Daily Archives: March 8, 2013

Democrats: all soldiers are psychopaths

School confiscates 9-year-old’s birthday cupcakes decorated with (miniature – duh) toy soldiers. 

Said the boy’s principal, “[T] here are those who feel that guns create fear in schools and we need to put solid security measures in place  plus practice routines to be prepared in case an emergency should ever occur. Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions.”

She added that some parents “prohibit all guns as toys,” and “no disrespect” was intended for members of the military, however, “Our commitment is always to our children and creating a safe place for them to learn, grow and have respectful dialogues about their differences.” First we confiscate what we find offensive, then we dialogue.

Senator Feinstein: Veterans may have PTSS so we must ban all veterans from possessing “assault” weapons.

“you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, [the Senator’s never heard of being “shell shocked” (WWI) or suffering “combat stress reaction” (WWII)  – the phenomenon started in Iraq, and I blame Bush- Ed] it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.”

Support our troops. But lock ’em up, the monsters.

UPDATE: Perhaps Feinstein and that school principal are English: Afghan war vet told she can’t board plane wearing uniform “lest she offend other passengers.” Well what the hell, her being crazy and all …

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There and back again

435 Lake435 Lake Avenue, $8,500,000, reported as having an accepted offer two days ago, has been returned to “active” status. You can’t read much into a busted deal because there are so many ways they can fall apart. Probably not a failed building inspection, if only because those usually take longer than two days to schedule and complete, so take your pick – cold feet, sudden job transfer, etc. etc. Whatever happened, if you were ready to buy this but thought you’d waited too long, here’s your chance.

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And we’re off!

Greenwich High School Music Hall

Greenwich High School Music Hall

The first bids for some of the construction costs of the Greenwich High Music Palace are in, and they’re 27% higher than originally predicted $29.3 million instead of $23. That’s not counting the costs of soil cleanup ($13-23 million), and the bids are for just 67% of the total cost (again excluding soil remediation).

The butcher’s bill is still growing, and we’ve hardly started.

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It’s not THAT hot a market

In assembling an itinerary for some clients this weekend I considered adding a house I’d seen and wasn’t particularly fond of, but whose price has dropped from $1.750 million (silly) to $1.595 (still silly, but the owner’s mind is thinking in the right direction). But the “agent-to-agent notes” direct that “owner requires copy of pre-approval letter or proof of funds before showing – please email to listing agent”. Oh, bullshit. I’ve seen that requirement, rarely, on $20 million houses, but even then most of us trust our fellow agents not to waste our, and more important to them, their time showing houses their clients can’t afford. The owner of a million-and-a-half mansion may feel important enough to demand that those wishing to view his house jump through such hoops but I’m sure most agents will respond as I just did, by scratching the house off the showing list. Get a life or keep your house, but don’t be a pest.

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Hostage taker at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

KFOs (Kenyan Friends of Obama) at play

KFOs (Kenyan Friends of Obama) at play

Senator Coburn points out in the WSJ today that federal spending has increased 89% since 2002, while personal income has dropped 5%. Rather than merely bemoan that fact, Coburn helpfully provides a few suggestions where Obama might look to cut expenses.

He can avoid both with smart cuts. I sent him a letter this week detailing $1.2 billion in savings that would more than cover his $600 million shortfall. He could start by curtailing subsidies for “Airports to Nowhere” that serve fewer than 10 passengers a day. The department also has $34 billion in unobligated funds lying around that could help prevent delays and disasters.

The same is true of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Instead of forcing Americans to spend more time in airport screening lines, she can find savings in the wasteful grant program that gave America an underwater robot for Columbus, Ohio, and a BearCat armored-personnel carrier to guard a pumpkin festival in Keene, N.H. (population 23,000). Trimming this $830 million grant program by just one third could avoid Transportation Security Administration furloughs entirely.

But if cabinet secretaries insist on using furloughs, they could start by furloughing employees who already don’t bother to show up for work. In a 2008 report, I found that the 3.5 million hours that federal employees were AWOL in 2007 could be used to screen 1.7 billion checked bags, or enough to avoid security delays for nearly four years.

Another source of potential savings is duplication of federal services, which accounts for $364 billion spent every year, according to the Government Accountability Office. Washington spends $30 million for 15 financial-literacy programs run by 13 separate agencies. Taxpayers also spend $3.1 billion on 209 separate science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs across 13 agencies. Why not fund one good program in these areas instead of dozens that don’t work and waste money?

But Obama won’t do anything like that, preferring instead to close the White House to school kids, unleashing illegal aliens on our citizens, and furloughing 60,000 border agents. The man is like the most brutal of hostage takers, chopping off the little finger of a victim and mailing it to the parents as he raises his ransom demand. Presidents have inflicted pain on their citizens before, but for policy, not political reasons. Obama is setting a new low.

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The spring market has finally arrived and it’s hot – I blame global warming

11 Pleasant View Place

11 Pleasant View Place

11 Pleasant Place, in Havemeyer came on last week priced at $2.375 and already has an accepted offer. I thought it was a great renovation/transformation, with really top-quality construction. I liked it so much in fact that I didn’t mention it here, wanting to show it to my clients first. Turns out that its layout didn’t work for them, but someone else certainly liked it.

For all my enthusiasm, however, I thought, along with several other good, experienced agents I discussed it with at last week’s open house, that it would sell in the $1.9 range, not $2.3 or $2.4. I believe we all missed the shift in prices that’s occurring, which is great news for sellers, bad news for buyers. And I should have caught that shift because I’ve been upgrading my own opinion on value for a number of houses that didn’t sell last fall – those same prices are looking reasonable now, because of the lack of inventory and what houses in the $3-and-under range are selling for.

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Hysterical? Our legislature? Say it ain’t so.

Don't you threaten me with that water pistol - it's against my law!

Don’t you threaten me with that water pistol – it’s against my law!

Dog Walker sends along news of how the Hartford Yahoos are addressing the billion-dollar budget deficit, global warming and the decline of civilization:

Bill to punish children for messing with toy guns introduced to bipartisan acclaim.

“We need more gun-safety education and this is an important piece toward addressing that,” Rep. Terrie Wood, R-Darien, said. “The tricky part is realizing that young kids, particularly boys, want to take all those safety features off, but it’s a chance to educate, saying that this is important. There are a lot of conversations going on about gun violence and this is just one of them.”

Perhaps this is a “conversation” that shouldn’t be held, since it doesn’t even remotely address the issue that has dampened Miss Woods and her fellow representatives’ panties, and will accomplish nothing.  A Moffley Republican – get rid of her.

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Sale, accepted offer

Two early morning reports.

(Not actually) 133 Lake Avenue

(Not actually) 133 Lake Avenue

133 Lake Avenue finally closed, @ $687,500. Sellers paid $925,000 for it in March, 2008, tried to resell it three months later for $1.098, not realizing that the market had peaked and was headed for the bottom.

46 Orchard Place

46 Orchard Place

But as evidence, perhaps, that the market is finally clawing its way back from that 2008 nadir, 46 Orchard Place, which couldn’t sell last year @$1.495 and was brought back in January for $1.575, has an accepted offer. I had commented earlier that it seemed an odd tactic to price a house higher than its previously failed price but I was wrong – hey, this is an opinion column and opinions, especially mine, are worth exactly what you pay for them. In fact, there’s a title in there somewhere.

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Anti-gun activist studies the numbers and reaches a conclusion: gun control laws do nothing – that’s nothing – to reduce homicides

Hey, the science is settled. [A] n average rate of 4.0 gun homicides per 100,000 in the ten most anti-gun jurisdictions, and a gun homicide rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in the ten jurisdictions with the fewest gun regulations.

I heard this man on NPR and found it interesting: after his data showed the result he did not like, he shifted his attention to suicides, which are undoubtedly more efficiently accomplished with a gun (or a train, as we saw earlier this week in Darien) than, say, pills or knives. The NPR host, of course, let the doctor off the hook and didn’t ask about the astonishing (to them) news about homicides. But the last I heard, liberals, as well as many smart people, support a person’s right to die, at his own time and choosing, so denying those people the right to do so in the least painful manner seems unnecessarily cruel. Besides, from the discussions I’ve read on the subject of gun control, it’s homicides that have people worked up, not some poor troubled soul choosing to decline chemotherapy.

You wanna cut suicides, or drive its practitioners to employ other means, go after guns. You want to stop war and stuff, you’re better off lighting a doobie and humming along with Alice’s Restaurant.

According to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol kills 80,000 people a year, gun homicides 14,000. Hence my proposal to ban high capacity liquor bottles – I suggest maximum volume of 1.5oz., sales restricted to 4 such nips per month, registration of all buyers after completion of a 10-hour, mandatory safe drinking course, and locked liquor cabinets. Right now, instead of focusing on the object, as anti-gun groups focus on guns themselves, MADD and others focus on the actions of irresponsible individuals, passing laws that punish only those drinkers who abuse their privilege to drink, with ever-strengthening drunk driving penalties and expansion of the Violence against Women Act (alcohol is involved in 70% of domestic abuse incidents). Why the different approach? I assume its because alcohol is such a familiar, pervasive part of society that no one is frightened by it and has accepted its appalling toll, whereas suburban mommies recoil from scary unfamiliar objects like guns and snakes. Ever seen a mother shriek in horror at the sight of a swimming pool, which kill 100 X more children than guns? Neither have I.

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