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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Q Sues Michael Jackson Estate

Quincy Jones ‘ musical direction took Michael Jackson from being a star to being an international superstar, Had there been no Q – the production quality of Jackson’s three biggest albums would have been different, and arguably less stellar.

So this one is a bit of a shocker.

Quincy Jones sues Michael Jackson’s estate

Quincy Jones sued Michael Jackson’s estate on Friday claiming he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of the superstar’s greatest hits.

Jones’ lawsuit seeks at least $10 million from the singer’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment, claiming the entities improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees. The music has been used in the film “This Is It” and a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows based on the King of Pop’s songs, the lawsuit states.

Jones also claims that he should have received a producer’s credit on the music in “This Is It.” His lawsuit seeks an accounting of the estate’s profits from the works so that Jones can determine how much he is owed.

The producer worked with Jackson on three of his most popular solo albums, “Off the Wall,” ”Thriller” and “Bad.”

Jackson’s estate wrote in a statement that it was saddened by Jones’ lawsuit. “To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael,” the statement said.

An after-hours message left at Sony Music’s New York offices was not immediately returned.

Jackson’s hits “Billie Jean,” ”Thriller” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” are among the songs Jones claims were re-edited to deprive him of royalties and his producer’s fee. Jones’ lawsuit states the producer’s contracts called for him to have the first opportunity to re-edit or alter the songs, in part to protect his reputation.

 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Shopping While Black…Again!

What it is beginning to look like is the high end store section in NYC has been the victim of some heavy duty professional shoplifters. Whether because of budget concerns or stupidity, the Security Chief there went out on the cheap and hired George Zimmerman Security…

Resulting in a solution more expensive than having someone stand at the door to hand out free bags to the shoplifters.

 

Macy’s Also Gets Slapped With Racial Discrimination Lawsuit By Black Shopper

Barneys isn’t the only store being accused of racial discrimination. Now, Macy’s has been slapped with a lawsuit implicating the luxury store of racial profiling.

The New York Post reports that actor Robert Brown, who’s most known for his starring role opposite Sean Connery in the film “Finding Forrester,” has filled a civil suit for an unspecified sum against the luxury retail store and the New York Police Department, citing that he was unlawfully searched by undercover police officers on June 8, 2013.

The 29 year old, who is black, was stopped after making a purchase at the Sunglass Hut store located inside Macy’s flagship location in New York’s Herald Square.

According to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit, Brown presented his ID to the cops but “was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.” The Brooklyn resident says he was then arrested and detained by cops for over an hour before finally being released without any charges.

This isn’t the first time Macy’s has dealt with a racial discrimination lawsuit. In 2005,the company paid New York state $600,000 to settle a complaint that its New York department stores were racially profiling shoppers and unlawful handcuffing them while they were being detained on suspicion of shoplifting.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Domestic terrorism, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Korean Tobacco Company Accused of Racist Ads

American WWII Poster

This one a brouhaha between a Korean Tobacco Company and the Africa Tobacco Producers Council.

Not a good job of winning friends and influencing. Obviously the Korean company didn’t “get” how the imagery might be insulting…

Nice to know Americans aren’t the only idiots out there.

One has to wonder though – if this company’s Marcom department all got their degrees from one of the private conservative colleges in the US. I mean – most real colleges talk about things like diversity and cultural sensitivity as part of Marketing 101, which are verboten topics in the conservative universe. And is one of the reasons conservatives constantly make complete asses of themselves when talking to anyone except over 60 year old white men. Ergo, if I want to market a product to any audience which includes Japanese…

I really don’t want to use the racist imagery common in the US during WWII

The part of this which is disappointing is that this sort of thing has been the subject of criticism of Asian Marketing before in China and Malaysia

 

 

Korean Tobacco Company Pulls ‘Racist’ Monkey Ads For ‘This Africa’ Cigarettes

Following cries of racism, South Korea’s largest tobacco company is pulling an advertisement for its new “This Africa” cigarettes.

The KT&G ads featuring a monkey dressed as a human were launched a month ago to promote the brand’s new “This Africa” cigarettes, according to the Agence France-Presse. The ads to promote cigarettes dried and roasted in “traditional” African style showed monkeys dressed as humans, tagged with the slogan “Africa is coming!”

Zambian Mirriam Simasiku, an African woman living in Seoul, told the Korea Times she found the ads extremely offensive.

“According to those images, Africans are just a bunch of uneducated monkeys,” she told the publication. “We as Africans are still a minority against a multitude of pure Koreans with no law to protect us. By the way, it is named This Africa, which is inappropriate since no one thought of making any connection.”

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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History Repeats Itself In Florida’s Juvenile System

Wrote about the vicious Florida Juvenile System of past years a few months ago where Juveniles were abused and killed.

Seem that things haven’t gotten a whole bunch better. When Republicans “privatize” government…

This is what really goes on.

PRISONERS OF PROFIT: Florida’s Lax Oversight Enables Systemic Abuse At Private Youth Prisons

Youth Services International confronted a potentially expensive situation. It was early 2004, only three months into the private prison company’s $9.5 million contract to run Thompson Academy, a juvenile prison in Florida, and already the facility had become a scene of documented violence and neglect.

One guard had fractured an inmate’s elbow after the boy refused instructions to throw away a cup, according to incident reports. Another guard had slammed a boy’s head into the floor after an argument. The prison was infested with ants and cockroaches,toilets were frequently clogged and children reported finding bugsin their meager portions of food.

“From day one, it was hell,” said Jerry Blanton, a former monitor with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, who was then tasked with inspecting Thompson Academy.

Conditions appeared so foul and perilous that he told his supervisors that he “emphatically recommended that the facility be closed,”according to a memo about the discussions.

What happened next speaks to how Youth Services International has managed to forge a lucrative business running private juvenile prisons in Florida and 15 other states even amid mounting evidence of abuse. The company used connections with state officials to complain that Blanton was intimidating staff. Less than a week later, the state removed him as monitor of the facility. Two months after that, he was fired.

Thompson remained open, and Youth Services International retained its contract to operate it. In the nine years since, the company has won an additional eight contracts in Florida, bringing 4,100 more youths through its facilities, according to state records. All the while, complaints of abuse and neglect have remained constant.

Florida leads the nation in placing state prisons in the hands of private, profit-making companies. In recent years, the state has privatized the entirety of its $183 million juvenile commitment system — the nation’s third-largest, trailing only California and Texas. Florida not only relies on private contractors to self-report escapes and incidents of violence and abuse, but the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice routinely awards contracts to private prison operators without scrutinizing their records, a Huffington Post investigation has found.

“We thought DJJ was going to be our biggest ally,” said Gordon Weekes, the chief juvenile public defender in Broward County, who has for years complained to the state about conditions inside two YSI prisons there. “They turned out to be the ally of the corporations, and the ally of the system.”

Florida’s permissive oversight has allowed Youth Services International to essentially game the system since entering the state more than a decade ago. Despite contractual requirements that the company report serious incidents at its facilities, YSI routinely fails to document problems, sanitizes those reports it does submit and pressures inmates to withhold evidence of mistreatment, according to interviews with 14 former YSI employees.

“The state is not doing enough,” said Wanda Williams, a former staffer at YSI’s Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility, who quit in 2010 after growing disgusted with the violence and squalid conditions she saw inside the prison. “Because if they were, that place should have been shut down by now.”

Executives at YSI declined requests for interviews made over the last four months. In an emailed response to questions, Senior Vice President Jesse Williams said the company’s juvenile prisons are some of the best in Florida. He added that the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice rigorously inspects the facilities.

“The DJJ has a very meticulous monitoring system,” he said. “There are numerous announced and unannounced visits to each facility to check for quality assurance and contract compliance, and we do very well in our reviews.”

Williams denied that the company fails to report serious incidents to the state. “Our policy is to report everything,” he said. “In fact, we communicate to our employees that if there are any doubts about whether it is a reportable incident to go ahead and notify DJJ.”

Senior officials at the Department of Juvenile Justice declined interview requests. The agency refused to discuss specific details of HuffPost’s findings, though a spokeswoman issued a statement asserting the department is committed to ensuring that youth in its system “remain safe and are given every opportunity to thrive.” She said contract oversight is one of the agency’s top priorities.

“With 100 percent of the agency’s residential services provided through contractors, the contract selection and renewal process is paramount to our success,” said the spokeswoman, Meghan Speakes Collins, in an email.

Since 2011, when Republican Gov. Rick Scott took office in Florida, the department has “revamped” its review of contractors, she added, by engaging in deeper statistical analysis of trends such as high staff turnover and the number of altercations between staff and youth.

YSI is a subsidiary of a bigger company operating a number of facilities in  predominately Red States. From another investigation of their facilities in Texas

Kirkham goes on to write, quote, “In 2001, an 18-year-old committed to a Texas boot camp operated by one of Slattery’s previous companies, Correctional Services Corp., came down with pneumonia and pleaded to see a doctor as he struggled to breathe. Guards accused the teen of faking it and forced him to do pushups in his own vomit, according to Texas law enforcement reports. After nine days of medical neglect, he died.

That same year, auditors in Maryland found that staff at one of Slattery’s juvenile facilities coaxed inmates to fight on Saturday mornings as a way to settle disputes from earlier in the week. In recent years, the company has failed to report riots, assaults and claims of sexual abuse at its juvenile prisons in Florida, according to a review of state records and accounts from former employees and inmates.

Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s juvenile delinquents are today committed to private facilities, according to the most recent federal data from 2011, up from about 33 percent twelve years earlier.

Over the past two decades, more than 40,000 boys and girls in 16 states have gone through one of Slattery’s prisons, boot camps or detention centers, according to a Huffington Post analysis of juvenile facility data.

Out of more than 300 institutions surveyed, a YSI detention center in Georgia had the highest rate of youth alleging sexual assaults in the country, according to a recent report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

A YSI facility in Palm Beach County had the highest rate of reported sexual assaults out of 36 facilities reviewed in Florida, the Bureau of Justice Statistics report found….

 

 

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Shopping While Black…

In New York no less… The kid had a debit card no less, which he had to punch in the correct code to use, and a drivers license  – with his picture on it confirming his identity. Kind of hard to fake that. Worse, any cop could have pulled up an ID picture on his PC/Radio to confirm that the license was valid and had not been tampered with on the spot.

This one was sheer stupidity, racism, and harassment.

 

Black College Student Arrested For Buying A Designer Belt, Barneys & NYPD Slapped With Lawsuit 

Barneys New York and the New York Police Department have been slapped with a lawsuit by Trayon Christian, a college student from Queens, who was arrested at the luxury department store in April.

“His only crime was being a young black man,” Michael Palillo, Christian’s attorney, told The New York Post.

The Post reports that the 19-year-old was at the store buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt, but following the purchase, he was stopped by undercover officers that were allegedly called on by a Barneys sales clerk who believed the transaction was fraudulent.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, states that the NYC College of Technology freshman was asked by the cops: “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt?” He was then handcuffed and taken to a local precinct.

Despite showing the officers the receipt for the belt, his ID and the debit card used, “Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase,” Palillo said.

Christian, who saved up money for the pricey accessory from his part-time job at college, said he returned the belt and never plans to shop at the Madison Avenue store again. His story comes just days after another instance of racial discrimination was reported in Baltimore when a black woman was allegedly fired from Hooters for having blonde highlights.

Barneys has not commented on the matter and Christian’s lawsuit against the store and the NYPD is for unspecified damages.

Head over to The Post to read more.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Texas Republican Judge Quits Tea/Republican Party “of Bigots”

Hope to see a lot more of this happening around the country…

Texas Republican Judge Switches Party, Denouncing GOP as Party of Bigots and Hate-Mongers

 

A Republican Judge from San Antonio, Texas, has announced he is quitting the GOP and will seek re-election as a Democrat, saying that he can no longer be part of political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destroying people’s lives.

Bexar County Judge Carlo R. Key made his announcement in a YouTube campaign video, where the image shifts between the judge sitting at his bench and screenshots of Republicans—from Sen. Teed Cruz to state politicians—boosting their agenda or career by harming others.

Key’s words speak for themselves. Here’s a transcript, where he ends by urging others who share his moderate temperament and respectful demeanor to join him.

I have tried to live a life of principles. These principles have been shaped by mi familia, my community and my country. In fact, it is my dedication to these principles which has lead me to the law in the first place and has guided me to becoming a judge. These values are simple. I believe that justice demands fairness. It demands careful and intelligent probing of evidence. And above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice toward race, color, creed or whom you choose to love.

These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.

I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their ecomonic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of 100s of 1000s of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.

That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me. If you believe these values are your values, then I respectfully ask you to join me and let’s work together to keep dignity, fairness and respect for rule of law in our county courts.   

Texas Democrats welcomed the judge’s decision but said they were not surprised by it.

“I’m not surprised,” said Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project. “Republican state leaders in Texas have moved so far out of the mainstream. They have become so divisive that fair-minded Texans are turning away. Judge Key is a prominent and respected public official, so his actions appropriately draw attention, but every day I hear from people who formerly supported Republican candidates, but now won’t do it.”

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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GeorgiaTeen Breaks World Back Handspring Record

As the Dad of a former gymnast, this is incredible!

Georgia Teen, Mikayla Clark, Breaks Guinness World Record For Most Consecutive Back Handsprings

A 16-year-old high school cheerleader has broken a Guinness World Record that is, quite frankly, flipping amazing!

Mikayla Clark, of Westlake High School in Atlanta, performed 44 consecutive back handsprings at her school’s homecoming game, beating out the previous record of 36. She started training for the big moment at the beginning of the football season.

“I was looking at world records and I just happened to see the most consecutive back handsprings,” she said in an interview with Fox Atlanta. “I clicked on the link and I was like, ‘Oh, she did 36, I think I can beat that.'”

The feat only took about 34 seconds, and as Clark performed, cheers from her teammates and her coach grew louder and louder as she approached the previous record number of flips and then passed it significantly.

“Most people can say, ‘Well, I won state, I did this.’ Now I can say I’m a world record holder,'” said the record breaking teen.

Although her official certificate hasn’t even come in the mail yet, she has already set a new goal for herself.

“My senior year, I’m going to flip field goal to field goal and try to break my record.”

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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