Miami win right to sue banks for predatory lending to minorities

Miami win right to sue banks for predatory lending to minorities

Supreme Court Rules Miami Can Sue for Predatory Lending By ADAM LIPTAKMAY 1, 2017/New York Times   WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Miami can sue two banks for predatory lending under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The case arose from the 2008 financial crisis. Miami sued Bank of America and Wells Fargo, saying that their discriminatory mortgage lending practices had led to a disproportionate number of defaults by minority home buyers and, in turn, to financial harm to the city. Even as the majority of justices ruled that Miami was entitled to sue under the housing law, the court declined to decide whether the city had asserted a direct enough connection between the banks’ actions and the harm it claimed. The court sent the case back to the federal appeals court in Atlanta for further exploration of that question. When the case was argued in the Supreme Court in November, it seemed headed for a 4-4 tie. But the vote on the question of whether Miami could sue under the law was 5 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal bloc to form a majority. Miami said the banks had intentionally and disproportionately issued risky mortgages on unfavorable terms to black and Hispanic borrowers. That led, the city said, to segregation and foreclosures, hurting its property tax base and requiring it to provide additional municipal services. A trial court dismissed the suits in 2014, saying the city had not demonstrated that its claims were covered by the housing law. The United States Court of Appeals for the...
Can Detroit Leaders be this creative; Philly starts Ibuy Black Program

Can Detroit Leaders be this creative; Philly starts Ibuy Black Program

African American leaders, business owners launch ‘iBuyBlack’ discount card by Erin Arvedlund, STAFF WRITER @erinarvedlund | EArvedlund@phillynews.com African American business owners joined with legendary musician Kenny Gamble and religious leader Dr. Alyn Waller on Tuesday to launch a discount card they hope will encourage members of Philadelphia’s black community to spend their dollars at local black-owned businesses. About 80 business owners already have signed up to participate and accept the “iBuyBlack” card, sponsored by the Philadelphia Community of Leaders. “We heard about a similar model in Detroit, so we borrowed from them,” said Michael Rashid, former president and CEO of AmeriHealth/Caritas. “Economists say the average dollar earned by blacks stays in our community for just six hours,” Rashid told a packed audience assembled on the fourth floor of City Hall. “Compare that to the white community, in which dollars circulate for 17 days. That’s wealth-building. “Strong black businesses are good for the entire community, with the potential to lower crime and create jobs,” he said. “All people should make a point of supporting black businesses.” A broad coalition of Philadelphia leaders, City Council members, and business owners got behind development of the iBuyBlack card, which costs $10 and offers discounts of up to 15 percent every time cardholders shop at local companies. “Our goal is to recruit 500 businesses and 10,000 Philadelphians to purchase the iBuyBlack discount card by the end of this year,” said Earl Harvey, sales director for iBuyBlack.org and a member of the African American Chamber of Commerce. Currently, there are about 1,500 cardholders. Proceeds from the cards will go to support the Philadelphia Community of Leaders...
Rethinking the NAACP and the legend of Washington Ellis

Rethinking the NAACP and the legend of Washington Ellis

Rethinking the NAACP and the legend of Washington Ellis By Timothy Moore {note: please click on links,otherwise you will miss a very important part of this story. They are like footnotes}   I like many African Americans have taken the NAACP for granted, thinking that it has outlived its usefulness. It has been said that it is not radical enough, they depend on corporations too much, or their “ Image  Awards” are given to many who don’t deserve them. (Kid Rock, who fly’s the confederate flag at his concerts). I would sign up for membership, and then forget to renew more times than I care to admit.                                             However, something happened in the last week to make me rethink my relationship with this August organization. Let me share this remarkable story with you. It is about my Grandfather Washington Ellis.      My recollection of his temperament is totally at odds with his life experiences that I have come to learn about.      He was about 5’4” inches in height, with very dark brown skin. I imagine his complexion was similar to how our ancestors looked when they got off the slave ships and before slaveholders, their sons and employees  started raping our grandmothers. To me, he was of the same stock as the small stature d Twa people of Africa who were the original inhabitants of of the British Isles (dwarfs, brownies and leprechauns) Asia (the Anu), and Philippines (negritos) . (http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-wonderful-first-civilization-of-the-ancient-twas-of-africa-by-mena7)        He always wore expensive shoes and they were always shined. Although he always had a cigarette in his mouth, I never saw him inhale. We...
7 ways to lower your Internet bill

7 ways to lower your Internet bill

7 ways to lower your Internet bill Stephen Layton, NerdWallet 4:02 p.m. ET March 12, 2017 (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto) 9 CONNECTTWEETLINKEDIN 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE Even if you’re happy with your current Internet service, you might be paying too much for it. Here are ways to check if you’re getting good value for your money and tips for lowering your monthly Internet bill. 1. Test your speed This will help you make sure you’re getting what you were promised. Head to Speedtest.net to determine your service’s speed, which is most often measured in megabits per second (Mbps). You usually are guaranteed only “up to” the speed advertised on your plan. Test your service at different times of day. Internet infrastructure is shared among households, so you may receive more or less bandwidth than promised, depending on who else is using the network at the time, among other factors. If you’re consistently getting slower speeds, call your Internet service provider. If the issue can’t be resolved, it may be time to look for a different provider that can provide better value. The information about speed also can be helpful if you want to negotiate your bill (see No. 3). 2. Know and reduce your usage The chart below shows common Internet activities and the bandwidth they require. Keep in mind that your total bandwidth is shared by all the devices on your connection. If multiple people are online simultaneously, you’ll need enough bandwidth for everyone. What internet speed do you need? If you want … You’ll need about… General web surfing, email, social media 1 Mbps Online gaming* 1-3 Mbps Video conferencing** 1-4 Mbps Standard-definition video streaming...
If you have a cable TV set-top-box, you need to read this

If you have a cable TV set-top-box, you need to read this

I was excited to hear about Comcast’s new app that will let you watch TV without a set-top box through a Roku. But then I heard they’re still planning to charge customers a monthly fee. What gives? Thanks, Dear POed, Here’s what’s happening. The Roku app will let you watch all the Comcast channels available through your set-top box on a TV that’s not connected to a big, ugly cable box. Not only are those set-top boxes unsightly and bulky but they’re also expensive. Comcast charges a $9.95 rental fee for each additional box in your home. (The first box is included with the price of your monthly service.) The Federal Communications Commission estimates this costs customers on average more than $230 a year.  Comcast The idea of being able to connect multiple TVs, like the TV you might have in your bedroom or the one in your basement, to your cable TV service without paying an additional $10 a month per box sounds like a sweet deal, right? But not so fast. A Comcast spokesperson confirmed that the company will be charging customers an “access fee” of $7.45 for each TV using the Roku app. That’s the same price Comcast charges customers who use a TiVo or other CableCard device instead of renting a set-top box from Comcast. FCC rules require Comcast and other cable operators to give subscribers a discount if they use a Cablecard device instead of renting a set-top box, which is why the price is discounted for Comcast customers. What makes this fee striking is that it’s not designed to pay for any particular...
The Great Unwinding of Public Education: Detroit and DeVos

The Great Unwinding of Public Education: Detroit and DeVos

The Great Unwinding of Public Education: Detroit and DeVos   Friday, December 23, 2016 By Joseph Natoli, Truthout |   Weeds and grass overtake the run-down Campbell Elementary School, one of the many closed schools in Detroit, July 19, 2013. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, argued that the Detroit’s public schools should simply be shut down and the system turned over to charters. (Photo: Nathan Weber / The New York Times) Privatization of all things public has slammed Detroit as gentrifying investors seek to put price tags on what was previously public domain. In predatory fashion, privatizers are targeting the city’s struggling students as a new frontier for profit. How weak and vulnerable is public education in Detroit? The Nation’s Report Card, published by an independent federal commission, named Detroit Public Schools the country’s “lowest-performing urban school district” in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. In 2011, a Republican state legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder repealed a statewide cap on the number of Detroit charter schools. The floodgates were opened and privatizing predators rolled in. Bankruptcy following the collapse of the jobs that fueled the “Motor City” has exposed Detroit to the dynamics described by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine. A crisis, either arranged or accidental, precipitates a rush to recuperation. Lobbyists of wealthy investors petition a government that wealthy investors have put in place. A much-quoted “checks and balances” security shield for democratic governance is thus so easily disarmed. The more startling, dire and urgent the crisis, the greater the rush to a “saving” privatization. Low reading and math scores, shared by both charter and...
Add this to Snyder’s list of disasters

Add this to Snyder’s list of disasters

Inside Michigan’s faulty unemployment system that hit thousands with fraud yan Felton in Detroit @ryanfelton13 Friday 12 February 2016 08.44 EST   Millions of dollars in penalties were issued after unemployment insurance agency implemented automated service in 2013 to detect fraud. The system has since been discontinued, but the lawsuits and disgruntled residents remain   The automated unemployment insurance fraud detection system that has cost thousands of innocent people millions in penalties began in 2013 under Michigan governor Rick Snyder. Photograph: Carlos Osorio/ In the weeks before Christmas 2014, Kevin Grifka received a letter from the state of Michigan, claiming he fraudulently collected $12,000 in unemployment benefits. Grifka, an electrician who lives in metro Detroit, had his entire federal income tax refund garnished by the Michigan unemployment insurance agency (UIA). In the midst of the holiday season, he was faced with repaying a five-figure sum. “To see your wife cry at night is not cool,” Grifka said last year. “The kids, I never told them, they’re too young to even realize, but you look at four months, five months almost, on the phone dealing with people trying to get basically nowhere, and it’s very disturbing.” But Grifka hadn’t actually committed insurance fraud. He was one of thousands of people, many out of work, wrongly charged by an automated unemployment insurance fraud detection system that began in 2013 under Michigan governor Rick Snyder. Officials have at least partially conceded the program had problems: last month, the state revealed in a court filing that it quietly scaled back the $47m program, in the wake of intense media scrutiny. Now, all determinations are...
Mexican conglomerate Univision continue to  buy and control Black media while Black viewer are oblivious to how this affects their world

Mexican conglomerate Univision continue to buy and control Black media while Black viewer are oblivious to how this affects their world

Univision’s history of racism and colorism may not bode well for TheRoot | All Digitocracy TV Network’s history of racism and colorism may not bode well for website formerly owned by The Washington Post Company By Jillian Báez Two weeks ago Spanish-language television giant Univision announced its acquisition of TheRoot.com, one of the top African American news websites. Coverage of the merger was quite celebratory and echoed co-founder Henry Louis Gates’ statement that “This bold new partnership between Univision and TheRoot underscores the ties that have long bound people of color together throughout the Western Hemisphere and is a sign of even greater levels of communication, collaboration and exchange between these culturally vital groups of people.” But while Gates is obviously optimistic about the venture, I’m a little skeptical. Univision has some issues that no one has talked about that might impact things. For one thing, it’s digital presence, Fusion, is struggling to get traffic to its own website. Secondly, the parent company’s history as a serial consolidator and nasty habit of broadcasting racist content makes me cautious about this venture. Under Univision’s ownership, BounceTV now offers original programming including two sitcoms, a comedy show and soon its first scripted drama. Univision is the largest Spanish-language television network in the U.S. and the fifth largest network overall. A look into Univision’s history helps to make sense of the network’s acquisition of The Root. Univision emerged from a consolidation of Mexican tycoon Emilio Azcárraga’s Spanish International Network (SIN) and the Spanish International Broadcasting Corporation in 1987. Hallmark purchased Univision in 1988 and sold the network to entrepreneur Jerrold Perenchio, owner of  Mexico’s...
Gwen Ifill, veteran journalist dies at 61

Gwen Ifill, veteran journalist dies at 61

by John Eggerton November 14, 2016 Gwen Ifill—moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and co-anchor and managing editor for PBS NewsHour—has died at the age of 61. She had taken a leave of absence back in May to deal with “medical issues,” essentially the same reason NewsHour gave last week when she was not able to cohost election night coverage as initially planned. “It is with extremely heavy hearts that we must share that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away this afternoon following several months of cancer treatment,” said PBS in a statement. “She was surrounded by loving family and many friends whom we ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers.” “Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change,” said PBS NewsHour executive producer and WETA senior VP Sara Just. “She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist’s journalist and set an example for all around her. “So many people in the audience felt that they knew and adored her. She had a tremendous combination of warmth and authority. She was stopped on the street routinely by people who just wanted to give her a hug and considered her a friend after years of seeing her on tv. We will forever miss her terribly.” President Obama offered his and the First Lady’s deepest condolences on the death of Ifill. At a press conference before his final trip abroad as President, he said that she was a friend, and a...