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

05 October 2010

Clippings for 5 October 2010

Thousands Rally in D.C. in a Counterpoint to Beck, Tea Party Rally
Margaret Talev reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "Thousands of liberal and labor activists rallied in the nation's capital on Saturday and in other U.S. cities, calling for young or disillusioned Democrats to vote in the November elections. If conservative Fox commentator Glenn Beck's late August rally invigorated tea party enthusiasts to vote for Republicans, many of those who turned out for the 'One Nation Working Together' event saw it as their chance to shout back."

Reason.tv attended the 'One Nation Working Together Rally' on the National Mall on October 2, 2010. The crowd, representing a broad cross section of political left, included groups like the United Auto Workers, United Steel Workers, Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, anti-war activists, the American Federation of Teachers, the International Socialist Organization, and many liberal and progressive groups.

Priority issues for attendees were jobs, the cost of higher education and the economy. Though the crowd was evenly divided about President Obama's first two years in office, it seemed as though everyone agreed that it's time to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Interviews by June Arunga and Kmele Foster. Shot and edited by Dan Hayes.

Tax Breaks Are Not Sufficient to Restore Employment
Dean Baker and Sarita Gupta comment for Truthout: "There is a depressing complicity among much of the political leadership about the recession. Many politicians seem prepared to accept that we will have sky-high rates of unemployment for the indefinite future. Projections from the Congressional Budget Office and other authoritative forecasts show the situation improving little over the next few years. At the moment, this means 15 million people unemployed, nine million underemployed and millions of other workers who don't even get counted because they have given up hope of finding a job and stopped looking. It is outrageous that we have this situation today. Allowing high unemployment to continue for years into the future is unacceptable." A construction worker in Seattle, Washington. Short term, spending from the government would make up for the lack of private spending in areas such as construction, which plummeted after the collapse of the housing bubble, leaving many unemployed in this sector. Photo: Seattle Municipal Archives

Recommend Audio: Joseph Stiglitz - The Stimulus 'Absolutely' Worked, Wants Second Round
What would Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz say at a Tea Party convention? Stiglitz says he would defend the role of government in economic affairs, positing that the bank bailout saved the country from depression.

How to Replace the War System
Michael N. Nagler comments for Truthout: "Despite appearances, people are becoming more aware that we cannot solve problems by waging war on them. If you are not aware that this is happening, you are not alone; watch any news or "entertainment" program and you'll see that competition, violence and war are still considered "normal." It's rare to spot nonviolent, alternative methods, since they are so rarely featured in mainstream media."

Surveillance: America's Pastime
Stephan Salisbury writes for TomDispatch: "If, amid anti-communist hysterias and social upheaval decades ago, the US government employed armies of informers and other forms of often illegal surveillance, government and law enforcement agencies today are actually casting a far broader surveillance net in the name of security in a relentless effort to watch and hear everything - and to far less attention or concern than in the 1960s. In fact, a controversy in Pennsylvania has just erupted over secret state surveillance of legitimate political groups engaged in meetings, protests, and debates involving subjects of public importance - natural gas drilling, abortion, military policy, animal mistreatment, gay rights." Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: naixn, Jason Smith / feastoffun.com

"Underground" Group of Cadets Say Air Force Academy Controlled by Evangelicals
Mike Ludwig reports for Truthout: "An anonymous cadet at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) spoke out against alleged religious discrimination at the school last week, saying that some cadets must pretend to be evangelical Christians in order to maintain standing among their peers and superiors. In an email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the whistleblower stated that he is part of an 'underground group' of about 100 cadets who cannot rely on proper channels to confront evangelical pressure. The email, published by Veterans Today, applauds the MRFF from the 'underground' and indicates that the academy is 'literally overrun with Christian conservative fanatics.'"

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales, Democracy Now!: "In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has unveiled a seventy-member peace council that the Afghan government and the Obama administration hope will broach talks with the Taliban. But human rights groups have criticized Karzai for including former warlords, suspected drug traffickers, and Taliban fighters on the commission.... Human rights groups have also questioned why more Afghan women have not been named to the council. Of the seventy members, just six are women."

Fear and Favor
Paul Krugman writes for the New York Times: "A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in “The Birth of a Nation,” but you’re actually just extras in a remake of “Citizen Kane.”True, there have been some changes in the plot. In the original, Kane tried to buy high political office for himself. In the new version, he just puts politicians on his payroll. I mean that literally. As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News. Now, media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests. But directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level of blatancy."

Lies of the Tea Party
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: " For Americans still suffering from persistent unemployment, falling incomes and rising inequality, politicians of either party probably generate little enthusiasm. Yet although political ennui is understandable, the disaffection and demoralization of Democrats have created a dangerous political vacuum that is being filled with misleading data, urban legends and outright lies. Indeed, the entire tea party movement was founded on false assumptions about the economic program that probably saved the country from a second Great Depression."

Why the Democrats' Response to the Pledge Has Been Inadequate
George Lakoff, Truthout: "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…. Their plan is also notable for what it doesn't talk about: protecting Social Security and Medicare from privatization schemes, investing in high-quality education for our nation's children, growing key industries like clean energy and manufacturing and rebuilding our crumbling roads, rails and runways. This is the same agenda that caused the deepest recession since the Great Depression ..."

History Lessons With Dick Armey: Tea Parties Predate Obama, Clarence Thomas Was 'Lynched'
Megan Carpentier reports for Talking Points Memo: "Speaking to a largely unfriendly -- and often openly hostile -- audience at The New Yorker Festival's Tea Party panel on Saturday morning, former House Majority Leader and current FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey attempted to explain to those in attendance the true origins of the tea party and why so many people seem to be so angry right now. And, despite sharing the stage with Harvard history professor and author Jill Lepore, CNBC's Rick Santelli and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), he openly attempted to rewrite more than a little history to fit his preferred narrative."

Deficit Fraud Rand Paul on Extending Bush's Tax Cuts: "I'm Not Seeing It As A Cost"
Pat Garofalo writes for ThinkProgress: "Last month, a spokesman for Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul said that, if elected, Paul 'will vote against and filibuster any unbalanced budget proposal in the Senate.' Not only can the budget not be filibustered, but Paul is going to make balancing the budget exceedingly difficult, as he is willing to extend all of the Bush tax cuts - including those for the richest two percent of Americans - without offsetting them with spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere, for a total cost of nearly $4 trillion."

The Independent Fundraising Gold Rush Since "Citizens United" Ruling
Peter H. Stone report for The Center for Public Integrity: "The high court's ruling, which initial polls showed was opposed by 80 percent of the public, has helped to open the floodgates for potentially record spending by outside groups this year while creating a new fundraising landscape.... A look at both the older and newer GOP-leaning groups that are planning the most expensive drives this year makes this much clear: Many corporations seem inclined to give to groups that are allowed by tax laws to keep their donations anonymous. The desire for anonymity is attributable to several factors, say campaign finance lawyers and fundraisers, but arguably the most important is that the Supreme Court decision was controversial and unpopular. Some experts say the situation has prompted companies to fear reprisals from liberal groups for making large donations publicly."

Health Care's Second Wind
E. J. Dionne writes from Truthdig.com: "Here is another piece of conventional wisdom about this year’s election that is being rendered patently false. It’s been said over and over that no Democrats are running on the health care bill. Actually, more and more of them are proudly campaigning on what the plan has achieved—and they should. In a fight for his political life in Wisconsin, Sen. Russ Feingold went on the air last week with an advertisement that explicitly defends provisions in the bill and attacks his opponent, Republican Ron Johnson, for wanting to repeal it."

Glaxo's Avandia Cover-Up
Paul Thacker reports for Mother Jones: "LAST THURSDAY (September 23), US and European regulators delivered a major blow to one of the world's largest drug manufacturers, GlaxoSmithKline. The European Medicines Agency suspended sales of the pharma giant's multibillion-dollar diabetes drug, Avandia, which has been linked to heart attacks and other cardiac problems, saying that its "benefits…no longer outweigh its risks." The Food and Drug Administration severely restricted use of the drug to patients for whom there are no other options, stopping short of pulling Avandia off the market." Photo: Flickr/Fillmore Photography

Environmental Justice Comes Back to Life
Emily Badger reports for Miller-McCune: "The Environmental Protection Agency last week resuscitated an interagency working group to tackle environmental justice, an issue that hasn't been discussed much in Washington in nearly a decade. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called the group's first meeting - attended by Attorney General Eric Holder and the secretaries of Interior, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development - a historic event, as federal agencies recommit themselves to rooting out the 'environmental discrimination' that occurs when landfills, coal plants and toxic waste dumps are located disproportionately in communities of color."

A High-Risk Energy Boom Sweeps Across North America
Keith Schneider reports for Environment 360: "The most direct path to America’s newest big oil and gas fields is U.S. Highway 12, two lanes of blacktop that unfold from Grays Harbor in Washington State and head east across the top of the country to Detroit. The 2,500-mile route has quickly become an essential supply line for the energy industry. With astonishing speed, U.S. oil companies, Canadian pipeline builders, and investors from all over the globe are spending huge sums in an economically promising and ecologically risky race to open the next era of hydrocarbon development. As domestic U.S. pools of conventional oil and gas dwindle, energy companies are increasingly turning to “unconventional” fossil fuel reserves contained in the carbon rich-sands and deep shales of Canada, the Great Plains, and the Rocky Mountain West."

Evidence Refutes BP's and Fed's Deceptions
Dahr Jamail reports for Truthout: "In August, Truthout conducted soil and water sampling in Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi; on Grand Isle, Louisiana; and around barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana, in order to test for the presence of oil from BP's Macondo Well. Laboratory test results from the samples taken in these areas show extremely high concentrations of oil in both the soil and water. These results contradict consistent claims made by the federal government and BP since early August that much of the Gulf of Mexico is now free of oil and safe for fishing and recreational use.... A comprehensive sampling regime across the Gulf, taken regularly over the years ahead, is clearly required in order to implement appropriate cleanup responses and take public safety precautions." Photo: Erika Blumenfeld

How Climate Legislation Failed
Kevin Drum writes for Mother Jones: "Ryan Lizza has a big piece in the New Yorker about the failure of climate legislation to move forward this year, and it's worth a read. But I agree with Jonathan Zasloff: if you come away thinking that the White House is mainly at fault here, you've taken away the wrong message. Quick summary: early on there were two possible strategies for getting a bill through the Senate. The first was to round up four or five Republican supporters, since everyone knew there were at least a few Democrats who would never come on board. That never really went anywhere because there just weren't any. In the end, Lindsey Graham was the only Republican willing to support a climate bill."

Courts May Be Critical in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Battle
Nancy A. Youssef and William Douglas report for McClatchy Newspapers: " With Congress stalled on whether to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' some proponents of eliminating the long-standing prohibition on gays and lesbians in the military now believe their best hope lies with an increasingly supportive court system.... Other proponents of repeal say the courts are a poor way to overturn the ban. Appeals of any permanent injunction would likely take years to resolve, and the current Supreme Court seems an unlikely ally."

At least five teenage boys have committed suicide in recent weeks after being bullied because they were gay.

Comedian Sarah Silverman struck a serious note when she posted the following video on Perez Hilton's YouTube account, pointing the finger squarely at America's social policies that tell gay people that they cannot serve their country openly (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) or marry the person that they love.

"You're telling that to kids, too," said Silverman in the short but strongly worded message, adding that the bullies "learned it from watching you."


Why Broadband Service in the U.S. Is So Awful
The Editors of Scientific American write: "The average U.S. household has to pay an exorbitant amount of money for an Internet connection that the rest of the industrial world would find mediocre. According to a recent report by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, broadband Internet service in the U.S. is not just slower and more expensive than it is in tech-savvy nations such as South Korea and Japan; the U.S. has fallen behind infrastructure-challenged countries such as Portugal and Italy as well."

The Time for Compromise Has Passed on Net Neutrality
Ryan Blethen comments for the Seattle Times: "The Federal Communications Commission needs to realize what it is: a regulatory agency. Once it grasps that simple concept it should do what regulatory agencies do: regulate. The commission has played it safe since Julius Genachowski was installed as chairman by President Obama. Genachowski has had enough time on the job to know when to get aggressive. That time is now. Congress has given Genachowski an entree to stop the FCC's dithering on net neutrality."

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