Category Archives: A Rye Oldtimer

Column: ISIS: What’s in a name?

President Obama has been chided of late for not using a phrase like “Islamic extremists” to describe those who call themselves by the Arabic equivalent of “Islamic State.” He apparently does not want to lend credence to the notion that those extremists are, or behave in a fashion that can accurately be called “Islamic.” I […]

Column: United Nations at the plate

The United Nations has been around a long time, 70 years in fact. Compared with the mere decade and a half that its League of Nations predecessor survived, seven decades is a very long time. And no one responsible is today talking about putting the U.N. out of its misery. Why is the U.N. still […]

Column: How we remember our presidents

When I was a boy, we celebrated President Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12, the actual date of his birth; and we celebrated President Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22, his actual date of birth. Of the two dates, the 22nd was the one more likely to be taken off from school or work. Nowadays, you hardly […]

Column: Cold weather, Soviet style

The late writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn made the world aware of punishment in a Soviet gulag when he issued “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch.” As I recall the story, Ivan is not sure why he was detained in the first place. But he is now doing a multi-year sentence in frigid Siberia. Despite […]

Column: Who controls city speech

Cities can speak with various voices. They can speak formally, through ordinances or resolutions. They can speak through actions, such as choosing to enforce or not enforce rules. They can speak by following one or another policy. Not very often does city speech figure explicitly in judicial decisions. But it happened last month in a […]

Column: Courts watching cops watching mosques

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit sits in a courthouse in Philadelphia, Penn., where I used to spend time as a young Philadelphia lawyer. The term “Philadelphia lawyer” used to be considered a bit shady. Actually, I believe it started as a compliment, being based on the successful defense of New […]

Column: Middle East parties, tread warily

The standing of the Palestinian Authority, PA, is bound to have been enhanced by the appearance on television of its President Mahmoud Abbas front and center in Paris among heads of state and government including the prime minister of Israel. I do not criticize our president for his absence, since I have no knowledge of […]

Column: A year in review

Before getting into strictly Rye events over the past year, I want to emphasize three foreign affairs developments of great significance. The first is the rapid emergence of the Islamic State. The second is the decline of the Russian economy and of Putin’s prestige with the drop in oil prices. The third is the rapprochement […]

Column: Mario Cuomo, RIP

When I first became interested in serving as a judge, Gov. Cuomo appointed me to the New York State Supreme Court. It is a court that functions separately in the different counties. I presided at trials in three of them, New York, Orange and Westchester counties. All my cases were civil at that time, none […]