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

06 August 2010

Clippings for 5 August 2010

Six Charts That Suggest the Unemployment Crisis is WORSE than It Looks
The Huffington Post reports: "If today's uninspiring data on the mounting jobs crisis isn't enough to convince you of how difficult it will be to turn employment situation around, we've gathered some graphical evidence of just how bad it is out there."

Recommended Audio: GRITtv - Welcome to Recovery for the Rich
Laura Flanders writes: "Welcome to the recovery. That's what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in the New York Times this week. And such good news! We've all been waiting to be told that the economy was improving, after all. Consider: Conan O'Brien, surely one of the nation's most famous unemployed folks, just made $25 million, one of the highest prices paid for a Manhattan apartment this year. Someone's buying—even if they got a bit of a break. The apartment was originally listed for $29.5 million!"

Food Stamps or Teachers?
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes for The Nation: "The GOP midterm election strategy is clear: stubbornly oppose anything and everything that might improve the economy and bank on voters to blame Democrats for these tough times come November. There is perhaps no clearer sign of the poisonous political environment this stance has created than the battle to pass a $26 billion package to help states and local governments make Medicaid payments and avoid laying off 140,000 teachers. The only way Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to break a Republican filibuster was with offsets largely through—if you can believe it—$12 billion in cuts to food stamps."

Deficit Scare Talk Is a Big Scam by Corporations and Right-Wingers; The Problem Is Not Enough Good-Paying Jobs
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "The Great Recession doesn’t exist in Washington, DC. Six of the 10 wealthiest counties in the U.S. are in the DC metropolitan area, and according to Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, citizens of the nation’s capitol are the most optimistic in the country, far more positive about the economy than the rest of America. It’s understandable -- the private sector simply isn’t hiring; public spending has averted a second Great Depression, and the spigot is located in the District."

Shifting War Strategy Smacks of Desperation
William Pfaff writes for Truthdig.com: "The first decision made by Gen. David Petraeus, the successor to Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commandant of international forces in Afghanistan, has been to abandon the policy he himself drafted in order to win the war and rebuild Afghan stability and government." Photo: U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail

Whose Hands? Whose Blood? Killing Civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq
Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: "Consider the following statement offered by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a news conference last week. He was discussing Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks as well as the person who has taken responsibility for the vast, still ongoing Afghan War document dump at that site.

"You Need to Know What's Really Going On": WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange on the Fight for the Truth
Ron Synovitz and Christopher Schwartz report for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (via AlterNet): "Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, says his work is based on the "ancient vision" of uncovering the truth. And he says sources would rather turn over their information to him than to traditional news outlets because he can protect them better. Assange spoke with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Ron Synovitz and Christopher Schwartz on July 27 by phone from London." Photo: AFP/File - Leon Neal

Recommended Audio: John Stewart - I Give Up - 9/11 Responders Bill
Despite Anthony Weiner's passion and a clear majority, the House Republicans defeat a bill providing health care for 9/11 first responders.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Give Up - 9/11 Responders Bill
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Our Sick System Still Needs Triage
Bill Boyarsky writes for Truthdig.com: "Attending a meeting on the new health care law, I had to fight the urge to stand up and beg the experts to stop. They were making the issue too complicated. At this rate, nobody will be able to understand what the law will do. And this may be the fatal flaw of the ambitious program. The law is too complex for the public to understand unless President Barack Obama somehow finds a better way to explain it."

The Dark Side of Vitaminwater
John Robbins reports for the Huffington Post: "Now here's something you wouldn't expect. Coca-Cola is being sued by a non-profit public interest group, on the grounds that the company's vitaminwater products make unwarranted health claims. No surprise there. But how do you think the company is defending itself? In a staggering feat of twisted logic, lawyers for Coca-Cola are defending the lawsuit by asserting that 'no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.'"

Are the Corporate Money Floodgates About to Open?
Suzy Khimm writes for Mother Jones: "In the months immediately following the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, corporations seemed to be sitting on the sidelines instead of delving directly into the campaign finance free-for-all that the decision opened up. Instead, it was labor unions that leapt to take advantage of the lifted restrictions, outspending corporations on independent campaign ads by nearly threefold in the first six months of 2010. But now there's mounting evidence that some of the nation's most visible and powerful corporations have entered the fray." Photo: Flickr/Tracy Olson

DeMint Tries To Rewrite History: ‘This Was Not Bush’s Recession’
Alex Seitz-Wald writes for Think Progress: "During a lengthy speech on the Senate floor yesterday about his opposition to the confirmation of Elana Kagan to the Supreme Court, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) went on a tangent, claiming the ongoing economic downturn “was not Bush’s recession” but was a “result of Democrat economic polices..."

The Neo-Know Nothings
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, Tanya Somanader write the Progress Report for Think Progress: "In the heat of the fiery debate over Arizona's anti-immigrant law SB-1070, a new attack on immigrant rights is burgeoning within the Republican Party. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined a growing number of GOP policymakers seeking to review or revoke the citizenship clause of 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." While the call to revoke this birthright citizenship was traditionally confined to fringe political parties and right-wing demagogues, the rising call to repeal the amendment is becoming a mantra of the Republican mainstream. But in championing reform of birthright citizenship, Republican lawmakers are directly undermining "revered U.S. constitutional traditions" and reversing "one of our nation's unique achievements, embodied in the current president and many others: that descent does not mean destiny."

The GOP’s Agenda To Change The Constitution
Ian Millhiser reports for Think Progress: "Since President Obama took office, Republicans have shrouded their agenda of opposition by wrapping it in the flag and the Constitution. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) even went so far as to label her radical anti-government views “constitutional conservatism.” Yet, for all of their constitutional pablum, the GOP’s agenda is nothing less than a direct assault on America’s founding document. Time and time again, Republicans have called for basic constitutional freedoms and fundamental aspects of our constitutional government to be repealed either by amendment or by activist judges..."

Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich Need a History Lesson
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "No recent controversy has so plainly revealed the hollow values of the American right than the effort to prevent the construction of a community center in Lower Manhattan because it will include a mosque. Arguments in opposition range from a professed concern for the sensitivities of the Sept. 11 victims’ families to a primitive battle cry against Islam—but what they all share is an arrant disregard for our country’s founding principles."

Tea Partiers Who Got Rich off Big Government
John Avlon reports for The Daily Beast: "One uses taxpayer money to rail against taxes, another’s tainted by Medicaid fraud, a third secretly pocketed thousands from a government contract. John Avlon on three candidates making a mockery of the movement’s message. Hypocrisy, the unforgivable sin in politics, is threatening to cast a shadow over the Tea Party. The movement built its momentum by rallying citizens against out-of-control government spending. But now a handful of self-funded gubernatorial candidates are undercutting its message because they got rich off government programs." Photo: From left to right: Georgia gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal, Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott and New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. (AP Photo)

Scientists Cast Doubt on Claims BP Spill's No Threat to Gulf
Erika Bolstad, Renee Schoof and Margaret Talev report for McClatchy Newspapers: "Many scientists say they're skeptical of a widely publicized government report Wednesday that concludes much of the oil that gushed from BP's leaking well is gone and poses little threat to the Gulf of Mexico."

Raising the Stakes on Gay Marriage
Eugene Robinson comments for Truthout: "The 14th Amendment is a mighty sword, and U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker used it Wednesday to flay and shred all the specious arguments -- and I mean all of them -- that are used to deny full marriage rights to gay and lesbian Americans. Bigotry has suffered a grievous blow. Walker found that California's Proposition 8, which sought to ban gay marriage in the state, violated not one but two of the amendment's clauses -- those guaranteeing due process, and equal protection under the law. By deciding the case on constitutional grounds, and by crafting such a detailed and comprehensive ruling, Walker all but guaranteed that the issue will eventually reach the Supreme Court."

Same-Sex Marriage Is Now a 2010 Issue
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "Same-sex marriage, an on-and-off issue in election campaign seasons going back to the mid-1990s, is back with a vengeance for the 2010 cycle.  But, this time, it could play very differently—if Democrats and responsible Republicans choose to recognize the arguments for marriage equality that the judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco outlined when he struck down California's Proposition 8."

How Disney Magic and the Corporate Media Shape Youth Identity in the Digital Age
Henry Giroux and Grace Pollock, Truthout: "While the 'empire of consumption' has been around for a long time, American society in the last 30 years has undergone a sea change in the daily lives of children - one marked by a major transition from a culture of innocence and social protection, however imperfect, to a culture of commodification." Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t

Possible Verizon-Google Deal Worries Net-Neutrality Advocates
Deb Weinstein reports for Truthout: "A rumored deal between cellphone service provider Verizon Wireless and Internet giant Google that would give preferential speeds to Google properties such as YouTube on mobile devices has net neutrality advocates on edge. Details of the agreement, as first reported by The New York Times, has thrown net neutrality advocates in a tailspin. By creating a two-tier Internet system, advocates say it not only exploits mobile users trapped in service agreements, but also works around years of wrangling over what constitutes a fair playing field on the Internet."

Genachowski’s Fast Fading Star — And How He Can Still Salvage His Term As Chairman
Harold at Webmachine writes: "There’s a phrase I hear a lot these days. Sometimes I hear it from angry folks, muttering under their breath. Some say it sheepishly, with a trace of embarrassment to find themselves saying it. Some pass it off as a joke. The phrase? “I never thought I’d miss Kevin Martin, but . . . .” No one can doubt that Julius Genachowski has emerged as the absolute opposite of Kevin Martin. Unfortunately, this includes a stunning inability to make decisions, combined with an ability to generate his own political opposition by dithering. This does not simply apply to the current fight over FCC broadband authority. It applies to everything, including what was supposed to be his big signature issue from the National Broadband Plan — getting 500 MHz of spectrum available for broadband.  A perusal of the last year of FCC orders and Commission meetings shows a non-stop stream of reports, studies, and proposed rulemakings. The only actual orders involve things so non-controversial and trivial that they hardly constitute tweaks. It does not help that Genachowski manages to give every impression that while he enjoys jetting about to industry conferences and rubbing elbows with the media elite, he does not appear very interested in actually doing the work of Chairman." Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Genachowski, Man Up! And Silicon Valley, Wake Up!
Stacy Higginbotham writes for GigaOm: "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just called off the “closed door” network neutrality negotiations it was conducting between major ISPs, Google, Skype and the Open Internet Coalition, after news broke Wednesday afternoon that Google and Verizon had reached an independent deal on the issue outside of the FCC negotiations. The end of these talks, which had been roundly criticized because they were being held in secret, may be a sign of hope for the FCC to push ahead with the public debate. However, it’s more likely another example of how powerless the agency has become."

FCC Gives Up on Brokering Compromise on 'Net Neutrality'
Jennifer Martinez reports for the Los Angeles Times: "Federal regulators are giving up efforts to negotiate a compromise between Web companies and Internet service providers over so-called net neutrality rules intended to prevent discrimination in the way online traffic is treated.  The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it would no longer try brokering a deal among various phone, cable TV and Internet companies, saying that weeks of talks had not 'generated a robust framework to preserve openness and freedom of the Internet.'"

Fox New Has an African-American Problem
Karl Frish writes for the Huffington Post: " Last night, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren apologized for airing file footage of Shirley Sherrod while discussing a story about African-American Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). As Media Matters' noted, not only is this not the first time Fox News has made such a mistake, it also fails the network's self-described "zero tolerance" policy for onscreen/factual errors:
Van Susteren didn't mention the error during her show last night, though she later apologized for it on her blog. But let's not forget: Fox has a stated "zero tolerance" policy for onscreen or factual errors. And it's worth repeating that, despite this policy, Fox has repeatedly refused to correct previous "mistakes."
This also isn't the first time Fox News has inadvertently shown footage of one African-American while discussing another. As Media Matters has noted, in June 2007, Fox News showed footage of Rep. John Conyers during a report on the expected indictment of Rep. William Jefferson. In 2006, Fox aired footage of Harold Ford Jr. while talking about Barack Obama."

Big Brother on the Net
Eliza Krigman writes for the National Journal: "Advertisers and companies are tracking individuals' behavior on the Internet in significantly more depth and detail than most people are aware of, a new study conducted by the Wall Street Journal found. On average, the nation's 50 top Web sites installed 64 pieces of tracking technology onto the computers of visitors, often with no warning. Dictionary.com, Comcast.net and MSN.com installed more than 100 tracking tools each during the Journal's test. Small programs and files known as "cookies," "flash cookies" and "beacons" do the tracking work."

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