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

19 February 2010

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.'"

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