Daily Archives: January 7, 2013

Abortion Mill

save the childrenPlanned Parenthood’s results for 2011 are out and the numbers are interesting. Summary is here.

333,964 abortions performed in 2011 – three year total, 995,687, just missing that magic million mark, darn it! (2010-2011 Annual Report, p.5)

$542 million received in taxpayer money in 2011, 45% of budget.

92% of its “pregnancy services” is providing abortions, 7% prenatal care, 0.6% adoption.

Love abortion or hate it, it would be nice if the left stopped referring to Planned Parenthood as some sort of womens’ health care provider and admitted to what it is: an abortion mill. Then we can debate whether taxpayers should fund it.

47 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Accepted offer reported

25 Lindsay Drive

25 Lindsay Drive

Someone presumably received good news about his bonus this year because 25 Lindsay Drive, asking $8.9 million, has an accepted offer. The sale of the two acres this was built on probably marks the highwater mark of the 2007 feeding frenzy: priced at $3.950 million in August, 2007, it sold in four days for $4,460,000. Even at that, I’d guess these owners will make out. (UPDATE: On reflection, if these people paid $500 per square foot for each of its 11,000, they lost money – that seems hard to do at $8 million+, but …. The buyer’s beating replacement cost, that’s for sure.)

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A brilliant idea, long overdue

Vandalized Prius

Vandalized Prius

Oregon wants to impose a separate tax on hybrids to make up for lost gasoline revenues. Eschewing anything so simple as raising the gasoline tax itself, which would tax drivers for the amount they drive and encourage conservation, Oregon greens would install GPS tracking devices on Priuses and charge them a special rate. What liberal wouldn’t love this? It’s intrusive, ineffective, expensive and grows the bureaucracy while hitting those who can afford to pay more, rather than the illegal cabbage pickers in their 1960 Impalas. Go, Oregon!

20 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Nothing new but some rentals and condos

Cos Cob meets West Lyon

Cos Cob meets West Lyon

Nothing of particular interest to write about, though I did note a West Lyon Farm condominium has come up for sale and is asking $1.395 million. The owner paid $925,000 for it in 2010 and has completely renovated it with a new kitchen, new baths, etc. All that’s nice to have, but I haven’t seen a W. Lyon Farm unit sell for that kind of money in some years now and I’m skeptical I will again. The ancient downsizers  who used to prop up prices here all seem to have shuffled off to Nathaniel Witherell or found more permanent underground lodging, and their replacements are going elsewhere.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Only Democrats invited to Newtown massacre site (including that perennial camera hog Dick Blumenthal), but it’s not political?

Republican to Gabby Giffords: “stay out of my towns”. The Dems all insist that they were in Newtown to lend aid and comfort to the victims of the recent school horror but what, they were all of the same party by coincidence?

Still, while I think the Republican was right to call them out on this bit of grandstanding I wish she’d have shown a little backbone when issuing the standard non-apology for these sort of incidents:

“The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford’s visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize,” Hovey said in a prepared statement released Monday afternoon.

Well of course you offended people, lady, that was the point . Is there a politician left in America who can denounce his opponent without then pretending to backtrack with one of these “if I offended anyone” statements? If you’re sorry, say so; if not, stick to your guns.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

No printing press to run, no army to disband, no trillion-dollar coin in the closet.

 

Greenwich Democrat Designated Intellectual, Dollar Bill: "Are there no workhouses, no prisons for millionaires?"

Greenwich Democrat Designated Intellectual, Dollar Bill: “Are there no workhouses, no prisons for millionaires?”

New York State’s run out of borrowing capacity.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today warned in an analysis that New York State’s heavy debt burden could jeopardize critical infrastructure projects and other capital needs. New York State has the second highest level of debt in the country and is approaching its legal borrowing limit. The state’s debt capacity is projected to dwindle to $509 million by the end of the next fiscal year.

“New York’s past borrowing is limiting our future options,” DiNapoli said. “We spend billions each year to repay existing debt, so fewer resources are available for more pressing needs. This comes at a challenging time when our state needs to rebuild and repair critical infrastructure and has growing capital needs.

New York’s outstanding debt averages $3,253 per state resident, almost three times the national median. New York’s state-funded debt totaled $63.3 billion as of March 31, second only to California and 80 percent higher than New Jersey, the state with the third highest level. This represents an increase of $24.3 billion, or 62.2 percent, from state fiscal year (SFY) 2002-03. [Connecticut leads the nation in total debt per capita, $5,840.00 - Ed]

The cost of borrowing is increasingly crowding out other state expenditures. New York paid $6.8 billion in state-funded debt service in SFY 2011-12, which amounted to approximately 5.1 percent of All Governmental Funds receipts. Growth in state-funded debt service, at an average annual rate of 9.4 percent over the last 10 years, has far outpaced average annual growth in state spending on both education (5.3 percent) and Medicaid (5.1 percent) for the same period.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

When trees hug back

 

Big Gulp

Big Gulp

Woman discovers her bicycle lost fifty years ago, swallowed by a tree.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

When the leader speaks …

Come and get me, big boy

Come and get me, big boy

In view of his pronounced opposition to gays and lesbians and the existence of Israel, some observers expected those groups to at least resist Obama’s appointment of Chuck Hagel to be our next Secretary of Defense. Silly them, that would be like expecting the Communist Party of America to break party lines with Stalin. It won’t happen.

While there is reluctance from groups and individuals generally supportive of Obama, critics from the Jewish and gay communities aren’t going on the record with outright opposition to the choice of the former Nebraska senator.

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said in a Monday statement that Hagel “would not have been my first choice” but that it’s the “president’s prerogative” to choose who he wants serving in his Cabinet.

Just-retired Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) had been a vocal critic of the pick as recently as a few days ago… but has come to terms with Obama’s choice. “I was hoping the president wouldn’t nominate him,” Frank told the Boston Globe on Monday morning, but he’s willing to look past Hagel’s controversial comments on gay Americans in the interest of the country’s national security priorities.

“The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the group that Hagel once called “the Jewish lobby,” hasn’t weighed in with a statement of opposition, as some have expected it might.

Other Obama allies are also coming in line.

The National Jewish Democratic Council said Monday that while Hagel has a “questionable record on Israel,” it expects him to follow Obama’s “lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel.”

OutServe-SLDN, which represents LGBT members of the military, is also satisfied with Hagel’s apology …. “Senator Hagel clearly has the military credentials and experience to do the job of running our nation’s Defense Department – at OutServe-SLDN, we have no doubt about that – and we appreciate his apology for the anti-gay remarks he made in 1998 and the commitment he expressed to LGBT service members and their families,” the group said in a statement Friday.

Human Rights Campaign said that Hagel’s apology and support for gay rights “is appreciated and shows just how far as a country we have come when a conservative former Senator from Nebraska can have a change of heart on LGBT issues. Our community continues to add allies to our ranks and we’re proud that Senator Hagel is one of them.”

The fact that Hagel is a pacifist who hates the United States is of course irrelevant to the discussion; in fact, for Democrats, it’s a plus, but it’s almost amusing to watch the apparatchiks scramble to line up under official Obama doctrine. Second front now!

RELATED: Even the editorial board of the Washington Post thought he was unfit to serve as Defense Secretary. Of course that was three weeks ago, before the secret marching orders were sent from the White House, so who knows where they stand now?

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Remodeling kitchens

Time to upgrade?

Time to upgrade?

A reader asked whether it makes sense to pay up for the most popular brands of kitchen appliances when redoing her kitchen. I stand ready to be corrected by my readers but my impression is that it does not. A GE Monogram refrigerator, for instance, is rated by Consumer Reports to be far superior to a Sub-Zero. Neither appliance is cheap, but the Sub-Zero is far, far more expensive. Same for Sub-Zero’s “Wolf” brand of stoves. Why pay more for less, if the next buyer won’t care?

It’s my experience that while buyers may look for the Greenwich brands like Sub-Zero, and builders all install them because buyers of new homes expect them, that doesn’t mean they’ll pay extra if they’re there – kitchen remodeling is often on the top of the to-do list for these people, so what do they care, really, about the brand of appliances they’ll be tossing in the dumpster?

And speaking of dumpster diving, I have recommended Green Demolitions here many times because it’s a great organization that offers incredible bargains on practically new kitchens donated by remodelers. $15,000 for a $100,000 kitchen is typical: granite counters, custom cabinets, appliances, the whole deal. If you’re in the mood for replacing your kitchen you’d be well served to contact them and see what someone else has recently donated. All top-of-the-line stuff, all really well priced.

So my advice on appliances is about the same as it is for most improvements: buy for yourself and don’t worry about resale. If you want a pool, go for it. Write off its cost when you install it, enjoy it during your ownership and if you make some of it back when you move, that’s a nice bonus. If you want a Bosch dishwasher (I do, they’re great) or an LG washer/dryer, pay up and get them for their performance – just don’t think you have to spend that money to sell your house later. A three-year-old appliance will still work perfectly but is worthless in terms of resale.

37 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hope and change?

10 Blanchard

10 Blanchard

I see that 10 Blanchard Road, part of the Bailiwick development off Riversville Road, is back on the open house tour tomorrow, priced now at $2.995 million. In 2010 this house couldn’t find a buyer at $2.795. The listing expired at the end of 2010 and the house was off the market for six months until June, 2011, when it returned at $2.895. That didn’t work either, so the sellers have goosed it another $100,000, perhaps to convey the threat that if you don’t buy now, the price will only go higher later.

That strategy might have worked back when Greenwich real estate prices really did rise each year, but it seems a dubious plan for this market. But perhaps the sellers are right and we’ve witnessed a resurgence in western Greenwich values. I hadn’t noticed that phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t occurred. I’ve never sighted Elvis, either.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The end days are upon us

Everyone’s favorite economist, Paul Krugman, is now in favor of the “Trillion – dollar coin” illusion. As predicted, the question of out of control federal spending has disappeared and been replaced by discussion of this pesky debt ceiling that’s crimping our style. Their solution, one that was intended as parody just a few months ago and is now considered conventional wisdom, is the trillion-dollar coin. The Secretary of the Treasury is supposed to deposit a trillion imaginary dollars into the vault and then continue issuing debt, now backed by this chimera.

Federal government spending is based first on revenue and when spending exceeds revenue, then borrowing. When borrowing becomes impossible either we curtail spending or borrow more, using as collateral a handful of magic beans: in this case, a phantom trillion-dollar coin made of platinum but really, it could just as easily be a huge pile of dog feces.

So the dunk drinks up his cash at the local bar, turns to running a tab, and when the proprietor, patience exhausted, finally cuts him off, the drunk goes home, piles up a load of …anything, in his basement and returns to the bar, offering script backed by whatever he says is in his basement. Unless he’s been indulging in his own wares the proprietor won’t fall for such insanity. Our country, on the other hand, seem ready to play the game. Anything to avoid reality and stretch out this doomed scenario for as long as possible.

 

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sooner or later, this will sell

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 10.14.56 AM4 Lockwood Drive, 0.19 acre, 1940 house, is back again, now asking $1.150 million. Its owner tried $1.699 million in 2006-2007 yet eleven price changes and four brokers later it is still available. It’s a decent house but with zero room for expansion, a family room carved out of what had once served as the garage and not much in the way of updating, this one’s a hard sell, even at its new price. What on earth were they thinking when they priced it back in 2006?

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Public service announcement

Cyndee Royle tries out her gun?

Cyndee Royle tries out her gun?

Reader Greenitch sends along this story: Publisher and junior editor of Journal News have both introduced weapons into their neighborhoods: parents beware.

The Rockland County Times confirms that guards were hired and remain posted in front of the homes of Journal News President Janet Hasson and Journal News Executive Editor Cynthia Lambert, alias CynDee Royle.

I find it amusing that cops and most security guards consider guarding these two nitwit “scab duty” and are refusing to do it. Let the bold crusaders buy their own guns, rather than hire others who own their own. And there’s this:

In the driveway of Lambert/Royle’s home in a middle class White Plains neighborhood a man was sitting guard in a vehicle registered to Nikola Dukel of 134 Lake View Avenue in West Harrison. The Rockland County Times was able to run the plates on his 2002 Toyota Camry and confirm this information.

Dukel is listed as a licensed pistol permit holder. He is in fact listed on the Journal News gun-map registry, albeit as Nikola Vukal.

Dukel did not confirm he was working for “private security.” He told the newspaper pointedly, “I’m just here.” Nikola is not listed as a licensed  NYS armed guard or NYS security guard.

I wonder if Cyndee thoroughly vetted her protector or just grabbed the first strong man with a gun and begged him for protection? Sure hope those neighborhood kids are safe from Mr. Dukel’s inherent capacity to go on an insane shooting rampage.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Erratica

Pet Sounds

Pet Sounds

While we’re all sitting around waiting for new inventory to appear on the market, it occurs to me to point out that if you’re preparing to list your house, this is a good time to remove those bright yellow rat poison boxes from the basement. They’re really eye catching, and their presence makes buyers squeamish.

Certainly a thorough home inspection will discover your unwelcome co-inhabitants, but by the time the inspector is there you’ll be in the accepted offer stage, and there’s some momentum going on that should push the deal past this problem. If, on the other hand, a buyer is aware of rats before he even makes an offer it will gnaw at him during his deliberations and you may find that he and his money disappear down a rathole, leaving you with a problem and your still-unsold home.

As a buyer’s agent I’ll alert my people to problems I spot, and rats and other vermin (like the teenager next door with a rock band) are part of that issue spotting. But the odds are good I won’t notice a few stray droppings unless I’m alerted to their presence by a bold yellow box proclaiming “hic sunt dracones”. Ignorance is bliss.

The best course of action would be to call in an exterminator, get rid of the pests and take steps to ensure they won’t return but in some houses, particularly those built on fieldstone foundations with their many gaps and crumbling mortar, this is an almost impossible task. I’m not advising that you deliberately conceal the evidence; fraud’s never a good idea, but you don’t necessarily have to draw attention to your furry friends.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s an interesting reflection on American mainstream journalism that Pravda now lives up to its name while MSM has adopted the Pravda Stalin model

Post election, Pravada gave us an honest look at who Obama is and where he draws his base:

Obama was reelected by illiterates, while he himself is a communist.

Now it looks at the fraud that is global warming.

By Stanislav Mishin

For years, the Elites of the West have cranked up the myth of Man Made Global Warming as a means first and foremost to control the lives and behaviors of their populations. Knowing full well that their produce in China and sell in the West model and its consiquent spiral downward in wages and thus standards of living, was unsustainable, the elites moved to use this new “science” to guilt trip and scare monger their populations into smaller and more conservatives forms of living. In other words, they coasted them into the poverty that the greed and treason of those said same elites was already creating in their native lands.

The Baltimore Sun, which is very much not MSM, even if it would like to be, looks at our nation’s media and summarizers its coverage thus:

ON MSNBC, the ratio of negative to positive stories on GOP candidate Mitt Romney was 71 to 3.

That’s not a news channel. That’s a propaganda machine, and owner Comcast should probably change Phil Griffin’s title from president to high minister of information, or something equally befitting the work of a party propaganist hack in a totalitarian regime. You wonder how mainstream news organizations allow their reporters and correspondents to appear in such a cauldron of bias.

I thought show host Sean Hannity of Fox News defined party propagandist. But while his channel was bad, it wasn’t as bad-boy biased as MSNBC.

The ratio of negative to positive stories in Fox’s coverage of President Obama was 46 to 6.

Fox is just one channel, a lonely voice in the wilderness – MSNBC, on the other hand, has plenty of company, being joined in its efforts by every major news channel, every large newspaper and all of Hollywood. Those with an old style education will have learned a little US history that wasn’t restricted to slavery and oppression and may remember that the British band’s marching selection for their surrender at Yorktown was “The world turned upside down”. Pravda being more truthful than America’s media is one such reversal – it’s probably time to do it again.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized