Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

June 16, 2014  

President Barack Obama’s wait-and-see on the rapidly evolving crisis in Iraq won’t last the week under intense pressure from congressional, military, corporate and media hawks that he “do something”—especially since President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has offered to help Iraq repel the hardline, al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadists waging a brutal military campaign to take over the country.

A war-weary nation cringes at the very real possibility of renewed military engagement, no matter how “limited” the president says it will be.

Obama’s in a no-win situation, says our guest, Prof. William O. Beeman, chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and a scholar of Middle East studies for almost 40 years. His predecessor, President George W. Bush, had all but succeeded in the principal objective of his 2003 invasion of Iraq—the disintegration of the oil-rich country and acquisition of its resources. Will “help” from Obama finish the job?

00:0000:00
June 13, 2014  

It’s Friday. On Leid Stories, it’s when freeing your mind helps to free the world.

Masterfully dissect a major news issue or event, take us through your reasoning, and hear the shackles fall. Or, brace yourself for an equally masterful retort. Either way, minds are set free, and the doers of such good deeds earn a grand prize indeed—the satisfaction of knowing that they have done honorable trade in the marketplace of opinions and ideas.

Now, live for the weekend and prosper!

00:0000:00
June 12, 2014  

World Cup 2014 in Brazil: Beautiful Game Showcases Ugly Inequality

Defeat of Eric Cantor A Bellwether for Grassroots Politics (Part 2)

The 20th edition of the World Cup, soccer’s international tournament of champions held every four years, begins today in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the host country facing off against Croatia.

It’s Brazil’s second time as host (the first was in 1950), and President Dilma Rousseff has poured $15 billion into preparations that have been fraught with major cost overruns and  construction delays, logistical nightmares and violent protests over neglect of extremely urgent social and economic needs.

Gilbert Mercier, cofounder and editor in chief of News Junkie Post, discusses World Cup 2014 as a metaphor for the raging inequality that plagues Brazil.

Leid Stories continues yesterday’s discussion on why the stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Dave Brat, a Tea-Party-endorsed political neophyte, should serve as a bellwether for grassroots political action and encourage the emergence of a vigorous, committed, people-centered alternative to Democratic Party co-optation and betrayal.

Cantor, who represented Virginia’s 7th District, had the benefits of a high-visibility position, a fat war chest, powerful allies, and a seven-term incumbency. But he became the first House majority leader to lose a primary election since the position was created in 1899—no match for irate voters.

00:0000:00
June 11, 2014  

Dave Brat, a Tea Party-favored economics professor with a woefully underfunded political campaign, yesterday brought to a spectacular end the career of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, capturing Virginia’s heavily Republican 7th Congressional District in the primary election.

Few saw the possibility of Brat getting 55 percent of the vote, or that the same conservative movement that in 2001 brought Cantor in would also take him out. But Brat hammered away at Cantor’s seeming lack of fidelity to the scripted right-wing agenda.

Brat’s win has energized the movement within the Republican Party to reshape, redefine and reconstitute itself with respect to the needs and interests of its political base and core constituencies. In many ways, says Leid Stories, it should serve as a bellwether for grassroots political action, encouraging the emergence of a vigorous, committed, people-centered alternative to Democratic Party co-optation and betrayal.  

00:0000:00
June 10, 2014  

America’s Fukushima: The Largest Ecological Catastrophe in U.S. History 

Part 4: A Scientist-Turned-Poet’s “All-Consuming Obsession”

Investigative reporter Paul DeRienzo files the fourth installment of a series on an ecological disaster caused by massive contamination from the Hanford Site, a sprawling nuclear-reactor complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington state.

Today’s guest is 2012-2014 Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken, whose full-length collection, Plume, is a meditation on the Hanford Site and its impact on her home town of Richland, Wash. She began her career as a civil engineer and hydrologist, and worked three years at the Hanford Site. For nearly six years, she wrote almost exclusively about Hanford.

The still-partially-functioning Hanford Site, built in 1943, was where two-thirds of the nation’s plutonium was manufactured during World War II and the Cold War. It 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 the largest ecological disaster in the United States.

During those 40-plus years, DeRienzo says, a steady stream of industrial and radioactive waste created by the production of the element was dumped directly into the air, river and ground of the 586-square-mile reservation. “Now, the United States is faced with the largest cleanup in history, and little hope that it will totally succeed,” he says.

DeRienzo, working under a Polk Awards journalism grant, presents exclusively for Leid Stories Part 4 of his series, “The Hanford Site: America’s Fukushima.”

00:0000:00
June 9, 2014  

Obama: Billions for Ukraine, Europe; More Time to Pay Off College Loans

Detroit’s Pensioners Being Pressured to OK Cuts to Their Benefits

Selling Hillary 2016, Media Madness Goes Into Overdrive

Fresh from an “Axis of Evil” revival in Brussels and a litany of jingoistic D-Day speeches in Europe that committed the United States to billions of dollars in military and developmental aid, President Obama today announces a big break for U.S. college students: They’ll get more time to pay off the astronomically inflated cost of their education.

Retiring and retired city workers in Detroit are being pressured by the state and appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr to approve a bankruptcy-exit plan that calls for cuts to their benefits. If they approve, the cuts will be only centimeters deep; if they don’t, it’s all the way to the bone, says Orr.

Hillary Clinton’s ghostwritten book, Hard Choices, is released tomorrow, but the media frenzy attached thereto is a terrifying example of the self-assigned role the institution often plays in shaping public opinion, discourse and even reality.

00:0000:00
June 6, 2014  

So much has happened this week that needs to be put in proper perspective—which, of course, is the reason for “Free Your Mind” Friday on Leid Stories. Share your analysis of issues and events that in your opinion warrant a closer look. Or, raise our consciousness about something we all should have a working knowledge of. Or, challenge popular opinion with an insightful view to the contrary.

Let’s hear your brain! Call 888-874-4888 and unleash your natural brilliance!

00:0000:00
June 5, 2014  

A week after announcing plans for total troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2016, President Barack Obama seemed to be itching for a fight in Europe.  

In Poland to meet with regional leaders prior to the G7 Summit in Brussels, the president keynoted official ceremonies in Warsaw for Polish Freedom Day, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from communism. In a scathing attack on Russia—which G7 member-nations  have excluded from the summit because of its role in Ukraine—Obama told President Bronislaw Komorowski and the  people assembled that the United States is committed to defending all European states against incursions by the communist regime. A U.S. military buildup is already under way, Obama said.

Leid Stories and listeners analyze Obama’s speech, which was riddled with huge ironies and contradictions, and a reversion to the Cold War-era mindset. 

00:0000:00
June 4, 2014  

Historian Gerald Horne Debunks the Myth of America’s Beginnings;

Preservation of Slavery, He Says, Fueled Founding Fathers' Revolutionary War

As is common lore, the nation was born out of a rebellion against onerous taxes imposed by Britain on its 13 early colonies in America. Having no representation in Parliament, the colonists deemed tribute to the crown unfair, illegal and an old-world threat to the ideals and freedoms they had come to enjoy in their new world. Their righteous indignation grew over time and fed the ubiquitous cry to break free of the British Empire—a yearning  achieved with the Revolutionary War (also called the American War of Independence). The visionary Founding Fathers then forged a new nation, enshrining the colonists’ shared noble values in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, guaranteeing freedom, justice and equality to all.

It’s a nation-creation myth, says Dr. Gerald Horne, John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies and professor of diplomatic history at the University of Houston. His newly released book, The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, is the focus of today’s program.

The Revolutionary War really was a counterrevolutionary movement, says Horne. The chief protagonists were “founding fathers” who were heavily invested in slavery in North America and feared the inevitability of abolition by Britain and strategic military help Britain and enslaved Africans in America would receive from leaders of successful slave rebellions in the Caribbean.

An eye-opening, history-remaking session! Don’t miss it!

00:0000:00
June 3, 2014  

Investigative reporter Paul DeRienzo files the third installment of a series on an ecological disaster caused by massive contamination from the Hanford Site, a sprawling nuclear-reactor complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington state.

Today’s program focuses on the construction and operation of the N Reactor, the last of nine plutonium-production reactors built at Hanford for the nation’s defense program. Designed also to produce electricity, it became the only dual-purpose reactor in the country. When it was shut down after 24 years of operation (1963-1987), 1 million gallons of contaminated water and irradiated fuel rods used during production became part of the massive environmental disaster that persists today.

The still-partially-functioning Hanford Site, built in 1943, was where two-thirds of the nation’s plutonium was manufactured during World War II and the Cold War. It 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 the largest ecological disaster in the United States.

During those 40-plus years, DeRienzo says, a steady stream of industrial and radioactive waste created by the production of the element was dumped directly into the air, river and ground of the 586-square-mile reservation. “Now, the United States is faced with the largest cleanup in history, and little hope that it will totally succeed,” he says.

DeRienzo, working under a Polk Awards journalism grant, presents exclusively for Leid Stories Part 3 of his investigation: “The Hanford Site: America’s Fukushima.”

00:0000:00

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »