Dust Off The Cobwebs! Free Your Mind!
It’s Halloween, and what’s scary is the week we’ve been through—mayhem and madness just about everywhere. But it’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories, and you can restore some degree of order and sanity to the world by putting things in perspective for us all, whether about news issues and developments that crowded in on us this week or on any subject you think merits discussion or debate.
Call in (888-874-4888) and share your thoughts with really nice people eager to hear what you have to say. You’ll be doing the scariest thing ever—helping us to dust off the cobwebs and free our minds!
Midterm elections 2014 are providing strong clues about where we are as a nation. Depending on where locates oneself on the political spectrum, the clues are either assurances that a carefully calibrated system will remain relatively intact, or a harbinger of chaos and doom. Middle ground has all but disappeared.
Those feeling secure, of course, are not worrying about the political choices they will make. But large numbers of those who are worried are caught in an awful bind; they’re not at all comfortable with the political choices they will make.
Considering that the Republican-Democratic duopoly will dominate the political choices of most voters, will it also include Progressives and people of color this time around? Or, will midterm elections spawn new political activism and movements?
If the latter, says Leid Stories, the time has come for no-frills, no-thrills democracy and serious coalition building predicated on eradicating all impediments to freedom, equality and justice.
The Battle for Benton Harbor, Michigan, Unfolds in Weird Court Case
Spooky! Sharpton Plays A Trick on Ferguson As A Treat for Democrats
Whirlpool Corporation has its eyes on Benton Harbor, Mich., an almost all-Black town of just over 10,000 on the shores of Lake Michigan that looks nothing like the toney estates and swank shops the company wants instead. Whirlpool’s plan to gobble up the town was going well—until the Rev. Edward Pinkney rallied the locals not only against the corporation, but also against co-opted elected officials, including the mayor, willing to execute its plan.
In the aftermath of a Pinkney-led recall of the mayor, the fiery pastor found himself charged with five counts of election fraud—allegedly for changing dates on five petitions. A report from the courthouse yesterday said none of the prosecution’s witnesses could say Pinkney altered any petitions. Leid Stories gets an update today from Pinkney, who says his trial is “punishment” for organizing against Whirlpool and political corruption.
Bloviator in Chief Al Sharpton swoops into Ferguson, MO, on a four-day mission, starting on Halloween (Oct. 31), to mine votes for the Democrats in the name of Michael Brown, killed by local police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. It’s also a pacification program to keep the lid on growing outrage over the handling of the case and speculation that a grand jury will find no reason to indict Wilson.
Leid Stories discusses Sharpton’s trick-and-treat mission.
With midterm elections upon us, the nation’s focus is even more dissipated than usual, driven by polls, regional contests, high-profile personalities and hot-button public-policy issues various media outlets are championing.
In this dizzying political atmosphere, it’s easy to lose sight of what our political focus and priorities should be.
Leid Stories, therefore, engages in that discussion today, asking listeners to define (or redefine) the elements of a progressive political agenda, election season notwithstanding, and what informs their views.
Detroit: Massive Wave of New Foreclosures to Hit 150,000
Whose City?: The Big Plan for Your Big City Is … You’re Not There!
One-fifth of Detroit’s population, an estimated 150,000 homeowners, most of them African American, will receive foreclosure notices from the Wayne County treasurer’s office by year’s end that their properties will be sold at auction for nonpayment of property taxes. His does not include almost 30,000 who already are in the process of being evicted from their homesteads.
The new wave of pending foreclosures leaves no doubt about the real intent of the city’s forced bankruptcy, say local activists—a race-based plan to empty the city of its “undesirable” residents in order to “re-imagine” it for wealthier whites.
Abayomi Azikiwe, our correspondent on the battle over Detroit’s bankruptcy, reports on the announced foreclosures and related issues.
A recent Leid Stories guest, Joel Kotkin, author of the provocative The New Class Conflict, wrote an article that appeared in the New York Daily News yesterday that reinforced a major point in his book: America’s large urban centers are systematically being emptied of targeted populations and are fast becoming strongholds for the wealthy. New York City, he says, is a prime example.
Here you are at the end of a very trying week, and you’re in relatively good shape. Good for you! You’ve triumphed over the conspiracy to drive you mad with a torrent of “news” and “information” designed mostly to confuse you, throw you off kilter, and dumb you down.
Defend your most precious asset—your facile mind, your ability to think things through!
Disassemble the mishmash we’ve been fed all week and offer instead a pristine analysis of what we really ought to know. Say no to mentacide! Free your mind!
Call 888-874-4888 and start the process.
The Washington Post, The New York Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch within a day of each other took almost exactly the same angle on their stories about grand jury deliberations in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 8. All based on “official sources,” their stories presented Wilson’s “side” of the story—that Brown attacked him, he was afraid for his life, and he shot the teen in the course of being in imminent danger—essentially making the case that the grand jury would be correct in determining Wilson was justified in his action.
CNN’s legal analyst, Paul Callan, yesterday posted a piece on the “hallowed" institution” of the grand jury system “for those who believe that the grand jury procedure is some sort of cop-and-prosecutor conspiracy to trample the rights of minority citizens.”
The U.S. Justice Department, conducting its own investigation into the shooting, has condemned leaks from the grand jury and from other “official” sources. “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling,” a spokesman told The Los Angeles Times.
Leid Stories discusses the role of media in undermining, even subverting, the legal process. Sadly, it isn’t a new phenomenon in high-profile, race-based cases.
Now Is the Time for All Good Folk to Say, ‘Count on Me!’
Leid Stories devotes the program today to some good old-fashioned fundraising. Teaming up with PRN’s founder-visionary and health expert Gary Null, we’ll be asking listeners of this wonderful station to enthusiastically support its mission—providing information through a wide array of programming that empowers you.
Leid Stories will be pitching for the station as a whole and also for the program. “It’s a self-imposed task I’m delighted to do,” says Leid Stories host Utrice Leid. “We all must do our part to maintain PRN and its programming. I’m not waiting to be asked, and I’m sure the Leid Stories audience will join me in proactively supporting our flagship, PRN.FM.”
Fundraising won’t last for weeks or months, like at other stations—just until Friday.
Listen for our special thank-you gifts today. Call 877-627-5065 or 646-926-5422 to make your contribution. And when you call, mention that you’re a “proactive Leid Stories listener, and PRN can count on me!”
Sincerest thanks for your support.
Leid Stories relates the impressions of New York City after only a year since the last visit.
Snapshots of daily life tell a story of a city in which the line between rich and poor has become harder; the pace of life more frenetic; the anxiety and drive associated with “making it” more palpable; and everywhere evidence of the casualties of planned “progress.”
A commentary is meant to spark discussion about the purpose of community and, more particularly, whether “the people” have lost or are losing the battle for community control.
The Irony Vote In Washington, D.C.; Sharpton Mines the Dead for Votes
Ferguson On Edge; Locals Await Grand Jury Decision In Brown Case
Early voting begins today in Washington, D.C., and turnout is expected to be high as the district votes for a mayor, its first attorney general in the district, seven council seats, a council chair, and a referendum on legalizing marijuana possession.
There’ll be no congressional candidates listed on the ballot because Washington, D.C.—the nation’s capital, the seat of democracy—does not have a House or Senate seat.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Al Sharpton is employing a new gimmick in his Democratic Party gig to “bring souls to the polls.” Even for him, it sets a new low—using the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to convince Blacks that their votes for Democratic candidates will end police brutality.
Today marks two months to the day that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough began presenting evidence to a grand jury in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson to determine whether Wilson should be charged with any crimes.
Leaks from the grand jury were suggesting that it was likely not to indict. Still more leaks said a decision would soon be announced, although McCullough had gotten two extensions for the grand jury’s term, ending in early November. Either way, Ferguson tensely awaits a decision.
Leid Stories returns to the legal issues it has raised about the case.