January 13, 2020

‘Moderate’ Michael Bloomberg Is an Authoritarian Nightmare
While discussing the Texas church shooting last week, Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg said that we “just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”“It may be true — I wasn’t there; I don’t know the facts — that somebody in the congregation had their own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people, but it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot,” Bloomberg said in Montgomery, Ala., on December 30, as reported by Conservative Review. “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”Bloomberg is, of course, correct. Although the shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement tragically took two lives, it could have been much worse had an armed, trained volunteer security guard not been there to shoot the gunman dead before he could do even greater damage.This incident was about as clear an example as you could get for how maintaining our Second Amendment rights can save lives — and, therefore, it might seem like a pretty odd thing to reference when you’re arguing against gun rights. The Second Amendment, after all, worked in this case; people are alive because of it, and Bloomberg is going to say that he wished the situation had been different?It’s truly shocking in terms of stupidity — but it’s also par for the Michael Bloomberg course. It’s hardly surprising for Bloomberg to have expressed such an unyielding stance on gun rights; he’s been doing so for years.What’s more, the right to self-defense is far from the only individual right that Bloomberg has a history of disrespecting. In fact, despite the fact that he’s somehow managed to brand himself as a moderate choice, Michael Bloomberg’s record is actually that of an authoritarian nightmare.Throughout his career, Bloomberg has repeatedly shown blatant disrespect for individual rights and civil liberties. The first thing that comes to mind is probably the way he tried to micromanage New Yorkers’ food choices during his time as mayor. His most famous effort in this area, of course, was his failed attempt to protect us from drinking too much soda — but it wasn’t the only one. During his time as mayor, he also launched a campaign called the “National Salt Reduction Initiative,” reportedly even going so far as to compare the common ingredient to “asbestos.”Bloomberg also has a pretty dismal record when it comes to allowing Americans the freedom to make their own decisions about marijuana use. In fact, according to CNN’s DJ Judd, Bloomberg referred just last year to marijuana legalization as “perhaps the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.” Now, to be fair, Bloomberg has (only) recently “evolved” on this issue: Last month, a campaign spokesman said that Bloomberg now “believes in decriminalization and doesn’t believe the federal government should interfere with states that have already legalized” and that “no one should have their life ruined by getting arrested for possession.” But this is, quite simply, too little too late. The conversation, after all, has progressed — with one of Bloomberg’s primary opponents, Pete Buttigieg, openly professing a truly pro-freedom, pro-individual rights stance: Decriminalize them all.What’s more, I actually find it astounding that Bloomberg’s campaign spokesman would even have the balls to complain about people having their lives “ruined by getting arrested for possession." Bloomberg was, after all, a long-standing supporter of “stop and frisk” — which directly led to thousands of people being arrested for marijuana possession — and he remained one even as the truly totalitarian impacts of the policy were being reported. In fact, at the beginning of last year, he was still defending it. Of course, much like his stance on marijuana, his position on this issue has also conveniently “evolved” with his pursuit of the presidency; he apologized for the practice a couple of months ago.This is also, frankly, too little too late. For one thing, you’d have to be pretty stupid not to notice how his stances on these issues have conveniently just happened to “change” just in time for his presidential run. What’s more, his “apology” does nothing to change the damage that stop-and-frisk has already done: People who got roughed up by police for no reason still live with that trauma, and people who were arrested for victimless crimes still had to live with those consequences.Worse, Bloomberg’s support of stop-and-frisk isn’t the only example of him demonstrating a complete disregard for the Fourth Amendment. No — he’s also supported the secret surveillance of U.S. citizens. Under his mayorship, the NYPD was secretly spying on Muslim Americans, and Bloomberg defended it as being necessary to “keep this country safe.” The truth? The NYPD has since admitted that the program did not lead to discovering even a single terrorism plot. For this one, Bloomberg has yet to apologize.With several members of the Democratic party (including multiple Democratic candidates) openly promoting socialist policies, a businessman like Bloomberg might seem like a nice choice. But as bad as a socialist president would be for the country (and it would be bad), I can’t say that I see an established authoritarian as a great choice, either — our individual rights and civil liberties are too important.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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