Simple return to Rule of Law would have our public justice system at the Federal, STate, and local level bringing back tens of trillions of dollars to government coffers and individuals rebuilding social society and correcting wealth inequity brought by this massive corporate fraud. The voters in Maryland must get rid of these crony and corrupt politicians....neo-liberals and republicans....and run and voter for labor and justice candidates. It is not a democrat vs republican problem.....it is a corporate politician problem at all levels of government that if left unchanged will have this crime and violence excel and these corporate pols have only policing and incarceration as the solution!
Thieves nab copper wire, equipment from Verizon; reward offered Thieves cut holes in fences to gain access
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun 8:34 p.m. EDT, August 15, 2013
After a recent spree of thefts targeting $300,000 worth of copper wire and equipment from its facilities throughout the state, Verizon is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the thieves.
Thieves have taken copper wire and laptops from Verizon work centers in Bel Air; Brooklyn; Churchville; Edgewood; Fork; Hampstead; Jarrettsville; North East; Owings Mills; Parkton; Randallstown; Sparks; and Taneytown from May through August, Verizon officials said Thursday.
In the early hours of July 23, thieves cut a hole in the fence at Verizon's facility at 1820 Forest Drive in Annapolis and drove a white van in through the hole, filling it with stolen drills, test meters, miscellaneous testing equipment and splicing machines, Verizon officials said. Equipment including hand tools and fiber installation was also stolen from thieves at facilities in Rockville and Lanham.
Roland Park Shooting Linked to Robbery Spree Maj. Kimberly Burrus believes Wednesday's shooting is linked to a spate of recent robberies in North Baltimore.
Posted by Adam Bednar (Editor) , August 15, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Sharon Guida, of Charles Village, speaks with Maj. Kimberly Burrus, commander of the Northern District, during a National Night Out event. 28102The shooting of a 36-year-old man in Roland Park happened during a robbery, and police believe it’s part of a larger crime spree in North Baltimore.
According to Baltimore police, at 1:42 a.m. Wednesday, in the 4000 block of Roland Avenue the man was shot twice in the upper torso after two to three juveniles attempted to rob him.
"We also experienced two additional robberies after the shooting which suggest to me that these guys lack remorse, so someone else could get hurt until capture," Northern District commander Maj. Kimberly Burrus wrote in an email to community members.
Burrus, in her message to residents, said she believes the latest incident is connected to a spate of robberies where between two and four juveniles have used different stolen cars to target people walking or jogging in the early morning hours in North Baltimore.
A handful of similar robberies have been reported by police in the last few weeks.
Robbers using a car to find targets and getaway robbed two men in Charles Village. According to Baltimore police, on Aug. 6, at 2 a.m., the robbers approached the men after getting out of a vehicle in the 2900 block of St. Paul Street, and pulled out a black handgun.
On Aug. 2, at 7:30 a.m., in the 3400 block of Beech Avenue, the robbers approached a man after getting out of a car and took his iPhone.
That same day, about a half hour before, a woman was jogging in the 5500 block of North Charles Street when robbers got out of a car, stole her pepper spray, pointed it at her, and took her iPhone.
At about 6:15 a.m. that day, a woman was attacked in the 4800 block of Roland Avenue, and had her cellphone stolen. She told police that she believed one of the robbers, who got out of a car, was holding what she thought was a Taser.
People already under the strain of poverty are having yet more community assets/support taken and this gives us the crime and violence that is growing all around the country.
Remember, this sequestration was not necessary.....tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud and tax evasion would pay all the government debt and fund recovery. Obama and neo-liberals want to starve government instead.
Sequestration damages our community
Monday, 10 June 2013 10:52 By Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent 0 Comments Almeta Keys
WASHINGTON (NNPA) –The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that nearly 140,000 low-income families could lose rental assistance and "thousands of other low-income families using vouchers could face sharp rent increases because of sequestration."
Sequestration, the automatic federal budget cuts, was implemented on March 1.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, sequestration will slash $2 billion from housing assistance and community development programs funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Blacks received 43 percent of housing vouchers to supplement housing costs. Whites received 36 percent of housing vouchers. Without the vouchers, these families would see those costs skyrocket. Other families will lose counseling services that help distressed homeowners navigate foreclosure proceedings.
"Due to sequestration, 337,000 victims of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, and other crimes will lose critical support and services they receive through the Crime Victims Fund to help them recover from the heinous crimes committed against them," wrote Eric Stegman, the manager of the Half in Ten initiative at the Center of American Progress, a non-partisan education and research group.
The Victims of Crime Act, shelters victims from prohibitive costs associated with seeking justice, including sexual assault services, crisis intervention and investigation and prosecuting of child and elder abuse.
States could lose more than $37 million to fund these services and victims could lose their right to justice.
After reauthorizing the hotly contested Violence Against Women Act, legislation that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Congress left the funding of the programs to the mercy of the sequester. More than 100,000 may be turned away.
Black women account for a disproportionate number of domestic violence victims.
According to a report by the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community at the University of Minnesota: "Black women comprise 8 percent of the U.S. population but in 2005 accounted for 22 percent of the intimate partner homicide victims and 29 percent of all female victims of intimate partner homicide."
The institute also found that intimate partner violence among African Americans is related to economic factors.
"Intimate partner violence among Blacks occurs more frequently among couples with low incomes, those in which the male partner is underemployed or unemployed, particularly when he is not seeking work, and among couples residing in very poor neighborhoods, regardless of the couple's income," stated the report.
Programs that benefit children are also reeling as a result of sequestration. Head Start, a government funded program that promotes school readiness for poor children, lost an average of 5 percent at each of its local affiliates. Twenty-eight percent of Head Start enrollees are Black and 41 percent are White.
"Sequestration cuts are forcing Head Start programs across the country to drop children from their ranks, despite research showing that every $1 invested in Head Start brings $9 in benefits to society," wrote Sally Steenland, director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress.
Experts estimate that 70,000 children will be forced out of those programs.
Some programs are holding lotteries for available slots, juggling budgets and wait listing families. Others have proposed the elimination of transportation to the programs.
"Head Start is a safe haven for parents," said Almeta Keys, executive director of the Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center, Inc. in Washington, D.C. "The best that we can do is give our parents referrals to possible programs that they can go to and in some cases, it's going to mean them being out of childcare. That's the rude awakening."
Children will not only loss educational services provided through Head Start, but also nutritional and social programs and comprehensive health services.
"The parents are going to be left to fend for themselves, said Keys. "A lot of our parents are young parents and they need that extra guidance that we are giving them in Head Start."
Families that depend on neighborhood food pantries for groceries every month may have to fend for themselves, as well. Because of the downturn in the economy, food banks that supply neighborhood food pantries, have also suffered a decrease in donations.
According to Feeding America, a domestic hunger-relief charity, 25.1 percent of Black households live with hunger compared to 11.4 percent of White households that are also food insecure.
"Food banks are struggling across the nation, because we're not receiving the donations from the community," said Brian Banks, director of public policy and community outreach for the Capital Area Food Bank. "Many food banks have to go into their operating budgets to purchase food to put on their shelves to get food out into the community."
Banks said that hurts their bottom line. The more money food banks spend on food, the less they can spend on other services like nutritional programs, community outreach, and advocating for better safety net programs.
"If there's less funding to support the staff in doing that work, it's going to make it more difficult for us to put a dent in this problem and end hunger in this country," said Banks.
In April, the White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill drew the ire of non-profits that service low-income populations, when they stepped in to help airports and air travelers inconvenienced by the sequester, but not others.
In April, Congress acted to help air travelers, that were experiencing flight delays because of the sequester, by passing the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013. The bill allowed the Federal Aviation Administration to shift money in its current budget to pay air-traffic controllers that were forced to take unpaid leave, because of sequestration.
Keys and others challenged Congress to act just as quickly for those that don't have the support of well-financed lobbyists to stand up for them.
"The same vigorous movement that we saw when the air traffic controllers went back to work, that's what Congress needs to be doing when it comes down to cuts that the Head Start program has received," said Keys. "Congress needs to be focusing on our future and our children are our future."
Amelia Kegan, senior policy analyst at Bread for the World, agreed.
"Low-income families who are really struggling in this economy don't have the resources to mount a huge campaign to bombard Capitol Hill," said Kegan. "They are most likely to be left out of any legislative attempts to mitigate the impact of sequestration. Congress needs to replace sequestration and deal with the entire thing and take a much more balance approach."
Kegan added: "We don't want to see a situation where those who are the most vulnerable are the ones left bearing the brunt of deficit reduction."
In Baltimore there is an open policy of reducing and almost eliminating low-income housing from Enterprise Zones pushing ever more people with poverty concerns into surrounding neighborhoods rather than addressing the problems head on. So, instead of solving housing and poverty, in Baltimore more and more neighborhoods are now being engulfed in crime and violence.
To make matters worse, a deliberate attempt to deny employment to poor city residents no doubt trying to force them to leave has created such a level of homelessness and desperation that people's anger and outrage will not be contained.
THESE POLICIES NOT ONLY ENDANGER COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.....IT WILL AND IS OVERFLOWING INTO ALL NEIGHBORHOODS AND ALL OF THIS IS BECAUSE OF BAD PUBLIC POLICY!
Dispersing Poor People in Cities Doesn't Disperse Crime
Emily Badger, The Atlantic Cities
Aug 5, 2013
Beginning in the mid-1990s, the federal government shifted the way it subsidizes housing for the low-income. Out were mega-public housing projects like St. Louis' Pruitt-Igoe and Chicago's Cabrini-Green. In were housing vouchers and tax credits designed to disperse people in need of housing help out of these infamous pockets of poverty.
Crime rates in cities across the country happened to be falling around this same time. But many communities far from places like Cabrini-Green feared that a program designed to disperse the poor would also disperse crime associated with them – and straight into more pristine neighborhoods. This idea has persisted for nearly 20 years. And it's prominent among the objections often raised to adding subsidized housing into new neighborhoods and suburbs (see also: the schools will get overcrowded! The traffic will get worse! Everyone's property value will fall!).
"Crime and violence-based fear is something that’s certainly been used very, very effectively for decades in this country," says Michael Lens, an assistant professor of urban planning at UCLA. "And many of our cities are certainly the worse for it in terms of land use and equitable neighborhood opportunity."
In theory, there are two logical outcomes to this change in housing policy. One suggests that traditional public housing concentrates crime "hot spots," enabling police to more effectively monitor them. Scatter the people and you not only scatter the criminals; you also make it harder for law enforcement to keep track of them, driving citywide crime rates up. A widely read 2008 story in The Atlantic by Hanna Rosin argued this hypothesis in the city of Memphis.
The second narrative proposes instead that traditional public housing concentrates poverty, creating the environments – places without opportunity, good schools, employment – that drive crime. Disperse the people, and you break up that concentration, theoretically reducing crime.
A growing stack of research now supports the second hypothesis that housing vouchers do not in fact lead to crime. Lens has just added another study to that literature, published in the journal Urban Studies. He looked at crime and housing data in 215 cities between 1997 and 2008 – controlling for national and regional crime trends, demographic and income variables, employment rates and more – and found "virtually no relationship" between the prevalence of Housing Choice Voucher Program households and higher crime at the city level or in the suburbs. In previous research, Lens and colleagues had investigated the same question at the neighborhood level.
"Although communities with a higher prevalence of voucher households appear to be higher in crime," Lens writes, "there is no evidence that this is due to voucher households increasing crime."
Lens adds, over the phone, that he was hardly surprised by that result.
"There has never really been a lot of empirical evidence for the idea that people that live in subsidized housing commit a fantastically higher amount of crime," he says. "Nor is there really much evidence that there’s this crime spillover into surrounding neighborhoods."
As the voucher program has expanded, however, with a corresponding decrease in public housing units, more communities are encountering the prospect of these households in their midst. Today, about 50 percent of voucher households are in the suburbs.
The decline in national crime, as seen alongside the rise in housing vouchers and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. From "The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in US Cities and Suburbs" by M. Lens in Urban Studies.
It's probably overly optimistic to think that this evidence will disarm bitter local controversies over the need for subsidized housing. But Lens puts it like this: "The main thing is that a very small percentage of poor people commit any sort of crimes at all. So the idea that the random five or 10 low-income households that might move into your large neighborhood are going to impact your life in a negative way is fairly unlikely."
"But I understand that cities have been grappling with this for years, decades," he says. "That’s how we came to be a country of very segregated land use when it comes to economics and income."
Besides massive corporate fraud raiding our Treasury it is the failure to pay Living Wages that are tearing our working-class and poor communities apart!
Case for $15 and a Union for Low Wage Workers
Carl Gibson Reader Supported News / News Analysis Published: Thursday 15 August 2013
These fast-food joints like to argue that if they were to pay everyone a living wage and give them the right to collectively bargain with their bosses on an even playing field, they would go out of business. Post a Comment Resize Text + | - | R Plain Text Print SHARE Email Pete is a Domino’s driver in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who makes $4 an hour. Even with tips, he still averages about minimum wage at the end of the day. Giovanni, a Pizza Hut worker in Milwaukee, makes minimum wage while living with his mother to help pay rent. He says a roughly $300 paycheck per week is not even enough for a month’s rent on top of all the other costs of living. Pete, Giovanni, and roughly 1,000 other fast-food and low wage workers recently staged a one-day strike in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, protesting poverty wages while working for companies raking in billions in profits.
“I’m not just doing this for myself, I'm doing it for my mom, too,” Giovanni says. “It’s impossible to make it just on $7.25.”
McDonald's makes $27 billion in annual revenue, which makes them the 90th largest economy in the world. Their CEO, who made $8.75 million last year and pays their US employees right around the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, recently made a budgeting guide showing McDonald's hourly employees how they can survive on the poverty wages their company pays them. The sample budget included income from a second job (because there are so many out there) and budgeted just $600 for rent, $20 for healthcare, $250 for car payments and insurance combined, and $0 for heating costs. Even McDonald's, one of the most profitable food service companies in the history of the world, acknowledges that the workers who make their skyrocketing profits possible can't survive solely on the income McDonald's pays them. The gap between salaries of McDonald's workers and the CEO is fairly typical. The incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans grew by roughly $59 in the last 40 years, while the incomes of the top 10% rose by an average of $116,071.
These fast-food joints like to argue that if they were to pay everyone a living wage and give them the right to collectively bargain with their bosses on an even playing field, they would go out of business. However, Australia's minimum wage is twice as high as ours, yet a Big Mac costs roughly the same. Australia's economy, unlike ours, weathered the last financial crisis and survived a meltdown due to their strong, well-paid consumer base, which has enough pocket money to spend and keep businesses open. Minimum wage workers in Canada also make $3 to $4 more an hour compared to their American counterparts. And McDonald's is still far from going out of business. Unlike what detractors say about the movement of one-day strikes from Seattle to Milwaukee to New York, paying low wage and fast-food workers more money doesn't kill jobs. Rather, more people with more money in their pocket greatly boosts the economy over the long term.
This story by CNN Money demonstrated how even just a $9 minimum wage would affect consumer demand and job growth. Without demand, businesses can't make enough to pay employees, and layoffs are inevitable. A lack of demand is the natural result of austerity economics, which are aimed at firing public workers and privatizing public assets to further enrich those who are already far wealthier than a vast majority of the population. The workers aren't endangering the economy by asking for a fair wage and a union – their employers are, by denying it to them.
Some critics of the Fight for 15 campaign are the same ones who see employees as a cost, rather than an investment. McDonald's franchises, which have to pay royalties to the corporate parent for use of the golden arches and Ronald McDonald, say "labor costs" are roughly one-third of current revenue intake, even at the present poverty wages those employees are paid.
These arguments entirely miss the point and purpose of having a labor force to make sure the company's profits are stable. If all the workers choose to strike because of poverty wages, the restaurant has to shut down, and that franchisee's earnings are affected as well as the corporate parent's profits. Also, the corporate profits of McDonald's would only be mildly affected by doubling workers' wages. A Big Mac would only cost $0.68 more, or McD's corporate HQ could allow franchisees to keep more of the royalties they have to pay to the corporate parent.
Also, a union for employees is as "free market" as any ideal espoused by executives. Ensuring there's an even playing field for the employees and bosses to freely negotiate as equals is the definition of a free market, in which no one entity has an inherent advantage over any other party. A boss who says he believes in "free markets" but not unions doesn't know the definition of a free market. A workplace where one boss has more of a say than all of the workers combined is a monopoly on workers' rights. But in a truly free market setting, employees could voice their concerns about their pay to their boss without fear of retaliation, and without the restaurant losing out on valuable revenue due to a worker strike, since the restaurant's profits aren't possible without the effort from workers. A union works out better for both the employees and the company. A free market is simply an agreement that all involved parties freely enter.
Some detractors argue that fast-food and low wage workers are all young, or lack the appropriate education level for other jobs, which is patently false. This NBC story cites numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing not only that fast-food workers older than normal, but that 42% of employees over age 25 have some college education. One McDonald's in Massachusetts even required a college degree for a cashier job. The job market is very unstable for recent college grads, many of whom end up moving back home with their parents and working fast-food jobs despite having a 4-year or even a post-graduate degree. Besides, even if they are of a certain age bracket or educational level, that doesn't mean they should be denied a share in the profits they make possible for their employer. It's immoral for an executive to make more in an hour than an hourly employee makes in a month. Workers deserve a living wage, and their work is valuable. Without these fast-food workers, who would provide Americans with their morning coffee or bagel, or their midday snack, or serve you food when you have a car full of hungry kids and no time to cook them a homemade meal?
Yet another argument is that $15 an hour is too high a demand. But the costs of food, healthcare, housing, and other basic living expenses are going up while wages are stagnating. If the minimum wage had the same buying power today as it did when it was first enacted, it would be roughly $11 an hour. Senator Elizabeth Warren has pointed out that if the minimum wage had kept up with worker productivity, it would now be $22 an hour. CEOs aren't working 380 times harder than their hourly employees; they're just taking in way more pay than they should for the work they do. $15 an hour is a great starting point. If their employer agrees to unionize employees but raise wages from $7.25 an hour to $12.50 an hour, that's still a vast improvement from the status quo. And a union ensures that employees will be able to negotiate for more in the future, and do so on an even playing field.
In fact, it would even be a good business decision for McDonald's and all the other leading fast-food chains to announce that they're doubling workers' pay, because those workers make it possible for such restaurants to remain profitable and successful. If McDonald's poured some of their millions dedicated to advertising to make this point clear, I think most Americans would pay another dollar or two for a Big Mac, knowing the person making it was being paid enough to feed her children and keep her lights on. Workers would regain their dignity and be proud of their job, and be more productive at work as a result. And those fast-food employees would have more money to cycle back into their local economies, keeping demand up and other businesses open. $15 an hour and a union isn't just best for these hard workers who deserve it, but best for all of us.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO VOICE WILL GET HEARD ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!
We know what is happening to cause these problems....globalization allowed US corporations to leave.....global corporations became too powerful to hold accountable.....people were impoverished as safety nets were defunded....and Hispanic families fleeing from drug violence in Latin America found gangs creating the same mess in their new homes.
Large Cities All Over America Are Degenerating Into Gang-Infested War Zones
By Michael Snyder, on January 6th, 2013
Large U.S. cities that the rest of the world used to look at in envy are now being transformed into gang-infested hellholes with skyrocketing crime rates. Cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Camden, East St. Louis, New Orleans and Oakland were once bustling with economic activity, but as industry has fled those communities poverty has exploded and so has criminal activity. Meanwhile, financial problems have caused all of those cities to significantly reduce their police forces. Sadly, this same pattern is being repeated in hundreds of communities all over the nation. The mainstream media loves to focus on mass shooters such as Adam Lanza, but the reality is that gang violence is a far greater problem in the United States than mass shooters ever will be. There are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in America today according to the FBI. That number has shot up by a whopping 40 percent just since 2009. There are several factors fueling this trend. Unemployment among our young people is at an epidemic level, about one out of every three U.S. children lives in a home without a father, and there are millions of young men who have come into this country illegally and have no way to legally support themselves once they arrive in our cities. Gangs provide a support system, a feeling of "community", and a sense of purpose for many young people. Unfortunately, most of these gangs use violence and crime to achieve their goals, and they are taking over communities all over America. If your community is not a gang-infested war zone yet, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. If nothing is done about this, the violence and the crime that is fueled by these gangs will continue to spread, and eventually nearly every single community in the United States will be affected by it.
This is why our communities are starved for money.....the complete suspension of Rule of Law..and excuses no one believes!
FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS PAY FOR THEMSELVES....AS THE FBI AND AG HOLDER KNOW THE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS IN POSTAGE STAMP SETTLEMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED TO REBUILD THE WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL AGENCIES AND PUSH A WAR ON FRAUD. JUST RECOVERING TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FRAUD PAYS FOR ITSELF!
FBI Warns Sequestration Will Hamper All Their Hard-Hitting Wall Street Investigations
Posted: 03/04/2013 4:40 pm EST | Updated: 03/05/2013 12:14 am EST HUFFINGTON POST
WASHINGTON -- More than four years after the financial crisis, not a single Wall Street executive has been jailed for playing a role in the creation of the toxic financial products that fueled the real-estate bubble, which were in some cases designed simply to fail.
That track record may make it difficult for the Department of Justice to earn the sympathy of the public as it warns that spending cuts will hamper its ability to investigate Wall Street fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigations told lawmakers in a recent letter that across-the-board cuts resulting from sequestration "will cause current financial crimes investigations to slow as workload is spread among a reduced workforce. In some instances, such delays could affect the timely interviews of witnesses and collection of evidence."
Investigations yet unseen may also be harmed. "In some instances, such delays could affect the timely interviews of witnesses and collection of evidence. The capacity to undertake new major investigations will be constrained," FBI Director Robert Mueller III wrote in the letter, addressed to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The warning closed with the type of reasoning that critics of the lack of investigations would readily support. "Left unchecked, fraud and malfeasance in the financial, securities, and related industries could hurt the integrity of U.S. markets," Mueller offered. That boat has sailed..."In addition, the public will perceive the FBI as less capable of aggressively and actively investigating financial fraud and public corruption, which would undercut the deterrence that comes from strong enforcement." Are these people real? How much do all of America have to shout that no investigations/justice are happening
During President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address, he announced the formation of a task force to investigate Wall Street in a meaningful way. He decided not to mention the unit, which had little to show for itself, in his address a year later.
Former Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), a Wall Street critic who was passed over to lead that unit, was unpersuaded by the DOJ complaint. "Are they worried that because of sequestration the FBI will interview critical witnesses three years after the statute of limitations has expired instead of just one year? Financial fraud investigations were already under a 'do not resuscitate' order and unresponsive to deep stimulation," Miller told HuffPost. "It's hard for me to worry that DOJ will now be less 'aggressive.'"