Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

April 30, 2014  

Detroit: Emergency Manager Seeks State Legislators’ Support

Tiny Nation Charges Big ‘Nuclear 9’ with Treaty Violations

Players Got Played In NBA’s Decision on Sterling

Detroit’s governor-appointed city manager, Kevyn Orr, goes a-courtin’ for the second day in Lansing, hoping to convince state legislators to release $350 million in tax-sharing revenue Gov. Rick Snyder had promised the beleaguered city (and which, actually, it is owed). Without the money, Orr’s ambitious restructuring plan to exit bankruptcy by the fall is doomed. Correspondent Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African Newswire, discusses this and other developments as Orr faces a status conference with bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes on May 15.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands—a nation of 68,480 spread over 24 low-lying coral atolls comprising more than 1,100 islands and islets—today files legal actions in the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, saying they all have violated nonproliferation treaties and have created lasting ecological disasters in areas where they have tested nuclear weapons. Rick Wayman, director of programs for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, on the legal battle.

Leid Stories follows up on yesterday’s commentary on LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s not-so-sterling character. Today, how the players allowed themselves to get played.

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April 29, 2014  

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to announce today what sanctions, if any, he will impose against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who purportedly was heard on a recorded conversation with his girlfriend making racist statements about African Americans.

Leid Stories discusses the situation—but from an entirely different point of view.

The circumstances, elements and nature of the released tape were sure to ignite what has become for media a delicious furor. But the centuries-old narrative of plantation life, literal and figurative, in the United States is hardly what they would have us discuss and examine.

So, naturally, that’s exactly what the focus of our discussion is today.

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April 28, 2014  

Obama Mines Russia-Ukraine, Asia-Pacific for Global Power, Midterm Votes

Muhammad Ali Takes A Stand; Refuses to Be Drafted In the Army

Two days after Vice President Joe Biden’s return from Kiev to shore up U.S. support for Ukraine’s “democracy, unity and territorial integrity,” his boss began a big diplomatic mission of his own.

President Obama tomorrow wraps up an eight-day, four-nation trek through the Asia-Pacific region to accomplish the following goals with respect to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, said the White House: “modernizing U.S. alliances, supporting democratic development, advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other commercial ties, investing in regional institutions, and deepening cultural ties.”

Well, how did it all go? Since diplomacy is mostly about what is not said or seen, Dr. Gerald Horne, the John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies and professor of diplomatic history at the University of Houston, reveals what’s behind Obama’s big sell.

On this day in 1967, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, then a member of the Nation of Islam, refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army on the grounds that it violated his religious beliefs. 

In his own words, Ali explains his defiance of the law—a battle that would cost him dearly, even though the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 would overturn a lower-court conviction by an all-white jury on draft-evasion charges. 

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April 25, 2014  

You’ve made it through the week despite a conspiracy to drive you crazy. You’ve been told what to think about this and about that by people who don’t much about this or that.

Fortune smiles upon you. Your reward for making it through the week relatively intact is a warm welcome and genuine, good-folk fellowship at the gathering place for the exchange of information, opinions and idea.

It’s Free-Your-Mind Friday on Leid Stories. Call in (888-874-4888), share your natural brilliance, and discover the joy of a great weekend ahead.

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April 24, 2014  

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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April 23, 2014  

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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April 22, 2014  

“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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April 21, 2014  

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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April 21, 2014  

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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April 17, 2014  

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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