Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, February 23, 2021
Leftists intent on canceling all things that do not fit their “progressive” narrative were dealt several setbacks over the past few days.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio was forced to, at least temporarily, back down from an obsession with erasing the Trump name from the Big Apple.
In San Francisco, angry parents and residents demanded the city’s school board focus on re-opening schools rather than re-naming them.
In Washington, the Wall Street Journal noted that a “Treasury Department watchdog report warned that law-enforcement agencies may not be on firm legal footing when they use cellphone GPS data drawn from mobile apps without obtaining a warrant first.”
“America may still be headed for hell in a handbasket, but conservatives are slowing the handbasket down,” blogger Don Surber noted on Feb. 22.
De Blasio last month had announced he was canceling the city’s contracts with the Trump Organization over the mayor’s belief that then-President Donald Trump had encouraged rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol, the New York Post reported.
That contract included the operation of two ice rinks run by Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric. The Trump Organization has operated the rinks for more than 30 years.
Residents who frequent the Lasker and Wollman ice rinks told The Post that they felt like pawns in de Blasio’s political game.
“The real people they’re hurting are the 2,500 children that have been benefiting from the skating program this season and 250 innocent employees who have been keeping this going for us,” said Lee Klausner, 49, while watching her two daughters skate.
A petition to save the Wollman Rink, started by figure skater Serena Sabet, had more than 1,700 signatures by Saturday afternoon.
“I was so upset. I’ve literally skated here since I was 3 years old. …. We know everyone here, it’s like a second family,” said Sabet, 18. “This is our senior year. So many things have already been ruined.”
CBS News reported on Monday that de Blasio shifted course amid the criticism and the rinks will remain open for the remainder of the season, which runs into April.
A spokesperson for the mayor, however, said the city still intends to cancel all contracts with the Trump Organization.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco School Board has decided to pause re-naming 44 schools after intense pressure from parents and other critics locally and nationwide, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday.
School board president Gabriela Lopez said re-opening schools would be the main focus and that re-naming committee meetings would be cancelled for now.
The Chronicle noted: “The school board approved three weeks ago the renaming of schools in seeking to exclude affiliations with racism, slavery, colonization and other troubled legacies. The namesakes included presidents Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others. The historical explanations for removing the names varied widely and were roundly judged as flawed.”
The Chronicle also reported Sunday that Lopez and two other board members are facing a recall petition.
In the case of the U.S. government’s use of cellphone data without obtaining a warrant, the Wall Street Journal noted the Treasury Department watchdog’s reports “is the first known government analysis to raise serious doubt about the legality of law-enforcement and intelligence agencies purchasing highly revealing information generated by U.S. cellphones and other digital services.”
The Journal noted in the Feb. 22 report: “In a review of the Internal Revenue Service’s use of a commercial platform that allowed the agency to track cellphones, the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration said that a landmark 2018 Supreme Court case might preclude the warrantless tracking of criminal suspects through location data generated by weather, game and other apps. The report encouraged stricter controls on use of the data.”
As Surber pointed out on the conservative victories: “There still is hope for America, even in what Chairman Xiden calls a very dark winter.”