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."

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