Daily Archives: June 1, 2010

Who elects these idiots? Their peers, I suppose

New York Assembly bill would require cops to use “minimum force” when shooting bad guys – “wing’im, Dano”.

The so-called “minimum force” bill says, “(a peace officer or police officer) uses such force with the intent to stop, rather than kill, the person who he or she reasonably believes is using unlawful force, and uses only the minimal amount of force necessary to effect such stop.”

And any cop who actually shoots to kill will be charged with manslaughter.

Understand that under current law, a policeman is justified in using his or her weapon only under the most dire circumstances. In effect, they can’t use deadly force unless their life or the life of bystanders is in danger. So faced with that situation, they should shoot for the perp’s gun hand? Sheesh.

I’m a fair shot with a pistol and at seventy-five feet, on a range, without adrenaline, I can put most of my shots in a six-inch group. On the street, with someone shooting at me, could I really aim for his leg or shoot the gun out of his hand? Someone up in New York has been watching too many westerns. You aim for the body mass and keep shooting until the bastard goes down.

(Since I don’t carry a gun except on a range, I actually could do nothing were a bad guy to shoot at me except duck. But if I were an armed police officer, I sure wouldn’t want to worry about a manslaughter charge applying were I to miss the shooter’s arm and put a bullet in his chest, instead.)

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Hey, it won Walter Duranty a Pulitzer Prize.

No enemies on the left!

Walter Duranty was the NYT apologist for Stalin who lied about the mass starvation and extermination of 23 million Kulaks during Stalin’s regime. Now we have Erza Klein and Matthew Yglesis trying the same thing in China. So goes the press.

Apparently this fact is lost on some prominent American journalists. Indeed, two of the blogosphere’s most popular liberal voices, Ezra Klein of theWashington Post, and Matthew Yglesias of the Center For American Progress, are currently in China on a group junket, and they have seemingly been snowed by Chinese propaganda. On the issue of forced displacement, they seem to have displaced their (generally sizable) intellects.

Klein and Yglesias’ group was taken to tour a spanking-new village built on the outskirts of the northern city of Dalian. As Yglesias describes it, “back in 2006 the former “village” of rudimentary structures was razed and the government constructed a large and extremely nice park (it’s in a very scenic area), reforested the hillsides, and constructed a series of apartment complexes. The former villagers now live in modest but up-to-date structures.” But don’t worry about the forcibly displaced, Yglesias admonishes us, because, “[w]e spoke to one retired couple who was given four apartments—they live in one and rent out the other three to families who’ve either moved out to Cha’an from the central city or else moved to the area from less prosperous regions of China. The town’s current party boss said he was given five apartments.” Klein’s coverage on the website of the Washington Post was equally credulous. Heinformed his audience, “A conversation with some residents revealed that they didn’t just get one free apartment in the new building. They got four free apartments, three of which they were now renting out. And medical coverage. And money for furnishings. And a food stipend. And — I’m not kidding, by the way — birthday cakes on their birthdays. Sweet deal.”

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Liberals vs reality

Washington State:  Illegal immigrants on crime spree

One woman is dead and two others were raped recently and police say each crime was committed by a different illegal immigrant. One of the sexual assaults happened just hours before the Seattle city council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona over its new immigration law.

Gregorio Luna Luna had a history of beating up his live-in girlfriend Griselda Ocampo Meza. He was also in the U.S. illegally. On May 1, Luna Luna was deported to Mexico. Three weeks later Meza was murdered in her apartment in a violent knife attack.

Franklin County prosecutors say Luna Luna slipped past the border again and killed Meza in front of their five year old son.  He’s in the county jail awaiting trial.

A suspected rapist in Edmonds, Washington has been deported at least 4 times according to Snohomish County prosecutors. Jose Lopez Madrigal has been charged with raping a woman next to a dumpster behind a Safeway store. A witness to the attack alerted police and Madrigal was taken into custody.

An illegal immigrant just convicted of his possible 3rd strike in Whatcom county- a rape of a homeless woman- has been deported to Mexico five times.

Washington State ranks 11th in the nation in the number of illegal immigrants with an estimated 150,000. They make up 2% of the state’s population, but account for 4.5% of those in Washington prisons. In Franklin county, 14% of the jail bookings are illegal immigrants.

Currently, over half of the individuals on the Washington State Patrol’s Most Wanted List are suspected illegal immigrants. 18 of the 26 on the list are Hispanic with no place of birth identified. Most are wanted for vehicular homicide and they have languished on the Most Wanted list for several years.

There are about 50,000 felony warrants currently issued in Washington State and according to a source in the U.S. Marshall’s office between 30-40 percent are believed to be illegal immigrants.

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Gore vs. Gore: has the man no concern for our planet?

Back in the good old days, Democrat Convention, 2000

Divorce adds to our global warming woes.

As if the burden of divorce weren’t bad enough, people with failed marriages can be blamed for global warming, according to a study by Michigan State University.

Divorced couples use up more space in their respective homes, which amounts to 38 million more rooms worldwide to light, heat and cool, noted the report.

And people who divorced used 73 billion kilowatt-hours more of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water than they would otherwise in 2005.

Dissolving a marriage also means doubling possessions, from the lowly can opener to the SUV. The report, however, did not estimate how many more natural resources the children of shared-custody parents consume by getting birthday and holiday gifts twice.

Nor did it count the greenhouse gases spent to shuttle kids between their pair of energy-hogging households. (Tip for carbon offsetting services: the domain name OffsetMyDivorce.com is available.).

The research suggests that singletons who shack up with someone again can undo the ecological damage. Although it might be inferred that “living in sin” is also eco-friendly, the findings did not necessarily endorse the practice of unmarried couples living together.

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Number 3 in Al Qaeda is about like being a second lieutenant

They don’t last long in combat. Unfortunately, Al Qaeda seems to have just as deep a bench as we do.

WASHINGTON—The strike that killed al Qaeda’s third in command deprives the group of a critical link to its affiliates as well as a crucial connection between al Qaeda’s top leaders and its foot soldiers. Still, al Qaeda has also come to expect that its No. 3 post comes with an expiration date.

As a result, al Qaeda has become adept at filling this post, which by some counts has now had seven occupants since 2001, with latest being Sheik Sa’id al-Masri, who is believed to have been killed just over a week ago in a Central Intelligence Agency drone attack.

“They seem to be able to replace people in this position with a fair degree of success,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official who ran the Obama administration’s first review of Afghanistan and Pakistan policy. “They have a bench that’s large enough so that when someone dies, they can put in a successor who can continue operational activity.”

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We can’t say we weren’t warned: meet the new head of Medicare, Donald Berwick

This guy sounds er, interesting. From the Wolf Files:

Berwick: The decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly.

By “blindly” I can only presume he means that we as physicians dare to make decisions based on our expertise and our patients’ needs without seeking his permission or that of central control government elites.

It gets better:

…any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, MUST redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is, by definition, redistributional.”

Forgive me, Dr. Berwick, but I believe excellent health care is, by definition, simply the provision of excellent health care, not a means for your socialistic attempts of economic redistribution.

So what would Berwick have us do?

I am romantic about the [British] National Health Service; I love it.

He particularly loves how the Brits purposefully under supply their patients’ health care needs:

You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach. You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too little of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.

…Really? He loves it? Let’s take a closer look at Great Britain and the results of their purposeful under supplying of their patients’ needs.. Here’s what I wrote in The Washington Times:

Britain’s higher cancer mortality rate results in 25,000 more cancer deaths per year compared to a similar population size in the United States. But because the U.S. population is roughly five times larger than the United Kingdom’s, that would translate into 125,000 unnecessary American cancer deaths every year. This is more than all the mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, cousins and children in Topeka, Kan. And keep in mind, these numbers are for cancer alone. America also has better survival rates for other major killers, such as heart attacks and strokes.And Berwick simply loves it. By “it” I presume he means the economic redistribution rather than the unnecessary deaths but that is not entirely clear.

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7 Sales reported, none over $2 million

17 Hillside Drive

 

This place over by Greenwich Academy started out last year at $1.950 million and sold today for $1.750. Assessment is $1.758      

38 Highview Drive

 

I’m a little surprised by this one. It’s just 2,100 sq. ft. and not exactly the highest value renovation I’ve encountered, but after starting at $1.795 in 2008, it dropped to $1.695 in April and attracted a bidding war, selling today for $1.725. Assessment, $996.  

11 Wilmot Lane

This Riverside house next to the train tracks was listed for $1.595 in ’09, dropped to $1.425 and just sold for $1.3 million. That’s about right, I think. Assessment, $916,000.  

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New FEMA regs – is it time to quit the federal flood program?

Tonight the P&Z will adopt the new FEMA flood zone levels, ostensibly because if they don’t, flood insurance costs will rise. Maybe we should tell the feds to screw off anyway.

This from reader Island Surveyor:

We will have that discussion with FF at P&Z tonight, re new FEMA regs.

I just did a flood survey this morning of one of those fine old homes on the old Cos Cob harborfront along Strickland Rd, near the Post Rd.

FEMA puts base flood at elevation 11. The new regs call for all mechanicals and electricals to be at base flood plus 1 ft (elevation 12 in this area.)

The selling owner proudly showed me her new energy star oil boiler and new oil tank in the basement at elevation 5.

Fortunately for the new buyer, the main floor is at elevation 12, so I guess they won’t mind moving all that to a new room off the kitchen.

Oops, so sorry. FAR and site plan requirements for multi-family rule that out. Well OK. Put it in the kitchen.

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Electric vehicles and the massive pollution they’ll cause

Who needs coal?

There are idiots who believe that electricity is pollution free. The thinking class is looking at the pollution that will be generated by powering a fleet of electric cars, and doesn’t like what it sees.

We’ve heard this same story several times before, but it’s worth mentioning yet again. We have here another study that points to the fact that widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EV) could actually increase greenhouse-gas emissions rather than reduce them as we had hoped. This study, conducted by the Argonne National Laboratory and China’s Tsinghua University, specifically focuses on China and concludes that mass EV adoption could lead to tremendously higher emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide due to the country’s widespread use of coal as a power source.

And then there’s this: are EV owners really willing to wait for an hour-and-a-half to recharge their cars so they can continue their journey? Seems to me that drive-thru McDonalds and three-minute fill-ups were created to respond to consumer demand. Leisurely, ninety-minute lunches while the battery charges are going to be a hard sell.

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Ole’s Creek contract

65 Edgewater, in Old Greenwich and directly across from my house, has gone to contract, probably around $1.9 to $2.1 million. I tried very hard to sell this excellent property to my own clients without success but two weeks ago  a nice guy showed up in our driveway to view it from our side of the creek while, as it happened, both brother Gideon and I were on the deck.

He said he had an agent but I still warned him that he’d landed in a viper’s nest, and then Gideon and I took turns telling him what a great neighborhood the creek was and how smart he’d be to buy here. We worked him over for fifteen, maybe twenty-five minutes and then his agent showed up. I don’t know her – Gideon does, but Gideon knows everyone – but she sure struck me as suspicious, even a little hostile, that we were trying to steal her client. Silly woman, we were being nice to the very pleasant young man and telling him, truthfully, the benefits of the neighborhood. Gid and I aren’t poachers.

Anyway, he seems to have bought, which is great – I look forward to having him and his family as a creek neighbor. I don’t expect flowers from his agent, but I hope that she’ll relax if she ever again encounters me in intercourse with one of her clients – it’s funny, though, that I seem to do better selling property to other agent’s clients than my own.

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More on Silly Bandz

Local schools like Brunswick have banned these toys, as have schools around the country. But here’s a far better idea, submitted by a reader:

What’s funny is that the bandz actually present an opportunity to teach, and one probably a lot more useful than whatever is in the text book the kids are paying no attention to.

You’ve got everything from commerce/trade, property rules, social hierarchy, the social compact, the basis of civil society itself, right there, wrapped around the kids arms in neon colors, waiting to be discussed.

Why not create a trade zone for the bandz, like, I don’t know, recess? Lunch?

Explain to the kiddies time and place, the relationship of activities to each other, whatever, I don’t know, I am not a PEDAGOGICAL EXPERT but it seems to be just brown-shirting some rubber bands sends all kinds of wrong messages while squandering an opportunity.

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Who you going to believe: Google or your own eyes?

Woman sues Google for suggesting a walking route along a road with no sidewalks. Hit by car, she claims she should have been warned.

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Has obama abandoned Israel?

I warned that he would. I think that’s exactly what he’s doing. 24 hours after the Flotilla incident, where is the President?

UPDATE: especially after we sold out Israel in the UN’s latest no-proliferation conference, that condemns  Israel and remains silent on Iran and North Korea. As I mentioned last week, the more Israel feels itself abandoned and its survival threatened, the more likely that it will take unilateral steps to defend itself. Obama is increasing the danger of war here, not lowering it.

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Greece urged to leave the Euro

Their only hope.

THE Greek government has been advised by British economists to leave the euro and default on its €300 billion (£255 billion) debt to save its economy.The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a London-based consultancy, has warned Greek ministers they will be unable to escape their debt trap without devaluing their own currency to boost exports. The only way this can happen is if Greece returns to its own currency.

Greek politicians have played down the prospect of abandoning the euro, which could lead to the break-up of the single currency.

I have no idea who CEBR is but their logic seems persuasive.

[CEBR chief] McWilliams called the move “virtually inevitable” and said other members may follow.

“The only question is the timing,” he said. “The other issue is the extent of contagion. Spain would probably be forced to follow suit, and probably Portugal and Italy, though the Italian debt position is less serious.

“Could this be the last weekend of the single currency? Quite possibly, yes.”

Greece’s departure from the euro would prove disastrous for German and French banks, to which it owes billions of euros.

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