Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

Dr. Krugman on the future of healthcare in America

Paul Krugman assured us back in 2009 that, “In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.”

Krugman used that claim to convince his readers to support ObamaKare and now they have it coming. Lucky them. lucky us.

“My husband died like a battery hen”. 

Ann Clwyd broke down as she spoke about the final moments of Owen Roberts, who contracted pneumonia after being admitted. They had been married nearly 50 years.

She said her husband was squashed against the side of his bed, his lips dry, and cold from a fan that had been turned on for a patient in an adjacent bay.

She painted a picture of nurses who treated her husband with “coldness, resentment, indifference and even contempt” – echoing the words of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week.

Ms Clwyd said she had had “nightmares” about what happened, adding: “I really do feel he died from people who didn’t care.”

Ms Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley since 1984 and Tony Blair’s former human rights envoy to Iraq, said she had chosen to speak out because such treatment had become “too commonplace”.

“Nobody, nobody should have to die in conditions like I saw my husband die in,” she said during a radio interview.

Smug supporters of what’s being foisted on the US live in a fool’s paradise, confident that, just as someone else will be taxed to pay for their compassion for the poor, the favored few will continue to receive good health care. A senior member of parliament and former ambassador of England is not a shoeless homeless man in Times Square, yet her husband received the same indifferent treatment as that bum can expect. Ain’t equality grand?


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England’s going bust, slashing its welfare programs – what can it do to alleviate the pain?

Give away £2 billion to poorer countries for wind beanies and polar bear rugs.

Each household will contribute £70 to schemes to tackle climate change in developing countries before March 2015, under plans championed by Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary.

Conservative MPs were furious last night at the scale of the bill, which was unveiled as George Osborne prepares to announce a series of tax rises and spending cuts in today’s Autumn Statement.

Lord Lawson of Blaby, a former Chancellor, also criticised the “appalling waste of money” at a time when household budgets are already squeezed.

Senior Conservatives were also dismayed at the timing of the announcement, but Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, hailed the cash as “fantastic news”.

The disclosure is sure to provoke anger among hard-pressed families, who increasingly see foreign aid and green energy as among the lowest priorities for Government spending in the current financial climate.


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Elections have consequences, II

Slouching towards Bethlehem

Slouching towards Bethlehem

Obama meets with his new tax advisers Rachael Meadow and Al Sharpton at White House for counseling on how to deal with the budget and exactly how much to raise taxes on the rich.  Which is pretty rich in itself, since the Reverend Al doesn’t seem to pay any taxes at all and Miss Meadow, as an entertainer, surely has access to every tax loophole afforded to her class by her fawning friends in Washington.


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Elections have consequences? Well then this serves Obama’s Wall Street backers right

Squaw no likeum white man in suit!

Squaw no likeum white man in suit!

Elizabeth Warren to be named to Senate Banking Committee.  I can sell houses at any price and still make a living, but can the bankers who whooped and hollered Obama into the presidency make a living when there’s no living to be made? The high end market is dead – this opening shot of Obama’s war on Wall Street is a good indication that the current state of affairs will last until 2016. And maybe far longer. Oops!


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Accepted offer reported

101 Brookside101 Brookside Drive, asking $4.995. It sold for $5.995 in 2008, hardly an example of propitious timing. I remember this as a house that needed (a lot of) work, but I may have it confused with another property. Nice bones though, as they say. And two acres next to town? Great location.


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Yellow dog Democrats

Well hell, we got 'em to vote for Bobby Byrd, didden we? You a shoo-in, Bubba

Well hell, we got ’em to vote for Bobby Byrd, didden we? You a shoo-in, Bubba

Last spring, ex-con Ernie Newton was chosen to represent Bridgeport by his Democrat peers, only to lose that distinction later this summer when a larger pool of Democrat primary voters elected Christine Ayala to the State Senate (in any town in Connecticut except Greenwich, to win the Democrat primary is to win the election). Mr. Newton was returned to the streets, Ayala will head up to Hartford if she can find a driver, but no matter: there will be no difference in the quality of representation come January, because Miss Ayala, who was arrested the day after her primary victory for a hit-and-run was yesterday arrested again. This time it was for bitch-slapping her live-in boyfriend during a fight occasioned, no doubt, by the approach of Christmas and that holiday’s aura of good will towards men. The Connecticut Post does an admirable job of depicting the behavior and demeanor of this latest product of the Democratic Machine:

While she was arraigned on her latest charges Tuesday, Ayala stood in the courtroom chewing gum as Judge Earl Richards warned her to have no further contact with her boyfriend

Last August, Ayala was charged with evading responsibility, failure to obey a traffic signal and failure to renew her vehicle’s registration after police said she fled the scene of an accident with two minors in her car. The accident came the day after she won the Democratic primary in the 128th District.

According to a police accident summary, Ayala was driving a 2007 Nissan Sentra with a 13-year-old and a 7-year-old on board when it collided with a 2002 Honda Accord driven by a 26-year-old Bridgeport woman. Police said both cars had heavy front-end damage and both were later towed away.

Police said Ayala fled the accident scene and was eventually flagged down at the corner of Brooklawn Avenue and Laurel Place by a person who had witnessed the accident and pursued her. The distance between the accident location and where Ayala stopped is about six blocks. Ayala, told police that she left the scene because a man yelled at her and she was scared.

On Election Day, Ayala easily rolled over her challenger by garnering 3,143 votes to Republican opponent Manuel Bataguas’ 372. She will now occupy the seat being vacated by her cousin Andres Ayala, who was elected to the state Senate. Ayala also is the daughter of Santa Ayala, the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

These are the candidates and the voters who Governor Malloy and the Greenwich Association of Democrats think should run our state. Only a cynic would suggest that their real goal is to assemble a stable of incompetents who will do the will of their party bosses and the unions the Democrats are beholden to.


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The oldest listing in Greenwich has a contract!

Go own, Moses ....

Go down, Moses ….

After years in the wilderness, a journey that began in 1994*, 44 Upper Cross Road reports an executed contract. Twenty-three acres and a disposable house, asking $8.499 million, and while it hasn’t closed yet, the Promised Land is in view. How many official days on market? It’s been on and off, but active days, not counting those when a buyer could have just called up the owner and revived it, number in the thousands – probably close to 9,000.

Brother Gideon will I’m sure feel a twinge of nostalgia seeing this go because it was first listed for sale when he was just setting forth on his brilliant career and now, sniff, it will be gone, surely imparting a faint sense of mortality to the poor guy. Nothing lasts forever.

* Gideon corrects me: his memory places this disaster beginning in 1990.


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Just because a law is sensible doesn’t mean it should be enacted

Back seat driving while sipping coffee - illegal?

Back seat driving while sipping coffee – illegal?

Huron South Dakota (and where, pray tell, is South Dakota?) bans eating, drinking coffee and doing anything else that distracts while driving.

HURON, SD -Huron is the latest city in South Dakota to ban texting while driving.

The ordinance approved by the City Commission on Monday night also encompasses distracted driving. Mayor Dave McGirr says that includes everything from eating pizza to reading a newspaper while driving. The ordinance also bars drivers with learners’ permits from talking on a phone while driving.

The ordinance will go into effect sometime around the start of the new year, with police giving motorists a grace period while they become familiar with the new law. The fine for texting while driving will be $100, and the fine for distracted driving $15.

Since reporters no longer report, I took two seconds to look up the latest fatal accident statistics for Huron (pop. 12,000). Turns out there were two in 2009, and one in 2008. No mention of whether any of those deaths were caused by a pepperoni slice falling into the driver’s lap – indeed there’s no mention of the cause at all. So, while driving while distracted is probably unwise, why do the people of Huron feel it necessary to pass a law forbidding it? I’d spend my energy voting the City Commission members out of office, but that’s just me.


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Free house in Riverside

Club RdOf course, you still have to buy the land but hey, this is Greenwich, after all. In any event, 59 Club Road was pulled from the market a month or two ago and is back today, now listed as land as well as residential, and at a new price of $3.295, down from $3.895. The place sold for $3.150 in 2005, overnight, so demand has obviously changed.

I like this house, inside, but its layout reflects the predilection of its previous owners to stretch it out by adding additions. That, and its placement on the very edge of its rear boundary – probably the result of a lot split sometime between 1924, when this house was built, and the present – yield a strong argument for razing it and starting anew.

Dozer Dave Does Demo

Does Doughty Davey Dozer Do Diurnal Demo Deftly? Doubtful.

But it’s a very large parcel on a great street, so the land alone is probably worth what they’re asking. And it does come with a perfectly nice house.


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Hope springs eternal

Not much in the way of (new) open house listings today, but two old favorites are back.

10 Blanchard, over in Baliwick, has tried three times to find its price:

2010: $2.795

2011; $2.895

Today: $2.995

Perhaps $5 million will be the sweet spot, in 2025.

And fresh from losing his other property at 1038 Lake Avenue to foreclosure, the owner of 44 Close Road is playing “beat the reaper” just ahead of his creditors. Will he escape? Fall prey to his lenders’ claws? Stay tuned: Perils of Pauline continues.

Decorations by Baretta

Decorations by Baretta – at the point of a gun?

Interesting side note: Two months after title passed to PinPat Acquisitions (Patriot Bank) via strict foreclosure, 1038 Lake Avenue, known so affectionately here at FWIW as “The Clown Palace” or “Lake Avenue School for the Blind”,  is still shown as an active listing in the former owner’s name. I wonder who’s going to break the news to its listing agent that she no longer has a property to sell?


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Chairman Mao sighting in the Student Center

Forgive me, comrades, for I have sinned

Forgive me, comrades, for I have sinned

A reader sent along this article in Greenwich Patch written by an apologist for this “Names Hurt” day at GHS. The comments are more enlightening than the article itself, and it’s interesting that, while educators involved in the program post their own comments defending the wasted day, not a single one of them will answer readers’ repeated inquiries about what the program costs. Perhaps our BOA would like to share that information with us.

Here’s a description of what goes on, courtesy of “reporter” ( and public relations specialist) Leslie Yager:

The themes of  Names Day are bullying and empathy, but the framework for discussion is broken down into “targets, allies, bystanders and perpetrators.”

The morning session is led by upperclassmen who relay their personal stories to an auditorium brimming with curious, but sometimes-suspicious freshmen. In fact, a handful of freshmen opt out because it is not unreasonable to anticipate that no one would brave the open microphones. Yet, “after the first three, a line forms,” said junior Henry Snyder.

According to junior Kate Webster, “The first few people were slow to come up to the microphone. After that, there were so many in line, there wasn’t time for everyone to speak.”

Some of those moved to speak share the pain of having been bullied (targets). Others apologize publicly for having been bullies (perpetrators). By the end of the session, some of the perpetrators confess to having been bullied themselves. Others share their epiphany after realizing that playing the role of bystander can have as dangerous a consequence as being a perpetrator.

“When someone got up and talked about an insecurity of what they’re being made fun of, people shouted out from the audience, “You’re beautiful!’” reported junior Annie Riley.

“Afterward,” said sophomore Alleyha Dannett, “There were so many hugs and tears.”

“Yes,” said junior Angelica Simionatto. “Afterward one girl hugged me so tight and she had tears in her eyes and said, ‘Now I’m not going to stand around when I see someone alone.’”

Snyder nodded knowingly. “At lunch today, you walked around seeing people you’d never expect to be friends sitting together. People were pushing tables together so that no one had to sit alone. It made me feel really good because it means we succeeded.”

After the morning of speeches and the open microphones, students and staff broke into discussion groups. Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, who founded the Names Day program many years ago, reflected on the morning with Bill Foster and Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee, also from the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and a group of students upstairs in the GHS media center.

Our students’ teachers seem to have adopted this concept of group confession from their collectivist allies. From “The Great Soviet Encyclopedia”: 

Criticism and Self-Criticism 

a method of exposing the contradictions of social development; an indispensable aspect of material and intellectual activity; one of the fundamental principles of the revolutionary transforming activity of Marxist-Leninist political parties and, in socialist society, of the entire people; one of the moving forces of development in socialist society; and a principle of the moral upbringing, self-education, and spiritual development of people. The essence of criticism and self-criticism consists in the recognition and exposure, in one form or another, of the contradictions, errors, or shortcomings that arise for objective or subjective reasons in the course of social practice, in order to overcome them.

The art of self-criticism will be an important one in the new world order, and the lucky members of the Greenwich High School band will have an opportunity to practice that skill during their upcoming trip to Cuba, sponsored and endorsed by our Board of Education. Remember when it was the responsibility of parents and spiritual leaders to instruct children on the Golden Rule, and kindness and respect towards others? Fortunately, we have the state to do that for us now.


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Greenwich Housing Inventory

Besides employing some excellent agents, Shore & Country compiles a great data base that’s available at its website.  Here’s a screen shot of just one table that I think is of interest.

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 6.17.04 AM


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For this we need a longer school day?

Next up, head lice check and fluoride swish and spit!

Next up, head lice check and fluoride swish and spit!

Letter to Parents from Greenwich High School:

We are pleased to inform you that on Thursday, December 6, the Greenwich High School Class of 2016 will take part in a program called “Names Can Really Hurt Us.”  Co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and Greenwich High School, “Names” is an all-day workshop that invites students to explore how name-calling and other forms of prejudice can poison the atmosphere at school and lead to serious consequences. Names” has been delivered successfully at schools throughout Connecticut, including Staples, Weston High School, Darien High School, and Fairfield High School.  This year will be the thirteenth consecutive year that“Names” will be part of the freshman orientation process.

The day’s activities will start with an assembly during which members of the student body will share their experiences with prejudice, either as targets, perpetrators, bystanders, or allies.  Prepared speeches by GHS students will be followed by an open-microphone period during which students in the audience can respond to the speakers or share their own experiences.  The freshmen will then eat lunch together in a specially scheduled lunch block.  After lunch, student/faculty teams who have completed an extensive training program will facilitate a discussion period.

We appreciate your support for this endeavor.  Since 2000 it has helped lay the foundation for a more unified, more sensitive student body in our diverse GHS community.  Further questions should be directed to your student’s House Administrator.

Sincerely yours,

Carol Sutton

Names Steering Committee Chair

Cantor House

An interesting expenditure of funds just as the school budget comes up for review.


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