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Given the week we’ve had, there’s no way you don’t have something to say. Well, get it said today, or risk ruining your weekend with unnecessary worry.

It’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories, an hour of brisk trade in information, opinions and ideas. Come into the marketplace with your intellectual wares. Hang out with highly opinionated people and feel good that you can hang in there! Call 888-874-4888. 

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The Israel-Gaza Crisis: How We’re Subsidizing the Carnage

Bullies In the Pulpit: For Corporate Media, It’s ‘Nation’ Time

We may be thousands of miles away from the bombs, bullets and bloodshed, but we’re closer than we think to the carnage in Gaza, says our guest today.

Janet McMahon, managing editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, discusses the uninterrupted flow of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel over the course of several U.S. administrations to build and maintain its military dominance in the Middle East; its use of that power to forcibly displace Palestinians from their ancestral homeland; and powerful allies in Washington who guarantee its economic survival and military capability even as they defend its rogue-state defiance of international conventions on human rights, nuclear arms, democracy and the peace process.

Corporate media are on the job—jingoistically speaking. Nationalistic fervor has overtaken the nation’s newsrooms, and all things are told from an us-and-them perspective, harkening back to the good old days of the Cold War.

Leid Stories cites recent examples of media organizations meting out punishment to errant reporters slow or unwilling to fall in line with propaganda reporting.

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Peace Activist: Israel’s Carnage in Gaza Has Shifted the Public Discourse

Detroit: City Manager Scores Major Victory; Retirees OK Pension Cuts

The ‘48-Hour Rule’: How Cops Legally Avoid Investigations

Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and director of its New Internationalism Project, helped found the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation in 2001 and remains on its advisory board. She writes and speaks widely across the United States and around the world as part of the global peace movement, and is an informal adviser to several top U.N. officials on Middle East and U.N. democratization issues.

She tells Leid Stories that Israel’s carnage in Gaza, and its policies toward Palestine in general, have triggered a shift in the public discourse, most notably among Jews.

Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager for the City if Detroit, on Monday got a huge boost to his bankruptcy-reorganization plan—agreement by city workers and retirees to cut their pensions by 4.5 percent and forego other benefits.

Correspondent Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, reports on what Orr’s victory means in the impending legal battle to prove to a federal judge that the city has met all the criteria to qualify for bankruptcy protection against creditors and to proceed with its recovery plan.

A funeral will be held this evening in New York City for Eric Garner, a 46-year-old father of six who died last Thursday after a violent arrest by police for allegedly selling “loosie” untaxed cigarettes.

Two police officers involved in Garner’s fatal arrest—including the officer who held Garner in an illegal chokehold—have yet to be fully questioned about the incident. Leid Stories discusses a controversial union rule that actually provides police officers legal protections against investigation and prosecution that civilians don’t have.

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Fast Only When Furious?: U.S. Moves on War and Foreign Conflicts, Not So Much on Pressing Domestic Matters

Sight Unseen: Liberals Still Color-Blind to Centrality of Racism in American Life

President Obama and Congress are uniformly fast, decisive and resolute in their response to wars and conflicts abroad—U.S. interests and humanitarian concerns, they maintain, always at front and center of their actions. Global conflicts are high-priority items on the legislative agenda, and the president and his detractors in Congress are able to hammer out policy decisions and multibillion-dollar allocations to support them in a hurry. They’re fast when they’re furious.

When it comes to domestic matters, however, it’s quite another story. They’re deliberate in their lack of speed while social and economic indicators suggest a rapid downturn for most Americans. Leid Stories discusses the irony.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a progressive being prodded into a 2016 presidential bid, was a keynoter at the recent Netroots Nation convention in Detroit. Her speech to the mostly white gathering of liberal-left organizers was a clarion call for action on a number of hot-button issues.

But, says Leid Stories, Warren’s speech also pointed up a continuing problem with liberal-left politics—the refusal to acknowledge the centrality of racism to life in the United States, and the obligation of all progressive movements to condemn it and commit to fighting it.

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Just about everyone in Washington is lying to and among themselves and to the nation about what they variously have described as an “immigration problem,” “illegal aliens crossing the border,” “an urgent humanitarian situation,” and “a surge of unaccompanied children.”

Whatever they call it, one thing is clear: No one will use the R-word—Refugees.

Republicans and Democrats have found common ground. They’re reviving parts of the 2008 Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency (HUMANE) Act so as to categorize the children as trafficked persons, thereby skirting international (and national) laws on refugees’ rights. All the while, they hide their high-handed misdeeds behind contrived concerns about those rights.

The task at hand is to sell the big lie that good old-fashioned bipartisan wrangling between Congress and the Obama administration is producing a just solution. But that lie follows a series of other lies, also arrived at in bipartisan fashion.

Votes, not victims, are their top priority in this political season, and so the abject misery of tens of thousands of refugees snared at the border becomes a useful, campaign-worthy opportunity to sell the electorate on ideological differences between candidates and their parties. The refugees are quite expendable.

Leid Stories tells the truth about their lies. And James Petras, a Bartle professor (emeritus) of sociology at Binghamton University, New York, discusses the “golden era” of predatory U.S. and corporate policies and actions that laid the groundwork for the mass-migration from Central America that we are witnessing today.

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Here you are at the end of the week, still standing and holding on. Good for you! Now, make your triumph complete by freeing your mind.

You’ve endured a veritable blitz of information all week from various media sources that tell you what to think about major issues and events. But it’s a one-way street; you don’t get to say what you think. Well, that’s what “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories is all about. You get to have your say.

Call in to the best speak-your-mind, tell-it-like-it-is show in radio and add your thoughts to the intellectual mix.


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Far From Settled: 'Attorney at War Alton Maddox Seeks ‘Complete’ Justice 

In Central Park Jogger Case, Including Probe of Sham Trial

 

New York City’s $40-million settlement with five Harlem men railroaded as teenagers into trials, convictions and stiff prison sentences for the 1989 rape and brutal assault of a white female jogger in Central Park is “some” justice, but not “complete” justice, says our guest, attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr.

Resuming the practice of law after illegally being “barred” in 1990 by an unprecedented action of the New York State Legislature, Maddox, who has litigated some of the most controversial criminal and civil-rights cases in New York City, tells Leid Stories that his top priority is reopening the case—this time to expose all the wrongs committed, assign accountability for those wrongs, and make whole all who were adversely affected by police, prosecutorial, judicial and political breach of duty and misconduct.  

Maddox, whose prowess in the courtroom has earned him the moniker “attorney at war,” represented Michael Briscoe, then 17, the only defendant to successfully challenge the state’s evidence in the case.  

He discusses in detail the basis for his intended legal action, taking calls from listeners.

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Sandbagged by yet another crisis that has put him and his administration on the defensive, President Obama has decided to take the tried-and-true approach to dealing with it: throw obscene amounts of money at the problem.

He’s hardly likely to get from Republicans the $3.7 billion he’s requesting from Congress to handle nonstop illegal entry into the United States—now, via the porous border with Mexico, by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children. But even if he does get the money, the president will be spending it on the effects of the problem, not on eradicating the problem itself.

Leid Stories explains why there will be no real solution to the “border crisis,” certainly not on Obama’s watch, and why the major players in this political drama have no interest in getting at its root causes. Listeners contribute their thoughts.

 

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Detroit Bankruptcy: As Pension-Plan Vote Nears, New Woes Beset City

The World Cup: What The Mega Event Proved Beyond A Shadow of Doubt

A July 21 deadline looms over Detroit’s bankruptcy-restructuring plan. By that date, the city must show a federal court judge not only that a majority of 32,000 retirees and current and former city workers have voted “yes” on mailed-out ballots to cut their pensions by 4.5 percent and forego cost-of-living allowances, but that their votes represent at least two-thirds of the amount owed to workers from uniformed and civilian city sectors.

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, brings us up to speed on where state-appointed city manager Kevyn Orr stands with his press for a “yes” vote; “grand bargain” concessions some unions have made to speed up settlements with their memberships; and a rise in the misery index as the city cuts essential services to poor Detroiters.

The 20th edition of the World Cup, soccer’s international tournament of champions held every four years, ended yesterday in Rio de Janeiro with Germany clinching the title against Argentina.  

Gilbert Mercier, cofounder and editor in chief of News Junkie Post, who presented World Cup 2014 as a metaphor for the social, political and economic crises and contradictions plaguing Brazil and many other countries represented at the World Cup (June 12 podcast), returns to Leid Stories with the final score on a list of things the mega event proved beyond a shadow of doubt.

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Just for you, it’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories!

It’s when listeners flip the script on major news issues and events, or on any subject they choose. There’s only one requirement for participating in this free-wheeling discussion: You must have an opinion and be able to defend it; neutrality is a total copout.

Bring your considered opinions and ideas to the best open forum and test your—and our—intellectual mettle. We are nice people with good manners. We will receive your offering with great respect.

Join us. Free your mind. It will do us all a world of good!

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