Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

August 14, 2015  

It’s “Free Your Mind Friday,” Radio’s Best Open Forum!

Join the conversation, or start one of your own, on “Free Your Mind Friday,” radio’s best open forum. It’s where great minds gather to trade information, opinions and ideas.

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August 13, 2015  

Leid Stories picks up from where it left off with yesterday’s program, discussing what is being marketed by the media as the “phenomenon” of Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

The backdrop to the supersaturated coverage of Trump is a story of intertwined interests in big money and power, the manipulation of public attitudes, and the railroading of what is commonly thought to be “the democratic process.”

In the rough-and-tumble world of American politics these things have become a natural part of the landscape, but the media’s role in this election cycle is astoundingly egregious, says Leid Stories—all the more so because it unabashedly has laid bare its collusion with a corrupt system and process, and with apparent approval from the industry.

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August 12, 2015  

Media Monsters & The Monster Media: How ‘Winners’ Are Made

The backdrop to the Donald Trump-centered political soap opera is an intriguing story. It hasn’t yet been told, mainly because the people who should be telling it and the media organizations they work for are key actors (and culprits) in a sordid production that has little to do with “the public’s right to know.”

It’s about money (lots and lots of money), power, and how “winners,” whether in media or politics, are made.

Leid Stories amplifies its July 27-29 discussions on the confluence of interests and power between the media and the political duopoly, and the rightward shift in American politics.

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August 11, 2015  

Past Is Present: 50 Years After the Watts Rebellion, Ferguson’s Crisis Confirms Delusions of ‘Progress’ and ‘Change’

Fifty years ago today, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, a tinderbox smoldering for decades under the yoke of poverty, disfranchisement, governmental indifference, and militarized police oppression, exploded in a cathartic rage. The heavy-handed arrest of a black motorist by white cops for drunk driving was the spark that set Watts aflame for six days and transformed it into a war zone—claiming 34 lives; causing more than $40 million in property damage; adding 4,000 National Guards, 934 city cops and 71 sheriffs to the city’s police force; causing about 3,500 arrests.

Half a century later, Ferguson, Missouri, is under its second state of emergency as the mostly black  town of 21,000 observes the anniversary of the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by former police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 last year.

Mainstream media, until yesterday, were touting headlines and news stories about “change.” But our guest, Dr. Gerald Horne, a diplomatic scholar, historian, attorney and prolific author, draws stark parallels between Watts and Ferguson.

Horne is the John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. He has written more than 30 books, and more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, on struggles against imperialism, colonialism, fascism and racism. Pertinent to our discussion today is his authoritative account and analysis of the Watts Rebellion, Fire This Time, The Watts Uprising and the 1960s.

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August 10, 2015  

U.S. Cleans Up Nuclear-Waste with … Kitty Litter!

Ferguson: A Year After Rebellion, Is There ‘Reform?’

In On Feb. 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy said a salt-hauling truck caught fire at its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico, an underground collection, processing and storage plant for nuclear and radioactive waste from a Defense Department weapons facility located in Los Alamos, Texas. Workers were evacuated, six were treated for smoke inhalation, and part of the plant was shut down, the DOE said.

Nine days later, workers on the night shift on Feb. 14 heard an explosion “close to the operating location where waste was being emplaced,” the DOE confirmed. The next day, air monitors detected “very low levels of airborne radioactive contamination.”

Independent, award-winning journalist Paul DeRienzo—who had done a six-part series (“America’s Fukushima”) on Leid Stories about the nation’s largest ecological disaster caused by massive contamination from the Hanford Site, a sprawling nuclear-reactor complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington state—sheds light on the clear and present danger posed by the nation’s nuclear-weapons industry and the government’s abysmal regulation of nuclear waste.

In Ferguson, Missouri, and across the nation yesterday, thousands paused in memory of Michael Brown, who at 18 was shot dead by former police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 last year. Leid Stories takes a look at what Ferguson has taught us.

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August 7, 2015  

Think Out Loud! It’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories!

Welcome to Leid Stories’ open forum for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas, and where people think out loud.

Add your own special flavor to the intellectual mix and help us all free our minds.

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August 6, 2015  

On the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago today, after a protracted civil-rights struggle that was both conciliatory and militant, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibiting all states from impeding or denying African Americans the right to vote. The legislation also strengthened existing antidiscrimination laws and gave new authority to the U.S. Attorney General to prosecute offending states.

Reflecting on the half-century since the passage of the VRA, Leid Stories observes the many ways in which both the letter and intent of the act have been violated. Moreover, the question central to the VRA and several related legal cases remains unanswered: Are African Americans citizens of the United States?

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August 5, 2015  

Trumped and OutFoxed: The Republicans' Undemocratic Debate

And a bloviating billionaire shall lead them ... into debate.

Welcome to the new world of political discourse, a national "debate" among presidential contenders that really should be called "Presidential Celebrity Apprentice: A Donald Trump-Fox News Production."

In prime time tomorrow evening, Trump and nine other Republican presidential hopefuls who made the first "cut" based on their showings in five recent national polls, square off against each other for two hours. An undercard slate of seven who didn't poll will have to make do with an hour of air time in a separate, non-prime-time debate earlier.

Leid Stories says the much-vaunted debate is indeed historic--though not for reasons most would think.

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August 4, 2015  

Debt: The Creation of A Global Crisis

The forced, politically engineered bankruptcy of the City of Detroit has been an ongoing discussion on Leid Stories for almost two years. Its historic bankruptcy court filing, to discharge $18 billion in debts, still wreaks havoc with Detroiters, who now must live under the yoke of blistering austerity.

Detroit, however, was a template for almost 60 U.S. cities said to be on the brink of bankruptcy because of debt, as Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, grapples with an onerous debt of $73 billion.

But debt is a geopolitical contrivance, says Yanis Varoufakis, who on July 6 quit as finance minister in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government of Greece, opposing European Union, International Monetary Fund and bankers’ demands for drastic cutbacks to service the country’s debt obligations.

In a wide-ranging talk in Seattle three years ago, when he was an economics professor, Varoufakis deconstructs the myth of a global debt crisis.

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August 4, 2015  

Debt: The Creation of A Global Crisis

The forced, politically engineered bankruptcy of the City of Detroit has been an ongoing discussion on Leid Stories for almost two years. Its historic bankruptcy court filing, to discharge $18 billion in debts, still wreaks havoc with Detroiters, who now must live under the yoke of blistering austerity.

Detroit, however, was a template for almost 60 U.S. cities said to be on the brink of bankruptcy because of debt, as Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, grapples with an onerous debt of $73 billion.

But debt is a geopolitical contrivance, says Yanis Varoufakis, who on July 6 quit as finance minister in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government of Greece, opposing European Union, International Monetary Fund and bankers’ demands for drastic cutbacks to service the country’s debt obligations.

In a wide-ranging talk in Seattle three years ago, when he was an economics professor, Varoufakis deconstructs the myth of a global debt crisis.

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