Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 Pennsylvania Election: “A clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing!”

On April 24, 2012, there will be a “clash between those who want justice and equality and the “gatekeepers” for the establishment/special interest groups who want to continue the current systems of political exploitation of African-Americans living in Pittsburgh.

The establishment has painted a picture of Pittsburgh to the world (it's art scene, job prospect, safety and affordability), as a city that has rebounded from both its industrial past and the current economic crisis to become a culture and intellectual hotspot.

To attract non-minorities they're telling the world that Pittsburgh isn't bogged down with the burden of taking care of blacks. That is, when examining the 2010 census data, Pittsburgh is one of the “whitest” cities of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States (87 percent of the population is non-minority). LOL!!! SMH TOO!!!

They want the world to think Pittsburgh resembles what America look like before the Civil Rights revolution.

The truth: Based on unemployment, income growth in the past 5 years, crime rates, cost of living, and the like, African-Americans haven't benefited from the turnaround. But, afraid of their own shadows, our "house niggas" leaders simply cannot defend us

So, in the coming days, when the “gatekeepers” argue there's been a lot of investment in areas with high levels of poverty and areas predominantly black (East Liberty). Remember, “big-box” stores or “mixed-used” development are focused on geographic rather than population.

That is, when the populace in question can't afford the new construction options (our people can't even afford to shop at Target), than a new populace replaces them and, ultimately, poverty just gets moved around geographically and so no real solution is attained. Look at the demographics of the people hanging around S. Highland Avenue and Penn Circle to the people a block away at S. Highland and Penn Avenue.

In short, the most dangerous people are those who have no stake in society. They expect us to be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, and co-exist in a white-black brotherhood (while our gas and electric gets shut-off during winter months, food is taken off our tables when they cut “food stamps” entitlements and/or change eligibility guidelines, and, our kids go without a proper education). But, through struggle we are always led to rediscover the lesson of the past.

We have a common oppressor.

A common discriminator.

We have to unite on the basis of what we have in common. And, the “gatekeepers,” whether placed there as a “hand-picked” leader identified by the local political party and/or the media, is just another “monkey-suit” wearing pawn in the “game” that keeps us in our situation.

There's nothing in our holy books that teaches us to suffer peacefully . . . .

As is the case in any jungle, every waking hour that we struggle we lived with both the practical and subconscious knowledge that if we relax, slow down, they won't hesitate to get us (make us their prey).

We must start listening during the “staged” community meetings and watching during “staged” protest marches. We need to better question the “gatekeepers” who called us there.

Who is really benefiting from this community meeting and protest march?

How come the “FIELD NIGGA” that the establishment has nightmares about never got a telephone call (wasn't invited to participate)?

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Friday, January 20, 2012

I'M NOT RUNNING FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE, WE'RE RUNNING . . . “TEAM US – A DOLLAR AND A DREAM”

Our loyalty should not be “a given” for any person, political party, or just because of our blackness. As a people we need to begin to understand that we can't keep being “played!”

There should be outrage over the demands of the establishment, special interest groups, the media, and any of their “hand-picked” candidates, telling us to “stop complaining” about race inequality. The simple truth, our so-called African-American leaders, in their “monkey suits” have lost their blackness – refuse to speak out!

The political table they have been sitting at (either in Harrisburg, in the Mayor's Office, or running around behind Tim Stevens for his various staged media events) is far more elegant than the living conditions and challenges that we as a people must face daily during this economic downturn.

Do our African-American so-called leaders really believe that their membership to the elite club within the establishment actually gives them rights or privileges undeserving of the rest of us?

Our future is bleak if we take no action. African-American unemployment is at its worst level in more than three decades (we make up just 12 percent of the nation's population but account for 21 percent of the nation's unemployed). Unemployment for African-American men stands at a staggeringly high 19.1 percent and the overall unemployment rate is expected to remain well above 10 percent until at least 2014.

Firearm homicide (epidemic levels) is the leading cause of death for African-American ages 1-44 (we suffer over 26 percent of all firearm deaths and over 55 percent of all firearm homicides).

The Pennsylvania Governor, Pennsylvania State Assembly, County Executive, City of Pittsburgh Mayor (and/or any of their African-American “gatekeepers”) could have helped ameliorate some of the pain African-Americans are feeling in the job sector (and/or as a result of gun violence), but their focus on the “largely white” information (high-tech) jobs, academia (boosting universities), the “green” economy and Marcellus Shale has done little to address the concern of real “black” people!

If we wish to see the concern's of real “black” people extended beyond a relatively small number of the token few . . . “TEAM US” must now challenge the establishment, special interest groups, and their “hand-picked” candidates (that they expect you will support because our lone “in the white man's pocket” African-American newspaper told you to do so).

What's interesting: Our lone African American newspaper, a few years back, endorsed racist Rick Santorum . . . .

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Pennsylvania State Representative Joe Preston Controlled by Special Interest Money

The impact of special interest money on Pennsylvania's election process has long been a concern for the vast majority of us. Voters want to know their elected representative is serving them, not the wealthy special interest that may support the politician financially.

Special interest groups are a collection of individuals or societies with shared interests and values who aim at determining the decisions made by politicians.

Special interest groups expect a good return on their political investments. It has thus created a dysfunctional legislature. Our government ordained by the people is fast becoming a permanent ruling class, in effect a surrogate plutocracy (a form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of wealthy special interests that arrange the continual reelection of representatives who govern as their surrogates).

Some office holders have treated their campaign committee as more or less open-ended slush funds.

JOE PRESTON RECEIVED $563,937 FROM SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS:

Candidates $111,396

Utilities $ 52,525

Lawyers & Lobbyists $ 52,500

Construction $ 35,925

Public Sector Unions $ 32,822

Telecom Services $ 26,942

General Trade Unions $ 19,550

Healthcare $ 16,000

Banks $ 14,200

Political Parties $ 7,910

Oil & Gas $ 6,825

Home Builders $ 6,250

Automotive $ 5,800

Miscellaneous Energy $ 5,450

NOTEWORTHY CONTRIBUTORS:

UTILITIES
First Energy Corp $ 10,025
PPL Corp $ 9,775
PECO Energy $ 7,850
Dominion $ 4,300
UGI Utilities $ 3,000
Duquesne Light $ 2,925
National Fuel Gas $ 2,775
Morgan K. Obrien $ 2,000
James Schwing $ 2,000
Energy Association $ 2,000
NISOURCE $ 1,750
Columbia Gas $ 1,500
Exelon $ 1,500
Sunoco, Inc $ 1,500
EQT $ 1,250
CPU Energy $ 800

TELECOM SERVICES
Verizon $ 7,867
Comcast $ 6,250
AT&T $ 3,000
Sprint Nextel $ 2,500
EMBARQ $ 2,175
Broadband Cable ASSOC $ 1,650

CONSTRUCTION
Robert Agbede $ 19,000
Michael Baker Corp $ 2,500
ATS-Chester $ 2,000
Robert J. Lewis $ 1,500

LAWYERS & LOBBYISTS
PA Assoc For Justice $ 10,250
S R Wojdak $ 3,250
Ma Lady & Wooten $ 2,450
Thorp Reed Armstrong $ 2,000
Pa Bar Assoc $ 1,800
Klett Lieber Rooney $ 1,550
K&L Gates $ 1,500
Wolf Block $ 1,500
CRISCI Assoc $ 1,500
George W. Jacoby $ 1,500
Eustace Uku $ 1,000
Renardo L. Hicks $ 1,000
Ray Middleman $ 1,000
Charlene R. McAbee $ 1,000
Buchanan Ingersoil $ 800
R. Dell Ziger $ 500

PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS
National Assoc Ed $ 10,075
AFSCME Council 13 $ 6,897
PGH Federaion Teachers $ 1,950
Assoc PA Faculties $ 1,750

GENERAL TRADE UNIONS
PA AFL-CIO $ 4,000
Communication Workers $ 2,000
Greater Pgh Carpenters $ 1,700

HEALTHCARE
PA Psychological Assoc $ 2,600
Betty O. Udekwu $ 3,000
Pa Anesthesiologists $ 2,000
Astrazeneca $ 1,400
PA Ophthalmology $ 1,250
Highmark $ 800

TRANSPORTATION
PA Automotive Assoc $ 2,500
James D. Campolongo $ 2,000
PA Motor Truck Assoc $ 2,000
PA Recreational Vehicle $ 1,500
Independent Auto Dealer $ 1,500

HOME BUILDERS
PA Manufactured Housing $ 4,000

RETAIL SALES
Retailers Assoc $ 4,000
Advanced Technology $ 2,000
Pa Chamber Bus. Indust. $ 1,500
PA Financial Services $ 1,500

REAL ESTATE
PA Assoc of Realtors $ 2,550

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Current Pennsylvania Utility Law Promotes Shut-Offs and Limits Customer Options

Utility companies have given Joe Preston $52,525 to protect their special interest.

Since Joe Preston passage of Act 201 (also known as Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code) in 2004, electric terminations rose 78.6 percent.

The latest Biennial Report issued by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission "PUC" concludes that terminations for the electric and gas industries have risen to “record high levels” since passage of Chapter 14.

In addition to increasing shut offs, Chapter 14 reduces the relief available to utility customers by severely limiting the number of payment agreements that the utility can be required to provide.

Each year more households struggle to have utilities reconnected on affordable terms because, in most circumstances, Chapter 14 only requires utility companies to give a customer one opportunity to enter an installment payment agreement to catch up on bills.

Chapter 14 is due to expire in 2014, which is no relief to the increasing number of customers who need another chance now to reconnect heat service or prevent shut off.

Todd Elliott Koger urges customers with shut-off notices to contact their utilities whose employees, “are obligated by law to fully explain all available methods for avoiding a termination.”

The use of public utilities pervades the life of every individual. Each time a person walks into a heated room, eats food that has been either refrigerated or cooked, or uses a light that person is likely relying on some sort of public utility.

It is important for low-income households to gain protections from the threatened or actual disconnection of utility service. Joe Preston has promised every election to "get rid" of "Chapter 14" but has done nothing.

Chapter 14 was not established with the lives of poor people in mind. Todd Elliott Koger questions why Joe Preston, since November 2004 hasn't yet voiced "established" legal theory to repeal the legislation.

For example, prohibiting the imputation of debts of one person to a third party is a doctrine based upon straight contract law. However, Chapter 14 appears to unlawfully allow utility companies the ability to transfer the liability of unpaid utility service to any adult living in the household.

Terminated customers may, for a time, attempt to struggle by without utility service to the detriment of the health of the household and safety of the neighborhood (household fire and possible death).

Eventually, families are forced to move to obtain service and costs are imposed as schools and neighborhoods are disrupted and properties are run down.

And, the costs of moving and re-initiating utility service will be drawn either from public assistance or from family reserves for other necessities -- again implicating health and safety costs which will ultimately be borne by society.

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