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In the Matters of Ferguson, MO: The Unseen Legal Battles Over Rights

Detroit: Yet Another Round of Court for Activists Wanting Their City Back

Two months since Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in protest over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Police Officer Darren Wilson, and the small predominantly African American city remains taut and on edge as it tries to reassemble itself with a template of its own making. Meanwhile, the old one still is in effect, and it continues to wreak havoc.

Tony Rothert, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, discusses cases his office has litigated that provide a snapshot of the root of long-simmering tensions in Ferguson and in other communities of color across the state.

Without even a functioning court in their forced-into-bankruptcy city to hear their case, a group of activists must travel an hour out of town to Ingham County Circuit Court to legally challenge the state’s takeover and decimation of Detroit’s public-school system.

Elena Herrada, a member of the Detroit School Board and an activist with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, gives an update on their third battle with the state.

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Fighting Words: At War Or Not At War? The Answer Is … Well, Sorta Kinda  

President Obama shocked the nation and the world when he said at a White House news conference on Aug. 28 that he had “no strategy yet” for dealing with the rise of Islamic State jihadist terrorism in the Middle East—despite more than a year of top-level reports and briefings and inside pressure since 2008 to respond. On Sept. 10, he unilaterally declared war against the IS, announcing that he had authorized a bombing campaign against its strongholds in Iraq and Syria. By Sept. 22, he had rustled up a “coalition” to participate in the airstrikes.

So, the United States is at war, right? Yes. And no. And not really, but sort of, but not legally.

Congress wants a showdown of its own with Obama. It did vote to authorize a budget for Obama’s war-not-war, but it did not authorize war, leaders say.

Leid Stories continues its discourse on the questions it asked from the beginning: Are Obama’s actions legal, according to U.S. and international law, and is the nation at war? Listeners contribute their thoughts.

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Wizard of Odd: Obama Ramps Up on Race; Finds There’s No Place Like ‘Home’

Having carefully avoided the subject of race/racism/white supremacy for most of his tenure in office—except to make points about Blacks’ penchant for self-inflicted pathology—President Obama seemed to be ungagging himself. But wait. It was just another tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear moment.

Keynoting the black-tie dinner that caps the Congressional Black Caucus’s annual summit on illusory legislative power, Obama went “home,” touching on issues that remain raw with most of Black America. But just when you think he’s achieving his own “teachable moment,” he gives lets the cat out of the bag. It’s just a hook to introduce Eric Holder as the heir to Thurgood Marshall’s civil-rights legacy (and, possibly, his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?) and a lead-in to “bring souls to the polls” in the November election.

Leid Stories airs last night’s speech and follows with a commentary.

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It’s Imperative! For Your Own Good, Free Your Mind Now!

You have no choice. Too much stuff has crowded into your one and only working mind this week. It’s time to make room. Time to defrag, declutter and debunk, and “Free Your Mind” Friday” is here to help.

What’s your take on this week’s roster of news issues and developments? What do you know that we ought to? Give us a guided tour in this open forum designed specifically for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas—and for your mental health and well-being; we want you nice an calm so you can enjoy your weekend with family and friends.

Call 888-874-4888 and free your mind now!

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Mass Water Shutoffs, Ouster of City Manager Top Detroiters' Concerns

A Settlement In Police-Brutality Case, But The Matter Isn’t Settled

The federal trial to determine whether Detroit’s bankruptcy-exit plan is fair and feasible resumed this week after a one-week pause to allow Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., the largest creditor, to meet with the city and mediators on a possible settlement deal.

But Judge Steven Rhodes began hearing testimony from angry Detroiters vehemently opposed to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s draconian and arbitrary measures. Their objections, especially over extreme economic hardship, foreclosures and mass water shutoffs under Orr, are echoing beyond the courtroom; Detroiters want him gone by tomorrow, when his 18-month term ends.

Abayomi Azikiwe, our correspondent on Detroit’s bankruptcy, provides an update on the multipronged battle.

The City of Los Angeles last night settled a lawsuit by Marlene Pinnock, the woman seen on video being brutally beaten by California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Andrew on the side of a freeway on July 1.

Leid Stories explains why the $1.5 million settlement shouldn’t mean that the matter is settled. 

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Russia, China and the Islamic State: The Triple Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy

This is not President Obama’s finest hour. He’s in the doghouse with Americans on the economy and other major domestic issues, and in the tank on foreign policy. His job-approval ratings are at their lowest since taking office six years ago—a whopping 58 percent giving a thumbs-down on his overall job performance, and only 35 percent approving, according to RealClearPolitics’ latest poll. Most industry-standard polls are showing similar numbers.

Obama’s often bewildering foreign policies are a main reason, and they continue to haunt him and his administration.

Leid Stories illustrates this point in our discussion today on the triple challenge to U.S. foreign policy—Russia, China and the Islamic State. Our guest, scholar and prolific author Dr. Gerald Horne, puts Obama’s foreign-policy crises in proper perspective.     

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Stupid Stuff: Behind Obama’s ‘Smart’ War in Iraq and Syria

Going Green: Big Money and the Climate-Change Movement

President Obama yesterday intensified his war against the Islamic State with airstrikes against IS   strongholds in northern Syria. The foreign-policy philosophy Obama articulated earlier this year—“Don’t do stupid s[tuff].”—appears to be off the table; the war is now a three-pronged effort, Iraq also in the crosshairs.

In ordering the airstrikes in Syria and threatening retaliation against any of Bashar al-Assad’s forces if they should take any action in defense of Syria’s sovereignty, the president has taken his “stupid s[tuff]” doctrine to an exponential level of recklessness and lawlessness. Like his predecessor, George W. Bush, Obama is shamelessly lying about the reasons for his military action in Iraq and Syria.

Investigative journalist Arun Gupta, former international news editor of The Guardian and contributor to several leftist publications and journals, discusses why he had “a bad feeling” about the People’s Climate March. Hint: He’s on the money.

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Voting: Young People Are Opting Out. Is It Time to Just Say No?

‘Historic’ March for Climate Change, But A Troubling Atmosphere

A study earlier this year by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics found that young Americans 18 to 29 years old aren’t interested in voting.

Only 23 percent of participants said they plan to vote in November. Their trust in government is “at a five-year low” and “their cynicism toward the political process has never been higher,” and they’re opting out of voting, said IOJ director Trey Grayson. Interestingly, disillusionment with politics was more prevalent among Democratic participants, but Conservatives and Republicans were most enthusiastic about the midterm and November elections, the study found.

Young people aren’t the only demographic turned off by politics in general, and the Obama administration in particular. So, will opting out catch on this November and beyond?

It certainly was historic. As many as 400,000 people, according to news reports, coursed through midtown Manhattan yesterday in the People’s Climate March in vivid demand for world action on measures to curb global warming. The United Nations tomorrow hosts a preliminary climate summit that will lay out an agenda for a major international conference next year in Paris.

Leid Stories discusses the climate-change march and why so much about it was and is troubling. 

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Here’s Your Chance to Free Your Mind—And Ours, Too!

What a week it’s been—war, conspiracy, usurpation of democracy, corruption, terrorism, clandestine operations, lying leaders. And that’s just Washington!

Having survived yet another challenging week, what are your thoughts on the major issues that dominated the news? Or, maybe you’d like to introduce something entirely unrelated for consideration and/or debate.

It’s your call. You choose where you want the conversation to go. Offer your best, make your case, and you’ll know soon enough whether you’ve jiggled the brain cells of the world’s most discerning audience.

Now you can add your visit to the forum to your list of stellar accomplishments. And you’ve freed up enough space in your mind to fully appreciate a jazz concert this weekend.

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License to Kill: Senate Hearing Peeps Plan for Syria—ISIS and Assad

The Leader Shipped: Sharpton Bails on Michael Brown, Eric Garner Cases

At a U.S. Senate hearing yesterday on President Obama’s declared war against the Islamic State(now occupying swaths of land in Iraq and Syria), Secretary of State John Kerry quickly urged a “classified” meeting with Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) when McCain insisted on a twofer: Annihilate both the jihadists and the country’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad.

But it was clear that the warhawk McCain was publicly stating the administration’s true intent in pursuing the Islamic State in Syria. Kerry disagreed only as to sequence; first, the IS terrorists, he said.

Leid Stories discusses the surreal and patently illegal nature of Obama’s “democratic” process of

Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, unleased their fury at a county council meeting Tuesday night, demanding the arrest of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson on Aug. 9. The justice-seeking locals appear to be no closer to that goal than when Bloviator in Chief Al Sharpton swooped into town and commandeered their movement as the guy who can get results. Similarly, 10 weeks after the police-chokehold killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., no arrests have been made of the officers involved.

Two epic fails by Sharpton--and proceeding as planned. 

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