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, January 27, 2015

Snowed In on Long Island

I have mixed feelings about Governor Andrew Cuomo's Executive Order banning ALL travel by non-emergency personnel on roads in selected New York counties, including my own on Long Island.  On one hand, it does smack of prudence and intelligence, and it certainly is good advice to stay off the roads if you don't have to be on them during this current blizzard, which has credibly threatened to get worse in the coming hours.  And by not being on the roads, you are one less stranded motorist the emergency personnel will have to rescue or recover.

And quite frankly, it is the excuse I need to not go in to teach tomorrow (though my college is also closed anyway).

On the other hand, it does have more than a minor component of nannyism.  I have been on Long Island for 20-something years, but before moving here, I had lived in an area where the type of snowfall we are going to get over the next 24 hours is hardly unheard of.  The population of Long Island, and the governmental authorities here, don't know how to deal with any snowfall in excess of 6 inches.  And because they depend upon Nanny for so many things, it makes them susceptible to despotic control.

I have some paperwork to do, so we'll keep ourselves entertained.  If we really get bored, we can always read some Robert Service poems aloud to one another.  My wife, as a hospital physician, is technically an emergency person; whether she is actually called in to the hospital is not a sure thing at this point.  And if my hip pain subsides, I might take a walk out in it all.

But never mind us; my Yooper cousins are, no doubt, laughing with derision at Andy Cuomo as he leads the struggle against what amounts to an ordinary breath of fresh air for them.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Cloud on the Agudath Israel has a Filthy Silver Lining

Recall that the posting of 30 June 2011 discoursed about the chickens coming home to roost at the poultry farms of the Agudath Israel of America (and also passingly mentions the Catholic Church, the particulars of which are deferred to those having greater expertise than my own on the organization).  The thesis was that those two organizations were getting payback for abandoning the high ground of morality, even as they asserted the morality arguments for their positions (which happened to be with respect to the New York same-gender marriage legislation).  The posting specifically mentions the Agudath Israel's political entanglement with the now soon-to-be-ex New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Well, today, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has announced the arrest of Shelly Silver on various corruption-related charges. The announcement gives links to the Criminal Complaint and the Seizure Affidavit.

Shelly is, of course, presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  It does seem, however, that there are multiple money trails that the prosecutors are prepared to reveal at trial; the case against Mr. Silver seems quite strong.

I reassert my contentions that any organization that purports itself to be the guardian and defender of the moral high ground cannot long maintain its credibility by insinuating itself under the bedsheets of the corrupt and immoral politicians.

It does not take much clairvoyance to predict that there will be repercussions in various and sundry places.  It may prove very interesting to see who else Shelly takes with him in his descending trajectory.  Keep this one on your radar screens.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just How Bad is the World's Worst Mom?

A few years back, I had a brief meeting with Lenore Skenazy when she was writing for the latest incarnation of the New York Sun when it was still in its print edition (she still occasionally writes a piece for the now online-only publication).  She had gotten my name from one of her many contacts, and briefly picked my brain for background information on a particular topic; she used it as fodder for one of her articles.

Lenore subsequently gained notoriety as the "World's Worst Mom" when she wrote about how she allowed her 9-year old son Izzy to ride home alone on the New York City subway system.

I received an e-mail from Lenore .  She now is advancing from her Free Range Kids website to a reality show entitled, of course, "World's Worst Mom." Lenore has obviously kept my e-mail address along with all of the others she has accumulated.  She is promoting her new show.

I am not suggesting that there is a "one size fits all" approach to parenting.  I am not denying that too many parents give too many liberties to their children.   What is undeniable, however, is that too many children are being raised without learning how to reason for themselves, without learning how to solve their own problems.  I see a rising generation of children who have an external locus of control.  We are raising a generation of automatons  who are naturals for a despotic takeover.

Whatever might be said about Lenore's method of parenting, it is the antithesis of raising wimps for children.

And so, while I will not necessarily endorse all of Lenore's parenting decisions, I will use this opportunity to plug her "World's Worst Mom" show.  A sample clip is to be found here.  The show premieres tomorrow on Discovery Life at 9 PM Eastern.

Best of luck to you, Lenore!

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 19, 2015

De Blasio is still de Blasio: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Less than one hour after this posting is posted, New York City's alleged Mayor Bill de Blasio is scheduled to hit the stage in Harlem, at Al Sharpton's National Action Network for the annual tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

Put another way, Mayor Sharpton has invited his sock puppet de Blazio to help him stir up racial tensions and disharmony.  Because if racial harmony were ever to break out, and people were to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, then Sharpton would fall behind on his car and mortgage and credit card payments, be evicted from his luxury condo, and be sleeping in the lower corridors of Penn Station with the other homeless who have been attracted by New York City's welfare magnet, but who would rather not knuckle under to the extortionist gangs that effectively run the City's official homeless shelters.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Je Suis Hyper Cacher

The political inclinations of Charlie Hebdo magazine are definitely not my political inclinations.  And I am in no way a francophile.  My only experience on French soil was a stopover at Orly Airport for a few hours back in the 1970's; that was plenty for me.

This is not to say that I will never visit France, and not even to say that I would resist it if my travels and fortunes somehow bring me to transit French territory.  I have no plans at the present time, however, to do so.

And if I would have been in Paris this past weekend, then I likely would have made some public gesture of disapproval for the Muslim terrorist massacre at Charlie Hebdo; maybe even held a pen up in the air.  I certainly understand and appreciate and endorse the notion that threats to freedom of the press transcend political orientations of the materials published in any given tabloid.

Now that I've gotten that squared away, I hasten to add that you will not find too much in the way of any "Je Suis Charlie" paraphernalia on my person or property.  Yes, I do appreciate the millions who showed up in Paris in support of Charlie Hebdo (or, at least, its right to be Charlie Hebdo).

But, concurrent with the Charlie Hebdo massacre was another act of terrorism at the Hyper Cacher food market (the one in Porte de Vincennes; one of a chain of kosher supermarkets in France).  Four were killed there.  All were killed because they were Jews (so much for the old narrative that opposition to Israel does not mean hatred of Jews).

Had the Hyper Cacher incident occurred on its own, without the concurrence of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, how many of those millions who packed the streets of Paris holding the "Je Suis Charlie" placards would have cared about the Hyper Cacher carnage?  How many would have taken to the streets had the 1974 Kiryat Shmona massacre, in which 18 Jews, including babies, were brutally murdered by Arab terrorists?  A very, very, very small minority, methinks.  And methinks that a larger number of them, even if covertly, actually applaud the killing of Jews.

And so, while the masses all express their outrage over the Charlie Hebdo massacre, I will express my solidarity with the victims of the Hyper Cacher massacre.

Je Suis Hyper Cacher

Labels: , , ,