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, June 15, 2012


Lower Manhattan is always wall-to-wall people, more so than many areas of Midtown Manhattan.  My long day today brought me there for an appointment and then a meeting which happened to be almost directly across the street (Broadway) from one another, and thenceforth a dinner meeting in the Tribeca (TRIangle BElow CAnal Street) area. 

In Lower Manhattan you will always share the sidewalk with lots of other people. Had I stayed on Broadway just one hour longer, then I would have shared the sidewalks not only with Barack Hussein Obama (who was there to dedicate the One World Trade Center construction and then do some campaign fundraising), but also his retinue of sedan chair litter carriers, cup bearers, teleprompter technicians, SS men (I leave it to you, Dear Reader, to decide whether this stands for "Secret Service" or "Schutzstaffel") and other tax-dollar supported sycophants.

Which wouldn't be so bad, except that for every one of them there are a few hundred Obamatrons who would pay for the privilege of seeing The Messiah up front.

But, as I said, the timing got me out of the worst of that crowd.

Meanwhile, about 40 miles to the east of New York City, the Long Island Maritime Museum is hosting a Pirate Festival this weekend.  How asinine and absurd!  Pirates, you will recall, were the terrorists of their day.  Glorification of pirates is glorification of terrorism. [Never mind that I like Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.].

The U.S. Constitution (Art. 1, Section 8) authorizes Congress to grant Letters of Marque against pirates.  Maybe they should issue Letters of Marque against pirate festivals.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

What are the Stakes at Belmont?


With all due respect to those who are into horse racing, I personally am not.  Nevertheless, the sport's contribution to the arts, culture, and the economy cannot be ignored, and its social utility cannot be denied.

The Belmont Stakes is one of the major horse races in America if not the world, the horse's equivalent of the Super Bowl, the World Series or the Stanley Cup.  And just a few days ago, Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union which represents the track workers at the Belmont Race Track, was beating its war drums and talking about striking and thereby derailing this year's Belmont Stakes.

Well, the union all of a sudden let it slip that, labor disputes notwithstanding, the Belmont Stakes will still run, and then, there was an official announcement that the New York Racing Association and the union had come to an agreement.

Labor disputes are complex things.  There almost always is lots of behind-the-scenes motion which is not evident to the public.  But the timing on this one is very auspicious and coincidental.

Auspicious and coincidental, I dare suggest, to Governor Scott Walker's landslide success in the Wisconsin election which the unions insisted on having to recall him from office, and which constituted the equivalent of rubbing ten times the manure from all of the horses running in the Belmont Stakes into the union leaders' faces.

Perhaps some union leaders are now beginning to get in touch with the reality that unions do not enjoy the public popularity they had envisioned.

Another thing about the Belmont Stakes:  Isn't hippodromy a sport of the wealthy?  You know, the supposed 1% against whom the Occu-shmucks were protesting in Zuccotti Park?  If those one-percenters are so evil, wouldn't it then make sense for the unions to bring them down by holding a strike to cause the cancellation of the Belmont Stakes?

Could it be that the ninety-nine percenters who comprise Local 3 have too much of a vested economic interest in the success of the one percenters whose numbers comprise the horsey set?