Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that cell phone video recordings of police officers are interfering with the officers’ ability to do their jobs … and that is why the murder numbers are rising for his city.
Emanuel blamed the higher murder rate on “the chilling effects of high-profile protests against police brutality and officers’ fear of cell phone videos of their actions going viral.”
Last week, at a meeting of elected officials and top law enforcement officials, Emanuel said, “We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence.” He then added, “They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”
It’s an interesting claim from a mayor whose city was dubbed the “murder capital” of the nation back in 2012, long before the rise of viral police brutality videos and the popularization of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last month, statistics were released by the FBI showing that Chicago had 411 killings, more than New York’s 333 murders and Los Angeles’ 260 murders. This is despite the fact that Chicago has a smaller population than both of those cities do.
The federal government will announce a new plan requiring anyone buying a drone to register the device with the U.S. Department of Transportation, NBC news has learned.
The government has been concerned about the rise in close calls between unmanned drones and aircraft flying into and out of some of the nation’s biggest airports. The plan is expected to be announced Monday.
In July, there was a dangerously close encounter between a drone and a passenger jet with 159 people aboard setting up to land at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The unmanned aerial vehicle was just 100 feet away from the passenger jet at an altitude of 1,700 feet; normal safe separation distance is between aircraft is at least 1,000 feet.
Private drones were also blamed for hampering aerial firefighting efforts over a California blaze in July.
Firefighting aircraft trying to attack the fast-moving blaze in the Cajon Pass had to leave the area for around 20 minutes over safety concerns, officials said. The fire swept over a busy freeway and torched 20 vehicles.
Under the plan, the government would work with the drone industry to set up a structure for registering the drones, and the regulations could be in place by Christmas.
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $1.9 million fine against Chicago drone company SkyPan, which was alleged to have flown dozens of unauthorized flights over Chicago and New York since 2012
The US has scheduled two test launches for its nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) on September 22 and September 26.
The first nuclear missile will be launched one day after the International Day of Peace and the second one is expected to be launched on the same day the UN’s high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament will take place in New York.
“Instead of honoring the significance of these dates and working in good faith to achieve nuclear disarmament, the United States has chosen to schedule two tests of its Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on September 22 and September 26,” Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation told the Daily Times.
“We are disappointed that a test launch is scheduled for the same day as the High-Level Meeting on nuclear disarmament at the UN in New York,” Wayman said.
“These missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads capable of killing thousands of times more people than the chemical weapons used in Syria,” he pointed out.
Washington has accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons in an attack near capital Damascus on August 21.
Damascus has categorically rejected the allegations and even Obama’s top aide, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, admitted that Washington’s claims were based on a “common-sense test” not any “irrefutable” evidence.
Meanwhile, Russia has said it has evidence which shows militant groups operating in Syria staged the August 21 attack to incriminate the Syrian government.
As Washington plans to go ahead with its plans to test nuclear missiles next week, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq cited the UN Secretary General’s statement on the issue which said, “We should all remember the terrible toll of nuclear tests.”
The US is the only country in the world that has used atomic bombs in war. US atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August 1945.
Last year in September, it was reported that the US government was planning to undertake the costliest modernization of its nuclear arsenal in history
WASHINGTON — A police officer can’t pull you over and arrest you just because you gave him the finger, a federal appeals court declared Thursday.
In a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”
John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed on speedy trial grounds.
A federal judge in the Northern District of New York granted summary judgement to the officers in July 2011, but the Court of Appeals on Thursday erased that decision and ordered the lower court to take up the case again.
Richard Insogna, the officer who stopped Swartz and his wife when they arrived at their destination, claimed he pulled the couple over because he believed Swartz was “trying to get my attention for some reason.” The appeals court didn’t buy that explanation, ruling that the “nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness.”
NEW YORK — New York City Comptroller John Liu is proposing a historic overhaul of the city’s marijuana laws, believing that legalizing medical marijuana and allowing adults to possess an ounce of pot for recreational use would pump more than $400 million into the city’s coffers.
The sweeping change, which would put New York at the forefront of a growing national debate over use of the drug, calls for recreational marijuana to be regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco.
Liu, the city’s top financial officer who is also running for mayor, commissioned a report that finds that New York City has a $1.65 billion marijuana market. If a 20 percent excise tax and the standard 8.875 percent city sales tax is imposed on the pot sales, it would yield $400 million annually in revenue, Liu believes. Another $31 million could be saved a year in law enforcement and court costs.
“It is economically and socially just to tax it,” Liu told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. “We can eliminate some of the criminal nature that surrounds the drug and obtain revenue from it.”
The comptroller’s plan, which likely faces stiff opposition from state lawmakers who would have to authorize it, calls for the state to oversee private businesses selling pot. Licenses would be required, fees would be charged, and using the drug in public or while driving would be prohibited.
Liu’s team calculated that 900,000 city pot smokers spend about $2,000 a year on the drug. He is calling for the revenue surge to be used to reduce tuition at the City University of New York for city residents.
Twenty states and the District of Columbia currently permit medicinal marijuana. Two states, Washington and Colorado, last year voted to allow recreational marijuana for adults.
Officials in both states predicted that the change would be create a surge in revenue — up to $60 million annually in Colorado alone, according to supporters there. But while it is too soon to evaluate the exact economic ramifications in those states, experts do believe that the city budget would be bolstered by a similar measure.
“Now, people selling the product are doing it under the table and aren’t paying any taxes on it,” said Carl Davis, Senior Analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. “That would change. And, it stands to reason, people would also start legally producing it locally, so there would be economic benefits there too.”
Back in September we, somewhat naively, penned “US Totalitarianism Loses Major Battle As Judge Permanently Blocks NDAA’s Military Detention Provision” in which we said that “in May, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of the authorization for military detention. Today, the war against the true totalitarian terror won a decisive battle, when in a 112-opinion, Judge Forrest turned the temporary injunction, following an appeal by the totalitarian government from August 6, into a permanent one.” Sadly, the “victory” lasted about 10 months. Today, US totalitarianism wins again.
- U.S. APPEALS COURT THROWS OUT PERMANENT INJUNCTION THAT HAD LIMITED U.S. GOVERNMENT’S USE OF INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION — COURT RULING
In other words, every legal decision will be binding… until Obama’s cronies in the 13 circuit courts of the appellate system get a tap on the shoulder. And good luck with the SCOTUS.
And with that, the time to be on the lookout for black helicopters is back.
More from Reuters:
A federal appeals court on Wednesday lifted a lower court order that would have prevented the U.S. military from indefinitely detaining people believed to have helped al Qaeda or the Taliban.
The 3-0 decision by a panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York was a setback for journalists, activists and others who had argued that the law put them in danger of indefinite detention.
It was a victory for the Obama administration, which said the practice is needed to fight terrorism.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the law.
The provision in question is part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the U.S. Congress passes annually to authorize programs of the Defense Department.
It lets the government indefinitely detain people it deems to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”
Journalists and activists whose work relates to overseas conflicts, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges and an Icelandic spokeswoman for Wikileaks, complained that the law could subject them to being locked up for exercising constitutionally-protected rights.
In September 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest issued a permanent injunction preventing the United States from invoking the part of the law authorizing indefinite detentions, after granting a temporary injunction in May.
Forrest, whom Obama appointed to the federal bench in 2011, had found the provision violated the Constitution in part because its language is too vague.
The Obama administration won an emergency halt to that injunction so it could appeal.
In lifting the injunction, the 2nd Circuit panel did not address the constitutional issues.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who sat with the 2nd Circuit by designation and wrote the decision, said American plaintiffs like Hedges lack standing because the provision “says nothing at all about the President’s authority to detain American citizens.”
Drinking water wells near natural gas “fracking” sites were six times more likely to be contaminated than others, finds a new study of New York and Pennsylvania homes.
A nationwide boom tied to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has revolutionized the picture for U.S. energy production in the past decade. Natural gas production is up about 30% since 2005. Concerns about environmental effects on air and water from the wells, which shatter layers of shale deep underground to release gas or oil, have also risen. An Environmental Protection Agency review of well safety is underway and scheduled for release next year.
In a new study released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research team led by Robert Jackson of Duke University sampled 141 drinking water wells across northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York. All of the fracking wells were in northeastern Pennsylvania. The results add to a 2011 study that first linked closeness to fracking wells to drinking water contamination with methane.
“it is looking like we are seeing a problem with well construction in some places and not others,” Jackson says. Along with finding methane more likely to be contaminating drinking water wells within about 1,000 feet of fracking sites, the study found propane in 10 nearby wells. Ethane gas was 23 times more likely to be seen in homes similarly close to fracking sites. The ethane and propane are signatures of fracking, Jackson says. The gases probably escaped from leaks in the steel or concrete casing lining the uppermost part of the natural gas wells, called the wellbore.
On the plus side, there was no sign in the well’s drinking water of industrial fluids used in the fracking process, such as diesel fuel. Fracking forces water and sand laced with these industrial fluids down deep and then sideways under high pressure to crack shale layers and liberate natural gas. There was no evidence of wide-scale leaks of methane far from the fracking sites beyond naturally occurring amounts seen in recent U.S. Geological Survey reports from the region.
The New York Police Department is under siege from the New York City Council, which is seeking to limit the NYPD’s ability to randomly stop a disproportionate number of minority youth in random searches. According to the head of the NYPD, however, such an action would be tantamount to letting the terrorists win.
Currently, the Council has two measures before it to limit the NYPD’s ability to halt random civilians for searches on the streets of New York under its so-called “stop-and-frisk” program. The first would create an Inspector-General for the police department to handle internal complaints and oversight; the second would allow people to file claims against the NYPD in state court in instances of alleged racial profiling. On Monday, the Council took the unprecedented step of voting to bypass the Committee on Public Safety, whose chairman Peter Vallone Jr. opposed the measures, setting the proposals up for a floor vote in the coming days.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is firmly against any attempt to limit the ability of the NYPD to randomly search through the pockets of New Yorkers. In the past, Bloomberg has called the program a defense against potential terrorism, invoking 9/11 and the Boston bombing. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly took that line of thinking a step further on Monday, claiming that terrorists would be pleased by the City Council’s actions. Any infringement on stop-and-frisk, according to Kelly, would possibly endanger intelligence operations conducted with foreign governments. “Take heart, al Qaeda wannabes, because the City Council has found a way to undermine our partners,” Kelly said.
Despite Kelly and Bloomberg’s claims, the efficacy of stop-and-frisk in stopping terrorism is highly suspect. Instead, more often the procedure is used to lead to marijuana arrests than anything else. And despite the lofty goals the two profess for the program, the truth is much more grounded in continual harassment of minorities. In a recent court case against the practice, evidence was presented from more than 100 witnesses suggesting the New York Police Department sets quotas on the number of stop-and-frisks, instructs officers to target black men, and taunts young teens during stops.
The NYPD’s actual counterterrorism programs have not been a model for success either. In 2012, the Associated Press broke the story of the department targeting Muslims and using informants to entice them to commit crimes in the name of combating terrorism. Under its “Demographics Unit,” the NYPD illegally spied on a wide-range of Muslims within the city including at least one student group, resulting in a lawsuit filed against them in court.
With billions of dollars in wealth, Michael Bloomberg still has to rely on the people of New York City to fund his anti-gun website. My parents always taught me that stealing is stealing. Whether it is a gumball or a brand new Mercedes does not matter. I would suggest that when there is smoke there is usually fire and this could be just the tip of the iceberg.
Ace of Spades uncovered an interesting fact on Friday. Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” website is actually registered to The City of New York. Specifically it is registered to “NYC DoITT” (the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications).
Really Bloomberg? The cost of registering a domain is less than $50 a year. Even with an estimated $27 Billion in wealth you can’t afford to spend $50 to register your web site? For the record here is the exact registration information for www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org:
|Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
|2 Metrotech Center
|Brooklyn, NY 11201
|Record expires on 24-Apr-2014
|Record created on 24-Apr-2006
|Database last updated on 23-Dec-2008
I would suggest massive amounts of phone calls to the number listed above but that’s just me. I think a few thousand questions about why a New York City municipal government agency is using taxpayer funds to register domain names for the Mayor’s private gun control efforts might be in order.
Did “Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns” reimburse the City of New York? It really does not matter. Do you think the City of New York would offer the same services to a pro-gun group? Not unless that group had some sort of political inside connection like Bloomberg’s…
Ace of Spades reports:
Another Bloomberg group, Renew Our Economy, has their domain registered to Mayors Against Illegal Guns. This is all a bit of a mess, which shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point.
At best, this is really sloppy. At worst, this could be pretty serious. We’ll see what develops.
To verify this registration go to this site (opens in new window) and simply type in www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org
You will receive the result I showed you above.
It’s doubtful that a $50 indiscretion will topple the Bloomberg empire, but again… when there is smoke there is normally fire. If he used public funds and/or resources for a domain registration, what else might be uncovered with a little more digging?
h/t John Lott
Editor’s UPDATE: A reader pointed out that the costs associated with this may be far higher than just $50. If you click on this link and scroll down (you may need to enter their security code) you will see Name Server:VWALL4A.NYC.GOV. Those are official NYC government servers. Therefore this is not only a domain we are talking about, MAIG is using the city’s own servers to host their site!
Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/06/mayor-michael-bloomberg-busted-using-taxpayer-money-to-fund-mayors-against-illegal-guns/#ixzz2XEAmcP2z
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