Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Here's the Racist Video Produced by the Church Behind 'Burn a Koran Day'
Here are pastors Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp of Florida's Dove World Outreach Center, the church planning to burn Korans on 9/11, saying the N-word over and over to make some stupid, Dr. Laura-esque point about racial double standards.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Not long ago, Newark, New Jersey was a cesspool of corruption and the butt of late night comedy show jokes. Former mayor Sharp James had created a fiefdom of larceny and crime of a scale that defied belief. Today, we are presented with the Bronx parallel of State Senator Pedro Espada's district. And as Corey Booker dared to unseat Sharp James, we now have the promise of Gustavo Rivera who can do the same to Pedro Espada.
Rivera is a new vision for the Bronx. Untainted by the real estate conglomerate, he has been endorsed by several political notables including Ed Koch. His academic background is a refreshing credential for a district that has been governed by leaders who have kept their constituency politically illiterate for their own convenience.
There is speculation that Rivera's other opponent, Daniel Padernacht was drafted by both Espada and assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz to siphon votes away from Rivera. In a recent turn of events, Dinowitz has covered his tracks by endorsing Rivera. As for Padernacht, one has to ask how many campaign speeches he has delivered in Spanish and even his working knowledge of Black and Latino culture.
The recession continues to loom large in the nation. In poor neighborhoods such as this 33rd district, the economic impact becomes compounded. The governance of State Senator Espada who spent $20,000 on Japanese meals in one year while the average household in his district subsisted on little more is unacceptable. Daniel Padernacht, another candidate beholden to real estate developers may show promise in future races. But for now, he should spend his time taking salsa lessons.
YFP is pleased to endorse Gustavo Rivera for state senate The future of district 33 depends on an academic approach to repair a community that has been "pimped out" by it's present leaders.
View and listen to the following unedited videos of this news conference.
video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP
Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP
Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP
Now that we've all been shocked by the cabbie stabber, let's find out about his victim, Ahmed Sharif . Damn: He can't work because of his wounds, and fund-raising efforts barely raised enough to pay for his kids' baby formula.
Update: As many have pointed out, you may donate at the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
Send an email to Adrian Chen, the author of this post, at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=http://gawker.com/5624939/cabbie+stabbing-victims-story-almost-unbelievably-sad.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
REAL ESTATE POLITICS IN THE BRONX: IS DANIEL PADERNACHT A POTTED PLANT FOR PEDRO ESPADA AND THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY?
“I’m an attorney in New York. I have represented Dr. Singh in various real estate transactions. I have read his new book A to Z of Foreclosures and I believe it is in an excellent resource not only for foreclosure investors but for all real estate professionals and even students who are looking for an informational overview on various methods on completing real estate transactions. I highly recommend this book.”
-Daniel Padernacht, Attorney at Law
By Rafael Martínez Alequín
Daniel Padernacht is running against the only candidate in a three way senatorial race who is not tied to real estate interests. Padernacht and his brother Steven manage 236 apartments in Van Cortlandt Village. He is also tied to Dr. Harsiman Singh of Sabharwal investors. A sizable conglomerate that owns shopping malls and other commercial ventures. A seemingly self styled guru of "get rich on foreclosures", Singh has made a name for himself.
This brings us to Senator Pedro Espada whose largest support basis are real estate developers. Espada's misdeeds have been well documented in the press recently. But what has not been discussed is the reluctance of some Bronx pols to rescind support of him.
As the eleventh hour for hand raising approached, Assembly Jeffrey Dinowitz made his gesture of support to newly minted candidate, Gustavo Rivera. Rivera is the fresh face in an important political race. Unblemished with corruption and jaded political experience, Rivera enters with a background of intellectual approach and an idealism that has been lacking in the district for many years. Rivera is probably the only candidate who would not "sell out" the district to developers.
There is rampant speculation that Padernacht is the offspring of Espada and Dinowitz. That he was created as a means of siphoning votes away from Rivera. Keep in mind that Dinowitz has higher political aspirations. He would need the support of Espada to climb that slippery ladder of political knighthood. It was also Dinowitz who was given the task of helping to boot Espada from office recently. He declined to act upon the request.
But now, as the evidence piles higher regarding the misdeeds of Espada, Dinowitz has been forced to make a declaration of allegiance. And although he kisses Rivera's cheek one has to wonder if it is just another version of the "Godfather's."
With all of the controversy surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque, YFP presents a different approach to holy house building. Dr. Harsiman Singh, according to his website has not only reduced unemployment in Long Island to 7% but has also built his temple through positive thinking. Perhaps some of that will influence the candidacy of his lawyer, Daniel Padernacht. Dr. Singh writes the following:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The following true events are captured in more detail in my inspirational booklet, 26 Steps to Spiritual and Financial Riches: How Spirituality Led to a $7 Million Gain. Enjoy!
It was on a Sunday, our holy day of festivity, that I attended the Gurdwara in
This scenario served as a backdrop in my mind and I felt as though I needed to turn to prayer. I pictured in my head taking a walk around my home and property. It did not take me long to realize that it is not right that my house is so big but God’s house, where our Sikh community goes to worship, celebrate, and socialize, is so small. There with the congregation of the temple, I made a commitment to myself that I would remain determined to find a suitable property for establishing a bigger temple. At this point, I promised that I would not work on my real estate ventures until I succeeded in finding an appropriate place for us to congregate and worship.
The very next day, fairly early in the morning, a real estate broker knocked on the front door of my home. He told me that he knew of a property that I might be interested in purchasing for investment purposes. We agree to view the property at
Taking the wonderful property and scenery into my mind, I was immediately reminded of my prayer and goal from the previous evening. I thought to myself ‘This cannot be for my business ventures; it must be for the community.’ After all, it is a property fit for the king of all kings. This thought simultaneously ignited in me a feeling of submission to God. I begged Him to give me the strength and positive attitude necessary to overcome any obstacle that may come my way in acquiring and claiming this great property as a location for our new temple.
As the broker could clearly see my excitement about the property, he told me that Uni Bank had lien of $8.2 million on the property which the bank intended to foreclose. I told him that I would take some time, think about the situation, and get back to him. When I went home, I rustled up statements from various banks to see what type of cash I had available to present an offer. These totals amounted to $1.2 million so that became the offer I extended to the bank. At first, I was laughed at, but I insisted that the bank official think about the offer; after all, the money I was offering was $1.2 million in money, but the prayers that came along with it carried much more weight.
In a few days, prayer, the most important and powerful ingredient in this transaction, proved to be beneficial to my cause. When the bank officials called to tell me that they would sign the contract for my special offer, I felt that my prayers had been answered and that I was blessed with the responsibility of serving God and the community. I thought to myself that this was not only a demonstration of God’s work but also of my belief, good intentions, and power of prayer. Since the appraisal of the property was over $8.2 million, with the value of the land alone over $3 million, I was very happy to know that I would be able to provide a new, large temple in a building that would cost no less than $5 million to build.
This story is of tremendous importance because obstacles were continuously presenting themselves. But I would not allow them to obstruct my path and goal of establishing the new temple. Soon after the conversation with the bank officials, I went to meet with officials of the City of
The staff of officials repeatedly told me to just “forget the project.’ Rather than letting this negativity deter me from pursuit of my goal, I relied on my positivity and faith in self to go forward, purchase the property, and face the challenges as they arise.
Inspired by the obstacles already described, I made an effort to contact the officials of the temple in
The bank officials were disillusioned by their decision to walk out and decided to sign the contract under my own name. Due to my familiarity with such business proceedings and the potential risk involved with having my name on the contract, I bore sole financial responsibility and signed the contract. Assuming the responsibility moved me to write them a check of $120,000. At this point, I knew there would be bigger challenges to overcome, so this particular obstruction further encouraged me to be more positive. The news and possibility of having a new, larger temple quickly spread to the congregation and community. As a result, the officials later began to cooperate with me and compensated me for my faithful monetary advance.
As originally anticipated after my initial discussion with them, the City of
Over the course of this process, I received offers from several prospective buyers who were willing to buy the premises from me for $4 million, thereby enabling me to make an easy profit of over $2 million. Meanwhile, the officials of the temple became so impatient with this process that they held an emergency meeting to discuss the selling of the property for only $1.6 million. It was at this time that I felt compelled to show the officials the letters I had received. I am truly thankful to God that He did not let me yield in my stride and succumb to the temptation of easy money over my selfless pursuit. I am confident that it was God who stood with me so I could maintain my integrity and the commitment I had made two years earlier.
After seeing the various letters from prospective buyers, my will to not give in gave the officials of the temple no choice but to leave me to continue my struggle with the City of
During this long, drawn-out process of getting the proper permissions for establishing the temple, the City of
Soon after I purchased the property, however, Staples Department Stores decided to build their new store very close to the
I thought about this situation a great deal. Since I could easily gain a profit of $2 million from someone other than Swezey’s, the obvious decision to make would be to sell for more money. Keeping my promise and sense of commitment in mind, I yielded to the desires of the City of
Ironically, this chain of department stores, which had been in business for over 100 years, went out of business a couple years following the establishment of their
In fact, the City of
At this point in time, the triumph of the temple was not yet complete. As I mentioned earlier, the property taxes were supposed to total around $200,000 a year. The reduction of these taxes to zero required the hiring of lawyers and many hours to achieve. As a result, the attorneys working on the tax situation demanded a fee of $57,000. Seeing that I had overcome so much in establishing the temple already, I turned to this situation with the same positive attitude and prayers. I called the attorneys and offered them a meager sum of $3,000 as compensation for their initial fee demands. Although not likely, I somehow felt it was possible because I was true in my intentions and remained strong in my commitment to my faith and the temple congregation. In response to my small offer, all I heard was the encouraging words, “Okay. Accepted.” This, of course, was very similar to the bank who sold us the property for peanuts.
In addition to these great feats, various real estate brokers and architects also waived major portions of their fees totaling roughly $50,000. Along with the Sikh temple there was to be a school set up on the premises. Remarkably, the school taxes of $115,000 were also waived.
Times in my life, such as the events of this story, have given me reassurance about the power of prayer and positive thinking. God’s plans and designs are above human comprehension. The above story may have amazed you. Perhaps, you may still be thinking about how the temple congregation became the proud owners of the sprawling 15.43 acre property, including a 32,000 square feet building, along with a five bedroom house used as a residence for the priests. Even more so, I was also able to gain, individually, the money that I initially thought I had lost. With monetary gain put aside, I also gained strength in the power of prayer and an ardent belief in the power of positive thinking.”
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Gustavo Rivera, the Democratic hopeful who wants to bump off Bronx state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. in the Sept. 14 primary election, picked up two more significant endorsements today at City Hall — Comptroller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the two highest-ranking elected Democrats in municipal government.
The two endorsers, as did Rivera, stressed that the challenger has lived in his 33rd Senate District in the northwest Bronx for many years.
Rivera, 34, was born in Puerto Rico, as was Espada, 56. But thick ethics cloud around Espada includes questions of whether he lives within his impoverished district or in upscale Mamaroneck, where he has a home.
Rivera, a longtime campaign operative for a slew of Democratic candidates, including now-President Obama, said after getting his endorsements,
“I live in a rent stabilized apartment, right in the middle of the district. I’ve been there for the past 10 years. I take the (subway) train every day. I’ve lived the same situations as this district because I am from this district. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico but came here 12 years ago, and for the last 12 years I’ve been living in the Bronx. And last year I felt compelled, I felt compelled to run because the people of this district have not been well served.”
Click through for more.
Liu said of Rivera, “ (He) has been in the community, active on a number of issues, including the most important issues to the community—education, health care, housing—Gustavo Rivera has already built a track record for himself in the community on these important issues, (and) he’s shown himself to be effective in advocating for result on these issues. And Gustavo is also somebody who will bring a much needed measure of unity in the community as well as unity in the state Senate. So I am very pleased to be here to give my full, unabated support for Gustavo River for New York State Senate.”
De Blasio said the progressive coalition of unions, elected officials and community activist that last year contributed to his and Liu’s elections has “come together” to help Rivera topple Espada.
“There is a sense in his district and also all over the city and state that this is the right man to represent that district and to help change the state Senate. I think, sadly, if you said to New Yorkers what is the one thing that they most want to see changing, that the one part of government that we need help in the most, they say the state Senate. And I’m convinced that Gustavo Rivera is going to be a difference maker, that he not only has the skills to win the race he has the skills be a great state senator, as someone who can help that body to move forward…to be good in this business you have to be in touch with the people…You can only represent a district if you’re actually in the district, living the life of the district, understanding the people’s needs. You can’t do it if you’re living a life different from your constituents, and Gustavo lives in the district, in a modest building, with people, understanding the issues, and this is the kind of guy who can actually serve the people of that district. I’m honored to support him and I’ll do everything I can to help him get elected.”
Rivera, a first-time candidate, displayed a sense of humor when I asked him what he described as a “very important, significant, pointed” question about his campaign: “Do you pay for your suits?”
“I do, sir -- matter of fact this one I got at the Woodbury Commons, at the clearance sale," he said about his neat (but unremarkable) dark business suit, a sharp contrast from Espada’s tailored duds. “This is like a $1,200 suit I got for like $185 bucks.”
Asked if he thinks Espada is a crook, Rivera also showed a veteran’s ability to duck and weave when making public pronouncement, saying, “Well I think he has not served the community well. I think he has not been what he’s supposed to be. As a state senator you’re supposed to be a representative, you’re supposed to a legislator that actually addressed the concerns of the community. I do not believe he has done that, and the people that I’m speaking to every single day, the voters from the northern part of the district all the way to the south, they all believe the same thing…that’s why I feel so positive about this race.’
Rivera, who also has the Working Families Party’s ballot line for the Nov. 2 general election, wouldn’t acknowledge the possibility he might lose the Democratic primary.
Asked if he would still run in November on the WFP line should Espada win the primary, Rivera said he would still be on the ballot. Pressed if he would “run” (and not just be technically on the ballot), he said, “I’m only focused on Sept.. 14 right now.”
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Democratic-controlled State Senate is famously divided among blocs: There is an Hispanic bloc, an African American, and progressive bloc as well as a bloc of conservative/moderate Democrats.
Now there may be another bloc: Women Against Espada.
If they get elected, that is.
Schenectady’s Susan Savage and Saratoga’s Joanne Yepsen (l-r) are among the five upstate Democratic challengers who have pledged that, if elected, they won’t vote for Pedro Espada as Majority Leader. Also joining the group, organized by activist Bill Samuels,(l) are Mary Wilmot, Robin Wilt and Kathleen Joy who are challenging incumbent Republicans James Alesi and Joe Robach in the Rochester area and John DeFrancisco in Syracuse.
“I will not be casting a vote for Pedro Espada,” said Sue Savage, chair of the Schenectady County Legislature, who is challenging incumbent Republican Hugh Farley in the 44th SD.
“If he is in the Senate he will not get my vote,” added Yepsen, a county supervisor representing Saratoga Springs, who is challenging 43rd SD incumbent Republican Roy McDonald.
Espada, if you recall, became majority leader last year in return for his coming back to the Democratic fold following the now infamous coup in which he and since-ousted Sen. Hiram Monserrate briefly joined the Republicans, creating several weeks of chaotic partisan gridlock in the upper house.
Since then, Samuels, the Democratic activist who briefly ran for Lt. Gov. earlier this year, has created a reform group, the New Roosevelt Initiative, which, among other goals, is looking to defeat or at least marginalize Espada. He working with Democratic strategist Doug Forand of Red Horse Strategies.
There are couple of observations about this whole affair.
For one thing, there is enough concern that Espada will get re-elected — despite his unpopularity with many Democrats — that some are already looking to at least keep him from having any power in the conference. The DSCC, as we noted earlier today, isn’t giving Espada any financial help but Samuel readily admits that he could get re-elected despite persistent and heavily reported campaign finance violations and legal scrutiny surrounding his other job as the operator of a health care clinic, as well as questions about whether he really resides in his Bronx district or at a home he owns in Westchester.
Samuels notes that Espada is drawing between 30 percent and 35 percent in polls for September’s primaries. The trouble is, Espada is facing a three way primary, with a potential split between his challengers, Gustavo Rivera, who has the backing of Samuels and much of the state party, and Dan Padernacht.
With that in mind, Democrats would at least like to sideline Espada if he is re-elected.
Of course, these women aren’t the only Dems who oppose Espada. Delmar’s Neil Breslin has long made his distaste for Espada well known and Liz Krueger is donating to his opponent.
If Democrats control more than the 32 seats they now have compared to the GOP’s 30, neither Espada, nor anyone for that matter, would control crucial swing votes. Women or not, Espada could be neutered if enough Dems get elected in November. With a total of 10 women running for Senate on the Democratic line, and two GOP candidates in the mix as well, that issue almost becomes irrelevant.
Both Savage and Yepsen noted that their opponents during last year’s coup supported Espada’s switching sides. But to be fair, even Samuels admits that the Democrats “made a deal with the devil,” in bringing him back and bowing to his demands for a leadership position.
“Both parties are to blame,” said Samuels, who named the New Roosevelt Initiative for Eleanor Roosevelt.
“We want Espada to know if he wins it’s going to be a pyrrhic victory.”
State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. may have rolled out a few endorsements today, but not EVERYONE's excited to see him hang on to his seat -- particularly the Bill Samuels-run New Roosevelt Initiative, a reform group that's backing Espada primary rival Gustavo Rivera.
Here's their unique promo for an upcoming event...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
BY Kenneth Lovett
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 4:00 AM
ALBANY - Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. is a deadbeat on thousands of dollars in state fines despite repeated promises to pay up, state officials charge.
The Bronx Democrat still owes the state Board of Elections $10,310 for failing to turn over timely financial disclosure forms, board spokesman John Conklin told the Daily News on Tuesday.
Espada had vowed to pay off the full balance of his penalty - $13,553 - when Senate President Malcolm Smith threatened to take formal action against him last year.
He's coughed up a paltry $3,243 since his promise.
"It's a disgrace," said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "After repeated promises to do otherwise, the majority leader is still in violation of the state election law."
Espada racked up the fines two years ago for failing to register 41periodic campaign spending reports as required by law.
He's since handed over just 20 backdated reports, Conklin said.
Watchdogs say that without the reports there is no way of knowing who contributes to Espada's campaigns - or how he spends the money.
"We knew he was an extortionist, holding the chamber up for ransom, but now he's a deadbeat, too," one exasperated Senate Democratic colleague scoffed, noting the coup effort Espada led last summer.
Neither Espada, who faces a tough three-way primary on Sept. 14, nor his spokesman could be reached for comment.
It's his latest black eye: He's accused by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of siphoning $14million from his Bronx-based Soundview health clinics.
And a high-end Manhattan tailor is suing Espada for walking out on a $7,200 tab for six custom suits.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
LONDON (Aug. 24) -- A Catholic priest was behind a series of car bombs that killed nine civilians in a Northern Irish village in 1972 and was subsequently protected from prosecution by a conspiracy involving the church, police and the British government, an investigation has found. The British government today said it was "profoundly sorry" about its role the cover-up, while Northern Ireland's Catholic Church said it accepted the findings, but rejected any claims of a conspiracy. On the morning of July 31, 1972, three vehicles exploded within moments of each other on the main street of Claudy, a village 60 miles northwest of Belfast. The attack, one of the most brutal in the three decades of violence known as "the Troubles," left nine people dead, including an 8-year-old girl, two teenagers and a mother of eight. The victims came from both the Protestant and Catholic communities.
The Rev. James Chesney is shown in an undated file photo. An investigation has revealed details about his involvement in one of Northern Ireland's worst terrorist atrocities, the 1972 bombing of the Northern Irish village of Claudy. No one was ever charged with carrying out the massacre. However, it has long been suspected that the Rev. James Chesney -- who soon after the attack was transferred from his parish in the nearby village of Bellaghy to the Irish Republic, beyond the reach of British prosecutors -- was the Irish Republican Army militant who plotted the attack. At the time, the IRA denied responsibility for the blasts, presumably out of fear that it would lose support from its mainly Catholic supporters. Now a long-awaited investigation by Northern Ireland's police ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, has revealed Chesney's involvement in the mass murder, and the cover-up that allowed him to escape trial.
The report notes that detectives with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which originally led the investigation into the blasts, concluded "that the priest was the IRA's director of operations in South Derry and was alleged to have been directly involved in the bombings and other terrorist incidents."However, a senior police officer was concerned that the arrest of a priest could fuel further bloodshed between the Protestant and Catholic communities -- 500 people were killed in sectarian violence in 1972, and the province threatened to descend into all-out civil war. So he asked the British government if it would work with the Catholic Church to "render harmless a dangerous priest." As a result, William Whitelaw, the British government's secretary of state for Northern Ireland, contacted the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal William Conway, to see if Chesney could be quietly shuffled out of Northern Ireland.
However, they placed all blame for Chesney's escape from justice on local police. "This case should have been properly investigated and resolved during Father Chesney's lifetime," they said. "If there was sufficient evidence to link him to criminal activity, he should have been arrested and questioned at the earliest opportunity, like anyone else. "It is thought that Chesney signed up with the IRA in early 1972 after being outraged by the Bloody Sunday massacre in January, when British paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march in the city of Derry, killing 13 innocent protesters.
Chesney supposedly told "Father Liam" that he had wanted to give advance warnings of the bombs and give people time to clear the streets. However, when the IRA men stopped in the nearby town of Dungiven, they couldn't find a working telephone box. "This horrible affair has been with me now for 30 years, and it has been hanging over me like a black cloud," "Father Liam" wrote. "I must talk to someone in authority before I die. I am an old man now, and I must meet my maker with a clear conscience.
I feel so sorry for the Catholic people who had to listen to that about their own church. They have been let down, and I have been let down by the government I pay my taxes to." Eakin added that the British government could start to atone for its failure to prosecute Chesney by pursuing the other men thought to have been involved in the bombing. "More than an apology, I would like to see somebody brought to justice for this," he said.
By KEVIN SACK
Published: March 29, 1996
ATLANTA, March 28— Southern Baptist officials today denounced efforts by leaders of a small south Georgia church to disinter the body of a mixed-race baby who was buried last week in the church's all-white cemetery.
But officials with the state and national Baptist conventions, which have recently taken stands against racism, said they were prohibited from expelling or otherwise sanctioning the church, which abandoned its effort this week under criticism. The officials said strict rules protect the autonomy of the country's 40,000 Southern Baptist congregations.
On Monday night, three days after the burial of Whitney Elaine Johnson, who died 19 hours after birth, a deacon of the Barnetts Creek Baptist Church in Thomasville, Ga., apparently told the infant's family that church leaders wanted the tiny coffin moved to another cemetary.
"He said they don't allow half-breeds in their cemetery," Sylvia K. Leverett, the baby's maternal grandmother, said she was told by a deacon of her church, Logan Lewis. "He said, 'That's a 100 percent white cemetery.' "
Mr. Lewis could not be reached for comment today. He was quoted in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying, "There's not any mixing of cemeteries anywhere in this area. If someone white asked to be buried in a black cemetery, he'd be a laughing stock."
The child, born to 18-year-old Jaime L. Wireman, who is white, and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Johnson, 25, who is black, died because she did not have a fully formed skull.
Ms. Wireman said she and Mr. Johnson, who live together in a trailer, have been repeatedly harassed during their two-year relationship. She said they have been kicked out of pool halls and bowling alleys and have been pelted on the roadside with rocks and bottles thrown from passing cars.
Leon VanLandingham, the part-time pastor of the 130-member church, said today that the church deacons never formally voted to request the baby's removal from the family plot in the graveyard. They did vote, he said, to write the funeral home to complain that "they were concerned about being deceived" about the baby's race, which he said was not apparent until Friday's open-casket funeral. The church has no black members.
After the dispute was publicized on Wednesday by local newspapers and television stations, the church abandoned any effort to move the coffin.
"For the record, the baby will not be moved," Mr. VanLandingham said today, his eyes welling with tears. "We are all aware that God is no respecter of persons. We are also aware that we are part of an imperfect world and in our own imperfection we find ourselves having to make uninformed and or misinformed decisions and then having to live with the outcome."
The incident has dismayed leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination that was founded in large part in defense of slavery and that has struggled with racial issues throughout its 151-year history.
Only last year, the Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant denomination, passed a landmark resolution to "repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery" and to "apologize to all African-Americans for condoning and perpetuating individual and systemic racism."
In reaction to the Barnetts Creek incident, the Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention issued statements today referring to the resolution's call for Baptists to "eradicate racism in all its forms" from Southern Baptist life and ministry. Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Christian Life Commission, issued a statement calling the incident "reprehensible and an embarrassment to the gospel of Christ."
He added: "I would urge the church deacons to consider the fact that their church is under the lordship of Christ. They are not autonomous in relation to Him, and He has made it clear that racism in any form is the antithesis of His gospel."
But the convention statements also stressed that the organizations had no authority over their member churches. In recent years, however, local, state and national Southern Baptist associations have moved to expel churches that violated convention policies against the hiring of female ministers or that seemed to endorse homosexual behavior.
In 1992, for instance, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina voted to oust a Raleigh church that blessed the "union" of two homosexual men, and a Chapel Hill church that sponsored the ordination of a gay minister. Later that year, the Southern Baptist Convention amended its constitution to ban churches that approved of homosexuality.
In 1987, the Shelby Baptist Association, a county organization in western Tennessee, banished a Memphis church that hired a female pastor. That church later left the Southern Baptist Convention on its own.
Several seminarians and academic authorities on the Southern Baptist Convention said today that they had never before heard of a church dispute over the burial of a person of mixed race. But they said they occasionally heard that churches refused membership to interracial couples.
Bill J. Leonard, chairman of the department of religion and philosophy at Samford University, a Baptist college in Birmingham, said the Barnetts Creek case shows that "racism in the Christian church and among Southern Baptists is still a deep wound that can be opened at any time."
Mrs. Leverett said that her family would be leaving Barnetts Creek. And she recalled today that at Whitney's funeral, when the baby was laid to rest wearing a white dress with pink ribbons, Mr. VanLandingham "preached how she was a child of God, how she had a purpose to be here, and that it might take many years or just a few days to find out what that purpose was."
"Now I know what her purpose was," Mrs. Leverett said. "It was to open people's eyes to what's going on in these churches."
Hitler’s involvement with the Church:
a) Hitler was baptized as Roman Catholic during infancy in Austria.
b) As Hitler approached boyhood he attended a monastery school. (On his way to school young Adolf daily observed a stone arch which was carved with the monastery’s coat of arms bearing a swastika.)
c) Hitler was a communicant and an altar boy in the Catholic Church.
d) As a young man he was confirmed as a “soldier of Christ.” His most ardent goal at the time was to become a priest. Hitler writes of his love for the church and clergy: “I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal.” -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
e) Hitler was NEVER excommunicated nor condemned by his church. Matter of fact the Church felt he was JUST and “avenging for God” in attacking the Jews for they deemed the Semites the killers of Jesus.
f) Hitler, Franco and Mussolini were given VETO power over whom the pope could appoint as a bishop in Germany, Spain and Italy. In turn they surtaxed the Catholics and gave the money to the Vatican. Hitler wrote a speech in which he talks about this alliance, this is an excerpt: “The fact that the Vatican is concluding a treaty with the new Germany means the acknowledgement of the National Socialist state by the Catholic Church. This treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism [Nazism] is hostile to religion is a lie.” Adolf Hitler, 22 July 1933, writing to the Nazi Party
g) Hitler worked CLOSELY with Pope Pius in converting Germanic society and supporting the church. The Church absorbed Nazi ideals and preached them as part of their sermons in turn Hitler placed Catholic teachings in public education. This photo depicts Hitler with Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin. It was taken On April 20, 1939, when Orsenigo celebrated Hitler’s birthday. The celebrations were initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) and became a tradition.
Each April 20, Cardinal Bertram of Berlin was to send “warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany with “fervent prayers which the Catholics of Germany are sending to heaven on their altars.” (If you would like to know more about the secret dealings of Hitler and the Pope I recommend you get a book titled: Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell)
h) Due to Hitler’s involvement with the Church he began enacting doctrines of the Church as law. He outlawed all abortion, raged a death war on all homosexuals, and demanded corporal punishment in schools and home. Many times Hitler addressed the church and promised that Germany would implement its teachings: “The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavor to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of today.” –Adolf Hitler, on 26 June 1934, to Catholic bishops to assure them that he would take action against the new pagan propaganda “Providence has caused me to be Catholic, and I know therefore how to handle this Church.” -Adolf Hitler, reportedly to have said in Berlin in 1936 on the enmity of the Catholic Church to National Socialism
It seems there's a small rift in the broadening effort to defeat state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. in the Bronx.
The New Roosevelt Initiative made a big splash early on, holding a protest at the senator's non-district address in Mamaroneck, and pledging to spend as much as $250,000 to take down Espada—the primary target in founder Bill Samuels' larger effort to help reform Albany.
But now, with a large coalition of labor unions—and the labor-backed Working Families Party—also rallying behind (and raising for) Espada's challenger, Gustavo Rivera, some are starting to wonder where NRI has been lately.
"Labor and the W.F.P. are on the ground in a big way behind Gustavo," said one labor insider. "But Espada is out buying votes and doing who knows what other shenanigans. New Roosevelt needs to remind voters why Espada has to go."
NRI said it's still all in.
"We've long been on the record reminding people why Espada has to go," said Jay Strell, a spokesman for NRI.
"Part of the issue here is that people know Espada is a bad guy," he said, referencing a recent NRI-sponsored poll that showed many district voters hold a negative view of Espada, but don't yet know much about Rivera. "What we're trying to do is strike a balance between a positive message and a negative message."
Strell said the group has several mailers in the works—both positive and negative—and will open a Bronx field office next this week (possibly as early as tomorrow) so that the organization has "boots on the ground."
"We're having a very aggressive push," he said.
The sniping could represent some early jockeying for who gets credit if Rivera succeed in beating Espada, who is considered by many Democrats to be public enemy number one.
Espada, for his part, is taking aim at all of them.
UPDATE: Strell sends along two mailers from NRI. He said the first dropped last week, the second drops today, and promises more to come.
By Rafael Martínez Alequín
Representatives of Native American tribes and organizations call on Mayor Bloomberg to apologize for his racially insensitive remarks telling Governor Paterson to ' Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun' to confront tribes selling cigarettes on their reservations.
On John Gambling's radio show, Mayor Bloombito said: "And you know, the Indians said, 'We're going to shut down the roads if you don't let us continue to sell cigarettes without taxes.'
"Now, whe every governor -- I've said this to David Paterson, I said, you know, 'Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun. If there's ever a great video, it's you standing in the middle of the New York State Thruway saying, you know, 'Read my lips -- the law of the land is this, and we're going to enforce the law.' But the, just think about it." See Videos 1 and 2 bellow
video by Rafael Martínez Alequín fo YFP
Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP
By Frank Lombardi
Ginew Benton, an Ojbway-Cree and resident of the Shinnecock Reservation on Long Island, led a chant for "leadership" during this afternoon's protest on the steps of City Hall.
More than 50 representatives of Native American tribes and groups condemned what they denounced as “racist” and insensitive stereotypical remarks about Native Americans. They denounced Mayor Bloomberg’s Aug. 13 comments on his weekly WOR radio show with John Gambling, cracking that Gov. Paterson should put an end to unpaid cigarette taxes on upstate reservations by, ”Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun” and stand in the middle of the NY Thruway and enforce the law.
The protesters said that for them, cowboys and shotguns evoke the perpetrators of massacres of Indian tribes in American history and are no joking matter.
“Why doesn’t he just apologize?” said George Stonefish of the American Indian community House, who organized the demonstration.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Another Key Endorsemen For Senate candidate Gustavo Rivera: From Senator Eric Schneidermand and Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat
New York State Senator and Attorney General candidate Eric Schneirderman today endorsed Gustavo Rivera, for the 33rd senatorial district to unseat Pedro Espada. Espada is under investigation by New York, Southern Federal Attorney. He being charge by the New York Attorney General for stealing 14 million dollars from the Soundview Health Center in the Bronx. Senator Scheiderman was joyned by assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, both praised Rivera's commitment to reform.
"If we're going to really change state government we need a true reformer as our Attorney General and that person is Eric Schdeirman," said Gustavo Rivera. I am also thrilled to receive Adriano's endorsement as a dedicated, positive and effective public servant and as a strong leader in one of the most dynamic and growing communities in the Northwest Bronx. I look forward to working with Eric, Adriano and all the leaders in Albany dedicated to promoting strong progressive values that best serve residents of New York."
"I am proud to endorse Gustavo because I know he will distinguish himself as an agent of reform in Albany, advocating for progressive causes and honorably serving the communities of the 33rd District," said Adriano Espaillat.
Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín
FROM THE MAILBAG - CONFIRMATION OF FRAUD Documented Fraud at the Amalgamated: Shame on the Amalgamated Housing Corporation
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Amalgamated employees and Board Members are in deep doo-doo now. And when your local elected officials choose to do nothing, you can usually trace their decision to do nothing back to a benefit they are receiving from malfeasance.
***KINDLY FORWARD A COPY OF THIS E-MAIL TRANSMISSION TO GARY R. CONNOR - General Counsel of the DHCR***
Good Evening Mr. Fadis:
I met with Ms. Patricia Goldwater and Mrs. Sherise Spencer-Bradford this afternoon in an effort to remove all late fees and overdue balances wrongfully applied to my account.
After I successfully corrected all billing errors committed by the Finance Office, I discussed the STAR REBATE issue (as mentioned in my initial e-mail in which you were copied) with Ms. Goldwater as it pertains to my apartment. Ms. Goldwater admitted that my unit was never registered with the City of New York to "Madame X" when I transferred from "X" to "X" in October 2005.
I believe it is necessary to give you a brief history of my residency at the Amalgamated Housing Corporation in order for all parties to understand the egregious nature of the violations committed against my family and the Law.
I occupied xxx from March 13, 2004 until September 30, 2005. Unfortunately, my transfer was not as seamless as it should have been. At the time of my initial request to transfer in April 2004, the Chairman of the Allocations Committee - Robert Gillman - refused to honor my request. Robert Gillman stated I was not "entitled" to transfer to a larger unit to accommodate my family due to "Board Policy and Family Composition". I was originally offered a three bedroom apartment in September 2003 after I completed the investigation process, however, the Allocations Director - Sylvia Rivera - misplaced the waiver letter the former Allocations Director - Dorothy Sullivan - submit to the DHCR in September 2003. The charade continued until Ivy White offered to show me the units the Allocations Office claimed to have available on February 4, 2004. I accepted a two bedroom apartment and was told I could transfer to the next three bedroom apartment that became available by Doris Spencer during the mandatory New Cooperator meeting I was required to attend before taking possession of xxx on March 13, 2004.
Because of the blatant discrimination and harassment I encountered in trying to deal with the Allocations Committee and the Management Office, I sought relief from the Office of Appeals/Division of Legal Affairs of the DHCR in Albany in April 2004. The Amalgamated Housing Corporation retained the legal services of Dean M. Roberts ESQ to challenge my request for a transfer. Despite the efforts the Amalgamated Housing Corporation exercised in an attempt to block my transfer to a three bedroom, the Office of Appeals ruled in my favor in May 2005. The Amalgamated Housing Corporation was instructed to transfer me to the next three bedroom apartment available pending my approval of the unit.
I paid all "mandatory" fees (transfer/equity/deposit/painting/name plates/share price etc) for my unit in August 2005. I moved into xxx on October 1, 2005.
I submit another STAR rebate form to the Department of Finance as a means to clarify my transfer from xxx to xxx in November 2005. When rebate funds were credited to my fellow Shareholders on their carrying charge statements in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 I called the Department of Finance to inquire about the status of my rebate every year. I was informed by the Department of Finance that "they" were awaiting word from the Housing Company to process my rebate. It was not until I contacted HPD, the Department of Finance and 311 that I discovered that my unit has been registered to the Amalgamated Housing Corporation and not to "Madame X" as required BY LAW. For five (5) straight years I have been denied equal services and rebate rights afforded to my fellow shareholders because the Amalgamated Housing Corporation willfully defrauded the Department of Finance, the Internal Revenue Service and the State Division of Taxation and Finance by registering my unit to the "Corporation" rather than to the Shareholder.
Needless to say, I am bereft of patience. Ms. Goldwater explained that the employees of the Finance Department are "underpaid" therefore, the quality of service is extremely low. The vast majority of employees of the Amalgamated Housing Corporation were hired due to nepotism. If employees are unqualified to handle the finances of a Corporation and its Shareholders, the employees should not be in their current positions at all. Further, most of the employees are compensated for their low pay scale by the luxury of free apartments, which are probably registered to the Corporation as well. Ms. Goldwater explained that the former Finance Manager, Wendy Cosgrove, was responsible for the error, however, if the Manager and the DHCR conducted a yearly audit of the Allocations Office, the Finance Office and the Management Office, all units would be registered to the proper party. I simply REFUSE to blame a former employee for this particular case of FRAUD. I would like to know how many apartments the Amalgamated Housing Corporation has registered to the Corporation rather than the Shareholder. I believe the Corporation may be 'hoarding' apartments as a means to qualify for tax shelters and/or in anticipation of increasing profits for the certain members of the Cooperative should the Corporation go bankrupt or decide to privatize.
In addition to deliberately deceiving Shareholders (and I use the plural term because I find it hard to believe that I am the only victim of this illegal business practice), the Amalgamated Housing Corporation is also deceiving the City and State of New York by collecting rebate funds for all units registered solely to the Corporation that may be registered as unoccupied in order to categorize the lack of carrying charges collected as a loss of income to the Corporation.
I have complied with Housing Rules by submitting an 'Income Affadavit' to the Management Office every year (2004 - 2010 inclusive). It is my understanding that the 'Income Affidavit' is then forwarded to the DHCR for approval. How is it possible that the DCHR has approved my yearly 'Income Affidavit' without knowledge that I was never the registered Shareholder for my current unit? Who is responsible for ensuring that each unit is registered to the actual Shareholder - rather than the Corporation - at the DHCR?
Apparently there aren't enough checks and balances in place to protect the Consumer/Shareholder. Clearly this situation, and method of creative accounting practices, involve not only the Amalgamated Housing Corporation. The DHCR is legally culpable of negligence because the DHCR has repeatedly failed to ensure the Housing Corporation is consistently in compliance with NYCRR and State Regulations as well.
I expect that a FULL and THOROUGH investigation of the Amalgamated Housing Corporation will commence upon receipt of this notice of FRAUD. In additon, I expect to be fully compensated for every rebate I did not receive and all of the time, effort and aggravation I expended in doing the job of a tax-payer funded State Agency (DHCR) in order to ensure the Housing Company is in compliance with Federal/State/Local Laws, Rules and Regulation. In addition, please be advised that I expect to be compensated for the willful use of fraudulent and deceitful business practices exercised by the Amalgamated Housing Corporation in an effort to deprive my family of the same rights afforded to ALL Shareholders.
I am forwarding this e-mail and the entire trail of e-mail exchanges between myself, the employees of the DHCR and Ms. Patricia Goldwater of the Amalgamated Housing Corporation to the office of Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation NY.
If you wish to issue a response to this e-mail, please do so in writing.
Amalgamated Housing Corporation
Bronx, NY 10463
"Madame X" has been the victim of harassment and discrimination for YEARS. Tenacity is a beautiful thing. Must be in her blood ; )
"It will always be a battle a day between those who want maximum change and those who want to maintain the status quo."
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This blog has been sending out an S.O.S for a long, long time.
It seems to me that it is so much easier for some to sensationalize the issues rather than to actually DO SOMETHING about the real issues that are plaguing an entire neighborhood of hard working tax-paying moderate to middle income folks.
The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC has read this blog.
The Office of the Attorney General of the State of NY has read this blog.
The Assemblyman for our District has read this blog - but focused only on the suggested name of the author and his perception of the "disturbing" nature of the blog instead of focusing on the disturbing manner in which the Management and Education Offices of the Cooperative conduct business.
The Office of the Bronx Borough President has read this blog.
So, if you are on the outside looking in, and you think that what is written on the many pages of this blog is "disturbing", imagine how it must feel to actually LIVE here? I am not talking about the residents who have been spared the frustration and humiliation of being deliberately discriminated against or sold shares for a defective unit or were forced to wait an additional two or three years because we were told we made too much money or are victims of robberies at the hands of what could very well be Coop employees or were billed for non-existent air conditioners or were harassed by perverted porters or were deliberately billed late fees or miscellaneous fees or had to bear the burden of a huge carrying charge increase while far too many employees and associates live at the Amalgamated Housing Corporation (or Park Reservoir) for FREE. I've heard hundreds of stories of Amalgamated corruption and each and every one of them broke my heart. I cannot believe I spent my hard earned money to live in this shithole. At least I have an outlet. What about the voices of the unheard?
I know what its like to work hard to support your family (or yourself)and save money to afford a decent place to live. The politicians in our area live in beautiful homes, unencumbered by inadequate State Supervision. The Amalgamated is a MIRAGE. Our expectations weren't even 1/2 met. We've written letters, we've made phone calls, we've written to newspapers, we've spread the word. We've endured attempted robberies, walked past drug deals, had ceilings leak on our heads, watched rain destroy various rooms in our homes because the buildings were neglected for so long, we've been paying for the freebies for people who do not deserve them, we've been supporting the family members of the Board and employees in jobs that most of the people in the back office do not deserve and are not skilled for.
The problems continue. We have a Finance Department that adds fees to unsuspecting shareholders before the shareholder produces a receipt which proves his or her carrying charges were paid ON TIME. Ordinarily, such deceitful employees would be dismissed immediately. Not here. I read an e-mail today from a shareholder who is disputing late fees and an oustanding prior balance on her carrying charge statement. She brought up a really good point. Without quoting her exactly, she mentioned that one of the AHC Accountants at Szold & Brandwen P.C. was able to move his mother-in-law into the Amalgamated without the hinderance of a waiting list. If the Accountant for the Amalgamated is getting special favors, what exactly is he giving the Corporation in exchange for the favor? How many other people reside within the AHC who would not have been here were it not for favors? Does that seem fair to you?
Hopefully, one of the politicians who make it a point to read this blog everyday will examine his or her conscience and DO SOMETHING about the state of affairs at the Amalgamated Housing Corporation. If this Coop goes under (i.e. bankruptcy), you can trust and believe I will release the IP addresses of every State Official who stopped by this blog and did nothing to investigate our justified claims of malfeasance and wrong doing. If there is ONE drug related incident at this Cooperative (robbery, shooting, death) you can rest assured the same IP addresses will be handed over to the FEDS to prove that many people at the Amalgamated Housing Corporation have been
Read on gentlemen. The day will come when you, too, will have to answer for the role you played in ignoring corruption.