Daily Archives: August 21, 2008

Our Environmental friends on the lunatic fringe
I missed this opinion piece when it originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal but it’s still available on the web and it’s fun reading for people of all political persuasions. Well, perhaps not. Here’s a quote:

But now the environmental movement has morphed into the most authoritarian philosophy in America. The most glaring example of course is the multitrillion-dollar cap-and-trade anti-global warming scheme that would mandate an entire restructuring of our industrial economy. This plan, endorsed by both presidential candidates, would empower climate-change cops to regulate the energy usage and carbon emissions of every industry in America. If we do this, the best estimates are that we could reduce global temperatures by 0.1 degrees by 2050 and save on average about one polar bear a year from early death. But no burden is too great when it comes to helping the planet — even if the progress to be made is infinitesimal. To weigh costs and benefits is regarded as sacrilege — the refuge of global warming “deniers.”

There are also new federal and state proposals to snoop on citizens in our own homes. California is considering a plan to police the temperature settings on residents’ thermostats. The feds are checking on the flush capacity of our toilets and the kinds of light bulbs we use. A new game called Climate Crime Cards urges kids to spy on and keep an online record of their family’s environmental faux pas — noting when their parents fail to turn off the TV, plug in too many appliances or use the clothes dryer on a sunny day. Sen. John Warner, a Republican from Virginia, wants to bring back the reviled 55-mile-per-hour federal speed limit law so that America can reduce gasoline consumption. Barack Obama believes that properly inflating the tires on our cars is the solution to our energy woes. Is the government going to start giving tickets for failure to inflate?

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Are newspapers next?
Home Magazine shuts down

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Parking ticket appeals
In my driving history I’ve probably accumulated 10 parking tickets over 39 years. Spread out over that time, that’s not bad (no, I’m not counting the tickets I got when I attended college in Boston, when, in those blessed pre-computer days, you could ignore the tickets and switch to new license plates on visits home). And I’ve never appealed one until now but a cop recently ticketed me for parking too close to a hydrant and, when I questioned him, he said, “you were in my way.” I don’t think that a cop’s pique is sufficient reason to get a ticket so I filed an appeal and went off to Town Hall today to argue it.

It was an almost painless process. I met a very nice guy named, I think, Bob Bishop who heard me out sympathetically, agreed with me that the cop was not behaving well but asked me how close I was to the hydrant. I confessed that I was certainly closer than the 10′ demanded by law so he suggested cutting the $50 ticket to $25. Seemed fair to me and the matter was closed. Took 5 minutes.

So I got what could be perceived as an apology from the town for the peevishness of their officer and I paid for my sins. Here’s a picture of the scene of the crime. You’ll notice that the offensive policeman is a gentleman in his late 50’s. Anyone that age still wearing shorts and directing traffic probably has suffered some career disappointments along life’s path, but that’s
no reason to be a jerk, in my opinion.

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Soak the rich
A commentator below says, “Um, Chris, we live in Greenwich, CT – we ARE too rich and are [sic] fellow American [sic] absolutely need it.

A $2B relief package for Americans in financial crisis sounds like a good idea compared to $700B in appropriations for an unending war.”

I don’t know why these people feel justified in deciding that I have too much money (let alone why they think taking it forcibly from me and passing it along to someone else will bring Eden another step closer).

The funny thing is, it’s always the middle class that gets stuck with the bill for these sensitive people’s generosity. Some state – Virginia? – set up a program whereby anyone who felt under taxed could send in a voluntary extra payment. I believe that in the years the program ran, four taxpayers sent in a total of $5,000. I don’t believe that Warren Buffet contributed.

The Demmerkrats are planning a real extravaganza at their convention next week that will showcase beggars – the Dems call them “real people” who want my money so they can spend it on themselves. Perhaps if I had not just fired off huge, account-emptying checks to the IRS and my daughter’s college I’d feel more generous towards these grasping strangers but I did, so I don’t. Less than 50% of us pay income tax now and I doubt a democracy based on majority rule is going to correct that soon. So the forecast for the productive members of society looks bleak. I wonder, when they finish us off, who will be left to fund the liberals’ largess?

Pay me taxes!

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Downtown houses
120 Milbank, a nicely renovated single family house, sold for $2,465,000 on January 4, 2007. It sold again yesterday, unchanged, for $2,500,000, or 1.4% more than originally paid. While that’s technically a gain, it’s a nasty bite out of someone’s wallet when you deduct commissions, conveyance taxes and lawyers’ fees. Despite what many folks believed until this year, real estate is not the same as money in a savings account. In fact, it’s more like auction rate securities which our friends in the financial services industry said were like money in a savings account.

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Why I won’t be going out to open houses today
Because there’s nothing to see, basically. One house says it’s newly staged and offers a 3% commission. I hope I’m not stupid enough to be impressed by some rented furniture that will disappear with the seller and if I’m ever swayed to recommend a house to a buyer because I’ll receive an fattener in my wallet then it will be time for me to quit.

Another house bills itself as “new construction” which would be true if this were 2004 but last time I checked, it isn’t. It also doesn’t help that the asking price is $400,000 more than what the sellers paid for it 4 1/2 years ago. I don’t think the market is now where it was then.

So I’ll save my gas. I’m going fishing next week because, if this week’s dead, next week will be six feet under, so blogging will be a little sparce,
unless some large tuna cooperate.

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Greenwich Landing, again
My post yesterday on this project’s difficulties did mention my previous support for the development but it may bear repeating: certain factions in Byram fought the developers fiercely, causing lengthy delays that made the two Waba brothers miss the market and reductions in size that may prevent it from being profitable. For Byram’s sake, these opponants might now want to pray for the project’s success: this part of town needs all the help it can get.

As an aside, careful readers may have noticed that, if there are 20 units with 6 currently listed for sale, there would be 14, not 13 units still under construction. In my defense I’ll just point out that there are three kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t.

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No kidding – he calls it the “BS-II”
OwlGore can disembark now
No need for this modern day Noah to fear rising water levels, at least for now. The WMO says that global temperatures are cooler than they’ve been in five years. Here’s an astonishing concession, even if it is followed by the obligatory warning that we’re all gonna die soon anyway:

Global temperatures vary annually according to natural cycles. [emphasis added].For example, they are driven by shifting ocean currents, and dips do not undermine the case that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing long-term global warming, climate scientists say.”

Global temperatures can be affected by natural causes. Who’d have thunk it:?

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