Daily Archives: April 24, 2013

Betsy Warren shows her devious redskin nature

No no, Betsy, not that kind of Indian!

No no, Betsy, not that kind of Indian!

Ah, those Cherokees, so tricky! The most recent disgrace to the Senate has sent out a fund raising appeal “to help the victims” of the Boston Marathon bombing, and links directly to the Obama – created fund raising site.

“The OFA family knows how to work together to accomplish amazing things,” Warren’s email reads. “Let’s make a difference for the Boston Marathon victims. Your donation will directly help the families who need it most. Please make a donation now to The One Fund Boston: http://my.barackobama.com/The-One-Fund.”

These people used to at least pretend to have a sense of shame.


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Is this your alma mater, AJ?

Yes, I'm a deeply troubled man and no, you can't have your money back

Yes, I’m a deeply troubled man and no, you can’t have your money back

Florida Atlantic University (you remember, the school that last month suspended a student for refusing to stomp on Jesus, then rescinded the suspension when the matter hit the airwaves) is back in the news with another fun-loving prof who insists that those reports of dead and maimed marathon runners were all fake. “A training exercise using actors”

Take wackadoodle communications professor James Tracy, for example.

As The College Fix reports, Tracy has taken to his personal blog, Memory Hole, to question official accounts of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings. In the blog, which isn’t affiliated with FAU, Tracy argues that the amount of damage captured on video cannot be reconciled with the homemade bombs that authorities say caused the damage.

More likely, the tenured professor says, what happened in Boston was a “mass casualty drill.”

In an April 23 posting entitled “Witnessing Boston’s Mass Casualty Event,” Tracy contends that “photographic evidence of the event suggests the possibility of play actors getting into position after the detonation of what may in fact have been a smoke bomb or similarly benign explosive.”

Tracy believes the bombing was really just some kind of dress rehearsal. “The event closely resembles a mass-casualty drill, which for training purposes are designed to be as lifelike as possible,” the FAU communications professor asserts. “Since it is mediated, however, and primarily experienced from afar through the careful assemblage of words, images, and the official pronouncements and commentary of celebrity journalists, it has the semblance of being for all practical purposes ‘real.’”

Presumably Florida Atlantic University charges tuition and presumably, someone has paid that tuition under the impression they’d be taught by sane, competent professors. So why is the DOJ suing Lance Armstrong for “unjust enrichment” and not going after this institution? I smell a conspiracy.


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Sometimes things just don’t work as planned

Boston Bombers planned to party in New York

Surviving brother Dzhokar tells investigators they were heading down for “a little R&R.” Hate when that happens.

She's sung

She’s sung

Hostess Twinkies, now owned by the parent company of Soetheby’s and Coldwell Banker, will use non-union labor when it reopens.  The head of the union that bankrupted the original company had expected something else:

In February, before the $410 million sale to Metropoulos and Apollo was finalized, the president of the bakers union expressed confidence that his thousands of out-of-work members would find opportunity at the Hostess facilities once they were reopened by their new owners. President David Durkee said the strike had left the union in “a position of strength,” and he expressed confidence its workers would get a better deal from the new owners than Hostess offered during the bankruptcy case, its second in recent years.


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What was I just saying about starving an idiot for Jesus?


Junk food, according to NYC's ruling billionaire, so no gyro for you!

Junk food, according to NYC’s ruling billionaire, so no gyro for you!

Reader Ross M sends this along:

New York City Health Department can’t find anyone to feed it.

Fat chance serving food to Nanny Bloomberg’s brigades.

The city Health Department has been trying for two years to get a restaurateur to operate a cafe in its headquarters — but it required so many nanny-state provisions that no one applied.

The department’s picky food specs mandated that all entrees and sandwiches be less than 700 calories with at least 50 percent under 500, and that no more than 20 snack and dessert items be available at any time, with all less than 200 calories and containing less than 200 milligrams of sodium.

Also, only juices 8 ounces and under and only 1 percent or no-fat milk would be permitted.

“No one responded to that request for proposals,” an agency representative confirmed.

The agency was forced to negotiate directly with a Manhattan-based gyro maker to feed the 1,828 employees at its new headquarters at 2 Gotham Center in Long Island City.

Greek eatery mamagyro is hammering out a three-year agreement with the department, said co-owner Vicki Likitsakos, 24.

The agency still presented the restaurant with a list of dietary do’s and don’ts — now tweaked to allow at least 50 percent of all items to contain more than 800 milligrams of sodium and also to permit half the desserts to be more than 200 calories.

Since last summer, Likitsakos has been working with the agency to make the menu acceptable. Some items, such as soda and regular Frosted Flakes cereal, were quickly rejected, while others, especially the sandwiches, were adjusted to meet the fussy specs.

“It’s not like we can offer a sandwich with a lot of cheese, turkey and ham and they’ll be OK with that,” Likitsakos said. “It’s definitely intimidating — but we’re not afraid.”

The self-service café, called mamabites, was set to open on April 30 but has been delayed until May.

“There are a lot of requirements, and that’s one of the reasons it’s taking so long,” said Likitsakos, who noted all the food will be prepackaged.

The cafe will offer an array of salads — orzo white bean, Greek, quinoa — and sandwiches including ham, turkey and roast beef.

No gyros, though.


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Raise the minimum wage, starve an idiot

Practicing "the gazuntas": Two gazunta four ...

Practicing “the gazuntas”: Two gazunta four …

I stopped by McDonald’s today to buy  a coffee: $1.00 + 6 Malloys, for a total of $1.06. I gave the young woman behind the counter $1.11, hoping to get a nickel back and she froze, absolutely deer-in-the-headlights frozen. I could see her lips moving but she clearly had no idea what to do. I thought that’s what registers were for these days (remember when the counter kids added up totals on a pad? Ha!): key in amount tendered, hit amount due, read the result, hand it over. But this 20-something  probably never paid up a few cents to eliminate receiving pennies in her change – she wouldn’t know how to do the math, so how would she even know to attempt it? She was completely baffled by what I expected from her so she finally just quit trying to fathom it, sighed, handed me the coffee and kept the nickel, which I’m certain she didn’t know was due me. Think about that: a full grown adult, not obviously retarded, incapable of subtracting six from eleven.

Okay, yes, this poor girl is a pathetic example of what the NEA and progressive teaching methods have done to education and it’s easy to blame them for ruining an entire generation, but what’s to be done with people like this? They clearly are unfit to run a business on their own, and they just as clearly have nothing of value to offer an employer. Which is why raising the minimum wage is so cruel: there’s nothing an illiterate, innumerate person can do poorly that a machine can’t do better, and more cheaply. Right now, McDonalds and WalMart and the other consumers of unskilled labor keep these people on the payroll, but every hike in the minimum wage, every new law mandating unlimited sick leave, unlimited maternity/paternity leave and of course, health insurance, hastens the day when the entire swarm is replaced.

And then what?


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Sales reported

22 Dawn Harbor, Riverside, and 45 Riverside Lane, sort-of-Riverside

22 Dawn Harbor

22 Dawn Harbor

22 Dawn Harbor sold for $3.4 million in 2007 and $2.9 today. Great yard, nice street off of Indian Head, the reason this house sat unsold for 584 days was that it needs work: redesigned kitchen, new master bedroom, baths, etc. Just because the owner overpaid in 2007 didn’t mean someone else would in 2011, and they didn’t.

45 Riverside Lane

45 Riverside Lane

45 Riverside Lane, NoPo, sold for $1.585 million. It sold (new?) in 2007 for $1.655, so really, that’s pretty good.


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Just throw them all out – every one of them

air-force-3FAA cutbacks will not affect Washington D.C. airports. “Inconvenience is for the little people,” Harry Reid explained, as he waited for his USAF Gulfstream to scoot him back to Nevada .


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Four new accepted offers

All here.

10 Webb Ave

10 Webb Ave

10 Webb, Old Greenwich, asking $839,000. I guess.

76 Meadow Rd

76 Meadow Rd

76 Meadow, Riverside, $5.985 million. I thought this was a very good house, although some wetlands and of course the Laura Siefert (formerly of our P&Z, where she made rules governing this sort of thing) Memorial Lot Division – 3 houses will be going up next door for the next coupe of years. But that’s sort of temporary, and the house is fun.

18 Wellwyn, Riverside. Saw it at $2.650 million and wasn’t impressed. Its new price of $2.495 still left me and my clients rather tepid but someone obviously disagrees. One-half acre.

120 Valley Drive

120 Valley Drive

120 valley Drive, over where the Greenwich Post Office is, $2.150, after just 13 days on the market. An acre-and-a-half, so perhaps a builder wants it? I don’t know.


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China, Russia, United States of America: kleptocracies three

Why, my good friend Terry here's a business genius!

Why, my good friend Terry here’s a business genius!

Virginia Governor aspirant Terry Mcauliffe is described in his campaign literature as “a self-made businessman.” Only in what Nancy Pelosi has termed  “a systemic culture of corruption”  could a Mcauliffe-like success be ascribed to anything but crony capitalism.

How did Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic Party’s choice to run for governor in Virginia in 2013, get so rich? His first job out of college was with President Carter’s 1980 re-election campaign where he rose to be national finance director at the age of 22. Then, after graduating from law school, McAuliffe helped found the Federal City National Bank in 1985. Three short years later, the bank’s board elected McAuliffe chairman, making him the youngest elected chairman of a federally chartered bank in the history of the United States.

Now why would a tiny young bank elect a campaign-worker-turned-law student with no banking experience president of the operation? Maybe it was because McAuliffe immediately roped in big business from politicians like then-presidential candidate Richard Gephardt, then-House Majority Whip Tony Coelho and then-Speaker of the House Jim Wright.

By 1992, McAuliffe was inducing Democratic-friendly union pension funds into investing millions of union member dollars in his Florida real estate company. Not all those loans got repaid, however. After McAuliffe’s real estate company failed to pay one $6 million loan from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Department of Labor sued. It claimed the pension trustees improperly invested with McAuliffe since they should have known the loan would never be repaid. In 2001, those trustees were forced to pay the union $4.95 million in restitution. McAuliffe got off scot-free.

McAuliffe’s big payday arrived after he became President Clinton’s top fundraiser in the 1990s. A self-described “hustler,” McAuliffe was able to not only sell wealthy businessmen access to Clinton but also cut many lucrative side-deals with them for his own benefit.

“Self-made”? This kind of wealth accumulation used to be associated with communists countries – here in the US, we’ve accepted that “business model”.


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At the Harrison Bergeron School of the Performing Arts

Now it's fair!

So you thought you were better than me, eh?

NYC administrators flood elite performing art high schools with the handicapped and unqualified, waive admission requirements, in the name of “fairness”.

The Department of Education has placed hordes of special-needs students and kids who didn’t even audition into some of the city’s most competitive public performing-arts high schools, The Post has learned.

The move has parents and staffers up in arms over the screening end-around — which the DOE says is an attempt to widen the pool of kids admitted into the city’s best schools.

Overall, the city assigned nearly 1,300 students to the top academic and arts-themed high schools for the fall under a revised screening policy to include 71 schools this year, according to the DOE.

Nearly one-third of students admitted to Talent Unlimited HS in Manhattan — the 43 kids assigned by the city — didn’t audition, according to the borough’s PEP rep.

This was despite the fact that the school had 1,500 auditioning kids from which it had wanted to choose.

Principal Donna Finn said 51 students — including 26 special-education kids — were assigned by the city to Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, despite having no or poor auditions.

“I’m infuriated,” Finn told insideschools.org blog, which first reported on the policy. “To call schools ‘audition’ and put kids in who did not audition is a travesty. It’s just despicable.”

Officials there [DOE Press Office] said all the admitted students met academic requirements and had expressed strong interest in the schools.

“It’s about equity and access,” said Chief Handicapper Ima Loser, a senior deputy chancellor.

“You’re going to hear the complaints. What you’re not going to hear is the . . . gratitude from families who for too long have been shut out of these schools,” he added. “Our obligation is to make sure that families across the spectrum have a fair shot at every manner of school we have.”

Harrison Bergeron was unavailable for comment, what with him being dead and all.


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Confiscate their wheelbarrows


When I grow up I want to go on the dole, like Papa

When I grow up I want to go on the dole, like Papa

One-third of all Irish medical benefits paid to “workers” claiming back pain.

Up to seven million absentee days are recorded each year from a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), a condition that affects 80% of the Irish adult population.

A report claims the illness, that includes back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and spinal disorders, cost the economy 750 million euro a year.

Figures includes 275 million euro in illness benefit – almost a third of all payments by the Department of Social Protection – as well as almost 500 million euro in overtime payments, loss of productivity and cost to the health service.

This used to be called “malingering”. Now, it’s “musculoskeletal disorder”. Sounds so much more impressive when someone will pay you for it.


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Greenwich Time’s caption writer demonstrates the result

GHS drops 200 places in national rankings. I’m not particularly worried about some magazine’s rating system, and smart industrious kids will continue to do well at the high school, but as a minimum level, I’d expect its graduates to know how to spell “Connecticut”.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 4.01.17 AM


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Fill ‘er up!

New housing platforms, Shorelands

New housing platforms, Shorelands

10 Meadowbank Road’s application to use fill to raise a proposed house above the the new flood line was approved by the P&Z last night. The issue, at least among the neighbors, was whether all houses down there will have to be on stilts – ugly, and houses so built won’t serve as a bulkhead for houses behind them – vs. concern that the  new hummocks would divert water to neighboring homes and cause more damage.

I wouldn’t pretend to know anything about the respective merits of the two arguments but FWIW’s resident expert on this stuff, consultant Mike Finkbeiner, says fill is not only accepted by FEMA, much of Rye is using it now. Specifically,

Filling in a coastal stillwater (AE) is the best solution to high water tidal events. In Rye this is strongly endorsed, and is part of the FEMA method. FEMA calls this modification LOMC-F (Letter of Map Change by Fill.)

Mike wasn’t involved in this particular application, so far as I know, and what I do know about him is that he’s absolutely honest and not someone who’d tailor his opinion to suit who might be paying him, so I’ll go with him. Which, by the way, is probably something you should do if you’re contemplating s project or a purchase in one of our new flood ones. You shouldn’t rely on your realtor’s opinion which is probably based on ignorance and supposition. Certainly mine would be, which is why I use the old technique I learned as a lawyer when confronted with a question in an area of law I wasn’t familiar with: “I don’t know, but I can find out.” If you hear more than that, run for hills, so to speak.

UPDATE: there’s discussion in the comments section about the DPW dumping storm water off the streets onto private homeowners’ land, thus making it their problem, not the town. Next time you pas under an I-95 bridge (Strickland Road’s a good example) check out the drainpipes leading from the road surface above directly into Long Island Sound. If a private party contaminated the water like this, pouring oily,filthy road water into the Sound, that person would be in jail. Our state does it with impunity, the entire length of the Interstate and the Merritt and Route One and …

[Note from editor: those readers who believe I write this stuff “in the middle of the night”, as one opined yesterday, should know that WordPress doesn’t seem to recognize daylight savings time (or I can’t get it to). So it’s not 3:20 right now.)


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