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 25, 2010

The Holocaust as an Excuse

What was Jack Barouh's rationale for tax-cheating? He blamed it on the Holocaust!

Barouh's parents fled the Nazis, and that experience, Jack claims, led him to hide his assets in a UBS Bank Account in Switzerland in case the Nazi regime returns.

Jack got some jail time instead of the home detention his attorney had requested.

I shall not now get into the psychological issues regarding Holocaust survivors, other than to say that they can be very, very difficult people to deal with. Ditto for their children. But there are plenty of survivors and children of survivors who are far, far more grateful to the United States, where they found life and freedom, than Jack Barouh. The one who comes to mind is a woman I once had the challenge of supervising, an Auschwitz survivor who could easily have gone out on a mental disability, but who insisted, from sheer gratitude, upon remaining employed by the U.S. Government. And I knew another woman, whose family got out of Beograd just 3 weeks before Hitler's army marched in and started killing the Jews and others, who had the brains, beauty and personality to work anywhere she wished, but who, out of similar gratitude, remained employed by various agencies of the U.S. Government (including the IRS).

I personally know plenty of other Holocaust survivors and children of Holocaust survivors who are/were employed by the Internal Revenue Service. They certainly are not buying Jack's explanation. Nor, for that matter, am I.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Is this anything Earth-Shattering?

There seems to have been an upsurge in seismic activity over the past few weeks, what with the big earthquake in China, a minor earthquake in Israel, earthquakes in Spain, Baja California, Sumatra, the Andaman Islands, Solomon Islands, Chile, et cetera.

And, the volcanoes are erupting. In addition to the one in Iceland that has disrupted transatlantic travel, the Redoubt Volcano in Alaska has erupted, as has Mt. Etna, and volcanoes in Indonesia and Japan.


1. Might G-d be sending us all some sort of message? Or, conjecturing to the extreme, might the effective shutdown of aviation traffic be part of G-d's plan to thwart terrorists who now actively seek to come to America to do mischief? Perhaps we'll never know.

2. Regardless of whether and to what extent this affects global temperatures, and what greenhouse gases are or are not released into the atmosphere, what is the official party line from the global warming priesthood and its acolytes? Is this upswing in seismic activity due to human activity? Might the proper legislation and international treaties have prevented it and/or control it in the future?

Just wondering!

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Match from Hell, but Made in Heaven

I note, with interest, the case of Williams v. Williams, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32119, N.Y.L.J., 4/7/2010, p. 36 (No. 07 Civ. 119, S.D.N.Y., 31 March 2010).

Notwithstanding that the primary plaintiff and the primary defendant share a common surname, they apparently are unrelated.

The plaintiffs are students and alumni of the City College of New York, and the defendants are officials or employees of said college and/or its parent institution, the City University of New York.

Seems that a one or more groups of CCNY students decided to honor two former CCNY students, to wit, terrorist Guillermo Morales and terrorist/cop-killer Assata Shakur (formerly known as JoAnne Chesimard), each of whom escaped the authorities and now lives in Cuba. One such group received permission from the College to use a room for their organization. The room was (dis)graced by a sign reading "Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center" some time in 1990. The room was (and continues to be) used by various far, far left organizations.

[N.B. Neither the two aforementioned oxygen-wasting lowlifes, nor their sycophants, admirers or acolytes, will be further glorified by any links in this posting. No need to boost their Google search counts any more than necessary.].

The 12 December 2006 issue of the New York Daily News featured an article, and a companion editorial, which criticized CCNY and CUNY for sanctioning "a shrine to killers." The sign was removed, and the students now sue for infringement of their Constitutional rights. In defense, CCNY and CUNY claim qualified immunity in removing the sign.

Judge Thomas Griesa denied CCNY/CUNY's motion to dismiss. As the Judge explained it, "There is surely a serious question as to whether the students had a Constitutional right to name the Community Center after two criminals and to place a sign announcing this name above the door, thereby in effect commemorating such criminals. However, the court does not believe the case should be decided on motion. There are issues that deserve a trial, both as to plaintiffs' First Amendment claims and defendants' qualified immunity defense."

The added stress upon the judicial resources not withstanding, Judge Griesa has, in my own humble opinion, called this one correctly. While the students and their organizations are lowly scums, and their efforts to commemorate killers, anarchists and terrorists are most reprehensible, the College is hardly any better for tolerating that plaque above the door to the room for over 16 years. And while I am all for student free expression, I question whether similar leeway would have been accorded by the College to, say, a group of extremist Jewish students who put up a plaque for the Rabbi Meir Kahane Community Center, or a group of extremist Italian students who name their den after John Gotti Sr. or some other mafia don.

Let the two sides duke it out in court! They deserve one another!

My only concern is that CCNY/CUNY might capitulate to pay the students a settlement to end the litigation. But if that happens, I am sure that the New York Daily News and other publications will not hesitate to further embarrass CCNY.

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