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, October 27, 2013

I WAS on Trayon Christian's Side (sort of)

As is now making the rounds, Trayon Christian is now suing Barneys and the New York Police Department for what he claims to be an improper arrest.  Trayon, according to the story, purchased a $300+ Ferragamo belt at Barneys in Manhattan using his debit card, without incident.  After he left the store, some NYPD detectives allegedly collared him, took him in, questioned how he was able to afford a belt with such a price tag, and detained him for 2 hours before letting him go (the NYPD claims he was held for only about 40 minutes).  Trayon (or is it his lawyer?) claims that Barneys people fingered him in the first place, and then the NYPD cops made the arrest.

When the story first broke, I was willing to hear Trayon out. Yes, I do tend to give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt, but, professionally and personally, I know of instances where NYPDers have had occasion to carry matters way past acceptable extremes.  Police forces, for all the good they do society, do need to have checks and balances placed upon them, just as any other governmental function.

[As for this "Stop and Frisk" controversy now hitting the headlines in the New York papers, I do believe that S&F does have its uses, and that some reasonable guidelines can be worked out if (and this "if" may be a bit presumptuous) the parties on both sides get reasonable.].

Never mind that most whiners of the "Racial Profiling" song do not have clean hands.  Never mind the matter of the culture of gang violence over high-end designer clothing and accessories.  And never mind the question of whether and to what extent Trayon did or did not cooperate with the detectives in their inquiry.  I WAS willing to reserve judgment and hear him out.

But now, I am greater than 99% sure that there is a NYPD/Barneys side to the story, and that Trayon has lots of filthy laundry that will be aired.  I know because Al Sharpton has entered the picture, and has been welcomed by Trayon and his family.

I am still interested in hearing Trayon tell his story, but I am even more interested in hearing what Barneys and the NYPD will say.  And by "tell his story," I do not refer to the statements and stories and palabra hyped in the press; I mean pleadings and evidence in a court of law.

Something is highly likely to come out which will leave Trayon looking like something less than the innocent hard-working college student who saved his nickels and dimes to purchase the Ferragamo belt of his dreams.  Al Sharpton, by his insinuation into the case, has all but assured me of this.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Honoring Just One Soldier

Went to a funeral a few days ago.  The departed, a member of our congregation, was up in years and down in health.  We gave her a proper burial, for which the family is quite grateful.  As far as funerals go, this one was not particularly remarkable (this said without in any way negating or minimizing the importance of the decedent's life deeds).

But near where we buried the deceased, I noticed a gravestone for a soldier killed in action during WWII.  My camera was in my car, so, then and there, I decided to honor just one fallen soldier.  I snapped a photo of the gravestone, and then posted it on Find A Grave.

Barack Hussein Obama continues to diss America's veterans, and our fallen war heroes.  I know that I have done the right thing by honoring one of them.  And if a presidential insult to one is an insult to all, then surely a humble citizen's according of honor to one is an honor to all.

I have honored just one American soldier, and by doing so, have honored all of our soldiers and vets.

To all of the men and women now serving in uniform, remember that we are behind you all the way!

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Monday, October 07, 2013

Rest in Peace, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

News from Israel:  Within the past hour, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has passed away.  The news headlines will, no doubt, be full of biographicals and eulogies for him.

I am saddened by his passing, although, at age 93, his demise can hardly be characterized as untimely.

Most of what he did was very salutary to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people as a whole.  But he was not perfect or infallible.  Specifically, he did, figuratively speaking, manage to get his tallit soiled from his entanglement with the Shas political party, which, for all of its positive works, had and has more than its fair share of corruption.

More problematic is that the Shas party in Israel, with the implicit approval if not at the explicit direction of Rabbi Yosef as its spiritual leader, officially abstained but unofficially gave occasional support for the Oslo Agreements which have resulted in too, too many Jewish lives lost to terrorists.

In short, Rabbi Yosef played the political game, to the benefit -- and occasionally, to the detriment -- of the Jewish people.  In such regard, his batting average was, on the whole, far better than most.  But he did not bat 1000.

Rest in Peace, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

[The tallit is a garment worn during prayer, "prayer shawl" is a common English term for it.  The tallit is also sometimes used as a canopy under which a bride and groom do the marriage ceremony, and, even for unreligious Jewish males, is draped around the body of the deceased at burial.  Rabbi Yosef will obviously be buried in his.  Until I am buried in mine, I shall use it during prayer.

            The sun is rising.  Time for me to go put on my tallit and pray!].

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Friday, October 04, 2013

An Observation

Seems that this government shutdown is freezing the action on immigration proceedings (unless, of course, there is imminent danger of deportation or continued incarceration).

But the Federal Register still is kept updated on a daily basis.

Maybe if more aliens, legal and otherwise, knew what the Federal Register is, they wouldn't be so accepting of the Obama Administration's kabuki theater script which plays them as pawns.

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Making the Mandate Mandatory

The two most notorious (though not necessarily the most nefarious) provisions of the Obamacare law are the Individual Mandate to be covered by healthcare insurance and the Employer Mandate to provide healthcare insurance to employees.  This posting shall not now delve into the exacting details, the rules, the exceptions to the rules, or the perversions of the rules by those who should be enforcing them (i.e., the Obama administration).

It suffices to say that the Obama Administration has unilaterally taken upon itself to delay enforcement of the Employer Mandate, and the Republicans in Congress now seek to impose a commensurate delay in the enforcement of the Individual Mandate.  Conspicuous by its absence is the critical spotlighting by the Republicans of the Obama Administration's double standard in the matter, a publicity campaign along the lines of "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

Well now, Judicial Watch and Dr. Larry Kawa are doing what the Republicans should have been doing in that regard, except they are taking the opposite approach.  Instead of striving to delay the Individual Mandate, they have filed suit to enjoin the Administration from delaying the Employer Mandate.

The strategy is not only interesting, but also carries a level of integrity that has been missing from the whole process thus far.  Employers are, by and large, elated to have a one year's reprieve from the Employer Mandate.   Dr. Kawa is asking to be treated equitably, even if such equity means he will be deprived of his entitlement privilege.

We shall see how this one develops.  For the Congress.  For the Administration.  For the Employers.  For the Individual Mandate.

And, of course, for the Judiciary, whose integrity is being tested no less in the matter.

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