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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Anthony L. Jinwright Starring as a Pulpit Pimp

The Charlotte Obeserver reports: The leader of two Charlotte-area churches was accused Tuesday of evading several hundred thousand dollars in taxes while spending lavishly on travel and luxury cars – including a $175,000 Bentley GT he leased from 2005 to 2008.

jinwright

Read the indictment (.pdf)

A federal grand jury in Charlotte indicted Bishop Anthony L. Jinwright on 14 counts – including filing false tax returns, tax evasion, mail fraud and making false statements to federal agents.

Jinwright, 52, heads Greater Salem City of God in west Charlotte and Greater Salem at the Lake in Cornelius. Together they draw about 2,000 people, said an official at the Charlotte church.

Jinwright, who also owns funeral homes in Charlotte and Pineville, has written a book about partnering with the Holy Spirit called “Rise Up: Breaking Free into Anointed Living.” His church Web site advertises a radio show called “The Wright Word,” which airs Sundays at 6:30 a.m.

The indictment says Jinwright and his wife's expenses were too great for the income listed on their joint tax returns from 2001-2006.

“Defendant accumulated a number of luxury assets and enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle which far exceeded his reported taxable income for those years,” the court document said.

On Tuesday, Jinwright's Lexus SUV – with a vanity plate reading “JIN'S SUV” – was parked in a reserved spot at the Greater Salem City of God off Brookshire Freeway.

Bishop Alan Porter, who said he was the church's executive pastor, told an Observer reporter at the church that Jinwright was unavailable for an interview about the charges.

“We have no comment at this time,” he said, adding: “Trust in God.”

Indictment numbers

The 16-page indictment says Jinwright failed to report $875,000 in taxable income for him and his wife, Harriet Porter-Jinwright. She is listed on the church Web site as a co-pastor, but is not charged.

The indictment alleges Jinwright owes from $200,000 to $400,000 in unpaid federal and state income taxes.

The indictment also details salary and reimbursements of $3.1 million for Jinwright from the church from 2001-2006. It also lists more than $400,000 in income from speaking engagements and book sales.

Jinwright's personal expenditures include $198,000 in total car lease payments from 2001 to the present, according to the indictment. The vehicles listed: a BMW 530i, a Mercedes-Benz S550V, five Lexus vehicles and a Maybach 57 – billed as a luxury sedan with a 550-horsepower engine and worth about a quarter of a million dollars. More HERE

Now get this, this man is now asking for help.

News 14 reports The Charlotte minister accused of tax evasion says he is innocent, and he's turning to the faith community for support.

Anthony Jinwright, 52, has been a senior pastor at Greater Salem Church in Charlotte since 1981.

He spoke there Thursday night in front of congregation members for more than two hours.

Everyone was tight-lipped about the case and security was on hand to protect members from commenting.

Tuesday, Jinwright was indicted on 14 counts ranging from tax evasion to tax perjury, lying to federal agents and mail fraud. Authorities say he failed to report nearly $1 million of income from 2001 to 2006 and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes for those years.

"I am not guilty of such allegations," Jinwright said in a statement. "No evidence to support these charges has been presented to me and I therefore await my day in court."

He went on to say he was "saddened by the indictment, the members of Greater Salem Church have surrounded my family and me from the initial investigation in prayer, love and support." More HERE

AAPP says: I'm sure the blog Pulpit Pimps is covering this one. I continue to wonder when black folks will begin to pull the covers off of these Pulpit Pimps rather than waiting for the law to get them?


Kentucky Fried Fools?

File this under: The Politics of chicken. Or better yet, chicken-crazed black folks. The fact of the matter is Americans of all races became copying experts this week as the free chicken coupons were printed on home and office printers/copying machines across America. KFC should have known in the economy there would be millions of people printing free chicken coupons for everyone in the family, and then some. Fact is, many folks started selling the coupons in front of KFC, in this hard economic times. DON'T HATE!

KFC Coupons Have Area Residents Fried



As reported by BNET Advertising Blog Oprah Winfrey’s offer of a free KFC grilled chicken meal for anyone downloading a coupon has created two interesting things:

  1. A 1960s-style sit-in at a Manhattan KFC when management refused to continue honoring the offer.
  2. Yet another opportunity to debate whether using black people to advertise a fried chicken chain is racist.
You can read about the mini-riot over on Gothamist. More HERE



News outlets such as the Huffington Post, NY Times, and bloggers like TheLoop21.com
and Carmen D at Black Voices Blog are covering the story. Many bloggers are asking is Oprah wrong for feeding us with KFC?

There is one thing for sure, Oprah's KFC free-for-all has sparked a number of civil rights era-style protest.

Blogger AverageBro.com is on point when he wrote: "There are soo many things wrong with this story. Although I can’t help but laugh at the fact that those who actually wanted to pay faced beatdowns from angry coupon holders.

But the fact remains that people staged a sit-in for chicken. Chicken! These weren’t starving people begging for a meal, but crazy Americans angry that KFC wouldn’t honor a coupon. And I just know that after the whole Popeyes debacle, black people were involved. Probably spearheaded the revolt. The special runs until May 10. So these angry customers could have just come back to get their free chicken on another day.

And KFC and Oprah hold the responsibility for this foolishness. Oprah, I never thought you’d make the Do Better list, but alas, the day has come." More HERE

AAPP says: Candidly, I like many bloggers wonder why Kentucky Fried Chicken has black folks dancing around buckets of chicken?

It's all about the money! Now they (Kentucky Fried Chicken) are willing to spend money to make more money from.... guess who?

Check it out -
The KFC President Apologizes For Oprah Fiasco




Feel better now?

Customers wait in line on East 42nd St. to redeem their free coupon for KFC's new grilled chicken.

After being turned away angry Tuesday, customers left a bit happier Wednesday.


Why is it that news outlets like, Forbes, the NY Daily News, and other news outlets can cover and shame Kentucky Fried Chicken and find Oprah's KFC Promotion Hypocritical yet also on many occassions fail to address real issues impacting black America?

Why is it that black folks can lead demonstrations to get KFC to mail out rain checks for Oprah chicken freebie, but seem to refuse to address issues of impacting our own community?

It's too bad black folks by-and-large don't address crime in our communities, poverty, teen pregnancy, tasering while blacks, high unemployment rates among black youth, lower educational attainment, high rates of incarceration among black males, the unwillingness of some businesses to employ ex-offenders, and the loss of between $71 billion and $92 billion in black home ownership assets - the worst loss of wealth for people of color in modern U.S. history.
But let's get irate and demonstrate about some free chicken of course. We should be signing a petition to save black folks, instead we are more interested in some silly chicken.

File this under: The Politics of chicken. Or better yet, Chicken Wars

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taser Torture In Fort Worth, Texas

H/T to Eddie Griffin and the folks in Fort Worth, Texas for
"Taking it to the next level"



Eddie Griffin


OHCHR-UNOG
Committee against Torture
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone Number (41-22) 917-9000
Fax Number (41-22) 917-9006
E-mail to urgent-action@ohchr.org


RE: Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984, entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27

PART I, Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

On May 4, 2009, the Fort Worth chapters of the Southern Leadership Conference (SCLC), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the community-based Carver Heights East Association, convened a joint press conference and prayer vigil outside City Hall for the families of Michael Jacobs, Jr., Noah Lopez, and Carolyn Daniels.

These families were interviewed by WFAA New 8 TV. (See Prayers for end to Taser use by police, reference http://www.wfaa.com/video/index.html?nvid=358374&shu=1)

In an article by Peter Gorman of the Fort Worth Weekly, entitled “US: Torture by Taser” (Ref. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12455), published June 24, 2005, the author details two prior taser deaths in Fort Worth. Robert Guerrero, who was apprehended in a petty burglary, was stunned for 10 seconds, “double the normal length of time”. In the next minute, Guerrero was jolted three more times with five-second blasts. When he stopped breathing and could not be revived, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office later listed the cause of death as heart failure brought on by “acute cocaine overdose”. But a member of the Medical Examiner’s staff —who asked not to be named — told Fort Worth Weekly that “the amount of cocaine found in Guerrero’s blood would not normally have caused him to have heart failure.”

The other Fort Worth Taser victim, Midland architect Eric Hammock, died in April 3, 2005 after he ran from police, tried to take on an officer, and ended up suffering heart failure — like Guerrero, after getting hit repeatedly with a Taser while he had cocaine in his system. The medical examiner’s report, released on April 28, showed that Hammock suffered from heart disease and that he was jacked way up on cocaine. The official cause of death, in layman’s terms, was heart failure caused by cocaine intoxication. As in the Guerrero case, the Taser was not considered a contributing factor in Hammock’s death, despite the multiple jolts he had received.

According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2004 more than 70 deaths occurred in the United States and Canada to people in police custody within hours or days of their being hit with a Taser. By 2005, those kinds of deaths reached 103 just by March — and there were at least two additional deaths in April, including Eric Hammock’s in Fort Worth. Michael Jacobs, Jr. was reported to be # 405.

Here is the numeric chronological listing of taser deaths by the Fort Worth Police Department, along with date of death and age of victim.

#81 November 2, 2004: Robert Guerrero, 21, Fort Worth, Texas
#109 April 3, 2005: Eric Hammock, 43, Fort Worth, Texas
#130 June 24, 2005: Carolyn Daniels, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
#214 August 23, 2006: Noah Lopez, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
#405 April 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Fort Worth, Texas

As of this date, May 6, 2009, the investigation into the death Michael Jacobs, Jr. continues. Here was a mentally ill young man, distraught, and refusing to take his medication. His family called for the assistance of the authorities and medical personnel. But EMS (Emergency Medical personnel) was, instead, sent away from the scene. They were called back nearly an hour later while Jacobs was in the process of dying.

TASER International, Inc., the manufacturer of the Electronic Control Devices (ECDs), has been careful and meticulous to disassociate its weapons from causation of death, although these instruments emit up to 50,000 volts of electricity through the human body. Besides this, the company has repeatedly boasted that no Taser has ever been proven to be a “direct cause” of a fatality, a statistic that has not gone unnoticed by the new Fort Worth chief of police, Jeff Halstead, who hails from Phoenix, a few miles from Scottsdale, home of the taser producing corporation.

In its strategy to win the hearts and minds of the public, TASER set out to “gain market acceptance, establish and expand direct and indirect distribution channels”, through its “ability to attract and retain the endorsement of key opinion-leaders in the law enforcement community.”

Secondly, TASER has waged an intense propaganda and legal battle against the press. The company sued newspaper publisher Gannett Co. for libel, arguing that it published a series of articles that misled readers about the safety of its products.

“Taser will use litigation in any way it possibly can to persuade the public that these stun guns don't hurt people,” said Robert Haslam, a Fort Worth, Texas lawyer and chair of AAJ's Taser Litigation Group. “There seems to be a lot of smoke, but Taser says there's no fire.”

Robert Haslam is misinformed, as well as Chief Jeff Halstead, who has, in turn, misinformed the public about the danger of tasers. A San Jose federal jury awarded the family of Robert Heston, Jr. an amount of $6 million against Taser International on the grounds that the company “failed to warn police that its stun guns could be dangerous when used on people under the influence of drugs or in conjunction with chest compressions”…. this award was a Product Liability award against Taser international, the “stun gun” manufacturer.

More recently, the company has fought back, forcing some medical examiners to change their autopsy reports on taser-related deaths.

In Taser Intl., Inc. v. Chief Med. Examr. of Summit Co., Ohio, No. CV 2006-11-7421, Taser International, Inc. sued a county medical examiner to remove any mention of the device from the autopsy reports of three men who died after being shot with the Taser, and the court sided with the company.

Judge Ted Schneiderman, of the Summit County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, found: “There is simply no medical, scientific, or electrical evidence to support the conclusion that the Taser X26 had anything to do with the death of Dennis S. Hyde, Richard Holcomb, or Mark D. McCullaugh. The medical examiner failed to present any evidence on the use and effect of Taser devices.”

THEREFORE:

WE CHARGE that TASERS ARE TORTURE, as defined by the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

WE CHARGE that Tasering is “an act by which severe pain and suffering” is “intentionally inflicted”, willfully and knowingly that these devices emit 50,000 volts, more than enough to electrocute anyone on the spot.

WE CHARGE that Tasering has caused more than 400 deaths in the United States since 2001 to victims who, otherwise, would not have been given a death sentence, and in many cases, totally innocent of any offense.

WE CHARGE that TASER International is deceiving the public, public officials, and politicians with its non-lethal or less-the-lethal claim, giving civilian law enforcement the false assurances that its product is not deadly.

WE CHARGE that TASER International has used strong arm tactics against the press, against medical examiners, and anyone else who might causally taint its devices with “direct cause” of death.

WE CHARGE that TASER International has created a lexicon of its own to obscure real cause-effect relationship in taser-related fatalities. This includes the creation of the “Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome”, since after tasing, a subject is taken into custody. In theory, it is “excited delirium” of an agitated state while being taken into custody that the subject has a seizure and dies. This is nothing more than legal babble designed to disassociate the manufacturer from liability of its product.

WE CHARGE that TASER International, Inc. and its supporters, backers, and investors are insensitive in not recognizing the innocent victims killed by its weapon. They assume no responsibility, nor do they express sympathy to the families.

WE CHARGE that TASERs have been used to inflict punishment on subject or to force compliance. In most of these instances, either no crime was committed by the subject, or the offenses are minor. They have tasered children with behavioral problems, women (some pregnant), and men (mostly minorities).

WE CHARGE that the Tasered Victims of Fort Worth were of minority persuasion. When more pain and suffering is intentional inflicted, disproportionately upon minorities, that also constitute TORTURE.

IN CONCLUSION: The U.S. government is TASER International’s largest customer, which is why our appeal to Washington, D.C. has been in vain. Hereby, we have exhausted all avenues to petition our government for redress to the above grievances.


Presented by Eddie Griffin (BASG), AfroSpear and Afrosphere Action Coalition

More on Taser Torture & Death Cases in Fort Worth, Texas, USA HERE



From Oakland To Africa - Black Neighborhoods - Private Security vs Police

Oakland police officers block a downtown street in January amid protests over the bond set for a former transit officer charged with killing an unarmed man on a subway platform on New Year's Day.
Associated Press

Oakland police officers block a downtown street in January amid protests over the bond set for a former transit officer charged with killing an unarmed man on a subway platform on New Year's Day.

AAPP: So... it seems that The United States is truly ready to turn into a "Security State." No I didn't say, "Police State" I said a "Security State." You see, there are some cash-strapped cities who are trying private guards over police like the city of New Orlean did after Katrina. The city of Oakland has hired a private security firm to police troubled areas.


Bobby White at the Wall street Journal reports, that the city of Oakland, Calif. -- Facing pressure to crack down on crime amid a record budget deficit, Oakland is joining other U.S. cities that are turning over more law-enforcement duties to private armed guards.

The City Council recently voted to hire International Services Inc., a private security agency, to patrol crime-plagued districts. While a few Oakland retail districts previously have pooled cash to pay for unarmed security services, using public funds to pay for private armed guards would mark a first for the city.

Hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers. Oakland -- facing a record $80 million budget shortfall -- spends about 65% of its budget for police and fire services, including about $250,000 annually, including benefits and salary, on each police officer.

In contrast, for about $200,000 a year the city can contract to hire four private guards to patrol the troubled East Oakland district where four on-duty police officers were killed in March. And the company, not the city, is responsible for insurance for the guards.

Oakland is not alone in seeking to improve public safety while reining in spending. This month, the Chicago City Council, facing a possible $200 million budget deficit, proposed expanding the responsibilities of private armed security forces by authorizing them to write traffic citations. In New Orleans, neighborhood committees have sought to expand special tax incentives to pay for private security for neighborhood patrols.

In Oakland -- a city east of San Francisco with about 400,000 people -- hiring security guards is the latest nontraditional measure in its attempt to reduce crime. Last year, Mayor Ron Dellums announced a partnership with the Guardian Angels, a volunteer crime patrol organization, in the midst of a rash of restaurant-takeover robberies. The partnership disbanded after authorities apprehended suspects in the robberies.

AAPP: Do you support private security taking over patrols when it will be cheaper for the city? Will these private patrols be held accountable for their actions. Are these private security agencies trained police officers or old fashioned - hired guns?

More HERE


Bold
—Illustration: Josh Cochran

Speaking of hired guns, Next Stop for American Private Security ---- Africa

Check out the article in Mother Jones Mag regarding Blackwater's New Frontier: Their Own Private Africa | Mother Jones

Bruce Falconer and Daniel Schulman write, "You give me money, I don't care who you are." It was late October, and Zimbabwe's defense attaché, a soft-spoken, thick-shouldered lieutenant colonel, was explaining his country's freewheeling approach to business in the banquet room of the Liaison hotel on Capitol Hill. Mingling around him were representatives from some of the world's best-known private security and military contracting firms, gathered to explore their prospects in the industry's next frontier: Africa. None betrayed any eagerness to do business with Robert Mugabe, notwithstanding assurances from the beaming attaché that Zimbabwe—"the second-largest economy in southern Africa"—remains strong despite 231 million percent annual inflation. But there were plenty of other avenues to explore, including a recent shake-up in the US military's command structure that seemed to promise new demand for firms like Blackwater (which recently changed its name to Xe), Triple Canopy, and DynCorp. More HERE

AAPP: So the U.S. and Africa want to secure neighborhoods, communities, cities and towns. Maybe it's time for black folks to pool our resources and start our own security agencies. Money talks and bull ... you know the old saying...






Mayor Dave Bing

OK, I'm from Boston, and grew up listening to Boston Celtics Radio, and watching Boston Celtics games. I watched Bill Russell, Sam Jones, KC Jones, Satch Sanders, and so many other Boston Celtics play the game like masters of the game. They were special men, gladiators of the sport. Now another gladiator of the game, from one of my favorite old school teams, the Pistons is taking on a new sport. - Politics. Yes It's Dave Bing.

dave-bing-detroit-mayor.jpg
As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, former Pistons great Dave Bing pulled a surprising victory in the Detroit mayoral election yesterday. Bing began his NBA playing career in the now-troubled city in 1966 and ran on a platform of -- wait for it -- change.

Bing, 65, ran as a change agent and nonpolitician. He worked to convince voters that he would bring his business sensibilities to city government.

"I don't intend to lose. We're winning," Bing said earlier in the day.

Despite some hiccups along the way -- he refused to name a 25-person transition team, battled allegations of being an outsider and lied about having a master's degree -- Bing handily convinced voters he was the best man to bring the city out of crisis.

Bing's victory was capped by a very basketball-esque entrance to greet supporters as Europe's "Final Countdown" played. More HERE

Congratulations Dave Bing!

PS: Bingo!

Dave Bing

"Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?

One of the great bloggers and political activist out there, Adam Green has just posted a question at his DailyKos blog which may in fact be a truly one of the most important political questions in the upcoming election season, "Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?

Adam Green writes:
Today, in Politico and the Philly Inquirer the Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced a Grassroots Straw Poll in partnership with Daily Kos, Democracy for America, The Pennsylvania Progressive, Afro-Netizen, Digby, OpenLeft, CrooksandLiars, The Seminal, The Young Turks, and others.

The Straw Poll Question: "Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?"

You can cast your vote here.

Until now, political insiders have attempted to clear the field for Specter.

This Straw Poll is about giving the grassroots a meaningful voice in the primary process and seeing if any consensus exists about the most talked-about potential challenger, Representative and retired admiral Joe Sestak.

On the Straw Poll site are arguments for and against drafting Sestak -- written by Pennsylvania and national progressives. If thousands of us vote, the results could easily affect Sestak's decision and impact the environment of this race.

AAPP says: Although I don't live in PA, I would have to vote yes on the poll. "I agree, a Draft Sestak movement should be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary." I'm not endorsing the candidate, I just think that Sen. Arlen Specter is still really a Republican who will vote with the Republican Party now and in the future.

You can vote at SestakPoll.com. Then, please help spread the word.


Adam Green is cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), dedicated to helping progressive candidates run progressive campaigns and win. He is also interim CEO of Change Congress, a reform group formed by Prof. Lawrence Lessig and Joe Trippi to reform congressional elections and special-interest influence on Congress. Adam formerly served as Director of Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for MoveOn.org.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Black folks Now Facing Eviction In NY and across America

The NY Times has an excellent report on how once ‘Very Good Rent Payers’ Now Facing Eviction in NY city. In the article they give heart wrenching reports on how a registered nurse came close to losing her $1,550-a-month apartment on the Upper East Side after being let go from two jobs in three months. A woman found herself dipping into a 401(k) to keep her $3,375 unit in Peter Cooper Village after her husband was laid off in February from his six-figure marketing job. A father of two with an M.B.A. and a law degree owed $5,400 in back rent in Stuyvesant Town after he struggled to find steady work and lent money to his wife’s family.



Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times

After Kevin Brewster-Streeks, left, lost his job, he and his partner, Greg Armstrong, fell behind on rent and were forced to move.

The NY Times reports, Lawyers, judges and tenant advocates say the staggering economy has sent an increasing number of middle-class renters across New York City to the brink of eviction, straining the legal and financial services of city agencies and charities. Suddenly, residents of middle-class havens like Rego Park in Queens and Riverdale in the Bronx are crowding into the city’s already burdened housing courts, long known as poor people’s court.

Even some affluent people in high-end places are finding themselves facing off with landlords. One man, laid off by Merrill Lynch, was forced to move out of his $5,700 apartment in TriBeCa, owing $20,000 in back rent. Todd Nahins, a lawyer who represents owners of luxury residential buildings, has been busy negotiating payment plans for tenants in arrears.

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Since an eviction threat, Christine A. Lewis has had to borrow furniture and clothing. Her own things are stuck in storage.

“There’s definitely an uptick of people who were basically very good rent payers until the economic downturn,” Mr. Nahins said. “There’s so many of them. People who at one point had made money are now not earning enough to pay their rent.”

No one knows exactly how many of those kinds of tenants are facing eviction; the city’s five housing courts, and two smaller community courts that hear similar cases, do not keep data on the income level of litigants. More HERE


AAPP: It seems that black folks are losing there homes, apartments and land across America. There will be speculators and gentrifiers coming in shortly to take over the apartments and homes once owned and/or rented by black folks. It's happening across America. Now the question is what are black folks going to do, when will we pull together to protect ourselves and our communities, it's alright to try to depend on our new President, but its better to depend on ourselves.



Newspapers In Crisis



A front page headline tops a story about negotiations between labor and ownership that threatens to close the newspaper unless the unions agree to $20 million in cuts at The Boston Globe Monday, May 4, 2009, in Boston. The Globe's largest workers union and newspaper representatives finished all-night contract-concession talks without a deal Monday, but plan to be back at the bargaining table soon. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

AAPP says: It's not looking good for my home town paper
The Boston Globe, or for that matter newspapers in general. One of the great newspapers in Chicago, The Chicago Sun Times is having a rough time as well. As reported by Politico.com, asked in his Monday briefing if the White House would consider bailing out the newspaper business, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the government may not have the power to reverse the industry’s decline.

“I don’t know what, in all honesty, government can do about it,” Gibbs said in response to a question about the Boston Globe’s financial struggles.



Noting that it's a "bit of a tricky area to get into," given the relationship between the White House and the media, Gibbs said President Barack Obama “believes there has to be a strong free press" and expressed "concern and sadness" over the state of the industry. More HERE


The Huffington Post is covering this story with a heading: White House: We Can't Save Newspapers

Whitehouse

Katharine Zaleski at the Huffington Post writes, It's a big week for the newspaper industry. The Boston Globe received a reprieve from parent company The New York Times this morning. According to the AP:

The Globe's owner, The New York Times Co., had threatened to close the newspaper unless its unions agreed to $20 million in cuts to annual expenses by midnight Sunday. The company showed labor negotiators a draft of a 60-day shutdown notice, required under federal law, and said it would file it if concession demands were not met. The Guild called that a "bullying" tactic.

Tomorrow, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will hold hearings on the fate of the industry. Last month, Kerry sent a letter to the Boston Globe family stating his concern:

"America's newspapers are struggling to survive and while there will be serious consequences in terms of the lives and financial security of the employees involved, including hundreds at the Globe, there will also be serious consequences for our democracy where diversity of opinion and strong debate are paramount"


AAPP: I guess the newspapers are getting in line after Chrysler Corporation, that recently filed for bankruptcy. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. We surely don't need one newspaper towns throughout America. At this point there won't be a bailout for newspapers.

Like so many others in Boston, America, and around the world, I could not think about a world without my Home Town newspaper The Boston Globe.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Anger in Lumberton Texas, Killing of Black man causes cautionary words

"If you kill one more black man, I guarantee you we'll tear this whole damn city down,"
says New Black Panther Party.

Reports are tension surrounded the Black Panther protest in Lumberton, Texas
as theNew Black Panther rally draws protestors, supporters of the police killing of a black man
in this small Texas town. The Black Panthers called for truth behind LaDay death as the New Black Panthers rally ends in Lumberton.



Black Panthers News Conference Ends Peacefully



Davd Ingram, of station KBMT12 reports that New Black Panthers leader Quanell X spoke to about 300 people on Monday. He called a press conference in front of the Lumberton Police Department and talked for a half-hour about the death of 35-year-old Kevin LaDay.

Quanell X said the Lumberton Police beat LaDay to death last Thursday morning and he told the crowd that this behavior wouldn't be tolerated.

"If they kill another black man," said a heated Quanell X." We will take this damned town down."



Quanell X points to a photo of Kevin LaDay during the rally. The photo was said to have been taken after his arrest by Lumberton police. Photo Source: Guiseppe Barranco/The Enterprise


It was those heated words that almost resulted in fights. But law enforcement controlled the entire protest and there were no reports of any injuries or arrests. More HERE

More HERE:

AAPP says:

Is Texas about to explode? Or is it just outside agitation? What do you think? Is this another "side show" in a nation coming apart, or is this a group of people concerned about the welfare of black America?
Visit the link HERE to make a comment.

Don't forget to please sign the petition against
Taser Torture In America - A Call For Congressional Hearings

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jack Kemp Dies at 73

The liberal wing of the Republican Party died Saturday. The LA Times said it best, Jack Kemp, an original pillar in Republican 'big tent,' dies at 73.

AAPP: Well he was the closet to a liberal Republican, if there is such a person...



More "Death By Police" In Texas - The Death of Kevin LaDay

Kevin LaDay, 35 died after his car became stuck in a ditch - Mother hires onetime Rodney King lawyer Milton Grimes of Los Angeles to represent the family in the lawsuit she plans to file.

AAPP says: What the hell is going on in Texas? Another black man has died at the hands of police, this time in Lumberton, Texas. according to KBMT News, the FBI has Opened a Civil Rights Investigation into SETX Man's Death.

KBMT News reports they learned the Federal Bureau of Investigators have opened a civil rights investigation into the death of a man who died after an altercation with Lumberton City Police.

Kevin LaDay, 35 died early Thursday after his car became stuck in a ditch. His funeral is set for Saturday, May 9, but no time has yet been announced.

LaDay's mother Sandra LaDay says she believes her son was beaten and killed by Lumberton police officers.

Lumberton Police say at about 3:30 am. Thursday, officers were called to the area of Pine Burr in reference to a car stuck in a ditch. Police say when they arrived to assist, LaDay tried running from police.

Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins says a struggle ensued and LaDay lost consciousness. He was taken to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital where he later died.

FBI spokeswoman Patricia Villafranca says the agency has launched a civil rights investigation, but notes it is a typical move in such cases. She says the investigation entails monitoring local law enforcements' agencies handling of the case. If there are red flags that are raised during the investigation, the Department of Justice would then ask the FBI to look into the case.

LaDay's family says they are seeking justice in the death, and are working with the Black Panthers to organize a march near the scene of the altercation.



The family has also retained the services of attorney Milton Grimes who also represented Rodney King in California for a period of time. Grimes tells KBMT12 News he doesn't want to place blame just yet and says it is curious as to how this could happen.

More HERE - Read the hatred of the readers of this article.


Samantha Orobator - A pregnant Black Woman who may be executed in Laos.

Samantha Orobator

AAPP says: Get this, Samantha Orobator fell pregnant four months after being taken into prison. Is there any question this pretty black woman was raped? I wonder if Samantha Orobator was blonde and blue eyed, if media in the U.S. would cover this story big time? What do you think?

According to the telegraph.co.uk, Miss Orobator, 20, from London was arrested last August at Wattay airport in the south east Asian country.

Prosecutors claim she had 680 grams (1.3lb or 21 oz) of heroin in her luggage.

According to the legal campaign group Reprieve she has not met a lawyer since she was arrested 9 months ago but it is believed that she denies the drugs were hers.

Under Lao law the death penalty is mandatory for possession of over 500 grams of heroin. At least 39 people have been sentenced to death for a variety of offences since 2003.

On Thursday, without warning or explanation, the government of Laos rescheduled Miss Orobator's trial for next week, but they have still not announced which day the case will begin.

A statement by Reprieve said: "By scheduling her trial for next week, the Laos court has made it impossible for any lawyer to prepare an adequate defence... Samatha's life now hangs in the balance." The fast tracking of the trial came as the Lao authorities knew that a lawyer from Reprieve was preparing to meet Miss Orobator for the first time.

"Laos appears to be acting in a way that frustrates Samantha's right to appropriate legal assistance," Reprieve concluded.

Miss Orobator became pregnant in unknown circumstances in December, four months after she was arrested. "It is not possible to confirm whether she was raped," Reprieve said.

"The prison where she is being held in Phonthong is meant to be all female, but this is apparently not the case."

Reports of the notoriously abusive Phonthong prison describe "highly unsanitary" conditions, inadequate rations and severe punishments for supposed breaches of discipline.

Reprieve said: "Samantha is severely distressed, and Reprieve has grave concerns for her health and that of her unborn child." Another British prisoner, Michael Newman, died after being reportedly refused medical attention at the same prison last year.

Miss Orobator had been on holiday in Holland, Thailand and Laos for around a month when she was arrested as she began her journey home.

Her friends in London, interviewed by Reprieve researchers preparing her defence, say she had never been involved with drugs. More HERE

US lawyer Clive Stafford Smith (L), friend of Samantha Orobator Ronke Oseni and MP Stephen Pound attend a press conference in central London. The British foreign ministry has said it is trying to ensure lawyers can gain access to Orobator, a pregnant 20-year-old who faces the death penalty in Laos if she is found guilty of drug trafficking. More HERE.

UPDATE: My good friend The Field Negro and Huffington Post is now covering the story.


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