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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

LIRR Beer Ban

Following an uptick in assaults on its conductors by intoxicated passengers on late night weekend trains, the Long Island Rail Road has issued an experimental ban on alcoholic beverages on all trains leaving Penn Station between 12 Midnight and 5 AM on Saturdays and Sundays.

Quite frankly, it wouldn't really affect me all that much if at all.  I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of times I have had occasion to take trains leaving Penn Station during that time window during the past 20+ years.  And, quite frankly, I would not typically be imbibing alcoholic beverages during those hours.

Yes, after a day in the city (particularly a hot sweltering summer day in New York), I do regularly enjoy ONE cold beer during my commute home on the LIRR.  But I hasten to note that:

A.  I drink only one beer.

B.  If I will be driving home from the station (as distinguished from taking a cab, walking or catching a ride with my wife or other driver), the last sip from the bottle is completed by the time the train leaves Jamaica Station, so that I have adequate detox time.

And it sort of makes sense.  Many if not most alcohol imbibers who board the train at Penn Station at those hours already have done some world class imbibing in the bars and restaurants of Manhattan.  And the LIRR cannot fail to take some action to protect its employees.

And it is tailored relatively narrowly to address a particular problem.

Yet, the new LIRR ban on alcoholic beverages for late night weekend trains bothered me.  I now have figured out why.

Those of us who live on Long Island are treated as second-class citizens by the legal system of New York.  We have more restrictions and burdens than other areas of the State (except New York City) when it comes to firearms licensing and driver licensing.  We are subject to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's special tax on businesses.  And our own real estate taxes, which are redistributed to the people of New York City, are a greater percentage of our properties' fair market values than the real estate taxes in NYC.

So here comes the MTA, imposing a beer ban on the LIRR (but not, it seems, the Metro North commuter railroad).  This is yet another instance of Long Island residents being treated as legally incompetent wards in need of guardianship.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blanket Condemnation:

I have been (and still am) inordinately busy, what with the holidays, the out-of-town excursions, dealing with Dad's estate and helping Mom cope with her new condition of widowhood, deadline, deadlines and more deadlines, plus my normal teaching and law practice routine. Accordingly, I have not, until now, had the opportunity to wish all of my friends a Happy Passover or Easter, as the case may be, and so that is now done herewith.

Pesach [Hebrew for Passover] for us was uneventful. My wife's Cousin Shira had to cancel what has become her annual Pesach visit. We did miss her, but we enjoyed the privacy and intimacy which our respective schedules have, of late, denied us (our son being preoccupied with his own Pesach schedule this year).

Anyway, about that shooting rampage in Tulsa last Friday (Good Friday for those of the Christian faith):

If, arguendo, the news media stories are to be taken at face value, this would be a case of a white person indiscriminately killing black people because one or more persons who happened to have been black killed his father.

[I know, I know: Jake England, the prime suspect, does seem to have racial features and lifestyle habits and attributes characteristic of Native Americans, but for the sake of argument, we're now going along with the mainstream media story line.].

Imprimis, Jake England is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and this posting does not purpose to prove his guilt by the familiar "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. But if the reported evidence plays out any manner near the way I expect it to play out, he will likely be found guilty of some offense, at which point the presumption would no longer pertain. For now, his guilt is purely speculative. In the real world, England is hardly an exemplar of class or social grace.

But back to the news media story line: A white man went and indiscriminately shot up black people at random, in retaliation for his father's death, which was caused by one or more persons who happened to have been black.

On that score, I will note that the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, and their ilk (including, perhaps, Barack Hussein Obama), have all spewed venom indiscriminately blaming the entire white race for past wrongs done to black people by individuals who happened to have been white. Never mind that many, many white people, including Abraham Lincoln, William Wilberforce, John Jay, Thomas Paine, et cetera, contributed heavily to the abolitionist effort, without which there still might be slavery in America today.

But if so many Black leaders and followers habitually tweet the line of blanket condemnation of the entire white race for all of the black people's problems, then why should it come as a surprise that a white person would indiscriminately take out his anger on the entire black race for what a few specific black people did to his father?

Labels: , ,