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

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."

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