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

14 June 2010

Clippings for 13 June 2010

False Advertising About the Iraq Surge
John Agnew and Claudio Guler provide the following news analysis for Truthout: "It's a matter of timing, and the numbers don't add up. The US surge in Iraq did not by itself bring about an end to the country's civil war in 2006-2007 as Washington and the received wisdom have maintained."

Afghanistan: The News Is Bad
Jim Lobe reports for Inter Press Service: "While US officials insist they are making progress in reversing the momentum built up by the Taliban insurgency over the last several years, the latest news from Afghanistan suggests the opposite may be closer to the truth."

McChrystal Faces "Iraq 2006 Moment" in Coming Months
Gareth Porter provide analysis for Inter Press Service: "Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal confronts the spectre of a collapse of US political support for the war in Afghanistan in coming months comparable to the one that occurred in the Iraq War in late 2006."

Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantanamo?
Andy Worthington reports for Truthout: "The recently released Final Report of President Obama's Guantanamo Review Task Force was supposed to provide a cogent and definitive analysis of the status of the remaining 181 prisoners, given that it took 11 months to complete.... Sadly, however, the end result - although valid in many ways - also revealed institutional caution, credulity regarding the contributions of the intelligence services, an inability to address fundamental problems with the legislation that authorized President Bush's detention policies in the first place and a willingness to bend to the demands of political expediency."

Why We Can’t Just ‘Look Forward’
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "Torture is no longer a pressing concern for the American public, if it ever was. The country’s attention has understandably turned to lost jobs, costly health care and spilled oil. Most Americans probably agree with President Obama that rather than dwell on the secret abuses of the Bush-Cheney regime, we ought to be looking forward."

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Maher Arar Case
Nick Baumann reports for Mother Jones: "On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was trying to sue top US officials under the Torture Victims Relief Act. But Arar isn't a jihadist or a crazy person. He was an engineer who was falsely identified as a terrorist by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (They later apologized.) Here is what happened to him."

Red Cross: Gaza Blockade Violates International Law
David Dayen reports for FireDogLake: "The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that the Israeli blockade of Gaza violates international humanitarian law, another example of the pressure being put on Israel in the wake of the flotilla tragedy."

The Conservative Nanny State Strikes Again
Dean Baker writes for Talking Point Memo: "The supposed free market fundamentalists are once again running to get a helping hand from Big Government. Apparently, the Republicans are outraged over the fact that many homeowners are now "strategically defaulting" on their mortgages. They have stopped paying a mortgage even though they can still afford the payment because they decided that they would be better off just giving the house back to the bank. There have been some press accounts talking about strategic defaulters who have used their savings to buy a new car or even take a trip to Europe."

Why the Main Street Economy Isn't Getting Any Better
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "Today's most important economic news: US household debt fell for the seventh straight quarter in the first three months of 2010 as Americans continued to respond to the recession's fallout. But like all economic news, its significance depends on where you're standing - whether you're a typical American or someone at the top."

Out of Work, Sleeping in the Fields: People of the Central Valley
David Bacon reports in a Truthout Photo Documentary: "Near Reedley, on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley, three men live in a camp they've built under the trees of an abandoned orchard. A blue tarp and the cardboard from an unfolded carton make up the roof. The mattresses for their beds sit on shipping pallets, or nearby under a bush."  Photo: David Bacon

Border Patrol Gone Wild
Erin Rosa writes for The Media Consortium: "A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 14-year-old Mexican boy on June 7. At RaceWire, Julianne Hing reports that 'Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca [was] on the Mexican side of the El Paso-Juarez border [and] was shot and killed by a Border Patrol officer, who was on the U.S. side.' The incident has been condemned by the Mexican government and sparked investigations by the Customs and Border Protection agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Hispanics Abandon Arizona, Fleeing Economy, Immigration Law
Husna Haq reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "Arizona's hard-hitting immigration law is driving Hispanics out of the state weeks before the controversial law goes into effect. Although concrete figures are not available, anecdotal evidence suggests Hispanics, both legal residents and illegal immigrants, are starting to flee."

Balls and Strikes and the Roberts Court
Kevin Drumm writes for Mother Jones: "During his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court in 2005, John Roberts assured senators that his job as a judge was merely "to call balls and strikes." It was a familiar, homey allusion, deliberately designed to suggest that ideology didn't — or anyway, shouldn't — play a role in deciding cases. He would be interpreting the plain meaning of the law, not making up his own. But as fond as conservatives are of this kind of imagery, it's mostly a myth. Recently the Constitutional Accountability Center took a look at Supreme Court rulings during the Roberts era, but instead of looking at hot button social issues they looked at the kinds of rulings that, although they get less attention, actually take up the bulk of the court's time: those involving business and corporate law. The results were pretty startling."

BP Is Destroying Evidence and Censoring Journalists
Riki Ott reports for AlterNet: "While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf." Image: posted by Jason Maxweelian at Anti PB Art.

Would The GOP Plan To Hold BP Accountable Actually Work?
Brian Beutler writes for Talking Points Memo: "The Republican plan to stick BP with the full cost of the Gulf oil spill lacks the teeth to actually make BP pay for the damages caused by the worst spill in U.S. history, according to Democrats and experts on offshore drilling law who spoke with TPM."

Barataria Bay Oil Spill: Historic Estuary Now An Environmental War Zone (VIDEO)
The Associate Press reports: "The meandering sand dunes and bird islands of Barataria Bay have become the epicenter of the environmental disaster spewing from BP's offshore well. And fishermen are bitter."

Energy Outlook Offers Grim Fossil Fuel Forecast
Melinda Burns writes for Miller-McCune: "As the US Senate today debates whether to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases, it's worth considering what would happen if every country in the world failed to pass laws and policies curbing the use of fossil fuels."  Image: Petrovich9/istockphoto

Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things -- from alien abductions to dowsing rods -- boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.


Ten Things That Terrify Right-Wingers
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "Modern American conservatism is based on an almost endless series of grievances. Author Thomas Frank coined a term for it: the conservative "plenty-plaint" - a long and ever-evolving list of personal and cultural gripes dressed up as an ideology. But there's also fear! And while it spans the breadth of the movement, this is the year of the Tea Party revolt, when the grassroots right, disgusted with the idea of semi-affordable health-care and tepid financial reforms is rebelling against even its own establishment. And the divide between the grassroots base and its leadership extends to the very fears that animate them. As we'll see, the conservative movement's business-attired hacks and the hard-Right tea Party types waving misspelled signs out in the streets have some very different causes for alarm."

Not A Lone Wolf
Amanda Robb writes for Ms. Magazine: "As soon as Scott Roeder was named the sole suspect in the point-blank shooting death of Wichita, Kan., abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in the vestibule of the Reformation Lutheran Church Tiller attended, a predictable story began to be told. Following the lead of a recent Department of Homeland Security report characterizing right-wing terrorists as lone wolves, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, ABC, NBC and FOX News all ran stories calling Roeder a 'lone wolf' gunman. It is the oldest, possibly most dangerous abortion story out there."

Will Boies and Olson Win the Gay Marriage Argument?
John Avlon writes for The Daily Beast: "Closing arguments in one of the prime civil-rights fights of our time is scheduled to take place this Wednesday in San Francisco, with the high drama surrounding the constitutional challenge to California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage heightened by the unlikely duo making the case—conservative Ted Olson and liberal David Boies."

Marines in Gay-Beating Scandal
Adam Weinstein reports for Mother Jones: "Two young Marines are sitting in a military brig this morning, accused of beating a gay man in Savannah, Georgia, so badly he had a bruised brain and two seizures. And while details on the case are just emerging, it has huge implications for the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," as well as the justice system in Georgia, which lacks hate-crime laws and charged the men with a simple misdemeanor." Photo: Flickr/ Department of Defense

New Activist Group Calls for Boycott of Comcast
David Rushing writes for Afro: "For years, cable service provider Comcast has opted not to carry African-American owned channels on its nationwide platforms, and Stanley E. Washington has had enough.  Washington, president and CEO of the newly-formed National Coalition of African-American Owned Media, or NCAAOM, is calling for African-American families to disconnect their Comcast services immediately and boycott the company until it changes its policy."

Net Neutrality: What It Really Means for You
Sean Tevis writes for Forward Kansas: "You paid a lot of money to read this – far more than you should have – all for the privilege of doing it more slowly.  In the U.S., monthly broadband service costs about $8 for each advertised megabit per second, on average. In Britain it costs $1.98 and in Japan $2.33, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We pay more for Internet access than other industrialized countries. In most cases it’s a lot more."

The Truth About the FCC's Third Way: Debunking the Top Ten Myths in the Current Classification Debate
Aparna Sridhar reports for the Huffington Post: "Next week at its open meeting, the FCC will begin a proceeding on its proposed "Third Way" approach to broadband oversight. The agency is expected to issue a Notice of Inquiry and to seek public comment on the classification of broadband transmission - consumers' connection to the Internet via companies like AT&T and Comcast."

Net Neutrality Backers: TAG Isn't It
John Eggerton reports for Broadcast & Cable: "Network neutrality backers were quick to weigh in on the announcement of the formation of an industry technical advisory group (TAG) to come up with a consensus on reasonable broadband network management practices and advise the government on the issue. (See related: Industry Companies Form Broadband Advisory Group)  The FCC has proposed tapping industry expertise for its own plan to expand and codify broadband access guidelines, a plan Free Press and other network neutrality regulation supporters say should not be preempted by the industry announcement."

Five Media Policies the FTC Should Support
Josh Sterns writes for SavetheNews.org: " Over the last year, the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the role of public policy in helping to meet American’s information needs. This week, the FTC will hold its final hearing on finding policies that could reshape our media system for the better. In preparation, the FTC released a “Discussion Draft” that outlined the various policy recommendations submitted to the agency for consideration. More than 2,000 citizens have filed comments, and many organizations submitted recommendations. FTC staff have been deployed to journalism related events across the country to gather information and ideas percolating in those communities."

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