Sunday, July 18, 2021

My Candidacy for Town Supervisor of the Town of Olive

My chief interests in running are (1) property rights, (2) freedom of choice, (3) respect for home rule and localism, (4) volunteerism coupled with traditional values. I currently teach at Brooklyn College, a division of the City University of New York. I have been a full-time Olive resident since 2009 and first bought my house here in 1997. I went to summer camp in the area from 1964 to 1971.

Having grown up in Astoria, Queens, I attended the Bronx High School of Science, SUNY Binghamton, and Sarah Lawrence College. I finished two MBAs, one from UCLA and another in insurance from what is now the St. Johns University School of Risk Management. I went on for a Ph.D. in industrial and labor relations at Columbia.

I worked for ten years in corporate America in the human resource and employee benefit departments of several Fortune-listed corporations, including Johnson and Johnson’s corporate office.

In 1991 I served on the staff of the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee, where I worked on NYS pensions and the Office of General Services budget.

Since ‘91 I have worked as a professor of business administration and industrial relations, teaching about 10,000 students at Brooklyn College, NYU, Iona, and other colleges. I have published in excess of 30 academic articles on HR, employee benefits, and faculty political affiliation.

Issues

Taxes

Taxes need to remain low so that families and retirees are not forced to move away.  

 Town Plan and Property Rights

The town plan should emphasize residents' rights to own and use their property as they desire. 

Local Control 

Town authority should be retained and not transferred to New York City, New York State, or to regional authorities. 

Airbnb's

The issue of Airbnb's is complex. Externalities need to be balanced with property rights. My rights extend to where I affect yours.

Many local businesses profit from the money that comes into the town from Airbnb's. These include Tetta's Market, Olive's country store, the gas stations, Boiceville Supermarket, Marty's Mercantile, and property maintenance business. Many times the way an Airbnb is maintained is actually much nicer than if the owner themselves maintained it for personal use only and actually helps the neighborhood look nicer.  

Most local Airbnb's are quiet 99% of the time. These are two- or three-bedroom places that small families use to get away from the noise and bustle. In a few cases there may be issues concerning noise and disturbances.

I suggest the principle of observability. If noise and failure to maintain septic systems are not felt by neighbors, they are private. To the extent that they are observable by neighbors, then the neighbors can file a complaint, and the town must impose a fine to penalize legitimate harm.

There are additional questions of balance. Congestion that blocks thoroughfares cannot be allowed, but parked cars that do not obstruct are not an issue.

There is no need for regulation or inspection. These should be replaced by penalties that are sufficient to deter observable violations. In other words, penalties should be high, but regulatory costs and regulatory interference in property rights should be minimal. Maximal monetary penalties should be imposed on out-of-town visitors who are indifferent to residents' privacy, property, and personal rights.

An emphasis on liability rather than inspection can balance behavior so that property rights are respected and retirees can profit from their real estate while other residents are not harmed.

 


  

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Letter to Google's Director of Litigation Concerning Removal of Material from This Blog


PO Box 130
West Shokan, NY 12494
July 21, 2020

Catherine Lacavera, Director
IP and Litigation
Google LLC
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Sent via Certified Mail

Dear Ms. Lacavera:

I have been using Google’s Blogger for more than ten years. On July 20, the posts  I wrote from January 31 to July 20 were removed from the blog. I would like an explanation as to whether Google removed the material; if so, why Google removed the material; and of Google’s position on its right to remove the material. 

On July 20, I posted the name and address of a New York Times editor whom Tucker Carlson had named as having revealed or having been about to reveal Carlson’s name and address.  I would like to know whether Google views publication of this information as a violation of its terms of service, why, and whether you see a distinction between the Times’s revealing Carlson’s information and my revealing a Times editor’s information.  Also, I would appreciate your comment on the Times’s policy and why you think Google’s is better.

As well, I would appreciate confirmation that Google rather than an outside hacker removed the material from my blog, which is at http://mitchell-langbert.blogspot.com/ .

Sincerely,



Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.
 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Freda Bernstein Langbert, RIP

My wife of almost 24 years, Freda, died on January 26. My love for her will never die. The funeral will be today, Friday, January 31, at the Gromley Funeral Home in Phoenicia, NY.  Her obituary appears in the Kingston Daily Freeman. A number of local poets and one of her family members have expressed an interest in  collecting her poems and turning them into a book. I have begun putting them in touch with each other and planning the project.



There are stars whose light reaches the earth only after they themselves have disintegrated and are no more. And there are people whose scintillating memory lights the world after they have passed from it.  These lights--which shine in the darkest night--are those which illuminate for us the path.

--Hannah Senesh


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Shakespeare on Dershowitz



Toward the end of  Shakespeare's Henry V, Fluellen, King Harry's self-appointed mentor, remarks on the king's glorious victory at Agincourt:

FLUELLEN
By Jeshu, I am your majesty's countryman, I care not
who know it; I will confess it to all the 'orld:  I
need not to be ashamed of your majesty, praised be
God, so long as your majesty is an honest man.
What Dershowitz did in his speech yesterday is outline in vivid terms the contours of duties of public officials to the public and to the nation, both in economic and in democratic terms.  No one has fashioned a regime of fiduciary duty of elected officials, but it needs to balance these concerns.  Dershowitz is not only resolving the impeachment debate but also outlining a doctrine of what the public ought to require of democratically elected politicians.

Dershowitz is now the most illustrious alum of Brooklyn College. I need not be ashamed, praised be G-d.