Tag Archives: New York

Illinois demorats introduce bill requiring gun buyers to reveal social media accounts

Rep. Dan Didech

Who gets to define “troubling” comments?

From MyFoxChicago: Illinois Democrats are introducing a bill forcing gun buyers to reveal their public social media accounts to police before they are given permission to get a firearm license.

The new legislation is sponsored by two state Democratic lawmakers, in an effort to block people from acquiring guns if they have made some troubling comments on social media.

State Rep. Daniel Didech, a Democrat who’s pushing the bill, told CBS 2 Chicago: “A lot of people who are having mental health issues will often post on their social media pages that they’re about to hurt themselves or others,” adding that these people need “the help they need.”

The bill’s proponents point to Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland High School shooter, saying he posted “very disturbing” images on social media before going on a rampage and killing 17 people last year. Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter, also posted numerous troubling comments about the Jewish people on social media.

A similar bill was introduced last year in New York that would require people looking to buy a gun in the state to submit their social media profiles and search history prior to purchase. The bill was met with criticism, but it was approved by the new Board of Legislators last month, though it remains unclear when the lawmakers will vote on it.

The proposal in Illinois facing similar criticism, with Rebecca Glenberg of ACLU saying the bill doesn’t address what the police could do with the data, in addition to the First Amendment concerns.

“A person’s political beliefs, a person’s religious beliefs, things that should not play a part in whether someone gets a FOID card,” Glenberg told the station.

The Illinois State Rifle Association, meanwhile, said that everyone should be outraged by the intrusiveness of the bill. “When people look at this everyone who has a Facebook account or email account or Twitter account will be incensed or should be,” Richard Pearson said.

But Didech defended his measure to the station, saying his bill “gives Illinois State Police additional tools to make sure that dangerous weapons aren’t getting into the hands of dangerous people,” noting that his measure is also less intrusive than the one proposed in New York.

See also:

Demorat who wants social media history reviewed prior to gun ownership tweets “kill yourself” to political opponent

NY demorats push for social media review as part of firearm background check

DCG

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TDS-infected Robert De Niro screams at his driver because he went to the wrong spot

No surprise here seeing as how the actor can’t control his foul mouth or his temper.

From NY Post: Robert De Niro showed he can still be a “Raging Bull” Thursday as he had a meltdown outside a Manhattan courthouse, screaming at his driver for not showing up at the right place.

The “Goodfellas” actor went nuts while frantically searching for his missing driver after spending the entire morning in court in his divorce case with estranged wife Grace Hightower.

“You’re not in front! You’re not where you dropped us off!” De Niro squawked into his black LG flip phone outside 60 Centre St., as he shielded his face with the paper.

The driver appeared to respond on the phone, but De Niro — who was flanked by shutterbugs — wasn’t having it. “On Worth Street! Then you’d see all the photographers here! You’re not where you dropped us off!” he continued railing. His lawyer meekly offered, “Let’s go back in the building.”

“This is ridiculous,” the Oscar winner scoffed, as he marched toward the back of the courthouse.

Meanwhile, tourists whipped out their cellphones to snap photos of the Manhattan-born star. “Take it easy, Bobby!” one shouted.

De Niro and Hightower had just spent hours in Manhattan Supreme Court, where their lawyers holed up behind closed doors to hash out their divorce.

The soon-to-be exes, who were married for 20 years, are fighting over custody of their 7-year-old daughter. The judge called the warring parents back to court for 2:15 p.m.

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The “Retreat Doctrine” in New York is an invitation to home invaders

Queens DA (demorat) Richard Brown

Proggies love to criminalize self defense.

Reported by Sean Strockyj for NY Post: There is a reason homeowners can rarely afford to dispense mercy on an overnight invader: Criminal intruders tend to be the dangerous type. What homeowners don’t expect are law enforcers and prosecutors going after them for ¬ defending themselves and their loved ones.

Queens resident Joel Christopher Paul faced a home-intruder threat in the early hours of July 30, 2017. The 27-year-old was home in Springfield Gardens with his mother, brother and sister when someone attempted to break in. The intruder was Shamel Shauvo, 26, who had traveled north from Maryland after being named a suspect in a shooting there 10 days earlier.

Expecting a pizza delivery, Paul’s brother, Michael, 16, went to the door and discovered Shauvo trying to break in. Michael forced Shauvo to the surrounding area, and his mother called for help. Joel, adrenaline likely surging through his veins, answered the call — and brought a bat and knife to the confrontation.

By the time it was all over, Shauvo received the ultimate lesson in picking the wrong house. He died at Jamaica Hospital after being clubbed and stabbed. The confrontation had all the indications of a break-in gone wrong for the wanted man, and as one high-ranking police source told The Post, the response was justifiable.

Both brothers avoided arrest and remained home after the incident. But months later, Queens DA Richard Brown submitted the case to a grand jury, bringing ruin upon Joel, who has been charged with manslaughter.

A ham sandwich, as the saying goes, can be indicted in grand-jury proceedings completely overseen by prosecutors. But prosecutors shouldn’t have targeted Joel. The stress, expense and uncertainty of facing a first-degree manslaughter charge are devastating and can lead to an unjustified plea that could result in Joel going to prison.

Part of the trouble lies with New York’s “retreat doctrine.” A theory fit for law school classrooms, the doctrine holds Joel had a duty to run and hide if it was safe to do so. It’s an obligation Joel, like the vast majority of New Yorkers, had probably never heard of.

Yet it’s likely that the Queens DA will pursue precisely this avenue at trial, since the indictment states that Joel, “with intent to cause serious physical injury to Shamel Shavuo,” caused his death.

While most jurisdictions would have left Joel alone, the Queens DA seems to want to resurrect the city’s bad old days, when prosecutors developed a reputation of interpreting laws in ways that protected criminals more than they protected victims.

There is also an abuse of prosecutorial discretion here. The DA should have recognized that Joel was forced to make split-second decisions involving defending his vulnerable family members. Even if Shauvo was initially repelled, Joel had no time for a thoughtful inquiry into what Shauvo would do next unless he saw Shavuo’s backside running down the block.

Brown’s office should also review its own files to get a better sense of the devastation wrought by home invaders over the years. Such a search will reveal unsolved murders, sexual assaults and general terror inflicted on mostly working-class victims.

For a lesson in the threat posed by home invaders, the Queens DA might also recall the notorious 2007 Cheshire, Conn., home-invasion that ended with the murder and sexual assaults of a mother and her two daughters, one of them just 11 years old.

Other home invaders in this country have had remarkable runs, like the Golden State Killer, who allegedly committed numerous assaults in the 1970s. Closer to home, a woman in her 20s last week came home to her apartment from a Manhattan bar only to wake up to the nightmare of an unknown man, who tied her up and raped her.

And what if Joel had acted less assertively and Shauvo had grievously injured Joel’s kin or killed one or more of them? Prosecution after the fact would have offered no relief. No criminal sentence can put victims back together. Prosecution doesn’t raise the dead nor mend physical and mental ¬scars left by crime.

At times, the only defense is an unrelenting offense against a criminal you can assume has the worst of intentions. Unless there is more to this case than the DA has let on, those who neutralize criminals who threaten the sanctity of our homes shouldn’t face criminal charges.

DCG

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NY district judge bars citizenship question from 2020 census due to not following proper administrative procedure

Judge Furman

Take a wild guess as to who appointed the judge who made this decision…

From Seattle Times: A federal judge blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from asking about citizenship status on the 2020 census, the first major ruling in cases contending that officials ramrodded the question through for Republican political purposes to intentionally undercount immigrants.

In a 277-page decision that won’t be the final word on the issue, Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled that while such a question would be constitutional, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had added it arbitrarily and not followed proper administrative procedures.

“He failed to consider several important aspects of the problem; alternately ignored, cherry-picked, or badly misconstrued the evidence in the record before him; acted irrationally both in light of that evidence and his own stated decisional criteria; and failed to justify significant departures from past policies and practices,” Furman wrote.

Ross’ explanations for his decision were “unsupported by, or even counter to, the evidence before the agency,” the judge said.

Among other things, the judge said, Ross didn’t follow a law requiring that he give Congress three years notice of any plan to add a question about citizenship to the census.

The ruling came in cases in which 18 states, the District of Columbia, and 15 big cities or counties, and immigrants’ rights groups argued that the Commerce Department, which designs the census, had failed to properly analyze the effect the question would have on households where immigrants live.

A trial on a separate suit on the same issue, filed by the state of California, is underway in San Francisco. The U.S. Supreme Court is also poised to address the issue Feb. 19, meaning the legal issue is far from decided for good.
“We are disappointed and are still reviewing the ruling,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco said in a statement.

In the New York case, the plaintiffs accused the administration of Republican President Donald Trump of adding the question to intentionally discourage immigrants from participating, which could lead to a population undercount — and possibly fewer seats in Congress — in places that tend to vote Democratic.

Even people in the U.S. legally, they said, might dodge the census questionnaire out of fears they could be targeted by a hostile administration.

Read the whole story here.

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NY Demorat says he’s shutting down terrorism subcommittee to investigate President Trump

TDS-infected Elliot Engel

The next two years will be full of TDS-sponsored baloney that will go nowhere.

From NY Post: The newly minted chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee is closing a terrorism subcommittee to focus on a new panel to investigate President Trump’s ties with international leaders and helter-skelter foreign policy.

“We just thought, if we’re going to do something relevant in this era where Congress is going to reassert itself, where there are so many questionable activities of this Administration vis-à-vis foreign policy, that it made sense to have this,” Rep. Elliot Engel told the New Yorker magazine.

The Democratic lawmaker — who has represented parts of the Bronx and Westchester County for three decades — added that there “wasn’t a great clamor” from lawmakers to keep the terrorism panel, which was formed after the Sept. 11th attacks.

Instead, he said, his committee will focus on what Trump promised Russian President Vladimir Putin during their private meeting last year — and the president’s business ties to Russia and Middle East countries.

DCG

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Ocasio-Cortez campaign fined for not providing worker’s compensation coverage

Learning early that laws are for the little people.

From Fox News: The campaign of rookie U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been fined by the state for not providing workers’ compensation coverage for a month last year.

The failure to provide the coverage to campaign staff is particularly awkward for Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist who rose to stardom after unseating top Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley with a campaign theme of improving conditions for the working class.

“The employer did not have the required workers’ compensation coverage from March 31, 2018, to April 30, 2018, and was issued a final penalty of $1,500, which was paid,” state Workers Compensation Board spokeswoman Melissa Stewart told the New York Daily News. “This coverage is vital to ensuring workers are protected for on-the-job injuries,” she added.

Republicans jumped on the revelations, telling the newspaper that the episode reveals “hypocrisy at its finest” by Ocasio-Cortez.

The so-called champion of workers, when given her own responsibility, is not following the law. It’s unbelievable,” said state GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud.

This isn’t the first time the congresswoman’s pro-working class credentials have been called into question.
She remains under scrutiny after avoiding answering questions on whether she will follow through with her own advice to fellow lawmakers to “have some integrity” and forgo their paychecks during the partial government shutdown.

Last year, Ocasio-Cortez was also mocked after lamenting the shuttering of a coffee shop in New York, even though it closed its doors thanks to the wage hike in the state – a policy that she supports. “The restaurant I used to work at is closing its doors,” she wrote in a tweet. “I’m a normal, working person who chose to run for office, because I believe we can have a better future.”

The owners blamed the minimum wage hike for the closure. “The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees,” Charles Milite told the New York Post last month. Around 150 people lost their jobs as a result of the closure of the coffee shop.

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Another 2020 contender: Bill de Blasio says “There’s plenty of money in NYC, it’s just in the wrong hands”

The mantra of every elite socialist and ill-informed, government-educated proggie.

From NY Post: Burnishing his progressive credentials, Mayor Bill de Blasio portrayed himself as a protector of the working class on Thursday — while proposing a redistribution of wealth — in his sixth State of the City address.

“Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands,” said de Blasio, who owns two homes and collects $258,750 a year as mayor.

“You haven’t been paid what you deserve for all the hard work. You haven’t been given the time you deserve. You’re not living the life you deserve. And here is the cold, hard truth: It’s no accident. It’s an agenda,” he continued, blaming Republican presidential administrations from Reagan to Trump.

The mayor proposed initiatives to level the playing field between the haves and have-nots — such as seizing buildings from bad landlords, expanding the Department of Consumer Affairs to include “worker protection” and offering medical care to 300,000 illegal aliens.

But critics pointed out the mayor’s corporate handouts.

“I thought there was something a little contradictory when he talks about having a city with a whole lot of money where workers don’t get their fair share and how we’re going to start to be more fair and more equitable,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said.

“The irony there is that you’re giving $3 billion away to Amazon [in city and state subsidies],” Diaz continued, adding that he supports the online retail giant’s plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, but not the financial incentives offered to it.

Hizzoner also promised to confiscate land from scofflaw landlords and turn the seized properties over to nonprofits under a newly created Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.

“When the city’s worst landlords cheat their tenants, we will take their buildings away from them,” he said in the 67-minute speech at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side.

“If fines and penalties don’t cut it, we will seize buildings and put them into the hands of a nonprofit that will treat tenants with the respect they deserve.”

The details were not announced, but the plan is modeled on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Third Party Transfer program, which forecloses on properties that have fallen into serious disrepair or are behind on taxes.

It was one of many mayoral ideas that recycled existing programs or proposals de Blasio couldn’t push through during his first five years at City Hall.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will be renamed the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to help freelancers and contract workers get paid quicker while enforcing paid-sick-leave laws and worker vacation requirements. Such activities already largely fall under its purview.

He also re-upped a 2016 proposal to create a public retirement system for the 2 million New Yorkers who do not have employer-sponsored savings programs. The plan stalled three years ago due to federal rule changes, but the city is taking another stab at it now that Oregon got one up and running and Seattle is moving in that direction, city officials said.

The city’s version would require employers to either offer retirement to all employees or auto-enroll them in a city-run retirement system.

De Blasio also pledged to expand pre-K for 3-year-olds to 20,000 by 2019 instead of 19,000 by 2021, while also extending a program that gives free vision checks and glasses to 5- and 6-year-old schoolchildren.

The city expects about 33,000 kids to get the glasses, supplied free by the eyeglass-making company Warby Parker.
The mayor, whose own eye has shifted outside New York as he seeks to raise his national profile, plugged his previously announced plan to expand the city’s MetroPlus public health care system as proof that New York is a progressive bastion battling a regressive national current.

“This country has spent decades taking from working people and giving to the 1 percent. This city has spent the last five years doing it the other way around,” he said.

He also took shots at Albany over the state of the city’s subways, although his gripes may have fallen on dead ears.
“I am not listening to it right now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WNYC on Thursday. “I’m in Albany.”

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NY Black & Puerto Rican lawmakers’ nonprofit organization failed to pay school taxes

Al Sharpton approved.

From NY Post: Share this: A nonprofit run by state lawmakers that spent $1 million on annual scholarship-fundraising galas over two years but gave zilch to needy minority students also failed to pay school taxes on its Albany building, The Post has learned.

The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, which puts on a lavish three-day “Caucus Weekend” of parties and workshops in Albany every February, owes $12,275.07 in unpaid Albany school taxes for 2016 and 2018, according to public documents. The figure includes $1,747 in accumulated interest.

The group, founded by minority Assembly members in 1985, bought the three-story townhouse on South Swan Street for $200,000 in 1994, public records show. The group uses the first floor as an office, and rented out the rest of the building for $3,400 in the 2016-2017 tax year, federal filings show. The property is located just minutes from the state Capitol.

On Thursday a woman showed up to staff the charity’s office at 12:45 pm and shooed a Post reporter away when he began asking questions. “There’s no one here to talk to,” she said, slamming the door and letting out an exasperated, “Lord, have mercy!”

One former lawmaker who was a member of the association said she had never been to the building but was told it was the group’s “party house.”

Powerbrokers like former Mayor David Dinkins and ex-state Comptroller Carl McCall sit on the group’s board — but refused to comment and did not return messages, respectively.

Meanwhile, The Post obtained federal tax documents that confirmed the association gave out no grants in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal years.

In the latest tax form available, on the line specifying “grants and similar amounts paid” the group wrote “0” for fiscal 2016. On another page, where grants were to be listed for the four fiscal years, the last two fiscal years were left blank.

The group insisted that scholarships had been given out in 2016 and 2017 but refused to provide The Post any cancelled checks or the full names of scholarship recipients. Instead, it handed over a single sheet of paper listing a total of $20,950 doled out to 34 students listed by first name in 2016. It listed $5,250 for 13 students ID’d by first name for 2017.

But the sheet of paper was not part of the federal tax filing and the totals were not reflected on the return. The leadership refused to address The Post’s questions about these inconsistencies.

Donors are not happy about the vanishing student grants. “Money raised for children’s scholarships should go for scholarships,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, which has sponsored the group’s events.

Corporate sponsors and unions, including AT&T, Verizon, ConEd and New York State United Teachers, pay up to $50,000 for a “Plantinum Package” for the weekend. It includes tickets to workshops and speeches, but also cocktail parties and concerts where they rub elbows with Albany’s political elite.

The weekend ends with a lavish dinner that is supposed to raise funds for scholarships for minority youth. “I just sign the checks they give me to sign,” said Westchester Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the organization’s longtime treasurer, when quizzed about the missing scholarships. “We have a lot of bills associated with the events.”

While students went without scholarships for the last two fiscal years, the group spent an accumulated $1,058,973 in expenses.

In fiscal tax year 2016-2017 it spent a total of $518,222, including $283,526 on fundraising, $100,750 on “management,” $39,639 on office expenses, according to its most recent filing to the IRS, which the group’s chairwoman, Brooklyn Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, made available to The Post last week following multiple requests.
Walker became chair of the organization in October 2017, taking over from Queens Assemblywoman Michele Titus, who headed the group between 2015 and 2017.

A spokeswoman for Walker, who is running for Public Advocate, said that she has already “eliminated superfluous expenses and cut spending” at the nonprofit. She also hired a new executive director and is requiring that the group submit to annual audits, the spokeswoman said.

After The Post expose last week, state Attorney General Letitia James said she was “troubled” by the findings.

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Socialist Ocasio-Cortez wants 70% tax rate for the wealthy

You know she’d take 100% of taxpayer money if she had her way.

From NY Post: Newly minted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says tax rates for the nation’s wealthiest should increase to as much 70 percent to fund a new initiative to combat climate change — even if that means she’s labeled a “radical.”

“If that’s what radical means, call me a radical,” she said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that will air in full on Sunday.

The New York Democrat said the tax hike would help fund the Green New Deal, which aims at eliminating carbon emissions in the US within 12 years.

“That is the goal. It’s ambitious,” she said. “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now. What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?”

The 29-year-old said the plan could include “an element where people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes.”

“You know, you look at our tax rates back in the ’60s, and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate let’s say from zero to $75,000 may be 10 percent or 15 percent, etc.,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“But once you get to the tippy-tops on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent,” she continued. “That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. It means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more.”

The current top tax rate is 37 percent.

When “60 Minutes” host Anderson Cooper described her ideas as a “radical agenda,” she responded, “I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country.”

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Bah humbug! New York town hosts toy gun exchange for a “safe alternative” toy

Teach your kids properly at a young age.

Training kids at a young age to give up Constitutional rights under the guise of “safety.”

From Fox News: A town in New York held a buyback-style event for children in the area, asking for their toy guns in exchange for a different Christmas gift.

According to WABC, officials in the Long Island town of Hempstead invited children to exchange their imitation firearms for a “safe alternative.”

Former Tucson, Arizona, police officer Brandon Tatum called the event an “overreaction” on “Fox & Friends” and stressed that he vehemently disagrees with it. “I think that we need to teach our children about gun safety. We need to give them access to information on these topics,” he said.

Some children were reportedly given toy guns at the Dec. 13 event in order to trade them in for different toys.
Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said that he disagrees with Tatum’s opinion “2,000 percent.”

“I’m all about trying to prevent these things from happening going forward, from senseless people dying or being injured, and I think this is one way to do that,” he said.

Lt. Derek Warner, of the Hempstead Village Police Department, told WABC that children’s lives could be put at risk if they’re given toy guns because kids could potentially mistake them for real firearms.

Tatum also said that to “demonize” the ownership of guns is counterproductive for children. “I think we need to do the right thing by teaching our children about safety with guns just like we do when children go to the swimming pool,” he said. “You teach them about safety, and that’s gonna curb the violence of curb the deaths that are associated to our children.”

Seawright argued that events similar to the one in Hempstead teach kids responsible and proper gun use at an early age.

According to WABC the Hempstead Village Mayor, Don Ryan, said this: “Saying no to guns is important – even toy guns.”

Isn’t that special? The good mayor believes his opinion is the only viable option.

DCG

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