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

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.'"

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