NYC Can No Longer Test For Weed When Hiring Or Probation Folks

The NYC Council announced that they just passed bills prohibiting marijuana testing being required as part of the hiring process in New York City, and banning the City from requiring marijuana testing for people on probation.

‘This bill will close one trap door that trips people up,” said the council’s Public Safety Committee chair Donovan Richards. “Too many people come out, they are trying to do better, and they get busted for marijuana and go back into jail or prison. This sets them back.”

The city conducts hundreds of such tests each year.

Fears for Dalai Lama, 83, as spiritual leader is rushed 300 miles to a Delhi hospital after contracting a chest infection

There are fears for the Dalai Lama after the 83-year-old Buddhist leader was rushed 300 miles to the Indian capital with a chest infection.

‘Today morning his holiness felt some discomfort and he was flown to Delhi for check-up,’ Tenzin Taklha, his personal secretary said.

‘Doctors have diagnosed him with chest infection and he is being treated for that. His condition is stable now. He will be treated for two three days here.’

The spiritual leader, who fled to India in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala.

The Dalai Lama gestures during a group hearing at the Palais des Congres, in Paris in September 2016

The Dalai Lama gestures during a group hearing at the Palais des Congres, in Paris in September 2016

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama delivers teachings during the first day of New Year or "Losar" in the northern hill town of Dharamsala in 2012

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama delivers teachings during the first day of New Year or ‘Losar’ in the northern hill town of Dharamsala in 2012

Many of the up to 100,000 Tibetans living in India are worried that their fight for a genuinely autonomous homeland would end with the Dalai Lama.

He said last month that it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected.

China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, brands the Nobel peace laureate a dangerous separatist and has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, as a legacy inherited from China’s emperors.

But many Tibetans – whose tradition holds that the soul of a senior Buddhist monk is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death – suspect any Chinese role as a ploy to exert influence on the community.

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Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’ Poised for Cannes Bow

The official announcement for the 2019 Cannes Film Festival is 10 days away, but Paramount’s Elton John hybrid biopic-musical — starring Taron Egerton as the iconic British singer-songwriter — is poised to descend on the south of France, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Paramount declined comment.

The film’s addition to the lineup had been widely speculated given its official release on the very Cannes-friendly date of May 24 (the fest is set to run May 14-25). Its screening — and any potential parties — will likely be among the hottest tickets at Cannes, which is also set to feature Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The news comes just days after a six-minute montage of Rocketman — directed by Dexter Fletcher, who stepped in to finish Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer’s departure — drew loud applause at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The footage spanned John’s days as a child at the Royal Academy of Music to his early career, including his first U.S. concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and how after he grappled with fame and addiction before transforming into a global superstar.

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Buttigieg to Pence: ‘If you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator’

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Sunday again took on Vice President Mike Pence — whose stances on LGBTQ issues have faced criticism from gay rights activists — saying that if Pence has “a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, made the comments while speaking at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington. He reflected on his personal struggles with his sexuality, his decision to come out in 2015 and the fact that his being gay is not the result of a personal decision.
“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
Buttigieg’s comments came hours after he made critical comments about evangelical voters’ support of President Donald Trump during an appearance on “Meet The Press.”
“It’s something that really frustrates me because the hypocrisy is unbelievable,” Buttigieg said. “Here you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture in church.”
During his Victory Fund speech, Buttigieg said that, while he was growing up, he wished he wasn’t gay, but his marriage to his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, has made him a better person and has brought him closer to God. The two started dating four years ago and got married last June.
Pence has drawn the ire of members of the LGBTQ community in the past for his positions on various LGBTQ issues. A staunch conservative Christian, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act while he was governor of Indiana. Critics of the law contend that individuals and businesses could use it to discriminate against the gay community on the basis of religion.
Pence also signaled support for federal funds to be allocated for gay “conversion therapy” on his 2000 US House campaign website, where it said “resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Cast of show “Queer Eye” meet lawmakers in Washington DC

Members of the cast of the hit Netflix show “Queer Eye” have met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to gain support for the proposed Equality Act. The Equality act would stop discrimination on a basis of gender identity, sex and sexual orientation by expanding the existing Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The cast members met with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Dem Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as other high profile Democrats.

Read More: CNN

Small NYC homeowners are facing hefty fines for short-term rentals The crackdown has swept up one- and two-family homes

Small homeowners swept up in the city’s aggressive enforcement of short-term rentals, like Airbnb, are getting hit with steep fines.

Owners of one- and two-family homes in Brooklyn have been issued more than $2.1 million in fines under the de Blasio administration, The City reported. That’s 27 percent of the total $7.8 million in fines issued in the borough during that period.

Homeowners in Queens paid a larger share: $1.7 million in penalties made up 39 percent of the borough’s total $4.3 million. In Manhattan, where one- and two-family homes are harder to come by, they made up less than 1 percent of the $16.2 million in fines issued for illegal rentals since 2014.

Dian Killian is among the homeowners who’ve been penalized. She told The City she had researched the legality of renting out her unit in Bedford-Stuyvesant. State laws prohibiting rentals of less than 30 days do not apply to one- and two-family homes.

Still, she was approached by inspectors and hit with four buildings violations by the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. Killian eventually paid more than $5,000 in fines — which she said amounted to about three months of rentals.

Newly elected Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said the proportion of fines hitting small homeowners contradicts what the administration has said about enforcement targeting the more egregious offenders. In July 2018, Council Speaker Corey Johnson said city inspectors “are really trying to go after the really bad actors that have entire buildings or multiple apartments in a building.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio previously told NY1 that “my problem is when a building is turned into a de facto hotel. My problem is when an apartment is rented out effectively year round.”

Both officials have sought tighter regulation.

“We were clear our intent is not to go after one- and two-family homeowners,” Williams told The City. “We thought we had a partnership with the city. But the administration looks like they’ve opened up a can of wild, wild west whoop-ass on them.”

City officials say their enforcement is complaint-driven, and that there are cases where one- and two-family homes had been turned into de facto boarding houses or where Airbnb had struggled to self-police violations of the rules. [The City] — Meenal Vamburkar

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Dalai Lama witchcraft protecting Al Sharpton

How is Al Sharpton — the Jussie Smollett of civil rights — still a kingmaker?

This week, nearly every single Democratic candidate for president — save the otherwise-distracted Joe Biden — has or will appear at Sharpton’s annual convention for his National Action Network, which he calls a charity.

A more rational observer might call it a personal piggybank funded by shakedowns.

This is a man who, as The Post exclusively reportedin December, sold the rights to his life story to his own “nonprofit,” paying himself $531,000 — on top of his $244,661 salary to run NAN in 2017.

When asked by The Post when he would see that half-million, Sharpton — who was covering the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in South Africa for MSNBC, itself a sacrilege — took offense.

“What does that have to do with anything?” he asked.

Such is Al Sharpton’s M.O., one that’s kept him in public life for over 30 years: dodge, deflect, deny, distract — and then cry racism. Sound extreme? It’s a practice that has kept major American corporations donating to NAN rather than deal with Sharpton’s poisonous accusations. McDonald’s, Pfizer, Verizon, AT&T, General Motors, American Honda, Chrysler, Macy’s, Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive have all paid to keep Sharpton quiet.

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly donated $110,000 throughout his term in office, and Sharpton, who historically loved nothing more than to point his megaphone at City Hall and inflame racial tensions, finally shut up.

“Once Sharpton’s on board, he plays the race card all the way through,” a source told The Post in 2015. “He just keeps asking for more and more money.”

One of the great mysteries of modern American history is how Sharpton ever survived Tawana Brawley. For those too young to remember, in 1987, Brawley, then 15, was discovered wrapped in a garbage bag, smeared with human waste and racist epithets written in charcoal. She claimed that she had been gang raped in the woods in upstate New York by six white men, including then-Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones.

Sharpton was Brawley’s greatest supporter, even as it was revealed she made the whole thing up, even as she and he were ordered to pay restitution to Pagones, whose life and reputation were ruined.

It was an order both, of course, tried to shirk. (Sharpton’s fee was eventually paid by supporters.)

In ‘80s and ‘90s New York, when race relations were dismal at best, dangerous at worst, Al Sharpton sought to instigate and agitate rather than calm. Even as he later became a buffoon, one of those only-in-New York characters with his bouffant and his medallion, wearing athletic suits even as he was morbidly obese, “Al Charlatan” to Ed Koch, he indefatigably reinvented himself. He dropped the weight, bought a briefcase.


He wrote a book, ran for president, aligned himself with the Dalai Lama.


We knew, as he surely did, that it was still all a big con, an entertaining sideshow. And really, it still is. Who in today’s America finds Al Sharpton politically and racially relevant? Who can recall the last thing Al Sharpton did for someone not named Al Sharpton?

On Friday, every candidate from Kamala Harris to Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders will nonetheless kiss the ring, as Beto O’Rourke did on Wednesday afternoon. Beto pulled a cynical 180-degree turn on his former opposition to reparations. In other words, he was against it just last month before he was “absolutely” for it today — perfect funhouse logic for the political theater of Reverend Al.

New York Post Original Article

1st black woman and 1st openly gay person elected mayor in Chicago

Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot defeated Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff for Chicago mayor Tuesday. She will be the first openly gay person and first black woman to lead the city.

The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot shortly before 8 p.m. local time.

With over 91 percent of precincts in, Lightfoot led Preckwinkle 73.7 percent to 26.3 percent, according to the Chicago board of elections website.

Lightfoot pumped her fist in the air and the crowd cheered when she said, “Thank you Chicago!”

“In this election Toni and I were competitors, but our differences are nothing compared to what we can achieve together,” Lightfoot said. “Now that it’s over, I know we will work together for the city that we both love.”

“Today, you did more than make history,” Lightfoot said. “You created a movement for change.”

Sodomite Mayor running for President thinks Trump doesn’t know God

Presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said during his interview with USA Today that it is hard to look at the actions of President Donald Trump and think he believes in God.

“I’m reluctant to comment on another person’s faith, but I would say it is hard to look at this president’s actions and believe that they’re the actions of somebody who believes in God,” Buttigieg said.

“I just don’t understand how you can be as worshipful of your own self as he is and be prepared to humble yourself before God. I’ve never seen him humble himself before anyone. And the exaltation of yourself, especially a self that’s about wealth and power, could not be more at odds with at least my understanding of the teachings of the Christian faith,” he added.

He also criticized conservatives  “saying so much about what Christ said so little about, and so little about what he said so much about,” like how the issue of abortion has become a litmus test.

During an interview with The Washington Post, he also criticized Democrats for their tendencies to shun religion.

“I think it’s unfortunate [the Democratic Party] has lost touch with a religious tradition that I think can help explain and relate our values,” the Navy veteran said. “At least in my interpretation, it helps to root [in religion] a lot of what it is we do believe in when it comes to protecting the sick and the stranger and the poor, as well as skepticism of the wealthy and the powerful and the established.”

New York’s new budget is all about bleeding the public

New York woke Sunday to learn that state lawmakers had agreed to a budget that aims to spend a whopping $175 billion in the next fiscal year, while imposing a boatload of new taxes and fees in the name of funding the MTA.

More hits to your pocket, and more spending, are still to come: The budget also sets up “independent” commissions to settle the details of both public funding of state political campaigns and “congestion” tolls in Manhattan. Plus, lawmakers this year may yet legalize online sports betting and the sale of pot, each of which will come with a hefty cut of the profits for state government.

The only good news: Lawmakers agreed to make permanent the law capping property-tax hikes (which doesn’t apply in the city). It will no longer be linked to renewal of the rent-control laws.
But the rent laws are being tightened, and some city real-estate taxes are headed up: The budget adds new “mansion” taxes on the sale of multimillion-dollar homes — while reserving the revenue for state priorities, even though property taxes traditionally fund local government.

Mansion-tax supporters usually point to billionaire hedge-funder Ken Griffin’s $238 million January purchase of a penthouse off Central Park, the most expensive home in America, as evidence of excess that deserves special taxation — especially since Griffin’s Citadel fund is Chicago-based. What they don’t mention is that Citadel was expanding operations in the city, and even considering a move to the Big Apple — which would have added lots of high-paying (and so big-tax-generating) jobs to the local economy.

Except that Griffin publicly called off those plans more recently, citing New York politicians’ clear intent to “soak the rich” no matter how many jobs it destroys.

‘Congestion pricing” is another state grab of fees generated in New York City, from a city resource (its roads). Yes, the funds are supposed to go to the MTA, but suburban lawmakers have won guarantees that some of the windfall will go to the commuter railroads rather than the subways and buses. And, significantly, the money will count as part of the state’s share of MTA funding, with the city forced to cough up still more cash for its contribution. (Mayor de Blasio, his eyes on his future job prospects rather than the city’s interests, went along happily with this naked cash grab.)

The same gimmick applies to revenue raised from “improved” (that is, harder-hitting) taxes on Internet sales: Money raised from the city will go toward the state’s share of MTA funding. In the rest of the state, that cash goes to the local government — though the budget also cuts other state payments to local government on the grounds that Internet taxes will replace it.

Gov. Cuomo claims that the congestion, Internet and “mansion” revenue will fund up to $25 billion in MTA capital spending. But that means bonding out the income for 30 or 40 years — and leaves the MTA at risk of having to make bond payments if the revenue streams prove less lucrative than expected. So this gimmick adds new risks of even steeper fare hikes down the line, even as it means the state will have to look at yet new income sources (most likely, yet more tax hikes) to fund future five-year MTA capital plans.

Meanwhile, the budget’s supposed MTA reforms are thin gruel (other than a sensible requirement for outside vetting of major-project proposals, which might prevent future white elephants like the East Side Access project). Nearly all the “reforms” are to start in future years, and are left to the MTA itself to accomplish.

Utterly absent is any effort to reform the agency’s labor relations, even though pay and benefits are by far the largest, and fastest-rising, part of the MTA budget.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie calls this “a budget where we were scrimping and saving, trying to find pennies in the couch.” In truth, all the ingenuity went into picking the pockets of the public, and of local governments, to spend nearly $9,000 for every man, woman and child in the state.

All this, without setting aside anything like a prudent amount of rainy-day funds. Which means Cuomo, Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also just laid the groundwork for far broader tax hikes when a recession inevitably hits.

And possibly even without a recession: Ken Griffin’s decision not to bring his business here follows Amazon’s abandonment of its NYC expansion plan, which the company likewise blamed on New York politicians’ greed and hostility to business.

In the long run, bleeding the golden goose can only lead to doom.

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Calls to Investigate Tina Tchen, former Michelle Obama aide, Over Texts to Jussie Smollett Prosecuter

There have been calls to investigate texts that were sent by former Michelle Obama aide to the Prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case.

Tchen, a friend of the Smollett family, contacted prosecutors early in the case saying the family were not happy with how the case was progressing. However, after it emerged that Smollett had falsely accused the two men of hate crimes against him, and the charges against Smollett were suddenly dropped; there have been calls to investigate Tchen’s full involvement in the case.

Read More: CNN

Trump’s Recognition that Golan Heights is Israeli; Has God Raised up Trump to be a Queen Esther

This week President Trump signed an agreement which recognises the Golan Heights are Israeli territory. For years the region has been disputed and fought over. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu called the announcement a “Purim miracle”, falling as it did during the Jewish festival of Purim. This has lead to comparisons being drawn between President Trump and Queen Esther of the Bible.

When asked about the comparison in an interview, with CBN, Secretary of State Pompeo suggested that God could have sent Trump to help save Israel.

Read More: NBC News   CBN   Fox News

 

Rush Limbaugh Wants Trump to Appoint Special Council to Investigate Collusion Hoax

Conservative radio presenter, Rush Limbaugh, has called for President Trump to call a Special Council to investigate the origins of the Mueller Report. Limbaugh has called for this action as many liberal politicians are still not satisfied with the findings of the Mueller Report. The report, which was set up, to investigate whether the President had colluded with Russia during the 2016 Presidential Elections, found that there was no evidence of collusion.

Read More: Breitbart

Random Events, Free Will, Pre-destiny or Something Darker ?