Daily Archives: May 7, 2013

Who says Americans are losing their productivity?

SSINumber of full time workers supporting disability mendicants drops from 51:1 in 1968 to 13:1 today.

The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,962,532 million in April, which exceeds the 10,815,197 people who live in the nation of Greece.

April was the 195th straight month that the number of American workers collecting federal disability payments increased. The last time the number of Americans collecting disability decreased was in January 1997. That month the number of workers taking disability dropped by 249 people—from 4,385,623 in December 1996 to 4,385,374 in January 1997.

The beauty of this climb from 4 million on disability in 1997 to 11 million today is that not only does it demonstrate the robustness of the American worker, always capable of shouldering an increasing burden imposed by his idle fellow citizens, but those extra seven million loafers no longer have to be counted as unemployed, so we enjoy a drop in the unemployment rate! Wall Street loves that, the major media does too and the low information voter cheers the news of his impending doom.

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So you want a conspiracy theory, do ya, AJ?

 

Poutine poisoning

Poutine poisoning

Straight from Canada, poutine flavor soda pop. They’re trying to drive you out of there, AJ, but I’m counting on your being made of sterner stuff – they don’t understand the American backbone and cast iron stomach, do they?

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Narrative fail

Gun homicides down 49% since 1993.

Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.

Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

SDT-2013-05-gun-crime-1-2Looking back 50 years, the U.S. gun homicide rate began rising in the 1960s, surged in the 1970s, and hit peaks in 1980 and the early 1990s. (The number of homicides peaked in the early 1990s.) The plunge in homicides after that meant that firearm homicide rates in the late 2000s were equal to those not seen since the early 1960s.1 The sharp decline in the U.S. gun homicide rate, combined with a slower decrease in the gun suicide
rate, means that gun suicides now account for six-in-ten firearms deaths, the highest share since at least 1981.

SDT-2013-05-gun-crime-1-3Researchers have studied the decline in firearm crime and violent crime for many years, and though there are theories to explain the decline, there is no consensus among those who study the issue as to why it happened.

There also is debate about the extent of gun ownership in the U.S., although no disagreement that the U.S. has more civilian firearms, both total and per capita, than other nations. Compared with other developed nations, the U.S. has a higher homicide rate and higher rates of gun ownership, but not higher rates for all other crimes. (See Chapter 5 for more details.)

In the months since the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December, the public is paying close attention to the topic of firearms; according to a recent Pew Research Center survey (Pew Research Center, April 2013) no story received more public attention from mid-March to early April than the debate over gun control. Reducing crime has moved up as a priority for the public in polling this year.

Mass shootings are a matter of great public interest and concern. They also are a relatively small share of shootings overall. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less than 1% of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008. These homicides, most of which are shootings, increased as a share of all homicides from 0.5% in 1980 to 0.8% in 2008, according to the bureau’s data. A Congressional Research Service report, using a definition of four deaths or more, counted 547 deaths from mass shootings in the U.S. from 1983 to 2012.2

Looking at the larger topic of firearm deaths, there were 31,672 deaths from guns in the U.S. in 2010. Most (19,392) were suicides; the gun suicide rate has been higher than the gun homicide rate since at least 1981, and the gap is wider than it was in 1981.

 

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Bring on those out-of-town buyers, and hurry!

Your P&Z is out to destroy Old Greenwich. Not destroy it completely, but transform it into an enclave of a few very expensive new homes for the very rich. Here’s a bit of what it’s after, summed up in this letter from the Shoreland’s President:

Good Afternoon Shorelanders:

This is not what we had hoped for and, had written a letter to the Town Officials stating as such.  This will certainly change the way Shorelands looks over the next several years.  If you can, I suggest trying to dispute your VE classification with FEMA.  A group of residents are already in the process.
There is a house behind the Carter’s which has been raised to the 15′ mark.  Please go take a look at it.  That is what is going to be required.  The gentlemen with the beard and hat is very informative.  He told me that they are also using 25 Helianchors to keep the house in place.

And Mike Finkbeiner provides this from that same position letter of May 1.:

FEMA Zone A or AE along the coastline – The placement of fill should be minimized. A determination
should be made to confirm no existing low spots exist on the parcel. If the proposed fill is to be placed within
an existing low spot, a drainage analysis will need to be completed to show that the fill within the low spot
has not caused an increase in peak flow and runoff volume to a neighboring parcel or road. Also note,
FEMA recommends the lowest finished floor of the building be placed two to three feet above the
designated Base Flood Elevation.

Sound Beacher sends along these pictures of a house (Bernie Armstrong’s?) on Meadowbank being raised – your future down there.

meadowbank II

Meadowbank

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And that’s with Dollar Bill dragging his suffering family to see it thirty-four times

 

Does this face make me look old?

Does this face make me look old?

Redford flick honoring Obama’s Weatherman friend Bill Ayres bombs at the box office. Unfortunate timing for a hagiography about a bomber to be released just as legs are being torn off and bodies shredded up in Boston, but despicable, washed up stars like Redford and Sarandon didn’t make this film with the intention of people paying to see it in the first place.

If Hollywood only cared about making money, they’d stop cranking out these stupid leftist fantasies that bomb at the box office. But they’re not making these movies for us. They’re making them for themselves. We’re just not intelligent and sophisticated enough to appreciate the pearls cast before us.

Private White House screening is tomorrow, while the Benghazi hearings are on television.

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Sale, accepted offers

126 Parsonage sale price reported, 25 Druid, Riverside spec house, has a buyer.

126 Parsonage Road

126 Parsonage Road

126 Parsonage was on forever, an unfortunate delay which I attribute solely to its first price in February, 2011, of $4.975 million. It sold today for $3.620. I liked this house and I liked its location but obviously buyers who looked at it hated that  price. When I showed it long ago to a client I thought it should sell for perhaps $3.75 or $3.9. I’m fairly sure that the owner could have done at least that well had the house been priced better at the start.

25 Druid, new construction yet to be finished, has an accepted offer. Asking is $3.150 million but that number may change if the buyer adds features.

UPDATE:42 Stonehedge 42 Stonehedge Drive, out west in King Merritt Acres, has an accepted offer 15 days after being listed for $999,000. I’m surprised that a building lot over there could sell for so much.

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On the job training?

It takes a thief

It takes a thief

Air Force sacks Sexual Assault Prevention Chief for sexual assault.

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Sale, accepted offer

Mortimer Drive block party

Mortimer Drive block party

Sold, 10 Mortimer Drive, $970,000. Out of town broker, buyer (snort).

Three accepted offers.

24 Sundance

24 Sundance

24 Sundance, Cos Cob, $1.495 million. Back lot, not much of a yard, but price is everything these days.

114 Overlook Drive

114 Overlook Drive

114 Overlook Drive, Milbrook, $1.595, 9 days on market. This sold for $1.896 million in 2007 and again in 2009 for $1.550.

36 Highview Ave

36 Highview Ave

And 36 Highview Ave, Old Greenwich, asking $2.395 million. I suggested when this came on last month that we’d learn all we needed to know about the Old Greenwich market by how it fared. The Old Greenwich market is hot.

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Peter Pfabe returns

Peter Pfabe reflects on the errors of his ways

Peter Pfabe (or Peter Graves?) reflects on the errors of his ways

Last I heard about this man, he had plead guilty and was headed for jail. Specifically, Pfabe pled guilty to mail and wire fraud in exchange for a $200,000 forfeiture and a prison term. He was released just 4 days ago and now that he has access to a computer again, he’s already complaining about what we wrote about him at the time of his plea. I’m happy to prominently post his protest, but I have no idea what he thinks I did to misrepresent the facts or besmirch his character. Perhaps he’ll clarify.

Mr. Fountain:
You and I have had our differences before, I have kept our written remarks in a file only because I found it so unlike a professional journalist to break his promise. Water under the bridge and no longer important.

What is important, however, are your remarks of March 7, 2012. I was, as you can imagine, somewhat preoccupied at the time and did not have time to discuss this matter with you earlier.

Your remarks — might I suggest calumny — fell far short of accurate, as they have before. This time, however, they fall far closer–one might say they fall into–an area of libel.

You might imagine that while in the “pokey” and in particular the “pokey” I went to, one has the opportunity to discuss such matters with some rather under-worked attorneys. Nothing quite like the law library in the “pokey.”
Mr. Fountain, asking you to revise the posting of March 7, 2012 would require you to do some actual research which you won’t do; asking you to repost it with accurate statements would highlight your inaccuracies to your “public” which you also won’t do; which leaves a final suggested route: remove the posting altogether. If history is any guide, you may SAY you will remove the post, but you won’t, and then merely poke fun once again at me and my ex-wife.

All of wihich leaves me in a position I find unpleasant. I would rather not have to request the posting of March 7, 2012 be removed, but I would rather you do your research considerably better. I have learned enough about you to know that there is only one route this will take–I wonder if you will prove me wrong.

Mr. Fountain, bottom line: Either the posting is removed with immediate effect, or I will endeavor to have it removed with a most prominent apology.

Sincerely,
Peter Pfabe

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March contract, May sale

 

17 Copper Beech

17 Copper Beech

17 Copper Beech sold for $3.6 million. Just 14 days on the market back in March, which I found encouraging because, while this is a beautiful old carriage house nicely renovated and restored, it’s got a somewhat quirky layout and, usually, those don’t find a buyer quickly. This one did.

Also of interest is that sales price, just $100,000 less than the $3.7 the owners paid for it in 2007. That was the peak of the market and prices subsequently retreated to 2003 levels. Apparently, we’re back.

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They came for the guns, but I was not a gun owner and so did not speak out

Please sir, may we have some more?

Please sir, may we have some more?

They came for the seeds, but I was not a farmer and wanted to be at the mercy of Monsanto and my government, so I did not speak out. EU proposes criminalizing possession of heirloom and development of  home-grown seeds.

“Unless we are farmers, we tend to take seeds for granted. But civilisation is built on seeds: it was the rise of large-scale agriculture, based in part on the skilful breeding of ever-better seeds, that eventually allowed towns and then cities to form; and with them, the trades, arts and sciences that were possible once enough food could be produced by just a fraction of the population. That makes national seed policies — how governments regulate the production and sale of plant varieties — a crucial if neglected aspect of our urban lives.

It seems that the European Commission has been working on a massive re-vamp of its regulations governing seeds, and people are increasingly worried by its plans. Here’s what the Soil Association, a UK charity founded in 1946 that campaigns for organic food production and related areas, has to say on the matter:

The Soil Association believes the proposed new EU regulation on the marketing of plant reproductive material will put the future of our plant biodiversity at risk. It will have a disastrous effect on the availability of rare varieties and farmers’ varieties, and stop the exchange and selling of traditional seeds. This will not only affect farmers and growers in the short term by outlawing exchange of seed not currently commercially available, but in the long term will erode the diversity of species that even the large seed companies, who are driving the proposal, need to provide their future varieties.

The draft of the regulation (pdf) is around a hundred pages of pretty dry rules, but the essence is as follows. The new regulation will apply to every kind of plant, and will impose strict rules on those producing or offering seeds and plants commercially. They must register, every plant or seed they wish to sell must be certified, and these must be packaged according to strict rules that even specify what color the attached labels must be.

The intent may be laudable: to ensure that plant material that is available in the EU is safe, and that problems can be tracked back to their source. But the bureaucratic burden and cost of compliance is likely to be well beyond most smaller seed producers. Here’s what the Soil Association sees as the chief problems:

The proposed regulation goes even further than the current European seed law which favours the production of uniform varieties (protected by plant breeder’s rights) and discriminates against less homogenous open pollinated varieties and populations. This has already resulted in a non-reversible loss of agro-biodiversity. The proposed regulation will require every seed to be registered and an annual license to be paid for each variety.

Under this law it won’t be possible to register old and new niche varieties and populations (e.g. conservation and amateur varieties, landraces [naturally-evolved local variants] and farmers’ selections) based only on an officially recognized description (ORD), without official registration and certification, as is currently practiced.

If this regulation is passed, not only will we lose a huge number of plant varieties , we will lose the amazing diversity of appearance, taste, and potential benefits such as disease resistance and nutritional content.

Furthermore despite assurances that this law will only apply to farmers the latest draft legislation suggests that every gardener will be subject to the regulation — the effects will be disastrous for farmers and growers”

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You heard it here first

Dannel Malloy Memorial Housing Project

Dannel Malloy Memorial Housing Project, Cos Cob

Rick Kral says he wants to tear down the Cos Cob Inn and build low income housing.  We received a tip about this and mentioned it April 17th, but I suppose Greenwich Time doesn’t deal in rumors. What fun is that?

Kral wants to expand the current 7,000 sq. ft. structure to 17,000 and build 13 apartments, four of which will be reserved for po’ folk. Lucky po’ folk, they get to be cellar dwellers.

The Planning and Zoning staff]  noted that two of the 900-square foot one-bedroom units will be in the basement with covered window wells. The other two one-bedroom affordable units on the first floor. There will be three two-bedroom apartments on the first floor, four two-bedroom apartments on the second floor and a pair of three-bedroom units on the third floor.

Kral owns the property and is entitled to develop it, but it’s annoying to see how the Hartford Democrats’ control over local towns works in action:

Kral proposes using State Statute 8-30(g), which allows for exemptions from local zoning rules if less than 10 percent of a municipality’s housing stock is classified as affordable. As of 2011, 4.88 percent of Greenwich housing was affordable, according to the Planning and Zoning Department. Under the law, if Greenwich denies the application, it would have the burden of proof should the applicant sue.

In a letter to the commission, Kral’s lawyer, John Tesei, said it would be at risk of losing a court action if it turned the application down.

For Democrats, it’s about control, always, from dictating municipal union contracts to school curriculum to local zoning. The sheeple like this usurpation, just as they welcome federal intervention in their lives.  Pathetic.

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