More Insanity From The Political Left

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about a recent statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Mayor stated, “Here’s the truth. 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.”

Wow. So it’s wrong for the money to be in the hands of the people who actually earned it?

The article notes:

• Perhaps he means David Koch, the retired businessman and libertarian who donated the entire $65 million cost for the new public plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The more than six million people who visit the museum each year can now stroll past trees and fountains on their way in and out of the Met, which by the way is also supported by private donors.

• Or perhaps the mayor is thinking of Ken Langone, the Home Depot founder, who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the New York University Medical Center that treats patients of all incomes and social strata. Mr. Langone’s most recent $100 million gift, made last year, will go to provide cost-free tuition for every NYU medical student. Wrong hands?

• Or maybe the mayor has in mind Richard Gilder, who made a fortune in finance and provided the first major grant for the Central Park Conservancy that has rescued the park from its sad mid-20th-century decline. Each year the conservancy, led by private donors, restores eroding corners of this grand public space with new trees, lawns, playgrounds and ballfields that are used by tens of thousands across the city regardless of income.

Mr. Gilder has also given generously to the American Museum of Natural History and the New-York Historical Society, two other favorites for visitors and students of all ways and means.

• Then again the mayor dislikes charter schools, so perhaps he means Stanley Druckenmiller, the legendary investor who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars for Geoffrey Canada’s successful charter-school network in the poorest neighborhoods of the city. These students would otherwise be stuck in failing schools run by Mr. de Blasio’s friends in the teachers union.

But thanks to donations from Mr. Druckenmiller, and hedge-fund operator Dan Loeb’s gifts to the Success Academy charter network, thousands of kids have a shot at a better life.

The article reminds us that because of capitalism and the fact that when men can keep the fruits of their labor, donations are made that educate children, improve neighborhoods, and provide playgrounds and recreation.

Let’s compare that record with what happens when government controls the money. The article concludes:

As for Mr. de Blasio’s right hands, there are those failing schools. And don’t forget the New York City Housing Authority, which last year had to sign a consent decree with the federal government for lying about its failure to provide safe and sanitary conditions.

“Somewhat reminiscent of the biblical plagues of Egypt, these conditions include toxic lead paint, asthma-inducing mold, lack of heat, frequent elevator outages, and vermin infestations,” federal Judge William Pauley III wrote last year, adding that the authority “whitewashed these deficiencies for years.”

Perhaps those are the hands Mr. de Blasio should do something about.

Government Health Care Comes To New York City

The Daily Wire is reporting today that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has announced that the city will begin a ‘universal’ health care program that will provide for health care for all uninsured New York City residents, “regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status.”

The article reports:

ABC News reports that de Blasio’s new plan, NYC Care, isn’t exactly a “universal health care” plan, but rather a “guarantee” that the city will pay for preventative medical care for an estimated 600,000 who do not have insurance, but live within the boundaries of New York City.

Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a “right” for anyone who gets sick in NYC.

“We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right,” de Blasio told media ahead of his announcement. “We have to make it in practice a right.”

“Health care is a human right. In this city we are going to make that a reality,” de Blasio repeated at a press conference on the expansion Tuesday morning.

The plan, which isn’t precisely a plan — details are scant on how the system will actually work — will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can’t afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren’t signed up for “Obamacare” options on the state exchange.

The article mentions Mayor De Blasio’s estimate of the cost:

As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out on Twitter, de Blasio’s government estimates the plan will cost the city no more than $100 million per year — an amount that de Blasio says precludes having to raise taxes to cover the program. But the $100 million number assumes either that not all 600,000 uninsured individuals will need medical care, or that medical care will be provided at far below market value.

If anyone wants to start a pool on how long it is before New York City has to raise taxes to pay for this, I’m in. I wonder if this new service (and its cost) will speed up the exodus from New York.

Where The Free Market Helps The Little Guy

Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article about the future of Uber and Lyft in New York City. New York’s socialist mayor, Bill de Blasio, has decided that on Tuesday he will move to limit the number of Ubers and Lyfts in New York. If you have ever tried to get a cab in New York City, this is not good news.

The article concludes with the real purpose of the move to limit Uber and Lyft:

What’s more, the bulletin boards of New York are rife with talk of what this really looks like, which is a bid to raise the value of taxi medallions, which the city profits from, and which well-connected political cronies get their hands on. (Such as President Trump’s now-ex lawyer, Michael Cohen, a medallion owner whose net worth should rise.) New Yorkers know that’s always been a corrupt racket.

Quite an achievement for a socialist champion of the little guy, taking away their taxis in the rain. Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg only went after their salt shakers on their diner tables. This guy goes after their transport. Which shows the rest of us again what happens under socialism.

You’ve got to hope they’ll finally get ‘woke’ and start protesting the heck against him, because obviously de Blasio has dismissed the interests of New York’s ever-stressed working class and has just handed them a s– sandwich.

The people who own the medallions will make money and the people trying to find a way to get to Brooklyn will be out of luck.

Allowing Uber and Lyft to operate freely in New York City would provide needed transportation for people as well as possibly keep cab fares from rising totally out of control. That would be the free market at work.

Losing Our Civilization One Law At A Time

Last week The New York Times posted an article about some changes being made in law enforcement in New York City.

The article reports:

A package of eight bills to be introduced in the City Council on Monday would reduce the impact of the style of policing known as broken windows that has for two decades guided the Police Department to see minor disorder as a precursor to major crime, often alienating residents in the process.

Under the legislation, New Yorkers given tickets by the police for offenses such as violating city park rules, a misdemeanor now, would in many cases be steered to a civil process rather than criminal court.

The article explains that the new laws would make such crimes as littering, public urination, public consumption of alcohol, excessive noise and breaking certain park rules civil matters rather than criminal matters.

I understand that these bills may help with the problem of overcrowding in the courts, but they will not help with the quality of life in New York City.

One of my daughters attended college in New York City during the 1990’s. When Rudy Giuliani became mayor, he instituted something called the ‘broken windows theory.’ The idea behind this theory was that if you dealt with the ‘little things’ like broken windows, litter, vandalism, etc., then the atmosphere would change, people would take more pride in their surroundings, and all crime would go down. In New York City during the 1990’s, crime did go down, and the quality of life did improve for the residents.

I think this new package of laws is a step backwards–not forward.

Losing Your Rights In Your Own Home

Fox News posted an article in late June (I missed it. Sorry) about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s plan to end smoking in apartments. That’s right, if you are renting an apartment in New York City, you would not be allowed to smoke in your apartment.

The article reports:

The mayor’s administration is planning to pay four health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to press landlords and developers to prohibit lighting up in their apartment complexes so neighboring tenants don’t breathe in secondhand smoke, according to the New York Post. The city has already banned smoking in bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues and parks, but has not moved against smokers who practice their habit in the privacy of their own homes.

City health officials emphasized the initiative is voluntary — at least for now.

“Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing. Residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes . . . while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs,” a Health Department spokesman said.

Dozens of buildings containing hundreds of apartments have already kicked the habit, according to the Health Department. The de Blasio administration is actually accelerating an initiative started at the tail end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure.

I need to make a few things clear here. I am a non-smoker–I never smoked. I grew up in a blue haze in a house with two heavy smokers (both of whom died as a result of smoking-related illnesses). I really hate the smell of cigarettes and love the fact that I no longer have to smell cigarette smoke in restaurants. However, smokers have rights, too. If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their own apartment, it bothers me that a law could be passed that would make that a crime. I thought Republicans were the people always being accused of wanting to make laws about what people did behind closed doors.

I agree with the idea that if a landlord wants to make his apartments smoke-free, he should be allowed to do so. Hotels have smoke-free rooms. The rooms stay cleaner, and it cuts down on the fire hazard of someone falling asleep while smoking. However, this should be the choice of the individual landlord–not the city government.

Meanwhile, many states are moving to legalize marijuana as they limit the rights of tobacco smokers. It just doesn’t make any sense.

An Unnecessary Tragedy

Today’s New York Post is reporting that two policemen have been killed in the Brooklyn while they sat in their police car. Unfortunately, this is the result of much of the media’s and some of our local and national leaders’ ‘war on the police’ that has been going on for the last few months.

May the policemen rest in peace and their families be comforted.

The article reports the response of some of the New York City Police:

The two officers were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, where their colleagues and family members huddled tearfully.

City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio were less than welcome guests at the poignant gathering.

“We’re all in this together,” the mayor told grieving cops, according to a cop who was there.

“No we’re not,” one officer said tersely in response.

Just last week cops began signing a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver, distributed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, that warned the mayor and speaker to stay away from funerals of cops killed in the line of duty.

Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco, like many cops, likened the murders to the 1988 assassination of Police Officer Eddie Byrne.

The 22-year-old rookie cop was alone in a squad car in Jamaica, Queens, guarding the home of a witness in a drug case, when he was shot in the head five times. The hit was ordered by jailed drug kingpin “Pappy” Mason, in retaliation for his arrest.

“I don’t even know how to respond to this,” Turco said. “Twenty-eight years on and I don’t know what to say.”

Another cop, who is black, said he fears that “this is just the beginning.

“There are people out there who will want to be copycats. The tension out there is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

The lack of support shown to the New York City Police recently has not helped the safety of policemen. It is time for those who seek to divide America along racial lines and those who seek to blame the police for those divides to be quiet. Lack of respect for policemen endangers all of us. It will make America less safe and create chaos in our cities.

 

Following The Money In The Horse-Drawn Carriage Wars In Central Park

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has stated that one of his first priorities is to take the horse-drawn carriages out of Central Park. His argument is that asking the horses to pull the carriages in a setting where they must compete with automobiles is cruel to the horses. Various animal rights groups are backing him up. Well, there may be a little more to the story than meets the eye.

The American Thinker posted an article today which suggests that the idea behind removing the horse-drawn carriages may not be the welfare of the horses.

The article quotes an article in The American Spectator by Robert Stacy McCain:

The bad guy in this drama, according to the carriage drivers, is  Steve Nislick, chief executive officer of a New Jersey-based real-estate development company, Edison Properties. The company “employs legions of lobbyists to influence city decisions on real estate and zoning in its favor,” journalist Michael Gross reported in 2009, pointing out that two of Edison’s businesses “have multiple locations in the same Far West Midtown neighborhood as the stables where the Central Park horses are housed.” An anti-carriage pamphlet Nislick circulated in 2008 made this interesting observation: “Currently, the stables consist of 64,000 square feet of valuable real estate on lots that could accomodate up to 150,000 square feet of development. These lots could be sold for new development.”

The lesson here is that when you are trying to understand a politician’s decision, follow the money.

 

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The End Of A New York City Tradition

Horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park have been associated with New York City for about 100 years. Now those carriage rides are in danger. On Thursday, CNS News reported that newly-elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to replace the horse-drawn carriages with electric cars. The cars would be built with the look of antique cars and would have a driver so that current carriage drivers would still have jobs. However, the article does not mention the horse owners and stable owners who would lose their jobs.

The Mayor claims that horse carriages are “not humane” and are cruel to the animals. The carriage owners are requesting that the Mayor take a tour of the stables where the horses are kept before he makes a decision.

This is being reported as a ‘cruelty to animals‘ issue. Since when is asking a horse to pull a carriage animal cruelty. If the concern is that the horses sometimes have to deal with vehicle traffic, it might make more sense to ban cars within Central Park and leave the entire park to the horses.

Stay tuned. I am sure there is much more to come.

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