Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

January 30, 2015  

You Know It’s Time … to Free Your Mind!

So, what news story got you all riled up this week that you’d like to share and talk about?

Select one from the 3 million or so that ought to be swimming around in your head this bumper-crop news week and offer it up with all the gusto you can. It’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories, after all, and we’re waiting to hear what you have to say.

Call 888-874-4888, stand firmly on your soapbox, and opine away. But don’t be surprised if someone finds holes in your argument. It’s just their way of freeing their minds!

January 29, 2015  

Man on Fire: Obama Sets Up Rebound From Foreign-Policy Missteps

In his penultimate year in office, President Obama is a man on fire, snatching every bit of legacy he can get from a Republican-controlled Congress that has him marked for ignominy.

Republicans were quick to dispute the great strides on the domestic front the president laid claim to in his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, and were especially critical of his administration’s foreign-policy agenda. Nothing new here.

What is new is Obama’s clear intention to rebound from foreign-policy missteps with a hands-on approach to deal making and deal closing that has netted him two impressive deals this year—Cuba and, as of yesterday, India.

Is Obama truly on the foreign-policy rebound? Diplomatic scholar, historian, attorney and prolific author Dr. Gerald Horne answers the question comprehensively. Horne is the John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies at the University of Houston.

January 28, 2015  

The ‘Blizzard of Historic Proportions’ and Other Snow Jobs

National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini was on the defensive yesterday, trying to explain why his agency got it wrong about the panic-inducing “blizzard of historic proportions” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday would dump about three feet of snow on New York City. That didn’t happen. (Uccellini said the NWS wasn’t wrong, really, it just should have done a better job of communicating that the projected hit on the city was iffy.)

What did happen, though, was that the city was placed under full state-of-emergency management and operation, including a total shutdown of public transportation, a travel ban, and even a curfew that carried a threat of fines.

De Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and disaster-preparedness officials are generally quite pleased with how things worked out. Leid Stories discusses why people should be very, very concerned.

We also look at other snow jobs—“news” stories that simply won’t tell us what we need to know.

January 27, 2015  

Snowed!: Pre-empted by the “Blizzard of Historic Proportions”

Leid Stories will not air live today. With short notice, a state of emergency has been declared in New York City, where PRN is headquartered, owing to a blizzard that is said to be heading toward the area. Public transportation, including the entire subway system, will be shut down, roads and highways will be closed, and people are to be off the streets by 11 p.m.

Our wonderful engineers, anticipating the weather emergency might extend to tomorrow, are airing rebroadcasts of shows for those programs, like Leid Stories, that are live—just in case they’re not able to get back to the studios tomorrow.

Thanks for your understanding. Hopefully, all will be well enough to resume our normal schedule.

January 26, 2015  

America’s Race-Based Power Conundrum: Any Way Out?


A week after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, America is fully back to natural mode, the strains of King’s historic exhortations on freedom, justice and equality muffled by the roar of business as usual. America has paid its symbolic respects to King and his dream, things are much better now, there’s a movie, move on.

Leid Stories discusses America’s race-based power conundrum—“civil-rights” struggles against “natural-rights” rule and control. Is there any way out? 

January 23, 2015  

Unlock Your Brain! Free Your Mind!

It’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories—an open forum for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas that merit further inquiry, discussion and debate.

More talking TO and WITH, less talking AT, and always with respect, solid reasoning and a good sense of humor.

What will you ask us to think about today? The world awaits you at 888-874-4888.

January 22, 2015  

Boehner’s Netanyahu Invitation Shows Up Israel Lobby

No Surprise Feds Won’t Indict Ferguson Ex-Cop Who Killed Michael Brown

House Speaker John Boehner announced yesterday that he has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran and the threat of radical Islam on Feb. 11.

Boehner’s power play and breach of diplomatic protocol (President Obama was not informed) signaled a bare-knuckles partisan fight to the finish of Obama’s term. But Janet McMahon, managing editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, says both Boehner and Netanyahu have confirmed the power and influence of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States.


Leaks from the U.S. Department of Justice are indicating an imminent announcement that federal investigators have found no reason to indict Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9 last year, setting off nationwide protests against police brutality and excessive use of force.

Leid Stories revisits its spot-on predictions of no indictments in the case, both at the state and federal levels, and how the outcomes were engineered. 

January 21, 2015  

“Selma” and The Battle to ‘Diversify’ Hollywood

Courtroom Showdown in Staten Island, N.Y., in Garner-Related Case

The sleeper issue of “diversity” in Hollywood is playing big this year. All 20 actors and actresses nominated in four main Oscar categories—lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress—are white, and it has ignited a firestorm of protest, especially from African Americans in the industry.

Selma, the biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership of protests in Alabama—particularly the Selma-to-Montgomery march—that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, was nominated for best picture and best song, but director Ava DuVernay and the film’s main actors were snubbed in their respective categories.

Our guest, Armond White, film critic for the National Review and Out Magazine and author of three books on contemporary pop culture, discusses the big scream about the big screen.


“Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr. returns for Part 2 of his discussion on the Eric Garner case, focusing on his intended showdown in State Supreme Court in Staten Island, N.Y., as legal counsel to Ramsey Orta, who had videotaped the fatal police encounter with Garner, including the chokehold that a medical examiner said caused Garner’s death.

Maddox says he intends to defend Orta on a gun-possession charge, in defiance of an illegal action by the state Legislature more than 25 years ago that “barred” him from the practice of law. 

January 20, 2015  

U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Federal, State Housing Segregation Policies

The Police Chokehold: When Is A Lynching Not A Lynching?

The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments tomorrow in the closely watched Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs case, which will decide whether the federal government and states can continue to implement policies that “perpetuate or exacerbate racial segregation in housing,” even without intent.

Richard Rothstein, a research associate with the Washington, D.C.-based 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, is our guest. He explains the significance of the case, why a large group of housing scholars, historians and activists have filed a friend-of-the-court brief seeking to end government-subsidized housing segregation, and the formidable legal obstacles that must be overcome in order to score a victory for fairness in housing.


Last Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to veto any legislation the City Council passes to make chokeholds illegal. Current NYPD policy banning chokeholds is sufficient, de Blasio said, and training will further reduce its use by police officers. Councilman Rory Lancman, who sponsored a chokehold bill, says he has enough votes to override de Blasio’s veto. Lancman’s legislation, however, will make the use of a chokehold a misdemeanor.

“Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr. contends that all sides in the legislative facedown—de Blasio, the City Council and the police unions—are skirting the real issue about chokeholds. By legal definition, he argues, chokeholds are a form of lynching and should be dealt as such by the law.

January 19, 2015  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sets An Agenda with Faith, Hope and Clarity

Leid Stories commemorates the 86th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr. with his prescient analyses of the amalgamated forces of oppression against people of color in the United States and worldwide; his redefinition of the struggle for freedom and equality in America; his relentless pursuit of justice through directed action; his application of the lessons of history; his undiluted pride in being African; and his unshakable faith.

King transmits all this and more in his speeches today, with vivid instructions to us all about the work still to be done to bring to fruition a just and democratic society.

Mainstream media will play its predictable role, projecting King as a “dreamer.” King’s blistering polemics, however, informed the thrust of the civil-rights movement, which awakened society, and African Americans especially, to their inherent power.

King was a beacon, shining a strong light to bring us to safe harbor. Why, then, does it seem that we remain at anchor in a churning sea?


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