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NYC Protesters Camps Out Front Of City Hall, Demands $1B Cut To Law Enforcement Budget

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Protesters in New York City continue to camp out front of city hall, now demanding the city make a staggering $1 billion cut to the police force budget and reroute the funds to social programs.

It doesn’t take some sort of political genius to see why this is a horrible, horrible idea. The crime in NYC isn’t going to slow down to match with the police force in the city once these budget cuts take effect and there are less officers out on the streets to help keep people safe and the criminals at bay.

Things might seem bad already, but they could be a lot worse, and unfortunately, if the city government capitulates to the demands of these protesters, they’ll discover this first hand.

Trending: American Music Icon Dead at 72; Was Set to Tour This Summer

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The group of about 100 protesters, calling themselves “Occupy City Hall,” gathered at a nearby park around 5 p.m. Tuesday and haven’t left. They have vowed to stay until their demand to slash one-sixth of the New York Police Department’s $6 billion budget is met.

The protesters say the money saved should be redistributed to social and community services as well as health care and education.

The city has until the end of the month to finalize the budget, which includes money set aside for the police department.

“Mayor (Bill) de Blasio has thus far rejected this demand, which is unconscionable,” VOCAL-NY, the group organizing the protest, said in a written statement. “We have questions about City Council promises to support our demands, because we have not seen their plan outside of a vague press release. We view this lack of transparency and specific public commitments as a red flag.”

One of the protesters, Charles Khan, said that he is “fighting for a drastic change to the way that this city says that it’s providing safety but hasn’t provided safety.”

He went on to say, “Strong communities make safe communities, and police don’t, and so that’s what we’re fight for.”

Notice the lack of explanation for what makes a strong community. These folks have all kinds of platitudes that sound good to the ear, but when it comes to actually coming up with practical solutions to the problems facing folks in their neighborhoods, they have nothing to offer.

Here’s to hoping the city government in New York stands strong and does the right thing.

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American Music Icon Dead at 72; Was Set to Tour This Summer

Rest in peace, amigo.

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When it comes to gritty guitars and even grittier songs, there is no act quite like that little ol’ band from Texas. ZZ Top mainlined American blues standards directly into the electric era of 1970’s rock, and then reinvented the genre once again with the synthesizers of the 1980’s.  From there, the band toured the world incessantly, bringing their grimy grooves and unforgettable stage presence to audiences from Dusseldorf to Delaware. Now, just weeks before the band was set to take to the road once again, one member of the holy triumvirate of honky-tonk has passed away. Dusty Hill, the bassist for ZZ Top, has died. He was 72. Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard of the Texas-based trio issued a statement to Variety on Tuesday, writing: “We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’. We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’” And then, echoing the sentiments of music fans the nation over: “You will be missed greatly, amigo,” the statement added. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so we’ll just leave you all with a classic. Make sure to turns those speakers up, y’all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5WB5ouP-8c  

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Mask Mandates Coming Back to Capitol Hill After CDC Switcheroo

This isn’t likely to go over well with some lawmakers.

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With the “delta” variant now raging in some parts of the country, and breakthrough infections of vaccinated individuals continuing to be reported, the CDC has made a stark decision, stating that even vaccinated folks should be wearing a mask when they are indoors or in parts of the country with high COVID transmission rates. This has now prompted the House of Representatives to bring back a previously criticized policy themselves. Capitol Attending Physician Brian Monahan said late Tuesday that the House of Representatives is reinstating its mask mandate – and therefore the threat of fines to members who don’t comply – following updated guidance from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the delta variant of the coronavirus. The White House also appears to be going back to mandated masks. A White House press representative was seen Tuesday swapping a sign saying people are required to wear masks if unvaccinated with another saying masks are required regardless of vaccination status. Monahan didn’t leave much room for interpretation. “For the Congress, representing a collection of individuals traveling weekly from various risk areas (both high and low rates of disease transmission), all individuals should wear a well-fitted, medical-grade filtration mask (for example an ear loop surgical mask or a KN95 mask) when they are in an interior space,” Monahan said in a letter sent to congressional staffers. The move will almost certainly see pushback from the far right side of the aisle, where the mandating of masks has been a very unpopular policy, and a point of contention in almost every arena in which it has been implemented.

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