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

19 August 2010

Clippings for 19 August 2010

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong
Steven Hill writes for Truthdig.com: "That modern-day guild known as “economists” has been on a self-righteous rampage lately. This latest rash of finger-wagging was kicked off by the Greek debt crisis. Looking at tiny Greece, these economic Cassandras foresee a menacing future for the entire global economy if President Barack Obama and Europe don’t rein in their budget deficits." Photo: AP / Mark Lennihan

Funding Public Services Is the Best Route to Prosperity
Political Economy Research Institute reports (via Truthout): "The New England states, can no longer afford to spend scarce resources on tax credits and other business giveaways. Instead, the region needs to focus its economic development efforts on rebuilding neglected infrastructure and improving education for people at all levels, from pre-school youngsters to older adult workers. Those are the conclusions of a new study released today by economist Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Thompson's paper is based on his extensive analysis of research on what works and doesn't work to create jobs and strengthen state and regional economies. It suggests a better approach to economic development, one that the New England states should pursue as they slowly dig out from the Great Recession that began in late 2007."

New Study Identifies Revenues for Doubling of Social Security Payout: Guaranteeing the American Dream with Expanded Social Security
Steven Hill reports for CommonDreams.org: "For millions of Americans, the dream of a secure retirement has been threatened by the Great Recession. Since WWII, retirement has been conceived as a "three-legged stool," with the three legs being Social Security, pensions, and personal savings centered around homeownership. But today most private sector employers have quit providing pensions, and state and local government’s public pensions are drastically underfunded. In addition, a collapsed housing and stock market, combined with increased inequality even before the Great Recession, have drastically reduced Americans’ personal savings."

Attacking Social Security
Paul Krugman writes for the New York Times: "Social Security turned 75 last week. It should have been a joyous occasion, a time to celebrate a program that has brought dignity and decency to the lives of older Americans. But the program is under attack, with some Democrats as well as nearly all Republicans joining the assault. Rumor has it that President Obama’s deficit commission may call for deep benefit cuts, in particular a sharp rise in the retirement age."

Raj Goyle Social Security Pledge and Why It Matters
Stuart Elliot writes for the Kansas Free Press: "Saturday at the Wichita Hyatt, in front of a crowd of nearly 200 people at Demofest, State Rep. Raj Goyle, candidate for Congress representing the 4th District, signed a pledge promising to work to strengthen and protect Social Security. The event came on the 75th Anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the bill into law. "

There's Nothing Wrong With Social Security That Taxing the Rich Fairly Wouldn't Fix
Dave Lindorff comments for This Can't Be Happening: "New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman, in his column today, is right to expose the attacks on Social Security as being the work of right-wing ideologues eager to destroy a government program that works, backed by cowardly Democrats who want to show their fiscal 'responsibility' by getting tough with future pensioners."

States of Paralysis: America's Surrender to the Spectacle of Terror
Henry A. Giroux writes for Truthout: "As the link between the media and corporate power becomes more integrated, the visual theater of terror mimics the politics of the 'official' war on terror. Echoing the discourse of the 'official' war on terror, the violence of extremist groups as well as state-sanctioned and corporate violence are understood almost exclusively within the discourse of moral absolutes pitting good against evil."

The Guns of August
Chalmers Johnson writes for TomDispatch: "In 1962, the historian Barbara Tuchman published a book about the start of World War I and called it The Guns of August. It went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.  She was, of course, looking back at events that had occurred almost 50 years earlier and had at her disposal documents and information not available to participants. They were acting, as Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it, in the fog of war."

Last U.S. Combat Brigade Pulls Out Of Iraq
Associated Press reports via The Huffington Post: "As their convoy reached the barbed wire at the border crossing out of Iraq on Wednesday, the soldiers whooped and cheered. Then they scrambled out of their stifling hot armored vehicles, unfurled an American flag and posed for group photos. For these troops of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, it was a moment of relief fraught with symbolism. Seven years and five months after the U.S.-led invasion, the last American combat brigade was leaving Iraq, well ahead of President Barack Obama's Aug. 31 deadline for ending U.S. combat operations there."

How Truth Can Save Lives
Ray McGovern comments for ConsortiumNews.com: "I need to speak out now because I have been sickened watching the Herculean effort by Official Washington and our Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) to divert attention from the violence and deceit in Afghanistan, reflected in thousands of U.S. Army documents, by shooting the messenger(s) - WikiLeaks and Pvt. Bradley Manning." Photo: Jeff Kubina

Other Countries Probing Bush-era Torture — Why Aren't We?
Shashank Bengali reports for McClatchy News: "In June, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Canadian man who contends that U.S. authorities mistook him for an al Qaida operative in 2002 and shipped him to a secret prison in Syria, where he was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months. Four years earlier, however, the Canadian government had concluded an exhaustive inquiry and found that the former prisoner, Maher Arar, was telling the truth. Canada cleared Arar of all ties to terrorism and paid him $10 million in damages, and his lawyers say he's cooperating with an investigation into the role of U.S. and Syrian officials in his imprisonment and reported torture."

Immigration and Drugs Along the Mexico/Guatemala Frontier
Andrew Eller, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "Americans' demand for drugs affects the daily lives of local residents living far south of Mexico. Huge quantities of drugs pass through the Central American land bridge on their trip to consumers in North America. The three northernmost countries of Central America, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, have the highest murder rates in the region, much higher than those in adjacent Mexico."

Feds Threaten to Sue Sheriff Arpaio
Suzy Khimm reports for Mother Jones: "The Justice Department is threatening to sue the infamous Joe Arpaio—the Arizona sheriff who's vowed to persecute any illegal immigrants who've crossed his path—for failing to cooperate with federal investigators. As the Washington Post explains, the feds want to determine whether Arpaio is responsible for "discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures," and discriminating against Hispanic inmates in jail."

Ground Zero for Tolerance
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "Are the Republicans terminally stupid or are they just playing the dangerous fool? In either case, the irrational attack on Muslims everywhere by the GOP’s leadership is not only deeply subversive with regard to the American ideal of religious tolerance but also poses a profound threat to our national security. Nor does it help that some top Democrats like Harry Reid are willing to demean Muslims even as we fight two wars in which victory depends on our ability to convey a respect for their religion."

Who will stand up to the GOP's war on Islam?
Gene Lyons writes for Salon.com: "Maybe Republican savants who want to repeal the 14th Amendment should refudiate the First Amendment while they’re at it. That would simplify things enormously. No more of this foolishness about due process and equal protection of the law. A citizen would be anybody Sen. Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich deem worthy.  Wetback children and Muslims need not apply."

Tipping Points, Are We Headed Toward Theocratic Fascism?
Steven Jonas writes for BuzzFlash: "Back on March 21, 2007, in a column on The Political Junkies.net, the predecessor webmagazine to TPJmagazine.us, I speculated that perhaps the primary objective of the Iraq Invasion from the beginning was not "oil and bases" which so many of us figured it was when the war was commenced. Rather, I then surmised, it was to establish the basis for Permanent War. At that time I thought that the reason for doing this was political, to establish the basis for Karl Rove's dream of a Permanent Republican Majority. The real purpose of the so-called "Surge" in my view, an action that was strongly opposed by none other than James Baker et al and Bob Gates (see the article referenced above), was to establish the on-the-ground implementation of that strategy."

Recommended Audio:Dr. Laura Goes Down
The Young Turks is the country's pre-eminent new media talk show, covering news, politics, pop culture and lifestyle. They comment on Dr. Laura's resignation from her radio show.

Why Dr. Laura Can't Say Whatever She Wants
Elon James White writes for Salon.com: "White people saying "nigger." That's always pleasant, right? White people saying "nigger" while minimalizing the feelings of racism? Even more pleasant. Like a massage. A really racist massage. The drama that has been this past week's news cycle due to someone simply expressing her right to free speech (if you go by Dr. Laura's resignation interview on CNN) has once again brought race to the forefront of American media. The popular memes of "blacks can say it, why can't whites?" and "No one should use the word!" are running rampant throughout the blogosphere. The underlying uncomfortableness of the discussion of "nigger" being in the everyday American vernacular comes from the underlying uncomfortableness of blacks being in everyday America."

Regulatory Agencies' Attempts to Sweep Oil Under the Rug Raise Questions
Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch: "'A recent report by the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center (a collaboration between the federal government and BP) claiming that only 25 percent of spilled oil remains in the Gulf has been refuted by researchers with the Georgia Sea Grant and University of Georgia, who released a report yesterday concluding that in fact nearly 80 percent of the oil remains in the Gulf. The report confirms the fact that the federal government should have taken a more cautious and responsible approach to testing marine life before opening the Gulf for fishing.'"

Where's the Math on Gov't Oil Spill Report?
Kate Sheppard reports for Mother Jones: "When the federal government released its report claiming that the vast majority of the oil in the Gulf has disappeared on August 4, I noted that the official report "doesn't include much in the way of specifics on the supporting data used to reach these conclusions." I've repeatedly asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which took the lead on the report, for more of the supporting data. Those requests have not been fulfilled. Heck, I can barely even get anyone to return a call over there. A spokesperson finally told me today that she would look into whether the supporting information on the report would be made public." Photo by d3 Dan, via Flickr.

The 19th Amendment Turns 90 Despite the Haters
Christine Mathias writes for Salon.com: "Today we herald the 90th anniversary of our right to vote, ladies, and with that comes a modicum of responsibility. With great power, yadda yadda yadda. American women tend to take a great deal for granted: We can work, own land, drive our own cars (alone), walk the streets with our arms and legs on display and get pregnant without relying on the presence of a penis (sorry, Bill O'Reilly). All of these inalienable rights have set us apart from present-day women in hundreds of countries. We can cheat on our spouses without being stoned to death. We can express heteroflexibility more readily than men. We can lie, cheat, steal and maim our way to the top of the corporate ladder. Just like boys!"

US Chamber: Equal Pay “a Fetish for Money,” Women Should “Choose the Right Partner at Home”
Michael Whitney writes for FireDogLake: "The US Chamber of Commerce has apparently spent too much time watching Mad Men: in a blog post this morning, Chamber blogger Brad Peck called women’s fight for pay equity to be nothing more than a 'fetish for money,' and said women complaining about their pay should focus instead on 'choosing the right partner at home.' The Chamber’s Peck also approvingly quoted a post that asked, 'Should government force gym-man to share his beautiful babes with couch-potato man?' This is all in a post on the Chamber’s blog called: “Equality, Suffrage, and a Fetish for Money.” You can’t make it up.

Your Fears Confirmed: "Up to" Broadband Speeds Are Bogus
Nate Anderson reports for Ars Technica: "Broadband providers in the US have long hawked their wares in "up to" terms. You know—"up to" 10Mbps, where "up to" sits like a tiny pebble beside the huge font size of the raw number. In reality, no one gets these speeds. That's not news to the techno-literate, of course, but a new Federal Communications Commission report (PDF) shines a probing flashlight on the issue and makes a sharp conclusion: broadband users get, on average, a mere 50 percent of that "up to" speed they had hoped to achieve."

ACTION ALERT: Stop an Internet Hijacking
Jay Inslee writes for Daily Kos: "Massive corporations are cooking up backroom deals right now that could end this era of online innovation and fundamentally alter how we use the Internet. And there is little to stop them -- unless we act now.  I firmly believe that Congressional action is the only way to truly protect our online rights. For years, I've done everything I can in the halls of Congress to find the support for legislation that will protect the open Internet, and unfortunately the will is just not there -- the telecoms hold too much sway."
Sign on to our letter today demanding FCC action now– Democrats, Republicans, Independents, political or non-political -- anyone you know who uses the Internet. This affects us all, and we all need to join together to stop it. We need everyone involved if we're going to stand up to corporations the size of Verizon and Google.

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