Sunday, November 23, 2008
When I left NYC 10 years ago not even I knew that the City would stoop so low as to make the golden rule, 'do onto others as you would have others do onto you,' illegal. Have they no shame? Instead of empowering the churches to take on the task for 5 days of service, it shuts down the beds for the days that they can provide service.
I know the elections are fixed (zero votes for Obama during the '08 primary in many Harlem districts) and maybe that is the reason they govern so ruthlessly with no regards for the victims of their policies. Poverty pimps need poverty to pimp which requires a level of disillusionment. Turned away from a church, qualifies. It helps pump up the sense of helplessness they need to stay in business.
New York use to be a beacon of hope. In this economic crisis, where we have no clue who will be homeless next year, it's a potential nightmare, one already for some.
With the feds heads you know where, NYC government is free to hurt who they want from traffic harassment, to beds for the homeless, to murder by wrong address or color.
Remember, the feds could not have lied on 9/13/01 that the air was safe to breathe and the water safe to drink without the consent of the NYC government. They knew the EPA was lying. They had the air quality readings from the sewer system and the City's EPA. If you care, check out World Trade Center Illness, which is a direct result of government policy to put NYC on lockdown rather than evacuate.
Based on results, the NYC government does not have the best interests of the people of New York at heart, especially those most in need. That's not a new revelation, just a restatement of a fact. Like Prison, Inc., the system is looking for more customers and this is one way to do it.
What needs to happen is an upliftment of the term 'community activist.' Folks working for little to no pay to make their community a better place, like what Barack Obama did in Chicago in the 90's, should be empowered to do good.
This should be expanded to include homes, like what Mother Hale did in Harlem in the '80's and 90's. She took in who she could for as long as she could. More families and friends could take folks in for less money than is spent on big institutions.
The government lies and says the problem is money. Talk about pretend not to know. The resources the government is putting into destroying lives for interacting with the hemp plant should be re-directed into a fund to help us solve our problems now.
If NYC got 20% of all recreational hemp sales, the conversation would be about what to do with so much extra cash. Plus, planting hemp, with its 6 foot root system, would aerate the soil of many of the toxins still left from the exploded World Trade Center. For more on hemp please visit the USA Hemp Museum.
I hope the Obama adminstration is wise enough to unconditionally end hemp prohibition and begins solving problems with the income from America's #1 cash crop.
The way to solve the problem of homelessness, is to provide homes for folks without. It's that simple and with computers, it can be a piece of cake.
Friday, October 10, 2008
"In its place is the Mother Hale Learning Center, which provides educational day care for 36 kids, and a transitional housing program that has helped 161 homeless families and 297 children get back on their feet in the past four years, Hale House officials said.
"The drug and AIDS crisis of past decades diminished over time as did the need for emergency respite care," Hale House Executive Director Randy McLaughlin said in a written statement.
"That welcome circumstance . . . permitted the organization to extend its reach to serve a much larger population of children."
Hale House has been financially hobbled since it imploded in 2001, after a Daily News series exposed financial wrongdoing and neglected children under Hale's daughter, Lorraine, and her husband, Jesse DeVore.
They were indicted on 72 counts of stealing donors' millions and booted from the nonprofit by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
The cash crunch forced the new directors of Hale House to burn through more than $12 million in savings Lorraine Hale left behind. They also took out a $1.6 million loan in 2007 to run their programs, according to their most recent tax filing.
Housing babies and toddlers in an orphanage-like setting with round-the-clock child care workers was expensive, as well as outmoded.
In 2006, the new team moved the babies out of the historic brownstone into two apartment buildings the charity owns across from Morningside Park. Since then, they quietly began to phase out the residential program.
Sources told The News the last of the 10 children housed there were either adopted, placed in foster care or returned to relatives in July.
"It's a shame they are only focusing on day care and transitional housing," one veteran Hale House employee said. "That residence was Mother Hale's legacy, her dream. That should have been saved."
Another child care worker who didn't want to be named said, "We were really attached to those children. It's sad. I'm just hoping they didn't go to a bad place."
McLaughlin said Hale House's mission "to provide child-centered, family-focused programs to those in need has not changed and never will. Should any parents with challenges come to us, we will assist them with emergency child placement."
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
When I got run out of Harlem back in '97-'98 he said to me, 'You did your job. You did good. Now get onto your next mission.' I found the extra courage I needed to go forward. I am grateful for Don Hogan Charles. If you get a chance to check out his work, you will never see the world the same way if you focus. His lense proved what the Will Smith movie title says, that no matter what the situation, there is always "Collateral Beauty".
"By Niraj Chokshi
I died 3 years ago from a grand mal seizure. What I learned from that experience is that we don't die. There comes a point(s) where our spirit leaves our bodies, but I saw enough on the other side to know we don't die. So THANK YOU DON HOGAN CHARLES for a life well lived, while enriching ours.
Below is the original articles I posted back in 2008 when I demanded the web turn him over to me. He was sick at the time. I still blame it on those damn sewers that surround Harlem. Since we don't die, we multiply, part of my life is a multiplication of his.
'Cause honey you know, Don Hogan Charles is doing fine.'
J O Y!!!
The web is once again a way to make great connections.
I spoke with Don Hogan Charles. He is still in Harlem living as an independent photographer. He's one of those great unsung heroes who keeps on keeping on no matter what. We didn't speak long, but this post made it to his family, who, bless their hearts, got the word to him. Now he has time to create a most amazing series of books and videos from his half century plus of brilliant photography.
The New York Times is run by fools in my opinion. From selling their building in Times Square to not holding onto key talent, they've taken the paper that my grandfather swore by, lifted himself up with, and turned it into a mouthpiece for the story of 19 lucky Arabs on 9/11. How to solve World Trade Center Illness should be a priority since they failed to question the EPA when it said the air was safe to breathe and the water safe to drink on 9/13. It's what happens when the priority changes from news/truth to profits instead of a balance.
Below is my original post dated November 7, 2007 at 7:29 A.M.
I called the New York Times to reach the Black American trail blazer Don Hogan Charles to find out that he is gone with no forwarding address, phone or email. Does anyone know where he is or what happened?
I can find no posted notice of him leaving the paper? I emailed folks at the New York Times and asked on the phone but no answer more than a week later. He worked there about 40 years, giving Harlem a voice in mainstream media.
What's also troubling is I can find no thank you to him for being the New York Times first Black photographer.
It was Malcolm X who recommended (more drama than that world contains) Don for the job at the Times. He delivered the shot of Malcolm X at a window with a gun, an image reflected in the current Black on Black murder rate as Malcolm's gun was pointed at thugs in the neighborhood for openers.
I am working on a project regarding restoring peace and prosperity to the inner city. Addressing the violence is the first step. I need Don to discuss strategy, as he is one of the greatest strategist I've ever known.
My x brother in law, Chauncey Bailey, was murdered this summer in Oakland and I did a YouTube reading of his prophetic article GENOCIDE OR HOMICIDE: BLACK ON BLACK MURDER.
I'm working on the next video. With a goal of solving the problem, I wanted to get Don on video talking about what drove Malcolm X to take a gun to his own religion. What was it like back in the 60's to make a smart man take a gun to his window? How did the rest of the community respond? Can Don go back to that building (spot) all these years later? What would Malcolm see today and what observations does he think the man with a gun would share?
There is a video up that says in 2005 there were about 50 murders in Harlem. That's a 45 block area. Of course the closing will be Don's recommendations for Harlem and New York.
Don has the grace to see the world with his extraordinary vision. He's dedicated his being to his craft. I'm sure his observations would be healing.
When my friends and I were teaching thousands of folks in dis-empowerment zone Harlem as the Computer Underground Railroad how to use a computer, Don would frequently show up with encouragement and wisdom.
I remember after doing a 13 hour training day, and he doing a full day's work at the Times, he would come at the end of the day, tell the folks 'it's 9:00, let Nayer rest, good night.'
The presence of his spirit and camera at a training I was doing with a 92 year old great Harlem Lady, Roxanna Dawson, raised her spirit enough for her to say after learning the mouse, 'if I can do it, the rest of you have no excuse.' Wherever Don is, higher standards are set.
I was fighting dragon level poverty pimps who would have taken me out years earlier without Don's wisdom. By the time the poverty pimps knew what I was doing and closed the training down, we had already helped over 3,000 folks learn how to use a computer. The cost of the training was that it be passed onto at least two other folks.
As a Harlem environmentalist, his wisdom was key, part of a mastermind alliance, when I was sorting out the problem of Harlem being surrounded by 5 sewers and the impact that was having on the infant mortality rate.
Or when the school on Harlem's upper east side (140's) that was an old dry cleaner and was converted to a school without proper clean up, it was Don who pointed out that the chemicals had probably seeped into the groundwater and more than just the children at the school have been exposed. I was able to add that information to my Harlem as an environmental disaster area presentation. Not that the poverty pimps did anything with the information, but at least they were warned.
So you see why I am concerned that this hero is allowed to just drop out without as much as a webpage on what happened, where and how he is, and what is he working on now. Did he at least get a publishing deal?
After 25 years in NYC, I left Harlem in '98 and live in Arizona now, so walking to his building isn't an option.
So I'm asking in this format too as I continue my search.
Am I seeing on the internet the first Black photographer at the New York Times trashed, without as much as a webpage on his ground breaking work over the decades?
The press gave us more than enough fill of Jayson Blair, and is quiet on the historic, wonderful career of Don Hogan Charles.
His photos of the building moving down the street still make me smile. His portraits are inspiring because he knows how to capture the soul too.
I want to make sure he knows how brilliant and appreciated his work is.
It would be a shame before God to let this great artist, who served his craft and community, drop off the map without the honor he's earned.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Can somebody please explain to me why the new governor of New York, David Patterson, is not screaming and demanding an immediate, vetted investigation into what really happened on 9/11/01. He has inherited a state with a huge wound and little to no resources to heal it.
There are many webeos on the subject of 9/11 Truth, i.e. Loose Change, a great 9/11 starter piece. (Not the last edited one, the Second Edition)
The military was on stand down on 9/11. Dr. Steven E. Jones reports thermite was found at the WTC site. Many witnesses reported hearing explosions. The main beneficiary of the crime is the Bush Administration, who used the event as a motivation to their march to war.
Governor Patterson's first responsibility should be to the people of New York, unlike that of the federal government.
Thanks Keith Olberman and the Countdown crew for your great and courageous coverage, like the piece on:
Rep. Darrell Issa 'Worst Person' for Refusing 9/11 Sick Aid
New Yorkers are suffering and dying from World Trade Center Illness, not just the first responders either. Though there have been studies and folks registered, no help is available when disease manifest. As witnessed by body parts still being found at the site, the city was never cleaned of the exploded World Trade Centers 1, 2 & 7.
Rather than take a proactive strategy of preventative medicine, the government chose, despite repeated warnings, to study the problem.
Governor Patterson needs to lead the fight to help New Yorkers, and the dust did not stop at 14th Street, deal with the unspoken health crisis people are experiencing.
The governor needs to demand unconditional health care to all exposed.
Pay for the medical bill with complete legalization of hemp in New York. Apply a 20% recreational hemp tax. It's a perfect place for a ground zero fight of states vs. federal rights.
For more information on hemp visit the USA Hemp Museum, http://www.hempmuseum.org/.
WE ARE OVERCOMING NOW
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Please know I'm so proud of you and the work you and your crew are doing documenting the urban experience of many of our young people. Congratulations on being back on Youtube. I can't wait until you have all your original webeos back on line.
I am grateful you've posted HOW TO SHOOT A COP on YouAreTV.com . The way you put together many of the images of innocent young people murdered by Prison, Inc. was one of the most powerful pieces I've seen on the web.
You asked what I thought about the young man, Sean Bell, murdered by the NYPD. In a word LYNCHING.
I've pasted Dr. Leroy Vaughn's article from his book BLACK PEOPLE AND THEIR PLACE IN WORLD HISTORY that looks at many aspects of lynching at the end of this piece. Dr.Vaughn said:
In modern times the technique has changed, but the results remain the same. The list of NYPD, LAPD, etc. lynchings is longer than we have a clue about here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Any reason will do. Journalists, citizens, folks just visiting, they don't care who they murder. They have a butchers bill to fill and it does not matter who is taken down to fill it.
The Sean Bell verdict is another wake-up call. American citizens are being murdered in the streets by the government and there is no place the People can go for justice. The government can shoot unarmed folks because they think a person has a gun, or not, and walk out of court free folks. There will come a point where the American people realize that justice died a long time ago in the court system.
Sean Bell is an old story that we need to write THE END to. It's time to stop being fools. We go to the source of evil for justice and wonder why it does not work. Lady Justice's blindfold is how the court justifies some truth can be introduced and some cannot.
The NYPD MURDERED AN INNOCENT MAN AND SHOT UP HIS FRIENDS. Any justification is a lie. The why is their illusions at the time, which are adjusted to fit the court case, rather than the truth.
The only way we have to honor Sean Bell and others who have died at the hands of a mob (and the process is not limited to murdering people in the streets) is to stop this from happening again.How?
People do what they think they can get away with.
When the police think that what they do can be recorded and broadcast, impacting on their future income, many will interact from their higher/better selves. People of the lie need to be able to lie without evidence. That's what's going on with the president and his band of gangsters. They had no idea about the impact of folks being able to run the images in slow motion and see the explosions at the WTC or realize there was no plane wreckage at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
Like Celie told Nettie in THE COLOR PURPLE to write, let's continue to urge the people not only in Harlem, but in the world to record, document the truth, the only effective tool we have to be free.
When the police know that it is the citizens who are paying their salaries, not those in office today, they will have less fear of the people they are suppose to protect. When the police understand the importance of building up our youth, rather than tearing them down with guns and fear, they too will travel the streets as part of the highest good for all.
Finally, when I think of Sean Bell, my heart fills with tears for him, his family and friends, for there are few things more painful than "A Dream Deferred."
As we make a better world for his child, and the rest of our children, I think we can solve the problem of police brutality with documented truth, just like you suggested in HOW TO SHOOT A COP.
From Dr. Leroy Vaughn, MD, MBA, Author, Historian and African Chief's article in his book BLACK PEOPLE AND THEIR PLACE IN WORLD HISTORY
Lynching is defined as mob execution, usually by hanging, without the benefit of trial and often accompanied with torture and body mutilation. The usual scenario included a mob of up to 5,000 White men attacking a single, defenseless Black man and executing him for a crime he was never convicted of or even charged with in most cases. Lynching is considered one of the most horrific chapters in African American history and is only exceeded by slavery in cruelty and savagery toward another human being.
Years, Whites, Blacks, Total
1882-1891, 751, 732, 1,483
1892-1901, 381, 1,124, 1,505
1902-1911, 77, 707, 784
1912-1921, 50, 554, 604
1922-1931, 23, 201, 224
1932-1941, 10, 95, 105
1942-1951, 2, 25, 27
1952-1961, 1, 5, 6
1962-1968, 2, 2, 4
Totals, 1,297, 3,445, 4,742
Ironically, the term “lynch” is derived from the name of Charles Lynch, a Virginia planter and patriot during the American Revolution, who directed violence toward White British loyalists. After the Civil War and emancipation, lynching became almost synonymous with hanging and torturing African American males. Between 1882 and 1930 more than 3,300 Black male victims were hanged, burned alive, castrated, and mutilated by mostly southern White mobs who have never faced any charges for these criminal acts. Coroners and law officials typically attributed the murders to “parties unknown.” Most historians and sociologists agree that mob executions was really about social control and to maintain the status quo of White superiority and had little to due with crime control.
Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) could easily be called the mother of the anti-lynching movement. She was the first of eight children born to slave parents in Holly Springs, Mississippi. After emancipation, she attended several schools run by northern Methodist missionaries including Rust College. In 1879, after the yellow fever epidemic claimed the lives of both her parents, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee with the younger children and accepted a teaching position. Because of her great concern for racial injustice, Wells was invited to write for a local church paper. As her fame increased, she was asked to contribute to several Baptist newspapers. She eventually became editor and partner of the “Free Speech and Headlight” Baptist newspaper.
In 1892, the brutal lynching of three close friends in Memphis started Ida B. Wells on a militant, uncompromising, single-minded crusade against lynching from which she would never retreat. Her three friends committed the crime of opening a grocery store, which successfully competed with a White grocer directly across the street. For the crime of becoming too “uppity”, a large White mob took the three proprietors from their grocery store, tortured and killed them. Ms. Wells wrote angry editorials in her newspaper encouraging Blacks to leave Memphis if possible and to boycott White businesses, which left several White companies including the newly opened streetcar line on the verge of bankruptcy.
Ida B. Wells decided to launch her anti-lynching movement on several fronts. She first wanted to explode the myth that lynching was primarily to protect White women from rape by Black men. She published detailed statistics on lynching, which demonstrated that less than one-fifth of the victims of lynch mobs were even accused of rape by their killers. She said that racist southern White mobs “cry rape” to brand their victims as “moral monsters” and to place them “beyond the pale of human sympathy.” She wrote that while Southern White men raped Black women and children with impunity, they considered any liaison between a Black man and a White woman as involuntary by definition. She pointed out that children produced by White-Black relationships were called “mulatto” from the Spanish word for mule because racist Whites believed that mixed-race children, like the offspring of donkeys and horses, were an inferior breed that could not reproduce. When Ms. Wells suggested in print that White women were often willing participants with Black men, a large White mob destroyed the presses of her newspaper and would have killed her had she not been visiting friends in New York. Thomas Fortune invited her to stay in New York and write for the “New York Age”. She was also allowed to exchange the circulation list of the “Free Speech” for a one fourth interest in the “Age” and immediately began to write a series on lynching.
The second approach of Ida B. Wells in her anti-lynching movement was to appeal to the Christian conscience of powerful non-southern Whites. She published two pamphlets (“Southern Horror” in 1892 and “A Red Book” in 1895) in hopes that extensive statistical analyses of lynching would clearly point out that the southern rape fantasy was merely “an excuse to get rid of Negroes who were acquiring wealth and property.” She pointed out that the same lynch mob that killed a Nashville Black man accused of visiting a White woman left unharmed a White man convicted of raping an eight year old girl. Since Ms. Well’s viewed lynching as primarily an economic issue, she hoped that economic pressure from the “ruling-class Whites” could produce southern social change. She began a lecture tour in the Northeast in 1892 and in 1894 she lectured in England where she helped organize the British Anti-Lynching Society. Ms. Wells was able to effect a curtailment of British investment in the South by suggesting that this could influence American sentiment. In 1895, Ida B. Wells toured the northern and western states organizing American anti-lynching societies.
Ida B. Wells told African Americans that her analysis of mob violence suggested that it abated whenever Blacks exercised “manly self-defense.” In “Southern Horrors” she suggested, “a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every Black home.” She also told Blacks that they must retaliate with their economic power. She urged Blacks to boycott White businesses or to migrate to Oklahoma since Black labor was the industrial strength of the South. She said: “The more the Afro-American yields and cringes and begs, the more he has to do so, the more he is insulted, outraged, and lynched.”
Since Southern courts would not punish lynching participants, Ms. Wells lobbied for legislation that would make lynching a federal crime. In 1901, Ida B. Wells met with President William McKinley and pressed for his support with anti-lynching legislation. However, she could not get McKinley or Theodore Roosevelt to support an anti-lynching bill that was introduced in Congress in 1902. As one of the founding members of the NAACP in 1909, she made her anti-lynching campaign including anti-lynching legislation among the NAACP’s highest priorities. The NAACP investigated specific incidents and published national statistics on lynching in an attempt to sway public support to put a stop to lynching. In 1918, the NAACP was able to get Republican Congressman Leonidas Dyer to introduce a bill that subjected lynch mobs to a charge of capital murder for their actions. The Dyer Bill passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate because southern Democrats never allowed the bill out of committee. Congressman Dyer re-introduced the bill each year for the next ten years, but it never again passed either house.
As a result of the life-long crusade of Ida B. Wells against lynching, she became the inspiration for organizations throughout the country that opposed lynching. For example, The American Civil Liberties Union, The Commission on Interracial Cooperation, and The Communist Party of the United States all played a role in the anti-lynching campaign. Ironically, White middle class Southern women for whom lynching was suppose to protect, formed the Jessie Daniel Ames Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in 1930. In honor of her legacy, a low-income housing project in Chicago was named after Ida B. Wells in 1941; and in 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued an Ida B. Wells commemorative stamp. The “militant,” “uncompromising,” “outspoken,” and “fearless” Ida B. Wells can surely look back upon her life as a genuine success in helping to end one of the most horrific chapters in African American history.
Linkable books from Amazon.com
Adams. R. (1969) Great Negroes: Past and Present. Chicago: Afro-Am Publishing Co., Inc.
Appiah, K. & Gates, H. (eds.) (1999) Africana. New York: Basis Civitas Books.
Aptheker, B. (ed.) (1977) Lynching and Rape: An Exchange of Views. American Institute for Marxist Studies.
Aptheker, H. (1951) A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States. New York: Citadel Press
Bennett, L. (1975) The Shaping of Black America. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co.
Bennett, L. (1988) Before the Mayflower. New York: Penguin Books.
Davis, M. (1982) Contributions of Black Women to America. Columbia, South Carolina; Kenday Press.
Duster, A. (1970) Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Franklin, J. & Meier, A. (eds.) (1982) Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Illinois Press
Franklin, J. (1988) From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Lerner, G. (ed.) (1973) Black Women in White America. A Documentary History. New York: Vintage Books.
Low, A. & Glift, V. (eds.) (1983) Encyclopedia of Black America. New York: Neal Schuman Publishers.
Sally, C. (1993) The Black 100. New York: Carol Publishing Group.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
My brother/friend Albert Davis sent this article. It's written by a great journalist, Greg Palast, about the behind the scenes drama to get a new governor for the state of New York. This journalist is cool at the level of Chauncey Bailey, Edward R. Murrow, Hunter Thompson, and Gary Webb.
The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked
By Greg Palast
Reporting for Air America Radio's Clout
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an "escort" $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington , just down the road, George Bush's new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.
Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there's a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush's man Bernanke was using ours.
This week, Bernanke's Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks' mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.
Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers' bordello: Eliot Spitzer.
Who are they kidding? Spitzer's lynching and the bankers' enriching are intimately tied.
How? Follow the money.
The press has swallowed Wall Street's line that millions of US families are about to lose their homes because they bought homes they couldn't afford or took loans too big for their wallets. Ba-LON-ey. That's blaming the victim.
Here's what happened. Since the Bush regime came to power, a new species of loan became the norm, the "sub-prime" mortgage and its variants including loans with teeny "introductory" interest rates. From out of nowhere, a company called "Countrywide" became America 's top mortgage lender, accounting for one in five home loans, a large chuck of these "sub-prime."
Here's how it worked: The Grinning Family, with US average household income, gets a $200,000 mortgage at 4% for two years. Their $955 a month payment is 25% of their income. No problem. Their banker promises them a new mortgage, again at the cheap rate, in two years. But in two years, the promise ain't worth a can of spam and the Grinnings are told to scram - because their house is now worth less than the mortgage. Now, the mortgage hits 9% or $1,609 plus fees to recover the "discount" they had for two years. Suddenly, payments equal 42% to 50% of pre-tax income. Grinnings move into their Toyota .
Now, what kind of American is "sub-prime." Guess. No peeking. Here's a hint: 73% of HIGH INCOME Black and Hispanic borrowers were given sub-prime loans versus 17% of similar-income Whites. Dark-skinned borrowers aren't stupid - they had no choice. They were "steered" as it's called in the mortgage sharking business.
"Steering," sub-prime loans with usurious kickers, fake inducements to over-borrow, called "fraudulent conveyance" or "predatory lending" under US law, were almost completely forbidden in the olden days (Clinton Administration and earlier) by federal regulators and state laws as nothing more than fancy loan-sharking.
But when the Bush regime took over, Countrywide and its banking brethren were told to party hardy - it was OK now to steer'm, fake'm, charge'm and take'm.
But there was this annoying party-pooper. The Attorney General of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who sued these guys to a fare-thee-well. Or tried to.
Instead of regulating the banks that had run amok, Bush's regulators went on the warpath against Spitzer and states attempting to stop predatory practices. Making an unprecedented use of the legal power of "federal pre-emption," Bush-bots ordered the states to NOT enforce their consumer protection laws.
Indeed, the feds actually filed a lawsuit to block Spitzer's investigation of ugly racial mortgage steering. Bush's banking buddies were especially steamed that Spitzer hammered bank practices across the nation using New York State laws.
Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its funder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup's Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers. They did this through a bit of financial legerdemain called "securitization."
What that means is that they took a bunch of junk mortgages, like the Grinnings, loans about to go down the toilet and re-packaged them into "tranches" of bonds which were stamped "AAA" - top grade - by bond rating agencies. These gold-painted turds were sold as sparkling safe investments to US school district pension funds and town governments in Finland (really).
When the housing bubble burst and the paint flaked off, investors were left with the poop and the bankers were left with bonuses. Countrywide's top man, Angelo Mozilo, will "earn" a $77 million buy-out bonus this year on top of the $656 million - over half a billion dollars - he pulled in from 1998 through 2007.
But there were rumblings that the party would soon be over. Angry regulators, burned investors and the weight of millions of homes about to be boarded up were causing the sharks to sink. Countrywide's stock was down 50%, and Citigroup was off 38%, not pleasing to the Gulf sheiks who now control its biggest share blocks.
Then, on Wednesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. Carlyle Capital went bankrupt. Who? That's Carlyle as in Carlyle Group. James Baker, Senior Counsel. Notable partners, former and past: George Bush, the Bin Laden family and more dictators, potentates, pirates and presidents than you can count.
The Fed had to act. Bernanke opened the vault and dumped $200 billion on the poor little suffering bankers. They got the public treasure - and got to keep the Grinning's house. There was no "quid" of a foreclosure moratorium for the "pro quo" of public bail-out. Not one family was saved - but not one banker was left behind.
Every mortgage sharking operation shot up in value. Mozilo's Countrywide stock rose 17% in one day. The Citi sheiks saw their company's stock rise $10 billion in an afternoon.
And that very same day the bail-out was decided - what a coinkydink! - the man called, "The Sheriff of Wall Street" was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced.
Do I believe the banks called Justice and said, "Take him down today!" Naw, that's not how the system works. But the big players knew that unless Spitzer was taken out, he would create enough ruckus to spoil the party. Headlines in the financial press - one was "Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer" - made clear to Bush's enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn't Bin Laden.
It was the night of February 13 when Spitzer made the bone-headed choice to order take-out in his Washington Hotel room. He had just finished signing these words for the Washington Post about predatory loans:
"Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which he federal government was turning a blind eye."
Bush, said Spitzer right in the headline, was the "Predator Lenders' Partner in Crime." The President, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet.
Spitzer wrote, "When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably."
But now, the Administration can rest assured that this love story - of Bush and his bankers - will not be told by history at all - now that the Sheriff of Wall Street has fallen on his own gun.
A note on "Prosecutorial Indiscretion."
Back in the day when I was an investigator of racketeers for government, the federal prosecutor I was assisting was deciding whether to launch a case based on his negotiations for airtime with 60 Minutes. I'm not allowed to tell you the prosecutor's name, but I want to mention he was recently seen shouting, " Florida is Rudi country! Florida is Rudi country!"
Not all crimes lead to federal bust or even public exposure. It's up to something called "prosecutorial discretion."
Funny thing, this "discretion." For example, Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, paid Washington DC prostitutes to put him diapers (ewww!), yet the Senator was not exposed by the US prosecutors busting the pimp-ring that pampered him.
Naming and shaming and ruining Spitzer - rarely done in these cases - was made at the "discretion" of Bush's Justice Department.
Or maybe we should say, 'indiscretion.'
Greg Palast, former investigator of financial fraud, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
Monday, March 24, 2008
My beloved New York is now ruled by people who stood silent in the face of AIDS, crack and environmental racism found in Harlem, the land of the disempowerment zone.
New York is now controlled by men who are still silent on 80 election districts with ZERO votes for Obama, some of those districts in Harlem.
We are being legislated to death. It's up to us to save ourselves because the poverty pimps have been given the keys to the safe.
Bend over or stand up and fight. Wisdom says, stand up and fight.
Monday, March 10, 2008
"Breaking: Spitzer's Sex Life Is Weapon of Mass Distraction for Bunch of Bad News for Bush 10 Mar 2008 By Lori Price On Monday, we learned: The Iraq war will top 3 trillion dollars; a former Pentagon official has written a book attacking the CIA and other US officials over the US-led Iraq war; 5 US soldiers were killed in a Baghdad blast; an Iraqi tribal leader - the head of an 'Awakening Council' - and three others were killed in a Diyala province suicide bombing; CIA torture will continue, per Bush; the House Judiciary Committee has filed suit to force two White House officials to provide information about the firing of U.S. attorneys; oil has soared to $108 per barrel; gas prices have reached a new record; a lawsuit has been filed claiming that the Fish and Wildlife Service is now in breach of its own mandate; an AP investigation has revealed that a vast array of pharmaceuticals are in the US water supply. But, here is the mainstream media's headline: Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring."
Lori, http://www.legitgov.org/ thanks for your great insight. Good catch. As I watch the news of the New York governor, I'm seeing scenes from Casablanca 'I'm shocked, there's gambling going on here...Here's your winnings sir...Thanks.'
Weapon of mass distraction is an understatement. Only fools are shocked that the governor of New York is corrupt. How else could there be 80 precincts, some in Harlem, with zero votes for Obama in this year's primary election and nobody in government says anything.
"Unofficial Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote -http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/16/nyregion/16vote.html
Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.
Counting the Results
That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district."
The only real headline is
NY GETS IT'S FIRST BLACK GOVERNOR
but it will take a bit for folks to realize that.
Text From a 1989 New York Times Letter To The Editor Article
Still Waiting for That First Black Governor
Published: July 3, 1989LEAD: To the Editor:
To the Editor:
The article describing the opposition to the Bush Administration's nomination of William Lucas to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division errs in one respect (news story, May 10): You reported that ''Mr. Lucas, a Republican . . . would have become the nation's first black governor since Reconstruction had he won his 1986 campaign in Michigan.''
During Reconstruction, the decade between 1867 and 1877, the Federal Government, as a result of the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution and other civil rights legislation, took steps to enfranchise former slaves for their participation in the nation's electoral process.
Blacks sought elective offices in local, county, state and Federal Governments. Blacks were elected to important positions and served as lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, speaker of the house, justice of the state supreme court, state superintendent of education and state senators and representatives by the hundreds. Between 1870, when Joseph H. Rainey was elected to the 41st Congress from South Carolina, and 1901, when George H. White, a North Carolina attorney, ended his second term in the 50th House, 22 black men served in the Congress.
But no black has ever been elected to a state governership in the en-tire history of the United States.
During Reconstruction, one black man came close. P. B. S. Pinchback was elected lieutenant governor of Louisiana in 1872 and served as acting governor when Gov. Henry Warmouth was debarred from his office during impeachment proceedings. Pinchback aspired to the governorship and had a chance at the nomination as the Republican Party split into two conventions. But instead the Legislature elected Pinchback to the United States Senate. However, his election was disputed and he was never seated. STANLEY TURKEL New York,
June 12, 1989
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
We've already had 5 Black United States presidents which would make Barack Obama the sixth Black president of the United States according to Dr. Leroy Vaughn in his groundbreaking book BLACK PEOPLE AND THEIR PLACE IN WORLD HISTORY.
I support Barack Obama because he has clearly demonstrated the ability to bridge America into the best nation she can be. Networking all races, economic groups and religious styles is a powerful way to create constructive change.
We, the human race, are overcoming now. We have the answers to our problems, we just need the courage, the balls to implement what we know we must do in this, the information age when we are limited only by our imaginations, which are awesome.
Vote Obama '08. I am.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem's 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.
That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city's 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.
City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.
In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116.
The history of New York elections has been punctuated by episodes of confusion, incompetence and even occasional corruption. And election officials and lawyers for both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton agree that it is not uncommon for mistakes to be made by weary inspectors rushing on election night to transcribe columns of numbers that are delivered first to the police and then to the news media.
That said, in a presidential campaign in which every vote at the Democratic National Convention may count, a swing of even a couple of hundred votes in New York might help Mr. Obama gain a few additional delegates.
City election officials said they were convinced that there was nothing sinister to account for the inaccurate initial counts, and The Times's review found a handful of election districts in the city where Mrs. Clinton received zero votes in the initial results.
"It looked like a lot of the numbers were wrong, probably the result of human error," said Marcus Cederqvist, who was named executive director of the Board of Elections last month. He said such discrepancies between the unofficial and final count rarely affected the raw vote outcome because "they're not usually that big."
On primary night, Mrs. Clinton was leading with 57 percent to Mr. Obama's 40 percent in New York State, which meant she stood to win 139 delegates to Mr. Obama's 93, with 49 others known as superdelegates going to the national convention unaffiliated.
Jerome A. Koenig, a former chief of staff to the State Assembly's election law committee and a lawyer for the Obama campaign, suggested that some of the discrepancy resulted from the design of the ballot.
Candidates were listed from left to right in an order selected by drawing lots. Mrs. Clinton was first, followed by Gov. Bill Richardson and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., who in most election districts received zero votes, and by John Edwards, who got relatively few. Mr. Obama was fifth, just before Representative Dennis J. Kucinich.
Mr. Koenig said he seriously doubted that anything underhanded was at work because local politicians care more about elections that matter specifically to them.
"They steal votes for elections like Assembly District leader, where people have a personal stake," he said.
A number of political leaders also scoffed at the possibility that local politicians, even if they considered it vital that Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton prevail in the primary, were capable of even trying to hijack such a contest.
Still, for those inclined to consider conspiracy theories, the figures provided plenty of grist.
The 94th Election District in Harlem, for instance, sits within the Congressional district represented by Charles B. Rangel, an original supporter of Mrs. Clinton.
Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright, a Clinton supporter who represents the same area, said he was confident that there was an innocent explanation for the original count giving Mr. Obama zero votes.
"I'm sure it's a clerical error of some sort," Mr. Wright said. "Being around elections for the last 25 years, no candidate receives zero votes."
But Gordon J. Davis, a former New York City parks commissioner and an Obama poll watcher in the district, remained skeptical, even after being informed of the corrected count.
"First it was reported at 141 to 0, now it's 261 to 136 in an Assembly district that went 12,000 to 8,000 for Barack," Mr. Davis said on Friday.
"I was watching like a hawk, but how did I know the machine had a mind of its own?" he added. "And I speak as one who grew up on the South Side of Chicago where we delivered the margin of victory for John F. Kennedy at 4 in the morning."
At the sprawling Riverside Park Community apartments at Broadway and 135th Street, Alician D. Barksdale said she had voted for Mr. Obama and her daughter had, too, by absentee ballot.
"Everyone around here voted for him," she said.
The 53rd Assembly District, in Brooklyn, is represented by the borough's Democratic chairman, Assemblyman Vito P. Lopez, another Clinton supporter. He said the party faithful have produced lopsided margins of as much as 160 to 4 and that on Primary Day he fielded election captains in every district to galvanize Hispanic voters for Mrs. Clinton.
"We ran it the old-fashioned way," he said. Still, he said, the 118 to 0 vote "has to be a mistake."
At the Archive, a cafe and video store on the border of Bushwick and East Williamsburg, the manager, Brad Lee, agreed. "There were Obama posters in everyone's windows," he said. "There was even Obama graffiti."
Most election-night anomalies are later reconciled by the official canvass of the machines and in the formal count of absentee returns and of paper affidavit ballots issued on Primary Day, to people who do not appear to be eligible but demand the right to vote, and later validated.
On Feb. 5, Mrs. Clinton carried 61 of the state's 62 counties but won Brooklyn by a margin of less than 2 percent. Because delegates are awarded proportionately on the basis of the primary vote in each Congressional district, Obama supporters expressed hope that if the official count continued in their favor, they might gain an additional delegate or two.
Kate Hammer and Robin Stein contributed reporting."
END ARTICLE - ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
Surprise, another stolen election in Harlem.
When I was working with Albert Davis who ran against Charles Rangel in the 90's, I truly believed we had the confidence of the people from street campaigning. Folks in Harlem were tired of being sold out, endangered and flat out lied to by the Wrangler and his crew of poverty pimps.
During the street fight level campaign, Albert and his friend Erling Rohde had rigged up the top of a van that we stood on with a bullhorn going up, down and across the streets of Harlem talking about the horrors of Harlem under the Wrangler's rule. It was rickety and our prayers were answered that nobody fell off or that we were right that the police don't care about the safety of the people, only getting paid.
What we heard back was a cry from the people who were/are tired of being scammed.
Riverbank State Park still has children exercising and playing over an open sewer, North River. Harlem, much of which is below sea level with open ends at either river, is unprotected when the ice caps melt and the ocean rises.
Without Harlem's poverty pimps electing themselves over and over again, they would have spoken out about AIDS, crack, lack of computerization, environmental and economic problems, job and small business opportunities unlike the Clinton/Rangel disempowerment zones of the '90's. The list is long of the harmful results of stolen elections in Harlem.
The dead have been outvoting the living in Harlem since at least the Wrangler stole the congressional seat from Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Kitchen table petitions, broken machines, thrown out votes, data entry folks hired based on political affiliation rather than can they type - disqualifying voters at the polls, the list is long of the examples of the rape of the American vote, especially in Harlem. When Albert pulled together a team of citizens to audit the Board of Elections they ended up shutting down the machines we found so many typographical errors in their computers compared to the voter registration cards.
The media was silent when we shared our results with them. Like now, with the exception of the then new NY1, the media blackout on alternative candidates held.
Harlem is full of poverty pimps who need poverty to pimp to keep their jobs. Hillary Clinton understands this and enjoys the support of Harlem's "elected and appointed officials."
Like in New Hampshire
New Hampshire Primary - Sham of Custody
and other places that say the people who want change want the industrial/military/congressional complex candidates, Clinton and McCain, let's me know that a stolen election is a stolen election, be it Harlem, New Hampshire, Ohio, etc.
The question is how to clean it up in time for the general election. From what I see, no matter how many votes are stolen now, they can't stuff the ballot boxes fast enough to turn this situation around in their favor.
1. We need to give the vote the value of a dollar and track it down to the penny. Verification of how a person voted should be available for the citizen to access to assure the accuracy of their votes should be traceable at up to 100 points from the vote to who got credit for it.
2. Hire competent people at the various Board of Elections who can accurately type the information from a voter's reg card to the system. Use a two typist system plus scan if necessary to cross check the accuracy.
3. Make on line voting available like absentee ballots for everyone. Do a video vote back-up and upload it if needed. A vote is worth more than a dollar and if the web has the free space to show a dog pissing, it can hold a voters vote.
4. Like picture booths, receipts at the election polling places can be printed out like photos at an arcade.
5. Audit past elections and remove folks who did not win in reality, like Congressman Charles Rangel, who, based on this report of NO ballots for Obama in Harlem, just got caught with his hands in the cookie jar. President Bush didn't win the last two elections either.
Without integrity in voting, we have no democracy.
One man one vote. Anything else is just more BS.
Where's the votes?
Friday, February 01, 2008
Reverend James David Manning
Thank you for your heroic stand against Harlem's biggest poverty pimp, Congressman Charles Rangel, HNIC, Harlem. The Wrangler has got to go.
After working on Albert Davis's campaign in the early 90's, helping train over 3,000 folks as the Computer Underground Railroad in the mid 90's, and doing extensive environmental research throughout, I left Harlem in '98 with the understanding that there was no way to get him out of office at the time.
Like Josephine Baker said, the times they are a changin'.
Under Congressman Rangel, Harlem lost her hope. He was in charge when the CIA targeted the best and the brightest under Iran Contra and let crack raid the streets of Harlem, where there are no poppy fields. His silence was the ticket needed to infect the population with hopelessness.
Despite his note to you that reveals that in 2007 he was not yet computer literate, he is making no positive economic, educational and politcal contibutions to anything other than himself and those he serves. Harlem is rotting under his leadership and the poverty pimps he has set up to take over, have no grander plans than he. Their concept of a good idea is to build more tall buildings on the earthquake fault line known as 125th Street, below sea level at the beginning of global warming, rather than build sea walls for the projected ocean level rising. Instead, he's still jail not jobs for the people of Harlem.
With leadership like you, Rev. Manning, Harlem can be restored to the land of hope, just outside of midtown.
Is it the air from the 5 open sewers around Harlem* that is causing them to live in illusion rather than deal with the real issues of life like cancer rates, cloned foods - dirty water, failing highway system, global warming, economic and political corruption, war, educational crisis, doomed social security system, etc. Or is it just greed and ego?
Their participation in a system that has legislated us to death is legendary and shameful. Yet stolen election after stolen election, like what happened in the New Hampshire primary in January, 2008 is still the order of the day.
These men stay in power while America is on her death bed, guilty of torture, murder and pollution under their leadership, current and past. Global warming is in process and America's coastal cities are just waiting for something to happen, rather than take a pro-active stand.
Congressman Rangel, rather than just legalize hemp and tax it at 20%, has a tax plan that's difficult to understand, adding more stress to daily life. Rather than shift to hemp biofuel for energy, he supports the draft. War is not the answer my brother Charles. It's like he wants all of America to be like the disempowerment zone he created in the 90's in Harlem.
But Congressman Rangel has been out done by Bill Clinton who still says that 9/11 happened because of Osama bin Laden and 19 folks from Saudi Arabia.
See, the problem with being senile, or flat out telling a lie, is that it's tough to remember the details when called upon.
Call me what you want, but the truth is the truth. WTC 1, 2 and 7 did not fall down, burn up nor were knocked over. The flames did not get hot enough to do that. All recorded sound is of explosions, not falling. Material was pulverized, not crushed.
The Mayor was paid in a software contract with Homeland Security. The owner of the buildings was paid in a large insurance settlement.
When the head of the EPA lied and said there was no danger in the dust from the exploded buildings, neither Charles Rangel, Bill Clinton nor his wife Senator Hillary Clinton said a word about the danger in public. They just all led us in a process of national prayer for the victims, without saying that the victims were not limited to that day.
I'm an old woman in the middle of the Mohave Desert and I was screaming to get those people out of there. I was told they couldn't leave because the city was on lock down. If any one of them had said anything, the people in Manhattan could have been spared days of exposure to the toxic dust.
So I ask, are they senile? It takes senility or worse to believe that a dialysis patient with 19 friends picked the right moment when the military was on a scheduled exercise to run the story the way it went. They were even smart enough to fly a plane with pinpoint accuracy into the Pentagon and not leave a trace of the plane on the grounds.
Look you yourself and research "9/11 Truth", or "9/11 was an inside job".
My oh my.
Here's the information on the 5 sewers. I left Harlem in 1998 after I went to North River and Ward's Island sewers and saw how little attention was being paid to the process and the danger it posed to the community.
When I met with Congressman Rangel at a 'disempowerment zone' meeting to talk about this and other environmental issues his eyes glazed over. From what I read on the web, though they put in machines to control the funk at North River, the dangers of air borne mutating virus and voc's are still there.
*5 open sewers around Harlem
North River, Wards Island, Tallmans Island, Hunts Point and Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plants:
The two most obvious, North River (135th & Hudson River, 10027) and Wards Island (Wards Island, NYC 10035) Water Pollution Control Plants (Sewage Treatment Plants) are on the west side of Harlem and in the river off of the east side respectively.
In great part due to the open windows at all ends of the North River Water Pollution Control Plant, and outdoor tanks at Wards Island, Harlem is breathing, daily, volatile organic compounds (VOC's -airborne living organisms) from these sewage tanks.
Across the river on the east side, Harlem is also close to Hunts Point Water Pollution Control Plant, Tallmans Island Water Pollution Control Plant, and Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plant. Click right to see a list of the NYC sewer system
What the folks in charge were failing to do is cover the secondary tanks. They keep the conversation on odor and flow, which are not killing anybody. What they need to be studying is what is going on with mutating virus kept at warm.