Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pinkney case receives support from broad coalition
First Amendment Rights cited

By Eric T. Campbell, Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Benton Harbor Rev. Edward Pinkney can now count a long and distinguished list of free speech advocates as supporters in his struggle to expose the Berrien County justice system. Law professors, religious organizations and free speech advocates submitted three lengthy amicus briefs to the Berrien Court, March 18 rebuking the court’s sentencing and imprisonment of Pinkney in December 2007.

...“With respect to the religious groups, there are a number of them that you would not normally see sign on to such a cause,” Steinberg told the Michigan Citizen. “And it’s difficult to get law professors to agree on anything.”

...The brief...explains, “The criticism of public officials has been described as not just the right, but the duty, of citizens in a democratic society.”

...The Whirlpool Corporation will attempt to open the first portion of a private golf course on June 1. Pinkney thinks that the appearance of former president George Bush on May 28 may be timed to correspond with the opening.

...“They want to show people that they’re still in control of this project,” Pinkney says.

Full Article:

ACLU Press Release:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Law Firm Launches Investigation on Behalf of Purchasers of Appliances, Compressors


Houston - Levin Law, a class action law firm, has launched a nationwide investigation on behalf of consumers and businesses who purchased refrigerators, ice makers, water fountains, air conditioners, compressors and other refrigeration appliances from Whirlpool Corp...
CLAWSON: St. Andrew's rector defends minister

DETROIT FREE PRESS - The Rev. Harry Cook, rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church of Clawson, joined civil-liberties groups, law professors and free-speech advocates last week in signing a legal brief that condemned the jailing of a Benton Harbor minister who criticized a judge.

Cook said Thursday it didn't matter that he and the imprisoned Rev. Edward Pinkney are in some ways philosophical opposites.

"He is an evangelical, conventionally religious person," he said, while Cook is known for taking a liberal and sometimes skeptical approach to religion.

But it was "a travesty of justice" for Pinkney to receive a sentence of 3-10 years for predicting in an article what God might do to the judge, Cook said.

Cook, 70, a former Free Press religion writer, said he plans to retire March 30 from St. Andrew's, where he has been rector for 21 years. Pinkney is associate pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pinkney's all over the blogs. Here's one entry:

if all it was, was calling on God to smite...
....the judge, then sorry yo, that's protected speech.

If this case is what it appears from the diary, it's an outrage, and it hardly rises to the level of Coulter's talk about poisoning judges, much less Gordon Liddy's call for his radio audience to shoot ATF agents in the head in case they were wearing bullet proof vests.

And nowhere in the diary is there mention of a conviction for threatening a public official in any case. This appears to be discretionary and outside of any charge that was brought or conviction for a relevant crime, which makes it doubly offensive.

"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." Emiliano Zapata Salazar
"Dissent is patriotic." Anon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Upton and Bush defending the land grab and destruction called Harbor Shores?

Bush slates first U.S. post-presidency speech

By Elaine Quijano
CNN - Former President George W. Bush will make his first domestic post-presidency speech on May 28 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, his spokesman, Rob Saliterman, said Wednesday. Bush will be speaking to members of the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. The event will be closed to the media. Separately, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also will address the economic club on April 30...
Selections from the Devil's Dictionary
Here are a few timely selections from Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:

CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but "pervades and regulates the whole." He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable.
JUSTICE, n. A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.
LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.
MAD, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves...It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that themselves are sane.
PATRIOT, n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.
PATRIOTISM, n. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
POLITICS, n. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
PRECEDENT, n. In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of doing as he pleases. As there are precedents for everything, he has only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate those in the line of his desire.
TRIAL, n. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors. In order to effect this purpose it is necessary to supply a contrast in the person of one who is called the defendant, the prisoner, or the accused. If the contrast is made sufficiently clear this person is made to undergo such an affliction as will give the virtuous gentlemen a comfortable sense of their immunity, added to that of their worth.
VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Religious rights groups defend minister placed in jail for quoting Bible to judge

Benton Harbor, Mich., Mar 20, 2009 - The Washington D.C.-based Becket Fund, a nonpartisan interfaith public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions, announced on Tuesday that a coalition of a dozen religious and civil rights groups have joined in asking a Michigan court of appeals to release a Christian minister accused of “threatening” a judge with a Bible verse.

Rev. Edward Pinkney originally appeared in court for his involvement in fighting the requisition of public lakeshore by Whirlpool Corporation. Pinkney was placed under house arrest, but because he wrote an article in the Chicago-area People's Tribune quoting Deuteronomy to say that God would punish the judge for his “wrongdoing,” the court decided to send him to jail.
"The First Amendment was designed to protect ministers speaking religious truth to political power," said Eric Rassbach, the Becket Fund's National Director of Litigation....

..."From the colonial preachers who decried British tyranny, to the abolitionist ministers of Massachusetts to Martin Luther King Jr., our country has a proud history of allowing ministers to hold government officials to account. A court can't punish someone for saying that the judge broke God's law."

"Judges don't get to decide whether prophecies are true, even when those prophecies apply to them. Courts should stick to the law and leave theology to people of faith," added Rassbach.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Herald Palladium WATCH/Berrien County Court WATCH
[One woman propaganda machine: Wendy-Dant Chesser - Herald Palladium board,Cornerstone Alliance President, Harbor Shores Trustee, Alliance for World-Class Communities officer, self-appointed Benton Harbor commissioner. (H-P sold in 2000 to Paxton Media Group, Paducah, Ky; Whirlpool VP Jeff Noel from Ky.)]

3/18/09 IN BRIEF (commentary added in caps)
Watson chosen as assistant city manager
BENTON HARBOR - Public Works Dir. Darwin Watson has been named ass't city mngr by BH City Mngr Richard Marsh. Watson's appointment was approved by the City Commission. [APPOINTED BY WHIRLPOOL AND CORNERSTONE ALLIANCE - ANOTHER YES MAN]
Marsh said the City Charter allows for the manager to name an ass't who will perform the duties of the mngr in case of sickness, absence, disability, suspension, removal or resignation of the manager. [MAYBE WE CAN TERMINATE MARSH AND PUT HIM OUT OF HIS WHIRLPOOL-INDUCED MISERY] ...for an indefinite term...can be ended any time by Marsh. pay increase.
Marsh said Waston has stepped in while Marsh was out of town, and he wanted to make it official. [TWO PATHETIC CASES OF WHIRLPOOL-CONTROLLED EMPLOYEES]

MDOT to host I-94 open house
BENTON HARBOR - The Mich. Dept. of Transportation will host an open house 3-6 p.m. 3/26, at Michigan Works to discuss the upcoming reconstruction of the I-94 Bus. Loop (Main St.) in BH. Main St. will be rebuilt from River St. to Michigan 139 (Fair Ave.), in 2 construction seasons. The $11.2 million project will include 1.78 miles of new asphalt, construction of 2 roundabouts, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, curb and gutter replacement, drainage, storm sewer and water main upgrades, new traffic signals, sidewalks and ramps. [ANOTHER 11 MILLLION STOLEN FROM BH TO FACILITATE HARBOR SHORES RESORT FOR THE WEALTHY]

Lange named BHPD acting deputy chief

BENTON HARBOR - Roger Lange, a Berrien County Sheriff's Dept. detective lieutenant, will serve as acting dep. chief to BH Police Chief Al Mingo until the position is filled permanently.
Former dep. chief Randel Pompey is leaving BH to become chief of the Coloma Township Police Dept. [GOOD RIDDANCE TO A DISHONEST WHIRLPOOL SHILL]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Religious Groups, Law Professors, Free Speech Advocates Join ACLU-MI in Support of Preacher Sentenced to Prison for Criticizing Judge
National and state organizations file 3 friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Rev. Edward Pinkney’s case

March 18, 2008

DETROIT – A diverse group of religious organizations, law professors and free speech advocates submitted three friend-of-the-court briefs today condemning the imprisonment of a Benton Harbor minister sentenced 3-10 years for writing an article criticizing a judge. Rev. Edward Pinkney, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, paraphrased the Bible in his article and predicted what God might do to the judge who presided over his case.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming support from the religious community, constitutional scholars and free speech organizations,” said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan Legal Director. “The groups persuasively argue for the fundamental American principle that a preacher cannot be thrown in prison for his religious speech even if some find it offensive.”

The three friend-of-the-court briefs were filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals by more than a dozen national and local faith-based organizations; a group of Michigan law professors who teach and research in the area of First Amendment protections, civil rights, criminal law, and constitutional law; and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

* The religious freedom brief represents the views of a wide array of religious and faith-based groups including: the National Association of Evangelicals, the American Jewish Congress, the Christian Legal Society, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Liberty Legal Institute, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, the National Baptist Convention, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Gamaliel Foundation, the American Baptist Home Mission Society, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and Rev. Harry T. Cook.

According to the brief, Rev. Pinkney’s article is "a textbook example of one important rhetorical and theological tradition within both Christianity and Judaism… Quoting scripture is core religious speech; the Framers of the First Amendment could not have imagined that it would ever be a criminal offense to quote scripture."

* The professors' brief represents the views of 18 law professors at the University of Michigan Law School, Michigan State University College of Law, Wayne State University Law School, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. The brief explains that under well-established constitutional law, Rev. Pinkney's newspaper editorial could not be the basis for punishment in a court of law. "In this country, under this Constitution, and on this Court’s watch,” they explained, “he must not be imprisoned for speaking his conscience."

* The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression argued in its brief that Rev. Pinkney's editorial was not a "true threat" under well-established First Amendment law. According to the Center’s brief, "In finding that Rev. Pinkney's newspaper editorial violated his conditions of probation, the lower court punished speech at the core of First Amendment protection: public criticism of the judiciary." The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution dedicated solely to the protection of the First Amendment rights of free speech and free press.

Rev. Pinkney is an associate pastor at the Hopewell Baptist Church and is the founder of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO). He has long been an outspoken community activist and advocate, frequently denouncing injustice and racial inequality in Benton Harbor, its local government, and the Berrien County criminal justice system in particular.

In 2007, Rev. Pinkney was sentenced to probation for violating Michigan election law. However, his probation was revoked and he was resentenced to 3-10 years in prison solely because of an article he wrote for a small Chicago newspaper. Quoting a passage from the Bible, Rev. Pinkney predicted that God would punish the judge unless he "hearken[ed] unto the voice of the Lord thy God to observe [and] to do all that is right." Rev. Pinkney also expressed his opinion in the article that the judge was racist, dumb, and corrupt.

In representing Rev. Pinkney on appeal, the ACLU of Michigan argued that the statements Rev. Pinkney made in his newspaper editorial, while offensive to many, are clearly protected speech under the First Amendment. On December 18, 2008, the Court of Appeals granted Rev. Pinkney's motion for bail and ordered him released upon posting bond in amount to be set by the Berrien County Circuit Court. Rev. Pinkney was released from prison on December 24, 2008. However, the Berrien County Court set restrictions on his bond that include 24-hour house arrest, prohibitions on giving speeches including in his own church, and bans against any "demeaning" behavior. Although the ACLU asked the appeals court to remove the harsh and unconstitutional bond conditions, the motion was denied and Rev. Pinkney remains confined in his home pending his appeal.

In addition to Michael J. Steinberg, Rev. Pinkney is represented by ACLU Cooperating Attorneys James J. Walsh and Rebecca O’Reilly of the respected corporate law firm Bodman LLP.
To read the religious organizations’ amicus brief, click here.

To read the law professors’ amicus brief, click here.

To read the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression’s amicus brief, click here.

To read the ACLU's merits brief in Rev. Pinkney's appeal, click here.

To read Rev. Pinkney's article, go to:
What is America smoking?

By Rhonda Swan, Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer, 3/13/09

...As for the arguments against decriminalizing marijuana, most have been debunked. More people smoke pot in the U.S. than in the Netherlands, where it's been decriminalized - you can buy and smoke weed at coffee shops - for more than 30 years. Decriminalizing it in the U.S. isn't likely to entice hordes of new smokers.
There's no convincing scientific evidence that the drug causes psychological damage, and fewer than 1 percent of smokers get hooked. Marijuana poses minimal damage to the lungs - a lot less than legal tobacco - and there's no proof that it's a gateway drug to crack or heroin.

Marijuana laws have outlived their potency

Palm Beach Post Editorial, Wednesday, 3/18/09

...public safety is reduced because of the prohibition.
My profession [law enforcement] spends literally millions of hours chasing the Michael Phelpses of the world and their suppliers. Every such hour spent means less time for the deadly DUI, the rapist, the child molester, the people flying airplanes into buildings.
Moreover, I know that the state, through its police force, cannot stop personal stupidity done in the privacy of one's home. Only family and friends can stop such behavior. My profession must return to its original task: public safety.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

3/16/09, HP
Taxpayers pay high price for drug lifer law

As a Michigan police officer, I learned that drug dealers accept the death penalty and long prison terms as conditions of employment. Certainly Alvin William did ("How much prison time is enough?" March 8). Michigan's 650 Lifer Law never had any impact on drug availability. The DEA reports in its brochure that "drugs are readily available to America's youth." Now the only ones suffering, besides Mr. Williams, are Michigan taxpayers. By the way, new drug dealers took the place of Mr. Williams and his four buddies within days of their arrest. There is so much easy money to be made, new people jump at the chance to sell drugs. Will Michigan ever become as wise as our grandparents and end this modern Prohibition?

Howard Wooldridge, Frederick, Md.
comment -
Mike wrote on Mar 16, 2009 It's nice to see someone with personal experience point out the absurdity of our laws. They only strengthen a dealers position and provide incentive for others to step into the market, as you stated. The War On Drugs is over, and anyone with a sliver of dignity can safely say we've lost. Now it's time to approach this issue from a more civilized and logical direction.
And, enough with these tough guy DEA agents who preach the good work that they do, then pound beers at the local tavern on the way home. It's their job to walk through the California mountains and CHOP DOWN PLANTS. Righteous work indeed. Ha, what a joke.

--interesting article on the drug war's big picture:
Sorting Reality From Hype - Drug War Doublespeak, By LAURA CARLSEN

Monday, March 16, 2009

Do You See a Direct Connection Between the Following Two Articles? Both appeared in the March 11, '09 Herald Palladium. Routinely in Berrien County activities reported in article #1 happen to allow for activities in article #2 to happen.

Three agencies make Benton Twp. drug bust (article - commentary in caps)

BENTON TOWNSHIP - A Benton Township man was arrested around 12:55 p.m. Tues. after the Berrien County Sheriff's Dept., with assistance from the Benton Township Police Dept. and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, used a warrant to search his residence at 1612 Norton St.


Officers found and seized about $350 worth of suspected [WHAT KIND OF LAW ENFORCERS MAKE ARRESTS FOR "SUSPICION?" ANSWER: CORRUPT ONES] marijuana and other evidence of illegal drug activity [HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH THE "OTHER EVIDENCE..."--REPORTS ARE
CONSISTENTLY VAGUE], a news release said.

Harbor Shores residential timeline takes shape

By D. Warfield, BENTON HARBOR - Builders are lining up and construction will soon begin in some residential areas of the 530-acre Harbor Shores development, Harbor Shores officials announced recently.

Wendy Dant Chesser, a Harbor Shores trustee and president and CEO of Cornerstone Alliance, spoke about the progress of the project Monday at a public meeting in the Benton Harbor Public Library, then again Tuesday at the annual meeting for St. Joseph Today at St. Joseph City Hall.

"We're a little behind schedule, but not so far from where we want to be," Chesser said Tuesday.

Four hotel operators are vying to be picked to build The Harbor Shores Inn and Conference Center in Parcel 22, a 9-acre lot between the Paw Paw River, Riverview Drive and the old Benton Harbor Ship Canal.

The hotel operators have laid down their conditions in respective letters of intent,
she said. Harbor Shores has not started negotiating the land sale, though one hotel
operator is "rising to the top of the list" because it came forward with cash, Chesser said. (the rest of this lengthy report on the ongoing destruction can be read on the Herald Palladium website)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Whirlpool — The Gentrifier Of Benton Harbor

By Dorothy Pinkney

The Harbor Shores development provides an opportunity for the rest of the country to see how easy it is to steal land from the poor community of Benton Harbor when there is no true leadership.

David R. Whitwan, Chairman of the Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment, Chairman for Alliance For World-Class Communities, and former Chairman of Whirlpool, said much of our effort will also focus on assuring that wealthy citizens are prepared to participate and benefit from this huge project.

Harbor Shores will develop 530 acres along the Paw Paw and St. Joseph River, land that belongs to the residents of Benton Harbor. The development will have 860 units of elegant condominiums; commercial retail property; a 27,000 square foot beach and golf lodge with a 60,000 square foot lodge with 140 rooms. There will be a Hotel/Conference Center with 350 rooms, an indoor water park, a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, plus a golf club structure.

All of this is taking place in a community where 90% of the residents are living below the poverty level, where over 70% are unemployed and where 94% of the residents are Black. Their will be no jobs donateavailable for the residents of Benton Harbor. The project has been made possible because of the cooperation of Jeff Fettig and Whirlpool Corporation, Governor Granholm, Congressman Fred Upton, who is heir to Whirlpool, and many Michigan state agencies.

All of these leaders continually assure the community that the focus of this huge project was just an economic development effort —a broad-based community gentrification project. Gentrification is a word that has become common place in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A common understanding of the word is where urban areas are inhabited by minority populations until rich white people move in. Then, the original residents are unable to pay or keep up the tax costs and are forced out of their home and community. Gentrifiers are oblivious and ignorant to the realities of people that inhabit the community. The original people are replaced because of an increase in property tax, removal of jobs and destruction of a social community.

The most potent weapon in the arsenal of the oppressor — in order to maintain hegemony over a people who outnumbers their adversary — is the mind of the oppressed. The oppressor and his institutions must eventually attempt to manipulate the thinking of the target group so that the oppressed accepts their oppression as their natural lot in life and views their oppressors not as their oppressor, but as their benefactor, or at least as invincible. Our society deserves better. Our children deserve better. We must say enough is enough. ............

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Does a Broken Country Have a Future? The Criminal Injustice System

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, March 11, 2009

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Excerpts from article which can be found at:

The criminal justice a massive producer of injustice. The agenda is to clear court dockets and to produce high conviction rates...achieved through coerced plea bargains.

Law and order conservatives think of the police in god-like terms...Conservatives could gain more perspective if they watch some of the videos on You-tube of gratuitous police violence, such as this one of a police officer delivering a brutal beating to a 15-year old girl.

A Google search for You-Tube videos of police violence lists 485,000 entries, and these are just the acts captured on camera. How many cops are psychopaths who constitute a greater danger to the public than do criminals? SWAT teams are notorious for breaking down doors at the wrong address and murdering innocent citizens.

Cops are also notorious for framing people as it is easier than doing serious investigation of crimes and collecting evidence. Even the guilty are often framed as that is easier than convicting them on the evidence.

Libertarian free market types believe that the private sector can do everything better than the public sector. This ideology causes libertarians to be blind to the dangerous incentives created by the privatization of prisons.

On 2/12/09, CBS reported that two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with sending kids to privately operated detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million in payoffs.

Just think of all the kids whose lives have been ruined by the greedy judges and private prison operators. The judges have been sentenced to seven years on reduced charge plea bargains.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's All About Federal Drug Money & African-American Incarceration

Police: 3 charged with drug crimes after weeklong investigation

Sat., 3/7/09, HP (article shortened with commentary in caps)

BENTON HARBOR - Police arrested three people and are seeking a warrant for a fourth for investigation on drug charges after a raid on a house at ****************.

The Berrien County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit, along with county road patrol, St. Joseph Township police, Berrien County Animal Control officers and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency went to the house around 8:15 a.m. Friday with a warrant that resulted from a weeklong investigation into reports of drug trafficking there. [SHERIFF BAILEY'S NARC UNIT HAS PLANTED DRUGS FOR AT LEAST 10 YRS. AND HAS GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT - WITH THE NECESSARY SUPPORT FROM THE HERALD PALLADIUM, OF COURSE - A MORE DISHONEST RAG MAY NOT EXIST. ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS ALL ABOUT FED. DRUG MONEY. WHEN IT ARRIVES, THE SHERIFF'S DEPT. GIVES IT TO BH CHIEF MINGO. WHEN WILL THE CITIZENS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?]

Police said they found marijuana and other evidence in various locations throughout the house. [WHY WOULD COPS WASTE TIME ON MARIJUANA CHARGES? - - ONLY MISDEMEANORS.

Police arrested **************, for investigation [ARRRESTING FOR INVESTIGATION?] on charges of possession of marijuana and maintaining a drug house; **************, and *****************, both for investigation on a charge of possession of marijuana.

The sheriff's department said police are seeking a warrant for the arrest of a 63-year-old St. Joseph Township resident in connection with the same case. [THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BERRIEN COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND SHERIFF DEPT. - THEY OPERATE AS ONE UNIT TO BETTER COORDINATE COLLECTION OF FED. FUNDS AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN REMOVAL.]

The three people arrested were taken to the Berrien County Jail to await formal charges. [SO THE COUNTY CAN CONTINUE THE DAILY GRIND OF RUINING LIVES FOREVER.]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How long can Rep. Fred Upton keep protecting Berrien County corrupt cops & court?

Pompey to leave Benton Harbor police
(shortened article with commentary)

Dep. chief hired as Coloma police chief By Julie Swidwa, Sat., 3/7/09
BENTON HARBOR - Benton Harbor Police Deputy Chief Randel Pompey will leave the department at the end of this month to become chief of the Coloma Township Police Department.


...Mingo, in a separate interview, said he does not plan to work in Benton Harbor much longer. He said he is under no pressure to leave, but "my immediate plan is not to finish out my contract."
Mingo is contracted with the city through 2013. He said he is getting tired, has some health problems with cold weather and has been further worn down by pending criminal cases involving two former Benton Harbor police officers.
All men--whether they go by the name of Americans or Russians or Chinese or British or Malayans or Indians or Africans--have obligations to one another that transcend their obligations to their sovereign societies. Norman Cousins, author, editor, journalist, professor (1915-1990)

[We suspect that St. Joe residents have been trained to believe they are exempt from the above general moral viewpoint. St. Joe believes it has it's own different and superior "sovereign society."]

The human apartheid that's been going on for years in Berrien County, Mich. and now the destruction of nature should NOT, we repeat, NOT, have been allowed.

Not by the Federal Gov.
Not by the state government.
Not by the governors, past & present.
Not by we the people.
Not by the Dept. of Justice.
Not by the Atty. General of Mich.
Not by the EPA.
Not by the Sierra Club.
Not by the Human Rights Commission.
Not by congress.
Not by the state legislature.
Not by the Detroit NAACP.
Not by the southwest Mich. ACLU.
Not by the Democrats & Republicans.
Not by churches, mosques, or synagogues.
Not by the League of Women Voters.
Not by the Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Masons.
Not by the media which is 100% complicit.
Not by peace & justice groups.
Not by environmental groups.
Not by the Michigan Bar.

Letter to Editor (be prepared to shed a tear and grieve a great loss)

Spirits above will punish the Klock Park destroyers Sat., 3/7/09 herald palladium

The rape and destruction of our beloved Jean Klock Park - once the beautiful, natural environment enjoyed by so many over the years and home to thousands of wildlife - has begun in earnest. Park supporters, you will no longer recognize what you see as a result of this week's ongoing, heartbreaking demolition. To those who thought that the parking lot was a barren wasteland before, I would really like to know if you think that the view now is more beautiful? If so, I really feel sorry for you.
To all of you - from the retired judge, Cornerstone and Harbor Shores reps and the Benton Harbor city commissioners, U.S. representative, governor - who were a part of the public lies and deception enabling your greedy access to and disrespect for this once beautiful natural shoreline gem, the spirits from above will provide your due justice. I can only imagine the tears of John and Carrie Klock this week. You allowed your greed to overshadow your moral compass. All of you deserve the same rewards as those who were responsible for the Enron collapse, the Bernie Madoff ripoff, and the AIG debacle that we taxpayers will be paying for in the years to come. We likewise will always be paying for the loss that was JKP.
Also, how many of you are working for Harry Fox from Roseville, Mich.? Did we not have anyone locally who was willing to pull out all of the trees in the park? Were not the jobs for this development supposed to be going to local businesses?
The lies and deception are all a matter of public record from the statements that you made in meetings to the permits gained after the fact, inaccurate documents and maps changed after approval. Those lies and the deception to enable your greedy pursuit of the Jack Nicklaus signature golf course while forsaking the beautiful Klock heritage and disrespecting the natural shoreline environment has ensured the karma for your project and this area. Bette Pierman, Benton Harbor

Monday, March 09, 2009

Whirlpool & Upton Created a white community in St. Joe, and poverty in Benton Harbor

Mar 8, 2009

It is hard to understand the complexity of Benton Harbor, St. Joe and the relationship of the Whirlpool Corporation and the State of Michigan. Though Benton Harbor has appeared desperate and downtrodden, there are many strengths that have kept the city/community a desirable place for those who have history in Benton Harbor. Benton Harbor was once thriving (not that long ago) and the separation between the two areas (St. Joe and Benton Harbor) was not that pronounced. Benton Harbor was a vital and healthy place to work and live (little more than a generation ago) and many of the families who built the city or who have lived there for generations still live there. It is a place with family ties.

Whirlpool wielded money and control and buddied up with the legal system, the coastal wealth and really coveted the resources and created a white community in St. Joe as a means of excluding those of color. This contrast has resulted in faulty public perception; St. Joe is safe and wonderful and white and Benton Harbor has just created their own easy way out of confronting the painful truth. St. Joe residents are now apt to steer people away from Benton Harbor with police signs and ignorant comments (I have heard it myself). St. Joe now prides itself in a grand and overfunded art center, sculptures, a children's museum, a beach front park that is simply too grand for a city of it's size. St. Joe is an embarrassment. The wealth to fund the streets, parks, art and downtown come from Benton Harbor's Whirlpool Corporation.

They are now so deep into a racial divide that the court system and probably even the national park system are behind them. Whirlpool has convinced the State of Michigan they are doing something helpful for Benton Harbor by creating a golf course on public land in Benton Harbor, by bringing jobs, by getting the poverty out of there. This is a sad time for Benton Harbor... they are losing what little they have...all to Whirlpool. If you go to Benton Harbor you will find a lack of public funding. The parks are without basic benches, basketball hoops, tennis nets, etc. The downtown buildings and city center is without a museum (could feature the rich history of the produce business, etc.), there are few civic resources. From Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, South Haven, to Battle Creek you will see businesses in the city giving back to the community. Whirlpool is giving to one place: white St. Joe. When you look at the family and people behind this agenda you may see smiles, amicable styles, casual dress...and hear smooth talking...

I wonder what stimulus package money will go to Benton Harbor? Has Upton coveted that for St. Joe too?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ovis aries humanus by John Mann

This entire, well written article can be found at:

Excerpt: Much closer to my Kalamazoo, Michigan home is a poor black reverend from Benton Harbor, a lion named Edward Pinkney. He successfully orchestrated a recall election that effectively ended a land grab fronted by a group apparently controlled by Whirlpool Corporation. Among other things they had their heart set on building a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course on Benton Harbor's Lake Michigan park land.

For his trouble Rev. Pinkney was imprisoned by Berrien County's courts-by-Kafka, for quoting the Bible. Yes, you read that correctly. Real estate development is currently proceeding apace on land given to Benton Harbor "in perpetuity" by an aggrieved father, in memory of his prematurely deceased daughter.

Facing trial twice by way of highly questionable charges under very racially charged circumstances with huge sums of money involved, Rev. Pinkney was convicted by an all-white jury (Benton Harbor is 90% black). This was after a racially mixed jury became hopelessly hung, resulting in mistrial.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Herald Palladium WATCH/Berrien County Court WATCH
[One woman propaganda machine: Wendy-Dant Chesser - Herald Palladium board,
Cornerstone Alliance President, Harbor Shores Trustee, Alliance for World-Class
Communities officer, self-appointed Benton Harbor commissioner.
(H-P sold in 2000 to Paxton Media Group, Paducah, Ky; Whirlpool VP Jeff Noel from Ky.)]

Anatomy of another phony Benton Harbor drug "report" from January 09 (below):

The Herald Palladium employs their usual phrase, "after a 2 week investigation" - Berrien County law enforcement claim they investigate in order to cover and legitimize their illegal actions. (What St. Joe, white, HP readers would believe there are innocent arrests/convictions going on in the next town if there are "2 week investigations?")

Two other ways they cover themselves are to say "neighbors complained" of drug activity, and "informants" told police.

We know these are false allegations because if you are a BH resident, the last thing you'd do is call the police or sheriff. EVER. In no Michigan town are law enforcement more feared. The only term to describe their relationship with residents is "the enemy."

Another thing about BH: there are more people living under the bridge than in Harbor Towers (200-300 apartments). The level of poverty is almost unthinkable, such that an extremely desperate homeless person, who Berrien County officials have absolutely no regard for, will do anything for a dollar. ANYTHING. Turning in friends and relatives for money is not unheard of. We're talking basic, desperate survival needs. So, paid informants are easy for law enforcement to find. When the HP says "informants" told police, maybe they did and maybe they didn't. The term "informant," again, gives cops' (illegal) activity credibility and legitimacy.

Notice how vague this report is: suspected crack...., evidence of illegal whatever....
And what's this about a 48 year old being arrested for having an "open intoxicant?" It's difficult to even comment on this... The 65 year old man has been in a wheel chair for many years and has never assaulted anyone. Ever.

But everyone has to get cleared out so Fred can play golf!

Five arrested on crack, trafficking charges

Neighbors complained about drug activity at house
BENTON HARBOR - Five people were arrested after police acted on a search warrant at a house in Benton Harbor on Wednesday.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit, along with county road patrol, the Benton Harbor Police Department and members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, went to ***********
around 1:45 p.m. Five of the seven people at the house were arrested on warrants or drug charges after police found $20 worth of suspected crack cocaine and other evidence of illegal drug trafficking.
[what kind of department spends thousands to take $20 worth of cocaine?]
*************, 40, of the*********** address, was arrested for investigation on charges of possession of crack cocaine and maintaining a drug house. ****************, 65, of the same address, was arrested on a warrant charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon.
Also arrested were: **************, 48, of *************, on a warrant for possession and consumption of open intoxicants; ***************, 40, a homeless man, on a disorderly conduct warrant; and **********, 19, on a warrant out of Kalamazoo for possession of marijuana.
According to a sheriff's department news release, police obtained a search warrant after a two-week investigation into citizen complaints about drug activity at the residence.
In another case earlier Wednesday, one person was arrested after police acted on a search warrant at ************, after citizens complained about drug activity at the apartment.
Police arrested ***********, 17, for investigation on a charge of possession of cocaine and maintaining a drug house.
In a search around 8:15 a.m., police found a small amount of suspected crack cocaine and other evidence of illegal drug activity. ************* was taken to the Berrien County Jail to await formal charges, and two other adults at the apartment were released with no charges.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Herald Palladium WATCH/Berrien County Court WATCH
One woman propaganda machine: Wendy-Dant Chesser, Herald Palladium board, Cornerstone Alliance President, Harbor Shores Trustee, Alliance for World-Class Communities officer, self-appointed BH commissioner. (H-P sold in 2000 to Paxton Media Group, Paducah, Ky. Whirlpool VP Jeff Noel from Ky.)

Herald Palladium WATCH/Berrien County Court WATCH
[One woman propaganda machine: Wendy-Dant Chesser - Herald Palladium board,
Cornerstone Alliance President, Harbor Shores Trustee, Alliance for World-Class
Communities officer, self-appointed Benton Harbor commissioner.
(H-P sold in 2000 to Paxton Media Group, Paducah, Ky; Whirlpool VP Jeff Noel from Ky.)]

Below is a typical HP article on police/court activity in Benton Harbor. If you
regularly read, you will have noticed the HP's use of hot button terms
(raid, drug trafficking, intent to deliver, drug house, two week investigations...) and the seriousness in reporting stories so small that most papers wouldn't bother. $200 worth of pot is tiny - less than a quarter of a cup. The cops ALWAYS take whatever money is lying around. BANCO gets reports about the disrespect with which residents are treated.

There is virtually no crime in BH except these supposed drug related activities.
Why would anyone behave in such a way as to attract ultra-scary cops into their homes?
(After this post, we may read of a new crime...) It's becoming clear that all "drug" stories could be the result of police drug planting. Also clear is that the style of reporting is designed to scare people literally out of town. Cop/sheriff quotas seem to be 2-3 BH drug arrests per week. If people aren't scared out of town, they'll be incarcerated through drug planting. There can be no barriers to building Whirlpool's Harbor Shores resort for the white and wealthy. These constant fear-instilling HP articles are published to make BH look like a town full of criminals. With this propaganda in place, the media can justify law enforcement action as good, and nobody will look back after HS is built. Those black "criminals" simply HAD to go!

There is a Berrien County group who collude in life-wrecking: Whirlpool execs., judges,prosecutors, defense attys., media, county admin., etc. They would do well to remember: Newton's Third Law - "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." "There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other
humans, it is all a sham." -Anna Sewell, writer (1820-1878) "This country will
not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a
reasonably good place for all of us to live in." -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US
President (1858-1919) "What we are doing to the forests of the world is but
a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another."
-Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

It is a mystery how those in collusion can be so inhumanly cruel. This may become one
of America's most well-known tragedies. It is a complex, multi-level story which could make movies like Erin Brokovich and The Insider look like minor incidences.
The backdrop of greed, of course, being ever present.

Two adults, teenager arrested in drug raids

By Julie Swidwa H-P 2/28/09

Two adults and a teenager were arrested after raids that resulted from investigations into suspected drug trafficking at houses in Benton Harbor and Coloma.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit, along with county road patrol, went to ********* in Benton Harbor around 8:15 a.m. Friday and found $150 worth of suspected marijuana and other evidence of drug trafficking, according to a sheriff's department news release.
Police arrested ***************, 24, of the ********** Street address for investigation on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug house, both second offenses. Under civil forfeiture law, police seized $92. A 31-year-old woman in the house at the time was not charged. Two juveniles were also in the house, police said. They were turned over to family members.
Later Friday, at 10:10 a.m., county narcotics officers and road patrolmen went to ********** in Coloma where they reported finding $200 worth of suspected marijuana, miscellaneous drug paraphernalia and other evidence of drug trafficking.
Police said they arrested ****************, 26, of the ******** Street address for investigation on charges of possession of marijuana and maintaining a drug house. Police also arrested a 16-year-old boy for investigation on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug house.
He was released to the custody of his mother and will be petitioned into juvenile court. ****** was taken to the Berrien County Jail. In both cases, police said they acted on warrants that resulted from investigations lasting two weeks.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Herald Palladium WATCH
One woman propaganda machine: Wendy-Dant Chesser, Herald Palladium board, Cornerstone Alliance President, Harbor Shores Trustee, Alliance for World-Class Communities officer, self-appointed BH commissioner. (H-P sold in 2000 to Paxton Media Group, Paducah, Ky. Whirlpool VP Jeff Noel from Ky.)

Whirlpool increases transparency (commentary in CAPS]

Appliance maker to list political contributions on Web By K. Allen H-P 3/1/09
BENTON TOWNSHIP - Anyone interested in knowing which candidates, trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations are on the receiving end of Whirlpool Corp.'s political contributions will soon have an easy way to find the information. [GOOD. NOW WE CAN EASILY SEE WHICH JUDGES ARE ON WHIRPOOL'S PAYROLL]

After May 1, the Benton Township-based appliance maker will begin posting its political contributions under the governance section at [SINCE THE ADVENT OF THE WEB, WHIRLPOOL SHOULD HAVE POSTED THIS INFO. NOT SURPRISING THAT IT WILL TAKE TWO MONTHS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PLAY THIS ONE]

Green Century Capital Management, a Boston-based investment adviser focused on environmentally responsible investing, urged Whirlpool to take the step to increase transparency.

"We actually had that kind of information. It was available," said Jeff Noel, Whirlpool's vice president of communications. "We were taking steps to do this anyway, so we welcomed the opportunity to work with them." [SORRY JEFF, YOUR COVER-UP DOESN'T WASH. YOU REALLY THINK MOST READERS BELIEVE YOU WOULD HAVE ALLOWED THIS INFO. ON THE WEB ON YOUR OWN?]

Emily Stone, shareholder advocate at Green Century, said more than 60 major companies have made similar moves to increase transparency. "Over the last few years it's been growing almost exponentially," she said.

Green Century drafted a resolution raising the concern that while Whirlpool has taken many steps to address global warming, it has also supported trade associations - such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers - that continue to lobby against strong action on the issue. [THE HP IS GROWING A BIT OF HONESTY IN REPORTING! WAY TO GO, HP! CUTTING THE APRON STRINGS WILL MAKE YOU A MUCH MORE INTERESTING, SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE, AND EVEN FINANCIALLY VIABLE PAPER]

"It is crucial that shareholders know how corporate funds are used to assess the risks that the company's political spending may pose to the company and to avoid supporting lobbying activity they may oppose," said Larisa Ruoff, director of shareholder advocacy at Green Century. [JUST THE KIND OF INFORMATION WHIRLPOOL WITHHOLDS: CRUCIAL]

Noel said Whirlpool's political action committee, to which employees may voluntarily donate money, gave $42,000 to candidates on both sides of the aisle last year. [THIS MAY BE WHAT YOU REPORTED, JEFF, BUT DON'T YOU THINK MANY READERS BELIEVE THE FIGURE IS MUCH HIGHER? (IN ORDER TO INFLUENCE LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD BENEFIT WP)]

A committee comprised of employees decides where to contribute the PAC money, he said.

Noel pointed out that $42,000 is a "pretty small amount of money" considering Whirlpool takes in more than $19 billion in revenue annually. [RIGHT ON, JEFF. TRUTH-SPEAK WILL SET YOU FREE. 42K IS FAR TOO SMALL TO HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY]

"I think it's appropriate we're engaged, but I think it's also appropriate that we disclose the information," he said, adding that decisions made in Washington, D.C., and state capitals around the country "are critically important to our business and the communities where we operate." [WHERE YOU ARE OUTSOURCING JOBS, RUINING LIVES, BUILDING A RESORT/GOLF COURSE FOR YOURSELVES, ENCOURAGING RACISM IN THE WORKPLACE, PUMPING UP COMPANIES AND CALLING THEM "NON-PROFITS", ETC. ETC.]

Monday, March 02, 2009

$14 million for a ditch? Where are the jobs? 2/26 HP


The $14 million-plus to rebuild Benton Harbor's ship canal is a prime example of what is wrong with us and with Obama's stimulus package. If completed, the canal would be, at best, a ditch in which only short-oared row boats could pass each other and it would provide no new jobs. What we need in our area are more jobs...and we get? A golf course for the elite, a gov. subsidy-dependent Benton Harbor, and a ship canal in the most polluted part of BH. ...immense taxpayer burdens without job development.
Wouldn't it be better if someone had a plan to create 140-plus small businesses in our area in less than three years? ...create approximately 750 new jobs with the new businesses? ...not ask for any gov. grants...establish a low-cost, low-tax, business-friendly environment that required no local, state or fed. gov. micromanagement. BH's Enterprise Zone was such a totally successful plan, 1990-1993.
Let me explain one example of how this area misses the target for new jobs. Cornerstone Alliance recently received a government grant for $80,000 to rhetorically determine that a business incubator at a high-fee basis would not develop new, small businesses in our area. During 1990 to 1993, BH had a full, low-cost business incubator at 200 Paw Paw Ave. that was generating new businesses and had a long waiting list of entrepreneurs.
Rather than concentrating on job development, we taxpayers have a delightful alternate. After we finish our $200-plus round of golf, we can invest in world-renowned art in BH. Then we can walk over and watch our $14 million-plus in stimulus tax dollars be flushed down the certified county drain.
Could an enterprise zone generate hundreds of new businesses again? Absolutely! I know this to be true, as I was the developer and chairman of the successful Benton Harbor Enterprise Zone.
I will help any group that wants to take up the challenge.

Robert Jackson, Coloma

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Whirlpool worker says she was punished for befriending blacks

[does Whirlpool's culture of racism extend to all of it's work environments?] Rutherford County, Tennessee
(entire article)

A white employee who claimed she was blocked from promotions at a Whirlpool plant in La Vergne earlier this decade because she stood up for African-American co-workers will get a new trial on her discrimination complaint, a federal appeals court ruled this week.

Treva Nickens, who worked at the Whirlpool plant for more than 20 years before going on medical leave in October 2005 said that from 2001 until 2005 a number of co-workers routinely made racist remarks around her and that she was criticized for "hanging around with blacks."

Nickens said in court filings that she applied for a higher paying "quality tech" job in early 2005, but was blocked from getting it by a supervisor who thought she spent too much time with a black friend and co-worker.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Nickens deserves a trial at the lower court level to have a chance to prove her claim that the now-closed Whirlpool plant was a hostile work environment.