Daily Archives: July 23, 2012
The Syrian regime threatened to use chemical and biological weapons in the case of an external attack yesterday, in what appeared to be a chilling warning to Western and Arab nations pushing for intervention in the country’s bloody civil war.
The comments by a foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, were the first public admission by the Syrian government that it possesses such weapons of mass destruction. Mr Makdissi stressed that such weaponry would not be used against the Syrian people.
Legal Insurrection has compiled a nice selection of Dollar Bill types foaming about Jewish neo-con conspiracies on this subject just two weeks ago. Here’s a sampling:
For anyone who remembers the WMD story that started the war in Iraq, they may soon have a dejavu! …
Aha! A dictator with WMDs again. Time for war right? For anyone who forgot the Iraq movie, it seems that there is a repeat of the movie starting in the Wall Street Journal.
It also seems that some people really love wars. After months of an intense propaganda to obviously push for a new intervention and war in Syria, in support of the Saudi backed rebels, it seems that now we have another WMD story.
From a community blog post at Current.com:
The next step is for the US media to claim that the country has, or is willing to obtain “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD).
In this case the lie/distortion of WMD’s using Israeli sources and Israeli intelligence sources operating out of the Pentagon is now being claimed about Syria.
Where have we heard this story before?
Father Michael Moynihan, late of St. Michael Church up on North Street, stole a million bucks or so, kept a boyfriend in a luxurious NYC apartment, enjoyed a nice yacht and grew corpulent dining at the trough of his parishioners. After all that, he’s ordered to return a small fraction of what he stole and granted three hots and a cot for five months.
104 Ritch Avenue has sold for $650,000. It sold for $750,000 in 2003, got an updated kitchen and bath in 2006 and was put back up for sale in 2009 for $934,500. Took awhile, but now it’s sold. This project has I-95 for a backyard so I guess I’m surprised it even sold for this much.
Or Goldman Sachs has a large position in homebuilders it wants to unload. Anyway, they say that housing is poised for a comeback. These guys have all the credibility of Henry Blodget – in fact, Henry ought to be a verb by now: “to lie shamelessly about a particular stock or industry in order to drive up its price”. Could be a noun too, I suppose: “Goldman Sachs dumped a Blodget on the market today in the form of a buy recommendation for the housing sector:.
74 Dandy Drive sold for $1.445 million (June contract). Completely renovated – kitchen, baths, pool, landscaping, so it’s a good price guide to this street going forward. There are a number of houses this age on Dandy so you can get an estimate of what it would cost to redo/improve them, subtract that sum from this one’s selling price and Bob’s your uncle.The listing history, by the way, shows this as selling in a price war just a year ago for $1,455,729. Don’t know what happened but the owner did alright to get back what he paid for it, less transaction costs.
The litany of woes Horton describes are undeniable: a failing, run down Binney Park, with the pond silted up and reverting to the swamp it once was, benches gone and even our tennis courts still closed five days after the winds knocked down the fencing. Sewer maintenance, new fire house downtown, desired new fire house, NW Greenwich, soil remediation at the high school, deferred maintenance of our schools, etc. etc.
Higher taxes? Pile up more debt? The latter is tempting, given the low interest rates available but it’s also reasonable to fear that dept, if unleashed, will swallow tax revenues.
I’m inclined to think we stop building new until we’ve fixed what we already have but that’s not going to build a new firehouse or even rebuild the existing one and it certainly won’t address the toxic dump at the high school. So ….?
I either missed these when they were reported as accepted offers or they weren’t reported until now, when they have fully – executed contracts, but anyway, here they are:
158 Indian Head Road, Riverside waterfront, asking $12.5 million. Fabulous land but the house’s layout felt awfully dated, to me. Nice renovation, but the hallways are still narrow and dark, some of the bedrooms are cramped, etc. But someone obviously disagreed.
50 Close Road, four good acres, tired house and a nice stable, asking $3.5 million. Hmm.
Italy, Spain, ban short selling. When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.
“I don’t think it is particularly smart but it is to be expected,” said Owen Callan, senior dealer atDanske Bank A/S in Dublin, in a phone interview. “Last time around it didn’t really have any lasting impact. This is trying to avert hedge- fund speculation, but the selloff is not about speculation. This is not hedge funds trying to bring down the market.”
News from the Holy Church of Gaea: UV rays from compact fluorescent bulbs harm your skin. Worse, slapping on sunscreen before entering your home only makes things worse. The Prius Ninnies who brought about the compulsory use of CFL’s may want to smash these things with their BPA water bottles out of frustration, but that will just spew deadly mercury into the air. What’s a mother to do?
New research funded by the National Science Foundation has scientists warning consumers about the potentially harmful effects energy-saving CFL light bulbs can have on skin.
The warning comes based on a study conducted by Stony Brook University and New York State Stem Cell Science — published in the June issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology — which looked at whether and how the invisible UV rays CFL bulbs emit affect the skin.
Based on the research, scientists concluded that CFL light bulbs can be harmful to healthy skin cells.
“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University, in New York, in a statement. “Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.”
According to Rafailovich, incandescent bulbs of the same light intensity had zero effects on healthy skin.
24 Marshall Street, Havemeyer, OG. Asked $949,500, got $870,000.
That bank owned two acres at 20 Carpenters Brook sold for $1,000,100. It asked $4 million in 2007 but don’t let that fool you – $1 million for this was top dollar.
Europe got hammered, stock indexes down around 3% and the American market getting off to an equally crummy start.
Tough bargaining by second-lien holders is delaying deals and killing some short sales, even as banks embrace the practice to avoid costly foreclosures and help clear the market of homes that are worth less than the loans on them, said Vicki Been, a New York University law professor who has studied mortgages.
“It’s an opportunity for the second-lien holder to charge a price for their cooperation, because it’s needed for a short sale,” Been, a director at NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, said in a telephone interview. “If they’re too greedy, it may squelch the whole deal.”
Roadblocks involving second liens are standing in the way of more short sales, which reached the highest number in three years in the first quarter — 133,192 total transactions — said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate information service in Irvine,California.
While about 39 percent of homes that have entered the foreclosure process have more than one lien, just 4.2 percent of short sales — 5,658 transactions — completed in the first quarter were on homes with second mortgages, according to an analysis RealtyTrac performed for Bloomberg.
The holders of these second mortgages paid from a penny to sixty cents on the dollar for the position, so you’d think they’d consider any payment above that to be found money. Not so, and not if they think the homeowner still has assets somewhere.
“The short-sale brokers know us — they know we’re not cupcakes,” Axon, 60, chairman of Jersey City, New Jersey-based mortgage-servicer Franklin Credit Management Corp., said in an interview. “At the end of the day, my friend, you signed a contract. You owe money and we’re willing to reach an accommodation that is commensurate with your ability to pay.”