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 December 2010

Clippings for December 27, 2010

What WikiLeaks Revealed to the World in 2010
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "Throughout this year I've devoted substantial attention to WikiLeaks, particularly in the last four weeks as calls for its destruction intensified.  To understand why I've done so, and to see what motivates the increasing devotion of the U.S. Government and those influenced by it to destroying that organization, it's well worth reviewing exactly what WikiLeaks exposed to the world just in the last year:  the breadth of the corruption, deceit, brutality and criminality on the part of the world's most powerful factions."

Keeping State Secrets
Shay Toten reports for Seven Days: "You’ve probably heard of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Maybe even Bradley Manning, the Army private and former intelligence officer who allegedly turned over thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks. But chances are you don’t know the name Thomas Drake, a former Vermonter charged under the Espionage Act for mishandling classified information. His alleged crime? Drake blew the whistle on a wasteful surveillance program within the National Security Agency."

Top 5 Overlooked Stories of 2010
Mark Clayton, Ron Scherer, Amanda Paulson and Chris Gaylord report for The Christian Science Monitor: "History, it seems, will remember 2010 in the United States as the year of health-care reform, the Gulf oil spill, and the tea party movement. But the most widely covered stories are clearly not the only events that could shape the future of the nation. Here we note five overlooked stories of 2010 - developments that might have received some press coverage but perhaps not as much as they should have, given the impact they could have on various aspects of American life in the years ahead." Photo: Christian Science Monitor

The Year in Trumped-Up Pseudo-Scandals
Alex Pareene writes for Salon.com: "Every day, right-wing blogs and Fox News are abuzz with hysterical reports of partly or wholly invented scandals that, in their fevered imaginations, threaten to once-and-for-all destroy the Obama administration. While most of the bloggers are true believers, convinced that they're one smoking gun away from opening everyone's eyes to the criminality of the administration, on Fox they just run with whatever sounds good until they get bored with it or something more entertaining comes along. Once a pseudo-scandal ceases to be useful, it doesn't really go away forever -- Free Republic commenters will reference it until the end of time -- but most people just sort of forget about it shortly after Megyn Kelly stops mentioning it." Photo: Salon.com

Free Trade Won't Cure Unemployment
Paul Krugman writes for Krugman and Co. via Truthout: "Now that there seems to be no hope of using reasonable fiscal policy to fix the United States's economy, I've been hearing a different idea lately: that trade can be a driver of economic recovery. Namely, the suggestion that the trade proposal South Korea and the United States recently agreed on can serve as a form of macroeconomic policy. Um, no. The problem in the United States is insufficient spending on American-produced goods and services - that is, a lack of demand."

Corporate America's Plan to Loot Our Pensions Is the Latest Battle in Decades-Long Assault on the Middle Class
Arun Gupta reports for AlterNet: "The severe economic crisis, now in its fourth year, is being used to batter the remnants of the social welfare state. Having decimated aid to the poor over the last 30 years, especially in the United States, the economic and political elite are now intent on strangling middle-class benefits, namely state-provided pensions, health care and education."  Image: AlterNet

SEC Describes Possible Criminal Activity in Unprosecuted Hedge Fund Case
Adam Zagorin and Michael Smallberg report for the Project on Government Oversight: "The Obama administration has stated it will aggressively go after Wall Street criminals, but is the government letting two defendants off easy? But what [the Obama administration has not] highlighted is a major case involving Pequot Capital Management, once the world’s largest hedge fund, and alleged insider trading in shares of Microsoft."

Where Things Stand: Foreclosure Paperwork Scandal
Marian Wang reports for ProPublica: "Some struggling homeowners are currently getting a temporary reprieve from foreclosure sales and evictions during the holiday season, but that doesn't mean all foreclosure cases have stopped moving through the courts -- and it doesn't mean we're done covering the developments in the foreclosure scandal either. Here's where things stand..."

Book Review: The Great American Stickup, by Robert Scheer
John Reimann comments for the Daily Censored: "After the mid-term elections, President Obama made a further turn to the right in part in an attempt to placate the right wing populists. Many supporters, including critical supporters, of Obama were somewhat shocked at. They shouldn’t have been, and if they’d read Robert Scheer’s “The Great American Stickup” maybe they would have been better prepared. Scheer’s book is a fairly detailed history of how the “financial services” industry – finance capital – integrated itself with the federal government. Reagan and then Bush Sr. had popularized the idea of deregulation, but it wasn’t until the 90s, first under President Clinton, that finance capital really came into its own in terms of political control. The main blow in this realm was the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act. This Depression-era law established certain limits on what banks could do. The main limitation was the separation of banks into commercial and investment banks. Only the former held accounts from customers that were insured by the federal government. In return, they were forbidden from certain of the more risky investment practices that investment banks could engage in."

Social Security's Future at Risk With New Tax Deal
Jonathan Battaglia and Robert Weiner comment for The Palm Beach Post: "Under the radar screen, the new tax deal is threatening the livelihood of America's present and future seniors - to line the pockets of millionaires. If made permanent, a new Social Security 'payroll tax holiday,' reducing the 'match' employers pay from 6 percent to 4 percent of salary, will drop the solvency of the program 14 years, from 2037 to 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At the same time, Congress agreed to increase high-end loopholes in the estate tax, exempting 39,000 estates worth as much as $5 million."

Beyond WikiLeaks: The Privatization of War
Jose L. Gomez de Prado reports for UN Working Group on Mercenaries via Truthout: "Human rights violations perpetrated by private military and security companies are indications of the threat posed to the foundations of democracy when inherently public functions - such as the monopoly on the legitimate use of force - become privatized."

$385 Million TSA Program Fails to Detect Terrorists
Matthew Harwood provides the followign analysis for Truthout: "Even though the TSA failed to carry out scientific testing of Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT), the TSA has allotted nearly $383 million to SPOT since 2007, rolling it out at 161 of 457 TSA-regulated airports. Despite this considerable investment, the agency didn't even perform a cost-benefit analysis on the pilot tests that began in 2003, according to the GAO.... Maybe the most damning evidence that SPOT doesn't work is that it has never identified a terrorist at an airport where the program has been implemented." Image: Troy Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: phunkstarr, Travelin' Librarian, Joshua Davis

Nearly One In Nine Federal Judgeships Are Now Vacant
Ian Millhiser reports for Think Progress: "The Senate adjourned earlier this week, even though it confirmed only half of the 38 judicial nominees awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. And the overwhelming majority of the blocked nominees cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee without a single negative vote."

EPA Presents Plan on Greenhouse Gases. Can Next Congress Stop It?
Mark Clayton reports for the Christian Science Monitor: "Setting the stage for a New Year battle royale between Congress and the White House over greenhouse gas emissions, the US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday laid out a timetable for the nation's largest carbon emitters – power plants and refineries – to begin curbing those pollutants."

Help Stop Destruction of the Free Internet Now
Elliot D. Cohen writes for Truthdig.com: "The recent Federal Communications Commission decision to “protect” net neutrality was long awaited by activists, but it turned out to be smoke and mirrors, catering largely to service providers such as Comcast and AT&T. What is needed now is a collective movement by all Internet users throughout the world, not just the relative few who have been fighting on our behalf, to stop the demise of Internet freedom before it’s too late." Photo: AP / Matt Rourke

The Art Of “Kicking The Can”—Uncertainty Rules When It Comes To Net Neutrality
Tim Wu writes for TechCrunch: "The new Net Neutrality rules put off most of the hard questions—but who does that help and hurt? When government faces a tough decision, it has three options: “Aye,” “Nay,” or “Kay”—“Kick the Can.” Postponement is attractive, and the Obama administration’s 2010 Net Neutrality rule has transformed can-kicking, the traditional domain of small children, into an art form. In its rule the FCC has successfully put off almost all of the hard Net Neutrality questions that have been buzzing around since 2000 or so. It is a remarkable feat to write a rule that actually creates more uncertainty than no rule, but by golly, the agency has done it."

Is This the Beginning of the End for the Open Internet?
John Naughton comments for The Guardian: "Readers with long memories will recall the celebrated Schleswig-Holstein question. This referred to a bundle of thorny diplomatic and other issues arising from the relations of two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein, to the Danish crown and to the German Confederation. It was the bane of diplomats' lives in the late 19th century, but we remember it nowadays mainly because of Lord Palmerston's famous wisecrack about it. 'The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated,' he said, 'that only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.'"

New Report Exposes Media Love Affair with Right-Wingers and the Fox News Worldview: 'Reporters Can't Get Enough'
Joshua Holland reports for AltertNet: "Forget about fake moon landings and Obama's birth certificate. The most enduring unfounded conspiracy theory in America is that our institutions of knowledge – the media, the academy and even science -- are biased in favor of liberals.  The national media is based in large urban centers, so it should come as no surprise that conservatives would rarely see their views on strictly social issues well represented. But on matters of substance, we are talking about a corporate-owned media that pushes relentlessly for "free trade" deals, foreign wars and fiscal "austerity."

19 December 2010

Riley County Celebrates the Sesquicentennial

Community Bridge opens this week with Cheryl Collins, executive director of the Riley County Historical Museum in a discussion of the Kansas Sesquicentennial. Kansas joined the union in 1861 after four attempts at writing constitutions and numerous deaths as "Bleeding Kansas" was daily covered on the front page in east coast newspapers. Collins will discuss how the sesquicentennial will be celebrated in Riley County. In the second half of the hour we hear an interview with journalist and blogger Glenn Greenwald from Progressive Radio.

MP3 File

Navigating the WikiLeaks Document Dump

Corporate media is doing a bad job of informing the public debate about the third WikiLeaks document dump. Right-wing pundits and members of Congress show their contempt for our democracy by calling for the death of Julian Assange - more the reaction of a dictatorship than of people called to stand strong for the values of democracy.

We hear views and perspectives not getting much air-time on corporate media - first we hear from GRITtv featuring retired US Army Colonel and former State Depatment official, Ann Wright; then we hear a clip from Law and Disorder Radio featuring Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Michael Steven Smith; and finally a clip looking at the how the media has handled the document dump from NPR's On the Media, hosts Brook Gladstone and Bob Garfield interview the executive editor of the New York Times, Bill Keller.

Where do the documents come from? Wikileaks had been using Tableau's hosted charting software to display visualization of the State Department cables. The company now says that it removed the charts in response to Senator Joe Lieberman's public request. Here's a copy of the chart for our readers to review.

MP3 File

13 December 2010

Dec. 9 - Human Trafficking in Kansas

Community Bridge celebrates Human Rights Day (Dec. 10th) with a look at human trafficking in Kansas with Kansas Assistant Attorney General Christine Ladner, Vicky Luttrell of the Kansas Human Trafficking Advisory Board, and K-State Prof. Nadia Shapkina.

Human trafficking generates approximately $32 billion international each year making it one of the top 3 international crimes. The U.S. State Department reports that nearly 1 million people are trafficked across international borders each year. Roughly 80 percent of those trafficked are females and 50 percent are children. Trafficked people are modern slaves forced to work in sweatshops, prostitution rings, as farm labors, in private homes as domestic workers and other enterprises.

MP3 File

Clippings for December 13, 2010

Recommended Audio: About Human Trafficking
This Public Service Announcement was discussed during our December 9th show on human trafficking.

Low Taxes Are the Problem, Not the Solution
Moshe Adler comments for Truthdig.com: "“Every economist that I’ve talked to … acknowledges that this [tax] agreement would boost economic growth in the coming years and has the potential to create millions of jobs,” President Barack Obama said this week. But if low taxes are the solution, this must mean that high taxes are the problem. Yet the Bush tax cuts are already in effect; taxes are therefore low already, and the unemployment rate is nevertheless close to the same level that it was at a year ago and has risen in the last month. Nor did the Bush tax cuts boost the economy after they were passed in 2003, their name—“The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Act”—notwithstanding. In fact, the evidence shows that tax policies alone have no effect on the state of the economy. What is the problem, then? "

The Effort to Claim That Economists Support Obama's Capitulation on Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
William Black writes on MichaelMoore.com: " You know the administration is desperate when it creates a web page citing economists who support its capitulation on taxes. The web page cites the support of five economists. Peter Cardillo, the Bank of America, Greg Mankiw, and Wells Fargo (are the second through fifth economists on Obama's list). Who are these supporters and why is the administration proud of their support? Cardillo is an economist for an investment firm, Avalon Partners. Avalon's web site states that it specializes in 'wealth management' for 'affluent investors...to meet the unique needs of high net worth individuals....' Yes, the wealthiest one-hundredth of one percent of Americans -- the truly, uniquely needy.'"

Recommended Audio: John Stewart - John Oliver Describes Trickle-down Economics

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Free Trade Doesn’t Work: Interview With Economist Ian Fletcher
Michael Hughes writes for The Huffington Post: "Free trade doesn't work, the global economy is a myth and the U.S. has been duped during trade negotiations for the past 40 years according to Ian Fletcher.... Mr. Fletcher certainly is not opposed to capitalism ... but what he is opposed to are bad economic policies that have led to an ever-burgeoning U.S. trade deficit well on its way to hitting $500 billion this year."

The Specter Haunting Obama
E. J. Dionne, Jr., writes for Truthdig.com: "American decline is the specter haunting our politics. This could be President Obama’s undoing—or it could provide him with the opportunity to revive his presidency. Fear of decline is an old American story. Declinism ran rampant in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Stagflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, anxiety over Japan’s then-commanding economy and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan all seemed to be symbols of a United States no longer in control of its destiny. These apprehensions dissipated in the 1980s and, whatever the shortcomings of his policies, Ronald Reagan presided over a restoration of American morale. His 1984 “Morning in America” advertisement was politically brilliant but it was also a paean to a renewed American confidence."

The New American Oligarchy: Creating a Country of the Rich, by the Rich, and for the Rich
By Andy Kroll writes for TomDispatch.com: "There is a war underway. I'm not talking about Washington’s bloody misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a war within our own borders. It’s a war fought on the airwaves, on television and radio and over the Internet, a war of words and images, of half-truth, innuendo, and raging lies. I'm talking about a political war, pitting liberals against conservatives, Democrats against Republicans. I'm talking about a spending war, fueled by stealthy front groups and deep-pocketed anonymous donors. It’s a war that's poised to topple what's left of American democracy."

In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran, Chomsky says the latest polls show "Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent... This may not be reported in the newspapers, ... but it’s certainly familiar to the Israeli and the U.S. governments and to the ambassadors... What that reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership."

Something is Rotten: The Strange Case of Interpol's Red Alert on Assange, and the US Attack on WikiLeaks
Dave Lindorff comments for This Can't Be Happening: "Far be it from me to minimize the issue of rape, but to borrow from the Bard, in the case of the 'rape' case being alleged against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (technically, Swedish prosecutors say it's not rape, it's 'sex by surprise'), currently being held in a British jail without bail pending an extradition request from Stockholm: 'Something is rotten in Sweden.'"

After 12 days of WikiLeaks Cables, the World Looks on US with New Eyes
Ian Black, Angelique Chrisafis, Ian Traynor, Jon Boone, Declan Walsh, Tom Parfitt, Ewen MacAskill, Tom Phillips, Xan Rice, Jason Burke and John Hooper report for the Guardina UK: "President Lula says he is to register his protest at Assange's arrest on his blog. 'This chap was only publishing something he read,' he said. 'And if he read it, it is because somebody wrote it. The guilty one is not the publisher, it is the person who wrote [these things]. Blame the person who wrote this nonsense because there would be no scandal if they hadn't.' Many leaks relate to the security situation in Rio de Janeiro. A 2009 cable warned that pre-Olympic attempts to expel drug traffickers from some of the city's most violent favelas could resemble 'the battles in Fallujah more than a conventional urban police operation'."

Jeremy Scahill Testifies Before Congress on America's Secret Wars
Jeremy Scahill writes in The Nation: "My name is Jeremy Scahill. I am the National Security correspondent for The Nation magazine. I recently returned from a two-week unembedded reporting trip to Afghanistan. I would like to thank the Chairman and the Committee for inviting me to participate in this important hearing. As we sit here today in Washington, across the globe the United States is engaged in multiple wars. Some, like those in Afghanistan and Iraq, are well known to the US public and to the Congress."

Afghans Overwhelmingly Want US Troops Out - and Soon
Jean MacKenzie reports for GlobalPost: "More than half of all Afghans - 55 percent - want U.S. forces out of their country, and the sooner the better. Add it all up, and it is pretty bad news for the U.S. military as it examines its options ahead of next week’s Afghanistan strategy review.... The poll ... shows a nation yearning for an end to hostilities." Photo: Two young Afghan boys watch a group of armored vehicles. MCpl Kevin Paul/lafrancevi

Justice Department Prepares for Ominous Expansion of "Anti-Terrorism" Law Targeting Activists
Michael Deutsch provides the followign analysis for Truthout.org: "In late September, the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and antiwar offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids, the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several antiwar and community organizations. In carrying out these repressive actions, the Justice Department was taking its lead from the Supreme Court's 6-3 opinion last June in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project, which decided that nonviolent First Amendment speech and advocacy "coordinated with" or "under the direction of" a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as "terrorist" was a crime."

Cancun Summit Ends Without Solving Emissions Puzzle
Diani Cariboni reports for Inter Press Service (via Truthout): "This dynamic, in which urgent domestic problems take the fore - like the economic crisis afflicting nearly the entire industrialized world - means that attempts to adopt a binding global pact to reduce climate-changing gas emissions repeatedly crumble.... And the Cancun summit, officially known as the 16th Conference of Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was no exception." Photo: EvolveLove - Protesters outside the Cancun Climate Summit, December 5th, 2010. 

Feds Delay Report on Sale of Ny's Plum Island
The Assoicated Press reports (via the Wall Street Journal): "An environmental impact study required before the federal government can sell a tiny island housing the nation's only animal disease laboratory will not be ready until next spring, an official said Tuesday, marking the second time the report has been delayed. The General Services Administration is required to complete the report on Plum Island as part of its plan to close the animal disease lab built there in the 1950s. Officials want to sell the island located 100 miles east of New York City near the eastern tip of Long Island and move operations to a new facility in Manhattan, Kan., by 2018."

Untellable Truths
George Lakoff writes from the Huffington Post: "The differences between Democratic progressives and the president over the tax deal the president has made with Republicans is being argued from a materialist perspective. That perspective is real. It matters who gets how much money and how our money is spent. But what is being ignored is that the answer to material policy questions depends on how Americans understand the issues, that is, on how the issues are realized in the brains of our citizens. Such understanding is what determines political support or lack of it in all its forms, from voting to donations to political pressure to what is said in the media."

For-Profit Schools Bank $521 Million Off Veterans' GI Bill Benefits
Julianne Hing reports for ColorLines: "The growing question around for-profit schools' shameless profiteering may soon be: who aren't they willing to exploit?... A new report released today by Sen. Tom Harkin's Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee details exactly how for-profit schools have taken advantage of veterans' benefits and loopholes in their federal regulations to scoop up the many vets coming home from wars abroad to boost enrollment." Photo: istockphoto/Sean Locke

The Right-Wing Backlash Against Advancing Minority Rights
Simon Malory provides the following analysis for Media Matters for America: "The past week has been a significant one for justice, fairness, and tolerance in American society. Issues of minority rights dominated the news and the legislative agenda as President Obama signed into the law the Pigford II and Cobell settlements, and Congress took up Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal and the DREAM Act."

Gay and Lesbian Teens Are Punished more at School, by Police, Study Says
Donna St. George reports in the Washington Post: "Gay and lesbian teens in the United States are about 40 percent more likely than their straight peers to be punished by schools, police and the courts, according to a study published Monday, which finds that girls are especially at risk for unequal treatment. The research, described as the first national look at sexual orientation and teen punishment, comes as a spate of high-profile bullying and suicide cases across the country have focused attention on the sometimes hidden cruelties of teen life."

Recommended Audio: Going All Out
A video produced by All Out in collaboration with our friends on 5 continents—from Buenos Aires to Beirut, Kathmandu to Capetown to Tokyo and beyond. All Out is bringing together people of every identity - lesbian, gay, straight, transgender and all that's between and beyond - to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are. Join the Movement. Go All Out. www.allout.org.

10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked
Evelyn Schlatter and Robert Steinback write in the Intelligence Reporter: "Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize homosexuals — or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gays and lesbians to “recruit” in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade. But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that homosexuality is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gays molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at homosexuals, who are more targeted for such attacks than any other minority in America. What follows are 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda.

Glenn Beck: Irresponsible And Indifferent To The Violent Consequences of His Dangerous Rhetoric
People for the American Way report: "Radio and TV personality Glenn Beck plays a unique and extraordinary role in our political discourse.  He’s an entertainer who once referred to himself as a “rodeo clown.”  He’s a self-appointed “educator” whose books and “university” are miseducating millions of Americans with false claims about American history and a distorted view of our Constitution.  And he’s an increasingly messianic figure who claims that he has been divinely anointed to lead the nation back to God. "

Recommended Audio: Phil Donahue - Corporate Media Stifles Dissent
Former talk show host Phil Donahue says corporate media stifled dissent ahead of the Iraq War and "will happen again."

Leaked Fox News Emails Show Deliberate Slant On Health Care Coverage
David Taintor reports for Talking Points Memo: "It's no secret that Fox News' political coverage isn't always quite "fair and balanced." But emails obtained by Media Matters show that Fox News' Washington managing editor Bill Sammon urged his staff to actually echo Republican talking points on the health care debate. According to the emails, Sammon directed his staff to use specific wording when describing the health care debate, preferring the term 'government option; over 'public option.'"

The FCC's Guide to Losing Net Neutrality Without Really Trying
Craig Aaron reports for the Huffington Post: "Ever have to negotiate a contract or try to sell a used car? Would you start the give-and-take by naming the lowest price you're willing to accept and then try to get a better deal? Of course not. Yet somehow, that's the exact "strategy" the Obama administration seems intent on pursuing -- and not just on tax cuts for the richest Americans."

Will Genachowski Get Needed Neutrality Votes?
Karl Bode reports for Broadband DLSreports.com: "With the FCC set to vote on Commissioner Genachowski's potentially painfully underwhelming new neutrality rules, lobbyists are out in force in DC -- working overtime to get individual commissioners aligned with their thinking. With the agency's Republicans set to likely vote against the rules, all lobbying effort has focused on Mignon Clyburn and Michael Copps. Clyburn has been a bit more savvy than DC insiders predicted, and Copps is your man if you ever need a terse, pro-consumer press release quickly followed by a vote in the opposite direction. Copps is still pushing for partial reclassification of ISPs as common carriers, something that has fallen off of Genachowski's radar..."

Copyright Troll Righthaven Sues for Control of Drudge Report Domain
Reiq Gardner reports for Are Technica: "News aggregation impresario Matt Drudge is being sued for copyright infringement for reproducing a copyrighted photo along with a link to a story about airport security on the Las Vegas Review-Journal website. The plaintiff in the case is Righthaven, a company that's earned a reputation this year as a world-class copyright troll. Righthaven has sued nearly 200 parties this year alone. Righthaven has typically gone after those who post news excerpts of its partners, such as the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but pledged to be more discretionary after being handed a defeat in court by a judge who recently ruled that one of its targets had "fair use" to its work."

NPR and PBS -- This Time It's the Fight of Their Lives
Brent Lang reports for The Wrap: "Massive budget shortfalls, vicious in-fighting and a power shift in Washington. Make no mistake, public media is facing the biggest ever threat to its existence. This time, the haters are deadly serious. And they have timing on their side. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding and the future of such popular programs as "Nova," "This American Life" and "Sesame Street." And while public media has long been a favorite target for Republican lawmakers, the mounting federal deficit -- coupled with a series of PR blunders -- mean that threats to slash government aid to non-profit stations are no longer just idle boasting."

10 December 2010

Dec. 9: Humanity's Footprint

In our second hour, Walter Dodds, distinguished professor of biology at K-State, joins Christopher in studio to discuss his book, Humanity’s Footprint: Momentum, Impact, and Our Global Environment.

Keeping with the theme of human rights, to close out the hour, Jonathan Mertz, chair of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project discusses Tuesday night's historic vote in favor of ending discrimination in Manhattan based on sexual orientation and gender identity by the passage of the new anti-discrimination ordinance.

MP3 File

04 December 2010

The Crisis in Mental Health Care in Kansas

This week's Community Bridge opens with a discussion of the crisis in mental health care that has been caused by the budget cuts to essential social services in the State of Kansas. As a result, mental health clients with limited resources are finding it impossible to obtain the medications they need to live normal lives. Without medications, mental health clients face a downward spiral including the loss of independent living, their social safety net and since the state mental hospitals are cannot accept new patiences, our communities have no choice put to place mental health clients in jail.

Robbin Waldner Cole, Executive Director of Pawnee Mental Health Services, Rich Cagan, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness Kansas, and Mike Hammond, Executive Director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, join us to discuss how Kansas is treating its citizens with mental health concerns.

MP3 File

Merchants of Doubt

Naomi Oreskes is one of the world's leading historians of science. Her research focuses on consensus and dissent in science. Her 2004 essay The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change was cited in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and led to op-ed pieces in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Merchants of Doubt, Oreskes discusses how science can be misconstrued to create doubt. Her research highlights the disconnect between the state of scientific debate and the way it is presented in the mass media and perceived by the public. Specifically, Oreskes looks at public beliefs -- or disbelief -- about climate change.

Dr. Oreskes’ visit to Kansas is a jointly sponsored effort made possible by the interinstitutional collaboration of Kansas State University, University of Kansas, and Fort Hays State University.

MP3 File

02 December 2010

Clippings for 2 December 2010

National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week
Robert Reich writes on his Blog: "Welcome to National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week. Today (Monday), Congress takes up a measure delaying by one month a scheduled 23% cut in federal reimbursements to doctors. The cut will automatically go into effect unless Congress acts. But of course Congress will act. Doctors threaten to drop Medicare patients if their rates are cut. Congress has delayed scheduled Medicare cuts for years."

Deficit Commission Moves the Goalpost, Disses Leading Progressive Member
Isaiah J. Poole writes for Campaign for America's Future: "Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., says that as of this morning she had not been shown the latest proposal of the White House deficit commission, even as she says it is being 'shopped around' by its co-chairs in an effort to get the support of a simple majority of its 18 members - not the support of 14 members as was its original goal. Schakowsky confirmed this shift in an interview with OurFuture.org after giving a private briefing to members of the Tuesday Group, a meeting of progressive organization leaders convened by the Campaign for America's Future."

Freezing Hope
Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, and Tanya Somanader write the Progress Report for Think Progress:  "On Monday, President Obama announced that he will propose freezing the salaries of non-military federal workers "for  two years to help cut federal spending." In making his announcement, Obama pointed to the sacrifices made by Americans who serve in the military and said federal workers have to be able to make similar sacrifices by accepting a pay freeze. "These are also times where all of us are called on to make some sacrifices," he said. "And I'm asking civil servants to do what they always do and play their part." While streamlining the operations of the federal government and cutting back on wasteful spending is a key progressive goal, the pay freeze is the wrong way to accomplish it. A freeze on federal workers' pay would have little impact on the budget deficit, discourage talented workers from staying in the federal workforce, harm the economy, fail to win over desired political support from conservatives, and bolster the conservative philosophy that unfairly blames the modest pay of public sector workers for a deficit caused by  disastrous warstax cuts for the richexploding health care costs, and a recession spurred by  Wall Street's misdeeds. As an alternative to the freeze, public officials should champion bold progressive ways to cut the deficit that would both lower U.S. debt and protect spending on programs that grow the economy and invest in America. "

Stop Them From Eating My Town
In Chapter 3 of Thom Hartmann's "Rebooting the American Dream" (serialized exclusively on Truthout), the author looks at how chain stores run by "corporate Godzillas" are crowding out local businesses and endangering communities. He offers proven recommendations - from elsewhere in the world and from this country's past - to encourage entrepreneurship, keep small businesses healthy and stop giant corporations from "eating your town next"!

Eleven Years After WTO: The Impact of Uprisings
David Solnit comments for Truthout: "Eleven years ago yesterday, on November 30, 1999, a public uprising shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) and occupied downtown Seattle. That same week in 1999, three thousand miles away in Immokalee, Florida, farm workers carried out a five-day general strike against abusive growers paying starvation wages.... Now seems like an important time to remind ourselves that when we organize, have some strategy and rebel we can build power and win change. The Seattle uprising was just a warm-up for what is needed and to come as we face the crisis of wars, corporate capitalism and climate. We continue to win victories and build movements; from recent, historic farm worker victory in Florida, to the successful US Social Forum in Detroit in the spring to the climate justice mobilization today in Cancun, Mexico."

Controversial Drug Given to All Guantanamo Detainees Akin to "Pharmacologic Waterboarding"
A two-month investigation lead by Truthout's Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye reveals for the first time that the Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding. Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Okko Pyykkö, electron

Why WikiLeaks Is Good for Democracy
Bill Quigley comments for Truthout: "Since 9/11, the US government, through Presidents Bush and Obama, has increasingly told the US public that 'state secrets' will not be shared with citizens. Candidate Obama pledged to reduce the use of state secrets, but President Obama continued the Bush tradition. The courts, Congress and international allies have gone meekly along with the escalating secrecy demands of the US Executive. By labeling tens of millions of documents secret, the US government has created a huge vacuum of information. But information is the lifeblood of democracy."

WikiLeaks vs. The Empire
Tom Hayden writes for The Nation: "Informed sources say that the current deluge of Wikileaks documents will continue for another week and grow in significance. Leading US human rights lawyers Leonard Weinglass and Michael Ratner have joined the defense team for Julian Assange and Wikileaks. US officials are employing cyber-warfare and prosecutorial steps to deny any safe haven for the Wikileaks operation with a fervor comparable to their drone attacks on Al Qaeda havens in Pakistan and Yemen. WikiLeaks' Julian Assange was placed on Interpol's "most wanted" list as US authorities intensified efforts to suppress the whistleblower organization's deluge of classified US diplomatic cables. Assange's location was not immediately known. His choices are to turn himself in or be tracked down by local police. If outside of Sweden, he could face extradition on charges to stand trial there. Or the US could seek his extradiction on charges of espionage or theft of classified documents."

The National Security State Cops a Feel
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch: "It's finally coming into focus, and it's not even a difficult equation to grasp. It goes like this: take a country in the grips of an expanding national security state and sooner or later your 'safety' will mean your humiliation, your degradation. And by the way, it will mean the degradation of your country, too.... Directly or indirectly, you pay for the screeners and scanners and a labyrinthine intelligence bureaucracy that officially wields an $80 billion budget, and all the lobbyists and shysters and pitchmen who accompany our burgeoning homeland-security complex. And by the way, no one's the slightest bit nice about it either, which isn't surprising since it's a national security state we're talking about, which means its mentality is punitive."

Clock Ticks on Immigration Reform Bill
William Fisher reports for Inter Press Service: "Democratic lawmakers will attempt to summon up their waning power by using the so-called 'lame duck' session of Congress to pass what will likely be the closest they will get to comprehensive immigration reform. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will shepherd remaining members of their dwindling flock to pass the DREAM Act, which provides a six- year conditional path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents before they were 16 years of age."

The health industry spinmaster-turned-whistle-blower says the consumer is funding the industry’s smear campaigns: “A big portion of what we spend or pay in premiums is skimmed off to operate and conduct these fear-mongering and anger-mongering campaigns."
Listen Now.

Matt Taibbi on Deluded Tea Partiers, Ayn Rand and How the U.S. Is Like the Soviet Union
Matt Taibbi and Maria Armoudian write for AlterNet: "The United States has become mired in a complex web of economic instruments that are directly tied to the so-called “bubble” economy. Some economists held them as potential means to assist Americans buy homes, but others think these instruments have merely enabled fraudulent behavior that wrecked the U.S. economy. Making matters worse is the dearth of understanding among many in the public and the exploitation of that misunderstanding by particular politicians, according to author and journalist Matt Taibbi. His latest book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and the Long Con That is Breaking America, identifies some of the personalities and looming problems within the troubled financial and political system." Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Lomo Cam

"We Are at War": How Militias, Racists and Anti-Semites Found a Home in the Tea Party
David Neiwert writes for AlterNet: "Maybe it's the gun-making kits that are being raffled off as door prizes. Or maybe it's the fact that nearly everyone inside this hall at the Ravalli County Fairground is packing heat. But most of all, it's the copy of Mein Kampf sitting there on the book table, with its black-and-white swastika, sandwiched between a survivalist how-to book on food storage and a copy of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals."

Pentagon Confirms: The Only Argument That Remains for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Bigotry
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "The last lame excuse for retaining the cruel and dysfunctional "don't ask, don't tell" law has been debunked.   For years, White House officials and members of Congress have acknowledged fundamental flaws in the rule that allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military only if they remain closeted. Yet, even as the uneven and irresponsible application of the policy has driven tens of thousands of able soldiers out of their units, and even as it has prevented tens of thousands of potential recruits from putting their skills to work in the service of their country, the politicians have said they could not do away with "don’t ask, don’t tell" until they knew whether doing so would harm "unit cohesion" within the branches of the military. Now, however, the Pentagon officials charged with studying the impact of the law have concluded that repealing it will not harm military missions."

6 of Glenn Beck's Most Paranoid, Dangerous Attacks on Progressives
Jan Frel reports for AlterNet: "Glenn Beck's sermons of hatred against progressive leaders and organizations have had dangerous, almost deadly consequences. As journalist John Hamilton wrote in a Media Matters article, "On July 18 this year, Byron Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle. ... In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams 'stated that his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.'"