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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Semi-Colonial Dynamic

Per a New York Post article, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is now whining about the " semi-colonial dynamic" between New York City and New York State, and about the "arbitrary approval process in Albany" for the City to do what it wants to do.

Like most all other municipalities in the USA, New York City exists as a creature of the State in which it is situated (or, in the case of Washington, DC, the United States Congress).  New York City has long viewed Albany as its dedicated ATM machine (and was doing so even before there were ATMs).

I do agree with Blaz that NYC needs to go to Albany for too many non-fiscal approvals, most notably the City University of New York.  But New York City is treated differently than the rest of New York State for purposes of drivers' licensing, firearms permits, and other matters.

Problem is, New York City has long abused its ATM privileges in Albany.  My wife and I have been quite fortunate that our son has (for the past few years, at least) been fiscally responsible with our money.  We can now give him our credit card and not worry about him going on a spree with it.  But I know too many people whose children are not so responsible, many of whom have taken away their childrens' credit cards.  And I know a few who have declined to institute any such tough love measures, to the detriment of their children and to the detriment of their bank accounts.

New York City has cast itself in the role of a dependent colony of Albany.  Unless and until NYC starts showing some fiscal wisdom and stops the proverbial wallet from hemorrhaging, there should be nothing "semi" about the colonial dynamic between the City and the State.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

(Not) Missing Super Bowl 50

I did not watch the Super Bowl this year, primarily because I am 10 hours ahead of California time, and I had two important appointments the next day.  I needed the sleep more than the thrill. I could have gone over to a local establishment in my town, frequented by a largely Anglo crowd and possessing a large screen TV; I understand from acquaintances who did attend the all-nighter there that it was pretty good as far as Super Bowls go.  On account of the local alcoholic beverage control regulations, there were limitations on the service of intoxicating drinks during gametime hours.

I am not a fan of Lady Gaga, but, to her great credit, she at least did the National Anthem justice; unlike Beyonce, who insulted true Americans (and who was never a candidate for my adulation).  Quite frankly, I am more interested in the athletic aspect of the Super Bowl than in the show business aspects of the pre-game and half-time entertainment (though athletics has long morphed into show biz, including and especially at the Super Bowl.  The Romans had their Bread and Circuses, we have the Super Bowl and similar events).

The best football game I ever watched was back in the late 1970's, while I was in Georgia on business.  It was between two high school teams, and devoid of the hype and show production typical of major athletic events today.  Everyone on the field was there to play football, and the half-time show was just the respective schools' marching bands, who were there to play patriotic music.

Those were the days.

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