Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

August 29, 2014  

Just In Time for the Labor Day Weekend, It’s … “Free Your Mind” Friday!

The last thing you need this Labor Day weekend is a mind weighed down, boggled by the news of the week. Leid Stories is here to help you reclaim valuable space in the old noggin so that you, too, can have some mindless (sorry!) fun.

It’s “Free Your Mind” Friday, and unboggling is what we do! Call in—888-874-4888—and unboggle to your mind’s content. Then go forth and embrace the weekend.

August 28, 2014  

Ferguson, MO: U.N. Intervention Sought; National Youth Rally Planned

Rebuke of Cuomo Confirms Why Sharpton Won't Demand Special Prosecutor in Chokehold Case

In the aftermath of the Aug. 9 police killing of Michael Brown, Ferguson has become the epicenter of related political and social action.

Leid Stories reports today on a human-rights initiative seeking protection under international conventions for Ferguson residents and citizens elsewhere in the United Nations engaged in lawful protest and the exercise of their democratic rights.

Dr. Mustafa Ansari, dean of the American Institute for Human Rights and point person on the initiative, discusses human-rights violations in Ferguson—which, he says, are continuing.

The newly formed Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition leads a “National March on Ferguson” this Saturday (Aug. 30), aimed at galvanizing the unharnessed social and political power of youth and channeling it toward actions and solutions to the myriad problems confronting this demographic. Leid Stories gets an insider’s view of the aims and objectives of the march and, more importantly, the targets of its directed action.

A New York Times editorial board rebuke Tuesday of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that explained its refusal to endorse him in the Sept. 9 primary because he failed at the ‘No. 1 job” of cleaning up corruption in state government also confirms why the Rev. Al Sharpton is not demanding that he appoint a special prosecutor in the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. Leid Stories explains.

August 27, 2014  

Ferguson, MO: What It’s Saying to America and the World

Protest over the Aug. 9 police killing of Michael Brown continued yesterday, a day after his burial, but with a change of venue, to City Hall in downtown St. Louis. There protesters demanded the arrest and prosecution of Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing Brown, and a transparent investigation of another police killing 10 days after Brown’s death—that of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, just four miles from Ferguson.

Witnesses described Powell as pacing and acting erratically outside of a convenience store. Cell phone video recorded two officers firing several rounds at Powell within seconds of arriving on the scene. Police reports said he had taken two power drinks and donuts from the store and was holding a knife when they encountered him outside. Eyewitnesses said he posed no threat to the officers or anyone else.

Ferguson has become a stark symbol of the dissonance between the America that is pridefully talked about and the America that is. In this month of August, the predominantly African American small town has jarred the conscience and attention of the nation, placing  at front and center, once again, the centrality of race and race oppression in America.  

Leid Stories asks listeners: What has Ferguson taught you?

August 26, 2014  

Sharpton Urges A ‘Movement’—Just In Time to Support the Democrats

Apocalypse Soon?: The Middle East’s Present As Apocalyptic Prologue

From the pulpit of the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Ferguson, Missouri, the Rev. Al Sharpton inveighed against rogue cops as he eulogized Michael Brown, whose shooting death by a local police officer Aug. 8 touched off demonstrations across the country.

Solving the problem is no quick fix, he told the church packed with mourners; what is needed is “a movement.” They rose to their feet and cheered in agreement, unaware that the good reverend had just announced the launching of his perennial voter-registration drive for the Democratic Party. Sharpton had followed his own admonition to them to turn the “chance” of Brown’s death into “change.”

Leid Stories lays bare Sharpton’s most recent clues that true justice in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner (July 17) killings by police is being compromised by Sharpton’s personal agendas.  

Could the Islamist insurgency in the entire Middle East and North Africa, and repeated military interventions by Europe and the West, be setting the stage for an apocalypse of global proportions?

It’s quite possible, says our guest, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, renowned investigative journalist and international security scholar, who posits the theory in a chilling sci-fi thriller, Zero Point, released this week. 

August 25, 2014  

Fresh from his high-publicity march Saturday in New York calling for “justice” in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the Rev. Al Sharpton today takes center stage in Ferguson, Missouri, at the high-publicity funeral of Michael Brown, who was shot dead by a local police officer on Aug. 9.

The Garner and Brown police-involved killings have come to crystallize long-simmering tensions about police conduct and undue use of force in African American and Latino communities. But both cases also are being carefully choreographed by Sharpton, not only to shore up his profile as the de-facto “civil rights leader” of Black America, but also as a pivotal political power broker and race intercessor.

Sharpton’s personal ambitions would be of little consequence—except that the Garner and Brown cases, of great legal significance to communities of color across the United States, are both showing signs of political tradeoffs that in fact will jeopardize or cancel altogether the “justice” Sharpton is demanding. To date, there have been no legal briefs filed by Sharpton in either of the cases that challenge highly irregular actions by state and local officials in New York and Missouri, nor have any legal actions been taken to compel specific remedies or courses of action that relate to his demand for justice.

Rather, there is a troubling coziness with the systems Sharpton ought to be at war with, and a decided reluctance, if not refusal, to engage in legal battle, which is where the fight for justice really is.

With guest Alton H. Maddox Jr., the only attorney in the United States to have succeeded twice in forcing the appointment of a special prosecutor in racially motivated crimes, Leid Stories continues its examination of the misalignment between what Sharpton is saying and what he’s not doing in the Garner and Brown cases.

August 22, 2014  

Add Your Flavor to the Intellectual Stew! It's "Free Your Mind" Friday!

If you came through this week without an opinion about anything, you are clinically dead.  

But if like most Leid Stories listeners you’ve been walking around with a week’s worth of heavy-duty opinions just aching to find their way to a mic, then step right up; call in and free your mind.

It’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories, your chance to pilot the ship where you want it to go. Offer your best opinions and ideas to a community of thinkers who may differ with you, but never with the intent of gratuitously scoring points. We function at a much higher level and we have good manners.

Call in—888-874-4888—and add your flavor to the intellectual stew. It’s tasty!

August 21, 2014  

Leid Stories does this from time to time. Much like having a medical checkup, we take stock of our political consciousness as a way of tracking our understanding and interpretation of our day-to-day reality and how we’re functioning (or not functioning) within it.

Understanding informs behaviors and actions. So, ultimately, the point of this exercise is to gauge the impact of our various realities on our thinking and how, in turn, this is affecting our actions in spheres in which we have some type of influence—family, community, organizations, etc.

How have recent issues and events affected your political consciousness? How has your reality been changed by them? What new ground have you gained in understanding the way systems work (or don’t work)? What have you learned about yourself and your ability to make a difference?

No pat answers here, just an earnest effort at consciousness raising. We learn by genuinely sharing information with each other.

August 20, 2014  

Following yesterday’s discussion, Attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. deconstructs the legal issues involved in the police killings of Eric Garner (July 17, Staten Island, NY.) and Michael Brown (Aug. 9, Ferguson, Missouri), and discusses the challenges of assuring just outcomes in such cases, which notoriously are rife with police, prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

Both cases already are showing signs of political subversion, Maddox says. This not only could derail justice, but also long-overdue legal reforms.

A question-and-answer period follows Leid Stories’ interview with Maddox.

August 19, 2014  

‘Attorney at War’ Alton Maddox Warns of Problems in Garner, Brown Cases

Apocalypse Soon?: The Middle East’s Present As Apocalyptic Prologue

Attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr., who has litigated or played a major role in several high-profile cases involving excessive force by police, discusses major legal issues in two current cases – the July 17 chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., and the shooting death on Aug. 9 of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The “people’s attorney general,” as he is called, says these legal issues can compromise the integrity of both cases, and, thus, their outcomes. Moreover, they can affect the prosecution of other current and future cases of police killings of civilians, Maddox says.

Could the Islamist insurgency in the entire Middle East and North Africa, and repeated military interventions by Europe and the West, be setting the stage for an apocalypse of global proportions?

It’s quite possible, says our guest, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, renowned investigative journalist and international security scholar, who posits the theory in a chilling sci-fi thriller, Zero Point, released this week. 

August 18, 2014  

Ferguson Protesters See Movement Tied to Mass Leadership Change;

They Tell Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson: ‘Get Outta Here!’

Ferguson, Missouri, in its third day of a 5 a.m.-to-midnight curfew and state of emergency imposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, remains a boiling cauldron of anger and resistance in the aftermath of the Aug. 9 police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Upping the ante, Nixon has now called in the National Guard to restore order to the predominantly African American town of 21,200 just outside St. Louis.

SWIP Stop the Violence, a grassroots movement spawned by a collective of spoken-word poets and local activists, oppose almost entirely the way the crisis in Ferguson is being handled—most especially back-room political dealings they say imperil justice not only in Ferguson, but in the Fergusons of America.

Leid Stories talks exclusively with Yah Ammi, a key representative of the collective, from “Ground Zero,” the movement’s base of operation in locked-down Ferguson. He reveals shattering information about what really is happening in the beleaguered town; continued police violence against residents; the political accommodations that have already been made at the expense of justice for Michael Brown; and why one of the movement’s top goals is exposing, opposing and removing from influential positions sellout leadership at all levels nationwide.

Public confrontations in Ferguson with the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson over their questionable actions as political operatives and self-assigned leaders of mass movements have started the ball rolling, Ammi says.

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