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, February 20, 2015

Setting the Tone for the Day

Some relevant sections of New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law:

VTL § 1110(a):  "Every person shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device applicable to him placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this title."

VTL § 1102. "No person shall fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer or flagperson or other person duly empowered to regulate traffic."

There is this one 4-way intersection not too far from my home.  One of the streets comes in at an odd angle, and it is a cul-de-sac with about 9 homes, plus a driveway that accesses the rear lot of a business establishment.  This street gets a very short green light, and the cycle of the traffic light skips this street every other time.  I have never timed it, but I would guess that in a three minute period, this street might get 15 or 20 seconds.  It is rare that more than 3 cars are waiting for a green to exit this street on to the main highway.  The residents of this quiet street apparently are quite content with the arrangement.

But today, there was a crew doing some work on the main highway, so they routed eastbound traffic through the business's parking lot, around to the back driveway, and onto this street.  And a flag crew (two flagmen and one flagwoman) directed the traffic through the intersection.

Now, according to the two relevant sections of New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law, whenever there is a duly authorized person directing traffic, the duly authorized person trumps the traffic light.  Indeed, this is the law in most if not all states.

So what happened?  I was in the line of cars that was directed through the parking lot of the business, and through that intersection.  And the delay would likely have not been too significant -- Except for the two shmucks who insisted on waiting until the light turned green, while disregarding the flagwoman's directives to drive through the intersection and onto the main highway.

What should have taken four minutes at worst took about nine or ten minutes.

And that was about 10 AM.  I shall not now detail the other frustrations, caused by various and sundry stupid idiots, that punctuated my day today.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

It is Wrong to Gloat over Someone Else's Misfortunes

And so, I am not gloating over someone else's misfortunes.  But sometimes, the act of not gloating presents some formidable challenges.  Like when the person who is now incurring the misfortunes is (A) a soapbox global warmist who, not too many months ago, dressed me down and called me a stupid ignoramus for believing that the fears of global warming are grossly exaggerated and that the anthropogenic component of any supposed changes in weather and climate is minimal; and (B) this person lives in Boston, which is now on the receiving end of some very, very frigid winter weather, the likes of which have not been visited upon the city in many, many years.

So no, I am not gloating over my wife's Cousin Diane being stuck in Boston and getting her buns all frozen by weather conditions that are the antithesis of global warming.

Diane, I know that Long Island isn't all that much warmer than Boston (though we have gotten much less snow these past weeks), and it certainly isn't the tropical paradise of Miami.  But if you and Marc and the kids want to visit us on Long Island for whatever respite it gives you from the cold weather in Boston, we would certainly be pleased to have you as our guests.

And if you don't mention anything about the ambient outdoor temperatures, then neither shall I.

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Another Turning for Congressional Democrats?

Interesting things are happening; not all of them bad, by any stretch of the imagination.  Been preoccupied, will continue to be preoccupied, and really shouldn't be wasting too much time in recreational activities, blogging included.

Nevertheless ...

Now the Congressional Democrats are wringing their hands over the question of whether or not to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's upcoming address to Congress.  Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress, a prerogative, so says the White House, reserved for the Executive Branch and not the Legislative Branch.  And now, Obama is applying some no-so-veiled pressure to the Democrats in either chamber to absent themselves from Netanyahu's address.

It certainly is their right to do so.  But, pray tell, how many of those congresscritters who now are entertaining even the slightest suggestion of a thought to do so were questioning the propriety of NYPD rank-and-file's turning of their backs upon New York City's Commissar de Blasio during the funerals of slain NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu?

Turning on Blaz was labeled as disrespectful; on Netanyahu, not so much.

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