Daily Archives: February 27, 2012

That’ll learn her!

Homeless Bridgeport crack addict gets 12 years for, among other things, enrolling her kid in a Bridgeport school he wasn’t entitled to attend. I assume the bulk of the sentence, if not all, was on the drug charges she also plead guilty to but why is she going to prison at all? We’re going to pay $30,000 a year to incarcerate a dope-addled woman for using dope? If she didn’t commit armed robbery or some other violent crime, we should save our money and return her to the van she lives in.

Raj gets 17 years for stealing a couple of million bucks, Chip Skowron gets five years for $20 million, Walter Noel ($400 million?)  isn’t even indicted. This loser is shipped away for 12 years for using drugs and “stealing” $15,000 in public education her son wasn’t entitled to (and surely he was entitled to receive a public education in another district, so what’s the total damage)? This is nuts.

(h/t: TB)

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No wonder so many US politicians are crypto-commies

Mass murderer, thief and hero of the left - go figure

It’s where the money is. Ruling Chinese communists are billionaires.

According to the Hurun Report, as cited by Bloomberg, the 70 richest delegates in China’s National People’s Congress have a combined net worth of 565.8 billion yuan or $89.8 billion. That’s more than 10 times the combined net worths of all the members of Congress, the Supreme Court and the President. (Their collective riches are only $7.5 billion.)

What’s more, China’s politicians are getting richer more rapidly. Last year, their combined wealth grew by $11.5 billion, or about 15%.

For those who think this growing wealth reflects a rising tide that’s lifting all Chinese boats, consider this: Per capita annual income in China is still about $2,425.

Power to the people, babe, right on! Hugo and Fidel must be green with envy and even Chris Dodd is whining to his Hollywood puppet masters that he’s underpaid. The NYT’s Tom Friedman, on the other hand, still loves these guys but then, he married a multi-millionaire heiress and can afford the luxury of being a brain dead collectivist.

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Price disclosed

11 Pinecrest Road in Riverside, new construction, was reported under contract last December but  it closed yesterday and its price reported as $4.970 million. That’s a huge amount of money for a fairly modest home – a lot of its 5,000 sq. ft. is underground – but hey, Riverside is hot and there’s little new construction, although that’s changing as the builders come out of hibernation. If you’re keeping track, this 0.46 acre lot sold for $1.5 million in 2010.

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Remember Greenwich’s Marty Frankel?

Well I SAID I was sorry

His victims are still suing  entities they feel were his accomplices in his fraud. Marty was a lot of fun back in 1999 when his scheme to defraud insurance companies (he got something like $200 million) unraveled; turned out he lived in a nasty contemporary up on Lake Avenue (not the “luxurious mansion” the press, mistaking a Greenwich address for wealth, described, and he brought in live-in Russian prostitutes to entertain him. One of them was found hanged a few years before the end and our cops might have discovered what was going on then and stopped the fraud but they walked past the banks of computers Frankel and cohorts were operating, looked at the dead body and, as they are instructed to do in all cases of sudden death in Greenwich, declared it a suicide. Keeps our reported murder rate low and our real estate prices high, don’t you know.

When Frankel was finally exposed he fled with diamonds and cash to Europe where he lasted just a few months before being caught. He’s been in jail since the fall of 1999 and, after being extradited back home in 2001, was sentenced to 17 years. With credit for the years he was incarcerated in Germany he’ll be out in 2015 and so, depending on whether he successfully hid some of those diamonds, he should be alright. I know you were worried about him.

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While we’re waiting for some real estate activity to be reported today …

See ya!

Here’s a cheery WSJ article to start a Monday morning. Well, maybe not cheery, but certainly wise.

Why doctors die differently

Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him.

It’s not something that we like to talk about, but doctors die, too. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want. But they tend to go serenely and gently.

My cousin Ed Fountain says that he wants to die peacefully in his sleep like our grandfather, not kicking and screaming like the passengers in the back seat. Good plan.

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Stubborn to the end

Clearing the Highlands

There’s a house going to final foreclosure today (nah, I can’t tell you which one, we’re hoping to sell it) that probably didn’t need to be lost. Clearly the owners stopped paying the mortgage – divorce? job loss? some reason) but the mortgage debt, even including what was probably an emergency second, come to $3 million on a house that should sell for $4.5 (numbers disguised to protect my own financial interest, but the ratio’s about right). Did the owners price it to sell and walk away with a small profit? Of course not; they priced it at twice its value and held it there for four years, waiting for the market to recover, I assume. It didn’t, they’ll get nothing.

I know from personal experience and conversations with other brokers and loan folks that the Greenwich real estate landscape is cluttered with cases like this, owners desperate to keep up appearance, desperate to hide their financial distress from their friends and neighbors. That’s not only a fatal trap, it’s totally unnecessary in these times because so many of the once-high-flying are in the same situation. A homeowner who admits defeat, and with luck it’s only a temporary one, will receive sympathy, not scorn from his friends and if he doesn’t, then they were never friends to begin with so why care? Better to run away and live to fight again another day.

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A stupid marketing scheme or sheer genius?

$495? Price takes a licking, scam keeps on ticking.

About once a month I receive an email from Amazon promoting a huge sale on Invicta watches. Sure enough, click on the link and there they are, marked down from $495, $695, you get it – to the incredible price of $49.99. Wow! Such a deal!

trouble is, you can find an Invicta watch selling for the same fifty bucks all over the Internet – anywhere, any time. So do you think it’s possible that the company slaps a huge “retail” price on a cheap watch and then unloads them on unsuspecting customers? That would be sneaky, so I’m sure it’s not done.

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Uh oh

Surf's up!

The state’s new “Climate Change and Shoreline Preservation” task force holds its first meeting this week. I’m all for preparedness and it makes sense to see what we might want to do if through some bizarre twist in the universe Al Gore washes up on our shores, but when I hear the words “climate change” I respond the way Goebbels (is supposed to have) responded when he heard the word “culture” – he reached for his revolver.

The Legislature is never more dangerous when it combines a multitude of dull minds together to “solve” a problem.

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More drug war spillover

A special White House fund originally directed to the drug war now helps NYC cops spy on Muslims.  I have no problem with spying on Muslims – the bastards want to kill us so let’s keep an eye on them at the very least. But it’s illustrative of the mission creep that occurs when our government starts down crooked pathways.

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