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Miami, Philadelphia Sue Wells Fargo for Redlining Discriminatory Lending

The largest portion of most Americans wealth is their home. There is a huge “wealth gap” between white Americans and black. No small part of this wealth gap is due to predatory lending, and racial discrimination in loan origination. By refusing loans to black folks and other minorities in certain geographic areas, the bank assures that they can only buy less desirable, and thus less likely to rise in value properties.  So Joe the white guy gets a loan in a fast growing section of the city where property values are rising at 20% a year. Theodore, the black homeowner is limited to buying properties in older sections which are only rising in value a 1-3% a year. Joe winds up with a lot more money in 10 years – because the bank won’t loan to Theodore and defacto segregates the city.

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo for allegedly discriminating against minority borrowers

Image result for wells fargo redlining

The city of Philadelphia sued Wells Fargo on Monday for allegedly discriminating against minority home buyers.

The complaint filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania alleges that Wells Fargo violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by “steering” minority borrowers into mortgages that were more expensive and riskier than those offered to white borrowers, according to court documents.

The lawsuit says that Wells Fargo is among the major banks with a “history of redlining” in Philadelphia, a practice traced back to the 1930s that involves denying credit to borrowers in certain communities because of their race or ethnicity.

The complaint says that between 2004 and 2014, African American borrowers were twice as likely to receive high-cost loans when compared to white borrowers with similar credit backgrounds. Latino borrowers were 1.7 times as likely to receive costly loans when compared to white borrowers, the lawsuit claims.

“The city’s unsubstantiated accusations against Wells Fargo do not reflect how we operate in Philadelphia and all of the communities we serve,” Wells Fargo Image result for wells fargo redliningspokesman Tom Goyda said in a statement. “Wells Fargo has been a part of the Philadelphia community for more than 140 years and we will vigorously defend our record as a fair and responsible lender.”

The filing comes as the bank is still recovering from a sales scandal in which bank employees opened millions of unauthorized accounts in customers’ names. The complaint draws parallels between the alleged predatory lending and the problematic sales targets by saying there was a lack of “internal controls” that could have prevented both issues.

Many borrowers were also rejected later when they applied for credit that would have allowed them to refinance those more expensive loans, according to the complaint. As a result, minority borrowers faced higher rates of foreclosure — a pattern that also hurt the city by leading to lower property taxes and more frequent incidents of vandalism and crime, the lawsuit claims.

Monday’s lawsuit comes just two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities have standing to sue banks for predatory lending practices, on the grounds that the cities can also incur financial damages, such as reduced tax revenue.

In that case Miami sued Bank of America and Wells Fargo, arguing that discriminatory lending practices led to higher rates of default for minority borrowers. Miami, which was represented by the same lawyers handling the Philadelphia case, claimed that the banks in turn caused financial harm to the city by leading to lower property taxes and requiring the city to provide services to struggling borrowers.

While the Philadelphia investigation has been underway for more than a year, the city waited until after the Supreme Court ruling to ensure that it would have legal standing to sue, said Benjamin Field, deputy city solicitor for Philadelphia, in an interview.

News of the Philadelphia lawsuit against Wells Fargo was first reported by Reuters.

Image result for wells fargo redlining

 

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Trumpazoids celebrate Kristalmacht With Trump Win

Neo-Nazis flying high…

Pro-Trump Swastikas Painted in Philly

Swastikas, racist graffiti, and allusions to Nazi Germany appeared on storefronts and other locations in Philadelphia overnight, following Donald Trump’s victory. An SUV was painted with “Trump Rules” and “Black Bitch.” Another shop had “Sieg Heil 2016”  painted on its window with a swastika. Others had “Trump,” where the “T” was replaced with a swastika. Many of the incidents were reported to police overnight for cleanup and investigation, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Wednesday is also the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” when Nazi Germany encouraged pogroms against Jewish sites across Berlin in 1938.

 

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Amtrak Derailment…Again

Another Amtrak crash. This one caused by a piece of rail equipment being on the wrong track, which would be the fault of the Rail Operations Center for that area, which is in charge of making sure no two pieces of rail equipment are running on the same track, other than maintenance equipment during a repair. Two people have been reported killed.

This is a pic purported to be of the “Rail Backhoe” reported to be on the wrong track. It is a locomotive sized unit performing multiple functions including clearing debris.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2016 in General

 

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And if Armed Black Folks Occupied a Building?

Answer –

SO…Now we have armed white guys, who are part of a Militia “occupying” a Federal Building in Eastern Oregon.

You think they are going to drop a bomb to get them out?

The motivating factor here is greed, not race. The group, many of the same people who came out to support Cliven Bundy last year who owed more than $1 million in lease fees for grazing his cattle on our Federal Land want to farm or graze Federal Land for free. In other words they want to be able to use the land, while the rest of us who pay the upkeep, pay for the Fire Department to go out to put out fires they have started, an they hunt illegally – all in the cause of their “freedom”.

The Malheur is a nesting and migratory area for hundreds of bird species, including these whooping cranes.

Gunmen Seize Federal Building In Oregon

The men include at least two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and have said they’ll stay for “years.”

A group of gunmen seized control of an empty federal building in remote Burns, Oregon, on Saturday, announced they planned to occupy the facility for “years” and called for “patriots” to join them — and bring more guns. The men now occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building include at least two sons of Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose legal battle with the government over grazing rights culminated in an armed standoff with federal authorities near Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014.

“We’re planning on staying here for several years,” Ammon Bundy said in a videoposted to Facebook Saturday. “We’re calling people to come out here and stand…. We have a place for you to stay warm. We have food planned and prepared. We need you to bring your arms. And we need you to come to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.” His brother Ryan Bundy told The Oregonian’s Ian Kullgren the militiamen are “willing to kill and be killed if necessary,” Kullgren tweeted Saturday.

The Bundys and other militia members have gathered in Burns in recent weeks to protest the return to prison of Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven, two local ranchers who were convicted in 2012 of arson, imprisoned, released and given new, harsher sentences last year. But there’s no evidence the Hammonds are involved in the occupation of the federal building, and they told The Oregonian through their attorneys on Sunday that they plan to return to prison on Monday as ordered. “Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family,” W. Alan Schroeder, a lawyer for the family, wrote to Burns Sheriff David Ward, CBS News reported Sunday.

The Malheur is a high mountain valley, with plenty of water and marshland. There isn’t anything there in the High Desert for Logging

Nor does the local community support the militia’s actions. “The majority of Burns does not want him here,” Sarah Spurlock, a Burns resident who interviewed Ammon Bundy on Saturday, told The Huffington Post via Facebook message. “There are a handful that do, but they are few compared to those that don’t.” At a community meeting Friday night, Burns residents told militia members who had traveled there to support the Hammonds they worried confrontation with the government could lead to violence. “We are not coming into your town to shoot it up,” Brandon Curtiss, an Idaho militia leader, promised, according to The Oregonian’s Les Zaitz. “We won’t fire anything unless we’re fired upon.” Curtiss told The Oregonian Sunday he “knew nothing” about the occupation of the federal facility.

In recent statements, the Bundys have de-emphasized the Hammonds, instead focusing on their plan to restore eastern Oregon’s economy by forcing the federal government to hand over federal lands to local ranchers, miners and loggers.

The federal lands that the Bundys and their compatriots argue should be “returned” to the local, overwhelmingly white population were once part of a reservationestablished by President Ulysses S. Grant for the Northern Paiute, an American Indian tribe. The Northern Paiute still live on a now much-smaller reservation north of Burns.

This is the unused Park Headquarters Building seized by the terrorist militia

This most recent incident is only the latest confrontation between the federal government and the militia movement, which gained popularity among conservative ideologues in the aftermath of the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident and the 1993 Waco siege, two of the most infamous and deadly standoffs involving federal agents in U.S. history. During the tense Ruby Ridge standoff in northern Idaho, three people died, including a deputy U.S. marshal, as authorities attempted to apprehend a white separatist for failing to appear in court for selling illegal sawed-off shotguns. In Waco, Texas, 76 people died during a 51-day siege after federal officials stormed a fortified religious compound led by David Koresh and his group of Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists in an attempt to apprehend Koresh for stockpiling weapons. Both incidents prompted congressional inquiries into use of force by federal officials.

Who’s occupying the building?

We don’t know much about who’s occupying the building. The Bundys initially claimed they had around 150 people there, but a reporter who managed to get close spotted about a dozen. Videos from the scene have depicted Ammon Bundy. Ryan Bundy has spoken to reporters about the occupation. Militia leader Blaine Cooper and Ryan Payne, an Iraq war vet, are both involved in the occupation, according to The Oregonian. Both men have said they were involved in the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff. Last year, the Missoula Independent published an extensive profile of Payne.

Jon Ritzheimer, another militia member, posted a video to YouTube calling people to come to Burns and “take a stand.”

A Bobcat Kitten photographed at Malheur.

“I am 100 percent willing to lay my life down to defend against tyranny in this country,” Ritzheimer said. “We need real men here… Americans who have the intestinal fortitude to come here and take a stand and say enough is enough…. To my family, just know that I stood for something. Don’t let it be in vain. I love you.”

How are local, state, and federal authorities responding?

The building the gunmen seized is closed for the holiday weekend. So far, law enforcement is staying away. One Oregon State Police car was spotted idling outside Burns, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. An FBI spokeswoman told HuffPost the agency was aware of the situation. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told CNN that federal officials, including the Bureau of Land Management, are monitoring the situation….More Here

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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No Police Accountability in Philadelphia Either

One o the things conservatives constantly squeal about is taxes. They prefer to shut down public schools to find the money from which to do so – even though there is a more sensible solution. Out of control Policing is costing major cities huge amounts of money. Chicago alone has paid over half a billion dollars in settlements because of police misbehavior over the last 10 years, with settlements in 2013 topping $85 million. Los Angeles, which has a similar-sized police force, paid out $20 million in brutality-related legal claims last year, less than a quarter of Chicago’s outlay. Baltimore has spent $5 million a year since 2011. And then there is Philadelphia…

Logically it would seem conservatives would be in alignment with BLM and other organizations seeking better, less-corrupt, and accountable police. It is not only good for the community, it is good for the bottom line. But then, common sense never got in the way of racism.

How Philadelphia prosecutors protect police misconduct: Cops get caught lying — and then get off the hook

In Philadelphia, widespread allegations of corruption and perjury against members of the nation’s fourth largest police department have in recent years shaken the criminal justice system.

Currently, the Defender Association of Philadelphia is seeking to have more than 500 convictions involving Officer Christopher Hulmes reopened and tossed out. In 2011, Hulmes admitted to lying in open court in a drug-and-gun case against two black men who claim they were framed. He did so in front of a judge and prosecutor. But he was not charged with perjury until this April, in the wake of reporting by this reporter when he was employed at the now-defunct Philadelphia City Paper.

Worse yet, police and prosecutors had failed to address prior evidence that Hulmes was a liar.

In 2008, an Assistant District Attorney reported that Hulmes had admitted that he had lied about where police had discovered a gun, allegedly to benefit a defendant who had provided him useful information. The prosecutor reported the lying. But the police internal affairs unit failed to sustain the charges. The District Attorney’s Office likewise apparently did nothing. And so, despite one serious allegation of lying and a separate admission of perjury, officials in the D.A.’s Office did nothing to stop him: Hulmes continued to make narcotics arrests on the street, and prosecutors kept putting him on the stand to testify. And now, many of his cases, meritorious or otherwise, will very likely be thrown out.

In recent weeks, Salon has been reporting on police lying in Chicago, where false statements underpin a culture that protects everything from physical abuse to illegal searches. But reviewing cases from around the country show that Chicago is far from alone.

Brad Bridge, an expert in police misconduct at the Philadelphia public defender, says that it may take a while to reopen Hulmes’ old cases: First, they have to deal with 1,300-odd petitions seeking to reopen convictions related to six allegedly rogue narcotics officers who, earlier this year, beat federal charges that they rampantly abused and robbed drug dealers.

“Police perjury has a corrosive effect upon the entire judicial system,” emails Bridge. “This has happened in Philadelphia where over 600 convictions had to have been vacated over the past two years where significant doubts have arisen about the truthfulness of the police officers involved.”

There is little evidence that D.A. Seth Williams Office, the Police Department and the city do much to root out police perjury.

The city discusses civil rights cases with the Police Department, says Chief Deputy City Solicitor Craig Straw, who handles civil rights cases against officers. But neither the Police Department nor the city’s understaffed Police Advisory Commission could point to any proactive measures that are taken to tackle perjury. D.A. Williams’ Office has long hostile to reform despite hopes that he would usher in progressive change, and is currently enmeshed in salacious political controversies. His office did not respond to a request to explain its program to tackle police lying.

In the recent past, even overwhelming video evidence that police were lying wasn’t enough to convince Philadelphia prosecutors. In 2010, the extraordinarily brutal police beating of Askia Sabur on a West Philadelphia sidewalk went viral on YouTube. Prosecutors nonetheless charged Sabur, who remained jailed awaiting trial, with assaulting the officer. Police claimed that Sabur had beaten an officer with his baton and reached for his gun—an allegation that was not supported by video evidence. A jury finally acquitted Sabur, but there were never any charges filed against the officer, Jimmy Leocal, who had beaten him most viciously.

“Unfortunately, in some situations even when prosecutors have very good reason to disbelieve the police officer,” they still put him up to testify, says University of Pennsylvania law professor and leading civil rights attorney David Rudovsky. “But the larger problem, I think, is just the uncritical acceptance of what the police say…In a culture in which most people think police tell the truth…the natural reaction of many people is to believe the officer.”

Williams’ prosecutors long took a similarly hands-off approach to lying in the Philadelphia Prison System. Last year, City Paper reported that guard Tyrone Glover was accused of assaulting two inmates. In both cases, however, the inmates were charged in connection with assaulting Glover. In one case, however, City Paper obtained video evidence showing Glover assaulting the inmate….Read More Here

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Joe Frazier

Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed last night. While Ali may well be the “Greatest” heavyweight fighter ever to grace the ring…

He wouldn’t be considered the greatest without Joe Frazier – who beat him, and then fought him to within a hairs breadth of a second defeat. Greatness requires great opponents – something missing in the ranks of the heavyweights since the days of Ali, Frazier, and Foreman.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier Dead at 67

If cancer could be dropped with a devastating left hook, Joe Frazier would still be with us. The former heavyweight champion has died at the age of 67, just weeks after he was diagnosed with liver cancer, AP reports. Frazier, who won gold for the US at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, had an epic rivalry with Muhammad Ali, and took him on in three momentous fights in the ’70s. In the so-called Fight of the Century in 1971 he became the first man to beat Ali, but he lost the next two showdowns, including 1975’s classic “Thrilla in Manila,” which Ali described as “the closest I’ve come to death.”

Frazier, who held the world heavyweight title for more than two years, was the son of a South Carolina sharecropper. In his later years, he ran a boxing gym in his adopted hometown of Philadelphia. “I don’t mind working with the kids,” he told CNN in 2009. “The kids is tomorrow.” Asked if he was similar to Rocky Balboa, he said: “Sure. I worked at the slaughterhouse. I’m the guy that ran in the streets of Philadelphia.”

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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First Convictions in Philly Abortion Clinic Crimes

The case of the Philadelphia abortion butcher made national news. Operating out of a filthy facility in the city, the Gosnell was responsible for the deaths of at least 7 children, and an unknown number of mothers. This guy escaped scrutiny by medical and regulatory authorities for years. The cases are finally coming to court, with the first guilty pleas by “nurses” who assisted Gosnell in his scam.

Two plead guilty in deaths at Philadelphia abortion clinic

Two women accused of participating in the deadly activities inside a filthy West Philadelphia abortion clinic calmly told a judge Thursday that they were guilty.

The guilty pleas by Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, leave seven defendants to be tried in the case that grabbed national headlines due to the shocking nature of the crimes that took place inside Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society.

Gosnell, 70, could face the death penalty if convicted. He is accused cutting the spinal cords of seven babies born alive at his clinic. He is also charged with the third-degree murder of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, a clinic patient who died in November 2009 from an overdose of drugs prescribed by Gosnell.

Moton, of Upper Darby, Pa., was an unlicensed clinic worker. She pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for the death of “Baby D,” one of the seven babies.

She also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit third-degree murder, participating in a corrupt organization and conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization.

She entered her plea via a video link because she is incarcerated outside of the city. Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, declined to say why Moton is being held elsewhere and for what reason.

Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told Moton that he could sentence her to as much as 120 years in state prison and fine her up to $125,000.

The plea came with no agreements with the prosecution, which leaves the sentence up to him, Lerner said.

West, of Newark, Del., was an unlicensed clinic worker who routinely performed illegal operations and administered anesthesia, according to a 281-page grand jury report released in January.

She pleaded guilty to the third-degree murder of Mongar, conspiracy to commit third-degree murder, drug delivery resulting in death, participating in a corrupt organization and conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization.

Lerner told West that she faced the possibility of being sentenced to 140 years in prison and fined up to $175,000.

Lerner set Dec. 2 as a tentative sentencing date for both women.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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Philly Team Wins National Polo Championship

These young men from West Philly became the first African American Team to win the National Polo Championship. Under the heading – Young folks can do anything they set their mind to…

West Philly team wins national crown in sport of kings

Philadelphia’s own “Cowtown Work to Ride” polo team made history this weekend, becoming the first all African American polo team to win the U.S. Polo Association Interscholastic Championship.  The Work to Ride program is a non-profit based in Fairmount Park that serves inner city youth .  The team beat one from Baltimore 24 to 17 to take the national title.

The win caps a year of firsts for the Work to Ride polo team.  Several weeks ago, the West Philadelphia teens became the first all African American team to win a regional championship.  Now, they’re number one in the nation.

“Emotionally, I didn’t know how to react,” said team captain Kareem Rosser.

Rosser says he promised his two teammates, younger brother Daymar, and Brandon Rease, that he wouldn’t let them down.  They said the same.

“You know, not only did we do it for each other, but we did it for the polo community, and we did it for every other African American young boy who comes from where we come from,” said Rosser.  “You know we wanted to let everyone know that it was possible, and that whatever you put your mind to, you can actually do.”

Rosser earned top honors, becoming the number one all-star at the tournament.

 

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Black History

 

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Philly Baby Killer Doctor Gosnell Had Long, Sordid History While Medical Authorities Looked The Other Way

Dr Kermit Gosnell, who now sits in jail without bond awaiting the trial for the murder of 8 babies, ran a practice which should have raised red flags with city and state authorities for over 15 years. A huge amount of the responsibility for this butcher’s continued ability to kill and maim was due to the unwillingness of the medical authorities to investigate or to take action. Not only the state regulatory boards, but the medical establishment bears the shame and guilt of allowing Dr Gosnell to continue his butchery on poor, and desperate women.

Grand jury’s report on abortion mill a roadmap of failure

After ripping Dana Haynes’ cervix, uterus and bowel during a botched abortion, Kermit Gosnell – the West Philadelphia doctor now charged with murder – kept her bleeding and writhing in pain for four hours without calling for help, city prosecutors contend.

The doctor called an ambulance only after Haynes’ cousins yelled to be let into his Women’s Medical Society clinic and ordered him to do so. At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, doctors found that most of the nearly 17-week fetus still remained in Haynes’ uterus. She needed extensive surgery and stayed at HUP for five days.

Haynes’ November 2006 case represents just one of many examples in which authorities – particularly state officials – failed to investigate alarm bells that warned something awful was happening at Gosnell’s clinic, according to the 261-page grand-jury report released by the District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in American Genocide

 

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Philly Abortion Doctor Faces 8 Murder Charges

This one os hard to fathom, or to conceive of…

Abortion doctor faces 8 murder charges

Dr. Kermit Gosnell , shown in a March 8, 2010, photo was charged with eight counts of murder Wednesday related to his abortion practice in Philadelphia.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell

A U.S. doctor who gave abortions to minorities, immigrants and poor women in a “house of horrors” clinic was charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, Philadelphia prosecutors say.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, made millions of dollars over 30 years performing as many illegal, late-term abortions as he could, prosecutors said. State regulators ignored complaints about him and failed to inspect his clinic since 1993, but no charges were warranted against them given time limits and existing law, District Attorney Seth Williams said Wednesday.

Nine of Gosnell’s employees also were charged.

Gosnell “induced labour, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,” Williams said.

Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said. He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labour during the day, they said.

Early last year, authorities went to investigate drug-related complaints at the clinic and stumbled on what Williams called a “house of horrors.” Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses “were scattered throughout the building,” Williams said. “There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose.”

The clinic was shut down and Gosnell’s medical licence was suspended after the raid. Gosnell and four workers were charged with murder, while five others were charged with controlled drug violations and other crimes.

None of the employees had any medical training, and one, a high school student, performed intravenous anesthesia with potentially lethal narcotics, Williams said. All 10 defendants were taken into custody, authorities said.

Gosnell has been named in at least 46 malpractice suits, including one over the death of a 22-year-old mother who died of sepsis and a perforated uterus in 2000. Many others also involve perforated uteruses.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Nawwwwww!

 

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Re Re and Condi Do a Duet For Charity

That’s right, the Queen of Soul and Condolezza Rice will be performing at a charity. Condi, among her many achievements, is a talented classical pianist – and everybody knows Aretha can sing.

WTG Ladies!

Condi Tips the Fingers Lightly Down the Ivories

R-E-S-P-E-C-T this concert duo: Aretha & Condi

Call ’em bipartisan soul sisters.

Democrat Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is tapping her Republican pal, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for a concert in Philadelphia next month.

The odd-couple pairing is more likely than it sounds, since Rice is a classically trained pianist and Franklin is currently working on an opera record featuring well-known arias.

“Ms. Rice is a consummate classical pianist and since I sing the arias, I thought that we could do something — a bipartisan effort for our favorite charities,” Franklin said.

At the show, set for July 27 at the Mann Center for Performing Arts, Franklin will perform a program of Handel, Mozart and her own hits.

Rice will accompany her on “Say a Little Prayer” and “Natural Woman.”

Rice will also perform a 20-minute set with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has previously appeared on a bill performing with master cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the 2002 National Medal of Arts awards ceremony.

A rep for Franklin said it’s expected that she and Rice will also appear at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at Carnegie Hall in New York.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Philly – White Cop Shoots Himself – Blames Black Man Resulting In Massive Manhunt

Amazing…

PHILADELPHIA – A white city police sergeant made up a story about being shot by a black man while on patrol last month and actually intentionally shot himself for unknown reasons, the city’s police commissioner said Tuesday.

Sgt. Robert Ralston, 46, confessed to making up the story and will have to pay the costs of the massive manhunt that followed, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. Ralston has been suspended with intent to dismiss, but will not face criminal charges because granting immunity was the only way to obtain his confession, Ramsey said at a news conference.

The case was especially troubling, Ramsey said, because Ralston identified his supposed attacker as black. When Ralston confessed Tuesday, he said he made the claim so his story would be more believable, Ramsey said. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2010 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Philly Charter School Doubles as Nightclub, Possible Embezzlement Ring

Those of you familiar with Field Negro know he is based in Philly. I imagine he’ll have a few kind words on this one…

As for Club Damani at Harambee in the Philly Fun Guide

This is a link to the Philly Fun Guide

School said to double as nightclub to be investigated

School district officials will visit the Harambee Institute Charter School today to find out firsthand about allegations that the West Philadelphia school has been selling alcohol on weekends.

“We are going to seriously look at the charges and do what we have to do up to closing the school, if we have to,” Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman said yesterday.

Earlier in the day City Controller Alan Butkovitz accused Harambee of running a school by day but a nightclub after hours. The school was “found to be operating a nightclub and serving alcohol illegally” on weekends, he said. Harambee Charter is on 66th Street near Media.

But Butkovitz focused his news conference yesterday on his findings that a woman working as Harambee’s chief financial officer, Rhonda Sharif, was – at the same time – employed in a similar capacity at two other charter schools: the Math, Civics and Sciences Charter, at Broad and Spring Garden streets, and the Khepera Charter School, on Carpenter Lane, near Cresheim Street, in Mount Airy.

Butkovitz said that Sharif first worked for Harambee in 2003, at a salary of $33,046.

In 2008, Sharif made $183,108 from all three schools, and had put in for having worked 463 days, the controller said.

In addition, a construction company owned by Sharif’s husband, “Str8-Hand Construction Inc.,” received an estimated $7.5 million in maintenance contracts at the same three schools where Sharif worked.

No one answered the phone at Harambee yesterday. The school published an open letter on its Web site calling media reports a “misrepresentation” and “a very one-sided and unbalanced view of what charter schools represent. ”

Butkovitz said that he was prompted to investigate financial operations at several charter schools following the federal probe of Philadelphia Academy Charter School, in Northeast Philadelphia. The school’s founder, Brien Gardiner, committed suicide in May 2008 before his trial.

Benjamin Rayer, the district’s official in charge of charter and Renaissance schools, said last night that he will visit Harambee today. He said the school’s CEO told him that the building operated a banquet hall for weddings and birthdays. A Web site touts the facility as the Damani Banquet Hall.

“There has been a liquor license assigned to the property since 1936, to what at the time was the Overbrook Italian-American Democratic Club,” said Stacey Witalec, spokeswoman for the state Liquor Control Board. But the license, transferred to the Harambee Institute Corp. in 2002, expired Oct. 31, 2008, Witalec said.Harambee School was incorporated on Aug. 8, 1997, and received $14.7 million in public funds in 2005-2007.

Now – the Nightclub thing is an issue of propriety more than anything else, as theoretically the building is either owned by, or leased by the Charter School and not the School District. The Liquor license issue is serious, but these guys can’t be the first operators in Philly to have issues with the liquor board…

That double and triple billing, and the inside contracts though…

If true, is criminal.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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Philly Swim Club Penalized

This summer’s simmering controversy was over the action of a Private Swim Club in the Philidelphia area which contracted with a youth group for swim activities, only to withdraw them when the group arrived – because the group was majority black.

CampersSwim450.jpg

Commission penalizes swim club in Pennsylvania racism complaint

(CNN) — The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission issued a finding of probable cause Tuesday that racism was involved in the decision last June by a suburban Philadelphia swim club to revoke privileges of a largely minority day care center.
Some kids from the Creative Steps Day Care center say club members made racist remarks.

Some kids from the Creative Steps Day Care center say club members made racist remarks.

The commission ordered monetary damages for humiliation and embarrassment and a civil penalty of not more than $50,000.

The decision noted that none of the club’s 155 paid members this year was African-American.

Last year, according to the decision, there were “179 paid memberships, none of whom were African American.”

In addition, the decision noted that in 2009, the Valley Club “made a concerted effort to expand the geographic range of its membership by engaging in a marketing campaign…. The Respondent efforts were mainly directed at areas with overwhelmingly Caucasian populations…. The Respondent made no effort to direct such marketing efforts at areas with significant African American populations….”

“It’s an invitation to sit down with our staff and have the parties settle their differences,” said Stephen Glassman, chairman of the commission, of the 33-page decision. “If they don’t, it will go on to a public hearing, a trial.”

He said the Valley Swim Club has 30 days to appeal.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The New Jim Crow – Black Kids Banned From Pool

It’s popular among the conservative set to proclaim that racism is dead in Post-racial America. Even Uncle Tommie Clarence utilized that excuse when ruling in the recent Ricci case…

It, like almost everything conservatives have to say…

Is a lie.

As a child, right here in what now is considered the most urbane and liberal part of Virginia – I recall a time when there were no public pools which allowed black kids to swim in the counties of Fairfax and Arlington. If you wanted to swim, your parents had to haul you all the way to Alexandria – or one of the segregated black beaches or resort areas. One included a beach on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, from which you could see the Virginia Shore rising to Mt. Vernon.

More than 60 black kids told to leave pool...

More than 60 black kids told to leave pool...

Pool Boots Kids Who Might “Change the Complexion”

More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.
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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in The New Jim Crow

 

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