WHEN WE LOSE QUALITY IN SERVICES AND WORKER MORALE DROPS.....WE WILL SEE FIRST WORLD QUALITY OF LIFE DEVOLVE TO THIRD WORLD....THAT IS WHAT NEO-LIBERALS HAVE GIVEN AMERICAN PEOPLE!
Regarding deaths in Baltimore that should and could have been prevented:
Baltimore just had another citizen beaten and kicked to death by police after this person, no doubt trying to escape from a chase got out of the car and was soaked with pepper spray by a group of 4-5 police officers. Pepper spray burns the skin so the natural reaction is to run. Once these police officers get the citizen to run they then justify beating them with batons to get the person to the ground where they then kick them to death. This happened just a few months ago to a citizen named Anderson and it is an operational policy meant to intimidate and scare people from an area. Chief Batts comes from southern California where his department was famous for brutality like this and for the internal police cover up and code of silence about these abuses. We saw just a few weeks ago a police spokesman tell us that the police department would be acting Constitutionally and since then we have watched as citizens have been abused and police chases end in crashes that endanger innocent citizens....all illegal. JUST AS WITH DRONES OVERSEAS, THIS IS CALLED COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN GETTING RID OF PEOPLE WHO THREATEN PEOPLE IN POWER.
At the same time Baltimore City Hall has cut the Fire Department budget so much as to downsize and close fire houses and staffing creating an environment of inability to serve and protect. Wages and benefits gutted and work increased giving low morale. Baltimore has now had 13 fire deaths when for decades it went with nearly no deaths because we had a stellar fire department. These cuts happen because Baltimore and Maryland have allowed billions of dollars each year be stolen in corporate fraud and have allowed for massive amounts of corporate tax breaks that have emptied government coffers.
Defunding of poor communities and taking public assets and programs to help the poor along with a policy of not hiring local residents leaves people unable to support themselves and forces them to crime and violence.....and it always hits the middle-class. They are not robbing JP Morgan or Exelon executives, they are forced to come into middle-class communities for crime of theft.
THE POLITICIANS WHO YOU VOTE INTO OFFICE EACH YEAR ARE LITERALLY KILLING US.
This is the problem. The solution is getting rid of corporate neo-liberal politicians who have captured the democratic party. Do not vote republican because they will do the same thing....all of these policies are republican. If your labor and justice organizations are not working to run candidates against these neo-liberals at all levels of government....they are not working for you and me. The Governor/City Executive appoints the people who then work for either the people or corporations and controls funding so these are key positions for labor and justice to run strong candidates, but the entire City Hall and Maryland Assembly must go as do the Federal pols for life we have in Maryland. DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN! VOTE TO REBUILD THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!!
I want to look at the people who serve our communities and how injustice for one becomes injustice for all. Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Gov O'Malley are moving to make the fire and police privately contracted and are setting the stage for this transfer. They are union-busting and pension/wage busting just as republicans are. How does this effect the communities? Lack of resources always lead to poor quality and workers frustrated by an inability to do their best. WE KNOW THE POLICE DEPARTMENT NOW HAS AN AGGRESSIVE STANCE TOWARDS THE PUBLIC.....THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS NOW BEING PUSHED IN THAT DIRECTION.
Below you see that until last year Baltimore was gaining on fire deaths and had good relations with the communities. In 2013 we see fire deaths already reaching last year's numbers and we are only half through the year. Also, we are seeing more fires being set in protest and violence then ever before. People are angry and these incidences will increase. THIS IS WHAT A THIRD WORLD SOCIETY LOOKS LIKE......
WE WANT TO RETURN TO WHAT FIRST WORLD DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
Baltimore Fire Deaths have reached record lows
5:29 PM, Jan 15, 2012 Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore fire officials say fire deaths in the city have dropped to the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1938. However, the city still ranks among the highest nationwide on a per capita basis.
The city recorded 17 fire deaths last year, down from the record high of 88 deaths set in 1984. Washington, meanwhile, lost six lives to fire last year, down from 11 the year before and 19 in 2009.
Baltimore recorded 2.69 deaths per 100,000 residents last year, compared to 2.13 for Philadelphia. Boston, New York and Los Angeles were all under 1 death per 100,000. Detroit had the highest rate at 5.1 per 100,000.
Fire Chief James S. Clack told The Baltimore Sun he was pleased, but the 17 deaths are still a tragedy. (http://bsun.md/A88GcN)
Remember, police and firefighters do not pay into Social Security and are particularly vulnerable to losses of pensions and benefits. These people have the most dangerous and high-risk of injury jobs and they were supposed to be compensated by these pensions/health benefits. We know these cuts being made by neo-liberals are only happening because tens of trillions of dollars have been stolen from and corporate tax breaks have emptied government coffers.
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES MUST STOP BACKING NEO-LIBERALS IN MARYLAND AND NATIONALLY AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE IN ALL COMING ELECTIONS!
City leaves disabled firefighters, police with nothing
November 03, 2011 Baltimore Sun
All the politicians in this city get wonderful pensions, but the people who risk their lives and health to protect their fellow citizens get nothing.
I have been retired from the Baltimore City Fire Department for 14 years. I have a medical disability pension because of being hurt on the job. Because of the condition of my knees, I have been unable to work a full-time job.
In the 14 years I have been pensioned, my health insurance contribution has gone from $450 a year to $7,300 a year. Because of only receiving two raises during those 14 years ( 4.25 percent and 1.5 percent) this has been a terrible financial burden on my family.
I have depleted my entire life savings to put my oldest son through high school and college. I still have a younger son who was two when I retired and who will be going to college in two years.
You would think the mayor or Baltimore City would set up some kind of scholarship fund to help pay the cost of college for children of police and fireman who are on disability pensions, or at least give us a break on our health insurance premiums.
Firefighters and policemen put their life on the line, every day they go to work. I spent 25 years in one of the busiest firehouses in Baltimore City, and this is the thanks I get for my dedication. I'm sure there are a lot of other retired fireman and policemen who are in the same financial dilemma that I am in.
Did I mention how much money the city stole from the firefighters and police retirement fund? If not for that, the fund would be in great financial shape.
If it's any wonder why Baltimore is one of the worst cities to live in, look no further than the people who run it.
The kinds of cuts being made by City Hall in the name of budget deficits is horrendous. It tears at public confidence and in employee moral. This is not first world value....OUR POLITICIANS OPENLY LIE AND THE MEDIA NEVER CALLS THEM TO TASK.
Fire Death Hypocrisy
Jan 7, 2013 Baltimore Fire Union
At a press conference on January 2, Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Fire Chief James Clack praised Baltimore firefighters and emergency personnel for helping to reduce city fire deaths last year to an all-time low. They pledged, “We will continue to strive for a safer city when it comes to fire deaths....”
Yet on the very same day, Assistant Fire Chief Jeffery Segal ordered Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment used by firefighter paramedics to be removed from city fire trucks!
The next day, after word of Segal’s order had spread among firefighters – and at least one local newspaper inquired about it – his order was reversed.
So much for the mayor and her fire chief continuing “to strive for a safer city!” In a city that has one of the highest fire death rates of any – three times the national average – it took some firefighters to raise a stink to get the order reversed.
Regarding Detroit's trip to bankruptcy court:
As my last post pointed to, most of the Federal, state, and local debt is due to corporate fraud and so a city like Detroit, very similar to Baltimore, probably has the same level of crime and corruption as Baltimore. I have shouted often as to the deliberate malfeasance with public pensions, whether it was in 2007 when they were thrown into a crashing stock market out of the safety of then bond markets with the pols knowing the pensions would lose much of their value.....or whether it is today as these same pols load the state and local government with municipal bond debt knowing that the bond market it going to crash....again losing the public and public pensions huge amounts of money. So, Detroit no doubt has a harder road back to solvency, but recovering the money deliberately stolen from the taxpayers....subprime mortgage fraud no doubt was rampant as in Baltimore for instance as was Entitlement fraud of the poor and seniors. All of this fraud recovery will make these urban areas healthy and able to recover and protect the citizens from promised and earned retirements and benefits. So, whether it is a republican like Snyder or a neo-liberal like Rawlings-Blake, both working to protect the wealth and profits over the people, one positive is happening across America.....the unions are growing and gaining strength as people see they have no one seeking public justice for them any more.
We see this as well in the Marketplace Money report that has a business hiring an unemployed person who they make sound glad to get to work even as she works 12 hour days for almost nothing per hour. That company is so glad to have her slave labor that they will bring social services into the workplace to see she keeps coming. Now, if that business paid taxes and did not defraud the government, the government would be able to prepare that person for the workplace with strong schools, advanced education, child care and community support. But no, businesses do not want to do that...they want to exploit the workers and only invest in that person working for them. In walk unions to tell these workers that it is unionization that gave the 8 hour work day and 40 hour work week with pay that allowed people to support a family. This allows two people to get a job instead of the one displaced by large overtime hours. So again corporate public media is promoting the kind of programming that works against public interest and not for public interest.
We are seeing unions fighting with people against foreclosures, against civil rights violations, against unfair development......WE SEE UNIONS BECOMING THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITIES!
Governor Snyder Steals Pensions Out from Under Pensioners
posted by Ed Staff | Thursday, July 18, 2013 Filed Under: labor union detroit bankruptcy penions
High drama played out in Detroit-area courtrooms today -- drama which culminated in attorney;s for Governor Rick Snyder stealing the pensions right out from under current and former city workers for Detroit.
The drama played out as an attorney for the city's pensioners prepared to file a temporary injunction to prevent the city from filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, a move which would have preserved pension benefits for city workers. But, as the Detroit Free Press reports, attorneys for the city requested a five minute delay. Ronald King, attorney for the retirement system, agreed to the delay, and during the five minute respite, city attorneys filed for bankruptcy protection in another court, thereby thwarting the attempt to preserve pension benefits.
Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina later told King "It was my intention to grant your request," referring to the injunction which would have stopped the bankruptcy filing.
Please make clear that we had a supermajority of democrats and all 3 branches of government and could not get universal health care because the party's leadership and majority are neo-liberals not labor and justice. If unions and the democratic base do not vote neo-liberals out by running and voting for labor and justice candidates.....we will not turn this around!
Unions are now working for Universal care because they know neo-liberals are planning to take all health benefits from people! Think Entitlements will survive in neo-liberal private health systems? They will be thrown into these private systems just as Rawlings-Blake is doing with public sector pensions making them 401Ks
New York City Labor Council Endorses HR 676 July 22, 2013 by Healthcare-NOW!
Filed under Single-Payer News
By Kay Tillow, UnionsForSinglePayer.org –
The Executive Board of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, unanimously approved a resolution supporting HR 676, national single payer health care legislation, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez calls this resolution “Labor’s way of standing up for the health and well-being of working men and women and their families,” noting “The national legislation is a true means of controlling ever-increasing healthcare costs, while ensuring that Americans get the medical care they so desperately need.”
In the resolution, the Council notes that almost every union is forced to battle and sacrifice to sustain healthcare benefits for members. The Council also notes that while the United States spends twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as other developed nations, we remain the only industrialized country without universal healthcare coverage.
Robert Score, Recording-Corresponding Secretary of IATSE (Theatrical & Stage Employees) Local One, said “As we all know, nobody in the United States should have to choose between healthcare and keeping a roof over their heads, food on their table or clothing on their children. HR 676 will prevent such calamities. I am thankful to President Alvarez for guiding the NYC CLC to endorse HR 676.” IATSE Local One submitted the resolution that was passed.
The NYC CLC, the 146th CLC to endorse HR 676, represents 300 local unions with a total membership of 1.3 million.
In other news also, on July 19th Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of California’s 46th district became the 44th co-sponsor of HR 676.
We are seeing the US and UK following similar paths and the UK is always the harbinger of what is next in the US......
Keep in mind that Labor was taken by Blair....a neo-liberal just as the democratic party was taken by Clinton....a neo-liberal. So, as with the democratic party in the US, the UK's Labor Party is still trying to shake the bugs out of the rug!
A Defining Moment For Trade Unionism
Posted on July 14, 2013 by admin
By Professor Keith Ewing, Vice President of the Campaign For Trade Union Freedom
Trade union leaders are now under great pressure. They and they alone have the opportunity to stop Miliband’s breath-taking changes from happening, and the opportunity to defend the principle of collective affiliation.
It is true that Miliband’s proposals will not need legislation in order to be implemented. But they will require a change to the Labour Party’s rules, UNLESS every union agrees voluntarily to accept any new arrangements about to be proposed by Lord Collins of Highbury.
Without an agreement, each union will be free to continue to affiliate to the Party on its own terms, as at present. But because not every union leader will be able or will want to deliver an agreement of this kind, rule change at some stage is inevitable.
So far as the unions themselves are concerned, Miliband’s proposals as a minimum will require every union to adopt the UNISON model – an Affiliated Political Fund (APF) and a General Political Fund (GPF) – a model born of an amalgamation of two political cultures in one organization.
Good news for UNISON, who will come through this trauma largely unscathed. But not such good news for all the other unions, who will be required to change their rules if they are to retain the right to affiliate to the Labour Party.
No doubt Lord Collins will be able to help here, by drafting model rules which may have to be adopted by all affiliates, these likely to require all affiliated unions to establish two political funds, one for those members who choose to affiliate to Labour, and one for those who do not.
These rules will then have to be approved by the regular rules revision procedures of each of the affiliated trade unions individually. It is presumably being taken for granted that trade unionists can be taken for granted to go along with this, and nod it through.
With two funds, trade unions will be able to use (i) the affiliated fund to pay affiliation fees to the Labour Party and (ii) the general political fund to pay for various campaigns, which include campaigns in support of Labour or Labour candidates at elections (as at present).
The latter funds (the general political funds) are likely to become very significant, if the UNISON Model is any guide, as many members will choose to support their union’s political activities without supporting the Labour party.
The problem, however, is that these anticipated general political funds are about to become redundant. On 4 June 2013, Cameron announced proposals for new controls on trade union spending in elections, proposals which not enough people are taking seriously enough.
If these plans are implemented (and why would they not be?) any election expenditure by a trade union affiliated to the Labour party (including presumably from a union’s general political fund) will count as Labour Party expenditure.
Being treated as Labour Party expenditure, it will count towards the Party’s spending limit for the purposes of election law. According to the BBC, the same will apply in relation to union expenditure in support of candidates at constituency level.
For anyone harbouring the delusion that the Miliband proposals will release money for election campaigning, forget it. If Cameron’s plans are implemented, trade unions will only be able to spend money at election time with the consent of the Party or its candidates.
There is no reason why the Party would authorise trade unions to speak on its behalf in this way. And if the party’s fortunes revive with the anticipated influx of private donations as a result of the Miliband reforms, it would not be able legally to do so.
This is a defining moment for the political voice of trade unionism, which it is the misfortune of the current generation of general secretaries to have to defend. Having been marginalised industrially, trade unions are in the process of being marginalized politically.
As matters stand, this will be seen as a great victory for Progress, with trade unions being trussed up like Christmas turkeys.
While all unions will not be equally affected by the changes required, all unions will be diminished if the collective trade union voice grows ever more faint.
Regarding NPR's attempt at pushing aristocracy:
If you read international journalism you will see confusion by people in the UK for all of US media attention to the Royal birth. No one here cares says most people in the UK.....it is just US media hype. So why does NPR seem intent to make Royal watching public interest? BECAUSE THEY ARE STATE MEDIA WORKING FOR A PLUTOCRACY THINKING ITSELF ELITE!
Here is what is really happening in Europe.....
The scale and breadth of recent protests is unprecedented: people, in many cases suppressed for many years, are awakening demanding participation and social justice. The young lead the charge, seeing clearly the need for a new way of living, one that observes human rights and allows, indeed encourages freedom of expression and new inclusive political systems free from the ideological constraints of the past
‘The people have awakened’
This article does a good job at showing there is revolutionary movements in Europe and the UK just as there are here in America. We will see an uprising soon against a criminal and corrupt system and a move back to democracy and first world quality of life as soon as we shake the bugs from the rug!
WorldWide Social Activism
Change is afoot. Confronted with state corruption and corporate greed, abuse of human rights, environmental chaos and extreme levels of economic and social injustice, the people, overwhelmingly the young are taking to the streets demanding change, and a new political/economic system, that is inclusive and just.