Daily Archive: June 22, 2011

Opinion

The danger of free trade agreement

(NNPA)—The Obama administration has been pushing major free trade agreements, including one with Korea and Colombia. Yet, for all of the discussion in the media, it is not always clear what a free trade agreement actually is and what it means for us. Free trade is fundamentally about getting rid of tariffs or taxes on goods that are traded between countries. That may sound fair and equitable but concretely it can have a dramatic impact on a country’s ability to develop an economy. Consider a country that has a very developed economy that decides to trade with a less developed country. The developed country sells manufactured goods to the less developed country and the less developed country trades agricultural items, such as cotton. The less developed country may not have sufficient technology to produce the manufactured goods, either at all or cheaply.

Opinion

Conspiracy to steal 2011 election

(NNPA)—Attorney Barbara Arnwine, leader of the D.C. based Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is on a mission. She wants to make sure that every citizen has the right to vote. On its face, it seems like a retro mission, since the right to vote has long been established. But one look at her Map of Shame, a map she shared at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 40th Anniversary and annual conference, and the mission becomes quite urgent. States are passing laws that require people to have a government issued photo ID in order to vote. Arnwine’s Map of Shame shows eight states—Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina—that require a government-issued photo ID for voting.

Opinion

How do we police the police?

The recent Jordan Miles incident has brought back to a head, not only in Pittsburgh, but urban communities throughout the country, the question of why isn’t there something in place to police the police. Living in the Black community, we all know how important the police are to the protection of our community and what it would be like without them to at least keep some control over the young fools roaming our streets with guns killing each other. But as sad as this sounds it’s better they kill each other than us. Without the police we would be held hostage in our own homes and the NRA would be selling a lot more guns to those of us who would have to have guns to protect our homes. So in no way are we saying get rid of the police in our community. What we are saying is how can we keep good police and punish the bad ones.

Entertainment

Sade, Legend simply superb

Looking at the ticket prices with the economy being what it is, one would think the John Legend, Sade concert would have a lot of empty seats, instead the Console Center was packed, and she gave them their money’s worth, every penny. Superb is a term I very rarely use, especially pertaining to a concert. But the Legend, Sade concert would rank among the best I ever seen, and I’ve seen a many concerts in my day. Only Earth, Wind & Fire and Marvin Gaye at the Civic Arena could compare to it. SADE

Entertainment

Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Comfort Inn Hotel in Penn Hills, Tiffany’s Birthday Bash in the East End, the Peterson Event Center in Oakland, CJ’s in the Strip District and the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Downtown Pittsburgh. My first stop was at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Downtown, where everyone came out to enjoy great music, food and other forms of entertainment. Darius Freeman is a proud graduate of Schenley High School along with his aunt, Lenny, and father, Speedy.

Entertainment

Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 23 Boyz II Men The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh present the 8th Annual PSO Community Partners Concert featuring Boyz II Men at 7:30 p.m. at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. National recording artists and award winning R& B group Boyz II Men, who are best known for their ballads and a cappella harmonies, will sing some of their most popular hits. There will also be other special guest performances. Proceeds from each ticket will benefit a local non-profit group of one’s choice. For more information, call 412-392-4900 or visit http://www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

Business

Bland updates PAT status

Fresh from his May contract extension as Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO, Steve Bland gave an update on PAT’s condition, goals and needs during the African American Chamber of Commerce June PowerBreakfast meeting. With so many businesses–small and Black-owned businesses in particular–in Pittsburgh and the county relying on public transit to get their employees to and from work, Chamber President and CEO Doris Carson Williams asked Bland to inform chamber members on the authority’s status. MOVING FORWARD—Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO Steve Bland updates African American Chamber of Commerce members on PAT’s viability and future of its ability to provide mass transit to their employees.

Business

PNC buys Royal Bank of Canada US banks for $3.45 bil

NEW YORK—PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said Monday that it is buying the U.S. retail operations of Royal Bank of Canada for $3.45 billion. PNC said that the transaction will bring its total to 2,870 branches and make it the fifth biggest among U.S. banks. RBC Bank (USA), based in Raleigh, N.C., has 424 branches and about $25 billion of assets. PNC Chairman and CEO James Rohr said in a statement that the RBC acquisition will give PNC access to “attractive southeast markets in a way that will create value for our shareholders.”

Business

The insistent question: Where are the jobs?

by Lee A. DanielsFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—The gloomy federal jobs report for May has brought to the forefront again all the questions—and fears—about the economy and the jobs crisis that six months ago were pushed into the deep background by the compromise on unemployment benefits between President Obama and the Republicans in Congress. The legislation ensured that for all of this year all jobless workers who reach the normal six-month cutoff point for unemployment benefits—estimated at about four million—would automatically have their payments renewed. The measure also included another two million whose benefits were lapsing during last December as well.

Business

Business Calendar

Organizational analysis JUNE 23—HR Leadership Forum will host How Does Your Organization Really Get Things Done: Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) from 8-10 a.m. at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., Downtown. Kim Rhule will facilitate this seminar, which will feature case studies exploring how ONA has helped businesses to understand their ineffectiveness in getting work done. Registration is required by June 20. For more information, e-mail info@hr-Leadership-forum.com.