Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Globe Xmas Gift: DeBlasio Daughter's Drunken Dump

Just cleaning up a few other things from the holiday party with it:

"The campaign did not say what prompted it to release the video on Christmas Eve, when many news watchers are more concerned with travel or shopping than current events."

It's the kind of thing that resembles a Slow Saturday, folks. And here I am. 

Related: Israel launches strikes after civilian death

Yes, it is. Let us all pray this is a one-day foray and not the sign of something larger.

"DeBlasio’s daughter tells of substance abuse" by Jonathan Lemire |  Associated Press, December 25, 2013

NEW YORK — The 19-year-old daughter of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio of New York opened up Tuesday about her personal struggles, saying she battled substance abuse and depression for years.

Chiara de Blasio, a college sophomore who had a central role in her father’s campaign, appears in a surprise four-minute video released by the transition team. In it, she says she drank alcohol and smoked marijuana because of clinical depression and anxiety.

‘‘It made it easier, the more I drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people,” she said, under soft lights with piano music tinkling in the background. ‘‘It didn’t start out as, like, a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing for me.”

She thought she could escape the problem by leaving for college in California, but her ‘‘physical insecurity” grew worse.

‘‘My mom was trying really hard to help me and my dad was doing the same, but obviously he was really busy,’’ she said. ‘‘They were both very emotionally committed to trying to find out some way to get me better.”

De Blasio eventually found success in group therapy at a treatment center in New York.

‘‘Removing substances from my life opened so many doors for me. I was actually able to participate in my dad’s campaign,” she said in the video. ‘‘Getting sober is always a positive thing, and by no means is it easy — it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done — but it’s so worth it.”

In a statement accompanying the video, Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, said they are ‘‘so proud of Chiara and love her deeply.”

‘‘As parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle,” they said in the statement. ‘‘But not only has Chiara committed to her own health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges.”

The campaign did not say what prompted it to release the video on Christmas Eve, when many news watchers are more concerned with travel or shopping than current events. The announcement was framed as a way to help others struggling with depression and substance abuse during the holidays.

Rumors swirled during the mayoral primary campaign that Chiara had battled drug issues. But the de Blasio campaign beat back reporters who pursued the topic, saying that his two children were off limits. No media outlet published a report.

They self-censored.

Yet even as the campaign pleaded for privacy, de Blasio’s family played a key role in his campaign. De Blasio was frequently joined at campaign events by his wife, and McCray is considered his top adviser and will wield considerable influence at City Hall.

Both Chiara and her brother stumped for their father and appeared in television ads. Dante de Blasio’s appeared first, and the teen’s soaring Afro and heartfelt descriptions of his father was the most effective ad of the campaign, helping a surge in the polls.

That corresponded with the implosion of the Weiner campaign.

Chiara de Blasio’s ad appeared closer to Election Day and she gave a sunny description of her father’s vision ‘‘that leaves no one behind.” She also introduced her father at his raucous primary night party.

Was alcohol served?

She gave a hint of her struggles after being spotted in tears at a parade in September. She told reporters that she sometimes suffered from anxiety.

In the hours after the video was released, de Blasio briefly appeared outside his Brooklyn home and repeated how proud he was of his daughter.

During the campaign, de Blasio spoke about his father’s substance abuse, particularly of alcohol. His father later committed suicide.


Related: Sunday Globe Special: New New York Mayor Must Betray Base

Another base betrayed:

"Mayor-elect clears air with NYPD boss

NEW YORK — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said Saturday that he has ‘‘cleared the air’’ with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly a day after Kelly told Playboy de Blasio and other Democrats were ‘‘pandering’’ by criticizing the department’s stop and frisk policy (AP)."

"NYPD head attacks ruling on police stops; Says minority communities will be harmed" by Jennifer Peltz |  Associated Press, August 19, 2013

NEW YORK — Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly assailed a federal judge’s finding of racial discrimination and demand for changes to his department’s stop-and-frisk practice, telling a Sunday news show that minority communities will be ‘‘the losers’’ if the ruling is not overturned.

During interviews on three shows, Kelly also raised questions about the judge’s call to try outfitting officers with tiny video cameras. Throughout, he faulted the judge’s reasoning and defended the New York Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk as legal and life-saving.

‘‘The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities,’’ he said on CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation.’’

He noted that 97 percent of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, reasoned that similar demographics apply if a stop deters a killing, and added that there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before.

‘‘Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it,’’ Kelly said on ABC News’ ‘‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos.’’

If stop-and-frisk were abandoned, ‘‘no question about it —violent crime will go up,’’ he said on NBC’s ‘‘Meet the Press.’’

Over the past decade, police have stopped, questioned, and sometimes patted down about 5 million people; 87 percent were black or Hispanic, groups that make up 54 percent of the city population. About 10 percent of the stops spur an arrest or summons. Police find weapons a fraction of the time.

US District Judge Shira Scheindlin declared Monday that at least 200,000 stops were made without reasonable suspicion and that the NYPD’s practice is intentionally racially biased. The city plans to appeal.

Which is unconstitutional and against the Bill of Rights, but whatever.

Kelly said Sunday Scheindlin’s ruling rested on mistaken logic. He said the racial and ethnic makeup of those stopped should be compared to and reliably mirror that of crime suspects, not the population at large. The judge called that approach wrong ‘‘because the stopped population is overwhelmingly innocent — not criminal.’’

Kelly and Bloomberg have made the same point before, and civil rights and minority advocates have deplored it, particularly after Bloomberg said in June that ‘‘we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.’’

Kelly’s remarks Sunday brought a rebuke from NAACP president Benjamin Jealous.

‘‘Just because there are more murders in our community doesn’t mean that you can treat all of us like we are guilty. . . . He’s just way off base,’’ Jealous said on ‘‘Meet the Press.’’

Scheindlin appointed a monitor to oversee various changes, including a one-year test that could put video cameras in more than 1,000 officers’ lapels or eyeglasses.

Kelly suggested Sunday the cameras could be problematic when police respond to domestic arguments or when someone wants to provide confidential information.

Why? They have no problem putting them up anywhere.

After years of burnishing a reputation as one of the nation’s most potent police forces, the New York Police Department is about to become one of the most closely monitored departments in the nation.

In addition to Scheindlin’s ruling last week, city lawmakers are readying for a final vote Thursday on creating an inspector general for the NYPD and widening the legal path for pursuing claims of police bias.

The actions may end up meaning little on the street, depending on who is asked. But from any perspective, it would be the onset of a new era of oversight for the country’s biggest police department, although political forces may affect the outcome....

Like what, an election?


He is no longer going to have the job, but the policy will continue:

"Bratton to lead NYC police for second time; Says he’s learned much since stint during the ’90s:" by J. David Goodman |  New York Times, December 06, 2013

NEW YORK — William J. Bratton was named police commissioner of New York City for the second time Thursday. But it is a different place than the crime-ravaged city he came to in 1994. And he said he was going to be a different kind of commissioner, overseeing a different kind of policing.

“In this city, I want every New Yorker to talk about ‘their police’, ‘my police,’ ” Bratton said after his appointment was announced by mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, before reading from a children’s book about police work he said he had cherished since he was 9.

In 1994, the message was different: “We will fight for every house in the city; we will fight for every street; we will fight for every borough,” he said at the time. “And we will win.”

Back then, the hard-driving, press-savvy Bratton could be found dining out among city luminaries, and on the covers of newspapers and national magazines. He received a lot of credit for historic drops in crime rates, even as the trends coincided with those around the country. Such prominence drove a wedge between him and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who pushed him out just two years after appointing him.

On Thursday, Bratton, 66, said he had “learned a lot” since the last time he ran the New York department, the largest in the country, and people familiar with his thinking suggested that significant changes were in store. Before making the decision to bring him back, de Blasio said he had been reassured by conversations with others who had worked with Bratton.

“I report to the mayor,” Bratton said. “I am not the mayor.”

But his is perhaps the single most important and visible appointment to be made by de Blasio, who was elected partially because of his criticism of the police’s aggressive use of the stop-and-frisk tactic. Bratton has been in law enforcement for four decades, including stints as commissioner in Boston as well as Los Angeles, but this may be his biggest challenge: keeping crime at historic lows while mending the relationship with minorities, and not upstaging his boss.


In his first weeks back in New York in 1994, as arrests shot up, so too did the number of complaints against the department — complaints that received scant attention in a city overwhelmed by crime. Bratton’s national profile began to rise.

That's standard operating procedure.

How much of New York’s crime decline can be attributed to the changes he put into place has been debated for years by criminologists, who have struggled to explain the downward trends across the country through the 1990s....

In 2002, Bratton sought and won the top job at the Los Angeles Police Department, a shrinking and distrusted force that had entered a federal consent decree the year before. He reached out to the department’s critics early in his tenure.

By the time Bratton was reappointed five years later, relations between minorities and the police had improved, leaders there said.

“He helped transform the LAPD’s relationship with the community it serves while bringing crime down to historic lows,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, the city’s mayor during Bratton’s tenure. But police stops in Los Angeles doubled during Bratton’s tenure, a 2009 analysis by the Kennedy School of Government found.


So the frisk will be by good hands, huh?

"Appeals court stays ruling in NYC stop-and-frisk case" by Joseph Goldstein |  New York Times, November 01, 2013

NEW YORK — A federal appellate court on Thursday granted a stay in the landmark police stop-and-frisk ruling in New York City, and removed the initial trial judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, from the case.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Scheindlin “ran afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by compromising the “appearance of partiality surrounding this litigation.” The panel criticized how she had steered the lawsuit to her courtroom when it was filed in early 2008.

The ruling effectively puts off a battery of changes that Scheindlin, of the US District Court in Manhattan, had ordered for the Police Department. Those changes include postponing the operations of the monitor who was given the task to oversee reforms to the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices, which Scheindlin found to violate the Fourth and 14th amendments of the Constitution.

In a two-page order, the panel of three judges from the Second Circuit also criticized Scheindlin for granting media interviews and making public statements while the case was pending before her.

The judges ordered that the stop-and-frisk lawsuit be reassigned to another judge. The Second Circuit ruling instructs the new judge to put a hold to “all proceedings and otherwise await further action” from the Second Circuit.

Scheindlin’s decision, issued in August, found that the stop-and-frisk tactics violated the rights of minorities in the city. With that decision, which came at the conclusion of a lengthy trial that began in the spring, she repudiated a major element of the crime-fighting legacy of the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

But the panel, citing an article by the New York Times in a footnote in the ruling, found fault with how the judge improperly applied a “related-case rule” to bring the stop-and-frisk case under her purview.

The Second Circuit has not yet taken up whether Scheindlin’s decision reached the correct conclusion....


Not even the courts are a check on tyranny.

"NYC loses move on stop-and-frisk" by Benjamin Weiser |  New York Times Syndicate, November 23, 2013

NEW YORK — A federal appeals panel on Friday denied a request by lawyers for New York City that it overturn a judge’s sweeping ruling on the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices on grounds that her impartiality had been called into question.

RelatedJudge rules N.Y. stop-and-frisk policy violated rights

In August, the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin of US District Court in Manhattan, found constitutional violations in the practices and imposed remedies, including the appointment of a monitor. Last month, the appeals panel blocked those orders and removed Scheindlin from the case, saying that by steering the litigation to her courtroom in 2007 and giving press interviews this past spring while the case was pending, she had compromised “the appearance of impartiality surrounding this litigation.”

In a more recent opinion, the panel, from the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, said it had not found any misconduct or ethical violation by the judge. But it stopped her ruling from taking effect while the city appealed it.

The city sought to have the ruling vacated, but Friday the appeals court declined the request, saying that the appeal process should run its course. The appeals court added that the city could renew its request later as part of the full appeal.

The city’s request was a strategic one. While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg disagrees with Scheindlin’s ruling, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio does not. De Blasio has promised to withdraw the appeal when he takes office in January, which would mean the steps Scheindlin ordered would likely go into effect.

We will see what happens.


Time to pray to the porcelain god for a moment:

"NYPD linked mosques as terrorism organizations" by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo |  Associated Press, August 29, 2013

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.

Related: Globe Xmas Gift: Gaming the NSA

Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen ‘‘terrorism enterprise investigations’’ into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. Such a designation is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

And the like?

Many such investigations stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.

Any churches or synagogues in there?

The documents detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent Muslims and put information about them in secret police files.

As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials.

Not even the FBI wanted parts of those patsy plots, huh? 

Related: NYPD Creating Then Capturing Terrorists 

Just like the FBI.

The strategy has allowed the NYPD to send undercover officers into mosques and attempt to plant informants on the boards of mosques and at least one prominent Arab-American group in Brooklyn, whose executive director has worked with city officials, including Bill de Blasio, a front-runner for mayor.

De Blasio said Wednesday on Twitter that he was ‘‘deeply troubled NYPD has labelled entire mosques & Muslim orgs terror groups with seemingly no leads. Security AND liberty make us strong.’’

The revelations about the NYPD’s massive spying operations are in documents recently obtained by the Associated Press.

The disclosures come as the NYPD is fighting off lawsuits accusing it of engaging in racial profiling while combating crime. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups have sued, saying the Muslim spying programs are unconstitutional and make Muslims afraid to practice their faith without police scrutiny.

Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have denied those accusations.


Btw, Jews and Christians were excluded.

Related: What Else is New?

Not much apparently.

"Anger erupts over NYPD body cameras" by COLLEEN LONG |  Associated Press, August 15, 2013

NEW YORK — Police officers around the country have been able to protect themselves against citizen complaints by wearing tiny body cameras, but a federal judge’s plan to force some New York officers to start wearing the devices has angered the city’s mayor and police unions.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the cameras unnecessary for the 35,000-officer department, while police reform advocates have cautiously agreed to the idea in theory — with some caveats. And people on both sides have raised privacy concerns in a city that already has thousands of public and private cameras....

You have to be flipping kidding in this age of total surveillance!

US District Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered a pilot program of the cameras and other major reforms to the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy this week, after she found the NYPD intentionally discriminated against minorities.

There have been nearly 5 million stops in the past decade, mostly of black and Hispanic men. About half the people who are stopped are subject only to questioning; others have a bag or backpack searched, and sometimes police conduct a full pat-down.


The objections are about covering their asses!

"Fire chief bans helmet cameras after Calif. crash" Associated Press, August 19, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — A Fire Department ban on video cameras now explicitly includes helmet-mounted devices that film emergency scenes, according to Chief Joanne Hayes-White.

The edict comes after images taken in the aftermath of the July 6 Asiana Airlines crash at the San Francisco airport led to questions about first responders’ actions, which resulted in a survivor being run over by a firetruck.

Related: Slow Saturday Special: Firefighter Absolved in Asiana Accident 

How could anyone believe in AmeriKan justice anymore? 

"New details about the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet have renewed questions about whether a culture of strict deference to more-senior pilots can compromise air safety, After cockpit culture was identified as a factor in several South Korean airliner crashes in the 1980s and ’90s."

Blaming the crew again, and if it's not that it's something mechanical, anything but foul play, remote takeover, who knows? What we do know is we will never get the truth from the propaganda pre$$.

Hayes-White told the San Francisco Chronicle that she is concerned about the privacy of victims and firefighters.

Yeah, sure she is.

‘‘There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount, of greater importance than having a video,’’ she said.

Tell it to the NSA, 'kay?!

The footage recorded by Battalion Chief Mark Johnson’s helmet camera shows a Fire Department truck running over 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan while she was lying on the tarmac covered with fire-retardant foam....

Images from the video were published in the Chronicle....

Hayes-White said her 2009 ban on video cameras in facilities was meant to include emergency scenes, but critics inside and outside the department question the timing.

“The department seems more concerned with exposure and liability than training and improving efficiency,” Battalion Chief Kevin Smith told the newspaper. “Helmet cams are the wave of the future — they can be used to improve communication at incidents between firefighters and commanders.”


The lawyer for Ye’s family also criticized the decision.

Why would anybody not want to know the truth?” asked Anthony Tarricone.

A lot of rea$ons.

Hayes-White said she is concerned that the fire department could be liable for violating privacy laws.

“There’s a lot of concern related to privacy rights and the city taping without a person being aware of it while responding to medical calls,” she said. “A lot of information is sensitive.”



Related: Boston police officers wary of GPS for cruisers

Yeah, “Who wants to be followed all over the place?” That's just for the American people, harrumph, harrumph.