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 August 2010

Clippings for August 9, 2010

A Bleak Jobs Outlook
Dean Baker writes for The Daily Beast: "For the second consecutive month, the economy created virtually no jobs, net of temporary Census jobs. The Labor Department reported that the economy lost 131,000 jobs in July, 12,000 less than the 143,000 drop in the number of temporary Census workers. The June numbers were revised down by 100,000 to show a gain of 4,000 non-Census jobs."  Photo: Newscom

Dodd: It's Not Worth a Fight to Get Elizabeth Warren Confirmed as CFPB Director
Pat Garofolo writes for ThinkProgress: "When it first looked like Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren might stand a serious chance of getting appointed at the first director of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - a regulatory agency which she was the first to suggest - Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) poo-pooed the notion, saying there's a 'serious question' about whether Warren is 'confirmable.' The New Republic's Noam Scheiber wrote that 'after surveying a dozen insiders over the last few days...I've concluded that the odds are good that Warren would be confirmed if nominated by the White House.' And Dodd now seems to have shifted his rhetoric, saying that even if Warren is confirmable, it's not worth a potential fight to get her the job."

Myths and Facts about Raising the Retirement Age for Social Security
Nicole Woo writes for the Center for Economic and Policy Research: "Yesterday's (August 5, 2010) release of the annual Social Security Trustees' Report caused a flurry of media coverage and commentary, including Dean Baker's observation that this year's report predicts much higher future wage growth than prior reports.  In fact, the new report forecasts that annual wages will be 47.8% higher in 2040 than in 2010 (adjusted for inflation)."

Katrina Plus Five Years: The Devastation Continues. Is This America's Future?
BILL QUIGLEY, DAVIDA FINGER AND LANCE HALL write for BUZZFLASH: "It will be five years since Katrina on August 29. The impact of Katrina is quite painful for regular people in the area. This article looks at what has happened since Katrina not from the perspective of the higher ups looking down from their offices but from the street level view of the people – a view which looks at the impact on the elderly, the renter, people of color, the disabled, the working and non-working poor. So, while one commentator may happily say that the median income in New Orleans has risen since Katrina, a street level perspective recognizes that is because large numbers of the poorest people have not been able to return." Photo: NOAA

Between the Bomb and the Burqa
Yana Kunichoff and Mike Ludwig provide the following news analysis for Truthout: "An internal Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) document released by WikiLeaks in March reveals a secret plan to use the plight of Afghan women and refugees in developing media strategies to 'leverage French (and other European) guilt' during an especially bloody summer of military escalation. The confidential document was prepared by the Red Cell, a secretive group that consults the US intelligence community." Photo: Dirk Haas / AfghanistanMatters

Exclusive, on-the-ground interviews obtained by Brave New Foundation’s Rethink Afghanistan project confirm what U.S. and allied forces repeatedly denied: U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan killed dozens of people in the Sangin District of Helmand Province on July 23.


Book Review: An Honest Look at Obama's First Year
David Swanson writes for Truthout: "Most commentary on President Barack Obama either beats him up unfairly because he's not a Republican or cuts him extra slack because he's not a Republican. If, in the privacy of your own home, you want to pause and review the main events of the first year or more of this presidency, as recorded by someone who obviously doesn't care about partisan boosting, I recommend Paul Street's new book "The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power." 

Wealthy Political Newcomers Are Spending Big
Juliet Williams reports for the Associate Press (via Talking Points Memo): "In the midst of one of the worst recessions in decades, a host of former corporate leaders are spending millions in their quest for elective office, using their personal wealth to push past the political machinery and their own lack of experience."

Conway: Rand Paul Is 'A Waffling Pessimist Who Wants To Be The Prince Of Cable TV'
Evan Morris-Santoro reports for Talking Point Memo: "The Jack Conway who showed up at Saturday's Fancy Farm Picnic was not the one who stumbled through the event last year. In 2009, Conway -- then locked in a tough Democratic primary for Senate -- blurted out "I'm one tough son of a bitch" in response to the screaming hecklers that make a Fancy Farm speech what it is. Maybe not the kind if language that upsets you (or the average network television censor), but it was enough to apparently upset the Catholic crowd at Fancy Farm and shock, simply shock, the NRSC." Photo: State of Kentucky

Militarization and the Authoritarian Right
Barry Eisler comments for Truthout: "Yes, former Bush administration speechwriter and current Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen's demand that 'WikiLeaks Must Be Stopped' is, as his colleague Eva Rodriguez notes, 'more than a little whacky.' But it's useful, too, because an infatuation with the notion of using the military in nonmilitary operations, particularly domestic ones, is a key aspect of the modern American right and of the right-wing authoritarian personality. Examining Thiessen is a good way to understand both."

Dishonoring MLK's Legacy: What do Beck, Palin, and the NRA have to do with the 1963 March on Washington?
Dedrick Muhammad writes for OtherWords: "This year's anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington promises to be memorable.Though big commemorations aren't typical for 47th anniversaries, thousands will be in the streets on August 28 commemorating the march, including many people advancing a social agenda that would make Martin Luther King Jr. roll over in his grave."

The Right's New Religious Bigotry
Michelle Goldberg writes for The Daily Beast: "On September 11, Geert Wilders, the ultranationalist Dutch politician who has suggested banning the Koran as hate speech, is speaking at Ground Zero, part of a rally against the Islamic community center being built nearby. He’ll be joined by Newt Gingrich, and in all likelihood other significant conservatives as well. Not long ago, the American right resisted the kind of overt Islamophobia that animates reactionary parties in Europe. The embrace of Wilders shows that this is no longer the case. A new type of religious bigotry has entered American politics, one more blatant than anything we’ve seen since the Twin Towers fell." Photo:

Conservatives Go After Judges Who Rule In Favor of Marriage Equality
Amanda Terkel writes for ThinkProgress: "On Wednesday, Vaughn Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, issued a landmark ruling declaring the state's ban on marriage equality unconstitutional and without any 'rational basis.' The right wing is trying nevertheless, as they have in other states where judges ruled that denying same-sex couples marriage rights is unconstitutional. They have called for impeaching the judges, launched political campaigns to oust them, and perhaps most disturbingly, perpetrated nasty whisper campaigns about their personal lives."

AlterNet Investigation on Right-Wing Censorship of Digg Makes Huge Waves on the Internet
AlterNet reports: "Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered, an investigative article published on AlterNet by the News Junkie Post's Ole Ole Olson on Thursday spread like wildfire through the media and social networking sites, from ABC News and the Washington Post to film critic Roger Ebert and Digg founder and CEO Kevin Rose's Twitter feeds."

'Clean Coal' Bottom Feeders: Chu Hands Out $1 Billion in Big Coal Welfare, Durbin Hands Out Cigars
Jeff Biggers writes for Common Dreams: "The demise of the climate and clean energy bill be damned! Welcome to Meredosia, Illinois, catfish capital of the world! And now, home to the next installment of bottom-feeding Big Coal welfare -- a check for nearly $1 billion to retrofit a decrepit old plant from Energy Secretary Steven Chu for FutureGen 2.0, our nation's scandalous "clean coal" boondoggle."

Nuke U: How the University of California Is Helping to Blow Up the World
Norman Solomon comments for The Bohemian: "On my way to the Los Alamos National Laboratory a few years ago, I found it listed in a New Mexico phone book - under 'University of California.' Since the early 1940s, UC has managed the nation's top laboratories for designing nuclear bombs. Today, California's public university system is still immersed in the nuclear weapons business."

BP Fires 10,000 Cleanup Workers
Mac McClelland reports for Mother Jones: "New BP CEO Bob Dudley wasn't kidding when he announced last week that it was time for the company to scale back oil-spill cleanup operations. In fact, by the time he'd said that, the responder force had been drawn down by about 25 percent." Illustration: Mother Jones

Are E-mail Attachements Bad for the Environment?
Kiera Butler writes for Mother Jones: "At one of my first jobs ever, there was a guy who would print out every single email he received. Then, to make matters worse, he would forget about his printed emails and leave them on the printer. Occasionally, just to give him a hard time, we would hand deliver his emails to him and announce their contents. 'Your wife says pork chops for dinner and she loves you!'"

Gay Marriage, the Legacy of Civil Rights and the Black Community
Devona Walker writes for TheLoop21.com: "I argued earlier that opponents of Prop 8 made some really bad moves back in California in regard to swaying the black community. They did not even bother approaching the black community, then they based their entire marketing campaign on comparing Loving v. Virginia, the ban on interracial marriage, and the ban against gay marriage. The ads were jarring, even for me, not because black is more acceptable than gay. It just seemed to play unnecessarily off inherent divisions within those communities as opposed to addressing anything relevant or contemporary. Clearly, the intent was to draw parallels between similar struggles but the impact was far more divisive."

A woman ends her marriage of 12 years, begins dating and finds love again — but this time, with another woman. For many years, researchers assumed so-called "late-life lesbians" were simply repressed by society until they felt comfortable coming out. But that's not entirely the case, says Lisa Diamond, a researcher at the University of Utah who is studying whether sexuality is fluid or fixed. Diamond has been studying a group of 79 women for 15 years to track changes in their sexuality.

Net Neutrality in Gravest Danger
Mike Lux writes for the Huffington Post: "It is August of an even-numbered year, and I am trying mightily to shift my attention to the elections. I had planned to do a blog post today about House races, followed by posts about key races most of the rest of the days between here and the election; I have signed on with MoveOn to help them on their exciting new campaign to clean up the corporate corruption in DC; I am beginning to work with BlogPac, CPC PAC, and other progressive PACs on key races; I am keeping in touch with my progressive donor friends to move money into key races. I'm doing all the dutiful things any good Democrat should do as the election season comes upon us."

Google and Verizon Near Deal on Web Pay Tiers
Ed Wyatt reports for the New York Times: "Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege. The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers. The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users."

Opposition to NBCU-Comcast Intensifies
Katy Bachman writes for MediaWeek: "The Coalition for Competition in Media, a group that opposes Comcast's bid to acquire 51 percent of NBC Universal, is ramping up its lobbying efforts with letters to the National Association of Attorneys General and five state attorneys general in California, New York, Oregon, Florida and Washington. The letters, posted today, call for a close review of the proposed acquisition that 'would cause a media monopoly that results in higher prices for consumers and more limited access to programming.'"  Illustration: Free Press

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