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

06 May 2010

Clippings for 6 May 2010

Fix the Economy, Not Wall Street
David Korten writes for Yes! magazine: "Financial reform is the Congressional political issue of the month. Democrats say their bill will place essential controls on Wall Street to prevent abuse and a repeat of the financial crash. Republicans say it will encourage further Wall Street risk-taking by giving the big banks a guarantee of a future taxpayer bailout if reckless decisions trigger another financial crash."  Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / _J_D_R_ 

Fourteen Ways a 90 Percent Top Tax Rate Fixes Our Economy and Our Country
Dave Johnson writes for Truthout: "A return to Eisenhower-era, 90 percent top tax rates helps fix our economy in several ways: 1) It makes it take longer to end up with a fortune. In fact, it makes people build and earn a fortune instead of shooting for quick windfalls. This forces long-term thinking and planning instead of short-term scheming and scamming. If grabbing everything in sight and running doesn't pay off anymore, you have to change your strategy."

Greece Crisis Fallout: Will Greeks Step Up Riots Over Austerity Measures?
Nicole Itano reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "Greece's eurozone partners and the IMF this weekend agreed to a $146 billion bailout to stem the Greece crisis. But in return, the country's leaders have been forced to implement a harsh austerity program." Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

BP's Oil Disaster: The Numbers Will Shock You
Daniela Perdomo reports for AlterNet: "When it comes to British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, questions about the extent of the damage -- and how to quell it -- are spreading as quickly as the oil slick. No one is quite sure just how many gallons of crude oil have been flowing freely into the Gulf since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and allowing for an entirely indefinite amount of oil to gush from a damaged well as well as from the rig itself. (Is it any wonder that Halliburton was involved?)"

There Will Be Blood
Kate Sheppard writes for Mother Jones: "With the Deepwater Horizon oil spill shaping up to be a calamity of historic proportions, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on Tuesday slammed the Interior Department division responsible for regulating domestic oil development, calling for an investigation into the infamously problem-plagued Minerals Management Service—and asking what the Obama administration is doing to clean it up." Photo: — Flickr/arbyreed (Creative Commons).

Nonprofit Conservation Group Has Ties to Oil Interests, Gulf Oil Spill
Marian Wang reports for ProPublica: "With crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico every day, the conventional wisdom about last month’s explosion and spill has been that this is an environmental disaster of unpredictable scale. The New York Times, in a story published today on Page One, challenged this conventional wisdom by citing several experts. One of those was from a nonprofit group called the Gulf of Mexico Foundation..."

No One Cares
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "We are approaching a decade of war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq is in its eighth year. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands more Afghans and Pakistani civilians have been killed. Millions have been driven into squalid displacement and refugee camps. Thousands of our own soldiers and Marines have died or been crippled physically and psychologically. We sustain these wars, which have no real popular support, by borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, even as we close schools, states go into bankruptcy, social services are cut, our infrastructure crumbles, tens of millions of Americans are reduced to poverty, and real unemployment approaches 17 percent. Collective, suicidal inertia rolls us forward toward national insolvency and the collapse of empire. And we do not protest. The peace movement, despite the heroic efforts of a handful of groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Green Party and Code Pink, is dead. No one cares."

All-Volunteer Wars
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch: "Still, there was this headline awaiting my return: Afghan lawmaker says relative killed after U.S. soldiers raided her home. Sigh. After nine years in which such stories have appeared with unceasing regularity, I could have written the rest of it myself while on vacation, more or less sight unseen. But here it is in a nutshell: there was a U.S. night raid somewhere near the Afghan city of Jalalabad. American forces (Special Operations forces, undoubtedly), supposedly searching for a 'Taliban facilitator,' came across a man they claimed was armed in a country in which the unarmed man is evidently like the proverbial needle in a haystack. They shot him down. His name was Amanullah. He was a 30-year-old auto mechanic and the father of five. As it happened, he was also the brother-in-law of Safia Siddiqi, a sitting member of the Afghan Parliament. He had, as she explained, called her in a panic, thinking that brigands were attacking his home compound."

Recommended Audio: Your Call - The Costs of the Military-Industrial Complex
Rose Aguilar comments for Your Call: "In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his now famous farewell speech about the military-industrial complex. He said we must never let the weight of the disastrous rise of misplaced power endanger our liberties or democratic process. He said, 'Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.'" Guests include:
    Paul Martin - Political and Communications Director of Peace Action John Arquilla - Professor and Director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA
Your Call is daily call-in show on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and 88.9 FM in Santa Cruz.

To download the show click here

Disposable Soldiers
Joshua Kors reports for The Nation: "The mortar shell that wrecked Chuck Luther's life exploded at the base of the guard tower. Luther heard the brief whistling, followed by a flash of fire, a plume of smoke and a deafening bang that shook the tower and threw him to the floor. The Army sergeant's head slammed against the concrete, and he lay there in the Iraqi heat, his nose leaking clear fluid." Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File.

What Happens in Arizona Is Everybody's Business
Connie Schultz comments for Truthout: "The argument goes something like this: If you don't live in Arizona, you have no business meddling in its immigration problems. After all, what's it to Midwesterners if Arizona makes it a crime not to carry proof of immigration status? Why should East Coast residents care if a new law in the Southwest targets people of color? What right does anyone living somewhere else have to criticize a law in Arizona that directs police to demand proof of documents from people who trigger 'reasonable suspicion' that they are illegal?"

Forces Align Against Arizona: 4 Major Cities Threaten Boycotts, Baseball Flexes Its Muscles, Citizens in Uproar
Liliana Segura writes for AlterNet: "Immediately after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the racist new anti-immigration law, calls for a boycott of her state arose, from La Opinión, the nation's largest Spanish-language newspaper, to Democratic Representative Raúl Grijalva, who called for targeted economic sanctions of his own state, saying that "good" and "decent" organizations "should refrain from bringing their business" to Arizona. Colombian pop star Shakira traveled to Phoenix last week, appearing on CNN to condemn the law; meanwhile local politicians from at least four major cities are weighing whether or not to issue resolutions to stop doing business with Arizona.

Sign the petition -- Ask the Department of Justice to block Arizona's racist law, the greatest threat to civil rights in America in a generation.

Bound for America
They are nurses. They are teachers. They pick your apples. How immigration law has set legal foreign workers up for a new kind of indentured servitude--and this time, there's no paying off your contract.
John Bowe reports for Mother Jones: "IN THE SPRING OF 2004, Nikhom Intajak, a 35-year-old rice farmer in Thailand's Lampang province, met a labor recruiter who made him an attractive offer: a contract to do farm labor in the United States. He'd work for three years and earn the minimum wage of $7 to $10 an hour, depending on where he was deployed; best of all, he'd be a legal temporary worker, protected by American laws." — Illustration: Anita Kunz.

Pitting Worker Against Worker
Moshe Adler writes for Truthdig.com: "All that is wrong with our immigration and labor policies—for the two cannot be separated—is on full display in New York City, where it plays out every day in the city’s small grocery stores. Virtually all of the workers in these stores are undocumented Latin American immigrants. Yet in the adjacent supermarkets, the same jobs are held by American-born workers of all colors. The usual excuse that these are jobs that “Americans won’t do” obviously doesn’t apply. What is the explanation then?"

What White People Fear
Robert Jensen writes for Yes! magazine: "In the struggle for racial justice, it’s time to pay more attention to the fears of white people.  In a white-dominated world, that may seem counterintuitive. In the racial arena, what do we white people have to be afraid of? There are lots of things to fear in this world, of course; race is not the only aspect of life in which people face injustice and inequality. A majority of people of all colors (including working-class and poor whites) struggles economically in a predatory corporate capitalist system, and all women, regardless of race, cope with gender discrimination and the threat of sexual violence in a male-dominated world."

Recommended Audio: Red State Road Trip 2 - Jump Off The World
Chris Hume writes for Truthout: Mullinville, Kansas, a mere speck on the map, is home to the great M.T. Liggett - Kansas' most celebrated outcast. His metal sculptures stretch for miles into the prairie. Free thinking and foul mouthed, M.T. provokes the local inhabitants. 'If you can't think for yourself, then jump off the world!'. M.T. Liggett also appeared in the original Red State Road Trip 2005.

In 2008, Chris Hume and Amy Sunshine Moon explored a country on the edge of financial ruin. "Red State Road Trip 2" is a celebration of the American people as they struggle to survive in a harsh new landscape.

Short videos from the documentary will appear every few days. The full DVD is available for sale at www.redstateroadtrip.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to Truthout.


Family Research Council Founder Hired Gay Escort For Vacay Fun
Adele Stan writes for AlterNet: "Miami’s New Times weekly is out with a blockbuster story about George Alan Rekers, a founder (with James Dobson) of the Family Research Council, and his European vacation with an “assistant” he hired on the gay escort service Web site, Rentboy.com. (Warning: Rentboy site is graphically sexual.)"

Amy Goodman, Colleagues Sue Minneapolis Police, Secret Service Over Abuse at RNC
Jeremy Scahill writes for The Nation: "My colleagues Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar from Democracy Now! filed a federal lawsuit today against "the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and officers, the municipalities, the Ramsey County Sheriff and unidentified Secret Service personnel," stemming from their assault at the Republican National Convention in 2008." Photo:MinnPost photo by Marisa Helms.

FCC to Abandon Net Neutrality?
Free Press writes: "According to an article in the Washington Post, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is 'leaning toward' a decision not to 'reclassify' broadband to re-establish FCC authority over the nation’s Internet service providers."

Netroots Tell Obama and the FCC -- You Can't Just Let the Telecoms Steal the Internet
Timothy Karr writes for Free Press (via AlterNet): "Leaders of the Internet's grassroots community have made it clear that inaction by the FCC is not an option when it comes to keeping the Web open and accessible.  In a series of posts and statements, bloggers for DailyKos, FireDogLake, OpenLeft.com, theAmerican Prospectand other influential sites have expressed dismay that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski would consider abandoning the agency's role as watchdog over the Internet."

Will Obama FCC Break Network Neutrality Promise—Undermine 21st Century Public Sphere?
Marvin Ammori writes for Balkinization: "A somewhat obtuse Washington Post article today says that the FCC Chairman is considering a “deregulatory” framework for Internet access. Translating the article is simple for those watching this debate at political sites: the FCC is considering following the Bush administration’s disastrous policies of stripping itself of jurisdiction over Internet access, treating such access as effectively un-regulatable “information services.” The FCC’s recent loss at the D.C. Circuit made it clear that the practical effect of such a decision would be to hand the Internet over to the phone and cable companies, undermining innovation, competition online, and Americans’ interests in free speech, in privacy, and in associations. The FCC would then face insurmountable legal obstacles to pursuing network neutrality, a common-sense policy that would forbid cable and phone companies from doing what they’ve long lobbied to do: block or discriminate against websites and applications on the Internet. This would violate Obama campaign promises. (See clips here and here, for example.)" Graphic by bugbyte.

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