Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ah, petty bureaucrats!

These people should work at the airports. Medal of Honor winner and the 10-year-old grandson of another denied admission to the White House because of lack of security clearance for the first and violation of dress code for the boy. Especially when they’d been invited to visit. You might think that a Medal of Honor winner who went on to work for the FBI isn’t much of a security threat and a 10-year-old wearing a tee shirt with a picture of his Medal of Honor winning grandfather could be given a waiver but then, you don’t work for the federal government. President Obama, by the way, was out of town.

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Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold 12 points behind

Oh please, oh please? I don’t know anything about the candidate running against him, but he’ll be an improvement.

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Uh oh

Lights have been flickering on and off here in Riverside (5:30 ish). So far, no trouble except I had to restart the router. I’m off for a class this evening but if you hear nothing else from me  tonight, it will probably be because this computer won’t run on candlelight.

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More insanity from our government

From Best of the Web

Killer Paper Clips

“One of the tools that teachers use to get kids jazzed about science–hands-on science kits–could face an uncertain future amid a debate on safety,” the Associated Press reports from Washington:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been mired for weeks in deliberation as it writes guidelines on what makes a product a “children’s product”–and consequently which products would have to undergo more stringent safety testing as part of a 2008 law. Caught up in the debate are the classroom science kits and some of the items they contain, such as paper clips to show kids how magnets work.

Science kit makers asked for a testing exemption for the paper clips and other materials. The commission declined to grant them a blanket waiver as part of the guidance the agency approved Wednesday on a 3-2 vote.

There are other absurdities, too. For instance: “While a lamp adorned with [a] teddy bear could be considered a child’s product, the same lamp without the bear decoration could be placed in a child’s room and require no testing whatsoever.”

But given the Democrats’ claims to be the party of science, the Obama administration’s war on science-kit paper clips is especially rich. At this rate, soon the only thing kids will be allowed to play with is stem cells.

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Greenwich home sellers and realtors better hope that Meredith Whitney doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about

Because she’s predicting skimpy bonuses on Wall Street this year, and 80,000 workers fired next year, just in the U.S. That would put a crimp in the Greenwich market.

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Are hedge funders still contributing to Obama? Not in Greenwich.

Or so says Teri Buhl in her Forbes blog today.

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Gee, all that wind and rain last night and Nichole hasn’t even hit

According to Accuweather, the real fun arrives tonight.

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No open house tour today

As you might guess from my posting book reviews, there was just a skimpy – 15 or so – list of houses for today’s eastern Greenwich. It’s likely that brokers, seeing the forecast for today, didn’t bother scheduling anything, but that wouldn’t explain the same dearth on last Tuesday’s western Greenwich (North Street- west on Tuesdays, east of North Street Thursdays). I wonder if homeowners have finally figured out that, if they don’t have to sell in this market, they shouldn’t?

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New reading

I just received Ken Follet’s new book Fall of Giants. It’s a 1000 page novel in the “Pillars of the Earth” vein, but this volume (even at 1,000 pages it’s only the first in a trilogy!) covers roughly the period of the First World War. I found it a great read – as I must have, because it arrived Tuesday afternoon and I finished it last night. Yeah, there’s a little bit of suspension of belief required in certain plot elements but I found the story so engrossing that I dismissed those.

The Amazon reviews are pretty poor but that’s because they’re weighted with 74 one star reviews which focus on the $19.99 Kindle price rather than the book’s merits. I bought the hardcover edition for the same price because Pal Nancy and my son John both enjoyed “Pillars” and I think they’ll like this one too. The Kindle’s a great little machine, but you can’t pass it on.

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I’ll see your King Solomon and raise you one

Indian court rules that holy site will be divided three ways.

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No oil drilling in the Gulf – by “Big Oil”.

Feds issue new drilling regulations but continue the moratorium

On the other hand, Cuba is gearing up to explore for oil fifty miles from Florida, and Mexico’s already pumping oil further west. So who’s this helping? Or hurting?

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I thought I was kidding when I posted on the Riverside crime wave

In response to my earlier posting of a forlorn sign at the Riverside Railroad station bike rack, a reader has offered to send along a report detailing 75 break ins at the station in the past 90 days.* Could this possibly be correct? I seem to recall that the police were going to set up a chart on their website marking crimes. Anyone know if they ever did?

* turns out the reader was referring to car break ins all over Riverside, not just the station

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One in four homes sold in first half of year were foreclosures

If almost a quarter of all home sales are coming from foreclosed properties and if the entire foreclosure process is going to be suspended for, say, the next six months as the lenders sort out their paperwork problems, then we should expect to see an already dismal real estate market gt even worse.

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Interesting peek into the mindset of the Times Square bomber

He’s to be sentenced soon. When he pled guilty last June he said he’d like to “plead guilty 100 times” and blamed it all on the United States for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and drones. Fine, but check out this quote:

The video depicts Mr. Shahzad firing a machine gun in what appears to be the mountains of Pakistan, prosecutors said. He announces that he has met leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, and that “we have decided that we are going to raise an attack inside America.”

“I have been trying to join my brothers in jihad ever since 9/11 happened,” he is shown saying later.

We attacked those countries after 9/11. Like his Palestinian friends, this asshole spent that dreadful day celebrating. Hang him high.

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JP Morgan – Chase suspends foreclosures, joining GMAC

Again, phony documents, just like (US taxpayer owned) GMAC. Eventually, this is going to catch up with all the big lenders, I would think. And then what? Maybe another year or two before it’s straightened out? Such a moratorium might give time for the market to recover a bit and lift underwater homeowners closer to the surface, or, more likely, it will just prolong the inventory clearance that I think is necessary for prices to recover. Well, we’ll see.

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Crime wave in Riverside!

"Please return my bicycle"

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A contract

56 West Brother Drive

Listed at $3.850 in July, under contract as of yesterday, so presumably close to asking price. Assessment is $2.570. Milbrook has never been my cup of tea, but this one is on the pond and was renovated in 2006, so if you like this sort of thing, probably not a bad buy.

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Where was this when I was ten?

Bicycle comes with flamethrowers and ejection seat.

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Burn baby, burn!

Town buries a 30,000 gallon cistern up on King Street to provide a water source for fire fighting. Makes sense to me.  But “[l] ast year, the department was working with Conyers Farm to install a cistern near that development on Lower Cross Road. However, some residents did not want the cistern on their property, according to Fronio.”

I hope the fireman just sit out the next fire up there.

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It’s good to be king

417 Field Point Rd

 

This lovely home on Field Point, renovated, on 2 acres with pool and tennis court that was listed at $11 million by a noted realtor back in 2007, rumored to have been sold to that very same realtor last week  for $6,496,875. Nice work if you can get it.

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