From New York City Patch: Two Brooklyn politicians want cops to examine New Yorkers’ online activity to prevent more hate-fueled tragedies like the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. State Sen. Kevin Parker and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams proposed legislation Friday that would incorporate social media accounts into background checks for gun buyers.
They argue doing so would help law enforcement authorities spot dangerous people like Robert Bowers, who reportedly declared his hatred for Jewish people online before allegedly killing 11 people last Saturday.
“You would have thought this person was a model citizen until you examined his social media profile,” said Adams, a Democrat. “And you would have noticed he was not a model citizen, he was a broken citizen that was a time bomb that was waiting to explode.”
The pair of bills would empower the New York State Police and local departments like the NYPD to checkthree years of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat activity for anyone applying for a gun license in New York, Parker said.
Authorities would flag anything that is an “immediate threat to public safety,” he said. Gun buyers would also have to let police comb through a year’s worth of their search engine histories under the legislation.
The state’s SAFE Act — known as one of the nation’s toughest gun laws — requires instant federal background checks for all gun sales except those between immediate family members. But lawmakers have to do more in the wake of recent hate crimes such as the Pittsburgh shooting, Parker said.
“We certainly want to make sure that we’re adding to the protections that we need to make sure that people that we’re putting handguns and rifles and shotguns in the possession, that they in fact are the people that are using them in the right way,” Parker said.
The syngagogue massacre, in which 11 people died, came just a day after federal authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of mailing bombs to high-profile Democratic figures. Sayoc had searched for his targets’ addresses online, federal prosecutors allege.
Lawmakers are still working out exactly how law-enforcement officials would go about accessing social media profiles that are not publicly viewable, Parker said, though he noted the legislation would require gun buyers to make their profiles available.
“We’re going look at what’s in the universe already and use that as one of the tools to determine the profile of a person who’s attempting to purchase a handgun,” Adams said.
Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, is expected to testify.
Eric Phillips, a spokesman for the mayor, said the administration “support[s] the goal” of the bill but is “working with the Council to figure out how best to achieve it without affecting our city’s security.”
He declined to specify how security could be affected by the bill.
The legislation, if approved, would apply to existing and future contracts and prohibit the city from providing “goods or … services” in exchange for payments “to entities engaged in immigration enforcement.”
City lawyers are reviewing which current contracts fall under the bill. One that would be affected is a $112,000 contract NYPD has with ICE through February 2020, which allows the federal agency access to a police firing range, city official said.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he’s reviewing the legislation and is “looking forward to the hearing.”
“One thing I already know is that ICE has no place in our city ripping immigrant families apart,” he said.
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Ponder away Babs…
From USA Today: NEW YORK (AP) — Barbra Streisand usually talks to her audience, but Saturday night she had a special message for two guests: Bill and Hillary Clinton. Streisand gave former president and former Democratic presidential candidate much more than a shout out at her concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, her hometown.
She noted that she performed at President Clinton’s inauguration and then went on to list his accomplishments, including lowering taxes for some and raising taxes on the rich. “And speaking of taxes, he showed us his tax returns,” she said, a dig at Republican President Donald Trump, who has refused to release his. She also introduced Hillary Clinton as “the winner of our country’s popular vote.”
She later talked about hearing a recent interview by Hillary Clinton and said it “makes us yearn for what could have been, what should have been. I was thrilled to hear yourself describe yourself as an activist citizen and part of the resistance.”
Taking another shot at Trump and his tweeting habits, she quipped: “Usually when a man that age is up at 4 a.m., he forgot to take his Flomax,” referring to a medication to treat the prostate. Despite the Trump barbs, she called for a bridging of the political divide before breaking into Happy Days Are Here Again.
Streisand had been a longtime Democratic fundraiser and supporter, and friend of the Clintons. Streisand, who recently turned 75, was doing two dates in the New York City area, calling it a mini-tour. She hinted it could be her last. When the audience moaned, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “You know — other things to do.”
New York City’s abortion rate in 2009 is almost twice the national average. More than half of the city’s abortions were repeat abortions. Medicaid (that is, taxpayers) paid for more than a third of the city’s abortions.
We know this, all thanks to the pro-life Chiaroscuro Foundation, a NYC not-for-profit organization that supports alternatives to abortion.
NYV41percent.com reports, September 7, 2011, that the data for 2009 was provided by the New York City Department of Health at the Chiaroscuro Foundation’s request.
The zip code, 10018, with the highest abortion ratio in the city, 67%, is in Manhattan’s Chelsea-Clinton neighborhood, followed by rates of 60% in two Jamaica, Queens zip codes and in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, 10012, and Central Harlem-Morningside Heights neighborhoods.
The five zip codes with the lowest abortion ratios are on the Upper East Side, in Lower Manhattan, on the Upper West Side, and in Borough Park, Brooklyn. The lowest ratio, 6.12%, is in 10162.
The fifteen highest and lowest zip codes, with selected demographic information, are available here: http://www.nyc41percent.com/Docs/NYC_Highest_and_Lowest_Abortion_Zip_Codes.pdf. In 2009 48,627 of the 87,273 abortions in New York City, or 56%, were repeat abortions. 33,401, 38%, were paid for by Medicaid.
64% of New Yorkers believe the abortion rate is too high in New York City – including 57% of pro-choice women – according to a poll conducted by the polling firm McLaughlin & Associates for the Chiaroscuro Foundation earlier this year. 74% believe that the overall 60% abortion rate in the African American community is too high. (The poll’s margin of error was +/- 3.4%)
Greg Pfundstein, Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, said: “given the city’s extremely high abortion rate, we renew our call for Mayor Bloomberg to instruct the Department to release the data in an even more current fashion: preliminarily month by month throughout the year. Remember, we are still talking about 2009 data. By being able to measure where the highest rates of abortion are occurring in the city, we can determine over time what methods of outreach work best to lower those rates.”
New York City’s abortion rate abortion rate is nearly double the national average of 23%, a fact to which the Chiaroscuro Foundation has been drawing attention since the 2009 data were released in January.
There’s an interactive map of New York City where you can find out the abortion rates of the city’s constituent districts and boroughs. Click HERE. ~Eowyn
In Red Hook, Brooklyn the community decided to honor seven dead 9/11 firefighters. A portion of Richards Street was renamed “Seven in Heaven Way” — prompting tributes to the heroes and complaints from critics who say that the government should not be in the business of advancing one religion’s notion of the afterlife.
Of course, the atheists wanted none of that. “It’s improper for the city to endorse the view that heaven exists,” said David Silverman of American Atheists. “It links Christianity and heroism.” The new street sign honors seven firemen assigned to Engine 202 and Ladder 101, who were killed after at the Twin Towers. Teary-eyed widows, dozens of uniform-clad firemen and civic leaders paid respects outside the firehouse at the intersection, explaining the men were killed while pulling victims from burning rubble.
“They are heroes and should be rewarded in a place like heaven,” said Tom Miskel of Community Board 6, which unanimously supported the name change in December 2009. “Almost every religion has some form of heaven,” he added. “It’s not just specific to Christianity.”
Given that the largest religion in the US is Christianity, practiced by the majority of the population, why must atheists be a buzz kill on anything related to the majority? And why must they target victims of 9/11? Heaven forbid the community should be allowed to choose their own remembrance for these heroes.
It started on New Year’s Eve.
At around 11:30 pm, residents of the small town of Beebee, Arkansas, watched in horror as 3,000 dead blackbirds rained down on roofs, cars, and roads in a one-mile stretch.
Two days later, some 125 miles away, an estimated 100,000 drum fish were found dead along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River. Authorities blame the deaths on disease. In Canada, at around the same time, tens of thousands of birds died in a mega icestorm in Manitoba. In New Jersey, hundreds of dead birds were also found in Franklin Township. A woman said she found one at her front door and saw dead birds all around her house, “as far as the eyes could see.” Authorities said the USDA had put poison in bird seed to control the European starling population.
Dead birds were also found in Brooklyn and Queens, New York.
In Louisiana, some 450 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings were found strewn along a highway in Baton Rouge, after apparently hitting overhead power lines. In Florida, thousands of fish were discovered rotting and floating in Spruce Creek. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the two recent cold snaps are to blame for the fish kill. In Texas, 200 American Coots were found dead on a highway bridge crossing Lake O’ the Pines in Big Cypress Creek. They are believed to have been hit by passing vehicles while walking or apparently trying to roost on the bridge. In Maryland, 2 million dead fish were found to have washed up on shores in Chesapeake Bay. Authorities say it’s stress caused by unusually cold water and overbreeding among spot fish. A statement by the Maryland Department of the Environment said: “Cold water stress exacerbated by a large population of the affected species (juvenile spot fish) appears to be the cause of the kill. An increased juvenile population and limited deep water habitat would likely compound the effects of cold water stress.”
Dead fish in Chesapeake Bay
In the UK, the recent cold snap was blamed for the deaths of 40,000 Velvet swimming “devil crabs” found littering beaches in Thanet, Kent. In Sweden, 50 jackdaws were found dead on a street of Falkoping. Swedish experts blamed the shock of New Year fireworks for the unexplained deaths. Many of the birds are believed to have died from stress or as a result of being run over while disoriented. In New Zealand, hundreds of snapper fish were found dead. In Brazil, masses of dead fish were found in Paranaguá, Antonina and Guaraqueçaba Pontal do Paraná, leaving thousands of Brazilian fishermen struggling to make ends meet after the sale of seafood was temporarily suspended.
Last Sunday, January 2, in Texas, groups of dead grackles were found scattered in a parking lot and a nearby street in Plainview. Wildlife officials said the bird deaths during the weekend were likely caused by strong winds. In South Carolina, last Wednesday, January 5, thousands of dead Menhaden fish washed up on Folly Beach. Mark Williams with the Department of Health and Environmental Control says this appears to be a temperature-related fish kill as fish can die when the water gets too cold. Charleston County Park officials said the water temperature was about 48-51 degrees. Williams says the fact that no other species of fish or other sea animal were impacted appears to rule out other causes. In Tennessee, hundreds of dead birds were found this week in Nashville and nearby counties. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says they had deteriorated so badly that a lab could not determine the cause of death.
Yesterday, the Daily Mail reports that thousands of dead turtle doves rained down on roofs and cars in the Italian town of Faenza. A witness told www.examiner.com: “all of a sudden the doves just started falling one-by-one then in groups of 10s and 20s.” Residents described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks. Initial tests on up to 8,000 of the doves indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia. Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, is known to cause confusion and illness in animals. It is also a common precursor to altitude sickness. Experts said results from tests on the doves will not be available for at least a week. They said that cold weather could have caused the birds’ deaths as the flock was swept into a high-altitude wind storm before falling to the earth.
Experts in local-federal government have speculated that New Year fireworks, thunderstorms, cold weather, parasites and even poisoning may be behind the deaths. Tests are being carried out on the dead birds and fish, but results are not expected for several weeks.
On the net, speculations run rife. Some say it’s the New Madrid Fault — a major seismic zone and a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes (earthquakes within a tectonic plate) in the southern and midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri. The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the 1811–1812 New Madrid earthquakes and may have the potential to produce large earthquakes in the future.
But the New Madrid Fault cannot account for animal die-offs outside of the United States.
More ominously still, some think it’s the Magnetic North Pole that scientists say is shifting toward Russia at an average of around 25 miles a year. Inbuilt navigation systems in birds and fish is believed to be affected by magnetism. With birds and fish relying on it to travel to breeding grounds and warmed climes, there are fears that the shifting pole could be confusing the animals which means they do not migrate in time to avoid cold weather. Writing for Times Square Chronicle on Jan 7, Brett Lipton explains:
Over the past century The Magnetic North Pole has been shifting toward Russia at a steady pace, in fact, at an average of 25 miles per year, an alarming rate considering how many systems are dependent on its location. Compass needles in Africa, for instance, are drifting about 1 degree per decade. And globally the magnetic field has weakened 10% since the 19th century. Another factor to consider is that the Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flip Regularly. In the past 330,000,000 years the poles have juxtaposed 400 times, or on an average of once every 825,000 years, the last such time was approximately 780,000+/- years ago, making us statistically within one standard deviation of an upcoming Magnetic Pole Reversal. Considering that these reversals take appromiately 1,000 years to complete and the massive move and reduction in strength, we may be within a handful of generations away for such a Magnetic North Pole Reversal.
Still others say secret U.S. government experiments are behind the die-offs. Then there are those claiming all this is a sign of a looming Armageddon at the end of the Mayan calendar next year.
For the 10 leading theories on the global animal die-offs, CLICK HERE. Whatever the explanation, it will have to satisfy this one criterion: The explanation must be sufficiently expansive as to account for animal die-offs not just in the New Madrid seismic zone, not just in the United States, not just in North America, not just in the American continents, but across the Atlantic in Europe and across the Pacific in New Zealand. Thinking off the top of my head, explanations that could meet this criterion are:
A global seismic line/ring;
Some global weather phenomenon(na), whether natural or the result of human experimentation;
Shift in the Magnetic North Pole; and
The End Times of biblical propecy. YIKES!
For a Google map of animal deaths across the world, CLICK HERE. ~Eowyn