Daily Archives: November 26, 2009

Will Gary Rosenbach be moving to Round Hill Road?

 

Gary and Susan Rosenbach, tax cheats panachemag.com photo

Mr. Rosenbach, a founder of Galleon Group with Raj Rajaratnam, is seemingly implicated in the insider trading case brought against Raj. There had been speculation that Rosenbach had avoided Raj’s fate by becoming a cooperating witness but now wire taps seem to tell a different tale. All very interesting. The Rosenbach manor at 217 Taconic Road is for sale but it’s been so for years, long before the present scandal (but around the time he and Rajaratnam paid $33 million for engaging in tax fraud). It started around $23 million, is down to about $14, and Zillow says it’s worth $7. I think Zillow’s estimate is too low – this is a very nice house, on good land, but in this market, who knows? And, if Rosenbach wants to make the move to Round Hill to join Raj, Walt, Ric and all the other felons and accused felons on that street, he might take a low offer just to get there ahead of the FBI. As an aside, Rosenbach and his wife are big contributors to Hillary Cliton and Obama. Odd how often people like this who know how to take my money and spend it pay no income tax themselves. Some people get exactly what they deserve.

 

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Starve the poor, feed the fevered

Yeah, but I'm Mayor!

Soup kitchens forced to toss out food violating Mayor Mike’s no trans fat rule.

When a small church comes to the Bowery Mission bearing fried chicken with trans fat, unwittingly breaking the law, they’re told “thank you.” Then workers quietly chuck the food, mission director Tom Bastile said.

“It’s always hard for us to do,” Basile said. “We know we have to do it.”

A Manhattan deli going out of business delivered a pickup truck’s worth of lettuce, sundried tomatoes, hamburgers, sausages and other food to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen last week.

With 1,400 meals to serve daily, Operations Manager Michael Ottley was extremely grateful. He didn’t check the trans fat content of the food.

Lines at soup kitchens are up by 21 percent this year, according to a NYC Coalition Against Hunger report released yesterday.

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Iran nuke inquiry at a “dead-end”

U.N. inspector is disappointed. No doubt our own president, if this is brought to his attention while he travels to Oslo, will express his concern. And so it goes.

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Taken out of context

Merrill Lynch: Henry Blodget’s emails were” taken out of context.” Result: Henry Blodget banned from securities industry for life, Merrill settled.

UBS: Those emails were taken out of context. Result: settlement.

Enron: Emails were taken out of context. Result: I don’t know – whatever did become of Enron?

Global Warming fraudsters:”Emails were taken out of context.”

“What they’ve done is search through stolen personal emails—confidential between colleagues who often speak in a language they understand and is often foreign to the outside world. Suddenly, all these are subject to cherry picking. They’ve turned “something innocent into something nefarious,” Mann [said].

Uh huh.

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Thanksgiving myths exploded

Anything for ratings

While it remains true that the local Massachusetts Indians were forever blessed and benefitted by the arrival of the Pilgrims, who showed them how to grow corn, catch turkeys and advance from their diet of sticks and dirt, other Thanksgiving lore is not so well founded on fact. The WSJ reports that we do not eat more turkey on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year and the holiday does not produce more travel traffic than, say, a busy summer weekday. Will these people stop at nothing to destroy our national fabric? But there is one bright spot where Turkey Day does hold the lead:

[T] here is one undisputed but little-known title that the Thanksgiving holiday can fairly claim: busiest plumbing period. The day after Thanksgiving typically brings 6,200 jobs for Roto-Rooter plumbers. That is more than any other day, and about 50% higher than the typical Friday volume, according to spokesman Paul Abrams. Households crammed with guests, and sinks crammed with bones and other leftovers better suited for the garbage, help spur demand.

So at least we still have that.

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This may make someone choke on his turkey – I hope so

Rabbi Schlovenek blesses the masses (and a few visiting Sioux, apparently)

How private property saved the Pilgrims from starvation.

Today is Thanksgiving. And there is no better time to remember an underappreciated lesson of the original Thanksgiving: that the Pilgrims nearly starved to death because of collectivism and eventually saved themselves by adopting a system of private property. Economist Benjamin Powell tells the story in here:

Many people believe that after suffering through a severe winter, the Pilgrims’ food shortages were resolved the following spring when the Native Americans taught them to plant corn and a Thanksgiving celebration resulted. In fact, the pilgrims continued to face chronic food shortages for three years until the harvest of 1623. Bad weather or lack of farming knowledge did not cause the pilgrims’ shortages. Bad economic incentives did.

In 1620 Plymouth Plantation was founded with a system of communal property rights. Food and supplies were held in common and then distributed based on equality and need as determined by Plantation officials. People received the same rations whether or not they contributed to producing the food, and residents were forbidden from producing their own food. Governor William Bradford, in his 1647 history, Of Plymouth Plantation, wrote that this system was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. The problem was that young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. Because of the poor incentives, little food was produced.

Faced with potential starvation in the spring of 1623, the colony decided to implement a new economic system. Every family was assigned a private parcel of land. They could then keep all they grew for themselves, but now they alone were responsible for feeding themselves. While not a complete private property system, the move away from communal ownership had dramatic results.

This change, Bradford wrote, had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. Giving people economic incentives changed their behavior. Once the new system of property rights was in place, the women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability.

Once the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Plantation abandoned their communal economic system and adopted one with greater individual property rights, they never again faced the starvation and food shortages of the first three years. It was only after allowing greater property rights that they could feast without worrying that famine was just around the corner.

For a more detailed account, see this 1999 article by Tom Bethell.

[check out that painting – in addition to the rabbi, our artist has added a couple of the red-skinned savages adorned with with war bonnets, a fashion of western, not eastern Indians. Cool!]

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The crook’s giving back the money?

Robbery victim to make full recovery.

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Tip for Uncle Ugly and other culinary experimenters

Yonkers stir fry

Turns out the New York Times still serves a useful purpose beyond wrapping fish: says here, Don’t deep-fry a brined turkey!

Let’s start at the top. DO NOT BRINE A TURKEY THAT IS GOING TO BE FRIED. The first time I went to a turkey-fry we made that mistake, my friend Manny and I, the two of us amped on beer and adrenaline, redneck in the extreme. We put the brined turkey into the superhot peanut oil, which almost instantly converted the excess moisture the bird had been given by the brine into steam. The steam, caught inside the bird, exploded the breasts off the carcass and sent them hurtling skyward on a plume of boiling oil. It was a fairly intense couple of seconds. DO NOT BRINE A TURKEY THAT YOU ARE GOING TO FRY.

That sounds like even more fun than my old potato cannon we used to fire off on Thanksgiving. Come on up, Uncle U and let’s try it!

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Thanksgiving cheer

Here’s a pundit who thinks housing prices have bottomed. I’m not sure I buy her entire argument but she’s probably right that the foreclosure process has so clogged the courts that houses will enter the market in a trickle, not a flood, which should help avoid a drastic collapse. Hope so, anyway.

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