PLEASE WORK TO ELECT CITIZEN POLITICIANS AT ALL LEVELS IN 2014 AND 2016. IT IS CRITICAL WITH TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT POISED TO BE ENACTED. MARYLAND IS ALREADY ACTING AS IF TPP IS IN PLACE! TPP WILL TAKE THE US FROM WHAT IS NOW SECOND WORLD STATUS TO THIRD WORLD STATUS
BROWN, GANSLER, AND MIZEUR ARE ALL NEO-LIBERALS WHO HAVE AND WILL TAKE US DOWN THAT PATH!
LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERTS!
Time is running out! There are bills that are crucial to the well-being of Maryland's children and legislators need to hear your voice TODAY! The bills are:
- The Maryland Sick and Safe Leave Act: Requires employers to provide earned sick and safe leave. Click here to send a letter of support.
- Pre-K-Bill: Expands the Pre-School-for-All program to include more 4 year olds and an adequacy study of the Thornton Funding Formula to include Pre-K as a key aspect of the study. Click here to send a letter of support.
- School-Based Mental Health Services Bill: Creates a task force to develop a plan to increase access to school-based mental health services. Click here to send a letter of support.
- Foster Youth Benefits Bill: Ensures that social security benefits go to supplemental care or placed in a bank for foster youth and not used to offset the cost of placement. Click here to send a letter of support.
For the formal name of and background information on each bill, please see the legislative alert listed below.
March 4, 2014
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT HIGHSTAR INVESTMENT HAS BOUGHT VEOLA ENVIRONMENTAL WITH THE GOAL OF TAKING OVER ALL US PUBLIC WATER, SEWAGE, AND WASTE REMOVAL. In Maryland, HighStar is Johns Hopkins.
NOW, IMAGINE RECYCLING HANDED TO THEM AND THINK ABOUT THE PRICE OF THAT RECYCLED CAN. Public pays more for the aluminum and then a private corporation taking our PUBLIC recycling business gets more for the recycled items.
Stop the banks. Send a can.
"[Goldman Sachs] is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." – Matt Taibbi1
Stop the banks. Send a can. Click here for instructions.
Goldman Sachs and other the Wall Street banks that were responsible for blowing up our economy have now found a new way to fleece us and put our entire economy at risk.
Under the not-so-watchful eye of the Federal Reserve Bank, these banks have gotten involved in the production and distribution of physical commodities.
The banks’ involvement in these commercial commodities enterprises has created new risks these already reckless “too big to fail” banks can’t manage.
And that doesn’t even include the danger of these banks manipulating the price of commodities.
Last year, for example, the New York Times exposed a Goldman Sachs scheme that has driven up the price of aluminum –- costing American consumers billions. Yes, billions.2
The Federal Reserve is finally soliciting public comments period about whether they should close the loophole that allows the banks to produce and distribute commodities.
Tell the Federal Reserve to get banks out of the physical commodities business.
We need to get their attention, so do more than just submit a comment electronically.
Send the Fed an aluminum can in the mail to represent the absurdity of banks producing and distributing commodities.
Click here to download a comment template you can print out, attach to a can and mail to the Federal Reserve Bank.
Or click here if you want us to electronically deliver your comment.
The Goldman Sachs scheme uncovered by the New York Times is pretty outrageous. According the article:3
Before Goldman bought Metro International [a company whose warehouses store a quarter of the aluminum on the market] three years ago, warehouse customers used to wait an average of six weeks for their purchases to be located, retrieved by forklift and delivered to factories. But now that Goldman owns the company, the wait has grown more than tenfold — to more than 16 months, according to industry records.
Metro International holds nearly 1.5 million tons of aluminum in its Detroit facilities, but industry rules require that all that metal cannot simply sit in a warehouse forever. At least 3,000 tons of that metal must be moved out each day. But nearly all of the metal that Metro moves is not delivered to customers, according to the interviews. Instead, it is shuttled from one warehouse to another.
Because Metro International charges rent each day for the stored metal, the long queues caused by shifting aluminum among its facilities means larger profits for Goldman. And because storage cost is a major component of the “premium” added to the price of all aluminum sold on the spot market, the delays mean higher prices for nearly everyone, even though most of the metal never passes through one of Goldman’s warehouses.
Aluminum industry analysts say that the lengthy delays at Metro International since Goldman took over are a major reason the premium on all aluminum sold in the spot market has doubled since 2010. The result is an additional cost of about $2 for the 35 pounds of aluminum used to manufacture 1,000 beverage cans, investment analysts say, and about $12 for the 200 pounds of aluminum in the average American-made car.
It's not just aluminum. Thanks to lax regulation and oversight Goldman Sachs is now involved in the distribution of uranium yellowcake (the same substance used as a pretext to invade Iraq). And other banks are involved in the production and distribution of electric power and the refinement and distribution of oil, among a whole host of other things.4, 5
Imagine the economic catastrophe we might face if one of the nation’s largest banks involved in oil production were on the hook for the next Deepwater Horizon type of disaster.
Even if a bank had the resources to pay the damages, the lack of confidence in the bank by investors and depositors might be enough to cause it to implode and wreak havoc on our economy.
As the failure of one large bank could drag down other banks and cascade into a major economic calamity.
With respect to Goldman Sachs and the aluminum warehouses, the dangers are less systemic but still deeply troubling.
Because Goldman invests in and trades commodities derivatives (financial instruments that are bets on the future price of commodities), the bank’s involvement in the storage of aluminum gives it the ability manipulate the aluminum market to the benefit of its overall financial position.
As Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi puts it, “It's something akin to letting casino owners who take book on NFL games during the week also coach all the teams on Sundays.” 6
We need to make sure the Federal Reserve puts a stop to this.
At this stage, the Federal Reserve needs to know the public is engaged and paying attention. We think receiving aluminum cans in the mail will break through the insularity of the Fed and make sure the regulators take notice.
Tell the Federal Reserve to get banks out of the physical commodities business.
Click here to download a label you can print out, attach to a can and mail to the Federal Reserve Bank.
Or click here if you want us to electronically deliver your comment.
THANKS TO THIS GROUP WORKING AGAINST SMART METERS. Smart Meters are only to ration energy and water as public water and sewage is planned to be privatized Exelon and the global VEOLA Environment will push rates higher than most can afford and subsidies will end. So, stop this monitoring system.
THIS IS NOT CONSPIRACY THEORY IT IS FOR WHAT THESE METERS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED. IT IS NOT EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY....IT IS RATIONING AND PROFITEERING.
'WE'VE DESTROYED ALL FRESH WATER WITH INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION NOW RATES WILL SOAR AND ACCESS LIMITED' THEY SAY!
URGENT NEWS!!! Senate Bill 880 is STILL ALIVE—CALL TO ACTION
Please call or email the Maryland Senate Finance Committee and show your support before Monday afternoon 3/17/14. It is essential these committee members hear from you.
As soon as possible, please send a quick email to the senators/members of the Senate Finance Committee asking them to vote favorably on SB880 (the smart meter opt out bill) and send it to the floor for a full senate vote.
SENATE FINACE COMMITTEE CONTACT INFORMATION
Senator Delores Kelley is the sponsor so we omitted her info.
telephone: (301) 858-3616
firstname.lastname@example.org (Vice Chairman)
telephone: (301) 858-3578
telephone: (301) 858-3704
telephone: (301) 858-3169
telephone: (301) 858-3603
telephone: (301) 858-3671
telephone: (301) 858-3620
telephone: (301) 858-3645
telephone: (301) 858-3656
telephone: (301) 858-3745
For pointers on a longer letter—see our sample letter.
Thank you in advance for answering this important call to action.
President of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness
TEACHERS AND PARENTS NEED THE COMMUNITIES TO START SHOUTING AND JOIN THIS FIGHT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. MARYLAND HAS A CAPTURED POLITICAL SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS POLICIES TO BE EASILY PASSED AND PUSHED ON THE PUBLIC. WE NEED TO CHANGE THIS!
STAND UP FOR STRONG DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MARYLAND!
Teachers Union Launching Massive Campaign Against Education Reform Movement
Posted: 12/05/2013 5:03 pm EST | Updated: 12/05/2013 6:37 pm EST
The American Federation of Teachers union is unveiling a seven-figure advertisement campaign ahead of Dec. 9, a day that the group has billed as a "national day of action" against the education reform movement and push alternative solutions.
“Public education is under attack and underfunded throughout our country," the advertisements read, according to materials AFT, the nation's second-largest teachers union, provided to The Huffington Post. "Now, communities are coming together for our schools and our children to champion great public schools as the heart of our neighborhoods. … Together, we can make sure our schools are places where all kids can thrive and the voices of those closest to the classroom are heard.”
PLEASE SHOUT OUT ACROSS MARYLAND AGAINST THESE POLICIES IN BALTIMORE THAT ARE SO REPRESSIVE AND HARMFUL TO ALL CITIZENS. THE CORRUPTION IN THE HOUSING AGENCIES AND REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT IS TOO GREAT TO BEAR. WE HAVE A SYSTEMATIC FLEECING OF LOW-INCOME RENTERS IN OUR BALTIMORE RENT COURTS.
THIS WAR AGAINST THE WORKING CLASS/POOR AND HOUSING WILL COME BACK TO BITE EVERY CITIZEN. SHOUT OUT AGAINST THIS WAR ON THE WORKING CLASS/POOR IN BALTIMORE!
- The Right To Housing Alliance is a great group and you see what they have to deal with here in Baltimore. Sage Management is just one slum landlord that openly commits fraud in fleecing his tenants. Low-income families always have money-flow problems, but this guy soaks these families with fees that are not legal. I attended an event with this group at Baltimore's rent court and indeed, the judges in rent court are corrupt allowing these frauds to occur over and over. Remember, Baltimore has such a high level of crime and violence because no Rule of Law allows everyone in the city to be fleeced.
- R T H A Through direct action, coalition building, education,
- Jessica · in Stories
Two years ago, Sage Management became the new owner of my apartment complex.
That’s when I first talked with the President and CEO, Gil Horwitz. What I nice
guy, I thought. And when he flashed that big smile and turned on his charming
personality I was sold on why, in some Baltimore circles, he is considered a
caring person and one who is sensitive to the impact of sufferance and struggle
in the human condition.
Yet, depending on where you talk to Mr. Horwitz however, that sense of nice
and caring human being fails to reveal itself. Especially to those tenants
looking to dialogue about discrepancies they didn’t create, but that
mysteriously appear on a trumped up tenant ledger. This seems to be a discussion
that makes Gil generally unaccommodating, so efforts to get on his calendar are
difficult at that point.
The only place where Sage Management tenants are sure to get some face time
with Gil is at the District Court of Maryland of Baltimore City, otherwise known
as “Rent Court.” But for the few expecting a two-way discussion (either before
or after your court trail), you quickly recognize that Mr. Horwitz (who
represents Sage at these proceedings) doesn’t entertain two-way conversations
with his tenants and unfortunately, on this occasion I to have one.
After being requested by the judge to meet with Gil, I was thrust into a
demeaning and stereotypical spectacle that took place in the hallway of this
courthouse. Consequentially, this is when Gil goes into full rent court mode,
and becomes condescending and non-professional. In this mode he can be heard
loudly over-talking me, rudely interrupting me, and dismissing my integrity. He
refused to engage me as a very real human being.
Could this be the reason behind these predatory practices he prevails upon
his unsuspecting tenants? Could this be business as usual?
What saddens me more is realizing that Gil’s sense of humanity doesn’t appear
to extend to his tenants. Instead he seems to care more about levying
unregulated fees, misapplying payments, and sanctioning hidden schemes that
increase his profits and grows Sage’s income.
I say Shame on You Mr. Horwitz. It appears you are in
business to rob your tenants of their dinity, their money, and their voices. In
addition, you very confidently drag us into the city’s landlord friendly rent
court because, as per usual, you almost always win a favorable judgement. These
types of outcomes suggest that the court seemingly tolerates your convoluted
business practices. This also suggests how routinely the process is robbed of
the level playing field and the equal justice that, evidently is not afforded to
But I have decided to fight. And fighting for equal justice is what Sage
Management tenants must do. While we must fight for the rights and the justice
we are entitled as tenants, we must fight even moreso for the dignity we deserve
as the very real human beings we most certainly are.
I am one of those—a very real human being—and for this reason alone, Mr.
Horwitz, I cease to recognize you as the really nice guy I thought you were.
Instead I realize a duty to expose you and your practices for how shameful they
One Tenant for Justice,
A Sage Management Resident
(Tenant wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by Sage
and advocacy, we’re empowering new community leaders and building a movement for
the human right to housing in Baltimore.
RTHA proudly collaborates with our fiscal sponsor Fusion Partnerships,
Inc., a catalyst for justice and peace.
The Sage of Predatory Practice
5, 2014 · by
THIS IS A REMINDER TO KEEP SHOUTING AGAINST THE CRIMINALIZATION OF WHISTLE BLOWING. A GOVERNMENT THAT CLASSIFIES EVERYTHING IS AN AUTOCRATIC GOVERNMENT....NOT A DEMOCRATIC ONE.
WHETHER MANNING, SNOWDEN, OR KIRIAKOU----
John Kiriakou Needs You To Stand Up For His Rights
Resist! Criminal Justice and Prisons, Whistleblowing
By Kevin Gosztola, www.dissenter.firedoglake.com
February 19th, 2014
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou leaves U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., Oct. 23, 2012. AP PHOTO
TAKE ACTION: Call the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Charles E. Samuels, Jr at 202 307 3198 and say:
“My name is ___________________________ and I’m calling to urge you to stop mistreating John Kiriakou, to respect his right to free speech and to move him to a halfway house so that he can spend time with his family.”
You can write a letter to the Director at:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
Or you can send an email. Click here for a link to the email form. John Kiriakou is in Loretto FCI.
And then, take a moment to write a note to John to let him know that he has your support. His address is:
John Kiriakou 79637-083, FCI, Loretto, P.O. Box 1000, Loretto, PA 15940
For more information on what you can do to support John, please visit: DefendJohnK.com.
PLEASE CONTINUE THIS FIGHT BUT REMEMBER, THE TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT (TPP) WILL GIVE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS THE RIGHT TO DO ANYTHING THEY WANT TO INCREASE PROFIT, REGARDLESS OF US LAW. SO, STOPPING TPP IS THE FIGHT WE NEED TO HEAR AND SEE.
EVERYONE IN MARYLAND IS SILENT ON THIS TPP ISSUE AND I AM TELLING YOU NOW-------IT WILL MAKE THE US A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. WE DO NOT WANT THAT FOR OUR CHILDREN!
STOP THIS NATURE GAS EXPORT BY SHOUTING OUT AGAINST TPP
Multifaith Contingent in Draw The Line On Cove Point Rally
Public · By Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA)
11:00am until 1:30pm
Mostly Cloudy 52°F / 48°F
We know that, across the mid-Atlantic, Cove Point would mean more fracking harming our communities, more dangerous compressor stations polluting our air, and more planet-heating pollution poisoning our weather.
On February 20th, we’ll be joining Chesapeake Climate Action Network for a lunch time rally at the War Memorial Plaza, and then march around the Public Service Commission headquarters, calling on them to deny Dominion’s “dirty air” permit. We’ll reach Governor O’Malley as well. His Baltimore offices are in the same building as the Public Service Commission.
By coming together in Baltimore, we’ll show key decision-makers that people across our region want clean energy and a stable climate.
RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/mlzatjl
11 am - Join with us before the rally for interfaith fellowship over
brunch at the Big Apple Tree Cafe at 300 E Baltimore St. We'll leave around noon to walk together to the rally.
Bring congregational banners, wear congregational T-shirts, don your clerical collar or religious head covering to join our whole-souled group!
After the rally begins, look for the "dove"
(http://gwipl.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/dove.jpg) to find us in the crowd.
RSVP, or with questions: email@example.com
War Memorial Plaza
100 Holiday St., Baltimore, Maryland 21202
We need a strong and serious progressive Presidential challenger. There is no doubt that a career politician like Sanders may be another flip-flopper for neo-liberals, but we know all the other candidates considering a run in 2016 ARE NEO-LIBERALS!
Progressive Democrats of America is launching a drive to persuade Senator Bernie Sanders to run for President in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
If you agree we need a serious progressive candidate to run, please sign this petition.
According to John Nichols of The Nation, Bernie Sanders is considering lots of advice on whether or not to run for President—and whether or not to run as a Democrat—right now.
He needs to hear from you.
Peace and Justice,
PDA National Director
P.S. When you sign the petition, please be sure to use the petition Share tools.