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

02 August 2010

Clippings for 1 August 2010

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Today I will teach my final American history class of the semester to prison inmates. We have spent five weeks reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” The class is taught in a small room in the basement of the prison. I pass through a metal detector, am patted down by a guard and walk through three pairs of iron gates to get to my students. We have covered Spain’s genocide of the native inhabitants in the Caribbean and the Americas, the war for independence in the United States and the disgraceful slaughter of Native Americans. We have examined slavery, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the occupations of Cuba and the Philippines, the New Deal, two world wars and the legacy of racism, capitalist exploitation and imperialism that continue to infect American society."

Several hundred activists at the US Social Forum in Detroit heard philosopher-activist Grace Lee Boggs and Immanuel Wallerstein of Yale University discuss today's daunting problems of environmental destruction, economic collapse, and political paralysis in terms of the decline of the capitalist world system and the urgent need to build and struggle for a new system that is more sustainable and just. Presented by the Boggs Center - boggscenter.org and filmed by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin of Moving Images - movingimages.org.

Economic Recovery for the Few
Rick Wolff writes for Monthly Review: "Where is this elusive recovery? The banks, some say, have 'recovered.' Yet they remain dependent on Washington, they do not make the loans needed for a general recovery, and many medium and small banks keep collapsing.... Everywhere else - unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies, depressed housing market, and so on - no recovery in sight. Yet, my search finally found genuine recovery for one group, and its recovery offers a better policy to treat this crisis." Photo: gabemac

SEC Lets Citi Executives Go Free After $40 Billion Subprime Lie
Zach Carter provides the following new analysis for AlterNet: "The SEC just hit two Citigroup executives with fines for concealing $40 billion in subprime mortgage debt from investors back in 2007. The biggest fine is going to Citi CFO Gary Crittenden, who will pay $100,000 to settle allegations that he screwed over his own investors. The year of the alleged wrongdoing, Crittenden took home $19.4 million. That's right. Crittenden will lose one-half of one percent of his income from the year he hid a quagmire of bailout-inducing insanity from his own investors. That's it. No indictment. No prison time. Crittenden doesn't even have to formally acknowledge any wrongdoing.

Elizabeth Warren: My Mission Is to Restore America's Great Middle Class
Editor's note: The following is a speech delivered by Elizabeth Warren at Netroots Nation 2010. Check out AlterNet's petition at Change.org urging President Obama to appoint Warren to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Elizabeth Warren writes via AlterNet: "My grandmother, when she was a teenager, drove a wagon in the land rush that settled Oklahoma. Her mother was dead, and her little brothers and sisters were in the back of the wagon. Her father had ridden ahead and tried to find a piece of land that might be somewhere near water--a hard task in Oklahoma. She grew up in that part of the world, she met my grandfather, they got married, they started building one-room schoolhouses and little modest homes across the prairie. They had kids, they stretched, they scratched, they worked hard, they made a little money, and they put it aside, put it in the bank. It got completely wiped out in 1907 in an economic panic. But like many American families, they came back. They started scratching and stretching again, and having more babies--and then the Depression came."

Homes Keep Falling into Foreclosure as Programs Fail to Help
Tony Pugh reports for McClatchy News: "More than three years into the housing crisis that helped trigger a worldwide recession, the torrid pace of home foreclosures continues to tear at the core of the American dream. New figures Thursday from Realty-Trac showed that foreclosure activity declined over the first six months of the year in nine of the 10 large metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates."

How to Dismantle the American Empire Before This Country Goes Under
Editor's note: The following is excerpted from WASHINGTON RULES: America's Path To Permanent War by Andrew J. Bacevich, published this month by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Copyright (c) 2010 by Andrew J. Bacevich. All rights reserved. With permission of Henry Holt and Company.
Andrew J. Bacevich writes for Metropolitian Books via AlterNet: "The world -- we are incessantly told -- is becoming ever smaller, more complex, and more dangerous. Therefore, it becomes necessary for the nation to intensify the efforts undertaken to “keep America safe,” while also, of course, advancing the cause of world peace. Achieving these aims -- it is said -- requires the United States to funnel ever greater sums of money to the Pentagon to develop new means of projecting power, and to hold itself in readiness for new expeditions deemed essential to pacify (or liberate) some dark and troubled quarter of the globe." Photo Credit: AFP - Ahmad al-Rubaye

Republican Hungry for Nuclear Pork
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Max Bergmann, Alex Seitz-Wald, and Tanya Somanade write the Progress Report for Think Progress: "The debate over the New START arms control treaty with Russia is winding down. Senate committees have held nearly 20 hearings, and treaty opponents are now repeating the same tired arguments that have already been thoroughly debunked and discredited. With the debate over START largely exhausted, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has moved to schedule a committee vote for next week. If passed, the treaty will go to the Senate floor, where it will need 67 votes to be ratified. The efforts by those opposing the treaty -- like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and the Heritage Foundation -- to rally Republican opposition seem to have largely failed with few GOP Senators arguing against the merits of the treaty. A growing number of Republican senators have now expressed hope that the treaty can be ratified. But instead of expressing their intention to vote for the treaty, many of these senators -- including Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee -- are now demanding backroom deals to get more pork for the home states' nuclear weapons bureaucracy -- something that should have absolutely nothing to do with START. Having vigorously attacked side deals during the health care debate, these Senators are now engaging in their own sunbelt shakedown. In the midst of complaining about government spending, they are demanding wasteful pork that would have the United States absurdly spending vastly greater sums on its nuclear infrastructure, when it is planning to significantly reduce its nuclear stockpiles. Senators should not put pork and politics over American nuclear security, and the White House should resist efforts to succumb to such blackmail. " Photo: Associated Press

Obama Seeks to Expand Arms Exports by Trimming Approval Process
Maggie Bridgeman, McClatchy Newspapers: "The United States is currently the world biggest weapons supplier - holding 30 per cent of the market - but the Obama administration has begun modifying export control regulations in hopes of enlarging the U.S. market share, according to U.S. officials. President Barack Obama already has taken the first steps by tucking new language into the Iran sanctions bill signed in early July."

Democrats Take on Supreme Court's Giant Sell-Out of Our Democracy to Corporations
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "Democrats in Congress are fighting to undo, or at least mitigate, the potential damage wrought by the Supreme Court in its Citizens United decision, an example of right-wing judicial activism that has the potential to put the final nail in the coffin of American self-governance and turn over our elections to multinational corporations." Photo: Tucson Citizen

The Politics of Stupidity Strike Again
E. J. Dionne writes for Truthdig.com: "Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? Start with taxes. In every other serious democracy, conservative political parties feel at least some obligation to match their tax policies with their spending plans. David Cameron, the new Conservative prime minister in Britain, is a leading example."

Tea Partyers in Wonderland
Barbara Koeppel writes for The Nation: "The mythmongers in Tea Party land and millions more Americans seem to prefer fiction to fact. Based on a mid-April New York Times/CBS News poll of about 1,600 adults, we learned that 52 percent of Tea Party supporters believe 'too much has been made of the problems facing black people.'"

A Movement Rises in Arizona
Jordan Flaherty comments for Truthout: "Three months ago, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the notorious SB 1070, a bill that put her state at the forefront of a movement to intensify the criminalization of undocumented immigrants. Since then, activists have responded through legal challenges, political lobbying, grassroots organizing and mass mobilizations. More than a hundred thousand people from across Arizona marched on the state capitol on May 29."

National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers Targeted by Police in Arizona
The National Lawyers Guild writes in a press release: "Roxana Orell, a lawyer and executive officer with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), was arrested Thursday in Phoenix while acting as an NLG Legal Observer for a group of individuals protesting the immigration policies of Sheriff Arpaio. Observers of the arrest indicated that Sheriff’s Deputies appeared to target Orell, who was standing behind the crowd and videotaping the arrest of Sunita Patel, another Legal Observer."

A Long Stay
Yana Kunichoff reports for Truthout: "More than 300,000 immigrants languish in detention centers around the country. Why are they there - and who is profiting from their imprisonment? Pedro Guzman Perez speaks to his wife, Emily Guzman, by phone every evening. They speak around 8 PM, a talk filled with stories about their days, shared projects and love. Sometimes their three-year-old son, Logan, wants to get on the phone too, but usually Logan will be watching a show in another room. They have a great relationship, Emily says, and the conversations are often the highlight of her day."

"Anti-Islamic" Bus Ads Appear in Major Cities
Stephanie Rice reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "A group called 'Stop Islamization of America' is promoting ads on major city public transportation that urge people to leave the Muslim faith. The anti-Islamic campaign is sparking thought about the religion's place in American society."
View the Christian Science Monitor's Larger than Life: Billboard around the World.

Senate Climate Bill Dies—Does the Environment Win?
Charles Komanoff writes for The Nation: "Despite a Democratic supermajority in Congress, and despite President Obama's campaign promise to tackle global warming, there will be no climate bill this year. The demise last week of the Kerry-Lieberman Senate bill makes that official. But that may actually be a good thing: it clears the way for genuine solutions to global warming­­—solutions that ordinary Americans can understand and support. And remember, most Americans do want their government to tackle climate change. A recent Stanford University poll found that 74 percent of the public believes climate change is human-caused, poses real threats and requires government action."

Mainstream Media Helps BP Pretend There's No Oil
Mac McClelland writes for Mother Jones: "WASHINGTON (AFP) – With BP's broken well in the Gulf of Mexico finally capped, the focus shifts to the surface clean-up and the question on everyone's lips is: where is all the oil?  NEW ORLEANS (Mother Jones) – I don't know who the fuck these everyones are, but I'm happy to help out them, and ABC, and this AFP reporter writing that due to BP's stunningly successful skimming and burning efforts, 'the real difficulty now is finding any oil to clean up.'"

Jim White writes for FireDogLake: "Yesterday, Time magazine published a disgusting screed telling us all to calm down about the hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil BP has released into the Gulf of Mexico and then even sent the author to push his drivel on Hardball. In starting the corporate media’s push-back against the level of damage arising from BP’s irresponsibility, Time has joined a team that previously consisted of BP, Thad Allen, EPA and NOAA."

A Second Look at WikiLeaks
Kevin Drum writes for Mother Jones: "The most common reaction to the WikiLeaks release of 92,000 classified cables and other documents from Afghanistan has been a collective yawn: they don't really tell us anything new, so it's not much of a story. Glenn Greenwald, among others, has been pushing back against this."

Beck's Incendiary Angst Is Dangerously Close to Having a Body Count
Eric Boehlert writes for Media Matters: "On his Monday (July 26, 2010) radio show, Glenn Beck highlighted claims that before he started targeting a little-known, left-leaning organization called the Tides Foundation on his Fox News TV show, "nobody knew" what the non-profit was."

Tom Tomorrow | This Modern World
Award-winning political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow outlines the mechanics of conservative media provocateur scandals. Click here to read comic close up.

The Reconstruction of a Media Mess
The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism reports: "At one point during the furor over Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department staffer forced to resign after a video was posted on a conservative website, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the incident was a “teachable moment.”  The episode may or may not serve to foster a broader national discussion on race. But it did open a window on how information and misinformation can careen through the current media ecosystem.  Increasingly, supersonic speed predominates and reaction time shrinks. Online posts come in the middle of the night. Commentary and punditry add velocity to stories even before news reports have sorted them out. Partisan players are increasingly becoming news distributors with ties to cable channels and bloggers who follow them closely. The case also illustrates how in this current media culture, someone can go from obscurity to household name status, and from ostracized to lionized, in a matter of 48 hours. In all, the Sherrod story was the second-biggest topic in the mainstream press last week."

Newspapers Hit New Low, Rank Below Internet, TV For Info
Eric Sass reports for Media Post: "While discouraging, this finding isn't particularly surprising, coming amid long-term declines in print circulation and advertising.According to the USC survey, 56% of Internet users said they considered print newspapers to be "important" or "very important" sources of information. That's down from 60% just two years ago."Print newspapers are losing their position as key sources of information in the minds of consumers, according to a new report from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism's Digital Future Project."

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