Monthly Archives: December 2012
Scrambling to exploit the Newtown massacre, politicians are rushing out proposals to ban guns, as usual. New York State is not unique in this grandstanding, but here’s Governor Cuomo anyway, as he joins the effort to redefine and limit the Second Amendment;
“No one is talking about making guns illegal,” Cuomo said Monday. “No one is talking about legitimate hunters and sportspeople. We’re talking about illegal guns. We’re talking about abuse of guns. We’re talking about guns that have no real hunting or sporting purpose.
So if it’s not a “hunting weapon”, as he will define it, he wants it confiscated. and he just said it:
“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’” he said.
Cuomo continued, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
Michael Bloomberg makes the same deliberate conflation of the two topics, bear hunting and the right to bear arms, calling for a ban of all semi-automatic guns, including pistols.
But if he had his preference, Bloomberg said he would go farther than the 1994 ban and outlaw all automatic ** and semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. The mayor said magazines shouldn’t be allowed to contain more than five or six rounds.
“If you haven’t hit the deer with three shots, you’re a pretty lousy shot. The deer deserves to get away,” he said.
As I’ve mentioned here before, my deer hunting rifles are either a single shot (Ruger No. 1 .308) or four (Ruger M77 .270, bolt action) or six (Winchester 1894 lever action .30/30). Those are hunting weapons, and they’re just fine for their intended purpose. But the Second Amendment is about self defense, against both tyrants and, more likely, criminals intent on causing harm, and a single shot rifle isn’t anywhere nearly as suitable for that purpose as a semi-automatic weapon, rifle or pistol – if you miss a deer, “the deer deserves to get away”, as our armed-guard-protected mayor from next door observes. But unlike deer, criminals keep coming, and only a liberal believes they deserve to get away with it.
Liberals prefer to leave their self defense to our police and are rewarded by scenes like that in Cheshire, where the cops waited at the foot of the driveway for half-an-hour while two scum suckers beat, raped and burned alive a doctor’s wife and his two daughters. That split: reliance on government vs. oneself, gets at the very heart of the liberal – libertarian debate in this country.
There’s no question that faced with danger, I’d prefer to have a single shot rifle than no weapon except a portable phone to call for help, but I feel safer with one of my semi-automatic pistols (“semi-automatic” means that for each pull of the trigger, a bullet heads for the bad guy ). The point is not what I prefer, however, nor is it what Cuomo and Bloomberg think I should be permitted to have. What I do have is the right to own what I decide is necessary to protect myself and other people.
Cuomo et als want to terminate that right and confiscate 300 million weapons. The pretense that they’ll stop at just limiting the right of gun ownership to thee-shot hunting rifles is just that: an opening salvo, and in unguarded moments they slip up and admit that.
Which is why the NRA resists the movement for still another “common sense” ban on guns. Gun owners see what’s coming, even if others, unfamiliar with guns and whipped up to a frenzy by an equally ignorant press (just yesterday the New York Times, which employs only low capacity reporters, called for a ban on “high capacity” ammunition) and politicians**.
* “Come and take them” ” [E] xpression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae.”
**automatic weapons, which Mayor Blumberg wants to ban, fire a steady stream of bullets as long as the trigger is depressed and the ammunition holds out: they have been pretty much outlawed since 1934, though that hasn’t prevented their presence in this country, just as laws against murder haven’t ended, you know, murder. Duh).
From FWIW’s Irish correspondent comes a report of an event that has the locals gobsmacked:
It seems that one Maseraiti (driven by woman, but did I say anything?) pulled from a parking space and hit another, with resulting damages. It probably does seem unusual in a country with just 80 registered Maseratis (out of a total of 632 cars), two should find each other, but hell, here in Greenwich you’d find that many in the Whole Foods parking lot on any given Saturday morning. Donkeys are rarer.
The media’s having a field day with NRA’s assertion that armed citizens can stop armed criminals and the assertion that the media has a vested interest in exploiting and even encouraging the fringe. “Who, us?”, they ask? “Perish the thought!”
Leave aside the possible link between violent video games and movies causing mayhem for a minute and ponder this thought experiment: assuming many of these evil people are spurred to act from a desire to achieve national, even world-wide fame (and the flurry of shootings that follow a notorious massacre seem to suggest they are), what if the press imposed a voluntary moratorium on disclosing the murderers’ names and photographs? Those identities would still be revealed on the Internet – everything is – but the fierce urge to go out with a bang, so to speak, might be dissipated if the madman knew he wasn’t going to make it onto the national news.
I’m not suggesting we enact a law forcing this change – I’m as much in favor of the First Amendment as I am of the Second, but the press could do this on its own, just as it voluntarily shields the identities of rape victims and, often, victims of domestic violence. The New York Times could lead the way, perhaps, and CBS and the Washington Post could follow its example. If a new reporting ethic were established, smaller media outlets might follow suit.
Would this work? Depriving a fire of oxygen usually does, but it costs nothing to try and if it were effective, we’d learn of its success far sooner than the culmination of the decades-long battle gun ownership foes are facing to confiscate 300 million weapons. What’s the downside?
UPDATE: taking time from their sincere efforts to avert financial disaster, the Senate has just passed a resolution calling for The Village Voice to stop publishing sex classifieds. So why not a similar resolution addressed to The New York Times?
Here’s the route taken by a small tin of leather dressing from Cherry Hill NJ to Greenwich*
*UPDATE, Saturday, December 22: In fact, it has yet to arrive.
New EU regulations barring gender discrimination in insurance policies means women will now pay for men’s mistakes. About time, too.
The effect of this ruling is that private insurance products which differentiate by gender on price or benefits will be banned.
Young female drivers will be the worst affected by the new rules, with premiums rising by 24pc on average across the eight insurers reviewed by AA Insurnace.
Premiums for women aged 30 will rise by an average of 9pc, compared to average increases of 2pc for women aged 70.
Broker Chill.ie said there would be increases in premiums for female teenage drivers of up to €300.
But there will be savings in the region of €2,500 on motor insurance for teenage male drivers.
I think the MLS has shut down until next Wednesday or will close early Monday, but here’s one more accepted offer that came in at the closing bell, 101 Brookside Drive, $4.995. Great old (1903) house on 2 acres close to town, it sold for $5.995 million in 2008.
14 Dwight Lane, $2.9 million, asked $4.3 originally. Good house, but Dwight’s way north.
505 Indian Field Road, 3.7 acres, waterfront in Mead Point sold direct for $7.250 million. “Sold direct” usually means that the seller – in this case, the estate of the late owner – has an offer in hand before even listing it but tries a higher price on the MLS for a period of time (30 days, here) to see if they can do better. So this was priced at $8.750 million and after no offer came in that would justify paying a commission, the house goes to the first offer. Listing brokers hate that sort of arrangement, not surprisingly, because they go to the expense and the labor of marketing a property, only to watch their efforts go unrewarded. But sometimes that’s the risk you have to take to gain a listing. No one said real estate was (always) easy.
This is beautiful land, by the way, but it was also the scene of a brutal home invasion in the 80s. The armed thieves came in by water, thereby evading the 24-hour security guards and broke into the house, forced the owners into a closet and ransacked the place. An ugly business.
Two accepted offers have been reported, 610 Lake Avenue, swampland asking $975,000, and 5 Dawn Harbor, Riverside, whose last listing price was $2.7 million. Its last price is better than where it started 643 days ago: $3.195, but I’ve never been wild about this house. Still, it’s in a good section of Riverside and not particularly out of line with the prices of comparable houses in the Indian Head neighborhood, so I get it.
3 Loughlin Avenue, Cos Cob, $450,000. Listing says “engineer’s report available” and cautions that the sale is “as is”, so you know what that means. But Loughlin’s a decent street with the park, a Starbucks and your choice of 15 banks nearby to stash the money you saved by buying here.
67 Nearwater sold for $950,000 and I think that’s a very decent price for both parties. There’s a community beach in this association providing access to the Mianus and this house in particular is in great shape. A couple of odd decisions in bathroom layout and design, perhaps, but as long as the plumbing is where you want it and you don’t have to relocate it, redoing bathrooms doesn’t have to be a crushingly expensive job.
14 Buckingham, the short sale discussed here last week, closed at $1.196 million. Seems like a good house for this price, this location.
The gate house (on ten acres) up at 2 Conyers Farm has sold for $5.350 after originally asking $7.995 in 2009.
And bringing up the rear, 651 Steamboat Road has sold for $3.3 million. Its owners have had this on the market for a grand total of 1,516 days, having originally priced it at $6.4 million in 2008. I have no idea what possessed these folks to cause them to overestimate the value of their home so grossly, but there it is: a house is worth what someone’s willing to pay for it, not what you what want. If you must dream, at least do so in black and white, not glorious Technicolor.
Three pretty big price tags. Two, 15 Khakum Wood, $7.525, and 34 Meeting House Road, $4.975, weren’t active listings but their sales were recorded today “for reporting purposes only”. The money spends the same either way.
The third, 47 Doubling Road, was discussed here when contracts were signed recently but it closed today at $2.875 million. Doubling was custom built for the sellers in 1994 and was very well maintained since then so while there are some changes that could be made – I’d redo the master bathroom, perhaps, it’s ready as is. 7,823 sq. ft., one acre, close to town. I’m Riverside born and bred, but this is a lot more house than you’ll find for anything close to its price in Riverside. That’s not like saying, “you could get this for less than half in Minnesota” (sorry, Peg) because Doubling is Greenwich, and one of the nicest areas of Greenwich, too.
In any event, my clients are happy, I’m pleased, and everything’s done in time for Christmas. There is a Santa Claus.
19 Benjamin Street, a 1964 split level last updated in 1980 but on a half-acre, $1.830 million. And it sold quickly: 58 days. I’m beyond being surprised by OG and Riverside prices.
Bi-partisan task force says New York’s a disaster waiting to happen. And it won’t be a long wait. According to the report, one of the most troubling areas for concern is the state’s Medicaid budget, “which is larger than those of Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas combined.” [emphasis added]. The report said that while the Cuomo administration had put in place a cap on annual increases in health care spending, it was not certain the measure would drive down costs over the long run.
44 Carriglea Lane, $2.9 million. I thought its original price of $4.250 was ill-advised and said so a couple of times, but Carriglea’s a good street, and an acre with water glimpses is worth at least $2 million and possibly more. Assuming these buyers intend to keep this 1972 contemporary to live in – and it’s a nice house – $2.9 makes sense, in so far as any Riverside price makes sense these days.
They really do. I gave up looking to Blodgett for useful information long ago, but he and his clueless interns do provide an entertaining source of annoying stupidity.
Or close the wall with our Realtor dead. 26 North Street, twice reported as being under contract and twice returned to the market, is back again.
Various sources on the Internet are claiming that the final day of the Mayan calendar has come and gone, leaving most of us still here, but in NYC last night, people were still searching for one last sexual escapade. Surely it must still be before midnight somewhere in the world, you’ve just got to have faith; let’s talk.