Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This Veteran Needs to go Viral

Justus "Jay" Belfield was not able to get up from his bed to join in the Veteran's Day festivities at the Baptist Health Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Glenfield, NY, where he lived, and so, he had the attendants dress him up in his Army uniform.  The former Master Sergeant gave one last salute from his bed, and was mustered out a few hours thereafter, completing a well-lived tour of duty on earth, both in and out of uniform.

Rest in Peace, Sarge!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Terrified of Terrorism

Seems that accused cop killer Eric Frein has now had some terrorism charges lodged against him by the authorities in Pennsylvania.

Most appropriate, I daresay.

Query:  What is holding back the authorities from classifying the Fort Hood "workplace violence" incident perpetuated by Soldier of Allah Nidal Malik Hasan as an act of terrorism?

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

New York's Racist Voters

Been (and will continue to be) busy.

A somewhat belated critique of the election last week:

New York's voters re-elected Andrew Cuomo as their governor, who defeated challenger Rob Astorino.  Cuomo's running mate is Kathy Hochul, who will be our Lieutenant Governor.

Astorino's running mate was Christopher Moss.

Kathy Hochul is white, and Christopher Moss is an African American.

New York voted against the Black candidate!

Applying the Liberal standards, does that not make New York's voters racist?

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Never mind Kaci, what about Ted?

The more that comes out about Kaci Hickox, the more questionable she becomes.

But neither should the government be excused from all questions in its handling of Kaci in particular, and of Ebola in general.

The Maine health officials had sought a court order to compel Kaci to distance herself from others by at least three feet for the duration of the 21-day incubation period.  Had the order been granted, Kaci would have been allowed to go biking or jogging outside.  In my opinion, that struck a reasonable balance between public safety concerns and Kaci's Constitutional rights.

But, as just about every non-comatose American knows by now, the judge ruled against the State of Maine and Kaci now has no movement restrictions.

I am, of course, concerned for the health of the population of Maine no less than I am for the Constitutional rights of Kaci Hickox.  If Hizzonor called that one wrong, and Kaci actually comes down with Ebola, then not only will the people of Maine and beyond be in danger for their health, but the Constitutional rights of everyone will be imperiled from what will be the reluctance of any court anywhere in America to take chances.

So I now wait and see, and pray for the health of Kaci Hickox.

I do have one question for the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, however.  You people were so quick to lawyer up and go to court to try to restrain Kaci's movements.  You tried to keep her at least 3 feet away from everyone.  But what about Kaci's boyfriend, Ted Wilbur?  Why didn't you try to impose similar restrictions upon him?  How sure are you that Ted has been keeping 3 feet away from Kaci?  If he has been getting closer than 3 feet, then is he not also a menace to the public health?


Methinks that your Ebola management program is too light on public health, and too heavy on politics.


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ebola and Moses's Rod

This Ebola thing is a very serious matter.  As far as the practice of quarantining goes, I am most concerned over just what constitutes the proper balance between individual civil rights and liberties on one hand, and protecting the public on the other hand.  I will disclose that when my son was away at summer camp some years ago, there was an infectious disease incident that necessitated the quarantine of my son and his bunkmates for the better part of a week, and necessitating the scrubbing of Visiting Day (and disrupting the campers' families' plans big time).  But there was regular medical monitoring, and, after all indications showed negative, the quarantine was lifted.  Inconvenient as it was, proper balance was, in my opinion, achieved.

Though I am not without empathy for Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was placed in quarantine after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, neither am I ready to hail her as a heroine. 

Kaci has lawyered up and got the worst of the quarantine restrictions lifted.  One of her lawyers is Norman Siegel, a hard-core ACLUnatic who attracts cases and clients from the leftward portion of the political spectrum. 

Kaci is now acting up and making a big kabuki production over her intentions to violate the quarantine imposed upon her.

But the Kaci Hickox Show is a natural and expectable outcome of the Obama administration's undiluted handling of the Ebola epidemic as a political issue and not as a public health issue.  Obama is playing politics.  Politics are trumping the scientific and public health concerns.  The various state governors are playing politics.  The CDC is playing politics.  Why wouldn't Kaci also play her political cards?

But the dynamic of Moses's Rod is now at work.  The Obama Administration has fashioned a rod with which to beat the public.  The rod is turning into a serpent, and may well bite the Administration apparatchiks in the toochas.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Got Adjourned.

It's a beautiful day here on Long Island.  Too beautiful to spend the day in court.

But I had a case on the court calendar.   Past tense is used because it turns out that it got adjourned for a week.  And I didn't know about it because the website for the New York courts was down for maintenance until mid-morning today.  And, it turns out, neither did my adversary.

But my drive to the court was not a total loss because I had other things to do in the vicinity, and the weather was and is beautiful.  And, best of all, the Judge's clerk confirmed that because neither I nor my adversary requested oral argument, there would be no oral argument and Hizzoner will decide the case on the papers alone.  So the adjourned date presents no conflict in my schedule.

[A number of years ago I had made the mistake of presuming that there would be no oral argument in a case in Brooklyn.  I did not go, and I defaulted for my client.  Fortunately, a co-defendant's attorney was there, the adversary was denied summary judgment in most respects, and the case settled among all parties a week later.  Turns out that the judge in question had, shall we say, ethical issues of a magnitude to warrant his removal from the bench, so he conveniently retired and pulled his pension (but not for long -- he had the pension terminated by The Judge on an Even Higher Bench not long thereafter.).  Unlike the late judge in Brooklyn, the judge I have on the current case doesn't like to play games, and doesn't like to call attorneys into court for unnecessary waits if such can be avoided.].

As for the current case, it is a civil matter, but the judge's courtroom and chambers are on the same floor as the criminal parts, so all kinds of low-rent riff-raff crowds the hallways awaiting trial.  It doesn't particularly cause me any fear (though my client was concerned for his personal safety when we went in for a conference a few months ago) because the defendants in the hallways are out on bail or on their own recognizance, and, crude as they may be, they usually know not to pull any shtick to warrant revocation of bail pending their trials.  The ones who are really dangerous are usually brought into court under Sheriff's escort, so they aren't problematic either as far as personal safety goes.

And because I have an official Attorney Secure Pass, I don't have to stand in line with them for the metal detectors.  My clients are usually not so lucky.

In any event, I am now back home, doing paperwork, and ready to take a break to do a little yardwork.

It's a beautiful day here on Long Island.  Too beautiful to spend the day in court.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Ebola in the Big Apple

Well, New York City has its first acknowledged Ebola case, and this evening, Mayor Bill the Sandinista de Blasio, Governor Andy Cuomo, and other health officials held a press conference at Bellevue Hospital, the designated isolation ward for Ebola patients.

I listened to it on the radio while driving home from school this evening.  Understand that the press conference was not my primary motivation for listening to that particular FM station; my reason for listening is that the station gives traffic reports every 10 minutes (I do not yet have a GPS in the car).

By the time I drove the car into my driveway, I was so sick from hearing that bullshit from the obviously politically-motivated press conference (never mind the Ebola virus) that I turned off the ignition and didn't bother to finish listening to that pap.  I fixed my dinner, read my e-mail, wrote up this posting, and will retire to bed as soon as it is posted.

Being married to a physician for 20+ years, I know better than to play doctor, so I will not now proffer any opinions regarding the medical aspects of this latest development.  I do, however, have common sense and logic, and am no less qualified than the next guy or gal to analyze the logical issues from the press conference.

Specifically, the speakers at that conference, medically-trained and otherwise, took great pains to emphasize that Ebola only spreads through exposure to body fluids and is not an airborne transmission thing; and you can't catch Ebola just by being in the same subway care as the Ebola patient.

Why, then, did they also note that the patient (himself a medical doctor who had recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa) was transported by specially-trained paramedics who have the appropriate equipment and protective clothing?

If the purpose of that press conference was to reassure me, it failed miserably.

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