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

09 June 2010

Clippings for 9 June 2010

A Warning From Noam Chomsky on the Threat of Elites
Fred Branfman writes for Truthdig.com: "Noam Chomsky’s description of the dangers posed by U.S. elites’ “Imperial Mentality” was recently given a boost in credibility by a surprising source—Bill Clinton. As America’s economy, foreign policy and politics continue to unravel, it is clear that this mentality and the system it has created will produce an increasing number of victims in the years to come. Clinton startlingly testified to that effect on March 10 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee..."

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Framing the Narrative
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "They called it Operation Sea Breeze. Despite the pleasant-sounding name, Israel’s violent commando raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid ships, which left nine civilians dead, has sparked international outrage. The raid occurred in the early-morning hours of May 31, as the six vessels laden with humanitarian aid were still in international waters, bound for Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinian residents are in their third year of an Israeli-imposed blockade. Israel has, from the outset, sought to limit the debate over the attack, and to control the images."

In Afghanistan, the Beginning of the End?
Tom Hayden writes for The Nation: "With eighteen Democratic senators voting for Russ Feingold's legislative call for withdrawal from Afghanistan, is a long and bloody end to the Afghanistan quagmire in sight? Feingold says he was "encouraged" by the May 27 vote in spite of its rejection, particularly because of support from most of the Senate's Democratic leadership—senators Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer and Patty Murray."

Afghan Corruption Czar Is "Dead Meat" if He Pursues Top Graft
David Corn reports for Mother Jones: "When Afghan President Hamid Karzai was in Washington last month, President Obama and his aides repeatedly maintained that the Afghan leader was making progress in fighting corruption, which is rampant throughout Afghanistan and threatens the Obama administration's plans to bolster a central government that can become capable of taking on the Taliban and al Qaeda. A joint statement from Obama and Karzai referred to Karzai's "efforts to strengthen the powers and authorities" of the High Office of Oversight, Kabul's national anti-corruption unit.  Asked whether Karzai was making progress combating corruption, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pointed to this office, and he noted that the High Office "now operates with a mission to increase its accountability." In another briefing, Lt. General Douglas Lute, a deputy national security adviser, asserted that Karzai had provided the head of this office "renewed powers to deal with corruption." Yet shortly after Karzai departed Washington, the RAND Corporation held a briefing on Capitol Hill that delivered a starkly different message: The High Office of Oversight and its commissioner, Mohammad Yusin Osmani, are virtually powerless to confront the serious corruption that infects the senior levels of Karzai's government." Photo: Flickr/zzzack (Creative Commons.)

Did the Bush Administration Experiment on Detainees?
Nick Baumann reports for Mother Jones: "In the course of trying to prove that its "enhanced" interrogation program was legal, the Bush administration may have broken the law, according to a new report (PDF) by Physicians for Human Rights. The watchdog group claims that in an attempt to establish that brutal interrogation tactics did not constitute torture, the administration ended up effectively experimenting on terrorism detainees. This research, PHR alleges, violated an array of regulations and treaties, including international guidelines on human testing put in place after the Holocaust."

Another KBR Employee Says She Was Raped While Working for the Military Contractor in Iraq
Matt Corley reports for Think Progress: "In 2007, former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones revealed that she had been gang-raped by her co-workers while working in Baghdad, and then left by the company in a 'shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water.' Since Jones went public, several more female KBR employees have come forward with allegations of rape. ABC News reports today that "another female ex-employee of KBR has come forward to claim that she was raped while working for the military contracting company in Iraq."

Europe in the Iron Grip of Neoliberal Fiscal Discipline and Anti-Labor Measures
Chronis Polychroniou comments for Truthout: "We live in critical times. Global capitalism has plunged much of the world in a crisis of unprecedented proportions and is causing misery and suffering for millions of people. Economic insecurity, mass unemployment, declining wages, poverty, social marginalization, crime, fear and social decomposition are now defining features of many advanced societies. With growth concentrated largely on speculative financial activities and the suppression of wages, wealth is so unequally distributed in many advanced capitalist societies that the social and historical boundaries between rich and poor nations have completely broken down. Wealth and poverty coexist in close proximity in many cities in advanced societies just as they do in the less developed world." Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: MayaEvening, Giampaolo Squarcina.

What Emergencies? Fear of Deficits Leads Congress to Punt
David Lightman reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "When Congress returns Monday from a 10-day break, it will struggle to try to meet an impatient public's demands for it to fund, among other things, an extension of unemployment benefits that have expired, summer jobs for at-risk youth and fair fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients."

Deficit Reduction = Selling Out to Wall Street
Zach Carter reports for the Media Consortium: "In the fall of 2008, decades of finance-first, bankers-know-best economic policies coalesced to create one of the worst economic crises in history, one that the banks themselves could not survive without staggering levels of government support. Yet astonishingly, nearly two years after the crash, Wall Street is still setting the economic agenda in Washington. As Congress begins to examine broader economic policy, lawmakers are under heavy Wall Street pressure to reduce th federal budget deficit - even though that could mean deepening the jobs crisis without any substantive economic benefits."

Why We're Falling Into a Double-Dip Recession
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "We're falling into a double-dip recession. The Labor Department reports this morning that the private sector added a measly 41,000 net new jobs in May. (The vast bulk of new jobs in May were temporary government Census workers.) But at least 100,000 new jobs are needed every month just to keep up with population growth."

Showdown in Arizona: Obama Must Pursue Immigration Reform
Howard Fineman comments for Truthout: "If there's one number that should matter most to politicians right now - in Washington, in Arizona - it's 83. That is the percentage of young Hispanic voters who, according to a new Democracia USA survey, worry about being discriminated against. Why so crucial? It's impossible to overstate Hispanic political power: for each of the next 20 years (and in each of the last 10), a half million Latino citizens will turn 18 - voting age. By midcentury, census data show, Hispanics will be the country's largest ethnic group. By the end of the century, they'll be the majority."

The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged."

Glenn Beck's Revisionist History
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, Tanya Somanader write the Progress Report for think Progress: "On his radio show yesterday, Fox News host Glenn Beck drove home one of his favorite themes, declaring that progressives have "done everything they can to erase history," and he was "working feverishly to restore it." But like his false belief that Fox News was the only network to air Israeli Defense Forces video of the Gaza flotilla raid, Beck's belief that history is being abandoned in America by everyone but himself is an assertion without concern for the facts. On the show yesterday, Beck claimed that "we don't study the Holocaust" in America, ignoring the fact that most states have Holocaust curricula. Despite the flawed premise of his historical explorations, Beck's pose as a common man's history professor has gained influence on the right. When Time magazine named Beck one of the World's Most Influential People this year, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin penned an essay praising Beck as "a history buff with a quirky sense of humor." "Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers," wrote Palin. "Self-taught, he's become America's professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth." As demonstrated by Palin's praise, Beck's role as a revisionist historian has been embraced by many in the conservative movement. When Associate Professor of American History Josephy Palermo recently mocked Beck as "Fox News's resident 'historian,' with his area of expertise being American civilization, with emphases on the early republic, Progressivism, and the New Deal," another right-wing revisionist historian, Amity Shlaes, came to Beck's defense. "Beck has begun to develop a new canon for adults," wrote Shlaes, claiming that "to academics, Mr. Beck is more dangerous than any other radio show host, and they know it." But in reality, Beck's skewed view of history is "more dangerous" for the millions who embrace it since he's not only painting a misleading picture, but also reviving interest in crackpot historians like Cleon Skousen and Elizabeth Dilling."

Years of Internal BP Probes Warned That Neglect Could Lead to Accidents
Abrahm Lustgarten and Ryan Knutson report for ProPublica: "A series of internal investigations over the past decade warned senior BP managers that the company repeatedly disregarded safety and environmental rules and risked a serious accident if it did not change its ways. The confidential inquiries, which have not previously been made public, focused on a rash of problems at BP's Alaska oil-drilling unit that undermined the company’s publicly proclaimed commitment to safe operations. They described instances in which management flouted safety by neglecting aging equipment, pressured or harassed employees not to report problems, and cut short or delayed inspections in order to reduce production costs. Executives were not held accountable for the failures, and some were promoted despite them."  Photo: Telegraph

BP Well May Be Spewing 100,000 Barrels a Day, Scientist Says
Renee Schoof and Erika Bolstad report for McClatchy Newspapers: "BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well may be spewing what the company once-called its worst case scenario - 100,000 barrels a day, a member of the government panel told McClatchy Monday."

Photos: What BP Doesn’t Want You To See From Their Oil Spill
After spilling up to 39 million gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast with 11 BP employee casualties, these are a few pictures of the countless amounts of seabirds caught in the oil slick. Photos by Associated Press photographer Charlie Riedel.

Don't Ask. Tell: Why the Military Should Soldier on With Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Charles McLean and P.W. Singer comment for Truthout: "Every gay-pride parade seems to have its share of sailor suits, aviator sunglasses, and camouflage trousers. In the U.S., such costumes are often drawn from the Halloween bin, since gays cannot serve openly in the military, let alone march for pride in their official uniforms. But that's not the case in Britain, where gay members of the Royal Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marines not only march but also move their partners into the military's family housing. The armed forces has also embraced the shift - which came following a European Court of Human Rights ruling 1999 - placing recruitment ads in gay publications, and, last summer, featuring an openly gay soldier on the cover of the military's official magazine."

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Media Advisory: Pundits in Denial on Gaza Plight - 'No humanitarian crisis,' some media figures claim
FAIR writes: "The May 31 Israeli attack on the Free Gaza humanitarian flotilla has returned some media attention to the humanitarian crisis faced by 1.5 million Palestinians living under Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip. But some media figures have sought to deny the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza at all."

Benedict Arnold Dems Betray Net Neutrality
Michael Collins writes for The Daily Censored: "74 Democrats signed a joint letter to the FCC supporting internet throttling by Verizon, ATT and Comcast. Throttling lets carriers slow or block internet traffic. This is a clear attack on net neutrality. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just endorsed net neutrality. But The Money Party is busy buying votes. Here’s a Top Ten list of the biggest rake-offs by the 74 Democrats. They had a total take of $2.8 million with an average of $37,000 a piece from industry sources and lobbyists. No telling how many jobs, trips, and other favors were provided. The Money Party is nothing, if not thorough."

As "New Media" Proliferate, Does Government Have a Role?
Gloria Goodale reports for the Christian Science Monitor: "That tension between government and the so-called fourth estate, or the news media, is at the heart of a mounting war of words in the blogosphere as well as in print and broadcast over when, where, why and how lawmakers should interact - some say meddle - with today' swiftly changing news environment." Photo: Newscom.

Comcast-NBC Merger Is a Bad Deal
Corie Wright writes for Other Words: "When you watch the news or read the paper, it's not hard to find evidence of the negative impact of media consolidation. As media companies get bigger, local news and in-depth reporting take a backseat to sensationalism and celebrity gossip. Now there's a new media merger on the horizon. And it's a real doozy. A few months ago, cable giant Comcast announced it would buy NBC. Comcast has agreed to pay billions of dollars to acquire the venerable broadcaster--but the cost to the public will be far greater."

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