Sunday, June 26, 2016

CRISIS AT MARQUETTE BRANCH PRISON

Less than 48 hours ago, there was a vicious, cowardly attack on prisoner Danny Woods at Marquette Branch Prison. Woods was handcuffed by Correctional Officer Paul and then slammed, head first, through a window! Of course, this cut up his neck! Prisoner Woods had to be taken immediately to the hospital emergency room. 

It seems that Officer Paul told Woods he was writing a misconduct ticket on him. Apparently, when Woods responded that he didn't "care about no ticket," Paul handcuffed him and told Woods he was going in the "hole" (or solitary confinement). Woods responded that he didn't "care about no hole." That's when Paul slammed him, head first, into a window with such brute force that Woods ended up in the emergency room. 


At the hospital, the prison reported that Woods attempted to attack the correctional officer. This cannot be true, and the question is, "Why/how would a handcuffed man attempt to attack an officer?" It doesn't make any sense! Woods has been released from the hospital and is now in Level 5. His fellow inmates have not been informed of his current condition. 
Rev. Edward Pinkney June 26, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

*Another* class action lawsuit filed against Whirlpool

http://www.tmj4.com/news/national/call-6-class-action-settlement-reached-in-stinky-moldy-washers-case


If you own a Whirlpool, Kenmore or Maytag [both now owned by Whirlpool] front-loading washing machine manufactured between 2001 and 2010, you may be eligible for up to $500 in cash or a voucher toward a new washer as part of a class action settlement.
WRTV in Indianapolis exposed odor, mold and other defects with front loading washing machines back in 2013.
The court has not yet approved the settlement, but a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio.
If you’re interested in getting money, you have to submit a claim by Oct. 11, 2016.
Ruth Ogden, of Gas City, bought a Whirlpool Duet front loader around 2004 and said after a year, she started noticing an odor in her clothes.
"My son was as typical teenage slob, and we all thought the odor from him was getting into our clothes," said Ogden, adding that she threw out clothes worth hundreds of dollars.
Ogden ended up spending money on product to clean her washer and to purchase a new washer, but said she might have difficulty getting any cash from the settlement.
“Who saves receipts for 10 years of products to get the stink out of the clothes when you didn’t even know that was causing it?” Ogden said Monday.
Ogden contacted WRTV in the hopes of getting some of the settlement.
“It’s not just me, what about people who are worse off than I am?” said Ogden. “I’ve already replaced the washer, and I’ve kind of moved on.”
Depending on the documentation you can provide as a customer, you can receive a $50 cash payment, a 5% or 20% rebate toward the purchase of a new washing machine or dryer, or up to $500 in reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for repairs or replacement due to a mold or odor problem.
Attorneys for customers alleged the washers had "serious design defects" that can cause mold and mildew and Whirlpool failed to warn consumers.
Whirlpool released the following statement to WRTV about the case:
In April 2016, Whirlpool Corporation signed an agreement to settle its pending front-loading washing machine biofilm class-action cases. The settlement requires certain steps, including notification postcards and advertising, to ensure consumers are aware of the settlement administration process. That notification process began in early June, 2016.
The company chose to settle to allow us to remove the continued distraction and expense of litigation. The washers included in the settlement were made during the 2000s, and only a small percentage of consumers ─ less than 4 percent ─ ever had a complaint about their washers.
Whirlpool feels strongly that this type of litigation is not good for consumers and distracts U.S. manufacturers, like Whirlpool, from providing consumers with innovative, energy-efficient products.
CASE BACKGROUND
On May 11, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio preliminarily approved a nationwide class-action settlement agreement between Whirlpool Corporation, Sears Holdings Corporation and plaintiffs in the front-loading washing machine class-action cases. The settlement resolves all claims involving Whirlpool-manufactured front-loading washers made from 2001 to 2010. These include WhirlpoolMaytag, and Kenmore branded products.
Case timeline:
  • Dec. 31, 2015: Term Sheet signed by Whirlpool Corporation, Sears Holding Corporation and plaintiffs in the front-loading washing machine class-action cases
  • April 18, 2016: Proposed, signed settlement agreement filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • May 11, 2016: Court entered preliminary approval ruling
  • June 2016: Settlement notice to class members
  • September 2016: Anticipated final approval hearing
  • By end-of-year  2016: Anticipated final approval ruling
Companies have made design improvements to their machines, and experts said the new front-loaders have virtually eliminated mold with special vents in the back, hold-open doors to get air inside, and self-cleaning cycles.
Experts say you can cut down on mold by removing damp clothes immediately, only using HE detergent, running a cleaning cycle and leaving the door open when not in use.
Copyright 2016 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Whirlpool uses "planned obsolescence" in their manufacturing

From a friend of Benton Harbor:
I went on line to find out what brands Whirlpool owns so I'd make certain not to buy one. It looks like they now own all but Frigidaire and GE in the US.  At least of major brands.  A salesman told me they stopped selling Maytag when Whirlpool bought it 12 years ago because the quality had gone down so much. Maytag washing machines and dryers previously lasted 30 years and now, with Whirlpool manufacturing, only last 6!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

James Hightower: A Puppet for Whirlpool Corporation

In 2011 James Hightower, a puppet of Whirlpool and Lakeland Hospital, was elected mayor in Benton Harbor, Michigan. When Benton Harbor residents proposed that the city enact by referendum a 1 percent income tax aimed at Whirlpool to help solve the city's financial crisis, Whirlpool, Lakeland Hospital and Mayor James Hightower worked to defeat the measure through a massive misinformation campaign. 

In 2013, Rev. Pinkney and others launched an effort to recall Hightower. They gathered more than the required number of signatures to force a recall election and turned them in to the County Clerk, who verified the group had more than enough good signatures.

The recall election was scheduled to be held on May 6, 2014, but at the Mayor's request, James Hightower, Whirlpool Corporation, the Berrien County Sheriff Department, and  prosecutor Mike Sepic began investigating the petitions campaign to save the Mayor puppet from public humiliation and exposure. 

Their tactic was to intimidate residents who signed the petitions and build a false, misguided, malicious case against Rev. Pinkney.

In April 2014 prosecutors charged Rev. Pinkney with vote fraud (five felonies) after an alarming, military style display of force. On April 24, 2014 a SWAT team was sent to Rev. Pinkney's home on a mission -- bring Pinkney in “dead or alive” was the message loud and clear.  

On May 1, Judge John Dewane cancelled the recall election. 

At the preliminary hearing no evidence (direct or indirect) was presented, no eye witness, no confession, nothing was presented to convict Rev. Pinkney. Judge Sterling Schrock, who presided over the Pinkney case, was motivated by racial prejudice. Judge Schrock’s decision was not based on a desire to achieve a just, fair, moral outcome. Judge Sterling Schrock ruled that the trial could go forward with absolutely no evidence to support its findings. Rev. Pinkney was found guilty by an all-white jury that was motivated by something other than the truth. 

Pinkney, his family, friends, and supporters were delivered an egregious miscarriage of justice when Schrock sentenced this 66-year-old man to 2.5-10 years in prison. 

The attack on democracy and Rev. Pinkney in Benton Harbor shows that corporate power structure is determined to crush anyone who stands in its way. It is part of a process underway across America in various forms. 

After the once stable, working-class community of Benton Harbor was devastated, Mayor Jame Hightower, the puppet mayor for Whirlpool Corporation, was defeated in November 2015 by a landslide, and Hightower has been recently terminated from Lakeland Hospital. We must continue to fight for justice for all. We must confront the corporations that are destroying this country and fight back!


Rev. Pinkney

Marquette Branch Prison

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sex Charges Against Berrien County Sheriff Department

Let the truth be told. I have a very difficult time believing that Mr. Martell Hadley committed suicide. I have known Mr. Hadley for several years. I have never known him to be suicidal. 
http://www.bhbanco.org/2016/03/another-murder-in-berrien-county-by.html

The Berrien County criminal justice system takes pleasure in bringing the Black residents of Benton Harbor to their knees. The residents of Benton Harbor are like slaves who fear to speak.

I believe Mr. Martell Hadley did not commit suicide, and anything that Sheriff Paul Bailey touches must be questioned. The hypocrisy of the Berrien County Sheriff Department has no limits.

The Sheriff's staff under Sheriff Bailey requested sexual favors from several females. Sheriff Bailey said he conducted an internal investigation last year that found no evidence of any alleged misconduct occurring inside the Berrien County jail but there is so much evidence to support the more than ten women's statements.   
http://www.abc57.com/story/30049424/woman-speaks-out-about-4-correctional-officers-investigation

Sheriff Bailey and prosecutor Mike Sepic both turned their heads when it comes to corruption inside Berrien County Criminal Justice Department. We have judges, prosecutors, and county commissioners all working together against the residents of Berrien County.

The prosecutor must reassess the facts and have the FBI come in and investigate the sexual favors that were given to the Sheriff Department Deputies under the watch of Sheriff Bailey in Berrien County.

In Berrien County several Black residents of Benton Harbor have been murdered and found in the river. Bulldog was found with his penis cut off and Sheriff Bailey said it was an accident after he was anchored down. Three other Black Benton Harbor residents were found in the Lake by the Sheriff department, very suspicious. 
http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/genocide-in-benton-harbor-michigan.html

We distrust the Berrien County Sheriff Department. It is much like Lowndes County, Alabama in the years when lynching was acceptable by the racist whites in the southern states. Living in Berrien County, Michigan under Sheriff Bailey is worse than living in Lowndes County, Alabama.

I am requesting a complete investigation into Berrien County, not only the racist Sheriff Department, but the whole county. We must confront this corrupt system, the establishment and the criminal justice system. We must confront the enemy and fight back together at all costs. We must force the Berrien County Sheriff Department and prosecutor Mike Sepic to be honest and investigate all crimes including those happening in the Sheriff Department and of the former Mayor of Benton Harbor, Whirlpool puppet James Hightower!

Rev. Pinkney

The River Goes By - Philip Bassett



The River Goes By  by Philip Bassett

3 verses:

1.  The river goes by, pretending it's always the same river
     The river goes by, meandering through St. Joseph, Michigan
     to the courthouse there
     They say he gets in the way
     And he has too much to say
     They have to stick Rev. Pinkney into prison.
                       kick
                       trick

2.  The river goes by and it's not a raging river
     The river goes by and I'm wondering how it stays there in her eyes
     when she speaks of him
     His wife Dorothy
     somehow moves a river in me
     And it goes drip, drip down my shirt to think of him in prison

3.  The river goes by, being always the same river
     The river goes by, remembering all the lawyers and their lies
     hidden between the lines
     There's a whirlpool going down
     Gonna take the entire town
     and they won't give any ground 'til everyone's in prison

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rev. Pinkney and the Champ

Muhammad Ali Belonged to the People

by Polly Hughes, June 9, 2016, Counterpunch

We all have heroes and people we look up to and admire. Often those individuals are famous. For Michigan political prisoner Reverend Edward Pinkney, two famous, highly revered individuals he holds in high esteem are Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King.

As tributes come in for Muhammad Ali, who gave three years of his life, sacrificed time he could have spent at his boxing vocation because he stood up against the Vietnam War, the personal stories have been numerous. Some of Ali’s children have been interviewed and have shared memories and photographs of “The Greatest.” His memorial to be held Friday, June 10 in Kentucky, will be attended by many celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. This three-time Heavyweight Champion may even have convinced Dr. Martin Luther King to deliver his famous Vietnam “A Time to Break Silence” speech in New York City in 1967. These two dynamic, peace-loving, gentle souls and civil rights leaders shared friendships and convictions.

Rev. Pinkney, who has spent decades fighting social and judicial injustice is currently paying a high price for his outspokenness as a Benton Harbor, Michigan community organizer, minister, and human rights activist. He is a political prisoner at the Marquette Branch Prison in the Upper Peninsula. Pinkney has been reminiscing about how much these two great men influenced his life.

Back in 1962, Pinkney’s father took him, his two brothers, and his mother to hear Dr. Martin Luther King deliver a speech in a vacant lot in Chicago. At the age of thirteen, Pinkney knew very little about King, but Pinkney’s father insisted his sons hear Dr. King because “we’re going to make history.” Most likely, Pinkney’s father knew this would be a profound experience for his sons, and certainly for Edward, it was.

Rev. Pinkney remembers standing in that Chicago city lot along with 700-800 other people, listening to Dr. King talk about Alabama, civil rights and equality for all, and hearing his father’s words about “making history” echoing in his mind. When the speech ended, Pinkney’s father waited for the chance to speak with Dr. King and shake his hand. During that handshake, Dr. King reached over and put his hand on Edward Pinkney’s young head. Pinkney remembers that “head pat” and counts that experience as the one that set the pattern for Pinkney to become who he is today. Even at that young age, he was in awe of Dr. King and felt privileged to have met him.

As a young man, Pinkney spent some time training and becoming a boxer; he got his inspiration from Muhammad Ali who became Pinkney’s hero. Pinkney was so shocked at the passing of Ali that he made this public statement, published on bhbanco.org on June 4, 2016:

The death of Muhammad Ali was shocking to me. And to the world. I am deeply honored to have lived in his time. He was truly a leader who made the supreme sacrifice of himself by refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army. 
America has lost one of its most effective individuals who led by example. Oppressed people, at home and abroad, have lost an articulate voice, a powerful and just voice.
Ali’s words mirror a 20th Century America that had acquired global power, but America also sacrificed some of Ali’s most treasured values on the altar of institutional racism, economic injustice and international influence. He was one of the first Americans, black or white, to offer reform about a promise unfulfilled.
 
He was both a unique personality and a representative of the people – precisely because he belonged to the people. 
Muhammad Ali was my hero. He gave me the initiative to stand tall and make the supreme sacrifice of myself. I will always be in awe of his courage and indebted to the life lessons he has given to the world. 
Muhammad Ali was not just a boxing legend; he was an activist, a peacemaker, and an inspiration. Muhammad Ali, the world is going to miss you–my hero.
While the media reports on the many life lessons so many learned from Ali, Rev. Pinkney recalls his own personal encounters and friendship with Muhammad Ali.

From 1986 to 2006, Ali lived in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he and his wife Lonnie raised an adopted son Asaad Amin. Ali often made trips to Benton Harbor where he met several local townspeople at various stores and shops. Ali would make a weekly trip to Joe’s Barbershop on Pipestone Road (the owner Joe has passed on), the same barbershop frequented by Pinkney. The two met at Joe’s and became friends. According to Pinkney, Ali always brought along a pack of cards and dazzled patrons with his card tricks at the barbershop, and Ali’s casualness and sense of humor made him easy to talk to and joke around with.

Pinkney told Ali about his stint in boxing, told him how Ali had inspired him, and they teased each other about who could win a boxing match between the two of them! The one-liners always flew at the barbershop. In a joking challenge of a boxing match, Ali would hold up his left hand and tell Pinkney, “I’ll give ya’ two of these right here.” Pinkney’d respond, “If you weren’t my senior, I’d knock you out!” This kibitzing was fun, harmless, and demonstrated the “regular Joe” quality of Muhammad Ali.

As time went on, Pinkney and Ali would talk about the politics of Benton Harbor and Berrien County. Ali was very much aware of the issues Pinkney was concerned about, and Ali admired Pinkney’s activism.

In 2006, Ali and his wife moved to Arizona. On June 3, 2016, Muhammad Ali passed away from respiratory complications after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Reprinted from Counterpunch.