLeroy said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis. 'But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan -- he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.'"

Republicans Send Out a ‘Census’ Form—That’s Really a Fundraiser
Ryan Knutson reports for ProPublica: "An editor here at ProPublica received this "Census" form [1] in the mail last week. In big, bold letters at the top it announces, '2010 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS.' The form even has a 'Census Tracking Code.' But it's not from the Census Bureau."

Senate Republicans: Filibuster Everything to Win in November?
David Lightman reports for McClatchy Newspapers:  "Senate Republicans are using the filibuster to limit and often derail Democrats' initiatives, paralyzing the Senate and making it nearly impossible to accomplish even the most routine matters. The filibuster strategy 'makes the Senate dysfunctional,' said Mark Strand, the president of the Congressional Institute, a nonpartisan research group. That, in turn, blocks the Obama administration's agenda, but it also sours public opinion on Washington, with polls showing clear public disdain for Congress in particular. Republicans think voters will reward them for that in November."

Money and Love
Cheryl Hudspeth writes for the Kansas Free Press: "The doorbell rang. Of course I was washing my hair and my husband was out in his man-cave. Forget it, I'm not answering the door. Of course then I was trying to figure out who had been at the door. Ah, its the day before Valentines. Hopefully, the flowers will be on the porch after I dry my hair."

A Union That Made Black History
Dick Meister writes for Truthout: "Few of the groups that we should honor during Black History Month are more deserving than the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a pioneering union that played a key role in the winning of equal rights for African-Americans."

No Nukes
Ralph Nader writes for CommonDreams.org: "A generation of Americans has grown up without a single nuclear power plant being brought on line since before the near meltdown of the Three Mile Island structure in 1979. They have not been exposed to the enormous costs, risks and national security dangers associated with their operations and the large amount of radioactive wastes still without a safe, permanent storage place for tens of thousands of years."

Indigenous Peoples Fight for Rights, Buoyed by New Report
Betwa Sharma reports for the GlobalPost: "Climate change isn't the only hazard described in the report entitled 'State of the World's Indigenous Peoples,' out this year. Its researchers find indigenous peoples trapped between the bottom rungs of all the main human development indexes like poverty, heath and education across 90 countries.... The startling revelation of the study is that while indigenous peoples make up around 370 million (5 percent) of the world’s population, they constitute around one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people."

Climate Change: The Day After Tomorrow Might Have Been Yesterday
Matthew Berger reports for Inter Press Service: "Dubbed the 'snowpocalypse' - or sometimes 'snowpocalypse II' in deference to the previous storm that blanketed Washington in December - the scenes on the streets this past week have actually seemed eerily post-apocalyptic. Silent, monochrome and empty, they have, for some, forebode a world in which no action is taken to stem the effects of climate change. Others, though, see the wintry landscape as undermining the direness - or even the reality - of the threat posed by climate change, which they prefer to refer to as global warming, thus underscoring what they see as the incongruences between the phenomenon and the snowy spell."

Should You Invest in a White Roof?
Kiera Butler writes for Mother Jones: "Common sense fashion advice: When the weather's warm, light colored clothes keep you cool. Recent studies have shown that the same is true for buildings: White roofs and roads reflect heat instead of absorbing it, reducing scorching summer temperatures in cities (cities are hotter than rural areas because of the "heat island effect")—and possibly even slowing global warming."

The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa
Kapya Kaoma reports for PublicEye.org: "For two days in early March 2009, Ugandans flocked to the Kampala Triangle Hotel for the Family Life Network's "Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals' Agenda." The seminar's very title revealed its claim: LGBT people and activists are engaged in a well thought-out plan to take over the world. The U.S. culture wars had come to Africa with a vengeance."

Recommended Audio: BBC - Open Internet Under Threat in the US
The BBC reports: "The ability to access all websites easily could come under threat if internet service providers get their way in America. Critics of "net neutrality" - the principle that all web traffic is treated equally regardless of the type or origin - face opposition from some of the largest internet companies. President Obama has joined his voice to the debate in defence of an open web which does not discriminate when it comes to data."

The Information Super Sewer
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "The Internet has become one more tool hijacked by corporate interests to accelerate our cultural, political and economic decline. The great promise of the Internet, to open up dialogue, break down cultural barriers, promote democracy and unleash innovation and creativity, has been exposed as a scam. The Internet is dividing us into antagonistic clans, in which we chant the same slogans and hate the same enemies, while our creative work is handed for free to Web providers who use it as bait for advertising."

12 February 2010

A conversation with Howard Dean

On December 13, 2009, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Robert Scheer sat down with Gov. Howard Dean to have a frank discussion about the Obama administration, health care reform, and the Democratic party on the 12th Annual Seminar Cruise sponsored by The Nation.

Christopher E. Renner, host of Community Bridge, thanks The Nation for giving permission to broadcast this conversation so it can be heard by a broader audience.

MP3 File