Thursday, June 30, 2011

Protest against Whirlpool’s land grab

...the homeless are almost everywhere in the city, in front of you behind you, by the side of you, and behind windows. You can hear them around the corner and see their shadow from far away.

By Dorothy Pinkney

The Benton Harbor City Commissioners have formed a partnership with Whirlpool, the largest appliance maker in the world. The partnership is to continue developing Benton Harbor and, in the process, to drive the homeless and the residents completely out of the city. The final nail has been placed in the coffin.

Already, the homeless are almost everywhere in the city, in front of you behind you, by the side of you, and behind windows. You can hear them around the corner and see their shadow from far away. You try to avoid looking directly into their eyes and you pretend you do not hear them when they talk to you. You walk around the block to avoid them and you walk faster to leave them behind you. These people that you consider to be zombies are actually human beings. They are just homeless.

Benton Harbor is overwhelmingly poor and majority Black. By their actions, Whirlpool is saying that Black people are criminals, and that they look filthy, Whirlpool does not know what kind of scary things homeless people may do. They fear that the poor will rob the rich who come to Benton Harbor. The solution is to get rid of all Black people from the city of Benton Harbor with the help of the all-Black City Commissioners. Recently, a $50 million tax abatement was approved for Whirlpool’s new $68 million complex in Benton Harbor’s downtown by the commissioners. This tax give-away is in addition to previous million dollar land grabs for the lake front development. It is time the people take a stand not only against Whirlpool, but against the city commissioners.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Whirlpool VP Jeff Noel speaks on behalf of recently arrested Harbor Shores developer.
Noel hails from Kentucky, one of the more corrupt states in the US - Noel worked previously in the tobacco industry. A perfect resume for a job at Whirlpool. See this good ol' boy's bio at the end.

Developer for Harbor Shores arrested

Mark Hesemann pleads no contest following incident at Lion's Den

By Julie Swidwa, Saturday, June 25, 2011

St. Joseph- Mark Hesemann, a contracted developer for the real estate arm of Harbor Shores, reached a plea deal with prosecutors Friday following his arrest Wednesday at an adult entertainment store in Sawyer.

His lawyer, Andrew Burch, said Hesemann pleaded no contest before Berrien County Trial Court Judge Gary Bruce to a charge of disturbing the peace. Hesemann was originally charged with retail fraud, commonly known as shoplifting, according to state police Sgt. Ken High at the Bridgman post.

Burch said alcohol contributed to his client's acntions.

High said Hesemann was arrested around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday by Trooper Gary Guild at the Lion's Den Adult Book Store after he allegedly tried to steal two pornographic DVDs.

Hesemann is the managing director of Evergreen Development Co. in St. Joseph, which is under contract to develop the real estate arm of the Harbor Shores golf course development. Jeff Noel, president of Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment Inc., said Friday he was unaware of Hesemann's arrest before being contacted by The Herald-Palladium.

Speaking on behalf of Harbor Shores, Noel said, "I'm absolutely surprised. I've known Mark for all these years we've been working on Harbor Shores together."

Noel went on to say, "I'm disappointed, and yet because I do know Mark it's most important to try to understand what transpired and get all sides of the story. Until we have all the information and know exactly what transpired, it would be wrong to predetermine what it will mean for Mark and his relationship with Harbor Shores."

..."(Hesemann) has a very caring heart. He is very committed to this community and he wants to see it succeed," Noel said. "He's given a lot of time and energy into this community. [We know that when Noel talks about wanting 'this' community to succeed, he is definitely not referring to citizens of Benton Harbor.]

Full article while still available:

BIO: Jeff Noel was appointed corporate vice president, Communications and Public Affairs 2004. Noel is responsible for the company's global external and internal communications, government relations, and corporate affairs departments, including Whirlpool Corporation's strategic community partnerships and also serves as the president of the Whirlpool Foundation.

Noel is also actively involved in area initiatives including serving as Chairman of the Harbor Shores Development and Bluffside projects and as a member of the Michigan Colleges Foundation. Additionally, he was appointed vice chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in 2011 and serves as general vice chairman for the 73rd Senior PGA Championship.

Prior to joining Whirlpool, Noel served for 11 years as president of Cornerstone Alliance, a Benton Harbor-based economic development group. He also served as commissioner of management and operations for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Department, director of government affairs for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation and executive assistant to U.S. Senator Wendell Ford of Kentucky as well as an owner/developer of over 700,000 sq. ft of commercial real estate.

Noel holds a master's degree in business administration from Marymount University and a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jeff Fetig pays a mere $603 million while Benton Harbor homeless wander the streets

Whirlpool Agrees To Pay $603 Million To Settle Brazil Bank Dispute


A Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) subsidiary agreed to pay about $603 million to settle all claims related to a long-standing dispute in Brazil with Banco Safra SA, leading the household appliance manufacturer to trim its full-year earnings outlook.

Whirlpool, whose brands include Maytag, KitchenAid and Amana, now expects to report earnings of $8.30 to $9.30 a share, including the costs related to the settlement. The guidance without the charge had previously ranged between $12 and $13.

The company said the settlement related to the enforceability of an unauthorized loan entered into in 1989 by an employee of Embraco, which subsequently became part of Whirlpool's Brazilian business, and who was terminated that year.

The agreement, subject to the approval of a Brazilian court, would result in Whirlpool paying the Brazilian bank about $295 million in the third quarter and $308 million in the first quarter of next year.

Whirlpool said it would record an additional charge of about $439 million in the second quarter to reflect the full amount of the agreement. It expects to fund the settlement with available cash.

"After fully considering all the circumstances, the uncertainty and potential outcomes, it was a prudent decision and in the best interest of the company and its stockholders to settle this case now," said Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff M. Fettig.

Whirlpool's shares were down 0.1% to $77.13 after hours.

-By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Terrance "T-Shirt" Shurn Memorial was a Great Success

It was a wonderful afternoon with intervals of great sadness. Not only in mourning for T-Shirt, but for the homeless and mentally ill human beings roaming the streets of Benton Harbor. It's easy to understand why Rev. Pinkney has a tone of desperation and urgency in his voice at times. Almost unfathomable is the inhumane cruelty of one of the world's wealthiest corporations letting this happen within mere blocks of their headquarters. The argument can be made that it's happening because of the corporation's outsourcing. Would they EVER let this happen in St. Joe? (you can answer...)


Many thanks to all who attended the the Terrance "T-Shirt" Shurn Memorial Rally last Saturday. It marked the 8 year anniversary of the BH uprising, a public response to the June 16, 2003 high-speed Benton Township police chase resulting in the death of Terrance "T-Shirt" Shurn.

During the course of the afternoon there were between 200 and 300 people listening to speakers and bands, and partaking of the catered food. Rev. Pinkney read a poem he wrote for T-Shirt, What Is Next? A really great speech was given by Fred Hampton Jr. from Chicago, some highlights of which are at the end of this report. The rap group Stargang performed an excellent original song. Ellis Bethea sang (beautifully) We Are America with input from recorded Rachel Maddow talking about BH - unusual to say the least! Two other bands were Big Dudee Roo and Chicago blues band, Amoree. Rev. P. led the audience in 3 minutes of silence, a very simple but very moving tribute to T-Shirt.

Law enforcement profiling and brutality, Whirlpool land grab and destruction, Whirlpool outsourcing of jobs to Mexico, and state takeover of BH are all actions which oppress residents. Pinkney spoke about this, and took the opportunity to educate. He said the dictatorship called Emergency Financial Management is facism. Whirlpool has been systemically destroying the city and driving citizens out; the new governor
Rick "the Ricktator" Snyder is now assisting the corporation as did the former gov., Jennifer Granholm.

Other points made by Pinkney:

--Gone is democratic self-rule in BH. Almost gone is collective bargaining. Public discourse is minimized as local elected officials are stripped of authority. The EFM, Joseph Harris, can: remove elected officials without permission from the people, disburse all state-fed.-local funds without oversight, reject-modify-or-terminate any contract, sell off local gov. property, borrow money, and ignore notice requirements for the public in the adoption of ordinances.

--12,600 families will be thrown off welfare rolls on Oct. 1. They also lose health insurance and food stamps. Every month thereafter more families will be eliminated. If you have been on welfare for 3 years, you have just 1 year left.

Several of many points made by Fred Hampton Jr.:

--oppression is embarrassing.

--what they have in mind for our "new housing" is either the penitentiary or the graveyard.

--gentrification = land grab.

--it's important to distinguish between the ability to articulate and intelligence.

--the will of the people is greater than everything else including technology and politicians.

He stated that he's been struggling with law enforcement since before he was born. During the violent Chicago police death of his father, a cop put a gun to the pregnant mid-section of his mother. (She was pregnant with Fred Jr.)

In talking privately with Hampton, it was learned that his family is guarding the legacy of his father to maintain it's integrity. There are two places on facebook where this information can be accessed: The Real Chairman Fred Sr. and Who We Be POCC.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Large-scale fraud in the design and operation of the
public access and case management systems of the US courts

Request for investigation/impeachment, in re: Conduct of Alleged Simulated Litigation in Richard I Fine v State Bar of California et al (2:10-cv-00048), in the US District Court, Central District of California

The case originated in Fine’s individual case, alleging conspiracy by California judges and others, as part of intimidation, harassment, and retaliation. The case also reflects conduct of a racketeering enterprise, the LA-JR (alleged Los Angeles Judiciary Racket), its patronizing by certain US judges in the US District Court, Central District of California, and the large-scale fraud in the design and operation of the electronic record systems of the US courts, PACER and CM/ECF.

Former US prosecutor Richard Fine
Los Angeles, June 20 – Joseph Zernik, PhD, and Human Rights Alert (NGO) filed complaint with the US Congress and with the US Attorney Office, Los Angeles, against US Judge JOHN WALTER, US Magistrate CARLA WOEHRLE, Clerk of the Court TERRY NAFISI, and others in the US District Court, Central District of California, alleging public corruption through the conduct of simulated litigation [[i]] in Richard I Fine v State Bar of California et al (2:10-cv-00048). [[ii]]
Dr Zernik has gained substantial experience in analyzing fraud in state and US court records in recent years. His opinions were repeatedly supported by highly reputed experts. [[iii]]
Richard I Fine v State Bar of California et al originated in Fine’s complaint pursuant to Deprivation of Rights under the Color of Law (42 US §1983), alleging the circumstances, where California Judges illegally conspired against him at the behest of the State Bar officials, Los Angeles County government officials, and lawyers for the developers, who opposed him in the courtroom. [[iv]]

However, the affair as a whole should be deemed part of the intimidation, harassment, and retaliation against the former US prosecutor Richard Fine. Following his protest of the corruption of California judges, he was held in solitary confinement for 18 months, starting March 2009, with no warrant ever issued, and no judgment/conviction or sentencing ever entered in his case. Eventually, he was released with no valid court order, either. [[v]]
The complaint further alleged that the case reflects conduct of a racketeering enterprise, the LA-JR (alleged Los Angeles Judiciary Racket), which undermines the rights of all 10 millions, who reside in Los Angeles County, in particular, and residents of California, in general. Conduct of the Los Angeles courts in both the civil and criminal divisions was the core evidence, submitted by Dr Zernik to the United Nations, which the 2010 Human Rights Council report, which noted, “corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California”. [[vi],[vii]]

The complaint also provides further evidence of the large-scale fraud in the design and operation of the public access and case management systems of the US courts, PACER and CM/ECF, [[viii]] and patronizing of the LA-JR by certain US judges in the US District Court, Central District of California. [[ix],[x],[xi]]
A pattern of false and deliberately misleading court records is found in the case of Richard I Fine v State Bar of California et al (2:10-cv-00048):
Clerk of the Court TERRY NAFISI refuses to certify any of the PACER dockets of the court;
No valid summonses are found in the docket, in alleged violation of Duties of the Clerk pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;
No Civil Cover Sheet is found in the docket, which is required for the opening of a civil docket;
No valid Assignment Order for Judge JOHN WALTER is found in the docket;
No valid Referral Order for Magistrate CARLA WOEHRLE is found in the docket;
Numerous entries in the docket are by Ms DONNA THOMAS, who upon information and belief is not a Deputy Clerk, and Clerk of the Court TERRY NAFISI has denied numerous requests to confirm or deny DONNA THOMAS’s authority as a Deputy Clerk;
The Clerk of the Court routinely denies access to the electronic authentication records (NEFs – Notices of Electronic Filing), and in similar cases, where the same persons were accused, all NEFs were eventually discovered to be invalid;
Attorney KEVIN MCCORMICK, who appears in this case on behalf of the Defendants, falsely appeared on behalf of related defendants in a related case, with no authority at all, and
No declaration or any other record signed by any of the Defendants is found in the pleading filed on their behalf, consistent with conduct of simulated litigation, and appearance by an unauthorized attorney.
The case should be deemed of the highest public policy significance, since it holds at bay the prospect of any honest court services in Los Angeles County, in particular, and in California, in general. Of note, the 2010 official Staff Report of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations referred to "corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California".

The case also reflects the fraud inherent in the design and operation of PACER and CM/ECF, the public access and case management systems of the US courts.
The complaint was copied to the US Congress Judiciary Committees and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.


[i] Simulated Litigation here refers to cases, where the evidence shows conduct defined in the Texas Criminal Code as follows:
Texas Penal Code §32.48. SIMULATING LEGAL PROCESS.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person recklessly causes to be delivered to another any document that simulates a summons, complaint, judgment, or other court process with the intent to:
(1) induce payment of a claim from another person; or
(2) cause another to:
(A) submit to the putative authority of the document; or
(B) take any action or refrain from taking any action in response to the document, in compliance with the document, or on the basis of the document.
(b) Proof that the document was mailed to any person with the intent that it be forwarded to the intended recipient is a sufficient showing that the document was delivered.
The practice is widespread in both the state and US courts at all levels.
[ii] 11-06-20 Impeachments Investigation of Judge John Walter, Magistrate Carla Woehrle, Clerk Terry Nafisi, and others in the US District Court, Central District of California, in re:Fine v State Bar (2:10-cv-00048) s
[iii] 11-05-08 Joseph Zernik,PhD, Biographical Sketch
[iv] Richard I Fine v State Bar of California et al (2:10-cv-00048) in the US District Court, Central District of California: See [ii], above.
[v] 11-04-23 Habeas Corpus in the United States - the case of Richard Isaac Fine
[vi] 11-01-07 Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California: Widespread Public Corruption and Refusal of US Department of Justice to Take Action
[vii] For review of the LA-JR see also United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) submission of Human Rights Alert (NGO) as part of the 2010 UPR (Universal Periodic Review) of Human Rights in the United States:
1) Press Release:
2) Submission:
3) Appendix:
4) 10-04-19 Human Rights Alert (NG0) submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2010 Review (UPR) of Human Rights in the United States as incorporated into the UPR staff report, with reference to "corruption of the courts and the legal profession".
[viii] 11-06-02 DRAFT Request for US Attorney General Eric Holder's investigation of Integrity, or lack thereof, of electronic record systems of the US courts
[ix] Complaints/requests for impeachment: See [xiv], above.
[ix] See also review of alleged fraud and racketeering by Woehrle, Nafisi, Thomas, and others in conduct of simulated litigation of Zernik v Connor et al (08-cv-01550), where a group of judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court were alleged of conduct amounting to racketeering:
11-01-07 Log Cabin Republicans v USA et al (10-56634) at the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit - Motion to Intervene and Concomitantly Filed Papers as published in the online PACER dockets
[x] Complaints/requests for impeachment:
10-07-04 Fine v Sheriff of Los Angeles County (2:09-cv-01914) Complaint against Attorney Kevin McCormick and the California Judicial Council, Chaired by California Chief Justice Ronald George – for public corruption, deprivation of civil rights under the color of law – Pertaining to Habeas Corpus Petition of 70 Year Old Former US Prosecutor Richard Fine.
10-07-12 Zernik v Connor et al (2:08-cv-01550) Complaint against US Magistrate Carla Woehrle and others at the US District Court, Central District of California – for Public Corruption and Deprivation of Rights:
10-12-07 Request for Investigation and if Appropriate - Impeachment Proceedings - against TERRY NAFISI - Clerk of the Court, US District Court, Central District of California s
10-12-04 RE: US Judges JED RAKOFF, VIRGINIA PHILLIPS, JOHN WALTER, US Magistrate CARLA WOEHRLE - Request for Investigation, Impeachment Proceedings Where Appropriate s
[xi] See also review of alleged fraud and racketeering by Woehrle, Nafisi, Thomas, and others in conduct of simulated litigation of Zernik v Connor et al (08-cv-01550), where a group of judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court were alleged of conduct amounting to racketeering:
11-01-07 Log Cabin Republicans v USA et al (10-56634) at the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit - Motion to Intervene and Concomitantly Filed Papers as published in the online PACER dockets

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From the Editors, People's Tribune

...corporate power moved swiftly and decisively
to destroy democracy in Benton Harbor

A rose by any other name smells just as sweet. The coup that overthrew democracy in Benton Harbor, Michigan and established a dictatorship called Emergency Financial Management is fascism - no matter what they call it.

Corporate power has declared war on us. The laws of military war and political war are the same. One of these laws is to never attack the enemy where they are strong -- attack where they are weak. The weak points in the defense of American democracy has always revolved around the African Americans. When President Reagan decided to attack the social safety net of all impoverished Americans, he concentrated his fire on the "Welfare Queen" in the Black ghetto. The majority of Americans stood passive while laws were passed lowering living standards. When the rest of the Americans realized these laws also applied to them -- it was too late.

When the Public Sector Unions came under attack in Wisconsin, it created a fire-storm as it should have. Labor unions and progressives rallied to defend the unions of the public service workers. The American Left is rooted in and responds to the economic struggles of the unions. Meanwhile, corporate power moved swiftly and decisively to destroy democracy in Benton Harbor - a poor Black community that few care about. They thus set the stage to destroy democracy in all of Michigan and then throughout the United States.

Again, fascism has struck at the weak point - where the struggle for democracy meets the reality of Black America. The future of our country is in the political -- not the economic arena. Fascism is a political, not an economic order. To win this war we must first disarm the enemy of this historic weapon of race - and fight for the political as well as economic rights of all Americans. The corporate takeover of Benton Harbor proves again that if we - the people - do not take over the corporations - they will take over us.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Whirlpool Won’t Pay 35% Corporate Income Tax,
it Will Pay 0%

March 6, 2011 by Jane Jamison

From WSJ via the Tax Prof blog.

This will infuriate you if you are doing your income taxes.

WSJ: Whirlpool Parlays “Green” Credits Into Zero Tax Liability

Whirlpool Corporation recorded $18 billion in global sales and $619 million of earnings in 2010 but won’t pay anywhere near the U.S. statutory tax rate of 35% on those profits. Its effective tax rate will be 0%.

As Bloomberg first reported last week, Whirlpool has stockpiled more than $500 million in tax credits for making energy-saving “energy star” appliances—washers, dryers, refrigerators and so on. The firm gets a production tax credit of up to $200 per refrigerator, $75 per dishwasher, and $225 per washer and dryer. General Electric has also collected about $200 million of these credits.

Think of these energy efficiency tax carve-outs as a version of the earned income tax credit for corporate America. Except Whirlpool and GE aren’t poor.

The deal gets sweeter. Those credits can be carried over from one year to the next for up to 20 years. Whirlpool is collecting so many credits that it may not have to pay a dime of corporate income tax for years. The lost revenue from GE and Whirlpool alone far exceeds the $78 million revenue “cost” over 10 years that Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation predicted for the credits. …

Special favors like these also create a business constituency against tax reform that would benefit the overall economy. Whirlpool carries its $500 million of unused tax credits as an asset on its balance sheet, so cutting tax rates shrinks the book value of that asset. “This is why so many companies actually oppose lowering tax rates,” says Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation.

The White House claims to want to reduce corporate tax rates in a “revenue neutral way” by closing loopholes. Yet it’s hard to take that commitment seriously when its new budget proposes to extend the green-credit windfall for another year. Whirlpool is one more case study in the case for corporate tax reform.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Facism Deepens in Benton Harbor

If a city official wants to attend a city commission meeting, permission from EFM Joe Harris is required (IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?)

WSJM reports: "Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joseph Harris has issued a couple of orders, apparently designed to reign in actions by the city commission not permitted by Michigan's EFM legislation.

First, an order from Harris on Friday states that "no City official, employee or agent shall appear, in an official capacity for or on behalf of the City, at any meeting or hearing of the City Commission or any of [the city commission's] committees without the express written approval of the Emergency Manager, except the City Clerk [who] shall be permitted to attend any City Commission meeting....for the sole purpose of keeping the meeting minutes." It appears as though this new rule is intended to prevent any department heads or others from reporting to the city commission in an official way, which effectively shuts the elected leadership out of any informational discussions regarding city operations. Additionally, the order from Harris goes on to state that the city clerk must attach language to the minutes of all Benton Harbor Commission meetings stating that any resolution passed by the body has no legal effect.

A second order from Harris on Friday excuses Commissioners James Hightower and Bryan Joseph from attending commission meetings. The orders are effective immediately."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Shurn Memorial Rally & March for Justice

Organized by NAACP-Benton Harbor & BANCO

Saturday, June 18, 12noon
Meet at the Benton Harbor Public Library
213 E. Wall St.

Rally followed by a march across the bridge to the
Berrien county courthouse to take a stand for justice

June 18 will mark the eight year anniversary
of the June 2003 Uprising in Benton Harbor.
It was a public response to the high speed
police chase and death of 28 year-old
Terrance T-Shirt Shurn, a very popular BH resident.

His death is only one incident in MANY of Benton Harbor
police brutality and violence. No city should have to
endure what this one has.

Please come and join the first Shurn memorial
rally and march for justice in Benton Harbor.

NAACP-Benton Harbor and BANCO
President: Rev. Edward Pinkney
269-925-0001, call anytime

“The thrust [of the Berrien county courthouse] is to physically remove and destroy families through the use of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail; every person whose voting rights they can revoke with a felony conviction; every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation; every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court costs and probation is all part of the process. In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney.” --Civil rights atty. Hugh "Buck" Davis