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

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.

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