Daily Archives: June 12, 2013

Warning: don’t try this at home

Humbolt loggers clear the way for marijuana plantations

Humboldt loggers clear the way for marijuana plantations

Brit fined €125,000 for cutting down neighbor’s (rather puny) tree that blocked the view from his hot tub. 


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A few weeks ago, this might have seemed preposterous. No longer.

Sworn to enforce Chicagoland justice

Sworn to enforce Chicagoland justice

Did the federal government slam Qwest CEO in prison for four years because of his refusal to grant NSA access to his customers’ phone records?


Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is currently serving a six-year sentence after being convicted of insider trading in April 2007 for selling $52 million of stock in the spring of 2001 as the telecommunications carrier appeared to be deteriorating.

During the trial his defense team argued that Nacchio, 63, believed Qwest was about to win secret government contracts that would keep it in the black.

Nacchio alleged that the government stopped offering the company lucrative contracts after Qwest refused to cooperate with a National Security Agency surveillance program in February 2001.

That claim gains new relevance these days, amid leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden that allege widespread domestic surveillance by the NSA.

Back in 2006 Leslie Cauley of USA Today, citing multiple people with direct knowledge of the arrangement, reported that shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks America’s three largest telecoms signed contracts to provide the NSA with detailed call records from hundreds of millions of people across the country.

Cauley noted that Qwest’s refusal to participate “left the NSA with a hole in its database” since the company served local phone service to 14 million customers in 14 states.

From USA Today (emphasis ours):

The NSA, which needed Qwest’s participation to completely cover the country, pushed back hard. …

… the agency suggested that Qwest’s foot-dragging might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government.

Nacchio’s legal concerns about the NSA program at the time mirror those of civil liberty groups today….

Furthermore, Nacchio felt that it was unclear who would have access to Qwest customers’ information and how that information might be used. Sources told Cauley that the NSA said government agencies including the FBI, CIA, and DEA might have access to its massive database.

That claim gains new relevance these days, amid leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden that allege widespread domestic surveillance by the NSA.


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Questions you probably never thought to ask

Why watching a video of two half-naked women shooting a bow could help improve your accuracy

Here’s one of the girls –  to be honest, I don’t think I’ll incorporate this into my routine.


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Hey, look what he did for Chicago

Coming to a city near you

Coming to a city near you

On the last day of a ten week trial over the constitutionality of NYC’s “stop-and-frisk” law, Obama orders the DOJ to intervene on behalf of the plaintiffs. 

Anything to distract from his personal woes.


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And the aggregate IQ on campus plummeted

Fred Camillo, Jim Himes waiting to be fed

Fred Camillo, Jim Himes waiting to be fed

Camillo, Himes, appear at GHS to support gun control

Both were disappointed that the legislation stopped short of where they’d have wanted it, but apparently they’re satisfied that the state’s taken a great first step.

Too bad no one asked these yokels how barring a hunter from purchasing a box of skeet shells or .22s was going to prevent another Newtown, but at least the students saw how politicians milk tragedy for votes. Cynicism towards and suspicion of government cannot be started too soon.

Next election, don’t forget not to vote.

UPDATE: A reader sent along this pearl of wisdom from Himes’ lecture yesterday:

“If you make the decision to keep a weapon in your home, you have made a much more dangerous home, in which it is much more likely that you or your spouse or one of your children or neighbors will die with the gun you have chosen to keep,” he said. “If you want to do that, I believe that’s your right. But it’s not a debatable proposition that if you have a gun in the home, you are safer.”

Can we expect the Congressman to say the same thing about private swimming pools, which cause more  infant and child drowning deaths than guns by a factor of 100? I think not.


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Who says that Barry hasn’t accomplished anything in his five year term?

I can't believe I'm losing to this guy

I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy

He’s made Bush look good! George Bush now more popular than the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Forty-nine percent of Americans view Bush favorably while 46 percent view him negatively, Gallup reports. Democrats developing an appreciation for Bush at a faster rate than any other group, though his numbers are up among across the political spectrum.

“Currently, 84 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents, and 24 percentof Democrats have a favorable view of Bush, each up more than 10 points since 2009,” Gallup notes. “However, the more recent improvement in his ratings, a five-point overall uptick since November 2010, has been more apparent among Democrats, whose rating has increased by 10 points since then.”

And remember my repeated observation that because Democrats  (Dollar Bill, where are you these days?) are unprincipled, they have no way to judge the morality of an action except by the identity of the actor? There are no moral absolutes in their bumper sticker world, just politics. Here’s that same poll:

PEW found that Americans’ position on domestic surveillance breaks along party lines. “Democrats now view the NSA’s phone surveillance as acceptable by 64 percent to 34 percent,” PEWreports. “In January 2006, by a similar margin (61% to 36%), Democrats said it was unacceptable for the NSA to scrutinize phone calls and emails of suspected terrorists.”


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Sale and an accepted offer

11 Butternut

11 Butternut

11 Butternut has sold for $1.950 million on an asking price of $1.995.  Owners paid $1.615 for it in 2002, put some work into it and listed it for sale in 2009 at $2.695. After years of going nowhere, the owners fired their agent, relisted it with someone else and, at its new improved price, sold in 15 days. That might seem a poor way to reward a broker who spent three years flogging your property but that’s the risk a broker takes when he or it accepts a ridiculously-priced listing. Which is why I won’t do it.

23 Hoover

23 Hoover

Over in Hooverville, on the other hand, 23 Hoover Lane has an accepted offer after just 29 days. It was priced at $649,000. Not a lot of house, but hey, suck it up: for Greenwich, not a lot of money. I get it.


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“Thinkprogress” [sic] says drought isn’t weather, it’s a permanent affect of global warming

Global Idiocy

Global Idiocy

In fact, they say that those who refuse to accept their idea are just plain stupid.

Some of us stupid people have long argued that droughts, heavy rain, blizzards and warm or cold winters are all just normal weather patterns demonstrating their variable nature, but if the warmists insist that it’s all about global warming, then okay, here’s this report on tomorrow’s predicted 2-3″ rainfall:

Two to 3 inches of rain would shatter rainfall records for June. Already we’ve received 6.81 inches of rain. The normal rainfall for the month is just 1.57 inches.

Earthquakes next, according to Thinkprogress and its allies in the press.


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Bus Parkway students 9 miles to New Lebanon? Tar, feathers

"Time out" for Superintendent McKersie

“Time out” for Superintendent McKersie

I wasn’t there, but, quelle surpise, Parkway parents aren’t going to accept the destruction of their property values and their neighborhood school just to satisfy racist Democrats from Hartford (and Greenwich, of course).

Two related results from our outraged response to the BOE’s supine compliance with the state’s mandate that it redistrict along strictly racial lines:

1. A number of parents have called on the district to the challenge the racial balance mandate. Leslie Moriarty, the school board’s chairwoman, said at the forum that her panel is putting litigation on the table.

2nd. Superintendent of Schools William McKersie, meanwhile, noted that the plan adopted in the fall by the board could differ substantially from the current menu of options under review.

“The options that could be voted on in the fall could look very different,” he said. “The board may say, `Let’s mix and match. Let’s pull pieces of one and pieces of the other.’ Again, these are conceptual options.”

Keep that pressure on until (a) we fire the landscape architects, Milone & MacBroom, who came up with four unacceptable options and (b) McKersie comes to understand that “mixing and matching” pieces from some or all of four equally bad options is a non-starter. Bring on the litigators.


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That’s so, if you make it legal

Senator Schumer on his immigration amnesty bill: “Illegal immigration will be a thing of the past.”

The depressing thing about modern politics is that the politicians know that we all expect them to lie, and we accept it, so pols like Schumer no longer even pretend to tell the truth, they just let it fly.


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