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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Padlocking Unauthorized Immigration Law Practices

Whatever else might be said about New York Attorney General and gubernatorial wannabe Andrew Cuomo, he is doing a few things correctly, and on that score I applaud him.

Specifically, he has been on the rampage against various business entities that have been illegally providing legal services to aliens regarding their immigration status. Not oblivious to the need to give his name some positive spin, he has posted a news release on his official website to boast of his accomplishments. My partisan political sentiments in the upcoming gubernatorial election notwithstanding, I applaud this. Under the circumstances, I even applaud his posting of the Spanish version of the news release.

One of the 7 entrepreneurs that got pinched in Cuomo's latest outing was Oficina Legal Para Hispanos, P.C., owned by one Geoffrey S. Stewart, Esq. The settlement agreement (styled as an "Assurance of Discontinuance") between the AG's Office and OLPH/Stewart contains some interesting findings and terms. Specifically, Stewart was employing people not licensed to practice law to provide legal services to the "immigrants" (the correct terminology, in most cases, should be "illegal aliens").

The settlement terms include, but are not limited to: (A) Oficina Legal Para Hispanos, P.C will be dissolved, (B) Stewart will permanently cease and desist from practicing immigration law or providing "immigration-related services," and (C) OLPH and/or Stewart shall pay the AG's office $30,000 for their trouble (via wire transfer or certified check -- no personal checks accepted).

Giving credit where credit is due, I thank our AG.

[Geoffrey Stewart happens to be the son of another attorney (ex-attorney) who has gotten into trouble for the "legal services" she provided to aliens. His mom is Lynne Stewart.].

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Accessing the Mosque

A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man's spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him.

This should tell anyone who, heretofore, was uninformed and/or in denial, all they need to know about what imposition of the Muslim Sharia law would mean to our freedoms in America.

Whether of not the Saudis actually inflict such a barbaric punishment is of little moment -- the fact that the Saudi judge even made the inquiry speaks volumes. Given that the Saudis have already co-opted at least one dentist to inflict a punitive whole-mouth tooth extraction upon a Saudi convict, the Saudi medical establishment is already perverted enough to crank out paraplegics and quadriplegics in the name of Islam.

As noted by Herbert London, The Ground Zero Mosque is, in all likelihood, financed by the Saudis. Which means that the Mosque, if built, would have the Saudi brand of Islamism. And, Saudi money or not, there can be little doubt that the construction of the Mosque at Ground Zero is viewed by the Islamists as a step towards the conquest of America, and the eventual imposition of Muslim Sharia law.

The New York City Department of Buildings will, no doubt, review the plans for the Mosque to ensure that it will be wheelchair-accessible.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stop Teasing the Y Children

Hardly a week goes by that I fail to receive at least one solicitation letter from one or more rabbis, imploring me to help some family in distress. For the record, I do open my wallet to them now and then; some of the solicitors are very suspect, while others I know and trust. Like everything else, these have to be evaluated on their individual merits, and on the merits of my own financial situation.

More often than not, the family at issue is headed by an individual who has taken up a life of learning Torah, to the extent that he has not prepared himself to earn a living to support his family. This is a departure from some of the great Rabbis of yore who had gainful employment in their occupations, including, but not limited to, Maimonides, Rashi, Hillel, Yochanan HaSandalar, et cetera.

The one I received this week begins with a particularly troubling passage:

"The Y. children of Yerushalayim have a deep dark secret that they guard fiercely. Their mother is emotionally not well, and their father is buckling under the burden. The children keep the situation quiet, because they don't want to be teased or ostracized."

Hold it right there! They are telling me that this Jerusalem family lives in a social group where it is the norm to tease and ostracize the families of those with mental illnesses!

Okay, so it is hardly unusual for people to make mock of mental illness. But deep in my heart, I do believe that if the rabbinical leaders of this Jerusalem community would take a stand, then the taunting and teasing of families of mentally ill people would instantaneously cease.

When I was in junior high school, there were some tensions amongst the guys on the track team (these tensions happen to have had racial undertones). Our coach put his foot down very early on, and very definitively, and made it clear that no taunts or other derogatory statements would be tolerated. The negative comments stopped, as did most of the tensions.

If my track coach did it, then the rabbis of the Holy City of Jerusalem can also do it.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Private Matter?

It seems that Rudy Giuliani's daughter got pinched for shoplifting after being caught on camera secreting more than $100 in make-up from a Sephora store in Manhattan.

There are two aspects to the news report that warrant commentary here.

A. "Store managers, after calling police, said they didn't want to press charges against her, [NYPD spokesperson Paul] Browne said. But police arrested her on a petty larceny charge, he said. … … The Manhattan district attorney's office had not decided whether to file formal charges against her, office spokeswoman Erin Duggan said."

Is Caroline Giuliani being accorded a special pass because she is Rudy Giuliani's daughter? It may well make good business sense to not press charges against her. For one thing, it takes up the manager's time to go to court as a witness. Moreover, so long as no charges are filed, everyone can come to an understanding whereby Caroline not only will never do it again, but may even pe persuaded to come back and spend her money at the store. If charges are filed, the store will forever lose a customer.

But is the same standard being applied to Caroline Giuliani as would be applied to anyone else's daughter who gets caught shoplifting cosmetics at Sephora?

B. "Her father, through a spokeswoman, said the case was a personal matter and asked the media to respect her privacy."

This time I beg to differ with Rudy! Criminal charges are, by definition, public causes of action. Unless and until Caroline is acquitted, or charges dropped, the public has an interest in the case.

Query: How much of a "private matter" were the criminal cases brought in the Southern District of New York when Rudolph Giuliani was serving as the United States Attorney there?

Quite frankly, I am of the sentiment that the criminal charges at issue are so petty and picayune and penny-ass that if the victim (the Sephora cosmetics store) is okay with letting them slip, then the government resources should not be burdened by the prosecution of the case. This is particularly so in light of the fact that Caroline Giuliani is apparently not a hardened criminal, and can be swiftly rehabilitated to return to her place as a law-abiding citizen in society (not to mention a spender of money to stimulate the sagging economy).

But the public needs reassurances that Caroline's case is not being spotted any special favors.

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Semper Paratus or Faulty Mental Apparatus?

News item: "Coast Guard allows toxic chemical use on Gulf oil"

"The U.S. Coast Guard has routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of toxic chemical a day to break up oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico despite a federal directive that the chemicals be used only rarely on surface waters, congressional investigators said Saturday after examining BP and government documents."

As I recall, it was less than two months ago that the Coasties were holding the hawsers on the oil skimmer ships because of various Jones Act and OSHA technicalities. Why couldn't they come through with the emergency waivers then, when waivers were really needed?

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