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

22 November 2010

Nov. 18 - Andy Worthington on GITMO

Community Bridge opens with British journalist Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and co-director with Polly Nash of the documentary film, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.

Having spent several years looking at the undercurrents of post-war British social history — in particular the clash between the state and some of its most outspoken critics (protest movements, travellers and alternative communities) — Worthington turned his attention to the “War on Terror” in 2006. Like many decent-minded citizens of the world, he had been deeply concerned, from the moment Guantánamo opened in January 2002, that the US administration’s response to 9/11 was both cruel and misguided, but although Worthington conducted some research in the years that followed, it was not until March 2006, when he read Enemy Combatant by the released British prisoner Moazzam Begg, that he asked himself the fateful question, “Who’s in Guantánamo?” The quest to answer this question consumed over a year of his life, and led to the creation of "The Guantánamo Files."

The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, published by Pluto Press, and distributed in the US by Macmillan, includes reviews by released Guantánamo prisoner Moazzam Begg, lawyers Clive Stafford Smith, Marc Falkoff and Candace Gorman, authors Michelle Shephard, Stephen Grey and Peter Bergen, film-maker Ken Loach, and film producer Marty Fisher. The book is available from Amazon.

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Belief as Community - Panel 4

In 2007 Community Bridge hosted a series of panels discussing how belief systems help create community. Each panelists was asked to prepare a written statement about how their beliefs affected how they understood community. After reading the prepared statements, the panelists then compared and contrasted each other statements with their own looking for common ground and how that contributed to how we understand the community we live in. Panelist for this show include: Kathy Dzewaltowski, Susan Marshall, Rev. Michael Nelson, and Flordie Pettis.  This podcast is release to honor the memory of Flordie Pettis, who died on October 2, 2010.

To read the all essays prepared for this series, visit: http://beliefascommunity.blogspot.com/.

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A Living Wage for Manhattan

Our second hour opens with Tom Manney, from No-NBAF in Kansas, who comments about the report issued by National Research Council on the evaluation of risks associated with the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility proposed for Manhattan. Then Geri Simon and Claudean McKellips from the Manhattan Living Wage Coalition join us in studio to discuss the Coalition's efforts to establish a wage floor for companies receiving economic development funds from the City of Manhattan.

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17 November 2010

Clippings for 17 November 2010

Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia
Henry A. Giroux comments for Truthout: "We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia. How else to explain the electoral sweep that just put the most egregious Republican Party candidates back in power? These are the people who gave us Katrina, made torture a state policy, promoted racial McCarthyism, celebrated immigrant bashing, pushed the country into two disastrous wars, built more prisons than schools, bankrupted the public treasury, celebrated ignorance over scientific evidence ('half of new Congressmen do not believe in global warming') and promoted the merging of corporate and political power."

Shocking State Fair Scandal, Wage Theft Epidemic, Spur Nationwide Protests
Art Levine reports for In These Times: "Activists in more than 30 cities, organized by Interfaith Workers Justice and backed by labor groups, are staging a National Day of Action Against Wage Theft on November 18.... As much as $19 billion is stolen from American workers annually in unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations and, in some cases, through the human trafficking of legal immigrant workers."

Rebooting the American Dream: Chapter 1 - Bring My Job Home!
Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Koehler Publishers: "The simple fact is that we no longer make computers or TVs or clothes or power tools or toys or pretty much anything in the USA, except military hardware, processed food, and pharmaceuticals. So when we 'stimulate' our economy by putting money into the pockets of working people, they go to Wal-Mart and buy things made in Asia - creating jobs in that part of the world. So here is the first big way we can reboot the economy: lose our recent fascination - obsession, really - with 'free trade,' get back to protectionism, and impose tariffs (import taxes) on imported consumer goods as we used to do."

Businesses Do Not Create Jobs
Dave Johnson comments for the Campaign for America's Future: "Many people wrongly think that businesses create jobs. They see that a job is usually at a business, so they think that therefore the business 'created' the job. This thinking leads to wrongheaded ideas like the current one that giving tax cuts to businesses will create jobs, because the businesses will have more money. But an efficiently-run business will already have the right number of employees."

The Coming Sell-Out to the Super Rich and What It Means for the Rest of Us
Michael Hudson writes for Counter Punch: "Now that President Obama is almost celebrating his bipartisan willingness to renew the tax cuts for the super-rich enacted under George Bush ten years ago, it is time for Democrats to ask themselves how strongly they are willing to oppose an administration that looks like Bush-Cheney III. Is this what they expected by  Obama’s promise to rise above partisan politics – by ruling on behalf of Wall Street, now that it is the major campaign backer of both parties?"

The Man Who Shattered Our Economy
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "Rejoice, the housing market is back. Sandy Weill just picked up a humdinger of a wine vineyard estate in Sonoma, Calif., for a record $31 million, so the foreclosure crisis—which the former CEO of Citigroup did so much to create when he successfully lobbied then-President Bill Clinton to sign off on radical deregulation of the banking industry—must be over."

Land of Plenty? US Hunger Rate Remains Stubbornly High
Tony Pugh reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "U.S. agriculture officials said Monday that the nation's 15 federal nutrition programs helped keep hunger in check in 2009 even as the number of unemployed Americans soared. After a record one-year increase from 2007 to 2008, the number of U.S. households facing food shortages increased only slightly last year to roughly 17.4 million, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Photo: AlwaysBreaking

GOP's Top Tax Guy: Republicans Will Block Permanent Middle-Class Tax Cut
Brian Buetler reports for Talking Points Memo: "The Republicans' top tax guy in the House threatened in the clearest possible terms today that he and the rest of the GOP would vote to block any tax cut for the middle class during the lame duck session unless tax cuts for the wealthy are extended for the same period of time. In a policy speech at the business-friendly Tax Council today, incoming Ways and Means Committee chairman David Camp called the Democratic plan for tax cuts -- a permanent tax cut extension for all income up to $200,000, and a temporary extension for income above that level -- 'a terrible idea and a total nonstarter.'"

Defense Trims: Why Not?
Eugene Robinson writes for Truthout: "I come not to bury the manifesto issued last week by President Obama's debt-reduction commission, but to praise the most welcome of its ideas: Slash defense spending along with everything else. The panel's co-chairmen, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, identify $100 billion in defense cuts that could be made in 2015. That would be too little and too late, but what's almost revolutionary is the notion that if we're ever to get this nation back on sound economic footing, we have to cut what Dwight Eisenhower called the 'military-industrial complex' down to size."

The Stimulus Package in Kabul
Tom Engelhardt provides the follow analysis for TomDispatch: "While Americans fight bitterly over whether the stimulus package for the domestic economy was too large or too small, few in the U.S. even notice that the American stimulus package in Kabul, Islamabad, Baghdad, and elsewhere in our embattled Raj is going great guns. Embassies the size of pyramids are still being built; military bases to stagger the imagination continue to be constructed; and nowhere, not even in Iraq, is it clear that Washington is committed to packing up its tents, abandoning its billion-dollar monuments, and coming home."

Kandahar: The Latest Casualty of an Invisible War
Juan Cole writes for Truthdig.com: "Not only is it unclear that the U.S. and NATO are winning their war in Afghanistan, the lack of support for their effort by the Afghanistan president himself has driven the American commander to the brink of resignation. In response to complaints from his constituents, Afghanistan’s mercurial President Hamid Karzai called Sunday for American troops to scale back their military operations. The supposed ally of the U.S., who only last spring petulantly threatened to join the Taliban, astonished Washington with this new outburst, which prompted a warning from Gen. David Petraeus that the president was making Petraeus’ position “untenable,” which some speculated might be a threat to resign."

Obama Without Tears
William Greider writes in The Nation: "Given the election results, the question Barack Obama has to decide for himself is whether he really wants to be president in the fullest sense. Not a moderator for earnest policy discussions. Not the national cheerleader for hope. Not the worthy visionary describing a distant future. Those qualities are elements in any successful presidency, and Obama applies them with admirable skill and seriousness."

Conservadems Try To Strip Pelosi's Power To Assign Committees
Brian Beutler reports for Talkign Points Memo: "Three of the conservative Democrats who've been grousing about Nancy Pelosi's bid to lead the party in the 112th Congress are trying meekly to strip her of some of the perks that come with being top dog -- like picking committee chairs. In a letter circulated to Democratic members this morning ahead of the Dems' leadership elections, Reps. Larry Kissell (D-NC), Jim Matheson (D-UT), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), are trying build support for stripping Pelosi of the powers that come with being minority leader."  Photo: Sloan/AP

How Republicans and Their Big Business Allies Duped Tens of Millions of Evangelicals into Voting for a Corporate Agenda
Frank Schaffer writes for AlterNet: "Tens of millions of American voters got duped badly in the 2010 election. The bible-thumping white underclass thought they hit back at what they regarded as the nefarious forces trying to 'take our country away.' They were bought, paid for, sold, traded and manipulated by the most powerful in the US election: a Billionaire Lynch Mob led by Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and hundreds of millions in organize corporate cash. They peddled a fear agenda: fear of immigrants, fear of government control of our lives, fear that their country would become irrevocably changed."

The Coming Tea Party Civil War
Stephanie Mencimer writes for Mother Jones: "In the months leading up to the midterm congressional elections, the tea party movement managed to tamp down on its internal divisions in pursuit of a shared goal of defeating Democrats. But with the elections over, the movement's fault lines are starting to show, and tensions between the tea party's social conservative and libertarian wings are poised to explode into an all-out civil war." Photo: Flickr/Fibonacci Blue

What Happens to Your Phone When You Recycle It?
Jen Phillips writes for Mother Jones: "I'm thrilled that my phone contract is up in February. I've been coveting the iPhone, which will be a welcome change after two years of toting around a clunky, barely web-enabled dinosaur. But when I upgrade to a smart phone, what will become of my dopey old dumb phone?"

The Money and Media Election Complex
John Nichols and Robert McChensey write for The Nation: "'Like the wizard telling the people of Oz to "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,' Karl Rove used media appearances at the close of the 2010 midterm campaign to dismiss President Obama's complaints that Republican consultants, led by the former White House political czar, were distorting Senate and House races across the country with a flood of money—hundreds of millions of dollars—from multinational corporations and billionaire conservatives into Senate and House races. 'Obama looks weirdly disconnected—and slightly obsessive—when he talks so much about the Chamber of Commerce, Ed Gillespie and me,' Rove mused. 'The president has already wasted one-quarter of the campaign's final four weeks on this sideshow.'"

Cable Companies' $46+ Billion Robbery -- Subscribers Have Been Ripped off for $5 a Month Since 2000
David Rosen and Bruce Kushnick report for AlterNet: "When cable television subscribers open their monthly bills they will not see a charge for the “Social Contract.” Since the mid-1990s, it appears that every cable subscriber has shelled out $1 per month increasing to $5 a month by 2000 to subsidize cable companies’ system upgrades. There has been no accounting for the total monies raised through this subsidy nor a thorough assessment of whether the cable operators fulfilled the system upgrades (including wiring and services to public institutions) the subsidy is suppose to underwrite."

Seven Reasons Newspapers Are Not Rebounding Financially
Rick Edmonds writes for Poynter Online: "This was to be a year of convalescence for newspapers, not a total recovery but a dramatic improvement on the dismal results of 2008 and 2009. However, with third-quarter earnings in and just seven weeks left in 2010, the industry's vital signs are distinctly mixed. The good news first. Newspapers are solvent and profitable, often quite profitable on an operating basis. Only a handful went out of business during the great recession. Newspaper companies now are generating enough cash to pay down debt and finance robust exploration of potential new digital revenue streams."

Open Internet Needed for All
Michael J. Copps, Federal Communications Commissioner, writes in the Albuquerque Journal: "The Internet was born on openness, has flourished on openness and depends on openness to realize its full potential. And its potential is so great. This incredible technology intersects with just about every great challenge confronting our nation — whether it's jobs, education, energy, climate change and the environment, news, international competitiveness, health care or equal opportunity. There's no solution for any of these challenges that does not have a broadband component to it. We now have a technology with near limitless potential and are just beginning to truly harness its full ability."

Olbermann, O'Reilly and the Death of Real News
Ted Koppel comments in the Washington Post: "To witness Keith Olbermann - the most opinionated among MSNBC's left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts - suspended even briefly last week for making financial contributions to Democratic political candidates seemed like a whimsical, arcane holdover from a long-gone era of television journalism, when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust."

13 November 2010

The Kansas Rural Center

Community Bridge opens this week with Dan Nagengast, Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center, in a discussion of upcoming Sustainable Agriculture Conference, local and regional food systems, and how "production agriculture" has put more farmers out of business that the Dust Bowl, Depression, weather, or the environmental movement ever did.

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The Ecstatic Poetry of Paul Goldman

Our second-hour opens with this week’s Media Minutes and a clip from GRITtv featuring Kathy Kelly discussing her recent trip to Afghanistan where she spoke to everyday citizens, including men and women. Kelly notes that the average person on the ground there has little awareness of the September 11 attacks, despite the rationale for the U.S. occupation. Then we are joined by ecstatic poet Paul Goldman for a discussion of his poetry, the meaning of faith and how his spiritual poetry as the soft scalpel to transform and awaken. 

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11 November 2010

Clippings for 11 November 2010

Recommended Audio: Obama and the World
The Nation hosted its thirteenth annual cruise this year, a chance for readers to meet Nation editors and writers and engage in a week-long progressive brainstorming session while enjoying the pleasures of sun and sea.

In a panel discussion moderated by Katrina vanden Heuvel entitled "Obama and the World: Is There a New National Security Policy?" Lt. General Robert Gard and Nation writers Jeremy Scahill, Stephen Cohen and John Nichols discuss how far Obama has diverted from his promise to end the culture of fear that led the US into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Instead, as the panelists discuss in detail, foreign policy isn't that different today from what it was during the Bush years—if anything, Obama has increased secrecy around issues like torture and targeted killings abroad, and has expanded the power of government to spy on US citizens.

Listen for more on how the war in Iraq is over in name only, the danger of a new Cold War on the horizon and what kind of real change we should be demanding on the foreign policy front.
Download MP3 file.

Wall Street Wins Again
Nomi Prins writes for Truthdig.com: "The Republicans may have stormed the House, but it was Wall Street and the Fed that won the election. Regardless of party power plays and posturing, there are two constants that remain unaltered after the election. First, Wall Street will continue on with business as usual while shifting its campaign and lobbying dollars to the new winning team. And second, the Fed will keep on pretending to prop up the economy by buying more U.S. debt, thereby keeping interest rates low, the dollar weak and money cheap for the banking system to inhale. This fictional boosting of the financial economy, absent the real boosting of the general economy, will march on sans debate, inspection or restriction."

Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Simpson And Bowles Release Eye-Popping Recommendations
Megan Carpentier reports for Talking Points Memo: "The White House's fiscal commission's co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and former-Sen. Alan Simpson today released their draft recommendations on how to reduce the country's budget deficit. But while the deficit, writ large, proved a potent political issue during the election season, the tough medicine recommended by Bowles and Simpson is likely to be met with more than a few raised eyebrows." Photo: Newcomzumawire

Is the Deficit Commission Serious?
Kevin Drum writes for Mother Jones: "I've been trying to figure out whether I have anything to say about the "chairman's mark" of the deficit commission report that was released today. In a sense, I don't. This is not a piece of legislation, after all. Or a proposed piece of legislation. Or even a report from the deficit commission itself. It's just a draft presentation put together by two guys. Do you know how many deficit reduction proposals are out there that have the backing of two guys? Thousands. Another one just doesn't matter."

The Coming War on Health Reform, Government Cheese, and how CPCs Incubate Anti-Choice Violence
Lindsay Beyerstein writes for Media Consortium: "Republicans don’t have the votes to repeal health care reform, but they are determined to use their newly-won control of the House to fight it every step of the way. Marilyn Werber Serafini gives Truthout readers a sneak-peek at the GOP playbook to attack healthcare reform in 2011."

Fiscal Commission Recommendations: VA Co-Pays, Top Tax Rate 23%
David Dayen writesf ro FireDogLake: "OK, here’s the draft document for the cat food commission co-chair’s mark. In addition, there’s a page with specific “illustrative cuts”, $100 billion in domestic spending and $100 billion in military spending. Between the two, you can get a sense of what Bowles and Simpson have planned. Keep in mind that this is more of a shock doctrine document than a blueprint; they have no support on the commission for all this, and they’re trying to gather it with this early release."

The president's bipartisan deficit commission released some draft recommendations on Wednesday to bring the nation's debt under control. The preliminary report calls for cuts in domestic and military spending, reduction for some future Social Security recipients, and an overhaul of the tax code. Host Melissa Block talks to NPR's Mara Liasson about the draft report. Download here.

Michael Whitney writes for FireDogLake: "Social Security cuts are coming for 'virtually every American alive and those yet to be born,' in the words of Eric Kingson, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign. And for what? Corporate tax cuts. Seriously: the co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit commission want to cut Social Security benefits for everyone making more than $25,000 a year. And then cap corporate taxes at just 26%. Every member of this commission, every member of Congress, and President Obama himself must reject these insane ideas. We’re starting an emergency petition to President Obama, and his Catfood Commission to take Social Security cuts off the table.
Sign our petition to President Obama and his Catfood Commission: hands off Social Security. Click here to add your name.

Measuring America--New Book Presents Current Data on the American Human Development Index
Paul Rosenberg writes for Open Left: "Back in July 2009, I wrote a diary, "The Human Development Index--A Better Measure Of Where We Stand".   It was a response to an entry in the NY Times Economix blog, "Going Back in Time: Progress, or Lack Thereof, Around the Country" by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, co-directors of the American Human Development Project.  Today,  Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps have a new book coming out, The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience.  There's a truly overwhelming amount of information in this book, I'm only going to be able to give you a small of taste of what it contains here."

Recommended Audio: Majority Report Radio - Sam Seder on Blue Dog Democrats
On Today’s Show: Sam Seder slams Blue Dogs and their water carriers (like Matt Bai) and their establishment buddies (like Lawrence O’Donnell).

Americans Aren't Buying the GOP Agenda
Katrina vanden Heuvel comments in the Washington Post: "In the wake of the election, conservatives are full of advice for President Obama. The "unmistakable message" of the election, says presumptive House Speaker John Boehner, is "change course," and that begins by cutting spending and lowering taxes. The election, writes a dyspeptic George F. Will, was 'nationwide recoil against Barack Obama's idea of unlimited government.' A rational and alarmed American majority, says Will, believed that 'government commands and controls' were 'superseding and suffocating the creativity of a market society's spontaneous order.'"

Certified Right-Wing Extremists Set to Take Control of House Foreign Affairs Panels
Alexander Main writes for Truthout: "In the early years of the past decade, two hard-line cold warriors, closely associated with radical Cuban exile groups in Florida, occupied strategic positions in the US foreign policy machine. Otto Reich, former head of the Reagan administration's covert propaganda operations in Central America, and Roger Noriega, co-author of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, took turns running the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and held other influential administration posts such as ambassador to the Organization of American States and White House Special Envoy to the Western Hemisphere."

As Deportations Increase, So Have Officials’ Attempts to Deport the Wrong People
Marian Wang reports for ProPublica: "As deportations have increased under the Obama administration, immigration judges have also increasingly denied requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people who were legitimately entitled to stay in the country [1], according to new data obtained by Syracuse University’s Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse."

New Shipping Lanes in Melting Arctic Will Accelerate Global Warming
Lisa Song reports for Solve Climate: "In the next few decades, a warming Arctic will open up shorter shipping routes, potentially reducing the amount of fuel needed to travel between ports. But the increased amount of soot in the atmosphere could further accelerate the region's climate change, and the shorter distances won't generate enough fuel savings to offset the impact. Those are the key findings of a recent study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. This new study is the first systematic analysis of how Arctic shipping could affect local climate."

What's Abstinence Got to do With Degrading Single-Parent Families?
Brigitte Amiri, Reproductive Freedom Project, and Tricia Herzfeld, ACLU of Tennessee, write on the ACLU Blog of Rights: "Mom, am I more likely to go to jail because you and Dad aren't married?" Imagine your sixth grader coming home and asking you that question after being taught family life in school. That's what happened to Caroleigh Heaton in Maryville, Tennessee. Ms. Heaton contacted us, and we obtained the abstinence-only-until-marriage program used throughout the Maryville school district. We found that in addition to withholding vital information that kids need to make healthy decisions about sex, the program also advanced questionable "facts" that implied that children from single-parent homes — especially homes without a father — were doomed to a lower rate of success than their classmates from two-parent homes. The program emphasized that kids from fatherless homes were significantly more likely to exhibit behavioral disorders, drop-out of school or go to prison.

The Anti-Abortion Clinic Across the Street
Kathryn Joyce writes for Ms. Magazine: "The deceptive tactics of many of the country's CPCs - which are estimated to total between 2,300 and 4,000 centers nationwide - have been well-documented: They often mislead women about whether they perform abortions, mimicking the style or names of abortion clinics and operating in close proximity to them. Some provide misinformation about women's pregnancy status or due date, or suggest unproven links between abortion and cancer, infertility or suicide. Yet despite these fraudulent practices, CPCs have received millions in funding from both federal and state coffers."

Sources: Pentagon Group Finds There Is Minimal Risk to Lifting Gay Ban During War
Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe report for the Washington Post: "A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1."

How will We Know When the Internet Is Dead?
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "Are we moving towards two Internets? Or are we devolving towards an Internet along with something that superficially resembles the 'Net, but isn't? A small battalion of noted broadband engineers, developers, and academics have sent the Federal Communications Commission a thank you letter for simply noticing this dichotomy—an "open" version of cyberspace that treats all packets equally, versus an emergent space where ISPs will spawn a range of priority accessed products that the agency calls 'specialized services.'"

Bogus Neutrality Story Highlights Very Broken U.S. Press: Verizon talking point travels the world, nobody bothers to fact check
Karl Bode comments for Broadband/DSLReports.com: "As we mentioned the other day, Scott Cleland, a paid PR representative for major ISPs including AT&T and Verizon, began spreading a talking point claiming that network neutrality was the reason so many people lost recent elections. Cleland's "evidence" was that every politician that signed a recent pledge to network neutrality by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) lost their race. The talking point quickly circulated around countless major news outlets as truth, despite the fact that if you actually looked at voting results and other "pledges," it was perfectly clear that neutrality had little to nothing to do with election losses."

Comcast Control of NBC Will Add $2 Billion to Consumers' Bills, Group Says
Todd Shields reports for Bloomberg: "Comcast Corp.’s purchase of NBC Universal would add at least $2.4 billion to consumers’ pay- television bills over nine years because the combined company would gain power to raise prices, a cable-industry group said today. The enlarged Comcast might demand that customers pay more for NBC programming, and charge more in markets where it has a regional sports network, the American Cable Association said in an e-mailed news release. The Pittsburgh-based group says it represents almost 900 small- and medium-sized cable companies."

07 November 2010

The 2010 Midterm Election - What Does It All Mean?

Community Bridge opens this week with K-State Professor of Political Science, Joe Aistrup, with a discussion of Tuesday's Mid-term election results and what they mean nationally and for the state of Kansas.  At 45 past the hour, we are joined by Stephanie Alderman-Oler from the K-State Fair Trade Advocates to discuss this year's Fair Trade Marketplace that will open with a fashion show on November 16th and closes on Thursday November 18th.

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Gart Rivlin - How Poverty Became Big Business

In our second hour we are joined by telephone with author Gary Rivlin for a discussion of his book: Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. - How the Working Poor Became Big Business.

Broke, USA is Ravlin's report from the economic fringes of modern America. In the two years he spent researching the poverty industry, he ventured to Las Vegas to hang out at the annual check cashers convention, he spent time in Tennessee with the small-town debt collector who founded the $40-billion-a-year payday cash advance industry, he met with a number of mercenary entrepreneurs who are getting tens of millions of dollars rich selling high-priced products to the country's hardworking waitresses, warehouse workers, and mall clerks. In short, it explores how Wall Street made poverty a big business and what it is doing to those who can ill afford to go into debt.

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