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

02 May 2010

Clippings for 2 May 2010

Jim Hightower's homepage lists him as "America's #1 Populist" and he likes to be known for his actions as a "populist agitator." Hightower wants America to regain the strength of those populist agitators who fought corporate power in the late 19th century:
"We owe them imitation. We owe them the continuation of that spirit that we do not have to just accept what is handed to us. We can battle back against the powers. But it's not just going to a rally and shouting. It's organizing and it's thinking. And reaching out to others. And building a real people's movement."
The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Know Sh*t About Securities Law or the Goldman Case
Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet writes: "Last week Barry Ritholtz had an excellent post 10 Things You Don’t Know (or were misinformed) About the GS Case in which Barry noted that 99% of the mainstream media commentary regarding the strength of the SEC’s case is, of course, completely uninformed conjecture.I sat down with Barry, who is a lawyer with experience in securities law, to get an insightful take on the SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs (GS)."

Goldman's "Social License"
Daniel Gross writes for Slate.com: "It's been a bad week or two for Goldman Sachs. On April 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the firm with fraud for the way it structured and sold some junky mortgage-related products. Earlier this week, its top executives came off as responsibility-evading jerks when testifying before Congress. And then on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC had referred Goldman's case to the Justice Department."

Wall Street Reportedly Circulates Class Warfare Email
Ryan McCarthy reports for the Huffingotn Post: "The Reformed Broker and FT Alphaville have gotten a hold of an email that is reportedly making its way through inboxes on Wall Street. For anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Wall Street's excesses in the past decade or so, the email itself is hard to stomach. By turns, it takes shot at unionized teachers, the Obama administration and 'average Joes.'"

Financial Reform Bill 101: What it Means for Consumers
Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor: "The big financial reform bill now under consideration in the Senate is about more than collateralized back-flip derivatives and other stuff you have to be an MBA to understand. It could also affect how average Americans acquire credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and other ordinary features of modern monetary life."  Photo: Harry Hamburg/AP

Predatory Lending: New Cop on the Beat
Greg Kaufman writes for The Nation: "Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, held a hearing yesterday on Combating Predatory Lending Under the Fair Housing Act.  In his opening statement, Chairman Nadler spoke of "redlining" in the past, when people of color were denied credit based on race rather than creditworthiness, and the practice was 'simply drawing a red line around a minority neighborhood and refusing to lend in that area.'"

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Legitimate Case Against Free Trade
Ian Fletcher, Truthout: "There is a myth in wide circulation that the superiority of free trade is simply a settled question on which all serious economists agree. The flip side of this myth, of course, is that anyone who criticizes free trade must either be ignorant of economics, or the spokesman of some special interest which hopes to benefit from trade restrictions. Such critics are not only wrong, the story continues with admittedly impeccable logic, but profoundly worthy of public contempt, as they are necessarily either dumb or corrupt."  Photo: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t

Recommended Audio: Media Matters - An Interview with Noam Chomsky
Chomsky has been awarded an amazing number of Honorary Doctorate degrees by universities around the world, which include the University of London and the University of Chicago. He delivered the Beckman Lectures at the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 and in 1969 presented the John Locke Lectures at the University of Oxford and Sherman Memorial Lectures at the University of London. Noam Chomsky is currently the Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Noam Chomsky may be most widely known for his work in the field of linguistics but he is also known for his activism and outspoken criticism of United States policies, especially it's foreign policy. Chomsky is also said to be "the most often cited living author" and "one of the most respected and influential intellectuals in the world". Download MP3 file at:

BP Had Other Problems in Years Leading to Gulf Spill
Abrahm Lustgarten reports for ProPublica: "BP, the global oil giant responsible for the fast-spreading spill in the Gulf of Mexico that will soon make landfall, is no stranger to major accidents. In fact, the company has found itself at the center of several of the nation's worst oil and gas–related disasters in the last five years."

Gulf Coast Oil Spill: 'Exxon Valdez Is Going to Pale in Comparison to This'
The BBC reports (via AlterNet): "The US military has joined efforts to stop an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico as fears rise about its scale. Five times as much oil as previously thought could be leaking from the well beneath where a rig exploded and sank last week, US officials said earlier. The slick is 45 miles (72km) by 105 miles (169km) - almost the size of Jamaica - and heading for the US coast. A third leak has been discovered, and a fire-fighting expert said the disaster may become the biggest oil spill ever."

The Dirty Secrets Of Offshore Drilling (PHOTOS)
Travis Walter Donovan writes for the Huffington Post: "President Obama's recent announcement to open up areas that have been off limits to offshore drilling came as a shock to many. Then the tragic accident at an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico reminded the the country why offshore drilling was banned in so many areas to begin with, as 11 are still missing and presumed dead from the explosion--and 5,000 barrels of oil continue to pour every day into the ocean. The United States produces about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day from offshore drilling, but consumes 21 million barrels a day. Here are 7 dirty secrets the advocates of offshore drilling don't want you to know."

Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns
Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica: "The chemicals BP is now relying on to break up the steady flow of leaking oil from deep below the Gulf of Mexico could create a new set of environmental problems. Even if the materials, called dispersants, are effective, BP has already bought up more than a third of the world’s supply. If the leak from 5,000 feet beneath the surface continues for weeks, or months, that stockpile could run out."

Behind the Arizona Immigration Law: GOP Game to Swipe the November Election
Greg Palast writes for Truthout: "Don't be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens. I don't buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning."

Arizona Ethnic Studies Classes Banned, Teachers With Accents Can No Longer Teach English
The Huffington Post writes: "Arizona's new immigration law is just about crime, its supporters say, but given that the state's new education policy equates ethnic studies programs with high treason, they may not be using the commonly accepted definition of 'crime.' Under the ban, sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by the state legislature Thursday, schools will lose state funding if they offer any courses that 'promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.'"

State of Disgrace: The Right Fiddles While Arizona Burns
Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., writes for Truthout: "It's getting hot here in Arizona these days, and summer isn't even upon us yet. As you've most likely heard, the Republican-controlled State Legislature passed - and the Republican governor signed - the nation's most draconian anti-immigrant law, essentially creating a class of new 'status crimes' and opening a Pandora's box of racial profiling implications. While to many of us who live here such sentiments among state officials aren't exactly novel, the shocking 'where are your papers?' aspects of the law (SB 1070) have raised a much-deserved national furor." Photo: CBS News

Immigration and Diversity in America
Kevin Powell comments for The Huffington Post: "Arizona has a very serious problem. Arizona's problem is us. It does not want us here.  I am paraphrasing words spoken by Malcolm X back in the 1960s in reference to the American racial segregation policies of those times. Those words could have been spoken in any era of our country's history. The word "us" could refer to Native Americans. Or Irish Americans. Or Italian Americans. Or Jewish people. Or to the Chinese who were excluded from certain communities and states. Or to the Japanese detained during World War II. Or to Arabs and Muslims, especially since September 11th."

Boycotting Arizon's Racism
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "Arizona was the only territory west of Texas to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy during the Civil War. A century later, it fought recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. This week, an anti-immigrant bill was signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Arizona Senate Bill 1070 empowers state and local law enforcement to stop, question and arrest whoever they suspect may not be in the state legally. The law is an open invitation to sweeping racial profiling and arbitrary detention."

Racial Politics, Tea Party Style
Marcia Alesan Dawkins writes for Truthdig.com: "Today’s trying times bring to mind the lyrics of “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. “There’s something happening here / What it is ain’t exactly clear.” I experienced exactly that sort of feeling when I saw Lloyd Marcus perform the “American Tea Party Anthem,” which he wrote, at a recent rally. My lack of clarity about this event didn’t come from watching a black man in country gear sing with a twang. After all, years of watching and listening to Eminem and Elvis have conditioned me to not think twice when I see an entertainer playing with racial stereotypes."

Government, Public Aid and Discrimination
Julia Stronks comments for Truthout: "On April 19, 2010, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. At the same time, Californians wait for an opinion from a federal judge in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Both cases involve government financial support of and recognition of minority groups. The strange thing is that in one case Christians are in the minority and the gay community wants government to withhold recognition of the group. In the other case the gay community is in the minority and Christians want government to withhold recognition of the group. These cases highlight the need for all of us to think more carefully about whether government should be about majority rule or whether government should protect a plurality of perspectives." Photo: Jamison Wieser / Flickr

After Reporter's Subpoena, Critics Call Obama's Leak-Plugging Efforts Bush-Like
Howard Kurtz writes for The Washington Post: "The Justice Department's decision to subpoena a New York Times reporter this week has convinced some press advocates that President Obama's team is pursuing leaks with the same fervor as the Bush administration. James Risen, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for disclosing President George W. Bush's domestic surveillance program, has refused to testify about the confidential sources he used for his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration."

Press Freedom Falls Around the World
Howard LaFranchi reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "There are bright spots regarding press freedom, but there's been an overall decline for eight straight years, according to a new report. Other political and social freedoms may be waning, too.  In its annual report on press freedom in the world, Freedom House finds an overall decline for the eighth year in a row – with noticeably negative movement in China, the Middle East, and parts of Latin America." Photo: Newcom

Search Neutrality? How Google Became a "Neutrality" Target
Nate Anderson writes for Ars Technica: "If ISPs should be subject to "net neutrality," should companies like Google be subject to "search neutrality"? When we wrote recently about the idea of "search neutrality," some readers seemed to believe that we had coined the term, but nothing could be further from the truth. "Search neutrality" now fills the FCC filings of companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, all of whom see no reason why their businesses should be picked out for regulatory scrutiny while Google goes about its business unmolested."

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