Sunday, September 25, 2011

Joseph Harris is Whirlpool Corporation's Perfect Stooge:
No Constitution Week allowed, and no complaints
allowed by well-established businesses

Harris, recipient of a taxpayer funded $131,000.00 yearly salary, has been more than willing to wield his EM power with the greatest of ease. Since the expansion of PA4, he can do absolutely anything he wants to do in Benton Harbor, and has been doing just that with an extreme show of arrogant authority. As if to say, I'm king of the playground and residents better look out.

Recently he cancelled Constitution Week with one brash statement in the city commission meeting minutes (caps are his):


City officials can't hold a celebration of the constitution? We know all the other decisions they can no longer make, according to PA4, but no Constitution Week?

We suppose Harris doesn't want a celebration of something that no longer applies to the people living in this city. He's the man, after all. He's not only taken the Emergency Manager ball and run with it, he won't even stop to throw a pass now and then. Harris is the evil step-father in Benton Harbor.

Here's another action he took which will only attract negative attention his way:

Harris, also known as The Dictator, has been sparring with Benton Harbor's New Product's Corporation, one of the city's oldest businesses. CEO Cheryl Miller asserts that a Harbor Shores bike path under construction encroaches on New Product's property by about five feet for a length of 100 feet. Harris said Miller has no grounds to be complaining, that her complaining is the wrong thing to do, and that she will get an answer from him that she will not like.

Harris is not known for his diplomacy. And that's the way Whirlpool likes it.

Thanks to MSNBC for continuing to report on Benton Harbor, the bellwether for the rest of the country. Hopefully someday soon MSNBC will gather the courage to report on the elephant in this story's livingroom: Whirlpool Corporation, the true boss (in the worst sense of the word) of BH and Berrien County.

Recent MSNBC story:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dictatorship by the Corporations

"We are still fighting for justice against Whirlpool and the Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) in Benton Harbor. We might be driving the EFM out of town. We’ll know soon. We need to keep up the fight." - Rev Edward Pinkney Photo/Brett Jelinek,

By Salvador Sandoval

Unable to take the lakefront property by its accustomed means, Whirlpool took the land it wanted anyway. This travesty was accomplished through actions of the Michigan State appointed Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris.

I had the privilege of interviewing the Rev. Edward Pinkney. Rev. Pinkney gained national recognition for leading the impoverished, overwhelmingly Black community of Benton Harbor, Michigan in its fight against the corporate takeover by Whirlpool Corporation. The struggle highlights the growing fascist danger in this country that arises when government and corporations work together in the corporate interest, trampling democratic rights, and overturning democratically held elections.

Once a thriving part of the Midwest, Benton Harbor sits on prime lake-front property near Lake Michigan. Whirlpool is the largest employer in the area. It has long held plans to take over this valuable land.

In the early 1990’s jobs began to disappear. Production was shifted to lower wage areas in Mexico, or taken away by labor replacing technology, which caused massive unemployment in Benton Harbor.

In 2003-2004 the former CEO of Whirlpool advocated for a $500 million marina/golf course complex that would take 530 acres of Benton Harbor, thus privatizing the city’s only beach.

Rev. Pinkney and the community mounted a campaign to oppose the take-over, despite the stranglehold control Whirlpool had with six city commissioners favoring its plan. The campaign led to the successful recall of a key commissioner in Whirlpool’s pocket.

Thereafter, in a staggering series of events, the recall was over-turned, Rev. Pinkney was charged with voter fraud, and he was acquitted. Then he was placed on parole after a second court of all white jurors found him guilty of hand carrying an absentee ballot.

He was subsequently charged and convicted of parole violation. He was given 3 to 10 years for quoting the Bible in criticizing the judge and penal system for mistreatment of prisoners! This sentence was overturned by the Michigan Appellate Court.

Since that fateful day in 2005 when the control of Benton harbor was challenged, the political landscape of Benton Harbor had changed. In 2008 four commissioners favorable to the Benton Harbor Community have been elected, effectively breaking Whirlpool’s stranglehold control.

Unable to take the lakefront property by its accustomed means, Whirlpool took the land it wanted anyway. This travesty was accomplished through actions of the Michigan State appointed Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris. By the authority of the new state law an EFM can be a person, corporation, or person beholden to a corporation.

Thus Benton Harbor, Michigan became the first victim of Michigan’s new Emergency Financial Manager law (EFM), but it likely won’t be the last. Already 5000 teachers in Detroit have been laid off, in violation of their union contracts.

The case of Rev. Pinkney and his continuing battle with the corporate control of Benton Harbor has tremendous implications for the rest of the country, given the state budget shortfalls. At issue too is the fact that many corporations do not pay taxes.

It is important that all of us heed this warning. As Reverend Pinkney stated, “this could be coming to your town next.”

This article is excerpted from a longer version published in the Sept-Oct. edition of the Tribuno del Pueblo.

We are still fighting for justice against Whirlpool and the Emergency Financial Manager in Benton Harbor. We might be driving the EFM out of town. We need to keep up the fight.

— Rev. Edward Pinkney

from People's Tribune

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Whirlpool Stock Hits New 52-Week Low
By TheStreet Wire 9/21/11

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) hit a new 52-week low Wednesday as it is currently trading at $50.71, below its previous 52-week low of $50.92 with 1.4 million shares traded as of 3:36 p.m. ET. Average volume has been two million shares over the past 30 days.

Whirlpool has a market cap of $4 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 40.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

Whirlpool Corporation engages in the manufacture and marketing of home appliances worldwide. Its principal products include laundry appliances, refrigerators, cooking appliances, dishwashers, mixers, and other small household appliances. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

* Practice your WHR trading strategies and win cash in our stock game.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whirlpool as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.
Fake Crimes by Paul Craig Roberts

Studies show Americans close to being the worst educated and least aware population among first-world countries. Americans easily stumble into war and give up their rights because of exaggerated fears of terrorists and criminals. Americans have been losing accountable government, liberty and justice for a long time. At some point these values become irretrievable.

Consider justice. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world and imprisons 6 to 10 times as many people as any other industrialized country. Between 1990 and 2000 the US population increased 13%. The US prison population more than tripled.

There are hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans in prison. They are there because the criminal justice system no longer works to discover the truth of a crime, but to convict at all cost whoever happens to be charged with a crime. And they are there because the US criminalizes more acts than any other country in the world, including tyrannical police states.

In the US there are three categories of prisoners: the guilty, the innocent, and those convicted as a result of prosecutors' interpretations of vague and broad statutes that deem conduct to be criminal that reasonable people — and every other country — do not recognize to be criminal.

For example, in the Martha Stewart case, the prosecutor criminalized her exercise of her constitutional right to declare her innocence. He said it constituted fraud for her to declare her innocence and tacked on the charge. Remember that if you ever stand before a judge.

Almost everyone in prison is wrongfully convicted, even the guilty. According to the US Dept. of Justice (sic), 95% of criminal convictions result from plea-bargains. What is a plea bargain but self-incrimination, conviction without a trial by jury and without a test of the evidence against the defendant?

An uninformed public believes plea bargains to be sweet deals for criminals. Sometimes they are, but more often pleas result from prosecutors piling on charges until the defendant, innocent or guilty, cries "uncle" and gives up.

Prosecutors not only coerce defendants, they coerce witnesses to give false testimony. Sometimes coercion takes place behind closed doors. Other times it takes place in full public view.

Consider husband and wife defendants Andrew and Lea Fastow in the Enron case. The Fastows have two young children. In order to coerce "cooperation" and testimony against Enron executives, the federal prosecutors threatened to put both father and mother in prison, effectively rendering the two young children orphans.

In Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz's immortal words, Andrew Fastow is being taught not only to sing but also to compose. To keep his wife out of prison, he will give the prosecutors whatever testimony they want against his bosses.

The American public watches all this in plain view and then believes the testimony!

You may think that Enron officials deserve what they get. But do you approve of the illegal and unethical methods used to produce the convictions? In effect are the prosecutors as guilty of criminal behavior as those they pursue?

"Junk bond king" Michael Milken was put into a similar situation. Unless he agreed to a plea, the prosecutors threatened to indict his younger brother.

If prosecutors can so easily frame the wealthy and politically connected, what do you think happens daily to the inner city poor?

Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani was a master at using the media to destroy the reputations of his victims, thus pre-empting a trial where evidence of a crime could be tested. Giuliani climbed over the bodies of his high-profile victims to become mayor of New York and a 911 hero.

Now it is Martha Stewart and mutual funds who have been targeted as a prosecutor's path to a political career.

Martha Stewart is falsely charged with "insider trading," an offense of which she cannot be guilty as she is not an insider and had no information from an insider.

Legal scholar and law school dean Henry Manne has shown (Wall St. Journal, 1-8-04) that prosecutor Eliot Spitzer's charges against mutual funds are largely trumped-up. The offenses are partly the unintended result of a Security and Exchange Commission "reform," which capped redemption fees that mutual funds used to discourage market timers.

Prosecutor Spitzer's claims about mutual funds are based, not on law, but on an academic paper written at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In other words, the prosecutor has a "theory." Professor Manne has shown the academic paper to be incorrect. What we are witnessing is a mutual fund witch-hunt based on an incorrect academic theory.

And Americans think they live under a rule of law!

No doubt some mutual fund managers exercised bad judgment and some may have broken some rules. But Spitzer's ambition has blown the cases out of proportion. We certainly do not want to criminalize bad judgment. It is hard to find a worse case of bad judgment than the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.

February 4, 2004

Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Copyright © 2004 Creators Syndicate

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Whirlpool in hot water again

Press Release

[Across the street from New Products Corporation is Modern Plastics. Whirlpool Corp. cut off some suppliers of Modern Plastics and forced it to go out of business. It seems New Products Corp. is determined that Whirlpool will not bully them.]

Sept. 14, 2011
New Products Corporation Files Lawsuit to Stop Encroachment of Company Property

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Sep 14, 2011 (The Wall Street Journal-BUSINESS WIRE-Marketwatch) -- One of Benton Harbor's oldest and longest surviving manufacturing companies, New Products Corporation, today filed a lawsuit against Harbor Shores, the city of Benton Harbor and others after numerous attempts to notify Harbor Shores through correspondence and "no trespassing" signs that a portion of its golf course was constructed on the company's property.

The lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court for the County of Berrien. Defendants named in the complaint are Harbor Shores BHBT Land Development, LLC, Harbor Shores Golf Course, LLC, City of Benton Harbor, Benton Township; Whirlpool Corporation, PNC Bank and Michigan Magnet Fund E, LLC.

New Products Corporation is a custom precision, high pressure die caster and supplier of aluminum and zinc parts that are shipped to dozens of customer plants throughout the United States and worldwide. Established in 1922 by Walter Miller, New Products Corporation is now led by the founder's granddaughter, CEO and President Cheryl Miller. The company currently employs 100 people, a third of which are Benton Harbor residents.

According to attorney Mark S. Demorest of Demorest Law Firm, PLLC, who is representing New Products Corporation, the lawsuit was filed because the company's prior communications with Harbor Shores did not resolve the problem.

The complaint seeks damages for trespass and permanent injunctive relief from the defendants' encroachment of property belonging to New Products Corporation.

"We have a long history of being good neighbors and contributors to the local community, and we are committed to continuing that tradition," said Miller. "While New Products is not a big company, we are a world class, viable Michigan and U.S. manufacturer and one of the few remaining in this area. We feel it is vitally important for us to take a stand and protect what's ours. It's not right for someone, no matter who they are or what they do, to take property that doesn't belong to them."

For more information about New Products Corporation, visit

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Berrien County Court Report from Rev. Pinkney

Pinkney, a daily court observer, was joined by two people this week, one from S. Korea and one from Mexico. Both are working with the Institute for International Cooperation and Development (IICD) Michigan located in Dowagiac, Mich. The Mexican man had a strong reaction to the proceedings, remarking that:

"In this court, all they do is extract money and imprison people. In Mexico, the defense attorneys fight for the defendant. In this court they give up on them. And, in Mexico, many judges are corrupt because they are terrified of the drug criminals. What they do is assist them, out of fear." (In Berrien County, the criminals come in the form of a land-hungry corporation...)

The South Korean woman said she couldn't have imagined that a court could be so corrupt in the United States.

The two visitors witnessed many miscarriages of justice including Judge Wiley giving Antonio Smith 90 days in jail for contempt of court (scroll down to Sept. 9 for info), and sentencing a man about to die to jail. He was on a breathing tank and using a walker.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Next Support Level for Whirlpool (WHR) is $50.71
Mon. 09/12/2011
By Peter Chu

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) has opened bearishly below the pivot of $52.82 today and has reached the first level of support at $51.63. Should the shares continue to fall, the support pivots of $50.71 and $48.60 will be of interest.

Whirlpool Corporation manufactures and markets major home appliances. The Company's principal products include laundry appliances, refrigeration and room air conditioning equipment, cooking appliances, dishwashers, and mixers and other small household appliances. Whirlpool's products are sold worldwide

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Whirlpool have traded between a low of $51.91 and a high of $92.28 and are now at $51.45, which is -1% above that low price. In the last five trading sessions, the 50-day moving average (MA) has fallen 2.7% while the 200-day MA has slid 0.5%.

Whirlpool has overhead space with shares priced $51.45, or 53.5% below the average consensus analyst price target of $79.00. The stock should find initial resistance at its 50-day moving average (MA) of $66.91 and further resistance at its 200-day MA of $79.34.

You must see this video!

(Do not forget about Cynthia McKinney

in Benton Harbor, Michigan On Oct 8)

A few facts from the video:

Whirlpool has been meddling in [Benton Harbor] city politics for 30 years. For every tax break and advantage it can get. As the neighborhoods crumble...

With global sales of $18 Billion Whirpool paid 0% in 2010 federal taxes.

It received a refund of $64 Million.

Whirlpool has received 500 Million in tax breaks just since 2005.

Millions more in the past 3 decades.

Whirlpool took 19 Billion in federal stimulus funds. Then closed plants in the US. Including the plant in BH.

Rep. Fred Upton receives substantial campaign contributions from Whirlpool. And the Koch brothers.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Emergency Manager Law. And a budget that taxes pensions and cuts education funding in Michigan.

Then gave corporations (like Whirlpool) a $1.8 Billion tax break.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Report from the Berrien County courthouse
by Rev. Edward Pinkney

I have seen collusion between prosecutors, defense attys., and judges hundreds and hundreds of times in this courthouse.

Early this week I was eye-witness to a crime against humanity. Court-appointed atty. Scott Sanford told his client, Antonio Smith, to plead guilty "or else." Smith refused to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit. So, Sanford told Judge Dennis Wiley that Smith was late for court (he definitely was not late).

Wiley charged Smith with contempt of court; Smith had to put up $7500.00. He was taken to jail.

How long will this go on in Berrien? When will the people demand JUSTICE in their COURT?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Reverend Pinkney Speaks!
Emergency Financial Manager in Benton Harbor and the Austerity Age in Michigan
Saturday September 17, 2pm,
Northstar Center
106 Lathrop St. Lansing, MI 48912

Reverend Pinkney has long been on the front lines of the struggles for justice. In Benton Harbor he is part of confronting the politicians, corporations and court systems that deny Benton Harbor residents their rights and any sense of justice on a daily basis. Benton Harbor is the first place the controversial emergency financial manager (EFM)legislation has been put in place, removing even the illusion of democracy from local government by stripping elected officials of any decision making power and handing it to the EFM, who among other things, has the authority to void union contracts. Reverend Pinkney will speak about the latest attack on Benton Harbor and what it means for the rest of the state.

For more info:

Monday, September 05, 2011

Cynthia McKinney in Benton Harbor October 2011

The NAACP Benton Harbor 2nd Annual Freedom Fund Dinner invites you to meet with featured speaker Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and 2008 Presidential Candidate.

October 8, 2011 at 7pm
-- doors open 6pm

Lake Michigan College
2755 E. Napier Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 

$50 dollars donation (includes dinner)
200 tickets total - reply soon!
Contact Rev. Edward Pinkney 269-925-0001,

Support MWRO's friends at BANCO.
Make checks to:
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

h/t MWRO weblog

Sunday, September 04, 2011


In Benton Harbor we saw first hand how a giant corporation (Whirlpool) takes over a whole town. Boasts that labor costs are 32% below the state average and buys up the judicial and political structure to guarantee profits.

Once economic stagnation and globalization set in, Whirlpool developed Benton Harbor as profitable vacation land for the rich. We then saw their opposition to community leaders who stand with the poor. They are discredited, fired, or run from office. We saw democratic elections overturned, and Rev. Pinkney threatened with 20 yrs. in prison for encouraging others to exercise their democratic rights.

This is a part of a whole process in which the people are stripped of their right to freedom of expression. It is part of the movement toward corporate fascism in this country. We must stand up and fight for what is right.

The corporate take over of education and other public services began decades ago. We the people must take a stand.

Oct. 8, 2011 Cynthia McKinney - keynote speaker in Benton Harbor--for information contact Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001

Rev. Pinkney on every Sunday, 5pm - eastern standard time or call in to listen, 347-994-3644 - Sept. 18 Cynthia McKinney will be the guest

Friday, September 02, 2011

Whirlpool spent $200,000 lobbying in 2Q

The Associated Press August 31, 2011

Whirlpool Corp. spent $200,000 in the second quarter to lobby federal officials on various issues, the same amount it spent a year earlier but more than the $180,000 it spent in the first quarter.

The company, which makes washing machines, refrigerators and other large appliances, lobbied on tax credits for energy-efficient appliances, proposed regulations intended to improve the energy efficiency of appliances, and free-trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea.

The company has previously said it supports free-trade agreements with South Korea and other countries, and it has praised the Department of Energy for efforts to ensure products advertised as energy-efficient actually are.

Whirlpool said it lobbied on an "anti-dumping" petition it filed against Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. Whirlpool accuses the companies of selling refrigerators in the U.S. at prices below fair value. And it lobbied the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce about a Mexican regulation about labeling products with information on energy consumption. It also lobbied on market access to Saudi Arabia.

In addition to Congress, other agencies the company lobbied include the State Department, according to a disclosure report Whirlpool filed with the House clerk's office July 20.