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

30 May 2010

Clippings for 30 May 2010

DoD Investigating Nine Cases of "Terrorism-Related Acts" by US Military and Contractors?
Jeremy Scahill reports for The Nation: "Buried within the new Department of Defense Inspector General's report, "Contingency Contracting: A Framework for Reform," is the eye-opening revelation that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service has nine open investigations into alleged "Terrorism-Related Acts" by "U.S. contractor personnel, U.S. Military, Government personnel." No other details are provided. DCIS is the criminal investigative agency working for the DoD's Inspector General."

Homeless Iraqis Prompt Fears of Social Crisis
Ali Kareem writes for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting: "The alarming spread of illegal squatter settlements has aid groups fearful of a looming social crisis, one which a senior United Nations official considers the greatest humanitarian problem facing Iraq.  Recent reports from two international agencies found that of Iraq’s 1.5 million internally displaced people, or IDPs, at least 500,000 have been forced to dwell in squalid squatter camps without access to health care or public services." Photo: Tracey Shelton

Obama Talks Left To Move Right, As Wall Street Criminals Are Given A Free Pass And Reforms Are Watered Down
Danny Schechter writes for the Media Channel: "We now know that it was the Obama Administration, led by the President himself, who used techniques well understood and denounced decades earlier by none other than Mao TseTung. He talked left, to move right. In several high profile speeches, he lashed out at Wall Street for its greed and mendacity, proposing financial reforms that appeared to be hard hitting, if only because of the way the lobbyists for the financial services industry squealed about them."

Disclosing the Meekness of the "Disclose" Bill
Jim Hightower comments for Truthout: "At last, after weeks of analyzing, calculating, pondering, consulting and crafting, Democratic leaders in Washington have unveiled their much-awaited legislative response to the Supreme Court's January decision in the infamous case of Citizens United. That's the destructive dictate that allows oceans of corporate cash to flood America's elections and drown out the voices of ordinary people."

Rose Aguilar writes for Your Call: "After spending four years in a minimum security prison, the convicted Washington lobbyists Jack Abramoff is scheduled to go to a halfway house next month. The former B-movie filmmaker, anti-communist, college Republican became a powerful lobbyist in 1994. He had strong ties with then House majority leader Tom DeLay, Republican Karl Rove, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, and the Christian Coalition's former head Ralph Reed."

Criminal Investigations of Massey Energy Go Forward as Citizen Pressure Builds for Prosecution
Kevin Zeese provides the following analysis for Truthout: "Just over a month ago, I wrote urging criminal prosecution of Massey Energy executives for the deaths of coal miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Since then, more evidence of criminal wrongdoing has been shown and federal prosecutors and the FBI are investigating the corporation and its executives. In addition, citizen pressure urging prosecution is growing and financial problems for the corporation are showing."

Gov Carves Out Line-item Vetoes
Barbara Hollingsworth writes for the Topeka Daily Capital: "Gov. Mark Parkinson restored family planning funds to Planned Parenthood, eliminated a proposed budget cut to public broadcasting and rejected a state snub of clean air regulations. In approving a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Parkinson carved out his objections in 11 line-item vetoes. As with much that happens in the Statehouse, his actions drew praise and disdain."

Book Review: "The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom and the End of the American University"
Eleanor J. Bader comments for Truthout: "Ellen Schrecker, a history professor at New York City's Yeshiva University, starts 'The Lost Soul of Higher Education' with a blunt assessment: 'In reacting to the economic insecurities of the past forty years, the nation's colleges and universities have adopted corporate practices that degrade undergraduate instruction, marginalize faculty members, and threaten the very mission of the academy as an institution devoted to the common good.'"

California Passes Bill to Counteract ‘Disturbing’ Texas Curriculum
Sahill Kapur writes for The Raw Story: "The California Senate on Friday approved legislation that sends a clear message to Texas and textbook publishers: don't mess with our kids' minds. 'My bill begins the process of ensuring that California students will not end up being taught with Texas standards,' State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who authored and sponsored the legislation, said in an interview. Texas standards had better not 'creep into our textbooks,' he said."

After Long Argument, BP Official Made Fatal Decision on Drilling Rig
Erika Bolstad, Joseph Goodman and Marisa Taylor report for McClatchy Newspapers: "Company executives and top drill hands on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig argued for hours about how to proceed before a BP official made the decision to remove heavy drilling fluid from the well and replace it with lighter weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding."

More Deepwater Disasters on the Horizon?
Hannah Rubenstein, Inter Press Service: "Despite a federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling, new permits and controversial environmental waivers for oil rigs continue to be granted, sparking criticism from policymakers and environmentalists. On Thursday, President Barack Obama issued a six-month extension of the moratorium on permits and environmental waivers for the drilling of new deepwater wells." Photo: U.S. Coastguard

Gulf Oil Spill Should Spur Move Away from Fossil Fuels
Anchorage Daily News comments: "Most of the attention to President Barack Obama's press conference Thursday about the Gulf of Mexico focused on the government's role and responsibility, the frustration of Gulf residents and the decision to halt or cancel new offshore drilling and deep-water operations in the Gulf."

Peak Oil and Apocalypse Then
Melinda Burns reports for Miller-McCune: "Oil is the backbone resource of industrial society, but the Oil Age will come to an end, someday. The pessimists say the world reached maximum oil production in 2008. Middle-of-the-road optimists say peak oil won't occur until 2030. Either way, production is already past its peak and on a terminal decline in 54 of the 65 largest oil-producing countries in the world, including Mexico, Norway, Indonesia and Australia."

Rediscover the Great American Road Trip Along Kansas’ Scenic Byways This Summer
Kansas Travel and Tourism Division writes: "With miles of rolling hills, shining lakes and natural stone formations, the nine Kansas Scenic Byways tell the history of Kansas. From the remnants left by ancient glaciers to the Wild West, these beautiful drives offer panoramic vistas, family friendly activities, and an affordable way to discover the US of America’s heartland."

Christian 'Pregnancy Crisis Centers' Masquerading as Health Clinics Tell Women Abortion Causes Cancer and Infertility -- And You're Helping Pay for Them
Ted Cox writes for AlterNet: "She sat in the counseling room, looking at the posters of fetal development covering the walls. In her hands she held the pamphlets urging her to forgo abortion. Together with a partner, the young woman, Alexa Cole, had entered the crisis pregnancy center – CPC, for short – hoping to get more information about abortion and birth control options."

Why Teen Pregnancy Is No Accident
Lynn harris writes for The Nation: "Leyla W. couldn't figure out where her birth control pills kept going. One day a few tablets would be missing; the next, the whole container. Her then-boyfriend shrugged and said he hadn’t seen them. She believed him—until she found them in his drawer. When she confronted him, he hit her. "That was his way of shutting me up," says Leyla, who is in her mid-20s and living in Northern California. (For her safety, Leyla wishes to withhold her last name and hometown.) He also raped her and, most days, left her locked in a bedroom with a bit of food and water while he went to work. (A roommate took pity and let her out until he came home.) Thanks to the missed pills, she got pregnant twice, the second time deciding against abortion."

Harold Ford's Corporate Crusade Against Net Neutrality
Josh Silver writes for the Huffington Post: "This week, Harold Ford, Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, showed how completely the DLC is captured by industry money, why the US congress is mired in gridlock, and why the government continues to fail to protect the American public: from oil spills to banking crises to mining disasters, and now to the Internet. Big money lobbyists and their puppet politicians' blind abandonment of reasonable government oversight."

Rep. Doyle (D-PA) Shows Washington How To Stand Up To Corporate Front Groups
Harold Feld writes for Public Knowledge: "The faux populist group Americans For Prosperity has been running ads against network neutrality in Mike Doyle’s (D-PA) district in Pittsburgh. Doyle’s response? A letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski telling him to ignore faux populist FUD from AFP, hold firm, and move full speed ahead to protect consumers while Congress takes up the work of updating the Communications Act for a more comprehensive approach."

73 Democrats Tell FCC: Drop Net Neutrality Rules
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "A slew of House Democrats have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission warning the agency not to go forward with its plan to partially reclassify ISPs as common carriers, a move needed to impose net neutrality rules."

Laura Sydell writes for NPR: "It's easy to lose your temper on the Internet. Anyone who reads — or writes — comments on blogs and news sites knows that the conversation can quickly stray from civil discourse to scathing personal attacks. For years, many websites just let users go at it, and free speech reigned. But now editors are rethinking just how open their sites should be."

The Infuriating Cell Phone Racket
Scott Thill writes for AlterNet: "f you're not angry with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint -- America's four national wireless providers that reportedly control 90 percent of the market -- then here's some ridiculous news to raise your righteous ire. Perhaps you'd be interested to know about one of the most outrageous cell phone scams? It's simple: Charge customers for being forced to listen to 15 seconds of unnecessary voicemail instructions reminding them how to leave a message after the beep. According to New York Times technology writer David Pogue, if Verizon customers leave voicemails or check their messages twice a day, the mammoth New Jersey-based telco takes in around $620 million. In return, you lose wasted hours of your life and have to pay for it."

Kansas Public Broadcasting Spared $1 Million Dollar Cut
Craig Andres writes for KSN.com: "A devastating punch to Kansas public broadcasting is now going away with the stroke of the governor's pen. 'I know it's gonna save programming,' says KPTS President and CEO, Michele Gors Paris, 'and some of the work we do in the community, because that's a lot of money.' Lawmakers in Kansas had cut about a million dollars from public broadcasting to help balance the Kansas budget."

Genachowski Gets 'Dingell-gram' Against FCC Power Boost
Sara Jerome writes for The Hill: "Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) sided with major phone and cable companies in a letter discouraging Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski from a plan to boost the agency’s authority over broadband access providers.  Dingell expressed grave concern that the plan risks reversal by the courts, putting “at risk significant past and future investments, perhaps to the detriment of the Nation’s economic recovery and continued technological leadership,” he wrote Thursday."

Verizon Wireless’s New Plan: So Long Unlimited Data, Hello Buckets?
Jacqueline Emigh reports for PC World: "Remember the bad old days, before the advent of unlimited wireless data plans? Well unfortunately, with the vaunted arrival of 4G, it looks like those times might be returning if Verizon Wireless has its way. At the Barclays Capital conference in New York City this week, Verizon Wireless’s CEO Lowell McAdam said he hopes to ditch unlimited plans entirely on the company’s upcoming 4G LTE network, charging instead for “buckets” of megabytes."

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