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

16 January 2011

Clippings for January 16, 2011

Martin Luther King's Legacy
Peter Rothberg writes for The Nation: "In the mid-1960s, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. contributed an annual essay to The Nation on the state of civil rights and race relations in the United States.  His last piece, from March 14, 1966, could have been written today: 'Jobs are harder to create than voting rolls. Harmonizing of peoples of vastly different cultural levels is complicated and frequently abrasive.'"  Readers will find links to several of King's speeches and to the video of King's "I Have a Dream" speech at this page.

Joshua Holland, a journalist at AlterNet provides the following summary of King's writings.

18 Disturbing Things We Wouldn't Know Without WikiLeaks
The Nation magazine writes: “Nearly fifty days have passed since the WikiLeaks document release in late November, this one centering on US diplomatic cables and quickly dubbed ‘Cablegate,’” Greg Mitchell writes in his article in "Why WikiLeaks Matters."

So far, WikiLeaks has released less than 3,000 cables from the 251,000-document cache, but already the media, politicians and the public are questioning the value of the leak. “It's important,” Mitchell writes, “to review a small sample of what we have learned thanks to WikiLeaks since April and the release of the 'Collateral Murder' US helicopter video, which showed the killing of two Reuters journalists, among others. It's necessary to do this because most in the US media, after brief coverage, provided little follow-up.”

Here are a few of the things we have learned from WikiLeaks.

Swiss Whistleblower Rudolf Elmer Plans to Hand Over Offshore Banking Secrets of the Rich and Famous to WikiLeaks
Ed Vulliamy reports for The Observer via The Guardian: "The offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland."

The Class War Launched by America's Wealthiest Is Getting More Savage
Larry Bienhart reports for AlterNet: "We’re in a class war. It’s the corporations and the very wealthiest against all the rest of us. We’re losing. In 1962 the wealthiest 1 percent of American households had 125 times the wealth of the median household. Now it’s 190 times as much. Is that a case of a rising tide lifting all boats, just a few of them a little bit higher? No."  Photo: AlterNet

From The Nation: "Wendell Potter, author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, stopped by The Nation's offices this week to explain how insurance companies are manipulating the conversation surrounding healthcare legislation. Potter was a health insurance executive for nearly 20 years but quit his position in 2008 because he found it difficult to work for an industry that placed profit over people’s health. In 2009, Potter testified before the Senate on how insurance companies have engaged in practices that have forced millions of Americans to become uninsured."

Bradley Manning and GI Resistance to US War Crimes
Angola 3 News (via Truthout) interviews independent journalist Dahr Jamail on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the media's coverage of WikiLeaks, the actions of Bradley Manning and the military's response to soldier resistance. Jamail says, "The US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq could not have more clearly violated international law. Even the former secretary general of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, said in September 2004 that the Iraq war was illegal and breached the UN Charter. An illegal war is thus the mother of all war crimes, for from that stems all the rest.... What Manning did by leaking this critical information has been to uphold his oath as a soldier in the most patriotic way."

Combat in Our Genes?
Jay Stanley, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, ACLU writes: "Born soldiers may say they have "combat in our genes" — but a new report suggests the Pentagon may want to give the phrase whole new meaning by turning DNA into the next military battleground. The report, prepared by a defense science advisory panel known as JASON and reported by Secrecy News and HuffPost's Dan Froomkin, among others, recommends that the military take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of gene sequencing by preparing to engage in the mass sequencing of the genomes of all military personnel."

Former Community Bridge guest, Andy Worthington, provides the following commentary about the ninth anniversary of the Guantánamo concentration camp: "On the afternoon of January 11, after I had spoken at a rally outside The White House and at a protest outside the Department of Justice, the New America Foundation in Washington D.C. hosted a panel discussion, “Nine Years of Guantánamo: What Now?” which I had organized as part of a week-long US tour to raise awareness of the plight of the remaining 173 prisoners at Guantánamo on the 9th anniversary of the prison’s opening."

The following video features Andy Worthington, Morris Davis, Tom Wilner and Ben Wittes at the New America Foundation discussing the GITMO camp.

Green Energy Opponents Are the Real Job Killers
Dan Fenton writes for The Nation: "Listen to how we discuss clean energy in this country, and you'll note that the conversation is exactly upside down. To hear the mainstream discourse tell it, clean energy may be a nice idea but it's prohibitively expensive. Going green, it's said, will cost jobs and strangle growth at a time when America must do whatever it takes to get our economy and people working again. Environmentalists are going to raise everyone's energy bills. We're the 'job killers.'"

Opponents to Fracking Disclosure Take Big Money From Industry
Abrahm Lustgarten reports for ProPublica: "In the context of today’s roiling political and energy debates, it’s not at all clear who will win. But if money is an indicator, the anti-regulatory group has the upper hand.... According to data from Open Secrets, the 32 [congress] members against disclosure received $1,742,572. The average contribution from the oil and gas sector to individuals from that group was $54,455. Oklahoma Democrat Dan Boren, who co-chairs the caucus, personally received more than $202,000, including almost $15,000 from Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest natural gas producers in the United States." Photo by Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica

Sierra Club Files to Block New Kansas Power Plant
John Milburn reports for Associated Press (in the Beaumont Enterprise): "The Sierra Club asked the state Court of Appeals on Friday to strike down an air-quality permit for a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas. The request, filed in Topeka, asks the court to set aside the permit issued last month by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. Named in the petition is acting KDHE Secretary Robert Moser Jr., who was appointed to the post by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Sierra Club attorneys argue in part that flawed environmental data were used in the permitting process. In addition, the Sierra Club says KDHE rushed the permitting process to ensure that Sunflower would have permission to build the plant before more stringent federal air quality regulations took effect Jan. 2."

Farmland by the Numbers
The Farmland Report writes: "Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2007 National Resources Inventory story of our nation’s farm and ranch land loss in numbers. The 2007 National Resource Inventory is the most comprehensive natural resource database in the United States—tracking conditions and trends on non-federal land from 1982 to 2007."

Come Saturday Morning: In Case It Wasn’t Obvious That Bigots Run The GOP
Phoniex Woman writes on FireDogLake: "So much racially-connected synchronicity going on over in Wingnutville lately.  Michael Steele, presiding over a midterm electoral romp by the Republicans in which the moderate GOP candidates that managed to survive the primaries outperformed the Tea Party endorsees by a three-to-one margin, was ousted as RNC chair by a teabagger-endorsed guy named Reince Priebus, the former head of the Wisconsin GOP, who got the gig ostensibly for actually managing to get a teabagger who wasn’t the son of a famous congressman into the senate seat of the much-beloved Russ Feingold."

New RNC Chairman Bashed Stimulus, but Helped Clients Get Stimulus Funds
Charles Johnston writes for Little Green Footballs: "The new head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, is famous (or infamous, depending where you stand) for throwing this chunk of red meat to the angry right:
 if you’re pro-abortion, pro-stimulus, pro-G.M. bailout, pro-AIG, well you know guess what, you might not be a Republican.
Blatant right wing hypocrisy has become so commonplace that it’s no surprise at all to discover that Priebus himself worked at a law firm that helps clients secure federal stimulus funds."

Why We Should Take Jared Loughner's Politics Seriously
Steve Striffler comments for Truthout: "Contrary to the prevailing wisdom, however, holding muddled political views does not in and of itself necessarily make Loughner mentally ill, unstable, crazy, or even particularly unusual. It makes him American and peculiarly so. In the college classroom, at political events and in grassroots organizing meetings, it does not take long to find many young (and not so young) people who hold what many of us consider to be an oddly contradictory collection of political views.... In a world where fragments of information come from so many sources, it often leads them to the odd place where any explanation of the world is as good as any other, where there is no conceptual rudder for judging one theory or idea against another." Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: HeyThereSpaceman., unforth, D Sharon Pruitt

How the Right's Rhetoric Fueled the Actions of Arizona's Mass Murderer
Adele Stan writes for AlterNet: "It's too soon to say what, exactly, motivated the man apprehended for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others outside a Tucson supermarket on Saturday. All we really know about Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old alleged shooter, is that he is apparently a profoundly disturbed young man whose paranoia involves some indecipherable notions about the U.S. Constitution."

Hate and Violence Are Encoded in the DNA of the American Right
Arun Gupta reports for AlterNet: "Jared Loughner’s attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a wakeup call for us to confront the reality that hate and violence are encoded in the political DNA of the American Right. Since Obama took office in January 2009, there have been seven separate cases of disturbed white men committing political murders after becoming hopped up on guns, right-wing media and anti-government and anti-Obama blather. And this doesn’t even include Loughner’s attack or other incidents where the gunman was intent on killing but didn’t succeed."  Photo: NewsCorpse.com

Talk show host Bill Maher once again displayed his ignorance for America's history and founding by telling Tea Partiers that the Founding Fathers would have "hated" their "guts."

As you'd come to expect from Maher he constantly referred to members of the Tea Party as "teabaggers" - which would probably be an insult coming from virtually everybody else. When Maher uses this word, however, the Tea Party should wear it as a badge of honor.

Next he told Tea Partiers that the Founding Fathers were "nothing like them." No, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington and all the others were profoundly different. How? Here comes Maher:

What the Right Gains From Poisoning Our Political Discourse and Inspiring Violence
Michael Winship writes for AlterNet: "The Russian playwright Anton Chekhov had a rule: if you show a gun in the first act, by the time the curtain falls, it has to go off. For weeks and months, that gun, the weapon of angry rhetoric and intemperate rabblerousing, has been cocked and loaded in plain view on the American stage; Saturday morning outside a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona, it went off again and again and again."  Photo: AFP

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