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

12 May 2010

Clippings for 12 May 2010

Noam Chomsky: The U.S. Continues to Be a Terrorist State
Joel Whitney writes for AlterNet: "If Noam Chomsky’s critics have a common refrain, it is pointing to his habit of being far too hard on America’s motives and too easy on its opponents. The former, of course, is his métier. The latter criticism has limited (though a few important) instances. In fact, Chomsky’s central question is how do you punish the crook who owns the jailhouse, pays the police their salaries, and fails consistently to see his crimes as such? Or perhaps, how do you get a self-enamored hypocrite to reckon with his pathology? Certainly not by repeating the praise, or what Chomsky sometimes calls America’s “state religion” of self-worship. And despite this, in a very limited way, Chomsky does give credit where credit is due."

America’s War Disease
Bill Boyarsky writes for Truthdig.com: "The Afghanistan war, along with Iraq, has become a chronic illness that America has learned to ignore. News of the sick economy, natural and human-made disasters and momentary sensations like the Tiger Woods sex scandal flashes across cable news screens and the Internet, leaving hardly any space for the war. Financially strapped news organizations employ few of the talented war correspondents who could bring the conflicts to the public’s attention, as an earlier generation of journalists did with Vietnam. At home, the anti-war movement is barely covered. In late March, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq made the top 10 stories on cable, network television or online news, and they finished in seventh place among newspapers."

What Did the FBI Know About Faisal Shahzad?
Daniel Schulman writes for Mother Jones: "There was really nothing memorable about the 24-year-old Pakistani guy whom George LaMonica bought his Norwalk, Connecticut, condo from in the spring of 2004. Had it not been for what happened shortly after he moved in, LaMonica might have forgotten him entirely. LaMonica says he arrived home one day to find the business card of a detective working with an FBI-led task force. When he later spoke to the investigator, he says, he was asked about the condo's previous owner. The potential significance of this only became apparent years later, when the man in question, Faisal Shahzad, was arrested for the failed plot to detonate a car bomb in New York's Times Square."  Photo — Personal Photo / CBS News

Recommended Audio: Ex-CIA Official Reveals New Details About Torture, Plame Leak
In a wide-ranging video interview with Truthout, former CIA counterterrorism official John Kiriakou reveals new information about the capture and torture of "high-value" detainee Abu Zubaydah and discloses, for the first time, his role in the events that led to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Photo: Troy Page / t r u t h o u t

Mr. Obama: Tear Down This War!
Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers: "Many of us progressives now in our 60s and 70s spent years of our young lives in 'The Sixties' trying to stop the U.S. war in Vietnam. Many in this cohort were beaten, jailed, lost jobs, suffered discrimination. We were, after all, considered 'unpatriotic' and 'traitors' by government leaders and their rightwing supporters."

Groups Make Memorial to Show Impact of War in Iraq
Pauline Kennedy reports for the K-State Collegian: "A line of red and yellow flags has lined the sidewalk of the campus quad this week, in an effort to show the impact that two wars have had on the nation. The flags were used to display the names of over 6,000 men and women who have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The groups who worked on the project were the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Against the War and several K-State chapters, including Young Americans for Liberty, the Ambassadors for Peace Club, Amnesty International and Students for Environmental Action." Photo: Matt Binte

The Dangers of Madcap Capitalism
Danny Schechter reports for Consortium News: "A week after CNBC assured its high-net-worth viewers that Greece would no longer be a problem, there was an uprising there followed by a volcanic market cliff dive that the White House, NASDAQ and every regulator is now investigating. There is still a lot of head-scratching, as if to say, how come our casino went batty? It all happened in a couple of minutes, about the time it took for that fail-safe, top-of-the-line, ultra-secure, and unsinkable oil platform to sink."

The Real Misery Index April 2010: Underemployment Woes Lead To Two-Tier Economy
Marcus Baram reports for the huffington Post: "The unemployment crisis continues to stymie a full economic recovery, with ripple effects from credit card delinquencies and rising food stamp participation indicating new hardships for millions of Americans, according to the latest update of Huffington Post's Real Misery Index. The index for March/April 2010 was 33.1, a slight increase from 33.0 in February, representing another new high in the 26 years going back to 1984 analyzed by HuffPost. Though there have been some encouraging signs, from higher housing prices (which have an inverse relationship to the index) to declining home equity delinquencies, the jobless numbers continue to increase the misery. In addition, nearly 40 million American were enrolled for food stamps in February, which has been described by anti-hunger groups as the highest share of the population ever in the assistance program.

Only $242 Million Spent So Far on Government's $75 Billion Mortgage Modification Program
Paul Kiel reports for ProPublica: "When the administration launched its foreclosure prevention program, it committed to spend up to $75 billion. By the end of March, more than a year later, only about $242 million had actually been paid out."

5 Ways to Achieve World Peace and Prosperity -- Yes, It's Possible
Editor's Note: The following is excerpted from 2048: Humanity's Agreement to Live Together, was published on AlterNet by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, copyright 2010.
J. Kirk Boyd writes: "One of the most pernicious myths is that peace and prosperity are hopelessly complicated and unattainable. 2048 dispels myths. This is untrue. Peace and prosperity can be attained through the realization of five basic fundamental freedoms, for all people, everywhere in the world. They are: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom for the environment, and freedom from fear. Of course, other rights are needed too, but these five fundamental freedoms establish a framework within which other rights can flourish. If our international community remembers these Five Freedoms, and if they become a regular part of our daily lives, then collectively we will carry the core of 2048 in our minds and they will become our way of life."

The Disappointing Kagan Pick
Matthew Rothschild comments for The Progressive: "I'm troubled by Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. I'm troubled not because she has no prior experience as a judge. Obama's right that we need more than cloistered judges on the top bench. But I wish she had more experience outside of the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School, outside of the Clinton White House and the Obama White House. These aren't the widest of worldly experiences."

Why Are So Many Americans Scared of Undocumented Immigrants?
Ira Chernus writes for AlterNet: "'The overwhelming majority of Americans think the country’s immigration policies need to be seriously overhauled.' And most Americans support Arizona’s stringent new immigration enforcement law, 'even though they say it may lead to racial profiling.' That’s the finding of the latest New York Times / CBS News poll, according to the Times article summarizing the poll."

The Man Behind Arizona’s Immigration Law
Suzy Khimm reports for Mother Jones: "When Arizona passed a law that handed local police unprecedented authority to investigate and arrest suspected illegal immigrants, the state ignited a firestorm in a midterm election year. And for Kris Kobach, the former Bush administration lawyer who helped draft the legislation, the crackdown in Arizona is just the beginning. A telegenic law professor with stellar academic credentials—Harvard undergrad, Yale Law School—Kobach has been the brains behind similarly tough local-level immigration measures and legal actions across the country. And he says he's discussing with officials about whether measures similar to the Arizona law could be passed elsewhere. "I have been contacted by legislators in other states…with questions about the Arizona statutes," Kobach says in an interview. He won't reveal where most of these inquiries were from, but said he was talking to state legislators in Kansas—where he's also running for secretary of state this fall. Already, state and national lawmakers in Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia have vowed to pass copycat measures."

Kerry-Lieberman Climate Proposal a Disaster for Climate
The Center for Biological Diversity writes: " In the midst of what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) will today put forth a draft climate bill that will not solve the problems of global warming and continues pandering to the fossil fuel industry – including expanded offshore oil drilling – that created the problems in the first place."

The Dementia of Petroleum Addiction?
Craig Collins Ph.D. writes for Truthout: "Petroleum executives assure us that their giant tankers and offshore oil rigs pose no danger to the environment; coal company CEOs insist that their mines are safe and that blasting off mountaintops is ecologically benign; natural gas companies claim that 'fracking' deep underground geological formations will not contaminate fresh water aquifers; and nuclear power promoters tell us not to worry about core meltdowns or the disposal of millions of tons of highly radioactive waste."

Since Spill, Feds Have Given 27 Waivers to Oil Companies in Gulf
Marisa Taylor reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "Since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico."

'Rentboy' Minister Got $120K Taxpayer Dollars From Fla. GOP Gov Candidate -- for Anti-Gay Testimony
Michael Rogers writes for AlterNet: "Remember Mr. Haney of Green Acres fame? Out of nowhere he'd show up in his truck full of junk and try to sell you something you didn't need for a problem you didn't have.  The characters on Green Acres were smart enough to send Mr. Haney on his way but not Florida's Attorney General (and GOP gubenetorial candidate) Bill McCollum.  When George Rekers, the 61-year-old founder of the rabidly anti-gay Family Research Council showed up full of junk science, discredited testimony and a willingness to say anything to defend Florida's ban on gays adopting McCollum saw an ideological bargain at any price."

Nicholas Graham writes for the Huffington Post: "A group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq have upped the ante in the music video battle against their brethren in Afghanistan. Aspiring filmmaker Codey Wilson and his "elite step team of volunteers" spoofed all the controversy about letting gays serve openly in the military with a fiercely fabulous music video set to Ke$ha's song Blah Blah Blah."

Privacy Reform: The Sound of No Hand Clapping
Timothy MacBain reports for Truthout: "In the wake of nationwide demonstrations calling for stronger government regulation of banks and investment firms, draft legislation was introduced in the House on Tuesday that targets a less conspicuous multi-billion dollar industry that still affects everyday Americans: the collection and distribution of personal information. At a time when everyone from Tea Partiers to progressives is complaining that the government isn't looking out for the people, US Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) and Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) offered their proposal for meaningful privacy protection legislation."

Defending Free Speech Against Fundamentalist Islam?
Eboo Patel reports for the Huffington Post: "A few days back, small groups of college students at Northwestern, Illinois and Wisconsin -- angry that Comedy Central had been intimidated into censoring a South Park episode depicting the Prophet Muhammad -- chalked their quads with stick figures and labeled these drawings "Prophet Muhammad." One of the members of the Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers (AAF) group leading the event at the University of Illinois wrote a letter explaining his actions: 'No one's sacred cow unwrites basic human rights. You can cater to the whims of fundamentalists, or you can cater to fundamental rights, but you can't do both.'"

Leaked: Telcos' Secret Plans to Use Fake "Citizens Groups" to Kill Net Neutrality
Cory Doctorow reports for BoingBoing: "ThinkProgress has a leaked copy of a telcoms industry PowerPoint presentation laying out their plans to use astroturf to kill Network Neutrality. The industry is hiring the same turfers who work with the Tea Party movement to carry their message to the people. What the telcos want to do is reduce your access to websites and services unless those services have paid a bribe for "premium carriage" to you. So Google buys its bandwidth from its ISP. You buy your bandwidth from your ISP. Then your ISP goes to Google and says, "If you want to send your bits to our customers when they ask for them, you'll have to pay us too." If Google doesn't pay, the ISP slows down its bits when you ask for them."

Clyburn Seeks Hearings On Comcast-NBC
Harry A. Jessell reports for TV New Check: "FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn today called for public hearings 'outside of Beltway' on Comcast's proposed takeover of NBC Universal. Such hearings will force the FCC to see up-close how Americans feel about the merger, the Democrat said at a conference sponsored by Free Press, an advocacy group opposed to undue media consolidation."

FCC Backs Away from Cliff, Charts New Course for Broadband Policy
Aparna Sridhar writes for SavetheInternet.com: "Last month, a court case brought by Comcast revoked the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate Internet service providers. This decision placed President Obama’s key technology priorities -- like bringing fast, affordable, neutral Internet into every home -- on the edge of a precipice. This Thursday, the FCC took a crucial first step toward putting those policies back on solid legal footing. Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed a new regulatory framework for broadband Internet access service — one that reverses the critical policy failures of the Bush-era FCC which left consumers unprotected and led to a rapid decline in America’s standing as a broadband leader. But while the Commission is certainly on the right track, much hard work remains ahead."

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