Daily Archives: March 17, 2012

Too funny

Beanie propellers will produce exactly this much energy

Obummer calls for America to free itself from dependence on foreign oil. This from the man who’s only delivered on  one campaign promise,  his vow to crush oil production and promote the use of algae instead.

He also addressed a related issue:  how will he reduce the cost of gasoline? By slapping another $4 billion in taxes onto oil companies’, he says. Now $4 billion is actually a tiny burden on the big oil companies and will never be noticed, though it will hurt the small independents but, insignificant or not, since taxes on businesses are invariably passed on to consumers, how does Hussein figure those taxes will cut the cost at the pump? The community organizer’s knowledge of economics is as pathetically ignorant as his grasp of the oil industry.


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Silent times in Old Greenwich

A question from a reader about Edwin Binney’s involvement with Binney Park (yes, the inventor Crayola crayons lived in Old Greenwich and contributed the land that formed the park bearing his name) reminded me that D.W. Griffth, among others, used to come out to Greenwich to shoot silent films across from the swamp that’s now Binney, in what was then Laddin’s Rock Farm.  The late Charlie Turner of Riverside was an authority on this era (1908-1920 ish) but I could find nothing written by him on the web. I did find this brief New York Times article, if you’re interested.

Nothing in the article about my grandmother Leatrice Joy filming here and I don’t remember her ever mentioning that she did but she was Griffith’s favorite star, or so she insisted, so she might have. It would be fitting if she had because she loved to sit in Binney Park across the street from Laddin’s Rock and watch the activity around the pond. After her death we donated an iron bench with her name on it to the town, with the request that it be installed at Binney’s pond. The bench was once  one of many, each  with a star’s name, gracing Hollywood Boulevard, and Grandmother brought it east when she moved here. It sat by the flagpole for many years but vandals enjoyed tossing it in the pond. The first time that happened we appealed to then First Selectman Tom Ragland to have park workers rescue it, which they did, but it disappeared again a few years later and I presume it’s now rusting away in the muck. So it goes.


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Obummer gets in touch with his inner middle class, confuses weather with climate


Pabst Blue Ribbon - it's all we serve here at the Big House

Fund raiser in a modest bungalow belonging to an out-of-work pipefitter, laid off when Keystone was vetoed.

At a posh fundraiser in Atlanta, where 40 guests each paid $35,800 to attend, President Obama talked about . . . the weather. As today’s White House pool reporter notes:

Potus talked about how he had been in Chicago and Atlanta and how the weather was so warm. “It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it is 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On  the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather.”

The president was presumably referring to global warming.

This fundraiser was at the home of Tyler Perry. Here’s how the pooler describes the home:

“[It’s] a vast French –chateau style mansion reached by a steep winding road deep into the woods away from the road in a well heeled suburb of Atlanta. A fountain sits in the courtyard lit up by white lights under the water.

“The three story home complete with wooden shutters, that would have looked at home in the Loire Valley, was reached by a wide marble staircase leading up to the front door, inside which was a large crystal chandelier. The pool spotted a cozy looking library with antique volumes on the shelves as we were taken up two flights of stairs into a games room area, complete with a pub-style bar, pool table, antique chess set and large antique telescope.”


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Who knew she had a show? Who knew Oprah was still (sort of ) around?


Down the rat hole together

Oprah Winfrey network flips the channel on Rosie O’ Donnell. I’d heard that Oprah (a former television hostess who once endorsed Husein Obama) had started some cable network with dismal results, but Rosie O’Donnell? Thought she went off the airwaves when Miss Gun Control’s armed bodyguard was discovered escorting her kids around here in Greenwich.


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Gasoline prices soaring and finally, there’s a reason to blame Obama


Prius owners for Obama

Up, up and away with an election growing ever-closer. Refineries in the North East are shutting down, forcing prices up across the nation. Obumpski’s vetoing of the Keystone pipeline may have won him votes among his green crowd but they were going to vote for him anyway. Those who are still considering the matter (hard to believe, but they do exist) are going to hear the words, “not enough pipelines” and remember the veto, regardless of whether that particular pipeline could have been built in time to avoid this. Of course it couldn’t, but if the Republicans can get their act together they’ll lump Keystone in with all the other energy projects stymied by the Democrats over the years and have a winning issue.

Refineries in the Northeast are under financial pressure for two reasons. They have limited access to cheaper, high-grade crude oil produced in the middle of the U.S. because there are not enough pipelines, which is forcing them to pay more for oil from elsewhere, most of it from overseas. And many of their facilities aren’t set up to process lower-grade crude that is cheaper.

As Northeastern refining capacity declines, it will force distributors in the region to buy gasoline from elsewhere, pushing up prices across the country and increasing the likelihood of price spikes, government officials and analysts warn.

“There’s now going to be a question if we can get enough gasoline into the East Coast for summer,” said David Greely, an energy analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The U.S. Energy Department has warned a shortfall could develop as early as July.


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Easy to see why Fudrucker appointed Ian MacMillan Greenwich Harbormaster

Triumph of the Harbor Master

MacMillan is driving Peter Tesei insane. Oh the joy for the Demmerkrat’s past candidate for First Selectman. One simple call to his pal the Governor, Tesei’s own harbor master pick is jettisoned and Fudrucker’s comes aboard, all to the utter discombobulation of angry Peter. Talk about bang for your buck.


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A bad idea whose time will never come

Why is it that politicians never tire of finding new ways to spend our money? Here’s a group of Hartford yahoos who want to double, to $60,000,000 a fund that will “loan” money to homeowners behind on their mortgage. That’s a heart-warming goal, certainly, but it’s a sure loser and will be totally ineffective to solve the current foreclosure difficulties which are primarily the result of falling house prices, not loss of jobs or unexpected medical bills as these legislators claim.

According to the article, the average loan to delinquent homeowners was $67,000 in 2011, up from $25,850 when the program started in 2008 – funny how government programs always grow, isn’t it? Armed with a calculator, I take the $60,000,000 in new money which, divided by 67,000, yields 895 homeowners who can be helped out here. A drop in the bucket.

One in 14 residential mortgages in Connecticut is currently in foreclosure. if I can work out the 2011 census data correctly, we have 1,026,645 owner-occupied homes (1,487,891 total residential units, 69% owner-occupied = 1,026,645). Can we assume 65% of those have mortgages? Why not, and that gives us 667,319 mortgages. Divide that number by 14 and you get 47,666 loans in foreclosure. Even if I’m way off, there are obviously far more than 895 people in danger of losing their homes.

As for the loans that are supposedly going to be repaid “when the borrowers get back on their feet”, is that really going to happen? I think it unlikely, in which case this $60,000,000 is gone forever – it certainly won’t be recouped when the houses are eventually sold at a loss.

Look – I’m sorry that there are homeowners in trouble who are going to lose their homes – I’ve been in homes being foreclosed and to see kids toys on the lawn and in the children’s bedrooms, boxes packed with belongings and family pictures still on the shelves is absolutely heartbreaking – I hate it. But selecting 895 homeowners at random and trying to help them while doing nothing for the other 47,000 is strictly a feel-good measure that can’t address the real issue. I’m afraid that the solution is to let the process continue until the housing bubble is fully deflated. The plus side? Houses will be more affordable and more people who couldn’t buy a house in 2007 will now be able to do so. Foreclosed owners will get out from under an unsustainable debt and, eventually, may be able to buy a new home – or even the same home – at a better price. Disruption of families and huge heartbreak and hardship will ensue, but I don’t see a better way – the Hartford solution certainly isn’t it.


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This will be a test of the new construction market in Riverside

9 Miltiades came up for sale yesterday asking $2.850 million and I’ll be curious to see how it fares. Its builder paid $695,000 for the original house back in October, ’09, so he’s definitely looking for a home run here. Maybe. The lot backs up to the railroad tracks, never a popular option despite its convenience to transportation and it’s definitely a FAR Baby, meaning the roof’s been chopped off to eliminate an attic and cram more living space in the two floors (and the subterranean “lower level”) below.

But, including that basement, it’s got six bedrooms, two laundry units, one on the second floor, the second in the basement and I’m sure a kitchen with all the latest whiz-bang appliances. Not at all my cup of tea but I’m not the one in the market for a new house in Riverside. So maybe it will fetch a handsome price; the way things are going in Riverside these days, I wouldn’t be awfully surprised if it did.


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A whale dives off the inventory board

60 Oneida Drive, asking $14.9 million (from an initial price of $21 million) was reported as having an accepted offer Friday. Six acres of quasi-waterfront (tidal) with good, if not spectacular views, it’s possibly a subdivide –  “application pending”. The assessment for this parcel is $13,000,000 which, remember, is supposed to be 70% of the estimated market value. It would seem that the assessor’s office was a tad exuberant in calculating this property’s worth. Still, a lot of money.


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