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

04 July 2010

Clippings for 4 July 2010

Put Away the Flags: Remembering Howard Zinn on July 4th
The Progressive republishes the word of Howard Zinn: "On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed. Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?"

Restoring the Fourth Amendment: How We, the People, Can Win Over Washington
Shahid Buttar comments for Truthout: "Despite promises of change, the Obama administration has proven itself either unwilling - or unable - to shift the paradigm driving increasingly invasive surveillance or increasingly pervasive profiling according to race, religion and national origin. Nearly halfway through the Obama administration's term, the battle to banish the Bush administration's policy legacy remains largely unfought, let alone won." Photo: Jonathan McIntosh / Flickr.

7 Outrageous Examples of Police Spying and Harrassment Toward Peaceful Activists
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "According to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), law enforcement agencies around the country have acted as diligent Thought Police, relying on dubious justifications to spy on Americans based on little more than their political beliefs (PDF)."

The Erosion of Individual Liberties: When Justice and Politics Become One
Lt. Col. Barry Wingard writes for Truthout: "In the "War on Terror," I am amazed how every time our enemy takes action, it sets into motion a scramble by our government to take away the individual rights of Americans. Will we reach a point at which we will be completely stripped of our civil liberties in the name of eliminating danger from external threats?"

Supreme Court Rules for President in Separation of Powers Case
Warren Richey reports for the Christian Science Monitor: "Congress overstepped its authority when it sought to create an independent watchdog agency deliberately insulated from direct presidential control and political accountability. In a 5-to-4 decision, the US Supreme Court struck down a portion of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which authorized the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)."

How Washington Blew Its Chance to Bring Real Change to Wall Street
Eliot Spitzer writes for Slate magazine: "Even acknowledging the truism that making laws is like making sausage, often leading any observer toward becoming a vegetarian, if not a vegan, some legislation stands out as especially unpleasant. With that in mind, what conclusions can we draw about the financial reregulation bill now making its way through Congress?

Decline in Labor Force Leads to Drop in Unemployment
Dean Baker reports for the Center for Economic and Policy Research: "The June drop in hours suggests that hiring will slow further. The Labor Department reported that 652,000 people left the labor force in June, causing the unemployment rate to edge down to 9.5 percent, even as the number of employed reportedly dropped by 301,000. The establishment survey showed a gain of 100,000 jobs, excluding the 225,000 Census workers who lost their jobs in June." Photo: Surat Lozowick / Flickr.
Move the Money, Starve the Empire
Christine Ahn writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "June 26 may have been the last day of the U.S. Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit, but it might very well be the emergence of a more powerful antiwar movement in this country.The U.S. Social Forum is a meeting place for progressive social justice organizations to discuss issues, strategies, and ideas for building a social movement in this country. The sessions on the antiwar and anti-militarism track made several linkages: between the domestic economic crisis and the bloated military budget, the expansion of U.S. bases and the displacement of farmers and indigenous peoples from their land and livelihoods, and the rise of militarism and violence against women."

Goldman Can't Say How Much It Made From Housing Crash
Greg Gordon reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "A congressional commission pressed Goldman Sachs executives Wednesday to spell out how much their company has earned from its exotic bets against the housing market, including $20 billion in wagers that helped force a $162 billion taxpayer bailout of the American International Group."

No Age of Austerity for the Rich
Sasha Abramsky writes for The Guardian UK: "We are, pundits frequently inform us, living through an "age of austerity". True, perhaps; but what that means, and what community responses it mandates, vary widely from country to country. UK chancellor George Osborne's emergency budget was stark in the cuts that it laid out - and there's obviously a good case to be made that the notion of an impending debt crisis was largely used as a foil for an ideologically motivated attack on the public sector. But, to sell the cuts, the government couldn't resort to a simplistic "government-is-bad, welfare-is-awful" rhetoric. It wouldn't have worked with an electorate that still retains some affection for the redistributive, protective functions of government vis-à-vis the nation's poor; that still believes in a societal obligation to smooth out the roughest edges of a market system."

A Defining Vote on Afghanistan
Katrina vanden Heuvel comments for The Nation: "More than six months after the implementation of the Obama/McChrystal strategy, and with one year to go before the beginning withdrawal of US forces, it's clear that the strategy in Afghanistan is failing on nearly all fronts. It’s critical that we now turn to a more fundamental exit debate: How do we change course and craft a responsible strategy to end the war?"

When Rolling Stone Calls the Shots, It’s Time to Negotiate
Fred Branfman writes for Truthdig.com: "It is amazing how little commentary there has been on the key issue raised by the McChrystal Affair: Should U.S. war policy be made by Rolling Stone? The very fact that it took a magazine article for President Barack Obama to remove Gen. Stanley McChrystal provides the strongest possible reason for allowing Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban."

The Appalling Cowardice of the NY Times and the Rest of America's Big Newspapers -- Too Scared to Say 'Torture'
Will Bunch writes for Media Matters for America via AlterNet: "On the one hand, waterboarding is torture. On the other hand....  I'm sorry -- there is no other hand. Waterboarding is torture, period. It's been that way for decades -- it was torture when we went after Japanese war criminals who used the ancient and inhumane interrogation tactic, it was torture when Pol Pot and some of the worst dictators known to mankind used it against their own people, and it was torture to the U.S. military which once punished soldiers who adopted the grim practice."  Illustration by: Matt Mahurin.

What Kind of Supreme Court?
Stanley Kutler writes for Truthdig.com: "The follies that are the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court nominations returned with Solicitor General Elena Kagan in the hot seat, but with a new twist. Kagan had famously written that the lack of “meaningful discussion of legal issues” has given the confirmation process “an air of vacuity and farce,” resulting in a failure to properly evaluate nominees or educate the public on the court’s role."

Mexico’s July 4 Election – Has the Narco State Arrived?
Michael Collins reports for the Daily Censored: "Nearly 50 candidates and public figures have been assassinated in the run up to Mexico’s 2010 state elections. Former presidential candidate Diego Fern√°ndez de Cevallos, major leader of the ruling PAN party, was kidnapped on May 16 and has not been heard from since. Three days ago, Rodolfo Torre, the odds on winner for governor in the state of Tamaulipas, was murdered in a highway ambush. Torre’s murder represents the highest ranking politician of the 50 assassinations this election cycle."

Another Immigration Policy Is Possible!
David Bacon writes for Truthout: "Thousands of left-wing activists just spent a week at the US Social Forum in Detroit, gathered again under the banner 'Another World is Possible.' Among them hundreds added a new subtext: 'Another Immigration Policy is Possible!'"
David Bacon was a guest on Community Bridge in 2009.  Listen to his speech broadcast on Community Bridge here.

'9500 Liberty:' Documenting the Immigration Debate
Emily Wilson writes for Truthdig.com: "The new documentary “9500 Liberty” is about the struggle over a law requiring police to question anyone they have probable cause to believe is undocumented. This premise may sound awfully familiar, but the film isn’t about SB 1070, the controversial immigration law recently adopted in Arizona; rather, it’s about a 2007 resolution in Prince William County, Va."

Is BP Rejecting Skimmers to Save Money on Gulf Oil Cleanup?
Anita Lee reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "A report released Thursday by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform included a photo depicting 'a massive swath of oil' in the Gulf with no skimming equipment in sight. The report concluded: 'The lack of equipment at the scene of the spill is shocking, and appears to reflect what some describe as a strategy of cleaning up oil once it comes ashore versus containing the spill and cleaning it up in the ocean.'"

A Hole in the World
Naomi Klein writes for The Nation: "Everyone gathered for the town hall meeting had been repeatedly instructed to show civility to the gentlemen from BP and the federal government. These fine folks had made time in their busy schedules to come to a school gymnasium on a Tuesday night in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, one of many coastal communities where brown poison was slithering through the marshes, part of what has come to be described as the largest environmental disaster in US history."

BP Is Only the Latest Killer of the Gulf
Max Ajl reports for Truthout: "The news from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe keeps on worsening. [But] the marine ecosystems of the Gulf have been literally dying for decades. Most summers, an immense zone of oxygen-depleted seawater runs from the Louisiana continental shelf to the Texas coast."

Recommended Audio: BP Spills Coffee
This is what happens when BP spills coffee.  Director: Peter Schultz & Brandon Bassham; Writers: Gavin Speiller, Eric Scott, Erik Tanouye, & John Frusciante; Editor: Peter Schultz, Starring: Eric Scott, Nat Freedberg, Kevin Cragg, Gavin Speiller, Kate McKinnon, John Frusciante, Zhubin Parang, Devlyn Corrigan, Erik Tanouye, Rob Lathan; Producer: Todd Bieber.

Delegation From Oil-Afflicted Amazon Visits Louisiana Tribes Hit by BP Disaster
Sue Sturgis reports for Facing South: "From 1964 until it pulled out in 1992, Texaco - which merged with Chevron a decade ago - dumped some 17 million gallons of crude oil and 20 billion gallons of drilling waste water into waterways and pits in the Ecuadorean Amazon. The contamination has seeped into water supplies, where it's killed fish and is blamed for health problems among local residents, who suffer from elevated rates of cancers, reproductive disorders and respiratory ailments."

A New Deregulatory Push in the Energy Heartland
David Sirota writes for Salon.com: "In recent weeks, Washington has provided ample evidence that the fossil fuel industry remains as powerful as ever in the wake of the Gulf Coast apocalypse. Whether it's Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu demanding more offshore drilling as her state gets covered in sludge, or Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton criticizing the government for forcing BP to finance a spill relief fund, major political players in D.C. still do energy firms' bidding, leaving both national parties disinclined to champion stronger environmental statutes." Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson.

Obama Needs to Hit GOP Harder
Eric Alterman writes for The Daily Beast: "The market is tanking. Consumer confidence is collapsing, car sales are falling, and now the pumped-up housing market is also losing steam despite mortgage rates hitting their lowest point in five years. Meanwhile, jobless claims are also rising but Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, he of the big pain in the ass on health care, won’t allow his party to extend benefits about to expire. Is it any wonder that, finally, Barack Obama can (finally) be found out on the hustings handing out a little red meat? Obama complained that his opponents 'think that our economy will do better if we just let the banks or the oil companies or the insurance industry make their own rules… They still believe that even after the Wall Street crash, even after the BP oil well blew, that we should keep a hands-off attitude.' The president paid particular attention to the remarks of House Republican leader John Boehner, who likened the rather mild fin/reg legislation to 'killing an ant with a nuclear weapon,' something, hardly coincidentally, that could also be found on DNC ads running on the Web. 'He compared the financial crisis to an ant,' Mr. Obama said. 'That is the same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly 8 million jobs. Same crisis that cost people their homes, their life savings. He can’t be that out of touch with the struggles of American families. And if he is, then he’s got to come here to Racine and ask people what they think.'"

The Tea Party Is Dangerous: Dispelling 7 Myths That Help Us Avoid Reality About the New Right-Wing Politics
Adele Stan writes for AlterNet: "Few things are more confounding to liberals and progressives than the rise of the Tea Party movement, and the media’s infatuation with it. Just as we breathed a sigh of relief with the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president, after eight disastrous years under the reign of Bush the Younger, in swept a furious wave of misanthropic pique." Photo: ajagendorf25.

How the TeleCom Industry Plans to Take Over the Internet in Four Easy Steps
Tim Karr writes for Common Dreams: "Have you heard about the battle over the Internet? It's a power grab that involves lawyers, lobbyists, unscrupulous legislators, phony front groups and the most powerful telecommunications companies in the world. They've aligned themselves against the rest of us -- the millions of Americans who use the Internet every day, in increasingly inventive ways."

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