Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comment posted at:

The Way Things Work at Whirlpool - The supervisor who gave a racist and demeaning letter to female employee was told on Monday not to worry about his job (he won't lose it)

This is sad that a multi Billion dollar company will not get rid of this monster and instead back him and his racist remarks. To the Female who had to go through this, on behalf of all white people i am very sorry that this happend to you, and I do not want you to think all white people act like this. Stay strong and do not give up your fight!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Breaking: IUE-CWA Files Charges Against Whirlpool

Whirlpool has taken the war against American workers to a new level by threatening to blacklist people who speak up

by James Parks, Feb 25, 2010

IUE-CWA Local 808 today filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Whirlpool, alleging the company interfered with workers’ rights by threatening employees if they participate in a rally tomorrow to protest a plant closing.

Whirlpool announced it is closing the Evansville, Ind., refrigerator plant, laying off 1,100 workers and sending jobs to Mexico.

The charge stems from a memo by Paul Coburn, vice president for Whirlpool’s Evansville Division, warning workers not to participate in a march and rally tomorrow to save their jobs. Coburn’s memo, contained in an internal company newsletter, said employers in the future might not be willing to hire workers who participate.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who will speak at the rally tomorrow, said:

Whirlpool has taken the war against American workers to a new level by threatening to blacklist people who speak up. They don’t just want your job, they want your first amendment rights, too.

Show solidarity with the Whirlpool workers, 900 of whom are members of Local 808, by signing an online petition urging Whirlpool to reverse its decision and Keep It Made in America: Save Our Jobs. Click here to add your name to the more than 50,000 who already have signed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 2-24-10

Whirlpool Threatens Workers: Protesting Plant Closure Risks 'Future Jobs'

A major corporation planning to shut down a factory in Indiana has warned its union workers that they'll endanger their future job prospects if they protest the plant's closing.

In late August, Whirlpool Corporation announced that by June 2010 it would be closing the doors of its refrigerator plant in Evansville, Ind., and moving its operations to Mexico, citing poor sales due to a depressed housing market. The town of Evansville -- which President Obama has visited frequently -- was set to lose an additional 1,100 jobs.

The labor community, naturally, was in an uproar, pointing to the $20 million that the Whirlpool Corporation received as part of the president's economic stimulus package. And since the announcement, a number of efforts were made to persuade the company to revisit its decision, with union leaders petitioning state and local officials to explore avenues to keep the plant on site and the mayor forming a "rapid response team" to help support soon-to-be-unemployed workers.

Activists planned a high-profile protest for this Friday, with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka visiting the plant for the first time. But Whirlpool says the effort is futile -- they are fully committed to shutting the plant down. The company, however, still seems quite wary of the potential for bad publicity. In a memo sent to its employees and passed along to the Huffington Post, Paul Coburn, division vice president for Whirlpool's Evansville Division, offers a fairly explicit warning to his workers: If they join Trumka's protest they would seriously risk future employment opportunity.

"In the last six months we have delivered strong results in spite of having to see a good deal of our equipment taken out of the building and moved to its new location. I believe that it is a testament to your character that you have continued to work hard to preserve the positive reputation of the Evansville workforce during this period," Coburn writes.

"With this in mind, we have shared our concern with Local 808 leaders that these negative activities will only hamper employees when they look for future jobs. The entire community is aware and sympathetic towards the situation we all face. We fear that potential employers will view the actions of a few and determine whether they would want to hire any of Evansville Division employees in the future. We hope that this is not the case, but think it is certainly a consideration."

A union official who passed the memo to the Huffington Post labeled it a "potentially illegal" effort to suppress speech and said that the local union is examining whether it violates labor law rules. The irony was not lost that a company closing a plant to ship jobs abroad would threaten workers with the possibility of unemployment even after it moved.

Whirlpool did not immediately return a request for comment.

(see article, Coburn's memo, and many comments at link below)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whirlpool Exec Responds: The System Made Us Do It

By Dave Johnson, February 22, 2010

In last week’s post, Whirlpool Bites Hands Of American Taxpayers That Feed It, I wrote about Whirlpool closing a factory in Evansville, Indiana. In summary,

• Whirlpool closes a plant in Evansville.
• Taxpayers will shoulder the unemployment and other costs.
• All the local supplier, transportation and other third-party jobs are destroyed.
• Even more home foreclosures in the area as a result.
• Local businesses are stressed or have to go out of business.
• They are playing nearby Iowa against Indiana for tax breaks and subsidies to keep just a few of the jobs.
• Whirlpool is profiting from making all this someone else's problem.
• And, of course, Wall Street celebrates the move.

This would be just one more “dog bites man” story – a company closes a plant and moves production out of the country, destroys workers’ lives, devastates communities and small businesses, sets states against each other, increases their profit margin, and Wall Street cheers. We read the same story over and over again for decades now, and the economy and the country of course have reached a limit of what can be lost. So what? What else is new?

But at Huffington Post a Whirlpool spokesperson responded, saying the post is “based on misinformation that’s floating around the Internet.” He wrote that their decision was based on “competitive factors.” In other words, Whirlpool says that the system made us do it. (The response in full is at the end of this post.)

The spokesperson for Whirlpool is exactly right. It is the system that makes them do this. They are only following the market’s orders.

Set aside for a minute the lack of humanity in Whirlpool's response, the lack of patriotism, the placing of market values (privatize the profits, socialize the costs) above human values, and the lack of concern for the destructive effect of their moves on the larger American economy. The system - the market - lets Whirlpool plead that those things are not Whirlpool’s job or concern. They are only trapped in the rules of the playing field and it is the job of We, the People to set those rules. It's OUR fault, not theirs...

So to the extent that we are upset that Whirlpool moves jobs to Mexico, devastates surrounding communities, sets Indiana and Iowa bidding against each other for a few scraps and killing off the supplier and other businesses it isn’t Whirlpool’s fault, “WE” have fallen down on the job. WE have allowed a few large monopolistic corporate giants to take over the job of defining national policy. And of course those monopolist giants set the rules to their own advantage and against the interests of the rest of us, including all of the Whirlpools (unless Whirlpool becomes lucky enough to be the biggest, then THEY get to set the rules.) A few monopolistic giants benefit greatly from keeping this system the way it is, so their lobbying power keeps the country from changing the rules to benefit anyone else.

The rules are what they are. Yes, that’s a huge part of the problem.
BUT while Whirlpool pleads a “competitive factors” case, let’s look at Whirlpool’s competitor GE. GE isn’t perfect, but they are finding ways to move jobs BACK to the US. For example, look at this recent news report, General Electric announces new product coming to Appliance Park GE announced Appliance Park will get a new product - a "hybrid" or energy efficient water heater. The product line will arrive in 2011 and bring with it 400 new jobs.
How was GE able to make Louisville work for producing durable goods, when Whirlpool is not able to make Evansville work? Is it a lack of corporate imagination on Whirlpool’s part? Why isn’t Whirlpool inspired to go the extra mile to find ways to keep jobs here, to help the communities that surround them and to help the workers who build their products for so many years? Are Whirlpool's executives just happy enough with their profit margins, and this is all that matters? Will Whirlpool work to change the system that makes them do the things they do?

And more importantly in the big picture, I conclude this post with the same question as the previous post concluded: Will Congress listen?

Here is the Whirlpool spokesperson’s response:
Dear Dave Johnson and readers of the Huffington Post:
In reviewing your blog post, I noticed it appears to be based on misinformation that’s floating around the Internet. I’d like to contribute the following facts for the sake of context and clarity.
• Whirlpool has approximately 17,000 U.S.-based manufacturing employees - more than any of our competitors.
• We produce the majority of our major appliances in the U.S., while some of our competitors do not produce any of their major appliances in the U.S.
• The economic downturn and other factors lead us to expect lower demand for the refrigerators produced by our plants in Evansville, Indiana and Apodaca, Mexico, and we therefore decided to consolidate their manufacturing in one location.
• We based our decision to consolidate in Apodaca on a full analysis of all the competitive factors between the two plants.
• We worked with Indiana state and local officials to keep the company’s Product Development Center of 300 design engineers in Evansville.
• As a recipient of $19 million in stimulus funds from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant program, we are required to match that amount with an investment of equal value in the development of new smart products. The grant and related investment are completely unrelated to the manufacturing of existing product lines such as these refrigerators.
• We have honored the Union and others’ requests for meetings to discuss the decision, but given the competitive nature of the industry and the state of the markets, no combination of changes proposed at those meetings could make the plant competitive.
We appreciate the support shown for our Evansville employees, and hope that this message helps clarify the facts.
Thank you,
Christopher Wyse, Corporation Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Whirlpool Corporation

Monday, February 22, 2010

Congressman Fred Upton's family corporation is up to its old tricks

With a few editing changes the following commentary is lifted directly from a private email Mr. Mann sent to recipients found only on his personal email address list, a list including Fred Upton who was copied with the original text of what follows. It's reproduced here with Mann's permission.

Congressman Fred Upton's family corporation is up to its old tricks, exporting manufacturing jobs and killing off support industries piecemeal.

Economic devastation suffered by the families directly impacted won't be adequately measured and almost certainly won't be covered in any depth by media. Blanket withholding of lucrative Whirlpool advertising might result as a punitive measure for media outlets exercising such vital, informative speech.

There is, however, one thing that can be adequately measured in this and that's Fred Upton's rank, thoroughly pious hypocrisy.

For whatever reason, I've been included a few times in Upton's phone networking with 6th District voters. I receive a phone call and his recorded voice informs me that I'm wanted for participating in a conference call with other District voters. A time and number are provided, then you call in and take part in a teleconference with Freddie boy moderating.

The main topic of (certainly) the last Upton teleconference I was invited to participate in was the economy. Fred made a stern point of damning the Obama Administration for losing manufacturing jobs, specifically jobs that had been exported. Fred Upton said, astoundingly enough and with as much masculine force as I'd ever heard him muster, "I want to bring those jobs home." That's a direct quote. I heard it.

What's abundantly evident here is Upton's willingness to shamelessly abuse the truth when he stands to benefit personally, financially and politically.

This is OUR District and Fred Upton IS NOT representing the majority's interests, nor has he for a very long time, if ever, despite his very carefully cultivated image as a moderate.

I'm personally familiar with Whirlpool job exportation. It started impacting people I knew, people who were my friends in Van Buren County more than 25 years ago. Ronald Reagan had just broken PATCO* and Whirlpool Corporation was one of the very first American companies that became known as a Maquiladora.

According to the linked website just above: "On average, clients can expect to save as much as 75% on labor costs when operating in Mexico."

Not only that, they're instantly out from under bothersome domestic pollution and worker safety laws as well.

Now Evansville is the latest town to lose Whirlpool manufacturing. The cost of moving those Indiana jobs to Mexico and the building or expansion of facilities to accommodate those jobs should be nicely covered by the $19 million Whirlpool "recently received from the federal government as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

That's right. Whirlpool is the world's largest manufacturer of big home appliances, showing hefty profits year in and year out. YOU just gave them $19 million for "recovery."

We've been sold for decades on the idea that welfare and socialism are very bad things, especially for shiftless people of color. But for the biggest, richest US corporations, IT'S JUST FINE.

If that doesn't turn your stomach, then nothing will.

According to Whirlpool-owned brands include: "Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names..."

Next time you're in the market for a large household appliance, first make certain who the brand is owned by, then purchase from some other company. Even if you have to hold your nose and buy it from huge defense contractor, GE.

If enough of us did so we could put Whirlpool right where they, and Whirlpool heir Fred Upton belong --at the bottom of an outhouse hole.

John L. Mann Kalamazoo, Michigan

Friday, February 19, 2010


Whirlpool Bites Hands Of American Taxpayers That Feed It

By Dave Johnson, February 19, 2010

Whirlpool, recipient of federal stimulus "smart grid" dollars, is closing an Evansville, Indiana freezer-topped refrigerator and icemaker production plant and moving the 1,100 jobs to Mexico.

Whirlpool knows that taxpayers will shoulder the unemployment and other costs. Closing a plant like this also means all the supplier, transportation and other third-party jobs go away. For example, 100+ Disabled Workers Could Lose Jobs

Whirlpool employees aren't the only ones losing their jobs when the plant closes. More than 100 blind or disabled individuals could also be left jobless. The Evansville Association for the Blind has issued a public plea, asking businesses to consider using their employees.

There will be more home foreclosures, and local businesses are stressed or have to go out of business. Whirlpool is profiting from making all this someone else's problem.

Whirlpool is even playing nearby Iowa against Indiana, shaking the state down for millions to move just 60 of the 1,100 jobs there.

So, of course, Wall Street celebrates the move, the setting states against each other, the cost-shifting and the resulting "increase in margins."

The workers are still trying to do something about this. Inside Indiana Business writes about a rally on February 26,

Organizers have invited guests including AFL/CIO President Richard Trumka and Jim Clark, president of the IUE-CWA union with which Local 808 is affiliated.

Employees with the least seniority are expected to lose their jobs first, March 26. The remaining workers will be let go until production ceases in early summer.

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, writes:

The Whirlpool Corp. is closing a refrigerator manufacturing plant in Evansville, Ind., putting more than 1,100 people out of work. Even worse, Whirlpool will continue to produce these refrigerators, but not in Evansville and not anywhere else in America. They are planning to manufacture them in Mexico, where weaker labor and environmental laws make them “cheaper” for Whirlpool to produce.

This is outrageous and unacceptable, especially in light of Whirlpool’s profitability and the $19 million dollars in economic recovery money Whirlpool recently received from the federal government as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Those are OUR economic recovery funds, not Mexico’s.

You can sign their Whirlpool: Keep It Made in America petition here:

Will Congress listen?


February 2, 2010

Shares of Whirlpool rallied more than 8% to close at $82.23

Early Tuesday, Whirlpool Corp. said it rode lower costs and higher volume to better than double its fourth-quarter profit. It reported earnings of $95 million, or $1.24 a share, on the period, up from $44 million, or 60 cents in the final three months of 2008. The latest results include a charge of $46 million, or 40 cents a share, tied to a legal action, the company noted.
Sales rose 13% to $4.86 billion in the December quarter but would have been up 5% without currency translations.

AM Report: Testing Volcker's Rule

The so-called "Volcker Rule," which argues for a change in proprietary lending by banks, will be argued before the Senate this afternoon, the News Hub reports.
The average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet research had been for Whirlpool to earn $1.34 a share on revenue of $4.53 billion.
Whirlpool said the results were boosted by "cost reduction and productivity initiatives and increased sales volume," partly offset by lower prices.
"We significantly improved our global cost structure and operating performance despite a substantial decline in global demand levels," said Jeff Fettig, chief executive, in the Whirlpool's earnings report.
"In addition, we generated record free cash flow and strengthened our financial position," he added.
Looking ahead, the Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company said it expects 2010 earnings of $6.50 to $7 a share -- well ahead of the consensus forecast of $4.52. Sales volume is expected to increase in the U.S., Latin America and Asia, while remaining flat in Europe.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Powerful Statement by former Benton Harbor resident

I am L.D. Fuse's oldest sister and lived in B.H. for 21 years and now live in Dallas. I am a Registered Nurse. I had to leave B.H. and MI period to graduate from nursing school. I met road blocks at LMC and GVSC in the 80's. I had A's in classes but was told I didn't pass clinical per a white instructor. I am here to tell you that I graduated as an RN in 1985 in Dallas, Tx on the dean's list and work in hospitals, clinics and schools in Dallas. B.H. is like the deep South of the 60's. My family has been deeply traumatized emotionally and physically. The police twisted my mother's neck and arm and she has lots of pain everyday. My dad who is 92 is helpless at what happened to his son named after him, and his wife. He used to haul trash for the city and white customers for 45 years. He was well respected and trusted in their yards and homes. But now in 2008-2010 he lives to see racism at an all time high against his family. I can't believe the same town, my hometown is so evil and wicked! I will never forget their names. One Day, God will pay them back in Judgement Day, and yes there is a God. As a nurse, I treat all races equally but some think they are supreme beings, above the law. I could never move back there and hope to move my family one day as it is like Sodom and Gomorrah. The judges and police would hang blacks if they could but it is all being recorded by God's Angels.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When will the people of this area wake up?

Editor, (letter to ed., HPalladium, 2/6/10)

Someone should tell Ron Carter, Benton Harbor's new city manager, that you can't clean a house with the roof caving in. The city's budget problems pale in comparison to the private commercial takeover of the lakefront, its only major asset.

Someone should tell Gov. Jennifer Granholm that if she really wants to fix Benton Harbor she is going to have to risk irritating the mighty Whirlpool Corp., which has been exploiting the city for decades. What would she have to lose, now that she doesn't have to worry about reelection?

Someone should tell Harbor Shores and Cornerstone, Whirlpool's offspring, that they should be careful what they wish for. The more scrutiny Benton Harbor undergoes, the riskier it may be for them. Can they account for all the state and federal money that has been entrusted to them over the years?

Someone should tell the leaders of St. Joe to stop trashing up their streets with Bojangle-eyed gorillas, tearing down their finest buildings and jam-packing their beach with everything but sand and water. The "Twin Cities" are becoming a sideshow in more ways than one.

Someone should tell Art Cotter, the Berrien County prosecutor, to stick to the job he was hired to do and leave the governor, the parole board and corrections professionals to do theirs. Prosecutors are supposed to seek justice, not merely convictions. We pay the price for their mistakes, and the consequences of shoddy law enforcement are far greater than most people realize or can even imagine. Cotter should be held accountable for spending taxpayers' money on things that are not in his job description. The entire county should not have to be held hostage to his inability to grasp the concept or possibility of rehabilitation.

Someone should tell the mad Tea Partiers that they are wasting their energies working against their own interests and for those of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. After all, what do we have Fred Upton for?

And finally, someone should tell the people of Southwest Michigan to wake up before it's too late and stop letting the corporate elite run our lives. In the words of the late, great Howard Zinn, "If there is going to be change, real change, it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves. That's how change happens."

Scott Elliott, Benton Harbor

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


by John L. Mann
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about your critical commentary was that it remained unsigned. If you're so certain of your conclusions, why not stand behind them publicly with a signature? (comment referred to can be found after 2/6 post)

The tenor of your written opinion and the failure to self-identify struck me as being uncomfortably close to the past acts of Americans equally convinced of their own righteousness, yet finding it necessary to remain hidden beneath hood and cowl during the commission of hate crimes.

Instead of mass rallies, lynching and cross burnings, the internet now provides a forum where people harboring opinions and a sense of personal righteousness similar to your own can weigh in with verbal piety, yet keep their faces hidden. Ignorance and bigotry can hold forth in anonymity. In this case I fail to find much distinction between cross burnings past and truth burning present.

There's nothing "wild-eyed" about publicly citing the social and economic destruction that's been visited upon Benton Harbor. Nor are there any "factual inaccuracies" involved with the method by which Harbor Shores was granted title to 800+ acres of prime Benton Harbor beach and river frontage, for about a million dollars.

Worse is the way the Berrien County judicial system punished Rev. Edward Pinkney for exercising free speech, in exposing corruption surrounding how such a stinking deal was made. Corruption brought home by the conflict of interest and abuse of privilege exercised by at least one of the judges presiding in his various criminal cases -- for which Pinkney was convicted by an all-white "jury of his peers," then sentenced by a judge poised to profit personally from the Harbor Shores development, via Counselors Ship St. Realty.

Even worse, in my opinion, was the way democratic principle was abused by a single judge's setting aside of the clear results of the Glenn Yarbrough recall election. A recall STOPPING the Harbor Shores development by way of the PEOPLE'S WILL.

There was never any question that the recall succeeded, either. But this judge unilaterally set aside the PEOPLE'S WILL based on very few, very questionably "tainted" ballots. It was clearly stipulated the "questionable" ballots weren't physically altered either. They were "tainted" because Rev. Pinkney briefly had them in his personal possession for transport to the City Clerk's office, simply to insure they were counted.

That the "honorable" judge setting aside the results of basic democratic practice was also a member of the Board of Canvassers, merely adds to the real crime here. A crime for which his high office alone precluded any accountability to law. That judge is the one who tainted the election and basic democracy. He now presides over a FEDERAL bench, in my opinion an appointment granted for services rendered to Harbor Shores via the Yarbrough recall case.

You sanctimoniously call for "seminars" and "skills workshops" financed by Banco, a service organization that in truth is wholly BANK-RUPT, an organization that boasts NO tangible assets, ONLY the efforts of a very few and the leadership of a positively indefatigable lion, Rev. Edward Pinkney.

Preparing those who "wish to enter the workforce?!?" THERE ARE NO JOBS AVAILABLE, especially in Benton Harbor! Using 1980 federal criteria for measuring unemployment, the number of US unemployed nationally would be 22% today. FIXING numbers this way made it possible for January, 2010 to LOSE 20,000 non-farm payroll jobs, while the "official" unemployment rate DECLINED .3%. This, in the face of the fact that the economy needs to ADD over a million jobs every month simply in order to keep up with population increases.

That Whirlpool Corporation has sent its manufacturing and now the bulk of its engineering and R & D, first to Mexico, then to China, indicates a whole lot about the above unemployment statistics, past and present. That their hand in the Harbor Shores giveaway via Cornerstone Alliance and Fred Upton equally prevails in the destruction of Benton Harbor, seems utterly lost on you.

To you I clearly say: "Remove the hood of your anonymity and publicly, fearlessly defend your points instead of hiding behind what appear to be baseless charges and a public cowl. Do it in the manner of Edward Pinkney, a man whose fight against injustice and official lawlessness I find to be in the highest traditions of righteous struggle."

There's no "conspiracy" theory here. John Klock gave that land "IN PERPETUITY" to the people of Benton Harbor who were, specifically, NOT endowed with the wealth of property. He didn't consign it to the Harbor Shores development gang for use as a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course intended only for the elite.

Edward Pinkney possesses the bulk of the truth here, and very little else -- certainly no money or ability to employ powerful attorneys on his own or Benton Harbor's behalf.

What do you have on your side, faceless one, other than self-righteous prejudice, overweening fear and an eager willingness to subsume the crimes of St. Joseph's rich and powerful?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Two reviews of the movie Avatar

Dances With Aliens: James Cameron’s Avatar Movie and White “Saviors”

By Hernan and Andrew
In our book Screen Saviors: Hollywood Fictions of Whiteness (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003) we discussed two types of white hero that often appear in American movies: the white messiah and the racial masquerader. The narcissistic fantasy of the a white hero who leads people of another color in a struggle of liberation presents whites a pleasing images of themselves as saviors rather than oppressors. The racial masquerade is another fantasy solution to white guilt in which the white hero crosses over and pretends to be black or native American. Full review:

When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like"Avatar"?

excerpt: Jake is so enchanted that he gives up on carrying out his mission, which is to persuade the Na'vi to relocate from their "home tree," where the humans want to mine the unobtanium. Instead, he focuses on becoming a great warrior who rides giant birds and falls in love with the chief's daughter. When the inevitable happens and the marines arrive to burn down the Na'vi's home tree, Jake switches sides. With the help of a few human renegades, he maintains a link with his avatar body in order to lead the Na'vi against the human invaders. Not only has he been assimilated into the native people's culture, but he has become their leader. Full review:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

This is Rev. Edward Pinkney’s commentary on a recent Federal Court decision. Brackets indicate language which Rev. Pinkney has added.
The first paragraph is from Federal judge dismisses lawsuit over Jean Klock Park by Eartha Jane Melzer, 1/19/10,

[Global bloodsucker Whirlpool wins in Federal Court
Gentrification Continues.]

"A federal judge in Grand Rapids has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed the National Park Service and Army Corp of Engineers failed to follow environmental laws when they allowed Benton Harbor's [very own] Jean Klock [Park] and beach to be [stolen from the residents of Benton Harbor for] a private Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, [as reported in the Michigan Messenger. What they did was criminal.] '...there were several major factual errors and legal flaws in the ruling, which if left unchallenged, open local and state parks across the country to privatization...,' Terry Lodge, attorney for the plaintiffs said in a statement. [Whirlpool] "has a plan to profit from the public's legacy." Full article with original text by Eartha Melzer
can be seen on this weblog, Jan. 19, 2010, and at:

Whirlpool, a racist global bloodsucker, continues to disrupt the community by building the golf course, on 530 acres of prime land, centered around luxury housing. This is a billion dollar project designed to drive all Black Benton Harbor residents from the city. Whirlpool is trying to make the city a tourist attraction.
They figure that Black people commit all the crimes so they want them out.

This is called gentrification. Definition: when the gentry, like Whirlpool -- the ruling class -- want to take or steal land from the poor. Why should the rich be able to force, push or kick out the poor and the homeless? Anytime the police find homeless people living in abandoned buildings or a park, they normally arrest them. That is their way of getting rid of them. Of course the homeless live in parks - anywhere they can! Because of the golf course, they are being driven out and criminalized. Nobody is defending the homeless except us.

The struggle goes on. It is a growing problem of social injustice toward the homeless and poor and is hurting people as Whirlpool continues to suck the life out of Benton Harbor. We will continue to fight for the homeless and to stop racism.

Mr, Tedderic, a white supervisor at Whirlpool, openly practices racism with the blessing of his superiors. They have closed every avenue by which light may enter the minds of the residents of Benton Harbor. They are just one step away from accomplishing their goal of destroying all the African Americans who live here. They think if they can extinguish the capacity to see the light, their work would be completed. Benton Harbor residents would then be on the level of the beast of the field and the ruling elite should be safe.

We, the people, must continue to speak truth to power and stop gentrification everywhere. We need to stop the corporations before it is too late. Now, with the latest Supreme Court ruling, the corporations can back any candidate they want with as much money as they want. The corporations have complete control, are able to openly install politicians into office. There was a time when this was done under cover, but corporate facism is now the “legal” law of the land.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The sad fact of the matter is that too many killer cops are still walking around free

I call it murder by Cynthia McKinney, Jan. 31, 2010

They shot this Black man in his genitals and in his back. It sounds like a hate crime to me. How else could one describe it?

Well, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it was self-defense. But how many times have we heard self-defense by cops used as a cop out?

Well, what about Amadou Diallo? Amadou Diallo was murdered on February 4, 1999 by New York Police Department (NYPD) cops who mistook a wallet for a gun. They claim that they thought he was going to shoot them and so they shot him in self-defense. One officer fell as if he had been shot. 41 bullets later, Amadou Diallo had been shot 19 times. Young Amadou was only 24 years old. He could survive the itinerant life of an African trading family, moving from Africa to Asia, but he couldn't survive the mean, racist streets of America. And the killer cops went free. Diallo's mother and step-father settled with the City of New York for $3 million in a lawsuit alleging wrongful death, racial profiling, and violation of Amadou's civil rights.

Kathryn Johnston was 92 years old when she was murdered by Atlanta Police Department (APD) officers who claim that they shot her in self-defense after narcotics officers broke into her home on November 21, 2006 using a "no-knock" warrant. Police forced their way into Johnston's home and claimed to have found a stash of marijuana there. The APD officers claimed that she had injured them with her rusty revolver. Sadly, it was all lies. Later, it was learned that the Atlanta Police officers were actually injured by friendly fire after discharging their firearms 39 times; that they planted marijuana in the Johnston basement; lied on the drug warrant authorizing the raid; invented an informant justifying the raid; and pressured an actual drug informant to lie for them. Atlanta's lying, killer cops did serve time--either for manslaughter, conspiracy to violate Johnston's civil rights resulting in death, or perjury. The three officers were also required to reimburse the Johnston estate the $8,000 cost of her burial.

In the wee hours of November 25, 2006, Sean Bell was murdered in a hail of 50 bullets fired by officers in the New York Police Department. Bell was celebrating his upcoming wedding and was leaving the club where he had just held his bachelor party. Police opened fire after they suspected the victim had a gun. Bell was struck 4 times in the neck and torso and died from his wounds. When no gun was to be found, they concocted a mystery witness who could possibly have had a gun. New York's killer cops were acquitted on all charges.

Although Diallo, Johnston, and Bell were Black, Blacks in the United States are not the only ones who can be victimized by murderous U.S. law enforcement. While on a visit to Cuba, I had the opportunity to meet and apologize to the widow of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a leading Puerto Rican Independentista. Wanted by U.S. authorities for actions stemming from his belief that Puerto Rico was a U.S. colony that should be independent, Ojeda Rios was murdered on September 23, 2005, shot by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at his home. An FBI press release stated that Ojeda Rios opened fire on the FBI and that the FBI retaliated, but that claim was not substantiated by an Inspector General's report that noted that the FBI opened the attack on Ojeda Rios with a "flash bang" device. Ojeda Rios shot 10 times and the FBI fired one hundred times. Ojeda Rios was struck in the lung by a single sniper's bullet, fell to the floor, and bled to death over 12 to 15 hours with no medical help allowed to save his life.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Think of the numbers of people who have experienced Mr. Hoskin's frustration in Benton Harbor and St. Joe since Whirlpool (and other companies) outsourced jobs. Profit over the people and the land. Rather than respect the needs of human survival by bringing jobs back, Whirlpool spends it's time, energy, and billions on land stealing, land destruction, innocent imprisonments, and a money losing massive development. Thank you Mr. Hoskins for speaking for many.

Lack of job opportunities is very frustrating


This is being written to show the importance of the Benton Harbor/Benton Township community's efforts to bring jobs and job-training to this area.

I am a young man who was born and raised in Benton Harbor. I attended school, which was somewhat of a struggle, but I did graduate from high school in 2006. Since graduation I have worked in numerous jobs but have not been able to get additional training for better jobs. Having no employment for a while, and no real motivation to become better, led me to experience a brief issue with the law. I have since come to realize that I want something better for my life, and I really have been trying to find a job but have been frustrated because of the lack of jobs available.

I wish there were more places around where I could get training, with a secure job waiting for me after that training.

I feel that would help me achieve the goals I have set for myself to be successful.

L. T. Hoskins Jr., Benton Harbor
Herald Palladium, 1/31/10