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, February 26, 2013

C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, 1916 - 2013

The career highlights of C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD are well known internationally.  Dr. Koop's accomplishments before, during and after he served as Surgeon General have been profuse, and cannot be exhaustively listed within the confines of this posting.  He was given a long life, and had much, much to show for it.

I shall not now give personal particulars on how Dr. Koop helped me, other than to acknowledge, with sincere and deep gratitude, that he did.  He truly is one of my heroes, and his passing today at the age of 96 does not in the least change his status as such.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Koop.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Holding and Folding the Race Cards

Group membership identity is a natural human (and, for that matter, animal) tendency.   It is not necessarily a bad thing.  Unfortunately, it is often used as a pretext for condoning if not supporting the poor behavior of particular group members.

Such a theme reverberated in this Blog's posting of 17 February 2010, which discussed the attitudes of certain Jewish groups and individuals to the execution of Florida cop-killer Martin Grossman, and the flak I as a Jew took on account of my refusal to subscribe to the supplications for clemency.

This is not to say that lenity doesn't have a place in the criminal justice system, but in the particular case of Martin Grossman, the criminal's serious recidivistic crime squarely warranted the penalty which was in fact imposed.

Within the African-American community are some very vocal spokespersons who are all too quick to use membership in their group as justification for excusing and encouraging the most violent of criminals.  It is not the purpose of this posting to analyze the reasons why such individuals hold so much sway in the African-American community, nor the connection of the actions and attitudes precipitated by such individuals to the reported percentage statistics of African-Americans as lawbreakers.  Those of us who advocate for a government of laws and not persons should be rooting for all law-abiding citizens regardless of race or ethnicity, and should support the imposition of the appropriate negative consequences upon those who violate the law, without regard to race or ethnicity.

With that as a background, I note that SEIU 1199, the scummiest of the scum as far as labor unions go, has cancelled a pro-gun control rally in Albany for fear of causing racial friction (or, more specifically, racial friction which would be inconvenient for their agenda).  SEIU's rank-and-file membership is largely Black and Hispanic, while the more vocal opponents of Governor Cuomo's gun-grab law are white.  There is no doubt in my mind that Cuomo, with his aspirations to sit in the Oval Office, was behind 1199's change in plan, being that he stands to have mud splattered upon him if a racial confrontation ensues.

My observations and comments on this:

A.  Given the historic use of gun control as a means of oppressing the African-American community, it is they who should logically be opposed to the Cuomo gun grab.

B.  Whatever the reasons may be for the disproportionate tendencies of Black people to commit crimes, the persons most likely to be the victim of a violent Black criminal are themselves Black.

C.  A story now making the rounds is that of Deyfon Pipkins, a Black man with a prior criminal record who was shot dead while in the act of burglarizing a home.  What is not being discussed in the news clips is that the event occurred in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, a predominately Black neighborhood.  The homeowner who performed the valuable service of permanently retiring Pipkins from the active criminal league's roster has not yet been identified, but there is a better than even chance that he is Black and/or Hispanic.

Maybe the SEIU 1199 leadership fears that this, too, might fall onto the table if it were to play its race cards at its now-scrubbed gun-grab rally.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Weigh In for the 2nd Amendment!

From today's Federal Register:  A posting by the Justice Department:

"Following the President’s Plan to reduce gun violence released on January 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is conducting a review of existing and emerging gun safety technologies and plans to issue a report on the availability and use of those technologies. NIJ seeks input from all interested stakeholders to help inform its technology assessment and market research of existing and emerging gun safety technologies that would be of interest to the law enforcement and criminal justice communities and others with an interest in gun safety ... ..."

Now I am not so idealistic as to believe that the Justice Department folks behind this Federal Register posting are all that open to any suggestions which deviate from their agenda.

But they need to hear from those who value their 2nd Amendment rights.  We wouldn't want them to think that nobody cares!

So follow the directions and submit your comments.

Because if you do not speak up, you will have forfeited your moral standing to complain.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Choosing Brains over Assholes

Piss poor parenting has been around for quite some time, but it seems to be on the upswing of late.  Not that anybody is a perfect parent.  A child does not need a 100% perfect parent, only a suitable parent.  Indeed, individuals with significant character flaws have been found to be quite suitable parents.  The example that comes immediately to mind is Mia Farrow, who, for all of her many flaky quirks, was found, hands down, to be quite suitable as a parent of nine children at the time (she subsequently adopted six more).

Some people are not suitable as parents.  Like Melody M.  Melody's son has various mental health issues, which are not helped by Melody's refusal to participate in his therapy.  Melody "does not participate in the child's counseling because she does not like the therapist or agree with the recommendation that the child needs structure and should follow the same routine in both households." Melody "utilized Facebook to insult and demean the child, who was then 10 years old, by, among other things, calling him an 'asshole.' She testified without remorse that she did so because that is what '[h]e is,' and she thought it was important for her Facebook friends to know this."

Res ipsa loquitur!

On the other hand, the kid's behavior and scholastic performance have improved since Robert, Melody's ex, attained sole custody.

This isn't just another dispute between spiteful exes, but rather, the stacking up of a totally clueless and irresponsible airhead against a rational, stable and competent parent. 

But multiply Melody by the number of totally clueless and irresponsible airhead parents (term used advisedly) in this country, hazard a guess as to the percentage of such cases which never even come before the courts (and therefore never get rectified), project the career paths of the kids whose situations are never judicially scrutinized, and it then becomes somewhat easier to explain why we live in a country where the population elects and re-elects public officials who are so inimical to the public interest.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Legend on the Gate

As someone who has been lecturing in front of classes on college campuses for nearly two decades, I strongly support academic freedom and free speech on our college campuses.  This, of course, means that there will be ideas expressed which I will find quite repulsive.  But students of mine have received A's for term papers espousing viewpoints totally opposite my own when they write the papers logically and document their research well.

As recently mentioned in the posting of 1 February 2013, some anti-Israel students and faculty at Brooklyn College had planned a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions event.  Karen Gould, President of Brooklyn College, defended the scheduling of the event, insisting that academic freedom was paramount, and that the hosting of the event by Brooklyn College did not necessarily imply agreement with it.

So far, I must grudgingly back Karen on this one.

And, quite frankly, the protesters, with their retinue of elected officials in agreement (read pandering for votes), did play their hand a bit strongly, thus casting the BDS people into an underdog position to elicit public sympathy

Except, when the event did occur, some people were reportedly ejected from the event because they were Jewish.  This is NOT academic freedom.  And Brooklyn College's VP for Student Affairs, Milga Morales, stood by and declined to intervene to put a stop to it.

Brooklyn College's official mouthpiece claimed that the ejectees had misbehaved and were unruly, but an audio recording strongly suggests that Brooklyn College's official version of the events was an out and out lie.

This is likely a game changer.  Now, Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor of the City University of New York, of which Brooklyn College is a part, has ordered an investigation of the event.

I will note that according to CUNY's Manual on General Policy, not only is such discrimination prohibited, but the Presidents of the individual colleges (that's you, Ms. Gould!) are responsible for ensuring that such a policy is carried out.

The politics of CUNY in particular, and New York in general, are too complex for me to predict with certainty the repercussions from this event, other than that there will be some sort of repercussions.  But Chancellor Goldstein, Chief Counsel Schaffer (who is the point man for the investigation), President Gould and VP Morales cannot all emerge unscathed from the event.  I would not be surprised in the least to see some personnel changes in the coming months.  And I do not expect Goldstein or Schaffer to throw their capes over the mud so that Gould or Morales can keep their slippers clean when they walk.

The main entrance to the Brooklyn College campus has a wrought iron gate with the words "Brooklyn College" wrought into the lintel.  What Goldstein and Schaffer do or do not do will determine whether at two-word legend above the gate should be updated to read "Arbeit Macht Frei."

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Monday, February 11, 2013

More SuperStorm Sandy Damage by the Occupiers

The OccuShmucks of Zuccotti Park notoriety decided that they would try to cultivate some goodwill from a gullible public by purporting to help the victims of SuperStorm Sandy, and thus rebranded themselves as "Occupy Sandy."  Who, after all, could criticize them for helping genuine victims of a genuine disaster?

Well, there now seem to be questions as to just what happened to the $700K+ raised by Occupy Sandy.  The Charities Bureau of the New York Attorney General's Office reportedly is curious regarding the OS organization's disposition of the funds they collected.

Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York AG, is to be found towards the leftward side of the political spectrum.  But even he is not entirely trusting of Occupy Sandy.

It is too early to tell whether this will result in criminal charges, or whether the OccuShmucks' rich uncle, Nazi collaborator George Soros, will bail them out.

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