New York’s Cardinal Dolan: Democrats have abandoned Catholics

close Video Cardinal Dolan on how Trump can expand school choice Archbishop of New York makes his case A couple of events over the past few weeks brought to mind two towering people who had a tremendous effect on the Archdiocese of New York and the U.S. more broadly. Their witness is worth remembering, especially in this political moment. Last Saturday’s feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of our cathedral and archdiocese, reminded me of Archbishop John Hughes. As the first archbishop of New York (1842-64), “Dagger John” displayed dramatic reverence for the dignity of Irish immigrants. Thousands arrived daily in New York — penniless, starving and sometimes ill — only to be met with hostility, bigotry and injustice. An immigrant himself, Hughes prophetically and vigorously defended their dignity. Because the schools at the time were hostile to these immigrants, he initiated Catholic schools to provide children with a good education sensitive to their religion and to prepare them as responsible, patriotic citizens. The schools worked. Many remain open to this day, their mission unchanged. The second event was the recent funeral of a great African-American woman, Dolores Grier. A convert to Catholicism, she was named vice chancellor of the archdiocese three decades ago by Cardinal John O’Connor; she was the first layperson and first woman to hold the prestigious position. Grier was passionate about civil rights, especially the right to life of babies in the womb. She never missed an opportunity to defend, lovingly but forcefully, their right to life. Grier attributed her pro-life sensitivity to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who preached that abortion was an act of genocide against minorities. No wonder, she often observed, abortuaries were clustered in poor black and brown neighborhoods. The statistics today confirm her observation: In 2013 there were more black babies aborted in New York City (29,007) than were born Continue Reading

Save the subways: Bronx edition

For almost a century now, the Daily News has spoken to and on behalf of the people of greatest city in the world. For the next few days in this space, we will speak directly to the 62 men and women who represent us in the state Assembly. That’s because the city’s subways, which more than any other piece of infrastructure hold this metropolis together, are in dire straits. Signals failing, trains stalling, delays multiplying, equipment breaking down. A fix requires a management turnaround and modernization plan — we’re looking at you, Gov. Cuomo — and a new, sustainable funding source. The answer is congestion pricing, which would place a fee on all cars and trucks entering midtown and downtown Manhattan, thereby attacking traffic on the streets while raising money for the trains below. It has been proposed before, but it never had the support of the governor and the Assembly speaker. This time, a refined plan has their backing. And the support of a critical mass of legislators. And a mayor who is finally on board. Stars are aligned. With the subways in crisis, we must not miss this moment. We are often critical of the state Legislature. But the New York Assembly is the same place where Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt and Al Smith served. It can do brave things, visionary things. Congestion pricing is the brave and visionary thing at this moment. Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronxite, has long been a congestion pricing supporter. It is up to him to work with Cuomo to fund, in this year’s budget, E-ZPass readers and cameras around Manhattan as well as a uniform fee on all taxis, Ubers and livery fares below 96th St. Heastie’s Bronx colleagues are largely in the right place. Latoya Joyner, José Rivera, Michael Blake, Michael Benedetto, Marcos Crespo and Luis Sepúlveda are sponsors of a congestion pricing bill. All must hold firm as Thursday’s budget deadline approaches. Don’t take no for an Continue Reading

And the children shall lead: As kids gather in the March for Our Lives, progress is in sight

Today, for the second time this month, hundreds of thousands of young people are taking a public stand to jar the nation into action on its flaccid federal gun laws. The March for Our Lives, in Washington and across the country, comes less than six weeks after 14 students and three educators in Parkland, Fla., were mowed down by a young man with a weapon that should have no place in civil society. Already, the youth movement to awaken a slumbering nation is making a difference. Friday, Donald Trump — the beneficiary in 2016 of $30 million in campaign spending by the National Rifle Association — signed a spending bill that actually does some good on guns. It finally ends a destructive, two-decade blockade on federal funding for gun violence research, freeing up the Centers for Disease Control to give grants to academics who want to determine which measures are likeliest to save the most lives. Also included: a statute tweaking the federal background check system that may finally stop dangerous people with known red flags — like the man who killed 26 people in a Texas church last year — from getting their hands on firearms. House Republicans had cynically tried linking that basic fix to disastrous legislation eviscerating state and local gun laws. They lost. Consider it two steps in a marathon. This is a country in which it’s still perfectly legal to buy assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. In which private weapons sales are not subject to background checks, despite 97% of Americans saying there should be. Keep marching, kids. One foot in front of the other. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Readers sound off on student protests, NYCHA and Joe Biden

In praise of new young leaders Bronx: To the students taking part in today’s March for Our Lives: Thank you. Thank you for your courage, passion and voice. In a short time, you’ve awoken the American consciousness and transformed an unspeakable tragedy into a turning point. When before there was only despair and disappointment, your advocacy has given us hope that the younger generation can break through barriers that have impeded progress for far too long. We’ve already begun to see the thaw in places like Florida, where some simple gun-violence prevention bills made their way through a Republican-controlled legislature. It may not seem like much, but it’s a start, and a step that was all but impossible before. When our nation suffered through other gun tragedies, lawmakers in the pockets of the NRA could hide behind “thoughts and prayers,” pay lip-service to the problem, delay action by deflecting blame and, ultimately, outlast the outrage. Now those same lawmakers find it impossible to run away and hide till it’s safe to come out and resume business as usual. Thanks to you, those of us in Congress who have fought tooth and nail for gun control laws and reforms now have a new and powerful coalition of allies. Not just allies, but leaders unafraid to stand up to the gun lobby, look them in their callous eyes and say, “Enough is enough.” So again, thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in, what’s right and what’s necessary. You have inspired a nation and reminded us all that as dark as some of our days get, our future, America’s future, is still very bright indeed. Rep. Eliot Engel, 16th Congressional District Hear them roar Brooklyn: Recently two eighth-grade students walked out of their elementary school to join students in a nearby high school in their protest of gun violence. When asked, “Why?,” the reply was, Continue Reading

Letters to the Editor, March 24

Opinion San Francisco Chronicle Published 1:05 am, Saturday, March 24, 2018 Let’s cut to the chase about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership. Fifty million users had personal information compromised under his leadership in 2015, and they weren’t even told. Users need to come to the realization that Facebook does not see them as primary costumers. Facebook’s primary customers are shareholders and the various entities that want users’ data. Revenue is Facebook’s priority, not users. Facebook’s practices clearly illustrate that we’re confronted with a modern, updated version of the robber baron. It’s the old story of tons of money being made and little in the way of customer protections. Regulation and new leadership are required, if users are to be protected. Clyde Jasper, Oakland Toys R Us CEO’s legacy Recommended Video: Now Playing: British lawmakers and the European Parliament have summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to give evidence over the scandal involving embattled London-based company Cambridge Analytica. The move comes after multiple reports accused Cambridge Analytica of mining the personal data of some 50 million Facebook profiles for political analysis — including for the 2016 election campaign of now-President Donald Trump. The reports have put Facebook in the spotlight, yet again, as debate kicks off over whether the tech giant failed to protect users' data. In a statement, the UK House of Commons committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said: "The Representatives from Facebook previously gave evidence to the inquiry in Washington DC on Thursday 8th February. However, Facebook has since failed to supply requested supplementary evidence to the Committee by the deadline of 14th March. "Subsequent information about Facebook’s connection to Cambridge Analytica raises further questions which the Committee intends to put to Facebook to answer Continue Reading

One day our grandchildren will ask what Facebook was. Here’s what we’ll have to tell them

Michael Deacon Parliamentary Sketchwriter 24 March 2018 • 7:00am Personally, I look forward to being old. How instructive it will be for the youth of tomorrow to gather at my feet, and listen eagerly as I recount the wisdom my generation has gleaned. “Grandad, what was Facebook?” “Well, lad, Facebook was a wonderful thing. Marvellous, it was. Basically, it was a system where you merrily handed over all your private details to one of the most powerful corporations on Earth, free of charge, and then a load of unseen opportunists used those details to con you into voting for dangerous lunatics.” “But, Grandad, why did you sign up to that?” “Well, that wasn’t our original reason for joining. We joined Facebook because we were excited about a new thing called ‘social... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles  Subscriber-only events  Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium Access one Premium article per week Register for free Register or log in to continue reading this article Register  Log in Registered customers can access one Premium article per week Subscribe for unlimited access to Premium articles. Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week. See subscription options Continue Reading

The Public Pulse: Gun lessons from history

My father's assault gun platoon was the first tank through the wire at Dachau.When I was a sixth-grader, he showed me pictures of the concentration camp internees. It was truly ghastly. He told me that he visited with one of the emaciated camp prisoners, who later was a member of the fledgling Israeli government. The prisoner was from Austria and had relatives in the United States. He told my father that the Second Amendment was the most important amendment in the U.S. Constitution. He said when the Nazis came to take him and his family at night, they had no weapons since to have one meant the death penalty during Nazi occupation. Joseph Stalin killed 35 million people who were unable to protect themselves, since ownership of a firearm in the Soviet Union was a capital crime. Chairman Mao Zedong killed over 55 million Chinese who could not defend themselves since firearms ownership meant the death penalty in communist China.We now have young Americans who are walking out of school to protest lawful firearm ownership. Israel turned school assaults around in the 1970s by placing two- and three-man patrols in the schools and two- and three-man patrols roving the school grounds. School attacks there have dropped 98 percent since the early '70s. Cowards want to shoot at people but they do not like being shot at.William K. Lake, Omaha Continue Reading

The Public Pulse: Youth inspire on gun control

A hearty round of applause for our students engaged in gun law advocacy. They're learning a lot historically and politically. Soon they will be informed voters. Now, we adults need to get off our duffs and join the youth of America. Thanks, students, for a job well done. Mary L. Erickson, Omaha Continue Reading

Editorial: Speaker Jim Scheer is right to push for compromise on Title X issue

Nebraska’s Legislature, after hours of impassioned debate, remains locked in stalemate over the Title X issue, stymieing passage of the state’s $8.8 billion budget. Speaker Jim Scheer is right in calling for compromise so the state can make vitally needed adjustments in the budget.The source of this fierce contention is a proposal from Gov. Pete Ricketts that would end federal Title X funding to entities that perform, counsel or refer for abortions. That provision is in the main budget bill, Legislative Bill 944.Scheer, visibly upset Friday morning when state senators failed to break their deadlock on the matter, called on lawmakers to come together over the weekend and work out an agreement so the budget bill can proceed. “I expect some type of compromise, some type of language that will put this forward,” Scheer said. To succeed at that goal, he said, liberal senators mustn’t go further left and conservative senators mustn’t go further right.“That means you go to the middle,” he said.The speaker offers appropriate counsel. Lawmakers have an obligation to pursue serious compromise to break the deadlock. It’s crucial for the state that the bill’s fiscal adjustments, worked out through extensive analysis by the Appropriations Committee, move forward to keep the budget in balance.The challenge is that the Title X issue is a moral question in which two diametrically opposite viewpoints are at odds.On one side are lawmakers and other Nebraskans who regard abortion services as morally abhorrent. The governor’s proposal doesn’t block needed public health services, they’ve repeatedly said.On the other side are lawmakers and other Nebraskans who say that Supreme Court rulings guarantee a woman’s right to abortion and that the governor’s proposal threatens the delivery of public health services.For each side in the debate, the Title X issue involves absolute moral priorities.The Title X Continue Reading

Las Vegas-area rabbit deaths highlight that animals are not toys

K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto With the tragic news of the rabbits poisoned and bludgeoned to death on property that was thought to be safe, I remind people that animals are not Easter toys (“Dead rabbits prompt outrage,” Feb. 20 Review-Journal). These rabbits were discarded when the kids for which they were bought became tired of them. Most baby rabbits, chicks and ducks given as Easter gifts will die within a few weeks or be “gotten rid of.” Often these animals die from rough handling or stress and because their owners lack proper knowledge about caring for and feeding them. People buy them with good intentions, but pet stores care only about the profit and have no regard for where or how these fragile animals end up. You can help prevent unnecessary suffering this Easter by giving children stuffed animals. Animals are not toys, and nothing with a heartbeat should be given as one. As adults, let us make the humane choice. Continue Reading