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 January 2011

Clippings for January 9, 2011

Recommended Audio: Keith Olberman - Violence and Threats Have No Place in Democracy



ACTION ALERT: Tell Sarah Palin to Stop Inciting Violence

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) & 11 others were shot in a senseless act of a violence on Saturday morning in Tucson, Arizona.

Giffords was on Palin's "target list" (at right) before the election, with cross-hairs (from the score of a rifle) over her district. 

Palin has since deleted the "target list" from her site after the shooting and removed tweets urging her supporters to "reload" and use a "Second Amendment remedy."

Please sign the petition and tell Sarah Palin to STOP inciting violence! 

WikiLeaks' Most Terrifying Revelation: Just How Much Our Government Lies to Us
Fred Branfman writes for ALterNet: "Do you believe that it is in Americans' interest to allow a small group of U.S. leaders to unilaterally murder, maim, imprison and/or torture anyone they choose anywhere in the world, without the knowledge let alone oversight of their citizens or the international community? And, despite their proven record of failure to protect America -- from Indochina to Iran to Iraq -- do you believe they should be permitted to clandestinely expand their war-making without informed public debate? If so, you are betraying the principles upon which America was founded, endangering your nation, and displaying a distinctly "unamerican" subservience to unaccountable authority. But if you oppose autocratic power, you are called to support Wikileaks and others trying to limit U.S. Executive Branch mass murder abroad and failure to protect Americans at home."  Image: Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

Bradley Manning and the Case Against Solitary Confinement
Kynn Parramore writes for New Deal 2.0: "In the earliest days of our Republic, a group of well-meaning Philadelphia Quakers set out to reform the prison system. The idea was to remove convicts from the mayhem and corruption of overcrowded jails to solitary cells where sinners would return to mental and spiritual health through reflection. In the Walnut Street Jail, no windows would distract the prisoners with street life; no conversation would disturb their penitence. Alone with God, they would be rehabilitated. There was a small problem. Many of the prisoners went insane. The Walnut Street Jail was shut down in 1835."

Timothy Leary on the Culture of Secrecy
Timothy Leary comments for Truthout: "Secrecy is the original sin. The fig leaf in the Garden of Eden. The basic crime against love. The issue is fundamental. What a blessing that Watergate has been uncovered to teach us the primary lesson. The purpose of life is to receive, synthesize and transmit energy. Communication–fusion is the goal of life. Any star can tell you that. Communication is love. Secrecy, withholding the signal, hoarding, hiding, covering up the light is motivated by shame and fear, symptoms of the inability to love. Secrecy means that you think love is shameful and bad. Or that your nakedness is ugly. Or that you hide unloving, hostile feelings. Seeds of paranoia and distrust."

Obama Created More Jobs In One Year Than Bush Created In Eight
Alex Seitz-Wald reports for Think Progress: "This morning (January 7, 2011), the Labor Department released its employment data for December, showing that the U.S. economy ended the year by adding 113,000 private sector jobs, knocking the unemployment rate down sharply from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent — its lowest rate since July 2009. The “surprising drop — which was far better than the modest step-down economists had forecast — was the steepest one-month fall since 1998.” October and November’s jobs numbers were also revised upward by almost 80,000 each. Still, 14.5 million Americans remain unemployed, and jobs will have to be created much faster in coming months for the country to pull itself out of the economic doldrums."

Republicans' Radical Plans for Budget Could Threaten the Economic Security of Millions
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "Through new budget rules that are expected to pass on a party-line vote in the House this week, and anupcoming battle over raising the government's “debt ceiling,” the new Republican leadership is preparing to codify a discredited far-right economic agenda into law, forcing deep cuts to public spending at precisely the moment when the economy needs that spending to build momentum."

 New Year, same shell game being played by the fat-cats on Wall Street.  In 2009, public employee Joe Wisniowski made $40,000/year as an Airport Equipment Operator for an Ohio airport while Wall Street raked in $20.3 BILLION in bonuses. Joe's story highlights the need for you to help us STOP THE LIES!  We the taxpayers bailed out Wall Street yet to divert attention, they want you to believe that public service workers are the ones who are overpaid.  Don't let Wall Street destroy the backbone of America. Meet the Public Service workers whose sweat and hard work help our communities.



Recommended Audio: Law and Disorder Radio - Economic Recovery? Austerity in the US and Abroad
In our previous interview with Professor of Economics, Rick Wolff, we talked about austerity, that is imposing on society a severe regimen of rising taxes, or cut government spending to please and satisfy creditors.  Massive protests erupt against austerity in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and soon maybe Spain, as governments raise college tuition, taxes, retirement ages plus cutting worker benefits and wages. These austerity measures are about to hit the United States. Veiled in the recent tax deal with the Republicans is a decision Americans will need to make. Higher taxes or cut services? With growing debts made worse by Obama’s tax deal, the US moves quickly toward austerity while the political establishment and the media mostly pretend all is well says Rick Wolff.
To download the MP3 file, click here

US Tax Deal Brings Austerity Closer
Richard Woff writes on his blog: "Once again, the two old wings of the political establishment do business as usual in Washington.  In the tax deal between Obama and the Republicans -- passed with the help of a majority of Democrats -- they all cut taxes, especially on the rich, and extended unemployment benefits.  In short, the government keeps spending mountains of money to subsidize a deeply recessional private capitalist economy, to prevent it from spiraling down into depression.  The result is a further expansion of the deficit that so recently was a pretend concern for so many candidates."

Democrats Failing Media’s Deficit Test: Embrace debt panel’s austerity to prove sincerity
Jim Naureckas writes for Extra!: "Having concluded that the United States needs an austerity program to cure its economic ills (Extra!, 1/10), and having decided in advance that the 2010 midterms were a mandate for downsizing the federal government (Extra!, 12/10), the leading outlets of the corporate media fixed on the deficit commission created by Barack Obama as a test of how serious the Democrats were about doing what needed to be done. The initial verdict: They’re failing the test."

A "Pledge of Resistance" to Defend Social Security (and Defund the Empire)
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "For the third time in the last 20 years, establishment voices with high-profile slots in traditional media are trying to convince the public to accept cuts to Social Security by endlessly claiming such cuts are necessary, without giving coherent evidence to justify the claim. Twice, under former presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, these voices were defeated - but they didn't give up." Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: dboy, SqueakyMarmot

Republicans Are out for Blood– Yours.
Ken Sayers writes for The Daily Censored: "The Republicans want to kill the health care bill.  They want to strip kids from their parent’s coverage.  They want to eliminate affordable coverage for people who have lost insurance along with their jobs.  They want to put a cap back on the amount of coverage your health insurance will have to pay.  AND, they want to put exclusions for pre-existing conditions back into effect.  Those are just a few of the benefits to which you are entitled under the new health care bill.  They don’t just want to kill health care, they want to kill you."

The Great MMR Vaccine Fraud
Kevin Drum reports for Mother Jones: "The belief that vaccines cause autism got its start in 1998 with a paper in the Lancet authored by Andrew Wakefield. We've known for a long time that it was a piece of crap: it used a nonrandom sample of 12 children, it depended largely on observations by parents, it was marred by egregious conflicts of interest, and in 2004 it was renounced by 10 of its co-authors and later retracted by the magazine. That's all bad enough. But it turns out that it was even worse: the paper was an outright fraud from start to finish."

A ‘Job-Killing’ Law?
FactCheck.org reports: "House Republicans misrepresent the facts. Experts predict the health care law will have little effect on employment.
We find:
  • Independent, nonpartisan experts project only a "small" or "minimal" impact on jobs, even before taking likely job gains in the health care and insurance industries into account.
  • The House Republican leadership, in a report issued Jan. 6, badly misrepresents what the Congressional Budget Office has said about the law. In fact, CBO is among those saying the effect "will probably be small."
  • The GOP also cites a study projecting a 1.6 million job loss — but fails to mention that the study refers to a hypothetical employer mandate that is not part of the new law.
  • The same study cited by the GOP also predicts an offsetting gain of 890,000 jobs in hospitals, doctors’ offices and insurance companies — a factor not mentioned by the House leadership."
Cutting the Defense Budget?
Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, Max Bergmann, and Tanya Somanader write the Progress Report for Think Progress: "One potential area for bipartisan action in the new Congress may be cutting the massively bloated Pentagon budget, which has risen to $540 billion annually and more than $700 billion if you include spending on Iraq and Afghanistan. Total defense spending in real terms is  higher than at any point since World War II. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates  yesterday announced a series of efficiency proposals to reduce waste in defense spending and to cut the projected Pentagon budget by $78 billion over the next five years. While these proposals represent a good start in constraining the runaway spending that accrued during the Bush administration, the cuts will result only in a decline in the rate of growth in the Pentagon's budget, not in absolute dollars. In other words, Gates was allowed to shift money around, and was not forced to actually cut the budget. As a result under this proposal,  the Pentagon's budget will be bigger in five years than it is now. This is not real fiscal restraint. To adequately address the problem of out-of-control defense spending and a growing deficit, not only are more defense cuts needed, but the U.S. must also re-balance its foreign policy and defense priorities. This means taking a hard look at the utility of continuing combat operations in Afghanistan, eliminating white elephant weapons programs, and looking for ways to make the Pentagon bureaucracy more efficient. Reducing Pentagon spending is possible, since it is advocated not just by progressives, but by  Tea Party conservatives and now the House Republican leadership."

Why the Handwriting is on the Afghan Wall
Chuck Spinney writes for New Deal 2.0: "The lead editorial in a recent Washington Post article, “Steady in Afghanistan,” claimed the early results of President Obama’s escalation strategy in Afghanistan 'are mixed — but promising,' because President Obama 'has raised the odds for success by committing U.S. forces to Afghanistan for four more years and by promising to negotiate a strategic partnership with the government of Hamid Karzai in 2011.' Raised the odds for success? Four more year versus 2011? Consider please the unexamined ramifications of these words." Photo: Getty

Wrong Again, Senator Graham
Juan Cole writes for Truthdig.com: "Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repeated on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday his hope that the United States can maintain at least two permanent air bases in Afghanistan. He was pushing back against Vice President Joe Biden’s pledge that the U.S. would be out of Afghanistan by 2014 “come hell or high water.” Graham has been wrong about almost everything in the Middle East for a decade and a half, so this harebrained proposal is hardly surprising. But it signals the harder line likely to be pursued by Republicans now that they have taken back the House of Representatives and have much strengthened their position in the Senate."

Freedom Fighters for a Fading Empire
William J. Astore provides the followign analysis for TomDispatch: "Words matter, as candidate Barack Obama said in the 2008 election campaign.  What to make, then, of President Obama’s pep talk last month to U.S. troops in Afghanistan in which he lauded them as “the finest fighting force that the world has ever known”?  Certainly, he knew that those words would resonate with the troops as well as with the folks back home."

Army's "Spiritual Fitness" Test Comes Under Fire
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "An experimental, Army mental-health, fitness initiative designed by the same psychologist whose work heavily influenced the psychological aspects of the Bush administration's torture program is under fire by civil rights groups and hundreds of active-duty soldiers. They say it unconstitutionally requires enlistees to believe in God or a "higher power" in order to be deemed "spiritually fit" to serve in the Army."  Image: US Army

Recommended Audio: Keith Olberman - US Military Under Fire for Religious Test
Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, discussed Jason Leopold's report detailing the forced spiritual testing of over 800,000 uniformed soldiers as part of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program.



GOP Votes to Make Constitution Violation Go Away
Alex Pareene reports for Salon.com: "At least the Democrats are having fun in the minority. They're never as united as Republicans are, but most House Democrats voted against today's resolution invalidating the unconstitutional votes taken by Representatives Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick when they had not yet been sworn in as members of Congress. The resolution magically removes the votes they took while not being members, but doesn't do anything about all the other stuff they did -- like chairing the Rules Committee."

Read It and Weep: How the Tea Party's fetish for the Constitution as written may get it in trouble.
Dahlia Lithwick writes for Salon.com: "Members of the Tea Party are really into the Constitution. We know this because on Thursday, House Republicans propose to read the document from start to finish on the House floor, and they also propose to pass a rule requiring that every piece of new legislation identify the source of its constitutional authority. Even Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute—its popular pocket version of the Constitution is only $4.95!—agrees that these are largely symbolic measures, noting in the Wall Street Journal that as a legal matter, "at least since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the Supreme Court has had the last word on what the Constitution authorizes Congress to do." Nobody has suggested that legislators don't have an independent duty to uphold the Constitution as they understand it. But that doesn't change the fact that the courts, not Tea Party Republicans—even those with the benefit of extra-credit classes from Justice Antonin Scalia—get to make the final call."

Republicans to Spend $1.1 Million Reciting Constitution on House Floor
Juli Weiner reports for Vanity Fair: "As we reported this morning (January 4), House Republicans will kick-start the 112th Congress tomorrow with a spirited recitation of the Constitution, a document whose recent relevance is due largely to the ideological and sartorial interests of the Tea Party. It’s an opening act designed to herald the arrival of a new season of checks, balances, and financial cutbacks. As Politico’s nocturnal prophet Mike Allen reported, House Republicans plan to reduce Congress’s budget by $32.5 million—a savings reaped from cutting 'the amount authorized for salaries and expenses of Member, committee, and leadership offices in 2011 and 2012.'"

Kris Kobach Campaigns for Secretary of State: An Overview of Candidates, Credibility, Strategy and Media/Voter Response
Dave writes for the Journal of Idiocracy: "On November 2nd, 2010 citizens of Kansas were asked to elect an official to the position of Secretary of State. As known to most individuals, the secretary of state is constitutionally charged with administering elections, voter registration, lobbyist registration and the filing of campaign finance reports. In short, if it involves elections, the secretary of state will be involved to ensure they are effectively run, maintained and fair. In addition to these duties, the secretary of state registers businesses, trademarks and provides regulation for these entities within the state of Kansas. Whoever holds the office of secretary of state serves a term lasting four years, after which candidates, including the incumbent, may seek election."

'Aflockalypse': Here's Why We Should Really Be Concerned About the Huge Bird and Fish Die-off
Tara Lohan reports for AlterNet: "By now, we've all seen the news reports of the "Aflockalypse." The New Year came in with a bang in Beebe, Arkansas when thousands of blackbirds fell from the sky. As news reports of the eerie incident spread, similar stories began surfacing all over the world: Massive fish kills by the thousands in Brazil, New Zealand, the Arkansas River and the Chesapeake; more bird deaths in Louisiana, Kentucky and Sweden; and tens of thousands of dead crabs (aptly named dead devil crabs) washing ashore in the U.K."

Panel: BP Well Blowout Revealed Industry-Wide Problems
Mark Seibel reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "The errors and misjudgments that led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig last spring weren't the result just of blunders by BP and its contractors, but reflect industry-wide problems that require new regulations and standards, a presidential commission has concluded."

Recommended Audio: Voice of America - FEAR IN THE U.S. NEWS MEDIA
Doug Stanhope discusses the U.S. media's fear-mongering and what it really means for you in the new series of Charlie Brooker's Newswipe..."I'm Doug Stanhope and that's why I drink."



Taking Media Mergers to the Next Level: Comcast/NBC would be unprecedented powerhouse
Krystle Manintveld writes for Extra!: "Over the last decade, dozens of media mergers and purchases have resulted in a media industry controlled by a handful of companies—and the cable giant Comcast wants to be one of them.  After a failed attempt to purchase Disney in 2004 for $66 billion (Inter Press Service, 3/20/04), Comcast offered to take over NBC Universal for the bargain price of $30 billion—which would buy a 51 percent controlling interest from General Electric, with the expectation of acquiring the remaining stake over the next seven years (Globe and Mail, 12/3/09)."

Court Reverses Order Unmasking Politician's Critics
Wendy Davis reports for Media Post News: "Backing online commenters' right to anonymity, an appellate court in Pennsylvania has overturned an order requiring a Web site operator to disclose the identities of commenters who slammed a local politician. The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter O'Brien didn't adequately examine whether the commenters' right to speak out anonymously was outweighed by former Scranton City Council President Judy Gatelli's defamation allegations. "Comments on matters of public importance or those which criticize public officials are entitled to robust protection, for it is in the public forum that the First Amendment right of speech is strongest," the court wrote."

Net Neutrality Fight: GOP wields garlic against FCC "vampires"
Nate Anders reports for Ars Technica: "The new, Republican-controlled House of Representatives started work yesterday, and it took only a few hours before anti-net neutrality legislation was introduced to stop the "vampires" at the FCC from imposing net neutrality on American Internet access providers. No surprises here; Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) had last year made plain her opposition to net neutrality, and she pledged back in November to legislate against the FCC."

The FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Leave the Future of the Internet Unclear
Fipna Morgan reports for Independent Weekly: "One of the best things about the Internet is its indifference to how you use it. Call your mom on Skype, watch some Simpsons on Hulu, settle an argument by consulting Wikipedia, update your blog. Whatever you do, you're seconds away from doing the next thing. Behind the scenes, there is a shakedown going on that may change the way you use the Internet, as well as how—and how much—you'll pay. Last month, the Federal Communications Commission approved rules that regulate network neutrality, or net neutrality for short. While the concept has many definitions, the guiding principle is that everything on the Internet, be it content, applications or services, should be treated equally, and that Internet service providers should not be allowed to serve as gatekeepers of what you can access online."

Schools, Libraries Say They Need Faster Broadband
John Eggerton reports for Multichannel News: "A just-released Federal Communications Commission study found that while 95% of schools and libraries that receive e-rate funding have some terrestrial broadband connection to at least one facility (2% have satellite and 3% still use dial-up), and while over half of those (55%) have it at speeds greater than 3 Mbps, 80% say it is not enough to meet their current needs.  Ten percent said they had speeds greater than 100 mbps.  The e-rate program provides discounted broadband service to schools and libraries through the Universal Service Fund."

The Newsonomics of Tablets Replacing Newspapers
Ken Doctor writes for Nieman Journalsim Lab: "Ready to trade up? That’s the new question now moving to the forefront of news publishers’ longer-range strategic planning, as the real tablet revolution seems to be upon us. The Consumer Electronics Show is shining a bright light on The Year of the Tablet. With tablet sales projected to reach 70 million in the U.S. in 2011 and 2012 (50 million of them iPads), and with early survey results, such as the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s study, showing longer news session times, more-than-snippets-reading, and a renewal of lean-back, pleasurable longer-form reading, publishers have been edging into an age of news reading renewal."

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