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, April 28, 2015

The Rioting in Baltimore



As noted in the 14 April 2015 posting, we are in the process of selling our house and relocating to Israel for what is shaping up to be a protracted period.  This, of course, has consumed our time and energies in ways that go beyond what will be covered in this posting; our realtor now is trying to get everyone together in the same room for the sale closing, with her sights on the middle of next week. This will leave us legally homeless; not to worry, though, because my wife's sister and her husband have graciously offered to put us up in their home for the few weeks between the closing and our departure.   And the date of our departure is now subject to change; my wife's gig in Israel is trying to get her to start a few weeks earlier than planned.  We shall see how that one plays out.

One thing that has garnered the attention of me and my wife is the disconnect between, on one hand, what we read in the news media and hear on campus; and on the other hand, our own experiences in making the various and sundry relocation arrangements.  Last week we visited, among other things, three banks, one insurance agency, a dry cleaner, and, in the case of my wife, a nail manicurist and a wig stylist.  Not one of the personnel encountered in those visits was Jewish, yet, each and every one of them expressed more than a little bit of excitement and congratulations for our upcoming move.  On the other hand, while I did encounter similar enthusiasm from various contacts on the college campus where I teach, there were a few instances of getting "that look" from some far-leftward leaning academics; one even made a comment bordering on the derogatory.  Considering the sources of the comments and attitudes, pro and con, we know that we are doing the right thing.

So, in the strictest sense, the Baltimore riots are not a direct concern for me because I will be far from Baltimore very soon, and have no plans to visit Baltimore between now and our move.

Except that this presumes that the Baltimore rioting will stay in Baltimore.  I remember the Long Hot Summer of 1967, and the 1968 riots which used Dr. Martin Luther King's murder as a pretext for lawlessness.  I am not a gambling man, but if I were, you would need to offer me very, very long odds to make book on the Baltimore rioting not spreading elsewhere.  And if the riots come to New York City, there are some areas of Long Island that are naturals to follow suit. 

And I will be frequenting various and sundry locales in New York City and on Long Island on an almost daily basis, probably until I leave for Israel.

I am willing to bet that IF New York City remains reasonably tranquil, then Long Island would be spared any major rioting.  And that big IF depends, in no small measure, upon how Mayor Bill de Blasio plays his cards.  Blaz ran on a "progressive" (read "Far Left") platform that implicitly if not explicitly promised to hand out lots big pie slices to various disadvantaged minority groups.  Now that Blaz is ensconced in Gracie Mansion, he needs to act like an executive and run the city -- which means making do with limited resources, and saying "No" to more than a few supplicants.  He has already developed friction with many groups typically thought of as his constituency, and which did in fact support his bid for Mayor.

I note that he moved very quickly to smooth over the rift that developed with the Police Department.  This, I do believe, was motivated not so much from the bombast of Patrick Lynch, the police union head honcho, but by de Blasio's pragmatic knowledge that he needs the NYPD to keep order in the city.

But given Blaz's engagement of the likes of Al Sharpton as bedfellows, his relationship with NYPD can never be ideal.

Everyone seems to be watching Baltimore.  I'm watching New York City.

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