Andrew Cuomo

Boycotting the boycotters

The BDS movement wants to financially cripple Israel by banning, divesting and placing sanctions on Israel and Israeli company products.

We have our own little social justice warriors here in NZ wanting the same thing. This, apparently, will make the Israelis?kowtow to them and force them out of Israel.

Well, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has decided to implement his own BDS scheme, against the BDS movement, banning and refusing to allow New York State to procure any services or products from organisations that are part of the BDS movement against Israel.

The coldblooded terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv this week served as a chilling reminder of the summer of 2014, when a steady rain of terrorist rockets from Gaza confined the vast majority of the Israeli population to bomb shelters and protected rooms. During a visit with a bipartisan delegation that August, I was shown a miles-long Hamas tunnel built to infiltrate Israel?s southern communities and murder their residents. The tunnel was frightening because it was the manifestation of the single-minded obsession by Israel?s enemies to destroy the Jewish state. And yet, in many ways it was not nearly as frightening as continued efforts to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.

That is why I recently signed the first executive order by a U.S. governor to help protect Israel from these pernicious efforts to punish it economically. My order ensures that no state agency or authority will engage in or promote any investment activity that would further the harmful and discriminatory BDS campaign. New York will identify institutions and companies, with the list made available to the public and updated regularly, that engage in boycotts, divestment or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary. All state funds will then be divested from such entities.

If you boycott Israel, New York will boycott you.

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Union tries to run a Charter School and Fails

This has to be embarrassing for the United Federation of Teachers, after their charter school experiment failed after consistently poor performance.

Candace goes to kindergarten at the United Federation of Teachers’ Charter School. She’ll have to attend first grade somewhere else.

“It took her some time to get warmed up to the school when she started, and now for her to start another school, it’s very outrageous for me. I was tearful when I heard the news,” says parent Sunita Ramdath.

The union sees charter schools as a threat because most charters operate without strict union rules.

When the UFT found this school a decade ago, it was determined to show how a unionized charter could thrive. Union leaders promised high test scores, but just the opposite happened.

Plagued by some of the lowest test scores in the city, and high staff turnover…the union is being forced to close its elementary and middle school charter. Now UFT leadership says test scores don’t matter. ?? Read more »

Free thinking people and student success terrifies Teacher Unions everywhere

The teacher unions oppose charter schools, they can’t tell you why, just that they don;t work.

The Labour party opposes charter schools, they can’t tel you why, just that they will abolish them.

The Green party opposes charter schools, they can’t tell you why, and they haven’t even visited a single one, but they don’t want them either.

What those three groups are all afraid of is people thinking for themselves and giving people choice.

But everywhere in the world where choice exists charter schools flourish and so do the students.

In November 2003, Eva Moskowitz, then a freshman member of the New York City Council, held explosive public hearings about how union contracts imposed inane work rules on public schools. The city’s political establishment was astonished.

Mosowitz?a former history professor, public school teacher, and self-proclaimed liberal, whose politics up until that point seemed to resemble those of every other Democratic politician in New York?was sacrificing her political career to take on organized labor. Exposing the consequences of teacher union contracts was a direct affront to the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which wields enormous influence in New York City elections.? Read more »

New York latest state to look at legalisation of cannabis

The momentum is there now, it won’t be stopped.

State after state is looking at legalisation of cannabis. New York is just the latest.

Riding high on optimism, State Senator Liz Krueger and a bevy of Democratic pols began a public push today to legalize and tax marijuana in New York State.

Ms. Krueger will soon introduce legislation to legalize pot in the State Senate, beginning an uphill battle that could pit her against Republicans, who partially control the Senate chamber, and possibly Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Speaking today, Ms. Krueger defended the bill in the face of expected criticism.

?Am I supporting this legislation because I think everybody should go out and smoke marijuana or because I want to smoke marijuana? No,? the East Side lawmaker said at a press conference on the steps of City Hall.??I don?t believe a drug that is proven to be less dangerous, from a health perspective, than alcohol or tobacco should be under laws that actually criminalize and ruin lives when alcohol or tobacco are regulated and taxed.?

Known as the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, the bill?would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana along lines similar to the state?s current system regulating alcohol. It would remove penalties for possession of two ounces or less, make 18 the minimum legal age for possession and consumption, but prohibit sales of pot to people under 21. An excise tax of $50 per ounce would be established and local authorities would be able to charge sales tax on retail sales.

Treating cannabis like tobacco and alcohol is sensible…a move that is easy to do.

I still can’t fathom why we have legal highs from synthetic cannabis but forbid natural highs from organic cannabis.

Bludging Yoghurt making hippies

Create subsidies and politicians and others will find ways to rort the system. Now the rorts are extending to hippies making yoghurt.

Starting this month,?the United States Department of Agriculture has announced that it will test out a new product in school lunches?high-protein, a.k.a. Greek-style yogurt?in four different states. Yet, what seems like an innocuous, even reasonable addition to the menu of foods offered to American public school students upon inspection turns out to be the latest example of corrupt nanny-statism masquerading as ?for the kids? do-goodism.

The USDA argues that Greek-style yogurt is better for kids because it has more protein. And given Michelle Obama?s new National School Lunch program offerings required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a higher protein, lower-fat, and lower-sugar yogurt seems like it would be a good thing, full stop.

Here?s the trouble. ? Read more »

In NZ brown paper envelopes are given to mistresses not as bribes

Another ratbag politician has been arrested in New York for bribes. Here in New Zealand the payments made by politicians are made to mistresses not for bribes.

For the second time in a week, a New York state politician was arrested in a bribery scandal, leading a prosecutor to say Thursday that political corruption in the state “is indeed rampant” and people should be angry about it.

Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, a Democrat, was arrested in a bribery investigation in which another state assemblyman, Nelson Castro, cooperated against him.

Stevenson and four businessmen were charged in part with conspiring to pass a bill in the state legislature to protect a new Bronx adult center from competitors for three years to give the center a monopoly against other facilities that might want to offer meals, social activities and supervision for the elderly and disabled.? Read more »

Dumb politicians on Gun Control

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting politicians raced to see if they could say or do more than the next one. Gov.?Andrew Cuomo did more than most and has stuffed up more than most:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo?won the race?to enact new gun restrictions following the Sandy Hook massacre, beating every other opportunistic, grandstanding politician in the country by signing a bill that was passed so fast legislators had no time to read it. One consequence of that unseemly haste, I?noted?a few days later, was that legislators forgot to exempt current and retired police officers from the new rule for magazines, which reduced the maximum number of rounds from 10 to seven (because, as Cuomo?explained, “nobody needs 10 bullets to kill a deer”). The ensuing outrage at the lack of a double standard revealed not only that cops take their special rights for granted but also that they do not believe the magazine limit?which they support for “regular citizens”?will have any impact on criminals. Now Cuomo has?noticed?another problem: Before imposing his arbitrary ammunition limit, he did not bother to check on the availability of seven-round magazines. It turns out “there is no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine,” he said at a press conference yesterday. “That doesn’t exist. So you really have no practical option.”? Read more »