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Leid Stories pays humble tribute to Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics detective who first publicly exposed a CIA-run drug-trafficking operation that flooded communities of color in Los Angeles with cocaine and used the profits from drug sales to buy guns for the Nicaraguan Contras, a rebel group sponsored by the CIA. Ruppert’s exposé would lead to major investigative articles, most notably by reporter Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News, and congressional hearings that would confirm what many in these communities had been saying for years.

Ruppert then directed his attention full blast to a number of issues, including climate change and environmentalism, economic theory, human rights and governmental corruption. He wrote several prize-winning books and articles on his interests --among them Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, A Presidential Energy Policy, and Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World—and was a leading authority on Peak Oil.

Ruppert hosted The Lifeboat Hour on PRN. On April 13, shortly after his broadcast, he took his own life.

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Up South: New York’s Schools Most Segregated In The Nation

Hell On Wheels: Postal Service Targets Its Truckers and Machinists

Obama, Sharpton Seek Voting-Rights ‘Volunteers.’  No, It’s A Job! Get Paid!

“For several decades, the state has been more segregated for blacks than any Southern state, though the South has a much higher percent of African American students," said a report recently released by the University of California-Los Angeles Civil Rights Project.

Gary Orfieldprofessor of education, law, political science and urban planning at UCLA, details the findings of the report, which tracked trends in public-school education in New York and other East Coast cities over the past 60 years.

Leid Stories has been covering the bipartisan plan to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service with sweeping “reforms” that will cut jobs, close “unnecessary” post offices, cut back on mail delivery, sell off shuttered centers and other properties, and privatize as many postal services as possible.

Kevin Cole (California) and Greg Stinson (Oregon) discuss the pushback from truckers and machinists.

On the heels of President Obama’s vapid speech at the National Action Network’s annual convention about voting-rights violations and how important it is that African Americans vote comes an announcement by NAN’s honcho, the Rev. Al Sharpton that the organization is looking for “volunteers” in eight states to do field work (pun intended).

Leid Stories says, “It’s a job. Pay the people!”

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“Attorney at War”Alton H. Maddox Jr.: A Reality Check From the Frontlines

Midterm elections upon us, the political tempo has quickened, and with it claims and counterclaims about who did or can do what to improve the quality of life for all Americans. With all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 33 U.S. Senate seats up for grabs, and contests for 46 state and four territorial legislatures, 36 governorships and 28 key mayoral slots, it’s a bruising battle between the two dominant parties for control. Now, their fortunes are tied to constituencies routinely ignored.

“Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr., who for decades has been a stalwart defender of the defenseless, does a reality check from the frontlines, where political claims and promises have little or no relationship to the raw truth of everyday life for the vast majority.

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Flight 370: The Mystery Is About What’s NOT Being Said

‘Housewives’ Reality Show’s A Big Hit—By And On Black Women

Forty-five days since Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 vanished less than an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and, authorities said, ended in the churning waters of the southern Indian Ocean, an international search for the wreckage has yielded nothing.

U.S. media have been covering the evolving story of the disappearance of MH370, with CNN outmatching them all with almost nonstop coverage, presenting just about every possible angle to the story. Like the wreckage, however, perhaps the most significant angle to the story has not yet been located.  Leid Stories reveals what it is.

It’s been a big hit for Bravo/NBC Universal from Season 1, and Season 6’s wrapup of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Part 1 of 2) was an even bigger hit—by and on African American women. There they were, six of them all gussied up, reviewing a season of shame and pathology. And soon enough, an intergenerational weave-yanking brawl breaks out on set. Great TV! Leid Stories discusses the roles of these women in contributing to the stereotypes of African Americans.

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You know what day it is. It’s Free Your Mind Friday on Leid Stories!

You’ve had a whole week’s worth of issues to ponder, and now’s the time to have your say about them.

Call in (888-874-4888) and get it said, or you’ll be no fun at all this weekend. 

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Peak Oil: What You Need to Know About A Looming Global Crisis

Hell In Hanford, WA: America’s Most Contaminated Nuclear Site

Leid Stories listener Jay Smith, an environmental activist, presents an FYI, “Peak Oil: The Basics on A Looming Global Crisis.” 

Recently launched as a peer-to-peer teaching and learning component of the program, FYIs are briefings or primers on subjects deserving further study and discussion.

Investigative reporter Paul DeRienzo, working under a Polk Awards journalism grant, files the first installment of “America’s Fukushima”--a series on a longstanding ecological disaster caused by massive contamination from the Hanford Site, a sprawling nuclear-reactor complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington state.

The now-decommissioned site, built in 1943, housed the world’s first plutonium-production reactor that produced much of the nation’s nuclear arsenal, including the nuclear bombs used against Japan. But the operation of its nine reactors, phased out between 1968 and 1987, has created one of the largest ecological disasters in the United States. 

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Wage Theft: Workers Robbed On the Job--By Their Employers!

On The Money: Small PAC Takes On Big Campaign-Finance Issue

Bill O’Reilly’s Undiluted, Unrepentant Racism

Hundreds of thousands of American workers are being robbed while on the job, says Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute. Employers steal billions of dollars by shortchanging them of fair pay, he says, and the federal government is doing little about it. Wage theft, he reveals, is bigger than bank robberies, convenience store robberies, street and highway robberies, and gas station robberies combined. 

Big-money influence in politics may have met its match. A small political action committee, calling itself Wolf-PAC, has launched an ambitious plan to end corporate financing of political campaigns (reversing the controversial Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing corporations the same First Amendment (free-speech) rights as individuals). Todd Jagger, Wolf-PAC’s coordinator for Texas and Western states, says the organization is making inroads.

Fox News’s resident bigot Bill O’Reilly and guest John Calipari, Kentucky’s basketball coach, had a lovely little chat on Monday about Calipari’s experience in coaching and his new book, Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out. Leid Stories’ listeners decipher the content of the five-minute interview.

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America may be changing demographically, but the nation’s newsrooms are not. Studies show that most newsrooms are holding to “diversity” plateaus reached many years ago. Even so, the news continues to reflect a decidedly white perspective in practically every aspect of editorial content.

The Kerner Commission, appointed in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson to study the root causes of urban rebellions that had broken out across the nation (all of them in communities of color), pointed to political, social, economic and historical factors that contributed to the violence. But the commission also blamed the media for exacerbating and maintaining a deeply entrenched racial divide.

Leid Stories discusses the role of today’s media in a vastly changed America and world.

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Obama Still Telling Blacks: ‘Tote That Barge, Lift That Bale’ (Part 1)

Detroit Files Third Bankruptcy-Exit Plan Over Major Protest

President Obama, the keynote speaker Friday (April 11) at the National Action Network’s 16th annual convention in New York, brought his all-too-familiar message to its marginalized minions: “Your only hope is the Democratic Party, and you are duty-bound to support it, unless you want to suffer the catastrophic consequences of a Republican win.”

So warned Obama, now proudly embracing the heretofore avoided and snubbed Al Sharpton.

Leid Stories analyzes Obama’s speech, examining its factual errors, deliberate omissions, and multiple, persistent offenses to African American identity, culture and history.

The City of Detroit today is expected to submit to federal Judge Steven Rhodes its third version of a bankruptcy-exit plan, forecasting solvency by Oct. 15. City unions and hundreds of other petitioners, however, are dead set against the draconian cuts Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is proposing in his bid to settle the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy in record time.     

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire and Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party, reports.

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Has the craziness of politics gotten to you this week? Not a minute to lose, start your mind-readjustment program now to save your weekend!

It’s Free-Your-Mind Friday on Leid Stories—a pro bono service to those wanting to talk things through to quickly regain their political bearings. Our method is quite effective; most people find themselves happily immune to the bloviators on weekend “analysis” shows.

Call in (888-874-4888) and share your considered thoughts and opinions. A great weekend is in store.

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