Friday, January 28, 2011

Prosecutor, judge, public defender used story invented by young white man to remove Loren Robinson from Benton Harbor forever

Berrien County "Trial" this week turns out as expected:
Benton Harbor man Loren Robinson, 26, convicted on four charges - Likely to get life in prison

Josh Karamalegos, white, partied and did drugs with several BH young African-American men and concocted a story so his father would pay for the drugs. Prosecutor Jennifer Smith, judge Dennis Wiley, and public defender Jim Miller used this made-up story, along with an all-white jury, to convict Loren Robinson. Josh K., who was found in possession of a large quantity of crack-cocaine, is free.

Adding to the kangaroo nature of the court, prosecutor Smith called a 5 minute sidebar to discuss her accusation that court watcher, Rev. Edward Pinkney, snorted.


The report on this blog, Oct. 29, 2010:

...Loren Robinson...about to get a life sentence along with three friends. Det. Smigielski wants to save a young white man (name unknown at present) who's father is wealthy. The story starts with this white man coming to BH from Niles, Michigan for the pupose of doing drugs. He smoked over two thousand dollars worth, but didn't have money to pay the four BH men he was partying with.

He had a plan to fake a kidnapping with the threat of murder so his father would pay off his drug debt. After his father brought the money, father and son fought and police were called. They searched the man and found a large amount of crack cocaine.

Smigielski liked the story concocted by the young man from Niles and told him to tell it in court. So, four more Black men will be removed from Benton Harbor (for the purpose of redevelopment of the land) to the brutal confines of Michigan prisons.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WHEN are we going to FIRE this born-on-third-base-thinks-he-hit-a-homer, privileged rich-kid, this servant of money and plutocrats...?

Our congressman, Fred Upton, has enjoyed the reputation of a "moderate" his entire career. This reputation largely stems from his repeatedly stated positions on the environment. His true colors are flying below for all to see - if only we LOOK at them.

Now in his 12th term (believe in term limits? or does that only apply for the 'other' guy?) Upton is now Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Laid out below are Fred's personal plans for handing crowns to Big Money/Big Oil - and defecating all over America.

When, just WHEN are we going to FIRE this born-on-third-base-thinks-he-hit-a-homer, privileged rich-kid, this servant of money and plutocrats, this DESTROYER (via repeated 'aye' votes on the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act) of the Bill of Rights and PURVEYOR of invasion, occupation and industrial scale murder? Ask yourself: if Fred Upton REALLY represents MY District, then WHERE are the federal earmarks for SW Michigan, earmarks befitting the District of a 12-term congressman?

I submit Fred Upton has repeatedly failed our District on the most important issues of our time. He is anathema to the entire world through his full time support of military empire. Upton has utterly failed freedom and the US Constitution via his unwavering support for police state empowerment. Now we UNMISTAKEABLY see his TRUE environmental stripes and who he is REALLY serving.

People, this nation is dying because LAW simply does not apply in Washington or multinational (read WHIRLPOOL) corporate offices. 'Law' is for you and me - NOT THEM. Our freedoms and economy have seriously eroded, possibly to the point of no return without a revolt. Fred Upton has been one of Tyranny's handmaidens in Congress, supposedly representing us, while the very worst of this destruction has transpired with his hearty approval.

He simply MUST go. I just wish we could muster enough awareness and outrage to RECALL HIM IMMEDIATELY. He's a disgrace, albeit a disgrace whose IMAGE has been perfumed, face-lifted, coiffed, buffed and polished beyond recognition of his genuine state of being. Put down the Gazette or maybe the Herald-Palladium, if that applies. Turn off the TV and simply open your eyes to what's truly transpiring around you. Use your own God given gifts of perception and reason, instead of some TV talking head who works for the LAWLESS.

Fred Upton, in his heart of hearts, may not be ashamed of himself - however much he should be. Regardless, I am ashamed of him, shamed that he remains OUR representative in OUR House, constantly disgracing OUR District, ever parsing the truth.

Thank God I don't have to live inside Fred Upton's skin. That would be unbearable - too much innocent blood on my hands to be borne.

John Mann

Check out this information on the new chair of energy and commerce committee. It is online at:

Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is making no secret of his plans for “an all-out push to block federal and state climate rules.” Yesterday, Upton’s released his committee agenda for the new Congress, which includes detailed plans for blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-overdue steps to curb the full range of life-threatening air pollutants – from soot and smog to mercury and carbon – that come from power plants and other big industrial sources. Also yesterday, according to POLITICO, Upton’s staff met behind closed doors with lobbyists for America’s biggest polluters “seeking unwavering support” for their plans.

The well-heeled crowd at yesterday’s meeting (held jointly with staff for Sen. James Inhofe) reportedly included lobbyists for the American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and others.
“The feedback we got was ‘hey, great, go for it guys,’” one Republican aide told POLITICO. “And we pretty strongly told them we do need your help to get this done. And when we walked away from the meeting the feeling was we got that.”

In a delicate turn of phrase, the committee agenda decries the “EPA regulatory chokehold” that supposedly “will severely impede the domestic manufacturing and industrial growth necessary for this nation to create jobs and emerge strongly from a devastating recession.”

This is the same hyperventilating about economic Armageddon we’ve seen over and over during the 40-year life of the Clean Air Act. Yet over that period we’ve cut many pollutants by 60 percent or more and saved hundreds of thousands of lives, while the economy has tripled in size.

Congressmen and lobbyists can make sweeping claims in press releases and other broadsides. It’s when they have to prove those gloom-and-doom claims that things sort of crumble. The same industries that are now pledging Upton and Inhofe their “unwavering” support took their best shot at proving their claims in court – and came up empty. They failed to convince the Courts of Appeals in Washington that EPA’s carbon curbs would hurt their member companies or grind the economic recovery to a halt. As the D.C. Circuit pointedly put it: “with regard to each of the challenged rules, petitioners have not shown that the harms they allege are certain, rather than speculative, or that the alleged harms will directly result from the actions which the movants seek to enjoin.” Their stalwart ally Texas struck out twice more in the Courts of Appeals in New Orleans and Washington.

For too many of the House’s new leaders, however, facts don’t seem to matter. For example, Energy and Commerce Committee member and former chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) bloviates that the court rulings will “crush our economy” and promises legislative repeal. This is entirely false, as the history of the Clean Air Act demonstrates.

Congressman Upton’s committee agenda is a little coy about what specific legislation he plans, promising oversight hearings and other process. But it rather looks like they have their minds made up. As the Red Queen said: "Sentence first- verdict afterwards."

Last month, Upton offered another coy proposal in an op-ed co-signed with the head of the Americans for Prosperity – the astroturf group behind the Tea Party funded by the billionaire Koch brothers and other big polluters – calling for legislation to automatically block EPA’s safeguards while the courts further consider the polluters’ legal arguments. (He seemed unaware that this would really hurt the auto industry, a big time Michigan constituent, by interfering with the Obama administration’s money-saving clean air and fuel economy standards that the automakers support and need for their economic recovery.)
Casting all coyness aside, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), one of Upton’s subcommittee chairman, told E&E News (subscription required) that he and his colleagues favor permanently stripping EPA of all Clean Air Act authority to curb greenhouse gases. “’That’s where we’re all at,’ he said.”

The POLITICO story says “Upton is looking to introduce a bill as soon as next week blocking EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, with hearings in his panel next month and a bill brought to the House floor by late February or in March.”

The Clean Air Act is a remarkably successful public health law which – up until now – has always enjoyed broad bipartisan support. It has saved hundreds of thousands of lives while our economy has continued to grow. The further safeguards for soot, smog, mercury, and carbon pollution that EPA is planning to issue will save tens of thousands more lives each year and help us move towards cleaner energy and a stronger economy.

When the polluters and their allies have attacked the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency in the past, the public has responded with even stronger support for the clean air safeguards that protect them from life-threatening pollution. Does Congressman Upton really want to replay this movie one more time?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Michael Sepic: “Poor Paige,” the drunken murderer, “has suffered enough.”

Berrien County trial court’s vicious attack on a Black family
By Tiffany Henderson

On May 15, 2010, my life changed when my father Eddie Peek (61-year old Black man) was killed by a drunken driver Paige Karsten (21-year-old white female) at 2:21am while Eddie was at work for the [Berrien County, Michigan newspaper] Herald Palladium. Since his death, my family and I have had to deal with a prosecuting attorney by the name of Michael Sepic who believes (and has said to the victim’s family) that “poor Paige,” the drunken murderer, “has suffered enough.” He has told the victim’s family that Paige Karsten’s speeding on I-94 with a blood alchol level of 2.17 was not egregious enough to be charged with second degree murder — only because she is white.

When this journey started I had faith that the judicial system would prevail, but now four months later, I pray for a higher justice. In my 37 years of being a Black woman I have been exposed to prejudices of all types but never so blatant, demoralizing and relentless as what the Berrien County Judicial system has exposed, the very system that is supposed to be for the people, all of the people.

My journey will continue and only GOD knows how it will end and my faith is still strong but my essence has changed. I pray that this tragedy will be the start of a new journey and will change the essence of many for the betterment of minorities in Benton Harbor.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The following was sent to this website regarding Scott Sanford and Berrien County public defenders:

Scott Sanford is a piece of shit. People should stop agreeing to be represented by Scott "representing the court" Sanford. If no one pays him, then he has no one other than is private clients to represent. Unfortunately this is a break in our educational system. We have to teach people in our communities that you cannot get good criminal defense
(even when you think you're innocent) by a "court appointed" attorney. They represent the hand that feeds them. I told mr. sanford before that he didn't earn his fees, and he said I need to take it up with the court, but I'm quite sure I paid for his representation. I told him I don't care how they split the pie, the fact is that I paid for representation and all I got was thrown under the bus. And it wasn't the first time I had a public defender who attempted to feed me to the wolves. I would never do it again. For those people who haven't had the experience or are currently going through some type of legal issue, they have to be warned that public defenders are only there to make sure the court gets as much money out of you as possible. You can't come out any worse by choosing to represent yourself, or spending a few days in jail or paying the same amount of money to retain private counsel.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Judge Charles Lasata plays doctor

Buckle your seat belt and breathe deeply.

Beverly Lewis from Benton Harbor has only a third grade education due to severe epilepsy and a school system lacking resources. She suffers several seizures per day and is heavily medicated. Needless to say, Ms. Lewis, late 30's, is physically and mentally handicapped. (Her father happens to be the deceased wrestler, Bo Bo Brazil.)

On January 5, 2011, Ms. Lewis attended the infamous Berrien County courthouse for allegedly attacking a woman. Judge Lasata, suddenly playing the role of court physician, told Ms. Lewis that she fakes the seizures she has lived with for decades.

She was unlucky enough to have public defender Scott Sanford as counsel.
Court watchers cannot think of a case Sanford has won in a decade, and know him primarily for saying the words, "Plead guilty." Ms. Lewis has led an exemplary life, has never even received a parking ticket, but was forced to plead guilty to this crime which she did not commit.

At first she did refuse, but after Sanford hit her in the face with some papers and told her he would see that she spent the rest of her life in prison, she didn't know any better than to plead guilty. We can say with confidence that the main goal of the courthouse is to imprison for life as many BH residents as possible.

In the county jail, two days later, she sent word that she needed some assistance, so, true to common Berrien County jail practice, a guard was sent to beat her up.

Judge Lasata must be stopped.

The story ends here for now. It is our constitutional duty to hold law enforcement and courts accountable for their actions, inactions, and wrongdoing. We must fight for justice.

There is a saying in Berrien County: Do not fight Whirlpool. Why? They can
financially ruin you and do great harm to you and your family. Whirlpool controls every aspect of Berrien, including the courthouse and judges.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The following was anonymously sent to this website:

FYI: I just found out that BHPD Detective Smigielski and BCSD Officer O'Brien beat the snot out of some guy after leaving a bar in St. Joe. I am not sure when this allegedly happened, but apparently they were drunk after leaving the bar and went after this guy for something that happened earlier that night. From what I hear, they roughed him up pretty good and it got swept under the rug by fellow officers and administrative. It sounds like they paid him off and paid his medical bills or something to keep him quiet. This should be brought out.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Whirlpool, Rep. Fred Upton, and former Gov. Granholm knew just what they were doing when they force-fed state "financial mngr." Joseph Harris to Benton Harbor, Michigan. No more self-determination for Benton Harbor. The city is run by this outsider who has no interest whatsoever in the lives of residents. Harris is paid $132K per year to make certain BH is turned into corporate la-la land...Harbor Shores, Harbor Town...and corporate playgrounds don't include the land in it's wondrous natural beauty, only manicured, chemicalized, and covered with cement. Harris's only supervisor is now Whirlpool, although they make sure his paycheck comes from BH taxpayers. BH City Commissioners know this.

Today's Detroit Free Press: Council feuds with emergency manager

The Benton Harbor City Commission can pass resolutions to hand over power to Mayor Wilce Cooke, but it will have no effect, emergency financial manager Joseph Harris said Wednesday.

The commission passed a resolution on Monday establishing an administrative emergency and giving Cooke authority over the city. It said Harris gives preferential treatment to white contractors and meets with local white officials while refusing to meet with black officials.

Said Harris: "I could not care less what color a local official is. It matters if I can communicate with them."