Republicans and Clinton neo-liberals have sold voters for decades as to the need to deregulate to improve the economy and create jobs and voters watched as all it did was move money to the rich and expand corporations globally all while killing small businesses, jobs, and wages. Deregulation is never about creating efficient markets----it is always about consolidation of power and wealth. When government raises fees for permits-----when it raises fines for failure to comply with a regulation----when it focuses all attention on one regulation over another targeting specific industries or types of businesses----IT IS NOT DOING THE WORK OF REGULATING. Checking to see if a business is operating legally should not create fear and loathing for citizens and business people. Neo-conservatives in Baltimore and Clinton neo-liberals in Maryland deliberately raise tax rates, permit fees et al on the lower business class while eliminating and creating so many loopholes for corporations just to get small business and citizens mad at regulation and taxation.
MOST OF THE FEES, FINES, AND REGULATORY COSTS ARE NOT EVEN NEEDED FOLKS---THEY DO IT TO GET REVENUE FROM MAIN STREET WHILE LEAVING CORPORATIONS FREE OF TAXES AND HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED.
Baltimore City politicians are the most deregulating/corporate subsidizing group of pols in Maryland and they work for a neo-conservative Johns Hopkins. They call this READY TO DO BUSINESS. First thing Hogan does-----starts to bring global and national corporations to Maryland to fill the economy. It has nothing to do with growing small businesses. Baltimore is a financial mess because of this complete deregulation and killing of oversight and accountability.
JOHNS HOPKINS LITERALLY WRITES ALL PUBLIC POLICY AND CONTROLS THE CITY'S REVENUE----BALTIMORE POLS WORK FOR HOPKINS----IT IS A CORPORATION EARNING TONS IN PROFIT----AND IT'S BIGGEST PROFIT COMES FROM FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GRANTS, TAX-FREE BUSINESSES---AND IMPOVERISHING BALTIMORE'S WORKFORCE.
We need Hopkins out of Baltimore government----it is neo-conservative and repressive and the face of the city's decline, crime, and violence.
'Mary Kay Henry, international president of the SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, said that the situation at Hopkins ranks among the most serious in the country. Henry's group represents 2.1 million workers in health care, public and property services. "I can't believe that Johns Hopkins made $1.9 billion in revenue and $140 million in profit, yet they can't pay a living wage?"
Below is a snippet from a great article too long to post----that gives a clear explanation of the class and race issues creating the mess in Baltimore government today----I like how it mentions neo-liberalism after the 1970s as the source for the stasis of crumbling decline. Right after this you see an article that has Maryland pushing for more and more deregulation with Baltimore leading the way-----
WE ARE ALLOWING THE WORST OF PEOPLE IN POWER TO CONTINUE THESE POLICIES WE KNOW ARE KILLING US. PLEASE STOP THINKING RACE AND CLASS IN BALTIMORE IS THE ONLY MOTIVE TO POLICY-----INJUSTICE FOR ONE DOES BECOME INJUSTICE FOR ALL.
The cost of making Baltimore communities sustainable is not as great as is pretended. Remember, Baltimore loses a billion dollars a year in fraud and Maryland loses tens of billions of dollars most going to the rich.
STOP THE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION TO REBUILD A CIVIL SOCIETY IN BALTIMORE FOR GOODNESS SAKE---AND THAT TAKES A STRONG PUBLIC SECTOR WITH REGULATIONS AND PUBLIC JUSTICE.
Analysis, US The shape of Baltimore’s segregation
rs21onMay 11, 2015
In an article from the Chicago-based red wedge website, Alexander Billet sees racism and capitalism combine in Baltimore’s history
'By the time Nina Simone recorded her version of Randy Newman’s “Baltimore,” which has heavily made the rounds since events started popping off last week, there was a distinctly more widespread and heavy sense of desperation gripping the city. What had happened in the fifteen intervening years? In a word, neoliberalism. The economic crash of the early 70’s never really bothered to leave most neighborhoods of color, and the more heavily industrialized a city was, the harder the white flight and outsourcing hit it. The sense of “heavy manners” that comes from the song’s quasi-reggae sound was very appropriate.
Baltimore was drastically and quite tangibly reshaped in the aftermath of the riots that followed Martin Luther King’s murder. Denvir’s CityLab piece chronicles the way in which then-governor Spiro Agnew’s response to the uprising – a sharp pivot to the right – was something of a prelude for the law and order rhetoric taken up by conservatives after out-and-out Jim Crow bigotry had become politically untenable.
This had a visual and aesthetic valence too, largely because law and order conservatism was so easily integrated into the deregulation, disinvestment, and the vast restructuring that allowed the bottom to drop out of poor and working class living standards. It’s a common misconception that neoliberalism is essentially an extreme version of getting government out of business, when in fact there are countless realms in which a successfully implemented neoliberal project requires a robust state. Chief among these is law enforcement, which plays a particular and conscious role in keeping potential workforces pliant and communities spurned by austerity on the margins. And if all circles of daily life – from government to culture – are to be retooled for the maximization of profit, then it is only predictable that the city be literally reshaped by such a project, down to its very skyline. Architect and Maryland Institute College of Art professor Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson describes how urban planners deliberately shifted after those uprisings:
The architecture of cities changed after the 1960s. Here in Baltimore, we bricked over ground-level windows and turned our back on the street. Cultural institutions and universities hunkered inward. Public-facing front doors closed in favor of private, secure, bunker-like entrances. Baltimore wasn’t alone. In cities across the country you saw an increase in concrete walls, barbed wire, berms, “bum-proof” benches, and soulless buildings that buffeted people from the street'.
And here we go with Baltimore's neo-conservative pols running as Democrats leading more and more deregulation as they fill the state with global corporations that will only do great harm to environment, communities, and Maryland citizens. Do you really think this deregulation is about helping Maryland small businesses? REALLY????
PUGH IS JOHNS HOPKINS WHICH IS GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Deregulation: Maryland is ready to do business
By Maryland Reporter · April 1, 2015 · 0 Comments
Photo above: Sen. Catherine Pugh and Sen. Paul Pinsky in foreground
By Len Lazarick
Efforts to make Maryland more business friendly, reduce the burden of regulations, improve customer service and even reduce taxes and paperwork for many small businesses advanced in the state Senate Tuesday.
Several of the proposals came from a commission formed by the Senate president and House speaker to improve Maryland’s business climate, and the tax cut was a scaled back version of a proposal from Gov. Larry Hogan.
There was prolonged debate on HB939, legislation creating a new advisory council to review all state regulations for their impact on business.
Several progressive senators argued that the bill went too far in slowing the regulatory process.
“It undercuts and reduces all authority of the legislature,” said Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s County. “This is not a little bill. This could second guess our actions” since agency regulations often implement legislative action.
Pinsky pointed out that state agencies promulgate over 400 regulations per year, and yet only one staff person was going to review them all for the advisory council.
Any proposed regulations would have to be submitted to the advisory council 15 days ahead of publication, and if they find a significant impact the regs could be held up for months at a time.
Most senators say bill is needed
Other senators, both Democrats and Republicans, argued that the legislation, which already passed the House, was needed to improve how the state interacts with business.
“We need a sea change,” said Sen. Bob Cassilly, R-Harford. He described his interaction with a service station owner who thought the state was trying to put him out of business.
Sen. Catherine Pugh, floor leader on the bill and a member of the commission, said the commission in public hearings across Maryland constantly heard complaints about regulations.
Time and time again, said Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, businesses told the commission they were more concerned about strangling state regulations than about high taxes.
Sen. Ron Young, D-Frederick, who spent 11 years working in state agencies but had also been a business owner, said “We’ve got very systemic problems in state government.”
“If we don’t keep our small businesses strong, we’re not going to have the taxes to keep the things we want going,” Young said.
Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Prince George’s, objected, “This is a feel-good bill… It sets up another committee. Let’s meet, let’s talk, let’s write reports.”
The bill ultimately passed 42-5. Because of some Senate amendments, it must return to House where it passed 134-3.
There was no opposition to another bill recommended by business climate commission, HB940, that would create customer service training programs for all state agencies overseen by the business ombudsman in the governor’s office, another commission idea.
Personal property tax
The Senate also gave preliminary approval to a Hogan administration bill, SB590, that would eliminate the personal property tax on businesses with less than $10,000 in physical assets, but delay its implementation for two years. The bill was amended to require the state Department of Assessments and Taxation to do an audit of the personal property tax to make sure businesses were complying with the law.
Rosapepe said that this bill, as opposed to the earlier measure on regulations, actually did something for small businesses, and put money back in their pockets.
Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery, who had opposed the advisory council on regulations but was the floor leader for the personal property tax bill, readily agreed.
As you saw above----the reduction of property taxes offered by this hyper-global corporate Maryland Assembly came to businesses with less than $10,000 in property value. I was there when the Baltimore Small Business representative Barbara Robinson's mouth dropped because she was able to see there was not real intent to protect small business in this neo-con/neo-liberal politics. The Tea Party on the Republican side was created for this reason----they hated neo-conservatives eliminating free markets and small business. As this article states-----small business Republicans should be aligning with labor and justice against global pols. What makes Baltimore's politics so ODD is that Baltimore is home to the neo-cons the Tea Party hates. With over 600,000 citizens being working/middle class and people of color----there should be a labor and justice progressivism with which conservative Republicans can align. What we are seeing is Baltimore citizens joining the Republicans to go around a captured Democratic Party filled with neo-conservatives. This will end badly for citizens in Baltimore as this will take the state further right while not fixing Baltimore's neo-conservative hold.
We need small business Republicans to see the value of regulations and oversight in wanting free market and Rule of Law in which to do business. Regulations do not have to be onerous-----they do not have to be tied to high fees and taxes----that is simply a global corporate excuse to find revenue for themselves. Small businesses will not survive all of this fraud, corruption, and economic crashes brought from it. It will not survive if anti-trust laws are not reinstated and enforced. It will not survive if 80% of American people are driven into poverty as is the goal of global corporations and their pols.
PLEASE COME TOGETHER TO REINSTATE RULE OF LAW IN BALTIMORE----REINSTATE OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY AND REBUILD THE PUBLIC SECTOR TO DO THIS.
IF DEMOCRATIC VOTERS GO OVER TO REPUBLICANS TO ESCAPE THIS GLOBAL CAPTURE OF OUR PARTY----IT WILL GET FAR WORSE.
The revolt of small-business Republicans
By Robert B. Reich
Are U.S. small businesses finally waking up to the fact that they're being victimized by big businesses? Can it be that America's small businesses are finally waking up to the fact that they're being victimized by big businesses?
For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big-businesses lobbies.
They've contributed to the same Republican candidates and committees favored by big business.
And they've eagerly connected theRepublican Party in Washington to its local business base. Retailers, building contractors, franchisees, wholesalers and restaurant owners are the bedrock of local Republican politics.
But now small businesses are breaking ranks. They're telling congressional Republicans not to make the deal at the very top of big businesses' wish list: a cut in corporate tax rates.
"Given the option, this or nothing, nothing is better for our members," Liam Donovan, the director of legislative and political affairs at Associated Builders and Contractors, told Bloomberg Politics. Donovan's group gave a reported $1.6 million to Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections and nothing to Democrats.
Small businesses won't benefit from such a tax deal because most are "S" corporations and partnerships, known as "pass-throughs" since business income flows through to them and appears on their owners' individual tax returns. So a corporate tax cut without a corresponding cut in individual tax rates would put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
And since a cut in the individual rate isn't in the cards -- even if it could overcome the resistance of Republican deficit hawks, President Obama would veto it -- small businesses are saying no to a corporate tax cut.
The fight is significant, and not just because it represents a split in Republican business ranks. It marks a new willingness by small businesses to fight against growing competitive pressures from big corporations.
In case you hadn't noticed, big corporations have extended their dominance over large swaths of the economy.
They've expanded their intellectual property, merged with or acquired other companies in the same industry, and gained control over networks and platforms that have become industry standards.
They've deployed fleets of lawyers to litigate against potential rivals that challenge their dominance, many of them small businesses.
And they've been using their growing economic power to get legislative deals making them even more dominant, such as the corporate tax cut they're now seeking.
All this has squeezed small businesses -- undermining their sales and profits, eroding market shares and making it harder for them to enter new markets.
Contrary to the conventional view of an American economy bubbling with innovative small companies, the rate at which new businesses have formed has slowed dramatically.
From 1978 to 2011, as big businesses expanded and solidified control over many industries, the pace of new business formation was halved, according to a Brookings Institution study released last year. The decline occurred regardless of the business cycle or which party occupied the White House or controlled Congress.
Contributing to the drop was the deregulation of finance -- which turned the biggest Wall Street banks into powerhouses that swamped financial markets previously served by regional and community banks. Not even Dodd-Frank has slowed the pace of financial consolidation.
In consequence, many small businesses can't get the financing they once got from state and local bankers. Over the past two decades, loans to small businesses have dropped from about half to less than 30 percent of total bank loans.
That means the Fed's rock-bottom interest rates haven't percolated down to many small businesses.
Tensions have also grown between giant franchisors -- restaurant chains, fast-food corporations, auto manufacturers, giant retailers -- and their franchisees.
Franchisees have found themselves trapped in contracts that siphon off profits to parent companies, give franchisors the right to unilaterally terminate the agreements, and force franchisees into mandatory arbitration of disputes.
Complaints are mounting about parent corporations closing successful franchisees for minor contract violations in order to resell them at high prices to new owners.
Meanwhile, small businesses are feeling the same financial pinch the rest of us endure from big corporations whose growing market power is letting them jack up prices for everything from pharmaceuticals to Internet connections.
So the willingness of small-business groups to take on big business on its top legislative priority could mark the start of a political realignment.
If small businesses were willing to ally themselves with consumer, labor and community groups, they could press for stronger antitrust enforcement against giant corporations, as well as for breaking upWall Street's biggest banks and strengthening community banks. They could also get legislation banning take-it-or-leave-it contracts requiring mandatory arbitration.
Such an alliance might even become a powerful voice for campaign-finance reform, containing the political clout of giant corporations.
Don't hold your breath. Small-business groups have done the bidding of big business for so long that the current conflict may be temporary.
But the increasing power of big corporations cries out for new centers of countervailing power.
Even if the political realignment doesn't happen soon, small businesses will eventually wake up -- and could play a central role.
I too was almost thrown out of Board of Estimates by Jack Young who was made to feel 'uncomfortable' by my comments spoken BEFORE the meeting started to the group assembled for this one meeting. Literally calling a police officer to remove me for speaking against a proposal before the board.
Baltimore City Hall is a public building. It should have open discussions on public policy all the time----from all angles----including all history. So, too should Maryland Assembly which has fine tuned that legislative process so as to eliminate most opportunities for the public to discuss policy. The Maryland Assembly allows thousands of bills to be introduced to be moved through the Assembly in three months-----the Baltimore Board of Estimates has a 5 minute board approval with no discussion of tons of contract award -----all done fast and furious.
CITIZENS SHOULD BE OUT EN FORCE AT ALL CITY HALL AND MARYLAND ASSEMBLY MEETINGS FOLKS! IF YOU ARE NOT SITTING THERE LISTENING----IF YOU ARE NOT SETTING UP SHOP IN A ROOM IN BALTIMORE CITY HALL TO DISCUSS ALL OF THESE POLICIES---YOU ARE NOT BEING A CITIZEN AND THEY ARE GOING WILD WITHOUT THIS SCRUTINY.
'Critics like Kiefaber have been saying that the BDC, a non-profit corporation set up by the city to redevelop the West Side, Inner Harbor, South Baltimore and other places, has too much say over how the city is governed'.
Baltimore has the most repressed political environment in the nation----I have never seen people taken out with all kinds of excuses from speaking views that conflict with the status quo. There is so much fear with government that is full of fraud, corruption, and injustice that any free speech will insight actual movements against this bad governing.
Baltimore Brew Stirring up News and Views in Baltimore Maryland
- Monday, June, 15th, 2015 15
COMMENTARY: Without a really good reason, nobody gets to limit free speech. That's the theory, but sometimes not the reality. Fern Shen and Mark Reutter July 5, 2011 at 1:08 am
Tom Kiefaber speaks to reporters about his removal from the Board of Estimates meeting.
Wild-eyed, angry, beloved by some and dismissed by others as a whiner, Tom Kiefaber may not be the exact person a free speech advocate would choose to carry the torch of the First Amendment.
Likening the city council president’s office to “that ventilation shaft on the Death Star in Star Wars that they just forgot about” and Baltimore as “swirling around the bowl,” Kiefaber has been making a stir with pronouncements in public meetings that, in his words, prompted a reaction akin to “turning on the light in a crack-house kitchen.”
The incident last Wednesday in which the former Senator Theatre owner was ejected by security guards from City Hall – where he had been sitting quietly at a Board of Estimates meeting – is only the latest in a string of examples of government officials suppressing the rights of Baltimoreans to pipe up and speak their minds.
“The First Amendment – I love it!” a woman could be heard saying on a cellphone video shot by a Baltimore Sun reporter at another City Hall meeting from which Kiefaber had been ejected by security guards.
But it’s hardly been love we’ve seen lately from official Baltimore.
When it comes to the rights of a free press, the right of assembly in a public square and other sepia-toned rights we celebrated yesterday over hot dogs and fireworks during the Fourth of July – they seem to be under attack from politicians and businesspeople on several fronts.
A City Hall staffer tried to block Erica Green, a Baltimore Sun reporter, from recording Kiefaber speaking to the City Council last month.
There’s a $21 million libel suit filed by a City Council member against a blogger who raised questions about her residency in the city, a restraining order against a man who organized a boycott of a controversial restaurant owner, and threats by Maryland Transit Administration police to arrest recreational photographers at Baltimore light-rail stops.
And let’s not forget the poor animal rights activist who was stopped and threatened with arrest by city police.
It turns out that the Inner Harbor tourist mecca, the face Baltimore shows to the world, is pockmarked with no-free-speech zones, according to discovery in an ACLU lawsuit filed against downtown waterfront officials.
Bruce G. Friedrich, a teacher at Baltimore Freedom Academy, had been part of a group urging passersby not to kill and eat cows and chickens, saying it’s as awful as cooking and eating a kitten or your beloved black Lab.
You might not want to be trapped in an elevator with these true believers – you may prefer to be down the street dining at Fogo de Chão, not contemplating the life your slice of beef led before it was impaled on the shish kebab and plopped on your plate.
But in our democracy, in the wide open spaces of the public square, Internet or public meetings called by government leaders, those people, whether “colorful” or “crackpot,” get to make their case and offer you a smorgasbord of ideas.
Without a really good reason, nobody gets to limit the menu. In theory, that is.
Nails on the Chalkboard
Look at what’s happened to Baltimore Examiner blogger Adam Meister, who has been advised by his attorneys not to talk publicly as a result of the libel suit filed against him by Baltimore City Council member Belinda K. Conaway.
Conaway says Meister libeled her by saying in a blog post that she does not live in the city councilmanic district she represents but, actually, in the county. Meister says the public documents he found prove his case, but in the meantime Conaway has effectively shut him down until the elections take place in the fall.
Meister has actually been pounding away for months not just on Belinda Conaway but on her powerful family – which includes a father who is circuit court clerk, a stepmother who is register of wills and a brother who is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
He criticizes the family for allegedly flouting residency requirements, mocks them for improprieties an auditor found in the running of the circuit court, and he does it in a smug tone, dripping with sarcasm.
Besides his fingernails-on-glass delivery (check out some of his videos), Meister’s got another issue that might account for how slow local media outlets have been, The Brew included, to follow the residency story. Meister lives in Conaway’s district and ran for city council in 2007. Having Conaway out of the way would help if he were to seek office again. (He says he is not going to run for the council.)
Meister may have an axe to grind, but so do plenty of others that the mainstream media turns to for advice and political commentary. On radio news shows and op-ed pages, you’ll find people with ties to partisan think tanks declaiming their views, not to speak of politically well-connected firms, like KO Public Affairs, shilling for their clients.
Whatever one thinks of Meister’s style or motivations, he did unearth public documents that raise legitimate questions about an elected official and forced the rest of us to take notice.
Terrorizing Hon Customers?
The dispute between Denise Whiting, owner of Hampden’s Café Hon, and Steven Akers, a 25-year-old student from Severn, also has taken on First Amendment implications.
Akers has been organizing protests, mostly on the Internet, ever since it was revealed that Whiting had trademarked the word “hon” and was seeking to profit from the trademark by licensing its use by other merchants.
On June 20, after Whiting’s commercially contrived Honfest was over, Maryland’s “first lady,” Catherine Curran O’Malley, stepped into the dispute.
Steve Akers, in red coat, leads protesters outside Cafe Hon voicing their displeasure with the trademark earlier this year. (Photo by Adam Bednar)
Ruling from her perch as associate judge of the Maryland District Court for Baltimore, the wife of Gov. Martin O’Malley issued an order barring Akers from all of Whiting’s businesses and from harassing or contacting her.
Judge O’Malley acted after Whiting accused Akers of opening the door of Café Hon during Honfest and shouting into the restaurant, “No one owns Hon!”
This act “terrorized” customers and left children crying, according to Whiting. Last week, a fellow district court judge, Joan B. Gordon, extended O’Malley’s so-called peace order. A hearing is scheduled today to finalize the order against Akers.
A Jedi Knight Takes on the BDC
The “hon” controversy pales in comparison to Kiefaber’s frontal attack on the way City Hall does business – and the equally ferocious response by city officials.
The former owner of the Senator Theatre is neither quiet nor discrete. He might also be a bad businessman, having lost the movie theater his grandfather opened in 1939 to foreclosure.
But the issues he’s been raising in this election year are not that different from those raised by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s challengers – issues that Rawlings-Blake has so far ignored by failing to participate in any mayoral forums sponsored by local civil and church groups.
Kiefaber’s ire has been directed toward Robert C. Embry, president of the A.S. Abell Foundation and former city housing commissioner, and M.J. “Jay” Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC)
“Baltimort” is Kiefaber’s name for Brodie, Embry, a word play on Voldemort, the archvillain in the Harry Potter series.
“He who shall not be named” is how mayoral candidate Otis Rolley has referred to Brodie.
Critics like Kiefaber have been saying that the BDC, a non-profit corporation set up by the city to redevelop the West Side, Inner Harbor, South Baltimore and other places, has too much say over how the city is governed.
In recent weeks, taxpayers found out they’ll have to pay $1.2 million to an obscure development company because of a flawed agreement executed by the BDC. (After The Brew broke this story, the company removed all traces of the deal from its website.)
Then came the news that developer David Cordish is seeking a $3 million rent “holiday” for the Power Plant and other property he leases from the city in the Inner Harbor.
Details of this proposed transaction were kept from the public when the BDC closed its public meeting and went into private session. The Cordish deal is now before Rawlings-Blake’s staffers – and still secret.
Not Permitted in City Hall
Kiefaber arrived last Wednesday at the Board of Estimates just as the panel was about to hear Jay Brodie and Paul Graziano, the housing commissioner, recommend a six-month extension for the developers of “Superblock,” the contentious project to revive dilapidated city-owned properties centered on Howard and Lexington streets.
Just as the agenda item was called, City Solicitor George Nilson asked for a recess so that guards could remove a person “who is not permitted in City Hall.”
Within moments, Kiefaber was surrounded by security officials and escorted from the room. His crime, as later explained by Nilson: being disrespectful to the City Council a week earlier, making City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young uncomfortable at his presence before the Board of Estimates.
“You got to be kidding,” Kiefaber said several times. “When can’t I sit in a public meeting and just observe?”
As Kiefaber protested his fate, Mayor Rawlings-Blake silently left the hearing room, returning after his departure with a cup of orange juice as if nothing had happened.
The meeting resumed when the board accepted the Brodie-Graziano report granting the Superblock extension, while not formally approving the extension itself.
By this time, Kiefaber was outside City Hall fuming about his treatment and vowing to file the paperwork to run for president of the City Council. A day later, standing before a knot of reporters in front of his foreclosed house, he likened the city council president’s office to the “ventilation shaft on the Death Star in Star Wars” and vowed to clean up a city that “is swirling around the bowl and about to go under.”
Kiefaber may have an in-your-face personality. Meister, Akers and the guy for animal rights may rub you the wrong way. But let’s not undercut our rights by dismissing them as weirdos or losers.
Baltimoreans need to take their First Amendment warriors as they find them. More importantly, they ought not to let sanctimonious officeholders or self-interested businesspeople muzzle them.