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.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Odds & Ends:

1. Timoshenko Update: This continuing saga of the killing of NYPD Detective Russel Timoshenko was commented about in Blog postings of 16 November 2008, and two on 15 July 2007 (here and here). Dexter Bostic, the gunman who actually fired the bullets at Timoshenko, was sentenced to life without parole on the murder conviction and some consecutive sentences for the attempted murder and weapons violations. Bostic's accomplice, Robert Ellis, was convicted on the weapons charge, and got the 15 year maximum. Accomplice Lee Woods got a mistrial; his retrial has started.

Bostic is still whining about the injustice of the system. The only thing that is missing is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton complaining about how the system is biased against b-l-a-c-k people. But I really didn't expect them to show up. After all, the judge who heard the case and imposed the sentence, Hon. Plummer Lott, is also an African-American.

2. Yesterday I went to a Continuing Legal Education seminar, in order to fulfill my CLE requirements for my license to practice law. As with any other CLE course, price and timing were my primary factors in the selection. It could have been any topic, but in this case the topic related to diversity in the workplace. I fully expected all of the usual leftist liberal crap about affirmative action, and I expected a full deck of race cards to be played out.

Surprise! Diversity in the workplace was touted by most of the panelists as being the economically optimal choice (as opposed to the good progressive liberal thing to do). This is the message I have been delivering to my students for many, many years. And one African-American attorney came out point blank and stated that new associates in a law firm will not succeed if they carry around an attitude of entitlement! Much welcome evidence that Fat Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the rest of them do not necessarily represent the views of the African-American community at large.

3. Speaking of Fat Al, he's now making a big stink about a cartoon that appeared in the New York Post. I personally don't see what is so racist about it. Comparing Barack Hussein Obama to a chimpanzee? Hey, they did it to George W. Bush! I don't have the time or the inclination, but someone ought to go through all of the cartoons that have appeared in the Amsterdam News, the NYC newspaper whose target audience is the b-l-a-c-k community. If the Amsterdam News is held to the same standard to which Sharpton and the NAACP now seek to hold the N.Y. Post, then I would have no objection!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Going Ape over Travis the Chimpanzee

The Travis the Chimpanzee story is making the rounds around the world and on the Internet.

Whether Sandra Herold, the late chimp's owner, will be criminally charged, is a question I will leave to the local Connecticut State Attorney's office to answer. Whether or not Ms. Herold's relationship with her pet ape did or did not get a fair report in the media, and/or whether it included sexual penetration, has yet to be proven one way or the other, and I book no bets either way. There almost certainly will be a lawsuit; where it will settle depends upon diverse factors, including but not limited to the extent of Herold's liability insurance coverage, and her equity in her own home and business.

I leave it to the psychiatrists (or, perhaps, the mechanics) to confirm my suspicions that Herold, and/or the victim, Charla Nash, were working with a few sockets missing from their wrench sets.

While the news media busies itself with such questions, this Blog will pose the following three:

A. Where does the ACLU stand on the apparent disregard of Travis the Chimp's civil rights by the Stamford, Connecticut Police Department?

B. Where does PETA stand on the treatment of Travis the Chimp?

C. Where do the staunch opponents of capital punishment stand on execution of Travis the Chimp?

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Religion of Arson

The big wildfires in Australia suggest some factoid dots to connect:

On 7 September 2008, Josh Gordon reported in The Age that "Australia has been singled out as a target for 'forest jihad' by a group of Islamic extremists urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror."

This is nothing new. During the 1980's and 1990's (and even later), the Muslims were setting fires to forests in Israel.

More to the point, the Land of Israel has only been verdant with vegetation when it has been in the hands of Jews. It was a largely wasteland when it was in the hands of Muslims.

And during the height of the Roman Empire, before Muhammad and Islam, North Africa's littoral plain on the Mediterranean Sea produced and exported grain and other agricultural produce to Rome.

Something to think about! Is the so-called "Religion of Peace" really the Religion of Arson? It certainly is not the Religion of Sound Agricultural Practices.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

A Gold Star Mother Scorned

Now that Barack Hussein Obama has derailed the trial of the terrorist suspects who bombed the U.S.S. Cole, the mother of one of the victims is having second thoughts about having voted for Obama.

Gold Star Mother Diane McDaniels, whose son, Seaman James Roderick McDaniels, was killed in the bombing, has refused to meet with Barack Hussein, and now regrets voting for him.

My compassions go out for Ms. McDaniels. The derailment of the trial must surely be taking its toll on her and her family. She has already paid a steep price to the terrorists.

I will now post, in writing, that which many have been hinting at, but which is just too politically incorrect to say.

Ms. McDaniels is an African-American (as, of course, was her son).

Might she, perchance, have voted for Barack Hussein Obama on account of his race? Might she have judged him by the color of his skin instead of the content of his character?

I in no way gloat at Ms. McDaniels's predicament. In my younger years, I, too, voted for a candidate because he was a lantsman, overlooking some serious character traits which surfaced to severely disappoint and demoralize me.

I truly empathize with Diane McDaniels. And, no less, I respect her for her willingness to admit a mistake.

May she and her family -- and other proud Americans too -- soon see justice done to the memory of James Roderick McDaniels and the other U.S.S. Cole victims!

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Rest in Peace, Rabbi Weinberg

A year and a day ago, this Blog implored all to work and pray for the recovery of Rabbi Noach Weinberg. The Rabbi, as mentioned in that post, is one of my personal heroes.

Today, with sadness and regret, I now report that Rabbi Weinberg passed away this morning in Jerusalem. I was privileged to have met him, and to have spoken with him; he has done many positive things for me and my family, and indeed, for the entire world. Many positive projects and ventures, benefiting Jews and non-Jews alike, have Rabbi Weinberg's latent fingerprints on them.

Over 5 years ago, when I was in Israel for a short stay, serious concerns regarding Rabbi Weinberg's health were being whispered by individuals known by me to be cognizant of the Rabbi's situation. That he survived this long is a testament to the grace of G-d, and to the Rabbi's strength and determination.

Rabbi Weinberg will be sorely missed by those who knew him, but the works and projects he founded will continue to move forward and onward.

Rest in Peace, Rabbi Weinberg! May your memory be for a blessing!


Monday, February 02, 2009

Need Some Sleep

Nothing earth-shattering to blog about.
Most of this past week I have been sleep-deficient, due in no small part to that virus bug I picked up. I believe that I have mostly shaken it, but it seems that my wife is now coming down with something. In any event, I woke up tired at about 10:45 this morning, but was able, for the first time in more than a week, to get in a good workout run.

Yesterday, I did get in a relatively good Shabbat nap. I fell asleep on the couch, and my wife said that I was really, really out of it. Maybe I won't be so sleep-deficient this coming week.

The sleep deficiency and virus wouldn't have been so bad, except that it was the first week of the semester, so I had to go in and teach. Whatever voice I may have brought into the classroom with me was totally shot by the time I got out. Fortunately, my assistant department chair gave me a ride, so I didn't have to drive.

As with any semester, I have already spotted some students who are on the ball, and some students who are totally clueless. So many have no conception of what it means to write a term paper -- those students had better get a clue real quickly or they will take a nosedive in the courses I teach! This is college-level work! In my day, I had a real battleaxe of a junior high school English teacher who taught all of us how to write term papers. Has our elementary and secondary educational system been dumbed down THAT much? [Apparently it has.].

Fortunately, there seem to be students who are well-postured and directed towards success. One of them happens to have an on-campus job as a student assistant in my own department. She approached me as I came in the second day of my classes, so I explained a few things to her. She is a transfer from one of the 2-year community colleges, where the courseload for Business Law is not as intense. She'll have to work hard, but I think that she will give it a go.

I am not a big Stupor Bowl fan. Understand that I have nothing against athletics per se (and in fact pulled a varsity letter while in high school). But the Super Bowl is not about athletic performance; it is about keeping the masses entertained and occupied, and about softening their brains so that they can be controlled by Big Brother! The teams are subsidized with lots of taxpayer money. The best thing that I can do is just not watch it! So I didn't!

The best football game I ever watched was two junior high school squads in an unofficial non-league scrimmage game. Their hearts were really into it, there was no TV audience to please (with the accompanying commercial advertisers), and they all accomplished something. Many of the players from that game have now gone onward to achievement in their respective life fields; they are role models, unlike the vast majority of the big league professional athletes of today. But I digress.

During the Stupor Bowl, I was not sitting in front of the big lobotomy screen. What I did was to begin to get my paperwork in order to do my income tax returns. I am now missing two receipts from charitable donees, so the appropriate reminder faxes and e-mails were sent, and need a few more pieces of documentation. But I knocked off lots of the organizing of papers. I am looking to get my tax returns finished sometime during February or early March.

I hope to get some good quality sleep tonight, because I have some interesting lectures and demonstrations planned for my classes this week.

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