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

07 September 2010

Clippings for 7 September 2010

A Labor Day Commitment to the Common Good
Jim Hightower, Truthout: "America's corporate chieftains must love poor people, for they're doing all they can to create millions more of them. ... This Labor Day, we see corporate executives and their politicians relentlessly dismantling that framework, piece by piece - and we see the middle class disappearing and poverty rising with each dismantled piece. But as labor icon Joe Hill said just before he was executed by Utah authorities for his unionizing activities, 'Don't mourn, organize.' It's time for working families to organize again for the revitalization of the middle class."

1938 in 2010
Paul Krugman writes for the New York Times: "Here’s the situation: The U.S. economy has been crippled by a financial crisis. The president’s policies have limited the damage, but they were too cautious, and unemployment remains disastrously high. More action is clearly needed. Yet the public has soured on government activism, and seems poised to deal Democrats a severe defeat in the midterm elections."

Why 100,000 Jobs a Month Won't Lower Unemployment Rate
Mark Trumbull writes for the Christian Science Monitor: "Stock investors cheered Friday because the latest monthly jobs report wasn't terrible. But the big issue remains: Even if you set aside the temporary impact of downsizing at the Census Bureau, the economy isn't generating nearly enough new jobs to bring down the US unemployment rate.  Here's the problem. August marked the eighth straight month of job gains in the the private sector – a welcome pattern that President Obama was quick to highlight. Yet those gains average less than 100,000 per month. That's not enough to improve the job market, economists say."

Unemployment Edges Up to 9.6 Percent as Weak Job Growth Continues
Dean Baker writes for The Center for Economic and Policy Research: "The unemployment rate edged up to 9.6 percent in August as the economy shed 54,000 jobs. The decline was entirely attributable to the loss of 114,000 temporary Census jobs. Excluding these jobs, the economy created 60,000 jobs. With job growth for the prior two months revised up by 123,000, excluding the Census jobs, the August pace is roughly even with June and July."

10 Ways to Solve the Jobs Problem
Fran Korten writes for YES! Magazine: "As the midterm political season heats up, one word on every politician's lips is 'jobs.' And for good reason. People are hurting - they can't pay their mortgages, send their kids to college, pay their dental bills. Young people are wondering if they have a place in the work world … So - imagine a no-holds-barred 'summit' that comes up with ideas to solve both our job and environmental problems. What might it come up with?"

How Ruthless Banks Gutted the Black Middle Class and Got Away With It
Devona Walker reports for AlterNet: "The American middle class has been hammered over the last several decades. The black middle class has suffered to an even greater degree. But the single most crippling blow has been the real estate and foreclosure crisis. It has stripped black families of more wealth than any single event in U.S. history. Due entirely to subprime loans, black borrowers are expected to lose between $71 billion and $92 billion."

The Great Jobs Depression Worsens, and the Choice Ahead Grows Starker
Robert Reich comments on Robert Reich's Blog: "The number of Americans willing and able to work but who cannot find a job hasn't stopped growing since the start of 2008. All told, about 22 million Americans are now jobless. Add in those who are working part-time who'd rather be working full time, and we're up to 25 million … It is not that America is out of ideas. We know what to do…The problem is lack of political will to do it."

We're Being Conned on Social Security
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "Allow me to take a moment to fix that whole 'Social Security crisis' that has everyone in Washington gnashing their teeth. When you see how easily it's done, you may begin to realize that whenever our elites start chattering about 'tax-gaps,' they're almost certainly trying to rip you off - making a slick grab for something to which you are, ultimately, 'entitled.' But why stop there? Why play defense? After we fix the program, why don't we increase Social Security benefits?"

Social Security Under Attack
Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, Tanya Somanader, Pat Garofalo, and George Zornick write the Progress Report for Think Progress: "This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act, and despite its standing as arguably the most successful social program in the country's history, Social Security has come under assault from a variety of Republican lawmakers and candidates. In his 'Roadmap for America's Future,' Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, suggested privatizing the program, along the lines of the plan proposed by former President Bush in 2005. Florida's Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio has said 'proposals that have to be talked about' include raising the retirement age and cutting benefits for younger workers. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said she simply wants to 'wean everybody off' Social Security, while Nevada's Republican senate nominee Sharron Angle has called for it to be 'phased out.' Those launching the assault on Social Security are attempting to use the nation's budget deficit as an excuse to justify their desire to cut it. In fact, Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission, likened the program to 'a milk cow with 310 million tits.' But the arguments conservatives put forth for radically remaking a program that millions of Americans depend on are incredibly thin, especially given Social Security's relatively sound fiscal condition, which ensures its availability for decades. Here is a rundown of the three conservative views for reforming Social Security and why they all fail to pass the laugh test."

The Cry for Democratic Moral Leadership and Effective Communication
George Lakoff comments for Truthout: "If you have not read Drew Westin's outstanding piece "What Created the Populist Explosion and How Democrats Can Avoid the Shrapnel in November" on The Huffington Post, AlterNet, and other venues, read it immediately. Westin states as eloquently and forcefully as anyone what he, I, and other progressives have been saying from the beginning of the Obama administration. I agree fully with everything he says. But ... Westin's piece is incomplete in crucial ways. His piece can be read as saying that this election is about kitchen table economics (right) and only kitchen table economics (wrong)."

Anti-intellectualism in America
Dan Weil writes for The Daily Censored: "George W. Bush liked to spout off and boast about how he did not like to read the newspaper or even read at all.  Sarah Palin could not tell a piece of literature from a Facebook blog.   Yet they all pretend that they somehow have received or earned some intellectual status as they banter about regarding race, culture, economics, war, and society.  Glenn Beck, for example, tells his audiences how well read he is when it comes to the ‘founding fathers’ of which he picks and chooses the sections that will help him distort historical reality.  Well, the news is these anti-intellectual, check-out at the register magazine frauds are not alone in both their disdain for intellectualism and their own heightened embrace of ant-intellectualism under the guise of wisdom and sagacious policy proposals."

Glenn Beck's George Washington Wopper
Stephanie Mencimer writes for Mother Jones: "During his much-ballyhooed "Restoring Honor" rally on Saturday, Glenn Beck told a whopper involving the founding father who was supposedly unable to tell a lie: George Washington. Speechifying at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, the controversial Fox News host highlighted the legacy of the nation's first president to drive home his claim that encouraging honesty and integrity was a main aim of the event. Beck even told attendees that 'the next George Washington' was 'in this crowd. He may be 8 years old, but this is the moment. This is the moment that he dedicates his life, that he sees giants around him. And 25 years from now, he will come not to this stair, but to those stairs. And he can proclaim, 'I have a new dream.''"  Photoillustration by Mario Piperni

Is BP Blackmailing the Feds?
Kate Sheppard writes for Mother Jones: "When the details on the deal between the federal government and BP to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate spill victims were released last month, I reported on concerns that the design of the fund might compromise its long-term viability and create a conflict of interest in cracking down on BP's misdeeds. The fund was designed in such a way that it basically hinges on keeping BP's Gulf-drilling subsidiary in production and turning a profit."

Gulf Oil Spill Puzzle: A Giant Piece Begins Long Rise to Surface
Patrik Jonsson reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "The mystery of why the massive blowout preventer at the heart of the Deepwater Horizon accident failed and caused the enormous Gulf oil spill is a step closer to being solved.... The blowout preventer is expected to become a key piece of evidence in several federal probes, including criminal investigations, to find out the cause of the spill."

Why Al Franken Was Right about Net Neutrality
Leslie Harris writes for the Huffington Post: "Last week Senator Al Franken made an important speech, calling Internet neutrality 'the First Amendment issue of our time.' If I had heard that claim a few years ago, I would have thought it verged on political hyperbole. But after reading the comments filed by major ISPs in the FCC's net neutrality proceeding, I think Franken is right. For many members of Congress net neutrality isn't a polling point heading into the November elections, but few other issues hold significance for the future of speech and the democratic exchange of ideas in this country."

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