This week on CounterSpin: A human rights nightmare continues to unfold in Myanmar, as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya flee what a new UN report calls “coordinated and systemic” attacks by security forces and Buddhist-majority mobs, only to arrive—if they arrive—to horrific conditions in refugee camps in Bangladesh. What human rights groups have the called “ethnic cleansing” of the religious and linguistic minority, the Myanmar government of Aung San Suu Kyi calls “clearance operations,” aimed solely at ousting militants. Though the Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient’s government maintains they are simply illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, where, as in Myanmar, Rohingya are denied citizenship.

You may have seen or read some of what the UN calls “bone-chilling” accounts of attacks on Rohingya people. What’s the history behind those accounts? Azeem Ibrahim is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy and author of The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide. He’ll join us for an extended conversation about the roots of the current crisis and where we go from here.

Plus a quick look back at recent coverage of the continuing Puerto Rican disaster.

“Juror No 2”, as Lindy Lou Isonhood was known, talks about the impact that a death sentence had on her and other jurors in a case in Mississippi in which they reached a verdict to sentence Bobby Wilcher to death for the murder of a woman. Bobby had been convicted by another jury, but his original death sentence was set aside by an appeals court. Bobby was then sentenced to death a second time after a new sentencing trial. Lindy had reservations about the sentence and set out to find the other jurors nearly twenty-two years later to see if they had similar thoughts of regret. Lindy visited Bobby while he was on death row. He was executed and that event sparked a crusade by Lindy to reform the system. Lindy felt trapped by the jury instructions given by the Judge, making her feel like she had no choice. Lindy’s story is captured in a film, “Lindy Lou, Juror No. 2” which is currently being screened in some film festivals. Lindy is interviewed by host Craig Lubow in a two-part series. Other films and news stories have looked at the impact of the death penalty on the defendants’ families, the victims’ families, and on the Warden and doctors that must implement the death penalty. This is the first time that the impact on the jurors is examined.

Trailor: https://ff.hrw.org/film/lindy-lou-juror-number-2


Free Speech on College Campuses

Last week an invited lawmaker was shut down form addressing Texas Southern University after protesters stormed the room calling him a racist. House Representative Briscoe Cain was asked to speak to the Thurgood Marshall School of Law by the Federalist Society about the recent legislative special session. But as he uttered a few words, he was shut down by students and then the Universitys President who claimed it was an unapproved event. It’s ironic that the school is named for the Supreme Court justice known for his exemplary record of protecting First Amendment rights.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also recently spoke–uninterrupted–at Georgetown University about free speech on American college campuses. He said, The right of free speech does not exist only to protect the ideas upon which most of us agree at a given moment in time, and encouraged students to: make your voices heard, [and] to defend the rights of others to do the same. Sessions joins a bipartisan chorus of public officials expressing support for free speech in academic institutions.

This summer, Senators Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell condemned efforts to shut down different viewpoints at schools. And in 2015, Barack Obama more than once defended the importance of free speech on campus. I dont agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view, he said at a September 2015 town hall.

The recent Sessions talk comes amid an uptick (1) in efforts to dis-invite controversial speakers of all ideological persuasions, (2) use of bias response teams to monitor unpopular speech, and (3) in unprecedented violence aimed at silencing off-campus speakers.

These are some of the findings from a recent study from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The comprehensive survey on students’ attitudes about free speech measured responses to questions about hate speech, guest speakers on campus, self-expression and reactions to expression of other students.

Guest -Will Creeley, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on Americas college campuses.


Tech Freedom on USA Liberty Act of 2017

Americans whose data is inadvertently swept up while the government monitors foreign intelligence risk having their information used for non-national-security related purposes.

Two weeks ago draft legislation was introduced to address this, but a broad coalition of civil liberties organizations say it doesn’t go far enough. They are calling on the House to close the so-called back-door search loophole by requiring a warrant based on probable cause for any search of information about U.S. citizens and residents. Similar to the USA Freedom Act of 2015, which ended the practice of bulk surveillance of American citizens under Section 215 of the 2001 PATRIOT Act, the current USA Liberty Act of 2017 would overhaul surveillance that is supposed to be limited to targets outside the U.S. but actually affects Americans. Section 702 expires at the end of December, which is why Congress is reassessing the program.

Currently, FISA surveillance is conducted under a warrant issued annually by the FISA court for a list of foreign intelligence targets. But law enforcement can access, and can use, Americans communications swept up in FISA surveillance with no warrant at all. This is even though U.S. persons communications require constitutional protections not afforded to foreigners.

The USA Liberty Act adds a warrant-like probable cause requirement before law enforcement can search the database, but also includes a sweeping, vague exception for foreign intelligence information and does not stop law enforcement from using that information for criminal prosecutions. This is a glaring violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Guest – Austin Carson, Executive Director of TechFreedom joins us to talk about this legislation, and the state of surveillance generally. Tech Freedom is a non-profit, non-partisan technology think tank launched in 2011 that focuses on issues of Internet freedom and technological progress.


Lamonte McIntyre, Wrongfully Convicted, 23 Years Imprisoned, How Did This Happen?

Lamonte McIntyre, Wrongfully Convicted, 23 Years Imprisoned, How Did This Happen? How many others has this happened to? How do we find the others and set them free? Is the real question, How can we keep this from happening again? The news is filled with this story of police corruption, coerced testimony and the 23 years spent behind bars on a wrongful conviction. This is not the first such case and will not be the last one either. What we as a community, as a society need to decide is what are we going to do to rectify these wrongs and what lengths will we go to find the other victims that are still behind bars?

Today host Latahra Smith of the KC Freedom Project talks with Lora McDonald of MORE2 about this case and MORE2’s efforts to bring this problem to the public’s attention. Lora is a close friend of the McIntyre family and will bring her own perspective to the issue. We also will be playing parts of the Wyandotte County Prosecutors Press conference after the hearing was over and the comments of Niko Quinn who was coerced into testifying against Lamonte and spend 20 years trying to tell authorities she had lied. We will also open the phone lines for your questions and comments.

This week on the Heartland Labor Forum: Remember when we couldn’t bring signs to demonstrations because they could be used as weapons? Since Charlottesville, people are bringing weapons!! What happens to freedom of speech? Hear activists in a roundtable discussion. Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

“Marshall” is not a biopic about America’s first black Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall. It’s a courtroom drama about one Connecticut rape case that the famed jurist worked on in his early days as a lawyer for the NAACP. Chadwick Boseman plays the brash young Marshall who manipulates a local Jewish lawyer, played by Josh Gad, into defending the accused, played by Sterling K. Brown. The production is handsome, the actors are fine and its heart is in the right place. But in its execution, “Marshall” is standard courtroom fare.


Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan star in the dark revenge thriller, “The Foreigner.” Chan plays a humble London businessman whose life is upended by a terrorist act. Brosnan is a somewhat shady former member of the IRA, now working for the Brits. “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell infuses the story with plenty of cat-and-mouse action. This one is for action fans who can look past the movie’s plot deficiencies.


“Ex Libris: The New York Public Library” is the latest documentary from the famed filmmaker Fredrick Wiseman, known for his ‘fly-on-the-wall’ approach. Early in the film, one library official says, “The access to information is the fundamental solution, over time, to inequality.” That pretty much sums of the theme of this sincere, if excessively long documentary.


Also opening this week, “Happy Death Day” is a horror/time travel thriller about a woman who keeps repeating the day of her murder. “Lucky” is a comic drama that features the lfinal performance of the late actor Harry Dean Stanton. “The Pathological Optimist” is a documentary about the anti-vaccine doctor Andrew Wakefield. “Brawl in Cell Block 99” is a violent prison movie starring Vince Vaughn. “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” tells the true story of the Harvard psychologist who created Wonder Woman. “M.F.A.” is a rape drama starring Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint.

Four Oscar-winners (Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry) join Taron Edgerton, Channing Tatum and Sir Elton John(!) in Matthew Vaughn’s wacky comic book sequel to the 2015 hit about a secret British society of super agents that make James Bond look tame. Rated R.

TAKE TWO: “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”
Episode date : October 13, 2017
On Take Two

Bill McKibben of 350.org spoke at Pierson Auditorium on October 6th courtesy of the Cockefair Chair Foundation. KKFI was on hand to record.

The Hottest Fight in the Hottest Decade
Episode date : October 16, 2017
On EcoRadio KC

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