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, April 26, 2009

A Time to Sleep, a Time to be Alert

Michelle Malkin and Amanda Terkel, who, to say the least, do not view the world from the same perspective, are among the many who have been making a big deal about Barack Hussein Obama's economic advisor, Larry Summers, falling asleep at a meeting with the credit card executives.

Quite frankly, I have no real problem with it. My biases are colored by the fact that I am afflicted with a sleep disorder, which acts up from time to time (and I am now amidst one of those periods where sleep tends to be evasive).

While insomnia and dyssomnia are certainly problems, the greater problem is the public's attitude towards people who suffer from such afflictions. It is, as far as I am concerned, nothing less than discrimination based upon a physical condition.

As a solo practitioner, I am fortunate to be able to, when necessary, take a nap during the day, in my office, without jeopardizing my livelihood. Likewise, if it doesn't interfere with my class schedule, I can sleep in my office at the University (and indeed, a little 25-minute nap makes me eager and raring and ready to go in front of the classroom).

But things weren't always that way. In a former position with Uncle Sam, I had this one supervisor who made a big deal of my dozing off. At the time the IRS picked me up, I had already consulted an attorney and was gearing up to file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. My transfer to the IRS made life much simpler for me, my supervisor, my supervisor's supervisor (without whose harassment, my own supervisor might have been mostly off my case), and the U.S. Government in general. [N.B. Aside from that one issue, I did get along quite well with my supervisor, and do speak well of her -- which made me very reluctant to take the step of initiating a complaint. But, as mentioned, the IRS mooted the issue by hiring me away from the government agency where I worked.].

A psychiatrist with whom I am casually acquainted socially believes that a disproportionate number of job failures, marriage failures, and juvenile delinquency have inadequate sleep in their etiology. Looking back on some of my prior relationships, I must agree with him.

The insomnia suffered by Charles Dickens has left its mark in many of his works. The "fat and red-faced boy in a state of somnolency" from The Pickwick Papers, and Sydney Carton's line "It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known" from Tale of Two Cities -- only someone tormented with insomnia could have written these lines.

As for Larry Summers: (A) He is probably much more dangerous if he makes his decisions while sleep deficient; and (B) as long as he is sleeping, he cannot implement his economic policies -- policies which I generally oppose.

So get off from Larry Summers's case, and let him sleep!

There are, of course, certain positions where one needs to remain awake. For example, security forces on ships sailing off the African coast, who protect the ships from pirates. In this incident with the MSC Melody , the security forces on the Italian cruise liner were certainly awake and alert.

What is interesting is that (A) the cruise company had hired Israeli security personel; (B) who wielded and used firearms. Ths MSC Melody then was bound for the Jordanian port of Aqaba, which is directly across the border from the Israeli port of Eilat.

Surely the Jordanian authorities knew, officially or otherwise, of the Israeli presence on the ship that was scheduled to dock in its port. This tells us something about unofficial international cooperation against the terrorists!

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