Leid Stories – 01.19.16

Dirty Water, Dirty Politics: A Toxic Mix in Detroit and Flint, Mich.

The alarm Leid Stories sounded in August 2014 about a “water crisis and massive public-health catastrophe” in Detroit and Flint, Mich., is only now getting national attention—now that it isn’t just a “black” problem. In Detroit, still reeling from severe austerity measures imposed after the city’s forced 2013 bankruptcy, water shutoffs continue unabated for thousands of homeowners too poor to pay; about 80,000 are behind in their water bills. In Flint, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to lead-poisoned and bacteria-infected water after the cash-strapped city, now under emergency management, switched its water supply from Detroit and instead was drawing its water from the extremely polluted Flint River.

Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, broke the Flint story. He return to Leid Stories to provide a comprehensive update. Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party and editor in chief of the Pan-African Newswire, is Leid Stories’ correspondent on Detroit’s forced bankruptcy and its aftermath; he reports on the city’s continuing water crisis.


Valerie Tarico – God as the Original Terrorist: How the Bible Condones Atrocious Acts of Terror

Last fall, Dutch pranksters put a cover from a Quran over a Bible and then asked passersby [3] to read aloud homophobic, violent or sexist passages that violate modern moral sensibilities. The texts shocked people who had never immersed themselves in the Iron Age world of the Bible writers, a world in which daughters can be sold as sexual slaves [4] …


China Not Facing ‘Cataclysmic’ Economic Slow Down, Says Stiglitz

China isn’t facing a “cataclysmic” economic slowdown and last week’s market turmoil was more about badly designed stock market circuit breakers, said Nobel-prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. The circuit breakers, which caused local exchanges to close early on two days last week after stocks plunged to a 7 percent limit, weren’t as well designed as they could be, Stiglitz, a professor …


Monsanto Offered $10M to Prove GMO Safety: Monsanto Never Shows…

On Monday December 21, students from Livingston High School joined Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an American scientist with a PhD in systems biology from MIT, to debate the ‘safety’ of GMO crops. Monsanto was invited to come and prove that there are indeed GMO safety assessment standards, and was even offered a $10 million enticement to send representatives to argue its side. But the …


Brooke Borel – The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most

It’s the job of science journalists to look beyond data – we have to look at the people doing the science and whether they have conflicts of interest s a science journalist, a lot of your time is spent reporting on new studies, natural phenomena and how research may affect our lives. But there is another key piece to science, …


Black Agenda Radio – 12.21.15

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective.

– The mayor of majority Black Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency, last week, after health officials discovered a “toxic soup” of pollutants in the city’s water – including a high risk of lead poisoning. The health crisis was created when an appointed emergency financial manager forced Flint to switch from Detroit’s water system, to Flint River water. Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Emergency Financial Managers to dictate the affairs of virtually every majority Black city in the state, denying local populations control of their own institutions. In Detroit, water has been shut off to tens of thousands of poor people. We spoke with Thomas Stephens, a people’s lawyer who’s been active in the resistance to state and corporate takeovers in Michigan.

– On January 8th through the 10th, Philadelphia’s Temple University will host a conference on the Black Radical Tradition. Keynote speakers include Angela Davis, Robin D.G. Kelly, Cornel West, V.J. Prashad, Anthony Monteiro, and Charlene Carruthers, of Chicago’s Black Youth Project 100. The title of the conference is “Reclaiming our Future: the Black Radical Tradition In Our Time.” Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, will take part in one of the conference panels. There has not been a mass movement in Black America for a very long time. We asked Larry Hamm if the Black Radical Tradition is more than just an academic subject.

– More than one hundred supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal gathered outside a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courtroom, as a federal judge heard arguments about why state prison authorities should be forced to treat Mumia for Hepatitis C. The nation’s best-known political prisoner came close to death, earlier this year, from complications of the disease. Joe Piette is a member of the Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. He says Mumia isn’t just fighting for himself.

– New York based writer and political analyst Eric Draitser recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela, where the Socialist Party founded by the late Hugo Chavez lost badly to the rightwing opposition in legislative elections. The opposition won two-thirds of the seats in the national legislature. Draitser’s latest article on Venezuela is titled, “The Revolution That Will Not Die.” Although the Socialist project in Venezuela is not yet dead, Draitser agrees that it has suffered a major setback.


Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.01.15 (PART 2)

Gary discusses Israeli and Palestine and the current situation. Also Prof. Norman Pollack joins Gary for the 2nd hour as well.

Prof. Norman Pollack is a professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan. He has a long history of engaging civil rights and anti-war activities over the decades, beginning when he was 15 and campaigning for Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party in 1948. Later he campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in the 50s and supported Martin Luther King. A two time Guggenheim fellow, Prof. Pollack was a major intellectual voice during the late 60s in giving an knowledgeable boost to the New Left and writing on American populism, which became an popular documentary “The Populist Mind”. After receiving his doctorate in American Civilization from Harvard, he taught at Yale and Wayne State before going to Michigan. In his later years he has focused on the history of civil disobedience, socio-political alienation, and the sociology of fascism. Prof. Pollack currently writes for Counterpunch.org, and investigates America’s descent into a new form of neoliberal fascism.


LOA Today – 11.12.15

This week we complete our series of interviews with Joel Elston to-date. This was actually my second interview with Joel, taking place in October of 2014 just a few weeks after the untimely death of his adopted son. It’s a noteworthy interview because it not only focuses attention on his son’s death, but more importantly it shows how a grieving person can take steps to turn that grief into rememberances of love and appreciation for the departed person.


Warrior Connection – 10.04.15

Warrior Connection had a discussion on adverse health effects of illegal street drugs and alcohol on our body and mind. Specifically on the growing use of mary jane / dope to try and treat ptsd and other neuromuscular afflictions. . These all only complicate life and do nothing to improve quality of life but only numb the senses and have long term health effects. The key is not in drugs or booze but taking control of your life as in attached brochure in concert with wholelistic medical approaches.


Cooking oil industry contributes to inflammation and premature death

For thousands of years, olive oil was known to be beneficial for health. Muhammad, the ancient prophet of Islam, applied it to his head and advised his followers to use it on their bodies as it was good and life giving. It was also revered as “holy oil” and used in baptism within the Christian church for centuries. Even the …