Monthly Archives: February 2013

Louisiana Health Dept: deer meat more dangerous than heroin, crack or alcohol

Destroys 1,600 lbs of venison to prevent it from being served to homeless alkies and crack heads.

In late January, the department’s health inspectors investigated the facility, discovered the deer meat — which had been appropriately processed at an area slaughterhouse — and destroyed it in a dumpster by dousing it in bleach so that animals would not eat it.

“Our health inspectors investigated promptly and discovered Rescue Mission did have deer meat obtained from hunters, and deer meat is not permitted to be served in a shelter, restaurant or any other public eating establishment in Louisiana,” the department wrote in a statement posted on their Facebook page. “Although the meat was processed at a slaughterhouse (Bellevue) that is permitted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to prepare and commercially distribute meat obtained from approved farms, deer are not an approved meat source to be distributed commercially.”

The Louisiana chapter of Hunters for the Hungry — which is endorsed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on its website — donated the meat through the area processing facility.

“While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public,” the health department added in their statement. “The State Sanitary Code laws exist to protect all residents of our state, and while sometimes these laws may not be popular, they allow us to ensure the public’s health and safety, and must be followed.”

Dumpster diving is so much more nutritious, and safe.



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If this guy agrees with me, your money’s probably safe

Barry Hussein's game, interrupted

Barry Hussein’s game, interrupted

Walter Zimmerman says a crash is near.

Most of the rally in the stock market since 2009 can be chalked up to the Federal Reserve’s attempt to create a ‘wealth effect’ through higher stock market prices. This only exacerbates the downside risk. Why? The stock market no is longer a lead indicator for the economy. It is instead reflecting  Fed manipulation. Pushing the stock market higher while the real economy languishes has resulted in another bubble.

“The next leg down will not be a partial correction of the advance since the 2009 lows. It will be another major financial crisis. The worst is yet to come.”

If I knew anything about the stock market surely I’d be retired by now, so the fact that I’ve been predicting doom for five years should let you sleep in peace – I’m wrong. But still, I’ve yet to understand Wall Street’s bullishness in the face of ever-deepening disaster, from Europe to Asia to here. The United States is led by a president determined to shut down cheap energy, stymie development and pile up massive, unheard of levels of debt. How does that work, long term?

Zimmer blames the fed’s manipulation of interest rates for the coming bust and certainly that’s part of it, but I think the systemic rot goes deeper. Our leadership is at best inept, more likely corrupt, our voters are low-information dolts, and the media that supplies them their view of the world is in the pocket of the president. Doesn’t sound good to me.


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Ah, honey, don’t you think you’ve gained a few pounds? Shouldn’t you be doing a little more hoovering?

Nature may abhor a vacuum but not this little woman's hubby!

Nature may abhor a vacuum but not this little woman’s hubby!

NYT: Not vacuuming makes women fat. Hey, I didn’t say it, the New York Times did. Complain to them (but empty the dust bag on your way out, would you?)

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Sales report

While I was out doing open houses (saw a couple I liked and I’ll write about them next week, once my own clients have seen them) six sales were reported. As you might expect, the lower end is doing just fine, the middle okay, and then there’s the higher stuff.

Going down?

Going down?

26 Mohawk Lane, for instance, was purchased new in 2008 for $7.5 million and sold today, some 1,000+ days after being put back on the market in 2009 for $6.8 and change, for $5.2 million. Five million two hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money; it is not, however, as much as seven million five hundred thousand.

21 Indian Head Road started at $4.7 million, ended at $3.750.

24 Meadow Rd, Riverside, started at $2.450 and sold for $1,932,200 (fun negotiations there, I’ll bet), which is a bit more than I’d thought it’d go for, but it’s a good street and the house, while  a little dated, is a perfectly fine one. Besides, what else is out there in it’s price range?

12 Stonebrook, Cos Cob, sold for $2.4 million ($2.695 start price) and 5 Arnold Street, Havemeyer, fetched $1.025 – it sold for $1.060 in 2010.

Accepted Offer: 26 Red Top Road, 1.5 acres in the R-1 zone, asking $2.995 million. Marketed as land, it comes with a good house on it.


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Not if Obama can stop it

Natural gas cheap, abundant and will be available for a long time to come.

U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation.

The most exhaustive study to date of a key natural-gas field in Texas, combined with related research under way elsewhere, shows that U.S. shale-rock formations will provide a growing source of moderately priced natural gas through 2040, and decline only slowly after that. A report on the Texas field, to be released Thursday, was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The research provides substantial evidence that there are large quantities of gas available that can be drilled profitably at a market price of $4 per million British thermal units, a relatively small increase from the current price of about $3.43.

The study, funded by the nonpartisan Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and performed by the University of Texas, examined 15,000 wells drilled in the Barnett Shale formation in northern Texas, mostly over the past decade. It is among the first to study the geology and economics of shale drilling, a relatively recent development made possible by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped at high pressure into rocks to release gas.

Looking at data from actual wells rather than relying on estimates and extrapolations, the study broadly confirms conclusions by the energy industry and the U.S. government, which in December forecast rising gas production.

“We are looking at multi, multi decades of growth,” said Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the university and a leader of the study.


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Sale Price reported

21 Indian Head Rd

21 Indian Head Rd

21 Indian Head Road, $3.750 million. Good house, but I’m a little frustrated, because when it came on a year ago at $4.7, I told a client who was interested in it to wait until it dropped a million. By the time it did, we’d moved on.

Off to open houses, to see what else has been overpriced.


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For regressives, it’s a feature, not a bug


The new world order

The new world order

New cars are increasingly out of reach for most Americans. Except for the apparatchiks in D.C., of course. These are the same people using the same strategy to eliminate guns: make them too expensive to own. When Greenwich Democrat Jon DuBoise proposes a $2 tax on bullets, when his gun control group advocates a $300-$500 per year insurance premium for gun owners, they aren’t seriously trying to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals – they want to dry up the source of guns by making them unaffordable for law abiding citizens.

The same thing with private cars. It drives the regressives crazy that mere peons can just live anywhere they want, drive anywhere they want and do so without permission. So force them back into planned cities by eliminating cars. The so-called cafe standards have nothing to do with saving the earth and everything to do with making cars unaffordable. Obama’s 50 mph mandate, estimated to add $7,500 to the cost of each car, has pushed us farther down the road to unaffordability, as planned.


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Combine failure to pay your debts and price controls by the government and what (don’t) you get?

Medical drugs. Greeks can’t obtain any.

The pharmaceutical industry says many shortages are because of products being exported through parallel trade, and has urged the government to address set drug prices. Under EU trade rules, the free movement of goods is allowed. So for example, while a pharmaceutical company may sell a medicine to a wholesaler or pharmacist in Greece, the wholesaler or pharmacist can sell these medicines on to wholesalers in other countries. Parallel traders do this to make money on the price differences between countries.

“The government needs to correct these wrong prices to avoid a surge of exportation. Greece’s drug prices are 20% or more lower than the lowest prices in Europe,” said Konstantinos, who is also the general manager of Novartis in Greece.

The industry wants the health ministry to bring in a new pricing system so that Greece uses a basket of eurozone countries to calculate prices. At present, medicines are priced at below the average of the three lowest prices in 22 EU countries.

The regulator has introduced export bans for nearly 60 medicines to try to tackle the problem and is looking at 300 more products. It is also investigating 10 wholesalers and 260 pharmacists who it believes have broken the export ban. The ministry of health will decide any punishment, which is likely to be fines ranging from €2,000 to €20,000, said Tountas.

Regressives just won’t realize that merely passing a civil law does not repeal the laws of nature. Nor inevitable consequences.


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If we lose California Al Gore will have lost the global warming game

Pray for a mudslide

Pray for a mudslide

Reader Publius sends along the link to this WSJ article. Short of the state sliding into the Pacific, nothing would please me more than for Californians to lose the heat for their hot tubs.

California Girds for Electricity Woes

SAN FRANCISCO—California is weighing how to avoid a looming electricity crisis that could be brought on by its growing reliance on wind and solar power.

Regulators and energy companies met Tuesday, hoping to hash out a solution to the peculiar stresses placed on the state’s network by sharp increases in wind and solar energy. Power production from renewable sources fluctuates wildly, depending on wind speeds and weather.

California has encouraged growth in solar and wind power to help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. At the same time, the state is running low on conventional plants, such as those fueled by natural gas, that can adjust their output to keep the electric system stable. The amount of electricity being put on the grid must precisely match the amount being consumed or voltages sag, which could result in rolling blackouts.

At Tuesday’s meeting, experts cautioned that the state could begin seeing problems with reliability as soon as 2015.

California isn’t the only state having trouble coping with a growing share of renewables. Texas also needs more resources, such as gas-fired power plants, that can adjust output in response to unpredictable production from wind farms.

Renewable power has seen a boom in both states. On Feb. 9, wind farms in Texas set a record for output, providing nearly 28% of the state’s supply for the day. Production hasn’t hit that level yet in California, but the state’s goal is to get one-third of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

“I think we’re going to end up closer to 40%,” said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission, the state’s policy and planning agency for electricity.

Changes in California’s market have attracted lots of new generation; the state expects to have 44% more generating capacity than it needs next year. Grid officials say they expect the surplus to fall to 20% by 2022, though it will remain high for about a decade.

However, the surplus generating capacity doesn’t guarantee steady power flow. Even though California has a lot of plants, it doesn’t have the right mix: Many of the solar and wind sources added in recent years have actually made the system more fragile, because they provide power intermittently.

Electricity systems need some surplus, so they can cover unexpected generator outages or transmission-line failures, but having too much can depress the prices generators can charge for electricity. In part because of low power prices, many gas-fired generation units aren’t profitable enough to justify refurbishments required by pending federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. That means they are likely to be shut by 2020, adding to the state’s power woes.


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Time for the media to whip up another frenzy

Prius kids

Prius kids

Concern about global warming drops to all-time low.

Public concern about environmental issues including climate change has slumped to a 20-year low [when it was invented]. Fewer people now consider issues such as CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, animal species loss, and water shortages to be “very serious” than at any time in the last two decades, according to the poll of 22,812 people in 22 countries including Britain and the US.

Despite years of studies showing the impact of global warming on the planet, only 49 per cent of people now consider climate change a very serious issue – far fewer than at the beginning of the worldwide financial crisis in 2009.

Worries about climate change first dropped in industrialised nations but they have now also fallen in developing economies including Brazil and China, according to the survey by GlobeScan Radar.

The declining interest in climate change comes amid a backlash against costly green energy investments in an age of austerity. David Nussbaum, head of WWF UK, said “sustained pressure” was required from political leaders to combat climate change. He said it was only when “real indicators” of climate change came, such as floods and droughts, that public perceptions changed.

The GlobeScan survey found that water pollution is viewed as the most serious environment problem worldwide with 58 per cent of people polled saying it represents a very serious concern.

That’s because people actually need potable water; they’ve already got all the hot air they can use.


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That and a cup of coffee will get you a New York Times

Yo man, take one - it's free, and comes with a cup'a joe

Yo man, take one – it’s free, and comes with a cup’a joe

Buy a coffee, get the Times. You don’t have to read it all, but Pinch wants you to know that it’s there. Do your remember the phrase,  “that and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee” denoted something worthless? The Times is giving it new life.

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Greenwich tax collector too broke to dress himself



Our fellow citizen  Tod Laudonia wants a $2,500 clothing allowance to buy himself sharper threads. This is a family-friendly blog, so I’ll just say that the request should be turned down as inopportune.


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Not a parody, this is really true



Made your campaign contribution to the Democrats yet?

Made your campaign contribution to the Democrats yet?

Cuomo to exempt Hollywood stars from the new gun control law. Because actors can be trusted, unlike New York State residents, who use drugs, booze and spend six months of the year in rehab.

Learn from the master

Learn from the master


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Lament the late, great state of Colorado


So when's recess?

So when’s recess?

Denver: parents of six-year-old “transgender” sue school district for access to girl’s bathroom.


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White House: how are we supposed to know what Homeland Security’s up to?

What does it matter now?

What difference does it make?

Obama claims he “wasn’t aware” that thousands of illegal aliens had been released back onto American soil by his cabinet secretary. Of course, now that she’s done it, what can we do? It’s all the fault of that evil sequester plan I proposed, anyway.


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Gosh, even Bob Woodward’s figured out Obama’s game plan

Mission almost accomplished. "We're working on it."

The disarming Kenyan strikes again

And is disgusted.

The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward attacked President Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying the commander-in-chief’s decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier because of budget cuts is “a kind of madness.”

“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need’ or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ as he did when Clinton was president because of some budget document?” Woodward added. “Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement, I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country. That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.”

The Pentagon announced earlier this month the U.S.S. Harry Truman, which was supposed to leave for the Persian Gulf, will remain stateside due to budget concerns.

UPDATE: White House to Woodward: “You will regret doing this.” Nixon’s enemies list, anyone?


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You can sell your house or you can stick a great big price tag on it to impress your friends


331 Round Hill

331 Round Hill

331 Round Hill Road first hit the market 722 days ago in 2010, when it was priced at $4.2 million. It sold today for $1.9


5 Keofferam rd

5 Keofferam rd

On the other hand, 5 Keofferam Road in Old Greenwich took 200+ days to receive an accepted offer, even though, in my opinion it was fairly priced at $3.395.  So sometime the right price is a necessary but not sufficient condition. The wrong price, however, just kills all possibility of sale.


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Too bad Greenwich Time’s cub reporters aren’t allowed to ask questions

Jonathan DuBoise (middle, effecting the really cool ascot look)

Jonathan DuBoise (middle, affecting the really cool ascot look)

The newly-formed Greenwich Knotted Knickers group, an anti-gun association, held a church meeting last night and said all the usual things.  No news there, but a striking solution to mass murders by gunmen was proposed by an attendee or his  Pathways House companion, and I wish the reporter had demanded that he defend his idea.

Greenwich resident Jonathan DuBois said he attended to see what was happening, and felt discouraged by the slow-moving process.

“It’s very, very discouraging to us that issues of public importance like this can’t be resolved,” said DuBois, 72. “If they passed a tax law, $2 per bullet, maybe something will happen.”

GT doesn’t bother mentioning that Mr. DuBoise is Chairman of the Greenwich Housing Authority, a huge ($18,000 contribution in 2012) supporter of Obama or an employee of the Rockefeller’s Indian Spring Land Development Corporation (which is ironic, because while Indian Spring is preparing to clear-cut its woods from Zaccheus Mead to Riversville Road, DuBoise is hanging out at Greenwich Tree Conservancy cocktail parties, as seen above).

But the question I’d have asked this tree-hugging, chainsaw Democrat is how exactly how he thinks imposing a $2 per cartridge tax would reduce the possibility of another Sandy Hook massacre? Such a tax would affect only target shooters, because only target shooters buy ammunition in large enough quantities to feel the pinch – will ending target practice reduce gun violence? If so, how? It’s a simple question, but DuBoise’s answer would have been fun to hear.


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New listing on Riverside Lane


76 Riverside Lane

76 Riverside Lane

No. 76, asking $2.195 million. If I had to live on Riverside Lane, the trio of homes here built in 2002 would make the experience endurable. They back up to the Mianus River conservation zone (or whatever it’s called – no one can build there, which is my point) with  a trail to the river itself. I remember these as well built homes and if you ignore the traffic whizzing by in front and concentrate your attention on the river below, it’s a pretty nice spot. Is $2.195 the right price? Given recent sales of similar homes on the other, none Mianus side of the street that were in the $1.7 range, probably not too far off.

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Another case of an agent who didn’t read Freakonomics

329 Shore Rd

329 Shore Rd

According to the authors of Freakonomics, real estate agents price their own homes higher than they do those of their clients, hold out longer, and get a higher price in the end. Had she read the book, perhaps this agent would have done better than getting just two out of three of those.

329 Shore Road “on the Belle Haven peninsula” (which means it’s not part of Belle Haven at all) was built in 2006, priced by its builder/owner/agent at $5.2 million that year and kept on the market for 915 days until late 2010, when it was pulled. It came back on at $3.495 last August and today reports an accepted offer.


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