Ben Weingarten

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: New York

Heather Mac Donald on Corrosive Identity Politics, Multiculturalism and Unjust Criminal Justice

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My Guest

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal and author most recently of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.

Mac Donald, the archetype of an unassuming academic, makes for an unlikely counter-cultural figure. She draws protests and outrage on college campuses across the country because she has the gall to challenge the prevailing progressive orthodoxy about subjects like identity politics, multiculturalism and criminal justice.

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My latest at PJ Media: 5 Critical Takeaways from the Islamic ‘Radicalization Report’ the NYPD Is Deleting From Its Website

Following up on my piece at City Journal on New York’s decision to scrub a critical 2007 counterjihadist analysis from the NYPD website as a means of appeasing Muslims groups who had brought suit, PJ Media published a piece in which I detail five critical takeaways from said report that will now (at least officially) no longer be used by the City’s law enforcement and intelligence officials.

Our government may delete the truth, but America cannot afford to ignore it.

Read the full thing here.

Featured Image Source: CNN.com.

 

My Latest in City Journal: New York’s Willfully Blind, Politically Correct Counterjihadist Document Purge

The very day that homegrown jihadist Edward Archer fired 13 shots at Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett, New York City was settling two long-standing suits with Muslim individuals and organizations challenging the legality of the City’s intelligence and surveillance programs vis-à-vis the Muslim community.

While New York refused to acknowledge any liability arising from its counterjihadist programs, the NYPD agreed to scrub from its website a groundbreaking 2007 analysis published by two senior analysts in its intelligence unit, Radicalization in the West [download it before it’s gone], that represents one of the most clear-eyed and sober publicly disclosed analyses of the jihadist threat.

Radicalization in the West, Page 75.

Radicalization in the West, Page 75.

Eerily but tellingly, it provides a model of how an American goes from “pre-radicalization” to “jihadization” that matches perfectly the story and profile of the aforementioned Archer, and it argues that the chief animator of jihadists is theo-political Islamic supremacist ideology — something our national security establishment maddeningly and disastrously continues to ignore and/or deny.

The NYPD will not only purge what appears to be a valuable piece of analysis as a means of placating the Muslim community, but it has also agreed not to use the analysis to open or extend ongoing investigations.

I write about this politically-motivated travesty of a decision in a new piece at City Journal titled See No Islam, Hear No Islam.

Featured Image Source: PhillyVoice.

My Interview with National Review Publisher Jack Fowler on William F. Buckley’s ‘The Unmaking of a Mayor’

Check out my interview for Encounter Books with National Review publisher and friend Jack Fowler on William F. Buckley’s timeless and very much timely The Unmaking of a Mayor, which Encounter has just released for the 50th anniversary of Buckley’s epic 1965 New York Mayoral campaign:

Featured Image Source: Encounter Books.

This is What (de Blasio’s) Democracy Looks Like!

Progressivism: Progress for the politically connected and woe for everyone else.

Here’s what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s politburo looks like, per the New York Post:

Mayor de Blasio’s patronage mill is churning out junk jobs funded with taxpayer money for longtime pals, campaign grunts and acolytes.

In addition to creating a $150,000 post for Stephanie Yazgi — the longtime girlfriend of his top strategist, Emma Wolfe — de Blasio has created positions to amp up his progressive agenda and national profile and spread propaganda touting his “transcendent” accomplishments.

The city’s television station — led by de Blasio buddy Janet Choi — devotes much of its taxpayer-funded $5.7 million budget to broadcasting his ribbon-cuttings, announcements and features about his friends, including his wedding singer.

His $105,000 digital director, Jessica Singleton, shapes his social-media image while his $69,000 media analyst, Mahen Gunaratna, measures the influence of his messages.

New York’s Community Affairs Unit is the biggest draw for de Blasio cronies:

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The Left’s Minimum Wage ‘Compassion’ Actually Reflects Contempt for Entry Level Workers and Entrepreneurs

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Steve Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association, alerts us to the latest plan to ensure “economic justice” through raising worker pay by government decree.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, believing that the Empire State is free from the strictures of supply and demand curves — or more likely that he must appease Big Labor — is promoting a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from $8.75 an hour for workers in fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations.

Supply Demand

(Image Source: Danieljmitchell.wordpress.com)

Such a plan may be politically astute — how can anyone be so heartless as to oppose higher pay — but its practical effects will illustrate that as with most all such policies, progressives hurt most those those they purport to want to help.

As Caldeira notes, when prices are set by fiat, you get adverse consequences. Under Gov. Cuomo’s plan:

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The Progressive Cult of Victomology’s Tears for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Have you noticed that the passive voice — as in “Mistakes were made,” or “The YouTube video caused the attack,” — has become ubiquitous in American political discourse?

Leave aside instances in which its usage reflects an unwillingness or inability for individuals to take responsibility for failure. There is another set of circumstances in which it is used to pernicious effect.

Exhibit A comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, in an article written about the declining popularity of Warren Wilhelm, aka New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Dear Mayor de Blasio: Don’t Condemn New York to Detroit’s Fate

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

In your inaugural address you called for an end to economic and social inequality in New York. You said you wanted to improve education and build a strong economy, taking dead aim at the “Tale of Two Cities” of New York. The antidote for the ailments you say plague this city is to follow progressive principles not seen since the Dinkins administration. However, such a path will inevitably lead to greater inequity and economic deterioration in New York, harming most those who can afford it least.

More instructive than the rhetorical fiction found in the “Tale of Two Cities” is the real-life tale of two countries (Hoppe, 48-52). There were once two countries that sat side by side. Their people shared the same ethnic background, language, history and culture. Many of their citizens were not only related by a shared heritage, but by blood. In fact, the two countries were once one big country.

One country practiced what you referred to as “trickle-down” economics, which is less pejoratively referred to as free market or laissez-faire capitalism. In this country all people were guaranteed freedom of movement, trade and profession; existing price controls were abolished with a single pen stroke. The other country instituted a full slate of progressive policies, consisting of governmental control of all sectors of the economy, and driven by an underlying devotion to egalitarianism – i.e. a focus on reducing economic and social inequality, as you intend to do.

The wall between East and West Berlin was heavily guarded from the 1940s until 1991. Photo Credit: www.boston.com

The country that practiced free market capitalism in the ensuing decades developed the highest standard of living on its continent. Its progressive neighbor lagged behind – so far behind in fact that despite wealth transfers from the free market country to the progressive country, people sought to flee the progressive country. They did so to such a degree that the leaders of the progressive country had to establish strict border controls just to keep their citizens from emigrating en masse. When border policies failed to stem the exodus of citizens, the progressive country ended emigration altogether by building a physical barrier between the two countries, consisting of walls, barbed wire fences and even land mines.

The ending to this tale of two countries is bittersweet: East Germany did ultimately shed the yoke of socialist control imposed by the Soviet Union, but more than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, its denizens have yet to recover from this experiment with progressivism. And West Germany, the country whose citizens miraculously recovered from and prospered under a free market system following the Second World War has, to its own detriment, increasingly implemented progressive policies over the years that have retarded its growth. Yet by practically every economic measure, the gap between East Germany and West Germany persists.

So my question is this: Why will it be different this time? Have not little “East Germany’s” sprung up all over the United States in recent decades, with cities implementing progressive policies with the same disastrous results over and over again — failed education systems, mass unemployment, sky-high crime rates, bankrupt governments, and perhaps most cripplingly, the destruction of nuclear families? If the progressive policies you support have consistently wrought destruction from Detroit to Newark to Chicago, why are you so dead-set on condemning New York’s most at-risk citizens — minorities, single mothers and the poor — to the same tragic fate?

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