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, April 25, 2016

Power Corrupts; Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

We had a wonderful Pesach Seder with some old (and some new) friends in the Holy City of Jerusalem.  For us, it was a celebration of our liberation.

One person who may well be viewing it from a different perspective is former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon  Silver (of whom I posted here on 22 January 2015 ) .  He faces sentencing in about 2 weeks for his bribery conviction on bribery charges.

In his heyday, Shelly Silver alone could determine which bills were put up for a vote in the New York State Assembly.  The common street wisdom was that Shelly Silver looked out for the best interests of the religious Jewish community (of which I was a member when I lived in New York State, and of which I remain a member here in Israel), and that if a few pieces of another kind of silver ended up in his pocket, well, that could be overlooked.

I, for one, did not and still do not buy into that line of reasoning.  If anything, Shelly should be held to a higher standard;  it ultimately serves the Jewish community's best interests to have a just and sound-working government.

It therefore is, in a sense, somewhat perplexing that so many letters of support from so many quarters are coming in to beseech Judge Caprioni for leniency when she sentences Shelly.  After all, certain groups in New York and American can thank Shelly for allowing the same-gender marriage bill to pass the New York State Legislature.

Understand that I do not personally concern myself with the living arrangements entered into by consenting adults, but continue to be vehemently opposed to according same-gender arrangements all of the same legal status and benefits on par with one-man-one-woman marriage.  The governmental approval of same-gender marriage has opened the door to the polygamous marriages practiced by many Muslims, and imperils American values.

[And speaking of intimate personal relationships, the U.S. Attorney's office has put forward evidence, for consideration in imposing sentence, of Shelly's alleged extramarital affairs for the purpose of debunking the notion that Shelly Silver is a scrupulous person, bribery conviction notwithstanding (I have not read the evidence, and accordingly, proffer no opinion and place not bets one way or the other as to whether he has or has not been cheating on his wife).

Actually, I sort of do understand why so many have stepped forward to speak up for Shelly Silver.  He has done much for those who have greased his palm, and those who have shmeered him are not ingrates.

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