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

27 September 2010

Clippings for 27 September 2010

400 Richest Americans Got Richer This Year, As Most Americans' Net Worth Tanked: Forbes
William Alden reports for the Huffington Post: "The richest Americans got even richer this year, according to the new Forbes 400 list, even as the country's total net worth tanked during the second quarter. The top 400, all of whom are worth at least $1 billion, saw their combined wealth increase 8 percent this year, to the dizzying total of $1.37 trillion, according to analysis from CNN.  Meanwhile, according to data released last week by the Federal Reserve, the net worth of American households and non-profits in the second quarter of this year plunged 2.8 percent, or $1.52 trillion, from the previous quarter, to settle at $53.5 trillion."

So How Did the Bush Tax Cuts Work Out for the Economy?
David Cay Johnston writes for Tax.com: "The 2008 income tax data are now in, so we can assess the fulfillment of the Republican promise that tax cuts would produce widespread prosperity by looking at all the years of the George W. Bush presidency.  Just as they did in 2000, the Republicans are running this year on an economic platform of tax cuts, especially making the tax cuts permanent for the richest among us. So how did the tax cuts work out? My analysis of the new data, with all figures in 2008 dollars: Total income was $2.74 trillion less during the eight Bush years than if incomes had stayed at 2000 levels."

Republican Economics as Social Darwinism
Robert Reich writes for the Huffington Post: "John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: 'Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.'"

Return of the ‘Contract With America’
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "The Republicans have announced the forthcoming release of the “Contract From America”—a set of legislative proposals presumably intended to replicate the “Contract With America” used by their leaders in the historic 1994 midterm when they won control of both houses of Congress."

FactChecking ‘The Pledge:' Republicans' "Pledge to America" Falls Short on some of Its Facts
Factcheck.org reports "The Republican “Pledge to America,” released Sept. 23, contains some dubious factual claims:
  • It declares that “the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.” Not true. So far this year government employment has declined slightly, while private sector employment has increased by 763,000 jobs.
  • It says that “jobless claims continue to soar,” when in fact they are down eight percent from their worst levels.
  • It repeats a bogus assertion that the Internal Revenue Service may need to expand by 16,500 positions, an inflated estimate based on false assumptions and guesswork.
  • It claims the stimulus bill is costing $1 trillion, considerably more than the $814 billion, 10-year price tag currently estimated by nonpartisan congressional budget experts.
  • It says Obama’s tax proposals would raise taxes on “roughly half the small business income in America,” an exaggeration. Much of the income the GOP is counting actually comes from big businesses making over $50 million a year."
Katla McGlynn writes for the Huffington Post: "Jon Stewart lambasted the GOP for their new "Pledge to America," a promise of fresh, new ideas that sound identical to the Republican rhetoric of the last 20 years. Stewart began by remembering two years ago when Republican senators previously pledged to make the GOP a "party of new ideas," trying things like forum website America Speaking Out, and other ideas that ultimately failed. Now, with midterms around the corner, Republicans have are trying to reinvent themselves once more, promising things like reduced spending, smaller government, permanent tax cuts, and other things that sound oddly familiar."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Why the Democrats' Response to the Pledge Has Been Inadequate
George Lakoff writes for the Huffington Post: "The Democratic response to the Republican Pledge to America has been factual about its economics. The September 26, 2010 Sunday New York Times editorial goes through the economic details, and Democrats have been citing the economic facts from the Congressional Budget Office. As Dan Pfeiffer reports on the White House blog, the Republicans are proposing..."

Sikhs Challenge Discrimination in Court
William Fisher reports for Inter Press Service: "A North Carolina man is joining a growing group of Sikhs who are looking to U.S. courts to remedy the 'ignorance and intolerance' faced by practitioners of the religion, especially since the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, which they say 'unleashed a torrent of discrimination.' Latest to file a legal complaint is Surjit Singh Saund, who charges that M.M. Fowler, Inc., which owns and operates the Family Fare Convenience Store chain, denied him employment because he is a Sikh and wears a turban and beard, as required by the Sikh religion. If proven, this would be a violation of federal and state civil rights laws."

Tea Party Senate Candidate Mike Lee Tried to Dump 1,600 Tons of European Nuclear Waste on Utah
Andrew Belonsky reports for AlterNet: "FreedomWorks' ties to Big Energy run deep, however, and by throwing their weight behind the group's endorsed Utah Senate candidate, Mike Lee, Tea Party adherents are inadvertently backing a candidate who tried to bury 1,600 tons of European nuclear waste in what some call their sovereign state.... In the world of Mike Lee and FreedomWorks, state-based rights, limited federal government and constitutional integrity are valid only to a point, and cease to matter when money's at stake. If Lee comes out on top, so too do energy companies, leaving the rank-and-file to deal with the ramifications."

Public Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free World
Lawrence Wittner writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "One of the ironies of the current international situation is that, although some government leaders now talk of building a nuclear weapons-free world, there has been limited public mobilization around that goal.... Intensifying the level of popular mobilization can in turn push reluctant governments further down the road toward a nuclear weapons-free world. Indeed, it's the only thing that can do so."

A Proposed Dirty Oil Pipeline Would Put Americans at Risk for Cancer and Asthma -- Why Are Senators Pushing For Its Hasty Approval?
Michael Brune reports for AlterNet: "The tar sands pits in Alberta, Canada that Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) visited last week are so bleak that one UN official, after seeing them for the first time, compared them to Mordor, the hellish wasteland from Lord of the Rings.  But Senator Graham, after meeting with oil industry representatives and tar sands proponents, hailed the toxic mines, the source of the world's dirtiest fuel, as 'an industrial ballet,' adding that the project 'really blends with the natural habitat.'"

Are Genetically Engineered Foods (Including Salmon) More Allergenic?
Kiera Bulter writes for Mother Jones: "You've probably heard that the FDA is considering whether to approve the first-ever genetically-engineered fish. Developed by a Massachusetts-based company called AquaBounty Technologies, this new supersalmon is basically an Atlantic salmon with genes from Chinook salmon and a fish called the ocean pout. In theory, this could be a good thing: The new genes allow the fish, called AquAdvantage, to grow twice as fast as regular salmon, meaning more salmon for everyone, and less stress on wild stocks."

Months After West Virginia Mining Disaster, US Issues Emergency Order on Coal Dust
Mark Guarino reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "The emergency order raises the level of rock dust suspended in the mines' expelled air to 80 percent. According to Larry Grayson, a former miner who teaches mineral engineering at Penn State in University Park, Pa., the previously recommended levels of rock dust 'will stop an explosion from spreading' but not stop the initial explosion. The higher level, he says, 'will prevent the explosion.'" Photo: In this April 4 file photo, West Virginia State Police direct traffic at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. Investigators say coal dust likely was a key factor in the April 5 explosion, that killed 29 people, considered the worst US coal-mining disaster in 40 years. Jeff Gentner/AP/File

Judge Reinstates Air Force Major Discharged Under DADT
Rachel Slajda reports for Talking Points Memo: "A federal judge ruled today that an Air Force major discharged in 2003 under Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be reinstated. Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that former Maj. Margaret Witt was discharged unconstitutionally under the policy because the government hadn't shown that her firing benefited the military. Witt, a decorated reservist flight nurse, was suspended from the Air Force in 2004, after 17 years of service, and eventually discharged in October 2007."

Florida Ban on Gay Adoption Unconstitutional, Court Rules
Warren Richey reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "Lawyers for the state of Florida are considering whether to ask the Florida Supreme Court to review a decision by a Miami-based appeals court striking down a 33-year ban on adoption by gay couples. Gov. Charlie Crist (I) said the state would not enforce the ban pending a decision on whether to appeal the 28-page ruling handed down on Wednesday. He said he was pleased by the ruling. The three-judge panel of the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that Florida's ban on gay adoption violates the equal protection clause of the Florida Constitution. The decision upholds an earlier ruling by a state trial judge that state officials have no rational basis to deny a fit foster parent who happens to be gay the right to adopt the two boys he's cared for since 2004."

Internet Trumps TV, Newspapers For News
Drik Sass reports for MediaPost News: "Americans feel they are better-informed than ever, and devote more attention to getting news, according to a new survey by Rasmussen Reports. But that's cold comfort for traditional media like print newspapers and radio, since it mostly reflects the rapid growth of Internet news, including a fair number of Web sites maintained by publishers and broadcasters."

When Technology Makes Headlines: The Media Double Vision about the Digital Age
Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism reports: "The mainstream news media have offered the American public a divided view of how information technology influences society, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Over the past year, messages about the promise of technology making life easier and awe about new gadgets have vied in the news with worries about privacy, child predators, shrinking attention spans and danger behind the wheel. The most prevalent underlying message about technology’s influence has been upbeat—the notion that technology is making life easier and more productive. Nearly a quarter of all technology stories studied from June 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, conveyed this idea. But that was closely followed by the sense that with that convenience comes risk—to our privacy and particularly to our children—which made up nearly two-in-ten stories, according to the study."

FCC Opens Spectrum to Super WiFi, in Time for Corporations to Control It
David Dayen writes for FireDogLake: "The FCC officially approved the opening of a vast amount of unused spectrum for broadband Internet, potentially creating a fast “super-WiFi” network. [snip] Of course, now that we have the next generation of wireless technologies, Google and the telecoms will do their best to control and monetize them. Not only have they persuaded gullible tea partiers to join the cause, taking advantage of baseless fears about government takeovers of the Internet (strike government and replace with corporate and you’re on to something), but they’re getting help from prominent Democrats as well..."

Happy Anniversary? One Year of Empty Net Neutrality Promises
Josh Silver writes for The Hill: "A year ago today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski delivered a major speech on Network Neutrality — the top issue on President Obama’s technology policy platform.  At the Brookings Institution, Genachowski declared that without Net Neutrality — the fundamental principle that keeps the Internet open and free from discrimination — 'we could see the Internet’s doors shut to entrepreneurs, the spirit of innovation stifled, a full and free flow of information compromised.' He also warned: 'If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late.' It’s now been 365 days since Genachowski’s speech, and we’re still waiting for Net Neutrality."

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