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

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."

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