Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

November 12, 2014  

Governor Militarizes, Sharpton Mitigates, Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

Obama Picks Up Speed. Like All Things Going Downhill?

Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri yesterday left no doubt that the City of Ferguson will be re-militarized upon the announcement of the grand jury’s decision whether to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. He announced at a news conference that, whatever the grand jury’s decision, there’ll be more than enough law-enforcement personnel on hand, including the National Guard, to “safeguard safety and speech.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton did some pre-emptive PR of his own, firing off a news release blaming Nixon for mishandling the protests after Brown’s death and for not appointing a special prosecutor in the case—which, as Leid Stories repeatedly pointed out, neither Sharpton nor the lawyers handling the case had called for.

 

The thorough thrashing that the other wing of the flightless governmental bird handed President Barack Obama on Nov. 4 seems not to be slowing him down. Indeed, since the beatdown the president’s been a man on the move, determined to get things done, even if all by himself.

Obama’s new burst of energy over immigration, net neutrality, the war against ISIS (and Iraq and Syria), Ebola, the Trans-Pacific Partnership/Asia “pivot” and other long-simmering issues belies the fact that he seems to be following his old script, both in terms of focus and method. This new speed of his, is it the kind that happens when going downhill?

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November 11, 2014  

On This Veterans Day, A Reminder That We’re Missing In Action

As it usually does, the nation will pause today to salute veterans of its many wars. With purposeful patriotism, they will be thanked for their service to their country—giving their lives or taking other people’s in the name of “freedom and democracy.”

On this day, says Leid Stories, while we honor our veterans we should bear in mind that the government routinely dishonors them by literally making them the shock troops for regional and global domination. This day, therefore, should serve as a reminder that, on the matter of governmental misuse of the military, we are for the most part missing in action.

Vince Emanuele, a former U.S. Marine who refused to do a third tour in Iraq, talks about the culture of warfare, the plight of veterans returning home from war, the military industrial complex, and the importance of organizing resistance to it in order to create a just society.

Emanuele is an organizer for the Michigan chapter of Veterans For Peace and serves on the national board of directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War. 

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November 10, 2014  

Ferguson, MO: Racist Public Policy and the ‘Sundown’ Town

Detroit Bankruptcy: Judge OKs Exit Plan, But Major Battles Loom

The Aug. 8 killing of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American, by a white local police officer, Darren Wilson, brought Ferguson, Missouri, to national and international attention as yet another example of the woefully lopsided power equation between African Americans and the systems that control them and their communities.

Our guest, Richard Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law, explains that Ferguson—and the Fergusons of America—were created and continue to be shaped by racist governmental policies that reflect and reinforce societal attitudes. Ferguson, he says, remains true to the letter and spirit of its origins—as a “sundown” town that required Blacks to disappear from sight at the end of the day.

 

The almost two-year (20 months) legal battle over the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States came to an end last week, when U.S. District Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that the City of Detroit’s reorganization plan was feasible and fair, and will put the city back on solid financial footing. The euphoria by officials that accompanied Rhodes’ decision, however, is in stark contrast to the anger and angst of many Detroiters who believe they and their city are victims of an orchestrated political hit.

Abayomi Azikiwe, Leid Stories’ correspondent Detroit’s bankruptcy and related issues, reports on the key elements of the court’s decision.

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November 7, 2014  

What A Week! You Really Need to Free Your Mind!

It’s been a bruiser of a week on the home front, to say the least, and the new Republican order is just getting started. Add what’s happening around the globe to the mix and it’s more than enough to drive you over the edge.

Don’t panic, all’s not lost. But it is time for a major mind cleanse. Leid Stories is here to help you free your mind.

Bring your best to “the gathering place for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas” and engage with others in vigorous discussion and debate. Add your voice, your perspective, to an unscripted, ongoing dialogue about issues and events that matter to us all. Gain new insights as you help others to do the same.

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November 6, 2014  

Ferguson: Grand Jury’s Decision Even More Pain for Obama, Democrats

The Republican Juggernaut Strategizes, But Where Do We Go From Here?


The indictment decision by a Ferguson grand jury in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by local police officer Darren Wilson is about to deliver even more pain for President Barack Obama, his administration and the Democratic Party. No matter how the jury votes—although it is heavily rumored it will find Officer Wilson committed no crime—the imminent announcement will pile on yet more layers of hurt.

Leid Stories explains the inevitable.

 

Two days after Selection Day, and the Republican juggernaut that decisively routed the Democrats begins to strategize about harnessing the awesome power of its state and federal legislative shutout, now having full control of Congress, snatched at least 31 governorships from the Democrats, and control over 67 of 98 legislative chambers in the country.

Leid Stories continues our discussion on the salient question: In light of the current political situation, what are the implications for alternative political parties and movements, and what is to be done?  

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November 5, 2014  

Mayoral Recall Issue Claims Activist Battling Corporate Land Grab in Michigan

The Day After the Duopoly Settled Scores: Where Do We Go From Here?

 

Following directives from a judge and prosecutor that a person can be convicted without evidence, an all-white jury on the eve of elections stunned residents of the almost all-Black  town of Benton Harbor, Mich., by convicting a leader of an effort to recall the mayor, widely viewed as the henchman for Whirlpool Corporation’s plan to drive them out of the town and take over their land.

The jury found the Rev. Edward Pinkney guilty of five felony counts of voter fraud, saying he changed dates on some of the recall petitions and others were signed more than once. Berrien County prosecutor has mentioned the possibility of a maximum life sentence looms for Pinkney at his scheduled sentencing on Dec. 15. The firebrand pastor joins Leid Stories to discuss the verdict and what’s ahead.

 

Well, Selection Day—the day voters elected people they had no part in selecting—is done. The duopoly settled scores; wily, old-guard Republicans gave the smart-set Democrats and President Barack Obama a blistering beatdown, capturing both houses of Congress and a slew of governorships besides. 

Leid Stories’ listeners provide their own analyses of the duopoly’s scorched-earth battle, focusing particularly on implications for alternative political parties and movements.

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November 4, 2014  

Selection Day: After the Charade, What Are We Going to Do?

 

Well, it’s here. Selection Day. The day the nation gets to “elect” people they had no part in selecting as candidates. By day’s end, some new face cards will be added to a trick deck loaded with Jokers; the Democratic-Republican duopoly will win; and party statisticians will run the numbers a thousand different ways for clues to victory in The Big Race two years ahead.

The tragedy is that third parties and many grassroots efforts will have little, if anything, to report in the way of victory at the polls, and this, says Leid Stories, will be the most troubling “Selection Day” outcome of all. The usual impediments to free and fair elections aside (big money, pro-duopoly media, state crimes against democracy) aside, the question must be asked: Why aren’t third parties and grassroots politics gaining ground, especially at a time that seems tailor-made for them to do so?

Listeners offer their opinions and ideas about what is to be done in the aftermath of today’s national charade.  

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November 3, 2014  

Ferguson, MO: Racist Public Policy and the ‘Sundown’ Town

Voting: Tantamount to Aiding and Abetting A Criminal Enterprise

The Aug. 8 killing of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American, by a white local police officer, Darren Wilson, brought Ferguson, Missouri, to national and international attention as yet another example of the woefully lopsided power equation between African Americans and the systems that control them and their communities.

Our guest, Richard Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law, explains that Ferguson—and the Fergusons of America—were created and continue to be shaped by racist governmental policies that reflect and reinforce societal attitudes. Ferguson, he says, remains true to the letter and spirit of its origins—as a “sundown” town that required Blacks to disappear from sight at the end of the day.

Elections tomorrow will reshuffle the deck in America’s political house of cards. The Democratic-Republican duopoly, some hopeful contenders on the fringe and media outlets that depend on millions of dollars in political advertising are doing all they can to excite a badly bruised electorate into showing up at the polls.

Leid Stories in a commentary argues that for millions of Americans voting is tantamount to aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise.

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