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

16 May 2010

Clippings for 16 May 2010

General Warns of Persistent Conflict, Toll on Soldiers
Sue McMillin reports for the Colorado Springs Gazette: "The world is in an “era of persistent conflict” because of ideological struggles that are exacerbated by several global trends, the Chief of Staff of the Army said Friday in Colorado Springs. That means the United States should expect protracted military actions that look far different from the tank wars of the past, Gen. George Casey Jr. told more than 1,000 people attending the annual Armed Forces luncheon at The Broadmoor."  Photo: Getty Images.

Robert Greenwald discusses the War in Afghanistan and why we need to rethink our involvement in this war that has spanned over 8 years and cost us hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars.



Blowback: Why They Try to Bomb Us
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "Imagine, if you can, an alternate universe. Imagine that in this alternate universe, a foreign military power begins flying remote-controlled warplanes over your town, using onboard missiles to kill hundreds of your innocent neighbors. Now imagine that when you read the newspaper about this ongoing bloodbath, you learn that the foreign nation’s top general is nonchalantly telling reporters that his troops are also killing “an amazing number” of your cultural brethren in an adjacent country. Imagine further learning that this foreign power is expanding the drone attacks on your community despite the attacks’ well-known record of killing innocents. And finally, imagine that when you turn on your television, you see the perpetrator nation’s tuxedo-clad leader cracking stand-up comedy jokes about drone strikes—jokes that prompt guffaws from an audience of that nation’s elite.

Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster: Justice Department Investigating Massey For 'Willful Criminal Activity'
Samuel Hananel, Associated Press, reports on The Huffington Post: "Federal prosecutors said Friday they are investigating whether there was "willful criminal activity" by the company that operates the West Virginia coal mine where 29 workers died in an accident last month. The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of West Virginia said in a letter that investigators are looking into possible criminal conduct by the mine's operator, Performance Coal, and its directors, officers and agents."

How Too-Big-to-Fail's Army of Lobbyists Has Captured Washington
Kevin Conner writes for the Institute for America's Future: "Throughout the financial reform debate, the finance industry has waged an unprecedented assault on the democratic process, spending an estimated $1.4 million per day to influence Congress and hiring 70 members of Congress and 940 former federal employees to lobby on their behalf."
Read the full report »

Covering the Bank Investigations: A Cautionary Tale
Stephen Engelberg reports for ProPublica: "The story of the banks that created investments and then bet against them has reached a particularly unedifying stage. Every day seems to bring another  headline about a bank or hedge fund that is "under investigation" by one authority or another. Such stories can be built around a wispy fact or two. They typically feature indignant denials and lots of caveats, and are often sourced to the always-revealing "people familiar with the case." (For a run-down of the stories, see our just-published Bank Investigations Cheat Sheet .)  "

Recommended Audio: KCPT - Week in Review for May 14
This week's show discusses the out come of the Kansas legislative session, the budget and the laws that were passed.

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Goes to Bat for Monsanto, Sides With Conservative Justices
Joshua Frank reports for Truthout: "Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the United States and Monsanto wants to control it. On April 27, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could well write the future of alfalfa production in our country."

Reporters Committee Releases Summary of Kagan's Media Law Background
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press released a report on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's background with media law issues, from her time as an associate at a Washington law firm with a well-respected media law practice to her current role as the solicitor general.

The report finds that "Elena Kagan has worked on free-speech and free-press issues more than any recent high court nominee, but her writings tend to explore the underpinnings of current doctrines and standards, rather than argue for or against any particular approach. She has also expressed skepticism with how workable the 'actual malice' libel standard and a reporter’s privilege are, and whether those standards need to be reworked."

All of her non-academic experience was on behalf of a client — whether that was the United States or the National Enquirer — and should not be taken as an insight into her own beliefs. However, the cases do demonstrate her familiarity with the media law issues.

The full report is available on the Reporters Committee's web site.

Chevron's "Crude" Attempt to Suppress Free Speech
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout: "Even as headlines and broadcast news are dominated by BP's fire-ravaged, sunken offshore rig and the ruptured well gushing a reported 210,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, there's another important story involving Big Oil and pollution - one that shatters not only the environment but the essential First Amendment right of journalists to tell truth and shame the devil."

Obama calls BP, Transocean Testimony "Ridiculous Spectacle"
Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers: "President Barack Obama took aim Friday at BP and other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, calling their congressional testimony this week 'a ridiculous spectacle' and promising Americans his administration will be more critical of and less 'cozy' with the industry than predecessors."

It's Bush's Oil Spill
Matthew Yglesias writes for The Daily Beast: "Ever since the great oil price spike of 2008, conservatives have been riding a tide of pro-drilling sentiment to shore up their message on energy issues. Environmentalists had done a decent job in earlier years of framing their concerns about fossil-fuel use in part in terms of energy "independence" and "security," rhetoric that was turned on its head by efforts like Newt Gingrich's "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" slogan. The push was so successful that the Obama administration somewhat reluctantly came around to the pro-drilling viewpoint, just in time for the largest oil spill in human history to hit the Gulf of Mexico—pushing public support for drilling down for the first time in years. This left the hard-core drillers of the right like Gingrich and Karl Rove to grasp for the argument that the spill is somehow "Obama's Katrina"—a charge so absurd that even Fox News hosts won't buy it. Meanwhile, new revelations in Friday's New York Times reveal that something closer to the reverse is the truth—the Deepwater Horizon fiasco is yet another consequence of George W. Bush's corruption and incompetence."

The Politics of Disaster: Will Gulf Tragedy Bring Real Change?
Chris Kromm writes for Facing South: "The disaster has clearly changed the offshore oil debate. After two years of 'drill, baby, drill,' the Obama administration announced just last March that it was opening vast new expenses of water along the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico and north coast of Alaska to oil and gas projects."

In this episode of Greenwash of the Week Darth Vader takes over the studio to endorse the "American Power Act" which was recently announced by Senator John Kerry and his accomplice Darth Lieberman.

Lord Vader joins a long and dirty list of supporters of the climate bill which includes coal companies like Duke Power, Shell Oil, a host of nuclear power corporations as well as the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

If passed the bill would funnel billions of dollars to oil companies for expanded offshore drilling, so-called "clean coal technology" and new nuclear power plants. It would also set up a cap and trade carbon market.

Greenwash of the Week is sponsored by the Change Chevron campaign http://changechevron.org - because Energy Shouldn't Cost Lives.



Outlawing Latinos' Heritage
Eugene Robinson writes for Truthout: "At least we don't have to pretend anymore. Arizona's passing of that mean-spirited new immigration law wasn't about high-minded principle or the need to maintain public order. Apparently, it was all about putting Latinos in their place."

Beyond Reasonable Suspicion
Marcia Alesan Dawkins writes for Truthdig.com: "“You’ve been randomly selected for a search.” These are the words I heard as I was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon my return from a recent trip to Canada. The hourlong experience was harrowing—I was asked questions about where I was born, whether English was my first language, whether I had credit cards or cash, what I do for a living, why I was traveling, where I had gone, how my traveling companion and I knew each other, and what I was carrying in my pockets, purse and luggage. I was forbidden to stand, place my hands in my pockets, make phone calls and use the restroom without asking for permission. All of this I took in stride because I figured that it was being done in the interest of national security. Certainly, an hour of my time is well spent in helping to ensure the safety of my fellow citizens." Photo: Griselda Nevarez/Cronkite News Service.

Florida GOP Candidates Back Arizona Immigration Law
Beth Reinhard reports for The Miami Herald: "The Republican Party's front-runner for governor, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, threw his support Thursday behind a tough new immigration law in Arizona that he criticized as 'far out' just two weeks ago. The law makes it a crime for immigrants not to carry legal papers and gives local police the power to question people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally."

Don't Ask Gays About Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Julie Hollar writes for Extra!: "After months of pressure from activists to make good on his campaign promise, Barack Obama called for a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in his January 27 State of the Union address. Less than a week later, Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee hearing on February 2 that repealing the policy that prevents gay men and lesbians from serving openly was 'the right thing to do.'"

Promoting her book "Spoken From The Heart" former first lady Laura Bush reveals she disagreed with George on gay marriage and abortion.



7 Gay Sex Scandals of Career Anti-Gay Crusaders
Devona Walker writes for AlterNEt: "From white supremacist to right-wing politicians, we have watched an impressive number of vehemently and vocally anti-gay folks get caught up in gay sexscapades. Homophobia is in itself insanity. But being homophobic and gay, and building your career around that homophobia, well that seems like a bit more than just your run-of-the-mill self-hatred."

What will it take to create a democratic healthy media? You know how dire the situation is: daily newspapers are closing, Washington bureaus are shuttering, whole areas of federal, state, and local governments are now operating with zero press coverage, international bureaus are disappearing, the list goes on. John Nichols, the Nation's Washington correspondent, writes, "Journalism, the counterbalance to corporate and political power, the lifeblood of American democracy, is not just threatened. It is in meltdown." In the new book, "The Death and Life of American Journalism The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again," John Nichols and Robert McChesney, communications professor at the University of Illinois, offer solutions to what we're facing today. They say we don't need to reinvent the wheel; we simply need to look at history.

Internet Showdown: Conservatives v. Justice Scalia
Aparna Sridhar reports for The Huffington Post: "Earlier this week, corporate front group Americans for Prosperity -- the same group that compared health care reform to the Holocaust -- announced a $1.4 million advertising blitz to stop the FCC's 'government takeover of the Internet.' Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), whose single largest donor in this election cycle is Comcast Corporation, echoed the theme in a letter to President Obama, calling recent policies proposed by the FCC a "government takeover of yet another sector of our economy." And lawyers for Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable prophesied that recently proposed policy changes by the FCC would mark a "radical and unlawful" move that 'should set off alarm bells in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and everywhere in between.'"

Phony Grassroots Group Launches Smear Campaign Against FCC Action to Preserve Open Internet
Jay Stanley, ALCU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, writes: "An outfit called Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has announced the launch of a $1.4 million advertising campaign attacking FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's recently announced steps to preserve neutrality on the Internet. (Check out our coalition partner's net neutrality primer for a refresher on the issue).  The message of the well-funded ad campaign is that the government wants to "take over" the Internet.  This is a flat-out lie."

New Bill Demands "Neutral Net Neutrality," Hamstrings FCC
Nate Anderson writes for Ars Technica: "In an effort to make network neutrality impossible for the FCC temperament, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) yesterday introduced a new bill (PDF) that would require "neutral network neutrality." And no, that's not a typo. The bill would make it difficult for the FCC to proceed with its preferred approach to network neutrality, 'reclassifying' Internet access as a telecommunications service over which the FCC has 'common carrier" authority.'"

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