Tag Archives: New York

Mayor de Blasio and wife defend Black Lives Matter movement


NY Mayor Bill de Blasio and his lesbian wife Chirlane McCray at a Halloween celebration at Gracie Mansion. Photo credit Robert Mecea

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio and his lesbian wife Chirlane McCray at a Halloween celebration at Gracie Mansion. Photo credit Robert Mecea

Via NY Post: Mayor de Blasio and wife Chirlane McCray called the Black Lives Matter movement a “force for good” that has changed the “national discussion,” as the pair defended the group on Monday from criticisms by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who blasted it as too intent on protesting against cops rather than engaging in productive dialogue.

“We have a different perspective (than Bratton),” McCray told CNN’s “New Day.” Black Lives Matter is a force for good. It’s about peaceful protests. It’s about shining a light on the problems that we have in race relations across this country. We’ve had a history of it. And it has not gone away, but we haven’t had enough positive action taken on making change. And I am very encouraged by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mayor de Blasio walked a finer line, backing his top cop while also showing respect for BLM. “I appreciate the fact that he’s [Bratton] saying that we have vast majority of police officers doing their job. We have some who don’t belong in the profession like every profession,” de Blasio said. “I think what the protesters are doing is really about the few who don’t belong.”

As a whole, de Blasio said BLM has set a good agenda for debate. “I think that movement, just the very phrase `Black Lives Matter,’ has changed the national discussion. Now, as with any movement, there’s some people I don’t agree with, but I have to tell you, they’ve changed the national discussion for the better,” the mayor said.

“They did stop and have a moment of silence when they protested in New York for the officers lost in Dallas. Just like the officers in Dallas, when bullets were raining down on them, their first impulse was to protect the protesters. So we’ve got to find these examples of hope and possibility here, and that movement has discussion forward.”

CNN asked de Blasio to comment on network columnist Charles Blow, who said in a Facebook Live commentary that white Americans have to come to grips with the racism faced daily by minorities. “He’s right in the sense that white America doesn’t understand the extent of the problem,” the mayor said.

“As I said, and we know it from our own son, when the most law-abiding, hard-working young man you could imagine, but he has to worry. We’ve got to overcome that. How do we make a society whole? We make a society whole by everyone having a common standard. We value all our young people.”

Bratton on Sunday said Black Lives Matter “is primarily focused on police and their efforts to portray police and the police profession in a very negative way, which is unfortunate.”


AG Loretta Lynch wants to let nation break law without consequences

Of course she does.

obama and lynch

Via NY Post: As New York moves to decriminalize low-level offenses, arguing enforcement is “rigged against communities of color,” other large cities are coming under pressure from the Justice Department to do the same thing.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch has issued a warning to municipal and state judges across the country that their courts could lose federal funding if they don’t ease up on fines and arrest warrants for minor crimes involving poor offenders, indigent minorities in particular.

In lieu of fines and jail time, Lynch urges the nation’s 6,500 municipal courts to provide an avenue for offenders to perform “community service” or take advantage of “amnesty days,” whereby outstanding arrest warrants are cleared for nominal fees.

Failure to comply with these policies could trigger a Ferguson-style discrimination investigation. Already, Lynch says she’s “evaluating discrimination complaints against several court systems.”

A strongly worded “guidance” letter, written by her civil-rights team, warns that a local court policy of enforcing warrants for failure to pay court fines and fees can have an adverse “disparate impact” on African-Americans, who are fined and/or arrested for outstanding warrants at “disproportionate” rates versus whites.

Federal data also show that blacks tend to break both felony and misdemeanor laws at a disproportionate rate. Even if applied evenly across all races and in neutral, color-blind fashion, such policies could be found by Justice to be discriminatory. “In court systems receiving federal funds, these practices may also violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when they unnecessarily impose disparate harm on the basis of race,” the nine-page letters states.

This is the same dubious legal threat the administration is using to force the nation’s public schools to back off suspending unruly — even violent — black students, and to force cops to avoid stopping, frisking and arresting minority offenders.

The Supreme Court has ruled that disparate impact doesn’t violate Title VI, only “intentional” discrimination does. “The administration is quite wrong to say that Title VI incorporates a ‘disparate impact’ standard,” Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity points out. “The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that it does not.”

This new court “reform” will only exacerbate the crime problem. Studies show ignoring low-level crimes like warrant violations only leads to bigger crimes.

Under Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD has scaled back its aggressive enforcement of low-level offenses only to see both minor and serious crime rebound. Already cops have backed off public urination and other public nuisance violations, while overlooking outstanding warrants for many other misdemeanor crimes.

Even a senior Justice Department official predicts the decriminalization-cum-deincarceration movement will backfire in higher crime nationwide. “In five years the crime rate is going to be crazy again,” he said.

The official, who oversees probation of felons paroled from federal prisons and who requested anonymity, worries the new department policy will be abused. “I don’t see liberal judges even attempting to make people pay or spending the time making an accurate determination of a person being ‘indigent,’ ” he said. “It’s another way of not holding people accountable for their actions.”

The Justice guidance defines “indigent” as anybody who might be “eligible for public benefits,” but not actually receiving them. “Jurisdictions may benefit from creating statutory presumptions of indigency for certain classes of defendants,” the source said.

The administration claims cops and courts conspire to exploit poor blacks to generate city revenue in some kind of shakedown. But data show blacks fail to pay their fines at far greater rates than whites, so why not target whites if cash extortion is the objective?

Many of the cities with the highest fines, such as Philadelphia, are run by Democrats; and the Justice Department is no piker when it comes to levying fines. “US attorneys always want fines and restitution amounts in the millions from people who have little chance of ever paying it back,” the department official said.

Liberals are actually to blame for the trend they’re trying to reform. Court fines and fees help pay for all the new costs liberals have added to the system, such as drug counseling and home electronic monitoring. They’ve also pushed judges to assess more fines in lieu of incarceration, especially for drug offenders.

Yet now they claim the whole court fine and bail system is racist. Former federal civil-rights attorney Hans Bader, now with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, describes the latest reforms as a “massive assault on the criminal justice system.” It’s a slippery slope to clemency for criminals, large and small.

O laughs


US to charge Iranians in cyberattacks on suburban NYC dam


Via NY Post: More than six Iranians will be slapped with criminal charges for helping their government allegedly hack into the systems of a New York dam and nearly 50 major U.S. financial institutions, The Post has learned.

Under a federal indictment, the hackers will be charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and unauthorized access to a protected computer, sources said. U.S. officials will hold a news conference Thursday morning in Washington D.C. to announce the charges on the Iranians’ 2012-2013 campaign of cyberattacks, sources said.

Through its investigation, the FBI learned that the hackers gained access to back office systems at the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook, NY, but failed to breach the operational systems, sources said. Probers believe that the cyberattack was only a test run.

The defendants also “planned and executed large-scale cyberattacks against nearly 50 major financial instructions in the U.S. in coordination and at the behest of the government of Iran,” a source confirmed.

For years, the Obama Administration has been plagued by an ever-increasing amount of cyberattacks against American interests. Hackers have breached systems in the White House, State Department, FBI and US Postal Service, just to name a few.

Most notably, the Justice Department leveled charges against Chinese military personnel linked to a series of intrusions of U.S. industrial companies. And last year, the FBI publicly blamed North Korea for the devastating cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.


N.Y. millionaires: Raise our taxes to address poverty, fix roads

Hey boneheads…you don’t have to wait until April 15th to give the government more of your money. Put your money where your “philanthropist” mouth is and write a big, fat check right now!

put your money

Via RT.com: A group of millionaires living in New York have sent a letter to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo asking for a new, higher tax rate for the top 1 percent of earners in the state. The current, lower tax on millionaires will expire next year.

More than 40 millionaires, including members of the Rockefeller and Disney families, wrote in a letter to Cuomo that the state’s wealthiest residents “have both the ability and the responsibility to pay our fair share.” “We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more,” wrote the group, which included Abigail Disney and Steven C. Rockefeller.

The 1 percent tax plan, created in conjunction with the Fiscal Policy Institute, would create higher tax rates for New Yorkers making $665,000 or more. New York’s current tax rate for those making $1,062,000 is 8.82 percent. The proposed plan would keep the rate for those making $1 million to $2 million, while progressively raising the rate for millionaires in higher brackets.

Thus those making between $2 million and $10 million would be taxed at 9.35 percent. The rate would go up to 9.65 percent for those making between $10 million to $100 million, while those who earn in excess of $100 million would pay 9.99 percent. Higher taxes would be used to help New Yorkers who are struggling economically, and the state’s “ailing infrastructure is in desperate need of attention,” the letter stated.

“As a businessman and philanthropist and as a citizen of New York State, I believe we need to invest in our people and our infrastructure,” said Leo Hindery, Jr., managing partner of InterMedia Partners, a private equity fund. “The 1% Tax Plan makes it possible to make these investments, and simply asks people like me to continue to pay a higher tax rate, as we should.”

The wealthy New Yorkers also expressed support for the “Millionaires Tax” proposed by state Democratic legislators and recently advanced by the New York State Assembly. Lawmakers are in budget negotiations over the plan and hope to finalize a deal by April, AP reported. Yet Republicans, who control the state Senate, are opposed higher tax rates for wealthy state residents.

“Whether it’s income taxes, property taxes, business taxes, user fees, or tolls, we don’t support raising taxes or asking hard-working New Yorkers to dig deeper into their pockets to pay more,” Senate Leader John Flanagan said last month.

Last month, a Shanghai-based research group reported that Beijing has eclipsed New York City as home to more of the world’s wealthiest people. Yet Forbes magazine countered the report, saying that “New York City is still the world capital for the ultra-rich,” as 79 billionaires, with a combined $364.6 billion in wealth, reside there, while Beijing has 51 billionaires worth a total of $149.9 billion.


Teacher shows students an ISIS beheading video, students freak out, yet teacher gets to keep her job

An honest mistake, I guess. Not everyone can keep their ISIS beheading videos straight (insert obvious sarcasm).

Teacher Nazario on the left/NY Post photo

Teacher Nazario on the left/NY Post photo

From the NYPost: A Bronx middle-school teacher rattled her students — including one who was near tears — by showing an ISIS video of a terrorist beheading a journalist, documents show.

South Bronx Academy for Applied Media veteran Alexiss Nazario faced termination, but was let off with a $300 fine last summer after acknowledging she made a mistake by not previewing the clip or getting the principal’s permission.

Investigators spoke to three eighth-graders who were freaked out by the macabre clip, which showed a masked man holding a knife to the neck of a kneeling ­victim clad in orange. The students testified that the video blacked out the actual beheading but showed its gruesome aftermath: the man’s severed head placed on top of his own chest.

“I’m scared at what I just saw. Ms. Nazario showed a beheading video and I was really scared,” one girl told a school staffer right after seeing the clip, according to an ­investigation by the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation. “I don’t even watch scary videos at home,” the girl added.

Another student told probers he lost sleep the night after seeing the video, which had made him feel uncomfortable. “It was gross,” he said.

Nazario initially tried to blame the kids by telling investigators one of them had searched for the video on a computer attached to an overhead screen, during a lesson about Iraq, terrorism and ISIS. Two students told investigators it was Nazario who had cued up the clip.

The technology teacher said the students started “shouting out” that they wanted to watch the video, but acknowledged she was responsible for what happened.

She couldn’t explain why she thought her 13- and 14-year-old students could handle the video, but one recalled her saying, “This is what’s going on in the real world.”

Nazario, a teacher for 26 years whose annual salary tops $105,000, told a different story Friday — telling The Post she had accidentally played the wrong video. “I was scrolling looking for a specific video. I clicked on the wrong thing. It was a mistake. It was an error,” she said. “I freaked out. I had no idea that was playing.”

Department of Education officials tried to terminate her based on the video and two unrelated charges — but arbitrator Eugene Ginsberg said her years of ­unblemished service merited a lighter penalty.

“This teacher demonstrated a complete lack of judgment, and this incident betrayed our schools’ promise to provide a safe and supportive environment,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye. “We sought to terminate this teacher’s employment on the recommendation of the Special Commissioner of Investigation, and ultimately followed the decision of the independent arbitrator.”

Nazario now works as a roving substitute at different schools, ­officials said.


Nearly every NYPD cop hates Mayor de Blasio

Gee, I wonder why


Via NY Post: The vast majority of NYPD cops hate Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a police union survey. An overwhelming 96 percent of the 6,000 cops polled have unfavorable opinions of Hizzoner, with 88 percent holding “very unfavorable” opinions of him, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association survey found.

Eight-five percent of cops gave City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito an unfavorable rating, and 96 percent are dissatisfied with the City Council in general.

Top cop Bill Bratton, however, received higher ratings, with 66 percent of cops approving of his performance, the survey says.

Ninety-seven percent of PBA members said they feel less safe on duty, and the same percentage of respondents said they felt less likely to take action now, fearing lawsuits or complaints.

“The brave men and women who risk their lives to protect New Yorkers should feel confident that their hard work is having a positive impact,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, as this survey proves, the majority of our police officers do not feel supported by Mayor de Blasio’s administration or the city council, and believe their unfavorable public safety policies have New York City on the wrong track.”


Liberal Logic: NYC mayor says slashing spike due to gun control


Via Fox News: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says the explosion in random slashings this year shows the city is getting guns off the streets, but critics say it’s another NYPD policy that is driving the blade attacks: The end of stop-and-frisk.

De Blasio’s claim earlier this month that violent criminals are using knives, razor blades and boxcutters to maim strangers because they can’t get their hands on firearms prompted skepticism from law enforcement experts. Slashings have jumped about 20 percent this year compared to the first three months of 2015, with attacks occurring on the subway, at tourist attractions and in outer borough neighborhoods long plagued by crime.


“I’m not a criminologist,” de Blasio told reporters in response to a question about the knife attacks. “But I can safely say that guns are being taken off the street in an unprecedented way. Some people, unfortunately, are turning to a different weapon.”

Some law enforcement experts aren’t buying the mayor’s explanation for the rise in knife crime. “These criminals didn’t just start carrying knives out of the blue or because of the guns getting taken — I don’t believe that for a second,” former NYPD Detective Scott Prendergast, who runs the private investigation service Cornelius Investigations, told FoxNews.com.

Instead, Prendergast blames the rise in knife attacks on de Blasio for ending “stop-and-frisk,” a policy in which police officers stop people based on suspicion and frisk them for weapons or other illegal items. “The increase in knives is more connected to ending stop and frisk . . . so the criminals know they can carry knives like they did back in the 1980s,” Prendergast said.

Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who studies crime, agreed. “I’m not quite sure why violent people would switch to knife carrying over gun carrying when their chances of being stopped and frisked or arrested are already so low,” she told FoxNews.com.

Asked for evidence backing up the mayor’s claim about guns, the NYPD sent FoxNews.com data showing that gun-related arrests in 2016 have risen to 559 from 476 during the same period last year. And that at the same time as they arrested more people for having guns, shooting incidents fell to 130 from 161 and murders fell to 44 from 63.

Those statistics are consistent with the mayor’s argument, but Prendergast noted that crimes in general are up. There were 402 more felonious assaults so far this year compared to the same time period last year – a 14 percent increase. Through the first two months of the year, there were 567 slashing attacks, some 20 percent above the pace set in early 2015. Police data also show that shootings, while down in 2016 so far, are still higher than they were two years ago when de Blasio took office. “I have lived and worked in New York City my whole life and it is definitely starting to remind me of the 1980s as far as unsavory characters being a lot more visible,” Prendergast said.

De Blasio said the city’s next project is to crack down on illegal knives and that the best way to do so is with “broken windows” policing – meaning enforcing laws against relatively minor crimes and shaking the perps down for weapons. “I believe in quality-of-life policing, or ‘Broken Windows Policing,’” de Blasio said.  “I get the reports every day. Someone’s jumping a turnstile [or] someone had some other kind of infraction and… it turns out they have a weapon,” he said.

But critics say de Blasio doesn’t fully allow police to practice what he preaches, because this year New York City decriminalized a host of minor crimes including public urination, drinking in public and littering. “So obviously they’re not doing ‘broken windows’ policing,” Prendergast said.