Daily Archives: January 16, 2012

You never know what you’ll find on the Internet

Here’s an excellent article on teachers and parenting  (it’s excellent, obviously, because I agree with the author) written by a Wilton parent, Heather Borden  Herve, and published at Greenwich Patch.


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Joe Biden bites hand that feeds his party

Coming after you!

Biden: “Some” faculty salaries too high.

Harvard pays People’s Champion and Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren $420,000 per year to professorate.

It’s possible – probable, even, that Biden was thinking of conservative professors when he spoke, but with exactly five of those in the country, a push to lower their pay will have no effect on the cost of higher education.


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Starbucks introduces new swill while banning blonde jokes

That's not funny

No kidding. Stabucks has come out with what the manager of their own “flagship Chicago store” describes as “coffee for the non-coffee drinker”, a light roast it’s calling “blonde’. And it will be a “written offense”, whatever that is, workers are warned, to crack blonde jokes in the stores. There aren’t too many jokes in that vein to begin with, I don’t think, but here are some:

Why aren’t blondes allowed coffee breaks in the office? It takes too long to re-train them

Blonde brings a thermos to the local Starbucks and asks, “is this big enough to hold six cups?” Assured that it is she says, “then I need two blacks, one decaf and four with milk and sugar”.

Okay, those suck. I think the best joke is that of that manager in Chicago who admits that his new brand is intended for non-coffee drinkers. That ought’a sell well in a coffee shop.


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The rats are fighting amongst themselves

Democrats at play

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO wants a piece of the green energy agenda and that means pipelines and coal. You have to slog through endless paragraphs of this old corrupt union boss’s paean to the environment to get there, but what he’s saying is, you granola munchers can have your Priuses but not without payoffs to us. This food fight’s getting good.

First, what do I mean by unfairness?  Half of the electrical power in the United States comes from coal.  This has been true for years.  People I grew up with dig the coal that lights the lights and heats the buildings all across this country today.  The world we know exists because coal miners go down to the mines.  But the carbon emissions from that coal, and from oil and natural gas, and agriculture and so much other human activity– causes global warming, and we have to act to cut those emissions, and act now.

Now, some people’s [Obama’s – Ed] response is to demand that we end all coal production now—they say “End Coal.”  Never mind that such a thing is simply not going to happen—there is no substitute now for metallurgical coal and if we stopped burning coal this afternoon and cut the power in the U.S. grid by 50 percent, as Mayor Bloomberg advocates, he’d be reading handwritten memos by candlelight this evening.  Given that reality, it’s important to think about how that slogan is heard in places like my hometown of Nemacolin, Pennsylvania.


So why, in an economy without an effective safety net, would the good men and women of my hometown and a thousand places like it surrender their whole lives and sit by while others try to force them to bear the cost of change.

The truth is that in many places – and not just places where coal is mined – there is fear that the “green economy” will turn into another version of the radical inequality that now haunts our society—another economy that works for the 1% and not for the 99%.


…. We must ask ourselves, “How well does this pathway serve the least, the hardest to reach, the most likely to be left behind?”  Places like West Virginia and the Ohio Valley must come first, not last.


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Brunswick students boycott Mercedes after automaker folds under (origami) pressure

Mercedes has apologized for conjoining Che Guevara and its cars after some soreheads complained:

“Mercedes-Benz Uses Communist Madman Che Guevara to Sell Luxury Cars,” said the headline on a blog post from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent conservative political organization in Washington.

“Che Guevara, not to put too fine a point on it, was a psychopath whose sadistic lust for blood was not easily quenched. He killed for pleasure,” said the post, written by Heritage Vice President Mike Gonzalez.

Brunswick students, shocked to discover that some people think Che isn’t cool, have vowed to retaliate against Mercedes by driving their Moms’ Lexuses to school and leaving the SLK’s in the garage, at least until spring break.



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And this is a bad thing?

Gideon J. Tucker - or he thinks he is

The 2011 Congress accomplished less than any previous session since (at least) 1947. That’s okay with me. Remember Judge Gideon Tucker’s warning, “no man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session”. He said that in the 1800’s – if things have changed, it’s because they’ve gotten worse.


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Here’s a good deal for Cos Cob admirers

51 Old Stone Bridge

Fifty-One Old Stone Bridge has cut its price for a second time and is now asking $1.595 million (originally $1.795). The seller paid $2,262,500 for it in 2007 (and I’m sure he regrets that now) and the buyer before him paid $1.675 in 2002. If purchase price represents market value, then this looks pretty good right now.

There are those who don’t want to live out here, including my own clients, which is why I’m posting this here, rather than selling it to them, and I understand: getting to this development is a hike. But heck, when I was a Boy Scout the better half of the Chimblo family let us camp on the then-undeveloped land and we’d hike to it from St. Paul’s Church in Riverside using the world’s worst, most uncomfortable pack, a “Trapper Nelson”, which was basically a packboard with a canvas sack attached and no waist belt to distribute weight to the hips. Agony, but if a bunch of twelve-year-olds can get here on foot, a few minutes in a Jaguar shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

As an aside, while we kids would walk to Chimblo’s, the fathers would drive in Art Brown’s Jeep which also carried at least a garbage can of cold beer (for them). The beer was always gone by Sunday morning, as well as whatever harder stuff had accompanied it, and the fathers were a tad worse for wear. Years later when I was again involved with the Boy Scouts, this time with my son John, we had a hard time recruiting fathers for our camping trips and I wondered whether the BSA’s ban on alcohol wasn’t the cause of that. Or it was the ban on pederasty – could have been that, I suppose.


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Martin fold the boat ashore, halleluja

Ahoy there, sailor!

To me, nothing screams “Happy Martin Luther King Day” louder than a good session of origami and over at Brunswick School, they agree. $45,000 per year in tuition, if you’re curious.


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The Wisconsin NEA wants her promoted to principal

I demand to speak to my union rep!

New York City gym teacher who flashed her “charms” in class, groped students and generally had fun on gym day continues to draw $75,000 salary. If we didn’t have unions, unfortunate individuals like this would be out of work.


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William Raveis website lists statistics

Okay, Chris, we're sorry you quit - just kidding

Wm. Raveis (rhymes with gravies) has added current Greenwich housing statistics to its website. I’ve often said that I think Raveis maintains the most useful website around and, while I certainly wouldn’t recommend that you use the firm as your agent (ahem), you should certainly check out their site – excellent job.

At the risk of offending that reader who objected to my comparing December, 2011 to December, 2010 as a meaningless sample, here are Raveis’s numbers for that same period:

For Greenwich
  • Median price is down by 32.0%.
  • Unit sales are down 31.8% to 30.
  • New listings in December were 20. This is down 35.5% from 31 in December of 2010.


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It’s bad to be Queen (in Great Britain)

I suppose this means it's back to the Vinetard again

No public funding for new royal yacht. The Sachsen-Coburg und Gothas will have to dig into their own pockets to the tune of $90 million if they want to take the royal corgies to sea.

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It is good to be King

Compassion and name for sale, but it'll cost you

No, not MLK, an heiress of the Kennedy crowd. Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert (and ex-wife of that semi-relative of the clan, Andrew Cuomo) takes a tip from her brother and becomes a highly paid shill for “the environment”. 

Kennedy, 52, was secretly hired as a “public-relations consultant” by the lawyer representing the Ecuadoreans in an $18 billion lawsuit against Chevron, according to court documents.

Cashing in on her respected family name and legacy, Kennedy raked in tens of thousands of dollars and was given a 0.25 percent stake — worth as much as $40 million — if the $18 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadorean judge is ultimately upheld. (Chevron has not yet paid pending its countersuit in Manhattan federal court.)

Kennedy was paid a flat $50,000 by lead attorney Steven Donziger on Feb. 22, 2010, bank statements made public in the case show.

She was set to pull down an additional $10,000 per month, according to a September 2010 draft budget by the law firm. And she was to get another $40,000 in expenses in June 2010, according to an invoice from Donziger.

But being a hired shill didn’t stop Kennedy from presenting herself as a crusader with only a personal interest and familial duty to Ecuador’s indigenous masses.

In a CNN appearance on Oct. 22, 2009, and in a column for the Huffington Post on Nov. 4, 2009, she opined about her trip to the South American nation.

“Nothing could prepare me for the horror I witnessed,” she wrote.

In neither instance was it mentioned that she was hired by the law firm or has a financial stake in the case.


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