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

09 October 2011

Podcast Special: The Hidden Hands in Redistricting

Special podcast: In the first story of a new series, Propublica reporter Olga Pierce and news application developer Jeff Larson examine how corporations, unions and other special interests are manipulating the redistricting process in their favor by funneling money through purportedly independent redistricting groups.
As these murky groups play a more dominant role, Pierce and Larson explain on the podcast this week that voters are the ones ultimately losing.
“What we're trying to point out is that drawing the maps to benefit a particular person is kind of problematic. If you're an outside group creating a safe district for a particular person, then essentially what you're doing is you're taking away people's votes,” Larson says.
Pierce adds, “What more fundamental tenant of democracy is there than ‘one person, one vote?’ If that's gone, then what else is there?”

18 September 2011

Meeting Community Healthcare Needs

On August 30, 2011, the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice sponsored a community forum featuring representatives from local hospital, mental health and dental services who responded to questions from the audience regarding the needs for low cost health care in the Manhattan area and service accessibility.

08 August 2011

Podcast Special: Kansas Equality Rally Speeches

On August 6th, Kansas Chapter of the National Organization of Women and the Kansas Equality Coalition held a rally for equality at the state capitol building in Topeka. The rally was in response to attacks on the free speech rights of Kansans by the Brownback administration. You will hear Tom Witt, Kari Ann Rinkner, Pedro Irigonegaray, and Mark Manning as well as the voices of four participants.

Additional Links:

Kansas Equality Coalition

Kansas NOW

As Brownback prays, opponents rally, by Phil anderson, Topeka Capitol Journal, August 6, 2011.

Statehouse Live: People rally at Capitol to protest Brownback policies, by Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, August 6, 2011.

Gay rights group protests Gov's trip, by Fredrick J. Johnson, Topeka Capitol Journal, June 24, 2011.

Kan. gay rights group protests at Statehouse, by John Hanna, Associate Press (via Dessert News), June 24, 2011.

02 August 2011

Kansas Equality Rally

Community Bridge opens this week with Tom Witt, President of the Kansas Equality Coalition, for a discussion of the upcoming equality march and rally at the state Capitol on August 6th. The rally is being called in response to Sam Brownback's hijacking our state government for his own agenda and his efforts to hijack as well the First Amendment rights of all Kansans who disagree with him by treating opposition groups differently than those who support his imperial governorship. Then we will hear a short clip from the Best of the Left podcast and close out the hour with Lynne Davy from the Riley County Humane Society.

Additional Resources/Links:

Sam Brownback downplays his involvement in creepy prayer rally, by David Martin, The Pitch, August 2, 2011.

Critics blast Brownback for attending prayer day hosted by ‘inhumane’ anti-gay groups, by Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, August 2, 2011.

Brownback Stops Gay Rights Group From Flying Rainbow Flag, by Christina, Plucky Magazine, July 26, 2011.

Dissent Is Patriotic: 1st Amendment, Freedom and Equality!, by Kari Ann Rinkner, Kansas Free Press, July 15, 2011.

Gay rights group protests Gov's trip, by Fredrick Johnson, Topeka Capitol Journal, June 24, 2011.

Kansas NOW sends complaint to Brownback, by Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capitol Journal, June 13, 2011.

Kansas NOW delivers $4,000 worth of miniature tires to Rep. Pete DeGraaf for his rape comments, by Peter Rug, The Pitch, June 3, 2011.

22 July 2011

The Christian Patriarchy Movement

Community bridge opens this week with Kathy Cook, Executive Director of Kansas Families for Education, discussing the upcoming Save Our Schools Rally that will take place at the Capitol building in Topeka on July 30th beginning at 11:00 am. The rally is part of a national effort to put the public back in public education! A national rally will take place in Washington DC at the same time.

Then Community Bridge welcomes Kathryn Joyce, author of "Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement," published by Beacon Press in 2009, for a discussion of the movement, how it saddles women with a life of submission and near-constant pregnancies, and a look at evangelical Christians new campaign to adopt children from around the world in order to spread its ideology.

Addition Links/Resources:

The website for the Save or Schools Rally.

Save Our School rally on Facebook.

Read Kathryn Joyce' s article on the patriarchy movement on Alternet

Read Kathryn Joyce on Quiverfull for Babble.com

Read an article based on the book in Mother Jones

Read Kathryn Joyce' s article on the Quiverfull movement on Newsweek.com

Read Kathryn Joyce' s Salon.com feature on a former Quiverfull adherent and how she left the movement

Read Kathryn Joyce an essay by Kathryn Joyce on Killing the Buddha.

Read an interview with Kathryn Joyce on BuzzFlash

July 21: Global Warming - What every person needs to know

In the second hour, Charles Rice, distinguished K-State Professor of Soil Microbiology and President, Soil Science Society of America, joins us for a discussion of what science knows about global climate change - and it isn’t what the corporate media is saying! Contrary to what the US media and the New York Times in particular has been saying, there is not disagreement in the scientific community on this topic. Global warming is happening and it could drastically alter life as we know it. Rice also gives a report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting preparing for the 5th Assessment Report which took place this past week in South Korea.

Additional Links/Resources:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Help Fight Climate Change - The Nature Conservancy

The Basics of Global Warming - Environmental Defense Fund

Climate Change - the Environmental Protection Agency

What is Global Warming - The National Geographic Society

Global Warming - National Resources Defense Council

The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription, by Ross Gelbspan

The Heat is On website.

16 July 2011

What's Causing the Flooding on Wildcat Creek?

Community Bridge opens this week with representatives from the Wildcat Creek Watershed Council to discuss the recent flooring in west Manhattan, the impact development is having on the watershed and what alternatives exist. Joining for the discussion in studio will be Rod Harms, Commissioner Rich Jankovich and Eric Bernard.

Additional Links/Resources:

Wildcat Creek Watershed Council webpage.

Rising Waters: Flooding nearly reaches 500-year storm levels, Rachel Spicer, K-State Collegian, June 8, 2011.

Quick Flooding Prompts Evacuations in Manhattan, John Milburn, Associated Press, printed in the Lawrence Journal World, June 2, 2011.

Manhattan and Riley County plan for future flooding, Lindsey Elloit, KTKA News (Channel 49), June 16, 2001.

Photos of the June 2, 2011, flooding on Wildcat Creek from NBC Action News.

15 July 2011

Exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council

In our second hour, Christopher Renner connects with journalist Beau Hodai for a discussion of the American Legislative Exchange Council. What Is ALEC? They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want to silence the American people.

On March 15th, University of Wisconsin Professor Bill Cronon posted a study guide on his blog on the history and actions of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He asked: What is behind the “sudden and impressively well-organized” wave of right-wing legislation targeting workers, students, women, immigrants, and the environment in state legislatures? He found that all roads led to ALEC.

ALEC is a conservative think-tank run by right-wing politicians and corporate and financial interests within the banking industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the big oil and gas industries, and others. They are aligned to many right-wing and conservative interests, including the election-manipulating Koch Industries. ALEC is funded by the Koch brothers to promote an agenda that curbs individual liberties, attacks unions, the social safety net and seeks to insure that corporations pay no taxes, but benefit from all sorts of tax-payer dollars in return. Much of the legislation passed in the during the 2011 Kansas Legislative session was ALEC inspired, including cuts to public education, the "administrative reforms" Governor Brownback has imposed on the state, and Kris Kobach's Voter ID bill.

Additional Links/Resources:

ALEC Exposed, website - a project of the Center for Media and Democracy.

Publicopoly Exposed: How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government, Beau Hodai, In These Times, August 2011.

Corporate Con Game: How the private prison industry helped shape Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, Beau Hodai, In These Times, June 19, 2010.

ALEC Exposed, John Nicholas, The Nation, July 12, 2011. 

ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection, Lisa Graves, The Nation, July 12, 2011.

ALEC Bills in Wisconsin, Mary Bottari, PR Watch, July 14, 2011.

The Latest Threat to Health Care, Andres Grimes, MS Magazine Blog, July 15, 2011.

ALEC Exposed: State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition, Democracy Now!, July 15, 2011.

Billy Bragg website.

ACTION ALERT: Stop ALEC's end run around the law

From Common Cause:
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a secretive front group of hundreds of corporations that are investing millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation at the expense of the middle class.

ALEC has drafted more than 800 model bills for state legislators, including efforts to privatize everything from schools to prisons, to weaken workers' rights, and to make it more difficult for citizens to vote. They even wrote a resolution in support of the horrendous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for corporate money in our elections.

Worse, they are lobbying in state capitals across the country, all while claiming to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they are a charitable organization. That means that their corporate backers can take a tax deduction by giving money to ALEC to – guess what? – push for more tax breaks and less regulation for their companies!

Under the law, charities are allowed to lobby, up to certain limits, and they must disclose what they spend on that lobbying work. ALEC's annual filings state that they have engaged in zero lobbying activity.

Tell the IRS to launch an immediate investigation into whether ALEC is committing tax fraud. 

08 July 2011

The Flint Hills Discovery Center

During our first hour this week we take up the Flint Hills Discovery Center with its executive director, Bob Workman. The Flint Hills Discovery Center celebrates the importance of the tallgrass prairie, through a presentation of its geology, biology and cultural history. With 7,000 square feet of dynamic permanent exhibits, visitors will learn the importance of this rare eco-system and its rich biological diversity. Visitors will also learn how the first Native peoples lived here in harmony with nature for 13,000 years, and how Euro-Americans adopted grazing as the principle economy of the Flint Hills that has essentially saved it. Workman discusses the architecture of the building, its green features, and what the Center will offer the people of Manhattan and the state of Kansas.

Additional Links/Resources:

Kansas - Flint Hills: tourism resource site.

Flint Hills map and resources - Kansas Geological Survey resource site.

Flint Hills Scenic Byway is the gateway to the tallgrass prairie. It offers travelers an unchanged view of the grasslands of the Great Plains. Explore historic sites, quaint towns, and scenic vistas as you discover where the West truly begins.

Flint Hills Nature Trail is a 117 mile rail-trail in northeast Kansas. It crosses 7 counties along its east-west course.

Protect the Flint Hills is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and education about issues that affect the Flint Hills of Kansas, the last expanse of tallgrass prairie on the continent.

National Geographic Photo Gallery: The Splendor of the Grass.

Konza Prairie

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Beattie Linestone

The Future of Water in Kansas

For our second hour, Chris Cardinal, Legislative Director for the Kansas Sierra Club, joins us for a discussion of water policy for the state of Kansas as well as discussing some strategies people who are concerned about the environment can employ given the actual political reality.

Additional Links/Resources:

Kansas water policy must transition from development to management, by Doug Rich, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal, 2010.

Perspectives on Sustainable Development of Water Resources in Kansas, by Marios Sophocleous, editor, Kansas Geological Survey, 1998.

The Future of Water - Podcast from American Public Media.
Water on earth may be more scarce than you may think. Charles Fishman, author of "The Big Thirst," talks about what people should do to help secure the world's water future.

Vision: The Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth Is Our Roadmap to a Liveable Future, by Nnimmo Bassey, AlterNet, June 6, 2011.

Gas Drilling Companies Hold Data Needed by Researchers to Assess Risk to Water Quality, by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica,May 17, 2011.

Federal Budget Deal Slashes Key Community Water Funds, by Judith Lewis Mernit, High Country News (via AlterNet), May 12, 2011.

Privatization Has Failed to Deliver Safe, Affordable Water for All -- Here's a Better Idea, by Mthandeki Nhlapo and Peter Waldorff and Susan George, AlterNET, April 28, 2011.

03 July 2011

Discovering Queer American History

Community Bridge celebrates the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots this week with Michael Bronski, Senior Lecturer, Women's and Gender Studies Program at Dartmouth College for a discussion of the his newly released book A Queer History of the United States.

Related Links:

A Queer History of the United States - ordering info from Beacon Press.

How Gays Helped Make and Remake America, Johann Hari, Slate Magazine, May 23, 2011.

The Gay Bar: Can It Survive?, June Thomas, Slate Magazine, July 1, 2011.

Gay Heroes - website dedicated to educating about famous LGBT people throughout history.

People with a History - online guide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans history. 

GLBT Historical Society

What is the People's Budget?

For the second hour Stephanie Mott, Executive Director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (K-STEP), joins host Christopher Renner for a discussion of transgenderism and to show support for transgender Kansans and their families. Mott kicks off a state-wide tour at 7:30 am Friday morning at the Bluestem Bistro to raise awareness of K-STEP and transgenderism in the state.

Community Bridge closes out with Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's Peter Hart for a discussion of the People's Budget. This week Sen. Bernie Sanders challenged President Obama - and over 50,000 people co-signed his letter to the President - to stand with the poor of our nation and demand that the Republicans raise taxes on the wealthy. People's Budget was put forward by the co-chairs of the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus. Their plan is humane, responsible, and most of all sensible, reflecting the true values of the American people and the real needs of the floundering economy. Unlike Paul Ryan's almost absurdly vicious attack on the poor and working class, the People's Budget would close the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, taming health care costs (including a public option), and ending the military spending on wars and wasteful weapons systems.

Additional Links:

The People's Budget - Congressional Progressive Caucus.

CHART: As Services For Main Street Are Gutted, Richest Pay Lowest Taxes In A Generation

People’s Budget offers sound alternative to Ryan’s draconian plan, Economic Policy Institute, April 13, 2011.

The People's Budget, Jeffery Sachs, the Huffington Post, April 8, 2011.

Progressive Caucus Budget: The Only Honest Plan on the Table, Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, April 28, 2011.

The Only Responsible Budget in Town, Michael Tomasky, The Guardian UK, April21, 2011.

Wonkbook: A Congress problem, not a deficit problem, Erza Klein, The Washington Post, June 23, 2001.

The Truth About the Economy
Robert Reich connects the dots on the economy, in less than 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Who knew he could draw!?!

27 June 2011

Little Apple Jazz Festival 2011

Community Bridge opens this week with Beth Bailey and Ben Hopper, Union Program Council, along with musician CJ Manning for a preview of this year’s Little Apple Jazz Festival. At about half past the hour, Ashley Long, Lindsay and James Thompson of the Riley County Humane Society join us in studio to discuss the work of the organization and how people can support it.

2011 Little Apple Jazz Festival Line-Up
5:00 - 6:00 pm KC Youth Jazz Band
6:00 - 6:30 pm Barefoot Dixieland Band
6:30 - 7:00 pm Kelly McCarty Band
7:00 - 8:00 pm Pablo Sanhueza Latin Jazz Trio
8:00 - 9:00 pm Steven Richard Band
9:00 - 9:30 pm Swing Machine, a KSU Jazz combo
9:30 - 10:45pm CJ Manning and Company

Related Links:

Our Animal Selves, Linda Hogan, YES! Magazine, March 9, 2011.

10 Best Things We Can Do For Animals, Jane Goodall, YES! Magazine, March 31, 2011.

What’s So Special About Humans?, James Trimarcom YES! Magazine, April 13, 2011.

How Happy Was Your Meal?, Madeline Ostrander, YES! Magazine, March 27, 2011.

Collusion between KDHE and Sunflower Energy

In our second hour, we are first joined by Stephanie Cole, Kansas Sierra Club, and Scott Allegrucci, Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy, to discuss the collusion that was revealed in KDHE e-mails between the department and Sunflower Energy over the proposed Holcomb plant permit process.  Then at half past the hour, Elaine Mohr and Darrel Parks from the Manhattan Farmers Market join us to talk about what's new at the market this summer.

Related Links:

Kansas agency, utility worked closely on permit for plant, Karen Dillion, Kansas City Star, June 18, 2011.

Kansas failed its residents on Sunflower power plant, Kansas City Star editorial, June 20, 2011.

The Message to Kansans: ‘Let Them Eat Coal Dust’, Editorial, Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy.

KDHE had close ties with Sunflower Electric Co., Associate Press in the Lawrence Journal World, June 20, 2011.

“The Cleanest Coal Plant in the Country?” Not., report from the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy on whether or not Holcomb 2 is the "Cleanest Coal Plant in the Country." 
Read the GPACE White Paper here.

New Coal Plants Fail To Provide Promised Jobs, Beth Buczynski, Care2.com, April 2, 2011.

Kansas Farmers' Markets, website of the Kansas Rural Center.

17 June 2011

World Social Forum 2011

Community Bridge opens this week with Jim Hamilton and Gwethalyn Williams for a discussion of this weekend’s youth experimental theatre project at the Manhattan Arts Center. Then Mallory Knodle joins host Christopher Renner for a discussion of the World Social Forum that took place in February in Dakar, Senegal.

Additional Links/Articles:

Experimental Theatre Workshop

World Social Forum 2011 Dakar - in pictures, The Guardian UK, February 9, 2011.

World Social Forum activists buoyed by fall of Egypt and Tunisia regimes, Liz Ford, The Guardian UK, February 14, 2011.

Climate Justice Declaration at World Social Forum 2011

Axelrod claims Bush saddled Obama with a big deficit, PolitiFact.com, January 2010.

Bush Administration "the Least Fiscally Responsible in History," Budget Hawk Says, Aaron Task, Newsmakers, March 31, 2010.

Bush Era Tax Cuts Increased Budget Deficit, Joshua Sanders, The Economy in Crisis, August 188, 2010.

GOP Cuts To Food Aid For Seniors And Food Banks Equals One Day Of Bush Tax Cuts For Millionaires, Pat Garofalo, Think Progress, June 14, 2011.

Study: Bush Tax Cuts Cost More Than Twice As Much As Dems' Health-Care Bill, Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars, September 9, 2009.

MP3 File

June 16 - Obama and the Gays

In our second hour we first hear about what programs are available for young and old alike at the Manhattan Arts Center this summer with Amanda Hedrick. Then we hear from singer-songwriter Jeremiah Clark about his music. Clark will be in concert in Manhattan on June 25th. Due to work conflicts, our discussion of the Koch brothers with Mark Ames and Mike Elk has had to be rescheduled. Instead we will hear from Progressive Radio as Matthew Rothschild interviews editor and author Tracy Baim about her book “Obama and the Gays: a Political Marriage.”

Additional Links/Articles:

Manhattan Arts Center

Jeremiah Clark Music

Windy City Times

Obama and the Gays: a Political Marriage

Obama and the Gays - Book Salon Review at FireDogLake

Obama administration calls on United Nations to support gay rights, Julie Mianecki. Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2011.

Obama, gay marriage, the constitution and the Crackerjack prize, Michael Tomasky, The Guardian UK, February 24, 2011.

UN Rights Council Passes 'Historic' Gay Rights Bill, Hui Min Neo, Common Dreams, June 17, 2011.

MP3 File

12 June 2011

Mark Potok on the Rise of Right-Wing Extremists

Community Bridge opens this week with Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center, in a discussion of the Center's annual report "The Year in Hate."  Potok discusses the rise of right-wing extremists and how they are infiltrating organizations such as the Tea Party to make racism mainstream once again.  We close out the hour with Monique King, Yasche Glass, and Jonathan Anderson, from the Manhattan Juneteenth Planning Committee discuss this year's celebration.

Related Articles:

The Year in Hate and Extremism, 2010; Marl Potok, Intelligence Report, Spring 2011.

'Armed and extremely dangerous' ex-militia leader hunted after Mont. shootout; The Associated Press, Reuters, NBC News and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report, June 14, 2011.

Exclusive: Polluter Billionaire David Koch Says Tea Party ‘Rank And File Are Just Normal People Like Us’; Lee Fang, Think Progress, January 6, 2011.

Right-Wing Militias Are Resurging -- Will They Produce More Terrorists Like Timothy McVeigh?; David Love, AlterNet, August 2009.

MP3 File

The Impact of Budget Cuts on Kansas Schools

In our second we open with a short chat with Lisa Engelken about her upcoming concert at Jardine's in Kansas City, then we take a look a the impact of Brownback’s budget cuts on Kansas public education. Several days after taking office, the extremist Brownback proposed the largest cut to our public schools in Kansas history. The final budget left many state agencies decimated and more than $72 million in the state’s savings account, something the fanatic Brownback called the budget “a victory for Kansas.” Such cuts are anything but a victory for Kansans! Mark Desetti, KNEA; Tom Krebs, Kansas Association of School Boards; Kathy Cook, Kansas Families for Education; and Usha Reddi, a elementary school teacher for USD 383 discuss the impact of the budget cuts to public education in Kansas.

Related Articles:

Kansas budget focuses on mere numbers without regard to the harm, Rep. Paul Davis, Kansas City Star, June 7, 2011.

REPORT: Meet The Billionaires Who Are Trying To Privatize Our Schools And Kill Public Education, Zaid Jilani, Think Progress, May 21. 2011.

Brownback score card? Toss up, Steve Kraske, Kansas City Star, May 13, 2011.

Senate Passes State Budget, Dion Lefler, Wichita Eagle, May 12, 2011.

KNEA reacts to Brownback's budget cuts, Tim Huelskamp, Kiowa County Singal, March 14, 2011.

Public schools take hit in Kan. gov.'s budget cuts, John Milburn, Associate Press, March 11, 2011.

Casualties in the American Right-Wing's War on Science and Education, ToddWV, DemocraticUnderground.com, January 23, 2011.

MP3 File

07 June 2011

Coming Up with a City Budget for 2012

On this week's Community Bridge, we open with Bernie Hayden, Director of Finance for the City of Manhattan, for a discussion of how the City of Manhattan goes about developing it’s annual budget and a look at the budget for 2012. Then we will hear a short summary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy’s new report that finds the US-led "War on Drugs" campaign is a failure and recommends major reforms of the global drug prohibition regime. Click here to download the report.

Related Links/Articles:

City of Manhattan, Budget Information Center

Common Good - Common Good is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2002 with the mission of rebuilding reliable legal structures that will permit Americans to use their common sense.

Information about the impact of spending you dollars in a locally owned vs. big box store and its impact on the local economy.

Going Local: New Opportunities for Community Economies, talk (transcript) by Michael Schuman.

State’s balanced budget could force local governments to increase taxes or cut services, Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, June 5, 2011.

US-led global war on drugs a failure: report, IB News Staff Reporter, Business and Law, June 2, 2011.

Global war on drugs 'a failure,' Al Jazeera, June 2, 2011, (video and written story)

MP3 File

06 June 2011

The Future of the Arts in Kansas

On May 29th, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law the $13.8 billion state budget, and as expected he line-item vetoed funding of the Kansas Arts Commission.

In February, Brownback had issued an order to eliminate the Arts Commission as a cost-cutting move and replace it with a private, nonprofit foundation. The plan brought widespread opposition with supporters of the commission saying it was needed to lure federal arts dollars and provide important programs in local communities. The Kansas Senate rejected Brownback’s order and both the House and Senate agreed to fund the commission at $689,000 for the year. Even so, Brownback earlier this month issued layoff notices to the commission’s staff of five employees.

In his veto message to the Legislature, Brownback said, “In difficult fiscal times such as these, the state must prioritize how to spend its limited resources and focus its attention on providing core services. The arts will continue to thrive in Kansas when funded by private donations, and I intend to personally involve myself in efforts to make this happen.”
Sam Brownback has cost the State of Kansas over $1.2 million by vetoing the funding for the Kansas Arts Commission.

We take up the question of the future of the arts in Kansas with: Llewellyn Crain, Kansas City Symphony; Jay Nelson, Kansas Arts Commissioner; Henry Schwaller, chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission; Penny Senften, Director, Manhattan Arts Center.

Related Links/Articles:

Kansas Citizens for the Arts on Facebook.

Kansas Arts Movement on Facebook.

Fallacies of the Kansas Veto, Jonathan Katz, Executive Director, National Assembly of State Art Agencies, June 2011.

Reactions to the demise of the Kansas Arts Commission, Ian David Moss, Createquity, June 6, 2011.

State’s balanced budget could force local governments to increase taxes or cut services, Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, June 5, 2011.

'Falling backwards': Lawrence artists react to Kansas Arts Commission closing, Sarah Henning, Lawrence Journal World, June 5, 2011

Moderation wanes in Kansas as Brownback off to fast start, John Hanna, Associate Press, Lawrence Journal World, June 4, 2011.

Governor names arts chairman, pledges funding, Hawver's News Company, June 3, 2011.

Open letter to Kansas governor Sam Brownback, Laura Zabel, Minnesota Playlist, June 1, 2011.

Art's Ax, editorial, Lawrence Journal World, June 1, 2011

Americans for the Arts criticizes Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of Kansas Arts Commission funding, John Hanna, Associate Press, Lawrence Journal World, May 31, 2011.

MP3 File

29 May 2011

An Interview with Robert McChensey

This week's edition of Community Bridge opens with Robert McChensey in a discussion of the state of the US media and his new book: Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done to Fix It.

McChesney is a professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, host of the weekly talk show, Media Matters, on WILL-AM radio, and cofounder of the media reform organization Free Press.

McChesney has written or edited seventeen books on media and politics. He has also written more than 150 journal articles and book chapters and another 200 newspaper pieces, magazine articles and book reviews. His work has been translated into twenty-one languages. He has been the subject of more than 70 published profiles and interviews. In 2001 Adbusters Magazine named him one of the “Nine Pioneers of Mental Environmentalism.” Utne Reader in 2008 listed him as one of their "50 visionaries who are changing the world."

Related Articles:

The Money & Media Election Complex, John Nichols and Robert McChesney, 2010

How to Save Journalism, Robert McChesney and John Nichols, The Nation, 2010

Bush's War on the Press, Robert McChesney and John Nichols, The Nation, 2005

Rich Media, Poor Democracy, Robert McChesney, Salon, 1999

Video: The Problem of Media

MP3 File

Arts in the Park and Flint Hills Pride 2011

In our second hour this week we first hear about the line up for this year’s Arts in the Park Series with Ashley Penner from the City of Manhattan's Park and Recreation Department. Then Kevin Stilley joins us to discuss the activities planned for this year’s Flint Hills Pride event that will be held at Milford Lake on June 11th. Finally we close out with a clip from Truthdig radio featuring Bill Moyers about the state of US media.

Related Links:

Stonewall Uprising on PBS.

Rule of the Rich, Bill Moyers, The Progressive, February 2011.

MP3 File

22 May 2011

GOP's War on Women

It’s almost an unbelievable figure — 916. That’s the amount of legislation that has been introduced primarily by the GOP so far this year, in an attempt to regulate a woman’s reproductive system.  And Kansas is no different that the national trend.  With tens of millions of Americans unemployed, states facing dire fiscal situations, and more and more people loosing their homes, one has to ask why abortion has become the GOP's number one priority?

A report by The Guttmacher Institute, finds that in addition to these laws, more than 120 other bills have been approved by at least one chamber of the legislature, and some interesting trends are emerging. As a whole, the proposals introduced this year are more hostile to abortion rights than in the past: 56% of the bills introduced so far this year seek to restrict abortion access, compared with 38% last year. Three topics—insurance coverage of abortion, restriction of abortion after a specific point in gestation and ultra sound requirements—are topping the agenda in several states and all three have been approved by the Kansas legislature.

For the complete Guttmacher report, click here.

Joining us to talk about what has happened in the Kansas legislature is Kari Ann Rinker, State Coordinator of Kansas NOW, and Shanna Kay Crowe. Then, Amanda Marcotte, a blogger RH Reality Check, best known for her writing on feminism and politics, joins Community bridge to discuss what is happening at a national level. In 2008, Marcotte published her first book, entitled It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.  Listeners can find her blog at RH Reality Check here.

Related Articles:

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women, MoveOn.org

Men's Health Cover Flashing GOP Congressman's Tight Abs Reveals How Conservatives Worship a Cartoonish Hyper-Masculinity by Amanda Marcotte

Anti-Abortion Strategy in the Age of Obama, by Frederick Clarkson, Political Research Assoicates

The Return of Back Alley Abortions, Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast 

Behind the Right's Fetal Pain Push, Mother Jones

Horrific Bill Takes the GOP's War on Women to a Whole New Extreme by Vicki Saporta, The Hill

To Take Action, visit http://stopthewaronwomen.com/

MP3 File

20 May 2011

May 19 - American Empire

For our second hour we take up the theme of American empire in a tribute to GRIT TV which ceased operations on May 13th. First we hear GRITtv host, Laura Flanders, interviews Chris Hedges about the death of Bin Laden and the continuing concern over terrorism, the end of empathy in the U.S., and what avenues are left for progressives to fight back.  Then we hear Flanders interviewing retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich about the changes in the administration and the ongoing situation in Libya and Syria, and notes that at a time when the Arab world is undergoing deep changes, it should be a time for modesty in the US and a reconsideration of military power and the use of violence to achieve goals. We close out this hour with a clip form Law and Disorder Radio featuring the award-winning independent journalist Will Potter. Potter is the leading authority on “eco-terrorism.” He’s the author of the new book, "Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege."

Related Links:

Chris Hedges' new book: The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (American Empire Project)

The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (American Empire Project)

Petraeus and Panetta said to be up for new posts as part of national security shakeup

Green Is The New Red: An Insiders Account of A Social Movement Under Siege

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

What Is Big Ag Trying To Hide.

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15 May 2011

State of Kansas Media Part 3

Community Bridge opens this week with our third round table discussion on the state of the media in Kansas.  Joining the discussion are Mike Shields, Managing Editor of the Kansas Health Institute's News Service;  Justin Kendall, weekly writer for the KC Pitch, the largest of alternative weeklies in Kansas; Michael Caddell, newspaper publisher, blogger and radio talk show host; and R. J. Dickens, news director at KCTU TV in Wichita.

Related Articles:
Brownback’s agenda: Government efficiency? Or power grab? By Steve Kraske, Kansas City Star

The Peoples Representative? by John Divine, Former Chair of the Kansas Arts Commission, Emporia Gazette

Brownback’s attack on the arts hurts rural Kansas, Kansas City Star editorial

Save Sam from himself, Winfield Daily Courier editorial

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14 May 2011

New Breitbart "investigation" reveals his dishonesty

Andrew Breitbart has no problem lying to his readers, especially if he can score points against progressives. Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com is famous for promoting heavily edited videos that turn truth on its head that are produced by anti-abortion rights activist Lila Rose and falsely claiming that the video proves that Planned Parenthood engages in systemic criminal activities. In 2009, Breitbart promoted heavily edited tapes that he falsely claimed showed systematic corruption at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) related to child prostitution and sex trafficking. In 2010, Breitbart posted heavily edited video of Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function and falsely suggested that Sherrod discriminated against a white farmer in her capacity as the Agriculture Department's Georgia Director of Rural Development. This video caused her to lose her job, but Sherrod is now suing Breitbart.

Then in April, just a week after he promised to "go after the teachers and the union organizers," his website started running a series of choppy, heavily edited videos taken from labor studies courses taught at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Kansas City by this week’s guest, Judy Ancel and a colleague, Don Giljim. Ancel is the Director of UMKC's Institute for Labor Studies.

Breitbart's posts promoting these videos claim, among other things, that the professors "instruct students on how fear, intimidation, and, even, industrial sabotage are important and, often, necessary tools," and that they teach their students that the US flag is "racist."  But as listeners will hear, this is just another lie by a right-wing fanatic as Ancel exposes Breitbart's tactics and his dishonesty on this week’s show.

To read Ancel's statement on the Breitbart sting visit: http://stlactivisthub.blogspot.com/2011/04/judy-ancels-statements-on.html.

Read Media Matters for America's statement on Breitbart's attack on Ancel and Don Giljum at http://mediamatters.org/blog/201104290020.

Kansas City Star article: Judy Ancel and colleague were framed by Breitbart

Yahoo News: KC university supports lecturer in video flap

Here's the link to the Institute's report on the mining operations in Cananea, Mexico -  Crossing Borders to Cananea: High Stakes and Teachable Moments

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09 May 2011

El Salvador's Sister City Program

Women jewelry makers in El Papaturro
Since the 1980´s, Sister Cities has built people-to-people solidarity relationships between the United States and El Salvador.  These relationships are the core of their work and the foundation upon which the Sister City project works for human rights, social justice, and cultural exchange.  This important work only happens through hundreds of dedicated volunteers in cities around the United States who maintain “sister city” relationships with Salvadoran communities. 

On this week’s show, we hear from Sara Bishop, national coordinator of the US - El Salvador Sister City Project, about the Sister City program. Then we hear from Sofia Pablo-Hoshino, Shahna Campbell and Ivone Damian, three of the fourteen K-State student who when to El Papaturro, the Salvadorian community coupled with the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice since 1995 through the Sister City program. The students talk about their experiences with in El Salvador and the plans to return in 2012.

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08 May 2011

More Voices Against Plutocracy

In our second hour we first hear from Dr. Vandana Shiva is a clip from GRITtv. Shiva says: "The American people should see that corporations have abandoned them long ago." Shiva is a scientist, environmentalist, and food justice activist Dr. Vandana Shiva. Shiva was named one of the seven most influential women in the world by Forbes magazine.  Shiva spoke at K-State in October 2009 and the podcast of her speech is available on the Community Bridge website. Click on the link to the 2009 podcasts and scroll down to October.

Then we hear a clip from Truthdig Radio featuring Tim Canova, the Betty Hutton Williams Professor of International Economic Law and co-director of the Center for Global Law & Development at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Canova takes on the Standards and Poors treat to downgrade the US credit rating in a discussion of the economic meltdown in our casino economy.

The show closes out addressing the Manhattan City Commission’s vote to repeal the new anti-discrimination ordinance.

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01 May 2011

April 28 - Living in a Fact-Free Political World

Community Bridge opens this week with a look at lying as normative political discourse. Political lying has always been with us, but what the GOP and some Democrats have done is akin to carpet-bombing the truth. Mother Jones Magazine turns its investigative eyes on this reality in its May/June edition entitled: You Lie! Inside the GOP’s Fact Free Nation. We hear from Rick Perlstien whose article “Fact-Free Nation from Nixon’s Dirty Tricksters to James O’Keefe’s Video Smears: How political lying became the new normal," opens the topic.

Perlstien is the author of two noteworthy books: Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, and  Before The Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, which won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history.  From the summer of 2003 until 2005 he covered the presidential campaigns as chief national political correspondent for the Village Voice. He has also published The Stock Ticker and the Superjumbo: How the Democrats Can Once Again Become America's Dominant Political Party, an essay with responses from commentators including Robert Reich, Elaine Kamarck, and Ruy Teixeira. In 2006 and 2007 he wrote a biweekly column for The New Republic Online. Perlstein was a senior fellow at the Campaign for America's Future, for whom he wrote the blog The Big Con.

The hour closes out with Josh McGinn, Flint Hills Human Rights Project, discussing the what’s happening with the Manhattan City Commission and the efforts by the right-wing extremists Matta and Butler to repeal the city’s recently passed Anti-discrimination Ordinance.

Related Articles:
Bullied Pulpit: Why the White House couldn't fight the Obamacare lie, David Corn, Mother Jones.

The Hackers and the Hockey Stick - How climate science became the target of "the best-funded, best-organized smear campaign by the wealthiest industry that the Earth has ever known, Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones.

We Can't Handle the Truth - A journey into the science of self-delusion, Chris Mooney, Mother Jones

Policy in an age of post-truth politics, David Roberts, GRIST

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30 April 2011

April 28 - David Solnit on Social Activitism

David Solnit first became involved in creating change in high school when he joined a campaign to abolish draft registration. Since then, the California-based carpenter, activist, and puppeteer, has been on the frontlines of direct action, protesting the US role in Central America in the 1980s, free trade deals and the WTO in the 1990s, and, more recently, the US intervention in Iraq.

Solnit is a co-founder of Art and Revolution, a loose-knit collective that combines art and theater with direct action. This creativity-with-a-purpose stands in a colorful tradition of theatrical dissent from the Diggers, the Yippies, and the French Situationists of the 1960s. Solnit and his predecessors subvert the system by pointing to alternatives,  using blatant contrast they show how fundamentally flawed the “normal” state of affairs  truly is.

Solnit was in Manhattan earlier this month to conduct a workshop on social action and to speak at the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice annual meeting. I spoke with him on April 8th here in the KSDB studio.

Related articles:
David Solnit Stands Up For Protest, Yes! Magazine
The Battle for Reality, Yes! Magazine
David Solnit and The Art of Protest, Aid and Abet
David Solnit and The Arts of Change, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest
People Power: An Interview With David Solnit, Mother Jones

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24 April 2011

An Interview with David Bacon

Community Bridge opens with representatives of Morning Star, Inc., a consumer run organization (CRO). CROs are not-for-profit organizations, run by current and former consumers of mental health services. Richard Stitt, Executive Director and Elizabeth Stitt, Community Transition Coordinator at Morning Star, Inc., will join us to discuss this important community service.

Then David Bacon, union activist, journalist, and immigration rights advocate has a conversation with Community Bridge host Christopher Renner. Bacon presented the spring Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice lecture at K-State on February 28th.

Bacon is an associate editor at Pacific News Service, and writes for TruthOut, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Progressive, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. He has been a reporter and documentary photographer for 18 years, shooting for many national publications. He has exhibited his work nationally, and in Mexico, the UK and Germany. Bacon covers issues of labor, immigration and international politics.
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19 April 2011

Public Transportation Implementation Meeting Thursday @ 4:00 pm

As a follow-up to last Thursday show featuring Anne Smith and Commissioner Karen McColluh, I want to remind Community Bridge listeners to attend the Thursday's joint City/County meeting beginning at 4:00 pm in the County Commission Room, 115 North Fourth Street

As Anne Smith announced on the show the topic for this meeting is the Transit Implementation Plan.  Newly elected city commissioners Matta and Bulter need to know there is support in the Manhattan community for the proposed plan.  One way to demonstrate your support is to be in attendance at this meeting. 

As reported in the Monday's Manhattan Mercury, the Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency has received a grant from KDOT to fund two fixed bus routes in Manhattan.  The grant includes $400,000 in federal funds and $144,000 in state funds as well as money to replace a bus and to fund administrative services ($40,000).  The only funding left for aTa to secure is a $54,000 match from the City.  If the City won't provide the match, aTa, and thus all of Manhattan, will lose the grant and the implementation of the fixed routes will be delayed.

The new commissioners - Matta and Bulter (who are Tea Party activists) - have indicated they intend to closely watch the city's finances and cut spending.  However their ideology is likely to blind them to the needs of the working poor in Manhattan as well as university students and anyone else who does want to have to pay $4.00 a gallon for gas to drive their cars and the basic premise that government is to serve the people.

What better way to serve our community than by bringing state and federal tax dollars back into your community?  Especially when these tax dollars that will go to some other community, if we don't find a way to provide the match.  Thus setting our community back at a moment that is critical for the quality of life we have come to expect and enjoy in Manhattan.

Individuals can download the information packet at the following link:  http://www.ci.manhattan.ks.us/DocumentView.asp?DID=1989

15 April 2011

The State of Kansas Media - Part 2

Community Bridge opens this week with our follow up to last month's panel discussion on the state of the media in Kansas.  This week we take up the issue of conservative bias on the op-ed pages have how that affects reporting in general.  We touch on the issue of think tanks and how their talking points help determine what is said on the editorial pages.  Panelists also explore the role of Net Neutrality in providing people with access to diverse opinions and its role in a health democracy. We also hear about the National Conference for Media Reform, which took place this past weekend in Boston.  Joining us for this discussion are Michael Caddell, host of Radio Free Kansas; Tim Hjersted, Co-Founder and Director of Films for Action; and Pam Pohly, editor in chief of the Kansas Free Press.

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Public Transportation for Manhattan

In our second hour, Riley County Commissioner Karen McCulloh and aTa Bus director Anne Smith join us for a update on the future of public transportation in Manhattan.  aTa has received millions in federal grants to begin a regional and fix route transportation system in Manhattan. Smith and McCulloh provide an update, but could the recent Manhattan City Commission election waste this possibility to improve the quality of life in Manhattan? We also find out what is planned for the 2011 Earth Day celebration at K-State from Students for Environmental Action president Zach Pistora.

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