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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Predictive Analysis: A Rose by Another Name

Newsday has an "exclusive" in today's print edition [the Newsday website has a paywall and lots of flash player apps that crash browsers; this link is safer.]:  "New Way to Fight Crime," "LI Cops credit data-driven approach as key to historic drop."

Seems that the police in Nassau County and Suffolk County are using a statistical technique known as "predictive analysis" as an aid in their police work, and are quite pleased with the results.  So is this Long Island resident.  I applaud the law enforcement agencies in their very honorable achievements, and would be pleased to no end to see crime drop even further.

But, pray tell, what happens if the "predictive analysis" techniques cause the law enforcement officers to focus upon individuals who belong to social and ethnic groups which the liberals have labeled as downtrodden and disadvantaged, and which have accordingly been adopted by the liberals as surrogate victims for whom their hearts can hemorrhage a few pints of blood?  Wouldn't the liberals call it "profiling?"

How soon will a lawsuit be brought against the police in Nassau and/or Suffolk County, alleging that the same techniques now showcased and lauded by Newsday actually constitute "profiling?"  And how will Newsday, with its decidedly leftist slant on the news, slant that story?

Just wondering.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Purim 5774

Blog postings here have gotten sparse, but I now take this opportunity to squeeze in my wishes to all for a Happy Purim. Today's world has so many Hamans, to whom I say, G-d never lets you prevail in the end.

For me, this year's Purim is another low pressure cell in the perfect storm of grading my students' midterm exam papers, litigating some cases, getting my tax returns prepared and filed, dealing with some family matters, attending meetings, and providing some back room support to some friends who are countering a few modern day Hamans.

Have no idea when my next posting will be made, but please rest assured that all is well with me as I attend to my obligations.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Left is Left Out in Left Field

This is not the time and venue to go into a deep analysis of the current situation with Russia and the Ukraine, though it does have potential repercussions worldwide.  If Putin retakes the Crimea, for example, what will his thoughts be regarding Alaska?  If the United States is perceived as weak and unwilling to flex its military and diplomatic muscle, then will the Japanese decide to depend upon themselves for military defenses?  And if so, what will be their designs on Korea? (Remember that unrestrained Japanese military power has brought about incidents at Pearl Harbor, Bataan, Manila, Nanking and Alexandra Hospital, et cetera).  And so on.

My perspective is colored by the fact that I am a Jewish American, and all four of my grandparents came here from what is now the former Soviet Union.  Two of my grandparents were from the Ukraine and one was from the Crimea (which had not yet been officially turned over to the Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premier who himself was from the Ukraine).

I am concerned for the safety and well-being of the Jewish communities in the Ukraine and the Crimea. Historically, neither the Russians nor the Ukrainians have been particularly friendly towards us, nor have many other ethnic groups in the mix, including the Crimean Tartars, many of whom collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.  On the other hand, I have no quarrel with the Russian or Ukrainian or Tartar or anyone else who lives his or her life and minds his or her business and does not assault or attack others.

The situation is very complex, and very dangerous, to say the least.

On the college campus where I teach, there is a small but vocal group of leftists (or rather, far, far left of the left leftists) who regularly set up tables to pass out their pap propaganda in support of all kinds of leftist causes (and against freedom and American causes, but that is redundant).  Today, their tables were not set up in the usual locations, and the useful idiots were nowhere to be found in the Student Union building.

My foray to the Student Union building (I had a meeting with someone whose office happens to be there) was just a sample of one.  But I cannot help but wonder what the Red Lefties are trying to mentally wrestle with when they know that they will receive ridicule at best for backing the Comintern Conspiracy, and are too much owned on a lock, stock, and barrel basis by the Communist Party  to back the Ukrainians.

These are not fun times to be a leftist.

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