Leid Stories – 09.28.15

Holier Than Thou: The Role of Religion in the 2016 Presidential Race

The 2016 presidential race has unleashed a devil’s brew of marketing ploys—chief among them a distinctly nativist “American Christian” religiosity.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), was the first to tout his evangelical credentials to the [self-] righteous. In early April, in a bid to woo evangelicals, his campaign ran a 30-second spot, titled “Blessing,” in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada—the states with the earliest primaries.

In the ensuing months, the candidates’ religious beliefs, and religion as a whole, have featured prominently in media coverage of the presidential campaign. Leid Stories discusses the role of religion in shaping electoral choices.


Robert Scheer – Fools, Fascists and Cold Warriors: Take Your Pick

Are they fools or fascists? Probably the former, but there was a disturbing cast to the second GOP debate, a vituperative jingoism reminiscent of the xenophobia that periodically scars Western capitalist societies in moments of disarray. While the entire world is riveted by the sight of millions of refugees in terrifying exodus attempting to save drowning and starving children, we …


MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS – “Martin Shkreli is the Donald Trump of drug development”: Why even a biotech exec agrees Turing’s pill price-gouging is “even skeevier than you think”

“Martin Shkreli is the Donald Trump of drug development,” my friend Frank tells me. “He’s a hedge fund manager who gives hedge fund managers a bad name.” Frank — a chief scientific officer at a biotech company (and whose name has been changed to protect his and his family’s privacy) — is talking to me Tuesday morning, en route to …


Leid Stories – 09.21.15

Ben Carson: So Fanatical, So Bigoted, So Wrong, On So Many Levels

The Mysterious 23-Month Gap In Hillary Clinton’s Haiti Emails

Republican presidential candidate and self-professed man of God Ben Carson has made it plain: The nation’s highest office should be off-limits to Muslims. Further, he contends Islam is not “consistent” with the U.S. Constitution.

Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, weighs in on Carson.

Of the 7,945 emails of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made public so far, 391 pertain to Haiti—a country at the heart of several questionable political and financial dealings involving the Democratic presidential candidate and her family.

Kim Ives, cofounder of the international weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté, discusses a mysterious 23-month gap in Clinton’s emails on Haiti.


Solartopia Green Power and Wellness Hour – 09.17.15

Award-winning columnist ROBERT KOEHLER talks with us about refugees and compassion as the “Squirming Buddha” seeks a balance among difficult choices.

Bob’s always-cogent columns speak to us of the dilemma of NOT being a refugee and of facing the reality of how one would act as an individual in the face of the need for sharing and personal cost.

He tells a simple story of finding money on the street and then NOT giving it to a panhandler in need. Of housing a political refugee for five years and living through the day-to-day difficulties of doing a good deed.

We start with a talk about the REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE and the astonishing spectacle of 11 (ELEVEN!) candidates strewn across a stage in the Ronald Reagan library, yelling about legal pot and wars unfought. An event to shake the very roots of Solartopia.


Expat Files – 09.18.15

-Did you know that there are so-called 100% bilingual Latins and there are 100% bilingual Latins? There are big differences! That said, don’t think just any so-called bilingual Latin person might fit your needs- for example as a top-notch secretary or girl Friday in your new Latin-based business. Note that just because a Latin person has passed that all-important TOFEL international English competency exam and has the diplomas to prove it, doesn’t mean he or she had the instant capacity to handle any or all of your needs. Such persons will undoubtedly have some bad habits. You must from the start be as vigilant as a hawk and set first-world standards.. or disappointments will surely follow.

-You can easily put an ad in the classifieds or on the internet looking for just such a bilingual person to hire as a guide or as a translator or whatever. Some young college-aged Latins are 80% to 100% bilingual and really can help you immensely. But note that the vast majority of said persons will not be able to write an email or business letter any better than a stateside 4th grader. There are two reasons for this: one is that 95% of these bilingual people went to crappy public universities and were taught English by non-native English speakers with bad accents who in turn learned their English from non-native English speakers with bad accents (i.e., non-gringos) etc., etc. The second reason most can’t write a decent letter is that many bilingual types have no one to talk to so they are always out of practice. To be nimble one must stay in the game!.


Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.


Steven Rosenfeld – GOP Debate Shows a Party Where Crazy Is the New Normal

Despite the large number of candidates on the stage at the Ronald Reagan Library, the second debate of Republican presidential candidates was an astounding display of how intellectually bankrupt the Republican Party has become in 2015. Beyond the many subplots—such as a red-faced Donald Trump eating crow for his nasty remarks about ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s looks (then he …


Jenna Johnson – Donald Trump Reveals His Favorite Bible Passage—Which He Made Up

Nearly three weeks after Donald Trump was first asked to name his favorite Bible verse, he finally has an answer: He likes what the Book of Proverbs says about not bending to envy. “Proverbs, the chapter ‘never bend to envy,’” Trump said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The Brody File” on Tuesday evening in California. “I’ve had that thing all of my life …


The Mark Riley Show – 09.16.15

– James Blake, retired tennis pro, says police pushed him down; inquiry opened. This story just won’t go away. Interesting that Blake made no reference to possible racism being involved. There’s a lot more going on, however.

– Misidentified and tackled by the NY police, but no tennis star treatment. Multiply this story by many, and you have the dimensions of the fissure in police-community relations. This kid wasn’t James Blake. But hold on……..

– How Instagram tricked NYPD into James Blake arrest. Tricked? The NYPD? Never!!! Turns out the guy they were originally looking for is a respected businessman and sunglass designer. How’d that happen?

– ……And finally, Paddy Lynch weighs in with a “cops deserve the benefit of the doubt rant”. Somebody needs to tell him he won re-election already!

– Florida GOP leaders: Candidates who skip Florida should not be on ballot. Seems Florida’s worried about diminishing influence in primary sweepstakes. But would a ballot with only JEB Bush and Marco Rubio be taken seriously. They’re the only ones who’ve agreed to show up for the party’s candidates summit.

– Senate Democrats again block vote to reject Iran deal. What, again? Don’t McConnell and his people have anything better to do, like funding the government?

– Speaking of which…With possible shutdown nearing, Obama looks to take budget fight to GOP. Good idea, but it only works if the other side is sane!

– Census survey: Nearly 9 million Americans gained health insurance in 2014. And Republicans want to kill Obamacare? Good luck with that!

– Muslim teen arrested after teacher mistakes clock for bomb. And they locked him up and suspended him from school for what?

– Cuomo and Christie say states can pay half of Hudson rail tunnel project. So who picks up the other half? The feds, same people Christie’s running for president against. Oh, he’s still running for president?

– Vinyl LP frenzy brings record pressing machines back to life. Young people are buying more than half the vinyl records produced in the country. One man has stuck to his vinyl guns longer than anyone I know.


Henry A. Giroux – Political Frauds and the Ghost of Totalitarianism

In the current historical moment in the United States, the emptying out of language is nourished by the assault on the civic imagination. One example of this can be found in the rise of Donald Trump on the political scene. Trump’s popular appeal speaks to not just the boldness of what he says and the shock it provokes, but the …