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."

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