Daily Archives: January 5, 2013

I thought that was the whole point of the exercise

Playing the slots in old Connecticut

Genuine indian artwork, via Singapore

Our Irish correspondent looks back across the pond and sends us this story: The Mashantucket Faux’s chairman and treasurer were indicted friday for stealing $800,000.  Those of you new to our state may not be aware that the Mashantuckets are a phony band of indians dreamed up by then Senator Lowell Weicker in order to bring legalized gambling to our state, and named in honor of some real indians we extincted back around 1650. Things went swimmingly, with the handle split between the make-believes and Hartford politicians until, as these things will, the money ran out, the “indians” had to stop paying themselves $100,000 per year (!) and creditors showed up at the door.

The idea that the leaders of this den of thieves continued to help themselves to the cash even while depriving their brothers is hardly surprising, but it’s an ominous sign: when thieves fall out, it’s usually because the easy money’s gone and the band is left scratching and squabbling for what’s left, and that includes the Hartford pols who have been sharing in this scam. So look for another tax on Fairfield County.

I leave you with an “Indian Dream” I found on the Internet. The author is anonymous, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was penned by our Lottery Commissioner/Indian Lover himself, Francis Fudrucker:

i walk from the Forrest a male wolf, i dig and fresh soil fills my lungs… i pant hard from the journey to come to the opening i now stand. i feel no more reason to cry, i am now a bird in the air, soaring above the sparkling river winding like snakes below. i perch on a mountain overlooking the clear skies, blanketed by clouds on fire below at dusk. as night falls i fall with it back through the clouds and land a female owl. i am both, my prey and i choose to become both the grass, and bufflo.

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Thank you, Journal News and Janet Hasson

If it saves the life of just one intruder ....Journal News Publisher Janet Hassan shows location of her own gun-free home (but watch out for her armed guards)

If it saves the life of just one intruder ….
Journal News Publisher Janet Hasson shows location of her own gun-free home (but watch out for her armed guards)

Ten out of ten burglars agree: Publisher Janet Hasson’s (3 Gate House Lane, Mamaroneck, NY) decision to publish an interactive map showing names and addresses of gun owners was a boon for thieves.

“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and 1970s. “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold – why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?

“What they did was insanity,” added Shaw, author of “License to Steal,” a book about his criminal career.

“They just created an opportunity for some crimes to be committed and I think it’s exceptionally stupid,” said Bob Portenier, 65, a former burglar and armed house robber turned crime prevention consultant.

Professional burglars are always looking for an edge, and like most folks, they read the paper, said Portenier.

“Criminals are always looking for opportunity and words travels through the grapevine—burglars trade secrets and when you see something like that in the paper, that’s is something burglar’s are going to talk about,” Portenier said. “‘Did you see in the paper where all these people have guns and their addresses?’ and that kind of stuff, they’ll say.”

While some burglars may use the newspaper’s information to avoid guns, Portenier said others will target homes with guns. The newspaper’s decision could even lead to legally-owned guns proliferating on the street, he said.

“That’s one of the first things we’d check out—guns are on the top of the list of what you want to steal,” he said. “They can walk out with a shotgun and a couple of handguns and sell them on the street for $300 or $400 a pop. They can sell them to a gangbanger who ends up killing someone.”

Frank Abagnale, who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 film “Catch Me if You Can,” and is perhaps the most famous reformed thief to ever earn a legitimate living by offering the public insight into the criminal mind, called the newspaper’s actions “reprehensible.”

“It is unbelievable that a newspaper or so called journalist would publish the names and addresses of legal gun owners, including federal agents, law enforcement officers and the like,” said Abagnale, who noted that he grew up in the suburban New York area served by the Journal-News. “This would be equivalent to publishing the names of individuals who keep substantial sums of money, jewelry and valuables in their home.”

Connecticut Democrat Steve Dargan wants to make burglar’s jobs safer and more productive here. Feel free to contact him and let him know you appreciate his efforts.

Email: stephen.dargan@cga.ct.gov
Website: http://www.housedems.ct.gov/Dargan/index.asp
Capitol Phone: 860-240-0570
Capitol Fax: 860-240-0206
Home Address: 215 Beach St West Haven 06516-6133
Home Phone: 203-937-1985

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It’s not weather, it’s climate change

China enjoys coldest winter in decades. But, but but …

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The waiting game

In Beverly Hills, high end foreclosures are rare. The debtors are sophisticated and know how to stay in a house for years while not paying a dime and the banks are reluctant to take a hit on distressed real estate when “everyone knows” the market’s turning up again. Same phenomenon here in Greenwich; the builders’ failed spec homes have gone to the auction block but most troubled homeowners are hanging on. Some of these houses are so buried in debt that they are never coming out from under it but does that really matter if you stay where you are for the next five years?

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Hell, we used to leave our kids some rubber boots and we’d drive off with Casey

Fred Camillo (in hat, right)

Fred Camillo (in hat)

State rep Fred Camillo (still appearing in public with the argyle sweaters his mother knits him, alas) is urging our emergency shelters to accept pets along with their human companions. Makes sense to me, perhaps, because there are many people who would rather risk drowning than leave a beloved pet behind. Other towns permit it, so when our emergency manager says “we’d prefer not to have them”, that doesn’t sound like a particularly valid objection. There are lots of things bureaucrats would prefer unruly citizens not do because it upsets the nice, orderly plans they  have devised, but so what?

Maybe there are good reasons not to do this but at least at first consideration, it seems like a worthwhile change that could be made to work. If space is an issue, barring squalling toddlers and sulky teens would free up room for well behaved Shitshus. Worth exploring, anyway.

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So why on earth would you need a gun with more than a three-shot capacity?

Because sometimes, even six is not enough.

The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar.

But the man eventually found the family.

“The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,” Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

The woman then shot him five times, but he survived, Chapman said. He said the woman ran out of bullets but threatened to shoot the intruder if he moved.

“She’s standing over him, and she realizes she’s fired all six rounds. And the guy’s telling her to quit shooting,” Chapman said.

The woman ran to a neighbor’s home with her children. The intruder attempted to flee in his car but crashed into a wooded area and collapsed in a nearby driveway, Chapman said.

Good thing there weren’t two intruders, good thing, in her panic and adrenaline-fueled shooting, the mother didn’t miss the first few times. But then, as Mayor Bloomberg said, “if you haven’t killed him with the first three shots, he deserves to get away”.

Unrelated, but same topic, inmates using Journal News interactive map of gun owners residences to threaten guards. This “transparency” is what Connecticut politician Stephen Dargan wants to bring here.

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