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

28 April 2010

Clippings for 28 April 2010

‘God, What a Piece of Crap’
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "It was the Perry Mason moment in the unraveling of what was left of Goldman Sachs’ reputation. Only in this case, it involved a grizzled former prosecutor, Sen. Carl Levin, rather than a genial defense attorney. The case was broken and the truth about the depth of Goldman’s corruption revealed in his startling cross-examination of Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar."

Goldman Executives: 'No Regrets' for Deals that Accelerated Crisis
Chris Adams and Greg Gordon report for McClatchy Newspapers: "A key Goldman Sachs trading manager indicated in his personnel performance review that he could use the 'fear' in the market of a coming collapse in the nation's mortgage market to make profits for the Wall Street firm, documents released Tuesday show."

The Importance of Getting Wall Street Out of Washington, and Washington Out of Wall Street
Robert Reich writes on RobertReich.org: "Washington's relationship with Wall Street is growing more schizophrenic by the day. On the one hand, Congress is trying to show how tough it can be on the financial sector by enacting a law ostensibly designed to prevent another near-meltdown and taxpayer-supported bailout. As the mid-term election looms, a staggering number of Americans remain unemployed or underemployed, and most Americans blame Wall Street (whose top bankers are raking in almost as much money as they did before the crisis)."

The Death of Self-Interest Fundamentalism
Joe Brewer writes for Cognitive Policy Works: "Self-interest fundamentalism was the economic religion of the 20th century. We are now in the midst of an economic reformation on par with the Enlightenment as we enter the new millennium. Have you noticed that a lot of people seem to think that appeals to self-interest lead to a moral and just society?"

Globalization on the Rocks
David Ransom reports for the New Internationalist: "In September 1993 Mexicans were, it was said in high places, about to be liberated from their historic destiny: ‘So far from God, so close to the United States.’ The solution was simply to merge with the US and Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), leaving the rest to take care of itself. Ciudad Juárez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, was on the front line of this radical advance, and I went there to take a look."

How Much Does It Cost to Educate One Student?
Lori Yount reports for the Wichita Eagle: "How much money does the state spend to educate one Kansas student each year? It's hard to blame Kansas taxpayers for being confused about how much money is spent on and by public schools. Different organizations give different answers."

Obama Nuclear Weapons and the Future of the Planet
Helen Caldicott writes in The Huffington Post: "Isn't it strange? In the 1980's an overwhelming 80% of Americans wanted to see an end to the nuclear arms race. The U.S. establishment treated this grassroots movement almost as an aberration, virtually ignoring it. This massive, global, grassroots movement helped bring an end to the Cold War. But, throughout the duration of the Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush presidencies there was no respect for, no move to act on, the wishes of the American people and the worldwide supporters of nuclear disarmament."

Fueling the Afghan War
Aram Roston reports for The Nation: "In Napoleon Bonaparte's day an army may have marched on its belly, as the French emperor famously quipped, but the modern-day American military campaign in Afghanistan needs not just food but also fuel. Diesel for the MRAPs and Humvees, aviation fuel for the planes and helicopters--that's the fodder for the military surge under way in Afghanistan. Fuel is precious there--they call it liquid gold--and the effort to keep it flowing has created an array of bizarre monopolies, strange alliances and allegations of corruption entangling the US government."

Does Anyone Know That a Palestinian Created a Museum of the Holocaust?
Christophe Ayad interviews University of London scholar Gilbert Achcar, author of the just-released book, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, for Liberation (via Truthout.org): "One finds two symmetrical attitudes among the Palestinians. Some of them have understood that the lessons of the Holocaust are universal and that to deny it is not only wrong but also counter-productive. But does anyone know that a Palestinian created a museum of the Holocaust? Does anyone know that the village of Ni'lin (on the West Bank), known for its struggle against the separation wall, organized an exhibition on the Holocaust? Western media show these kinds of attitudes far less than their opposite..."  Photo: Anne Alexander

Lindsey Graham and the Real “Cynical Political Ploy” on Immigration
Frank Sharry writes for The Huffington Post: "Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been courageous in working with Democrats on both comprehensive immigration reform and climate change legislation. He has seemed deeply committed to both. So why exactly is he threatening to derail a climate bill because he's angry that Democrats are promising to move forward on immigration reform?"

Exposing the Christian Right's New Racial Playbook
Sarah Posner reports for AlterNet: "When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line. The true Negro does not want integration. That was the assertion made by a young Rev. Jerry Falwell in a sermon he preached at his Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1958, four years after the Supreme Court struck down school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education. But at a gathering of the religious right earlier this month at the late preacher's Lynchburg compound, integration was not only the topic of the day, but touted as the future of the conservative Christian movement."  Photo Credit: VisualLightBox.com

The New Secessionists
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Acts of rebellion which promote moral and political change must be nonviolent. And one of the most potent nonviolent alternatives in the country, which defies the corporate state and calls for an end to imperial wars, is the secessionist movement bubbling up in some two dozen states including Vermont, Texas, Alaska and Hawaii.  These movements do not always embrace liberal values. Most of the groups in the South champion a 'neo-Confederacy' and are often exclusively male and white. Secessionists, who call for statewide referendums to secede, do not advocate the use of force. It is unclear, however, if some will turn to force if the federal structure ever denies them independence."

Arizona's New Immigration Law Is an Act of Vengeance
Eugene Robinson comments for the Washington Post: "Arizona's draconian new immigration law is an abomination -- racist, arbitrary, oppressive, mean-spirited, unjust. About the only hopeful thing that can be said is that the legislation, which Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday, goes so outrageously far that it may well be unconstitutional."

New Climate Movement in Bolivia
Naomi Kline writes for The Nation: "It was 11 am and Evo Morales had turned a football stadium into a giant classroom, marshaling an array of props: paper plates, plastic cups, disposable raincoats, handcrafted gourds, wooden plates and multicolored ponchos. All came into play to make his main point: to fight climate change, 'we need to recover the values of the indigenous people.'"

"Mother Earth Is a Living Being": Cochabamba and the Civilizational Root of the Climate Crisis
 Roberto Lovato reports for the Huffington Post: "Leonardo Boff's elegant white beard and wavy white hair make him look like classical depictions of God(s) in ancient and early modern art. And as a Catholic priest, he would appear to be both benefactor and bulwark of what's often called "western civilization." But when you ask the world-renowned catholic theologian about the root causes of the climate crisis being discussed and debated at the CMPCC here in Cochabamba, Bolivia, he does indeed speak passionately about western civilization-as the primary cause of that crisis."

Militarism, Torture ... and Air Conditioning?
Stan Cox writes for CounterPunch: "Two days before Earth Day 2010, the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate released a report on efforts by the U.S. military to 'reduce dependence on fossil fuels and cut global warming pollution by enhancing energy efficiency and harnessing clean energy technologies.'"

The Nazis Didn’t Even Dare This, But Mainstream And Even Progressive Media Voices Are Silent
Bruce Wilson writes on ALterNet: "After a burst of media coverage towards the close of 2009, the growing persecution of gays in Uganda seems to have dropped off radar screens not only of mainstream US media but also most of alternative and progressive media, on and off the Internet."

Historic March Draws over 200
Christopher Renner reports for the Kansas Free Press: "Over 200 people demonstrated their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in Manhattan and Riley County on Saturday in first Pride march and rally the community has seen. Marchers represented individual LGBTs, allies, various community and K-State organizations and two of Manhattan's religious congregations: the Unitarian Universalism Fellowship and First Congregation - United Church of Christ."

Zombie Magazines: The Washington Blade Will Resume Publishing
Alex Alvarez reports for FishBowlNY: "The Washington Blade, the 40-year-old DC-area gay weekly that folded late last year when parent company Window Media LLC ceased operations, is back! In February of this year, MediaJobsDaily reported that, although the weekly's assets may not have amounted to much, there was a chance that it would be incarnated. In fact, many of the paper's former employees offered $15,000 for its assets, including copyright, trademark, archives, office equipment and office furniture. In the days following Window Media filing for bankruptcy, the paper ran under the name D.C. Agenda."

Bill Moyers Retires
Eric Alterman writes for The Nation: "Nearly twenty years ago, I spoke to Edward R. Murrow's top producer, Fred Friendly, who told me he thought of Bill Moyers as "the Murrow of our time...the broadcaster who most upholds his mantle." But while Murrow remains television journalism's most admired historical figure, it's all but inarguable that Moyers long ago surpassed his achievements."

Communications Law Is Outdated, Panelists Agree
Sara Jerome writes for the National Journal: "Congress needs to update telecommunications law to better address broadband issues. That's a single idea that united speakers with starkly different ideas on FCC authority at the Politics Online conference on Monday. Panelists disagreed on the merits of net neutrality regulation, arguing over whether the FCC should regulate traffic management practices by Internet access providers. But they all thought that Congress should clarify who regulates broadband issues."

FCC Remains Mum on Broadband Reclassification
Marguerite Reardon reports for CNET news: "The Federal Communications Commission started the ball rolling on some items in its National Broadband Plan on Wednesday, but regulators made no mention of whether they are considering reclassifying broadband traffic. One of the first items the FCC addressed on Wednesday was beginning the process to reform the Universal Service Fund. The commissioners voted unanimously to shift the fund's goal from addressing and subsidizing rural telephone service to providing universal broadband service."

Social Media Reshapes Journalism
Robert Quigley writes for the Austin Statesman: "Social media have gone mainstream, but what does that really mean? Sure, you can share pictures from a party quicker, and with more people than ever before (including long-forgotten high school classmates). You can also see what Lance Armstrong is up to at any given moment or share your opinion of a new restaurant."

We Can't Afford to be Neutral on Net Neutrality
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel comments: "Say 'net neutrality' to a person, and chances are you'll be rewarded with a quizzical look and a profoundly confused 'huh?' Ask folks, however, if they want anyone to restrict the information available on the Internet. Understanding dawns. And that is precisely the issue in net neutrality. A court ruling earlier this month in Comcast vs. Federal Communications Commission significantly curtailed the FCC's ability to insist that all Web content be treated equally. The Web as a virtually unfiltered, unfettered fountain of information is in jeopardy."

26 April 2010

Clippings for 25 April 2010

Counting Wins and Losses on Earth Day
Lewis Beale writes for Miller-McCune: "April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and with it, the symbolic beginning of the environmental movement. The event was the culmination of a number of trends that began in the 1950's when scientists began to note how industrialization was impacting on the Earth's ecosystem. Then, in 1962, Rachel Carson's groundbreaking book 'Silent Spring,' which documented the effects of pesticides on the environment, caused an international sensation and led eventually to the banning of the pesticide DDT in the United States."

State Department's Human Rights Assessment - Only a US Perspective
Maria Gabriela Egas reports for Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "In what could be seen as an effort to respond to the March 11, 2009, edition of the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights, Ecuador has promised to publish its own human rights counter-report. This initiative is meant to assess Washington's own respect for human rights from an outside perspective and is meant to be a necessary response to the State Department's often imprudent document. Also, the very next day, March 12, China published 'Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009.'"

American Kleptocracy: How Fears of Socialism and Fascism Hide Naked Theft
William J. Astore writes for TomDispatch.com: "Kleptocracy - now, there's a word I was taught to associate with corrupt and exploitative governments that steal ruthlessly and relentlessly from the people. It's a word, in fact, that's usually applied to flawed or failed governments in Africa, Latin America or the nether regions of Asia."

Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed is God?
Matt Taibbi writes for The Guardian UK: "So Goldman Sachs, the world's greatest and smuggest investment bank, has been sued for fraud by the American Securities and Exchange Commission. Legally, the case hangs on a technicality. Morally, however, the Goldman Sachs case may turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered America sometime in the 80s – and in the years since has aped other horrifying American trends such as boybands and reality shows in spreading across the western world like a venereal disease." Photo Credit: David Paul Ohmer

Goldman Sachs: What Hath Fraud Wrought?
Michael Winship comments for Truthout: "Goldman Sachs is the Blackwater of finance, the latest in a long line of companies you love to hate, like AIG and the Dallas Cowboys. Hit 'refresh' on any financial news Web site and you're likely to get yet another revelation of [Goldman Sachs'] colossal and impressively varied shenanigans."

Recommended Audio: Bill Moyers Journal - James Kwak and Simon Johnson: Banks Are an Oligarchy
Moyers and economists James Kwak and Simon Johnson wonder whether the financial powers are more profitable, and more resistant to regulation than ever.

The White House and Democrats in Congress have begun pushing in earnest for a package of financial reforms. But will it be enough to stop Wall Street from causing another meltdown?

To find out what real financial reform needs to look like, Bill Moyers turns to Simon Johnson and James Kwak, the co-authors of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown.

Part 1

Part 2

A Year of War Would Pay for Local Jobs Bill
Bob Naiman comments for Truthout: "Sometime between now and Memorial Day, the House is expected to consider $33 billion more for war in Afghanistan. This 'war supplemental' is largely intended to plug the hole in Afghanistan war spending for the current fiscal year caused by the ongoing addition of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, whose purpose is largely to conduct a military offensive in Kandahar that 94 percent of the people there say they don't want, preferring peace negotiations with the Taliban instead." (Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: The U.S. Army, Thomas Hawk, lepiaf.geo)

Feeling Warehoused in Army Trauma Care Units
James Dao and Dan Frosch report for the New York Times: "A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological trauma. A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death. The transition unit at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs, seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay, his mother thought."

Review: “Proving Election Fraud” by Richard Charnin
Michael Collins writes for The Daily Censored: "Stock deals are rigged for insiders.  Big money runs Congress. And we’ve gone to war based on a series of calculated lies. Are you willing to accept the fact that our elections are subject to the same type of corruption? If you are, then Proving Election Fraud by Richard Charnin pulls back the curtain and exposes the pattern of election fraud over the past four decades.  It’s not a mystery when your look at the numbers and check them against multiple public sources.   The information is all there – if the experts care to look."

What Would Jesus Insure?
Lindsay Beyerstein reports for The Media Consortium: "Christian groups are trying to create a run around health care reform by setting up alternative, unregulated religious health care bill collectives - and movement conservatives are cheering them on. Religious right-watcher Sarah Posner reports on so-called Christian health care-sharing ministries in the American Prospect."

Arizona's Radical Bill
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Andrea Nill, and Alex Seitz-Wald report in The Progress Report for Think Progress: "Arizona has often been referred to as "ground zero" of the nation's immigration fight. It's the state where a nine-year-old girl and her father were shot and killed by anti-immigrant Minuteman vigilantes this past summer. It's the place where the brutal murder of a prominent rancher led politicians to blur the line between dangerous drug cartel operatives and undocumented workers. It's also home to "Hispanic-hunting" Sheriff Joe Arpaio. On Monday, the Arizona state legislature made headlines when it approved a bill entitled the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act," legislation that will likely end up establishing the harshest set of state immigration laws in the country. Gov. Jan Brewer's (R-AZ) phone has been ringing off the hook with residents encouraging her to either sign or veto it. Given the fact that Brewer is up for re-election this fall, and with polling data suggesting that 70 percent of Arizona voters support the stringent measure, it seems likely that the bill will soon become law -- but not without a fight." Photo: Minnesota Public Radio.

Civil Rights Advocates Vow To Challenge Arizona Immigration Law
Jonathan Cooper reports for the Huffington Post: "Arodi Berrelleza isn't one of the targets of Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law – he's a U.S. citizen. But the 18-year-old high school student from Phoenix said he's afraid he'll be arrested anyway if police see him driving around with friends and relatives, some of them illegal immigrants."

Former Bush Appointee to Plead Guilty to Contempt of Congress
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "A former Bush administration official who headed an obscure office within the White House that protects whistleblowers and enforces anti-discrimination laws was charged Thursday with criminal contempt of Congress."

Confessions of a Former Oil Industry Consultant
Christine Shearer, Truthout: "Jeremy Leggett has undergone quite a few large career changes, from oil industry consultant to Greenpeace scientist to solar power entrepreneur. A geologist by training, he worked with the oil industry until his studies brought him face-to-face with the growing evidence of climate change. In an industry refusing to change, Leggett went to work for Greenpeace and was part of the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) talks up to the non-binding, international climate change treaty, the Kyoto Protocol."

The Good News About the Very Bad News (About Climate Change)
Rebecca Solnit writes for TomDispatch.com: "These days, I see how optimistic and positive disaster and apocalypse movies were. Remember how, when those giant asteroids or alien space ships headed directly for Earth, everyone rallied and acted as one while our leaders led? We're in a movie like that now, except that there's not a lot of rallying or much leading above the grassroots level."

Independent Review of IPCC and Its Global warming Reports: An Answer to Critics
Peter N. Spotts reports for the Christian Science Monitor: "The political fight over the science of global warming took another turn when the United Nations announced Wednesday that it was initiating an investigation into the practices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."

Last Chance for Climate Change Legislation?
Brad Knickerbocker reports for the Christian Science Monitor: "Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Saturday he would have to pull out of the bipartisan climate change effort because of concerns Democrats would push forward with a debate on immigration reform, rather than the climate change bill, in the Senate."

Obama Says Supreme Court Nominee Must Support Women's Rights
National Partnership for Women and Families reports: "President Obama on Wednesday said it is 'very important' that his Supreme Court nominee interprets the Constitution as protecting individual rights, including women's rights, the Washington Post reports. When asked whether he would consider nominating someone who opposes abortion rights, Obama said, 'I am somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction' (Kornblut/Barnes, Washington Post, 4/22).

The Birth-Control Riddle: Fifty Years After the Pill's Debut, Almost Half of Pregnancies in the U.S. Are Unplanned
Melinda Beck reports for The Wall Street Journal: "Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the birth-control pill in the U.S. The dawn of dependable contraception not only ended the post-war baby boom, it also ignited the sexual revolution and helped millions of women to enter the work force. Nowadays, women can choose from a bevy of birth-control options, including pills, patches and rings that allow them to have as few periods as they like, even none. Implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) can prevent pregnancy for years at a time and eliminate the need to refill and remember. Morning-after pills that can decrease the risk from unprotected sex are available without a prescription even to teenagers. Women who want to end their fertility permanently can do so in a doctor's office without undergoing surgery. Abstinence is still taught in many schools and homes as being 100% effective if followed diligently." Photo: American Experience on PBS.

Gibbs: DADT on Hold Until 2011?
The Editors at the Advocate write: "President Barack Obama is allowing the Department of Defense to run the course of its investigation as to how to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday. The DOD's study is due December 1, suggesting legislative action will likely be ruled out until after the new year."

Recommended Audio: Bill Moyers Journal - Our Media Future
FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps is passionate about the role of media in the United States. That's why two recent court rulings are troubling him. One rolled back restrictions on cross-media ownership (owning a broadcast entity and a newspaper in the same market). The other, in a big victory for telecomm companies, basically states that the FCC has little authority under current law over Internet service providers. Find out more about these and other media issues below.

Journalism's Tea Party Express
Howard Kurtz writes for the Washington Post: "Are the media serving you too much tea? Are journalists so revved up on caffeine that they're breathlessly hyping the importance of a group that has little clout? Is this how bored reporters fill the lull before the midterms heat up? There's some truth in these observations -- on what topic doesn't the media go overboard? -- but the larger premise is wrong."

Updated: Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information
Kurt Opsahl comments for the Electronic Frontier Foundation: "Once upon a time, Facebook could be used simply to share your interests and information with a select small community of your own choosing. As Facebook's privacy policy once promised, 'No personal information that you submit to Facebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.'"  Image: University of Calgary Wiki.

Net Neutrality: Regulators Are supposed to Stop Harmful Business Models
Jason Rosenbaum writes for FireDogLake: "A half-dozen clowns – John W. Mayo and Marius Schwartz of Georgetown, Bruce Owen at Stanford, Robert Shapiro at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, Lawrence J. White at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and Glenn Woroch University of California, Berkeley – recently took the the New York Times op-ed pages to argue against what they call possible 'extreme regulations' by the FCC and the rest of us would call enforcing net neutrality."

Action Alert:Cast Your Vote for Comcast as the Worst Company in America
Megan Tady writes for Stop Big Media:
Want to put Comcast in its place? Channel that anger you feel every month when you pay your cable bill? Now you can.

Each year, Consumerist.com runs a competition to determine the “Worst Company in America.” Not surprisingly, Comcast made it to the final round, defeating Cash4Gold in the semi-finals.

We think Comcast deserves the title of “Worst Company,” don’t you? If so, head on over to the Consumerist and cast your vote. The voting starts today and runs through the weekend. The winner will be announced Monday.

Comcast has a long history of terrible service, price-gouging its customers, cheating its competitors, and secretly interfering with users’ Internet traffic. Now it wants to take over NBC Universal — one of the nation’s largest TV and movie studios — a move that would give it control over even more of what we see and how we see it, on TV and online.

This is a great opportunity to send a message to Comcast that we’re overwhelmingly disgusted by its behavior. Comcast has come close to “winning” in past years, so let’s make sure it’s voted the worst in 2010.

23 April 2010

Earth Day 2010

Community Bridge opens with Marci Penner discussing the Kansas Sampler Festival.  The Festival provides hundreds of Kansas Communities the opportunity to tell their story through creative attraction exhibits, Kansas-made products, demonstrations, historic performers, musicians, dancers, entertainment acts, and food vendors. The 21st annual Kansas Sampler Festival will take place in Leavenworth May 1 & 2. It's all Kansas - all weekend! Journey to Leavenworth County to learn what there is to see, do, hear, buy, taste and learn in Kansas!

Then Andrew McGowan, Zack Pistora and Kevin Tulp from Students for Environmental Action to discuss Earth Day 2010, the efforts of SEA to change K-State policy through their "declaration of the decade" efforts, and areas of concern on the table for K-State & Manhattan.

MP3 File

April 22, 2010 - Earth Day Part 2

Beginning our second hour, we hear from High Plains News as they take a look at the effects of our reliance on coal-fired power on our air, water, climate and communities. Originally prepared for the global climate summit in Copenhagen, this program provides insight into an important issue facing Kansas.

Finally Jonathan Mertz, chair of the Flint Hills Human Right Project, and Hannah Mattocks, Co-chair of Manhattan Pride, join host Christopher Renner in studio to discuss Saturday's historic LGBT Pride March through Manhattan. The March takes place on 24 April beginning at 2:00 pm at the Riley County Courthouse.

MP3 File

21 April 2010

Clippings for 21 April 2010

Earth Day Edicts: What to focus on if you really want to green your lifestyle.
Nina Shen Rastogi writes for Slate: "Lantern, I too have laid awake at night wondering whether dry-erase pens were better for the environment than blackboard chalk. But in honor of Earth Day, maybe you can get past the Green Lantern's this-vs.-that coverage of consumer products and offer some bigger-picture advice? Overall, what are the most important things for individual consumers to focus on?"

Remembering Fascism: Learning From the Past
Noam Chomsky comments for Truthout: "As I mentioned, I am just old enough to remember those chilling and ominous days of Germany's descent from decency to Nazi barbarism, to borrow the words of the distinguished scholar of German history Fritz Stern. He tells us that he has the future of the United States in mind when he reviews 'a historic process in which resentment against a disenchanted secular world found deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason.' The world is too complex for history to repeat, but there are nevertheless lessons to keep in mind."

Goldman Plays, We Pay
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "The story of the financial debacle will end the way it began, with the super-hustlers from Goldman Sachs at the center of the action and profiting wildly. Never in U.S. history has one company wielded such destructive power over our political economy, irrespective of whether a Republican or a Democrat happened to be president."

The SEC's Dangerous Gamble
Harvey Pitt writes for The Daily Beast: "The SEC’s recent action against Goldman Sachs gives new meaning to the expression “betting the farm.” That phrase signifies actions accompanied by huge risk, especially financial. In litigation, the expression references risks for one party to civil litigation, most frequently the defendant. It suggests a party risks losing everything if it gambles and follows a path to its logical conclusion. The expression rarely references plaintiffs, and certainly not government-plaintiffs litigating against regulated entities."

The Sanders Standard for Serious Bank Reform
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "There will be a lot of talk about holding big banks and Wall Street to account in coming days, as the Senate takes up the question of how to overhaul a financial-services industry that is currently defined by a toxic combination of blind greed, unsustainable speculation and "too-big-to-fail" threats not just to the economy but to the stability of this country's democratic experiment."

The Paycheck Fairness Act: Now an Economic Imperative
Linda D. Hallman writes for the Women's Media Center: "Today, as we do every year in April, AAUW and our allies mark Equal Pay Day. This day represents how far into the next year the average woman must work to earn what the average man took home the previous calendar year. In other words, every year women start out more than 100 days behind."

How Bubble Barons Protected Their Influence While the Economy Tanked
Kevin Connor writes for AlterNet: "Following the deadly mine explosion in West Virginia last week, the CEO of the company that owned the mine quickly emerged as a sort of Dickensian villain in media reports. Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's cavalier, profit-obsessed approach to mining had led him to dismiss pressing safety concerns at his mines."

Noted economist and author Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Bob discuss "Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World's Economy" on Sunday. Because this is a pre-recorded program, calls will not be taken. If you are unable to listen to the show on Sunday, please remember to check our archives here at this website, and podcasts are updated weekly. To download the MP3 file, click here.

Iraq Election: Can Maliki Win With a Baghdad Recount?
Jane Arraf reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "An Iraqi appeals panel ordered Monday that more than 20 percent of the votes cast in national elections be manually recounted in response to complaints from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's political bloc, further placing the Iraq election results in doubt."  Photo:(UPI Photo/Iraqi Government)

A Neocon Split on Afghanistan?
David Corn writes for Mother Jones: "Last September, as President Barack Obama was conducting a strategic review of his Afghanistan policy, leading members of the neoconservative crowd—Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, David Frum, Thomas Donnelly, Danielle Pletka, John Podhoretz, and others—sent an open letter to Obama praising him for changing the military leadership in Afghanistan and for devoting more resources to the war. The letter, which was also signed by Sarah Palin and Karl Rove, decried the "errors of previous years" and indicated that the neocons and their allies would back Obama if he would continue granting "full support" to the war effort. This letter signaled that the neoconservatives shared a fundamental view: The United States had to commit to a full-fledged "counterinsurgency strategy" aimed not at containing but defeating the Taliban—an endeavor which would entail sending tens of thousands of troops to Afghanistan for as long as it takes. The influential group that had helped lead the nation into war in Iraq looked unified on Afghanistan."

Seven Years of (Unconvincing) Lies in 39 Minutes: A Primer
Dr. Matthew Feldman comments for Truthout: "No wonder the US military said the tape was lost. Those murderous images leave you gasping for air like a punch in the gut at boot camp. Then you hear a bit of cackling, some banter and more shooting. Dahr Jamail reported in Truthout that a dozen people were killed in the massacre, including two Reuters news staff, with another two children wounded but (amazingly) alive. The US troops sounded as if they were having fun, like aiming for high-score on an arcade game."

RommeyCare Vs. ObamaCare
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Igor Volsky, Zaid Jilani, and Alex Seitz-Wald write The Progress Report for Think Progress: "As former Republican Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney travels around the country promoting his new book No Apology and feeling out a potential 2012 presidential bid, he continues to struggle with questions about why he wants to repeal a new federal health care law that is so similar to the  reform he signed in 2006 as governor. If he wants to promote "himself as a problem-solving pragmatist, Mr. Romney can justifiably point to the landmark universal coverage law in Massachusetts that he, as governor, proposed in 2006," the New York Times observes. "But as he appeals to conservative activists and Republican primary voters, he is trying to draw nuanced distinctions between his Massachusetts law and the federal legislation that shares many of its fundamental elements, including a requirement that people have insurance." Indeed, Romney is attempting to present himself as a pragmatist and a principled conservative who opposes federal intervention into health policy. Thus, Romney has had to embrace his plan while, at the same time, attacking President Obama's in an effort to appease the GOP and the conservative base, which adamantly oppose it."

Is the NRA Encouraging Anti-Government Extremism?
Stephanie Mencimer writes for Mother Jones: "Apparently the actions of National Rifle Association member Timothy McVeigh didn't teach the organization that its violent anti-government rhetoric can have dangerous consequences. On a day when thousands of Tea Party activists are taking to the streets to protest Tax Day, the Violence Policy Center has released a report today chronicling the increasing ties between the gun lobby and the Tea Party movement, and the NRA's adoption of much of the "Patriot movement's" anti-government language. The center sees direct parallels between the NRA's current activities and those in the years leading up to McVeigh's fateful decision to blow up the Oklahoma federal building..."

Tea Baggers Fail to See Their Own Hypocrisy
Irene North writes for The Daily Censored: "So, there was yet another tea party rally, this time in Boston. They’re still pissed off at health care reform, calling it socialist and communist without ever understanding the definition of those two words. I wonder where they were a few years ago when Medicare part D was push through with no vote and why they weren’t rioting against socialized medicine then. Welfare queen, Valerie Shirk, however, seems to be the biggest hypocrite of them all."

The Populism of the Privileged
E.J. Dionne writes for Truthdig.com: "The tea party is nothing new, it represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics, and it will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections. In fact, both parties stand to lose if they accept the laughable notion that this media-created protest movement is the voice of true populism. Democrats will spend their time chasing votes that they will never win. Republicans will turn their party into an angry and narrow redoubt with no hope of building a durable majority.

How is the so-called "war on drugs" and NAFTA affecting Mexico? On the next Your Call, we'll have a conversation with journalist Charles Bowden, author of Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields. In 2009, 23,000 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico, 4,300 of them in Ciudad Juarez alone. What explains the rise in drug violence?
To listen click here.

Disaster Capitalism
Clive Thompson writes for MOther Jones: "Last year, Beluga Shipping discovered that there's money in global warming. Beluga is a German firm that specializes in "super heavy lift" transport. Its vessels are equipped with massive cranes, allowing it to load and unload massive objects, like multiton propeller blades for wind turbines. It is an enormously expensive business, but last summer, Beluga executives hit upon an interesting way to save money: Shipping freight over a melting Arctic."  — Illustration: Christoph Hitz

Attractive Nuisance: Can federal courts help tackle global warming?
Doug Kendall and Hanna McCrea write for Slate: "If Congress and the president fail to tackle global warming, can courts step in? Can federal judges allow people struggling with the losses of global warming to sue polluters directly?  The idea may at first seem crazy. In a legal world obsessed with claims of judicial activism, the image of a judge taking on a global problem like climate change seems like the punch line to a bad joke at an Exxon board meeting. But it turns out there is a long and proud history of judges addressing pollution in the absence of environmental regulation. For much of the last century—long before Congress acted—federal courts allowed plaintiffs to seek injunctions to stop all kinds of pollution. Successful suits prevented an ore smelter from releasing deadly atmospheric arsenic over the homes and families of Utah, the City of Chicago from draining its sewage into St. Louis' drinking supply, and New York City from dumping its garbage into the Atlantic, where it washed up on the beaches of the New Jersey Shore. Today, states and environmentalists are turning to these and other historic precedents to make the case that climate change, too, belongs in the courts—when the other branches of government refuse to act."

Obama's Caution on Gay Rights, Other Issues, Frustrates Some Liberals Who Want More
Chales Babington and Philip Elliott write for AP and the Los Angeles Times: "President Barack Obama's move to grant same-sex partners full visitation rights in hospitals is the latest example of his making concessions to liberals without getting too far ahead of public opinion. Obama has moved just as cautiously, if not more so, on immigration and gays in the military. Supporters and some critics agree that he tries to walk a line that neither angers liberals who helped elect him, nor fires up conservatives hoping to defeat Democrats this fall and to oust Obama in 2012."

Draft of Secretive International Copyright Treaty Leaked -- Confirms Fears About Internet Freedom
Michael Geist reports for AlterNet: "Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) resumed last week in Wellington, New Zealand, with Canada, the United States, the European Union, and a handful of other countries launching the eighth round of talks. While even the most optimistic ACTA supporters do not expect to conclude an agreement before the end of the year, the next five days may prove to be a pivotal point in the negotiations since over the past several weeks, there have been two major leaks that could dramatically alter the still-secret discussions."

NPR And Trust in Government
Robert Shetterly writes for Common Dreams: "I was just sitting down in my kitchen this morning -- Sunday, April 18th, 2010 -- to a bowl of oatmeal topped with walnuts, some pieces of ginger, and a little brown sugar when I heard the host of NPR's Sunday Weekend Edition program, Liane Hansen, say that the next segment would begin a series of programs focusing on Trust in Government. She said, as we all know, that cynicism about our political leadership has metastasized. The new series would look at how it got this way and how it could be different."

Public Outcry over Comcast Ruling Reaches the FCC
Tim Karr writes for Save the Internet: "The public outrage over last week's appeals court decision against an open Internet reached Washington this week. People are doing all they can to stop a decision that would effectively give phone and cable companies power to control Internet content and undermine the open architecture that has transformed the Web into a democratic force in society."

Net Neutrality is Not Dead
Pete Osnos writes for The Altantic: "On April 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that the Federal Communications Commission had misused its authority to control traffic on the Internet. To casual observers -- I was one -- the 3-0 decision by Judge David S. Tatel, a distinguished, progressively minded jurist with seventeen years on the bench, seemed like a serious setback to the concept of "net neutrality," the doctrine that requires Internet service providers to treat all content equally."

Newspaper Guild President to FCC: Media Consolidation Impairs Journalism, Democracy
Editor and Publisher staff writes: "Newspaper Guild-CWA President Bernard Lunzer, scheduled to speak Tuesday afternoon in Tampa, Fla., at a Federal Communications Commission workshop on broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership, set out to deliver the message that media consolidation is the enemy of quality journalism -- and, in effect, democracy."

15 April 2010

Clippings for 15 April 2010

Tax Day Fact Check: Most Americans Got A Tax Cut This Year
Sam Stein reports for the Huffington Post: "On Tuesday, a wave of protesters, upset with overly-burdensome taxation by the federal government, are set to descend on the nation's capital to express their displeasure. But does their anger reflect the truth about today's tax rates? After all, neutral economists insist that, under the Obama administration, the overwhelming likelihood is that your tax burden has gone down, not up. Even conservative economic analysts acknowledge that there really is no basis for middle- and working-class Americans to believe that they're suddenly paying more."

10 Ways to Force the Stinking Rich to Share Their Wealth
Zach Carter writes for AlterNet: "Tax day is upon us, and with it, our miserable annual rituals associated with fiscal responsibility. Some of these responsibilities are real: the procrastinators among us, including myself, are scrambling to send off our tax returns before the deadline. But some of this so-called "responsibility" is a mere phantom, particularly the misinformation ringing out from cable news stations about the supposedly dire state of our national finances."

Who Pays Taxes?
Nick Baumann writes for Mother Jones: "On Tuesday night, Jon Stewart had a segment that summed up what's wrong with how the media talks about taxes. If you don't want to watch the segment, I'll summarize (briefly): All this week, cable news and many newspapers have highlighted a 2009 study by the Tax Policy Center that found that 47 percent of Americans have no income tax liability."

The Whistle-Blower They Ignored
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "There aren’t too many genuine heroes to come out of the banking disaster, but Armando Falcon is one of them. You have probably never heard of him, but his testimony Friday before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, available on the commission’s website, is must reading for anyone trying to figure out why U.S. taxpayers had to bail out companies to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars." Photo: Armando Falcon, AP/Dennis Cook.

The Really Really Long War
John Feffer writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "Let's imagine that the Cold War was a detour. The entire 20th century, in fact, was a detour. Since conflicts among the 20th-century ideologies (liberalism, communism, fascism) cost humanity so dearly, it's hard to conceive of World War II and the clashes that followed as sideshows. And yet many people have begun to do just that. They view the period we find ourselves in right now - the so-called post-Cold War era - as a return to a much earlier time and a much earlier confrontation. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq aren't discrete battles against a tyrant (Saddam Hussein) or a tyrannical group (the Taliban)."

Wilkerson: Cheney, Bush Aware Guantanamo Detainees Were Innocent
Jason Leopold writes for Truthout: "Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell during George W. Bushís first term, claims that Bush, Vice Present Dick Cheney and others knew the 'vast majority' of prisoners captured in the so-called War on Terror were innocent and the administration refused to set them free because of the political repercussions that would have ensued."

What the WikiLeaks Media Blitz Has Revealed About WikiLeaks
Dave Gilson reports for Mother Jones: "It's been a very good week for WikiLeaks. Last Monday, the whistleblower site released a classified video shot by an American attack helicopter as it mowed down a group of men on a Baghdad street, two of whom were unarmed Reuters journalists. The video has been watched no fewer than 5.7 million times and the debate over whether it depicts a war crime, a justifiable action, or a tragic example of the fog of war, is still going strong. "WikiLeaks" became a top Google search term as a site once frequented primarily by journalists and activists became a major media player. And the attention seems unlikely to abate soon: WikiLeaks says it's about to release footage of an American missile strike in Afghanistan that killed dozens of civilians."

Boost Haiti's Self-Sufficiency by "Buying Local" Rice
The Center for Economic and Policy Research reports: "The international community could, in the words of former President Bill Clinton, help Haiti 'become more self-sufficient' by purchasing the entire Haitian rice crop over the next two years for just 2.35 percent of total current committed aid funds. A new issue brief from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) finds that buying up all of Haiti's rice should be close to the amount of food aid for rice that the international community is likely to provide this year, and would provide a tremendous boost to Haitian farmers, who currently are unable to compete with low-cost rice imports from the U.S."

Inside the Mexican Drug Wars Quickly Consuming a Nation
Tomas Kellner and Francesco Pipitone comment for TomDispatch.com: "Just before noon on February 15, 2007, four municipal police officers in Aguascalientes, the picturesque capital of the central Mexican state bearing the same name, were called to a mundane road accident. An overturned, black Chevy Suburban with out-of-state license plates was blocking traffic on the quiet Boulevard John Paul II that runs through the city's sleepy western suburbs."

Putting Lakoff's Work in a Larger Context
Mary L. Wentworth writes for Truthout: "In applying to political discourse the scientific discoveries of how concepts are embodied in our brains, George Lakoff and his associates have made an important contribution to how we Democrats ought to be talking about issues.  What is missing, however, in this application of science to politics, is recognition that a powerful worldwide system known as patriarchy needs to be the context for these discussions. For example, in a recent Truthout article, Obama, Tea Parties and the Battle for Our Brains, Lakoff explains how liberals and conservatives differ in their views of the family."

How to Talk to a Tea Party Activist
Chuck Collins writes for The Nation: "We'll be hearing a lot about the tea party movement on tax day. They will be angry, and some of that anger at the tax system will be justified. Like all social movements, the tea party wave is not monolithic. There are hard-core libertarians, white supremacists and partisan Republicans that are not interested in dialogue. But in my conversations with rank-and-file tea party activists, there are important points of common ground."

Bad Brew: What's Become of Tea Party Populism?
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "The Tea Party movement will rally April 15 in cities across the country, flexing physical muscle where -- so far -- it has not been able to have much impact politically. As readers know, I've frequently defended the Tea Party push on the general principle that any honest dissent is healthy and on the particular principle that the movement's initial objections to bank bailouts and alliances between the government and Wall Street were not just appropriate but necessary. "

The Rise of the Modern Day Black Public Intellectual
Solomon Comissiong reports for The Daily Censored: "The great Pan-African and scholar W.E.B. Dubois spent most of his life actively working to improve the social conditions that plagued African Americans during the 20th century. During his life, America was, as it still is, a cesspool of institutional racism and injustice. Despite his countless accomplishments, Dubois tirelessly worked on behalf of African people worldwide. Beyond authoring masterpieces such as The World and Africa he significantly contributed to organizations like the NAACP, Pan-African Congress, organizing five Pan-African Congresses, the Council of African Affairs, as well as his work on the Stockholm Peace Petition."

In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis
Henry A. Giroux comments for Truthout: "There has been a long, though declining, tradition in the United States in which public school teaching was embraced as an important public service. It was assumed that teachers provided a crucial foundation for educating young people in the values, skills and knowledge that enabled them to be critical citizens capable of shaping and expanding democratic institutions. Since the 1980's, teachers have been under an unprecedented attack by those forces that view schools less as a public good than as a private right."

Report Says Contaminated Meat Is In Supermarkets
Ron Claiborne, Dan Childs, and Hanna Siegel report for BC News: "It is a frightening picture: beef contaminated with toxic heavy metals, pesticides and antibiotics making its way into the nation's supermarkets.  Phyllis K. Fong, the Agriculture Department's inspector general, looked at how beef is tested for harmful substances. According to her new report, inspectors charged with checking cattle for disease and meat for contaminants were, 'unable to determine if meat has unacceptable levels of... potentially hazardous substances [and do] not test for pesticides... determined to be of high risk.'"

Farmers on Fringe of International Agriculture Policy?
Stephen Leahy reports for Inter Press Service: "How's this for short-sighted: A billion people go hungry every day, food prices have climbed 30 to 40 percent, climate change is reducing agricultural production - and for the past two decades, the world has slashed investments in publicly-funded agriculture until it is a pittance in most countries."

Federal Court Ruling a Blow to "Net Neutrality"
Kyle Berlin writes for Truthout: "In a blow to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and supporters of net neutrality, the Federal Appeals Court in DC ruled unanimously on Tuesday that the FCC cannot interfere in the management of networks run by telecommunications companies."

Digital Rights Groups, Trade Orgs Back YouTube In Viacom Lawsuit
Wendy Davis writes for MediaPost: "A broad coalition of digital rights groups and trade associations has weighed in on Google’s side in its court battle with Viacom about copyright infringement on YouTube. The organizations, including the American Library Association, Center for Democracy & Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, NetCoalition (which includes Amazon, eBay and Yahoo) argue that YouTube is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provisions, which generally say that copies are immune from liability when users upload infringing material, provided the material is removed upon request."

11 April 2010

Another World Is Possible: Another US in Necessary: The US Social Forum in Detroit June 22 - 26

Community Bridge welcomes Mallory Knodel to discuss the US Social Forum that will take place June 22-26, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan under the theme: "Another World is Possible. Another US is Necessary!"  The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis.

The US Social Forum will provide a space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, and share analysis of the problems our communities face. It will help develop leadership, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world.

We close out this week by rebroadcasting two segments from On The Media that discusses the alarming rise of U.S. hate groups and the rhetoric that feeds them featuring Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Then Daniel Levitas, an expert on homegrown terrorist groups, says that there's a double standard regarding which groups get the "terrorist" label.

MP3 File

10 April 2010

Charles Schollenberger for Senate

Community Bridge welcomes back Charles Schollenberger, Democratic candidate for the US Senate, to discuss his positions on a variety of topics - economy, agriculture, and more - and how he offers Kansans an alternative to the Party of NO!

Following this week's Media Minutes, we welcome openly gay musician Tom Goss to the show. Goss will be in concert in Manhattan on April 24. He discusses his music and new projects including The Politics of Love - a broad curriculum that gives individuals the tools they need to teach marriage equality where they are. Perfect for college clubs, church congregations, high-school classrooms and even your home, The Politics of Love combines several components, (audio, video, powerpoint presentation, discussion points, handouts) that makes it possible to lead workshops and discussions with the click of a button.

MP3 File