Daily Archives: September 18, 2013

Cause and effect? Nah, how could that happen, we’re progressives!

Cato Institute: US now ranks 17th in ranks of economic freedom.

Economic freedom in the United States has continued to fall even as it has increased modestly at a global level. That’s according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2013 Annual Report co-published today by the Fraser Institute.

The United States has seen more than a decade of decline, having been ranked 2nd on the index in 2000, 8th in 2005 and 17th in the current report. The average global economic freedom score rose slightly from 6.74 out of 10 in 2010 to 6.87 in 2011, the last year for which data is available. The authors of the report note that the United States has fallen in all areas that the report measures: size of government, the legal system and security of property rights, sound money, freedom to trade, and regulation. Increased spending, a weakening rule of law, worse monetary policy, greater trade barriers, and more regulation are to blame. …[E]conomic freedom in the United States is lower than it was in 1980 and is below that of Canada, New Zealand and even Chile, a developing country on its way to first-world status.

The relationship between economic freedom and prosperity is strong as the graph below shows. Countries in the top quartile of the index are significantly richer than the rest. Economic freedom is also strongly associated with improvements in the whole range of indicators of human well-being including greater political and civil liberties, longer life spans, lower poverty, and so on (see pp. 21-23 of the report.). So it is especially troubling that the United States, the world’s most important economy long associated with market-liberalism, should be in decline. Authors James Gwartney, Robert Lawson and Josh Hall cite scholarly work to conclude that “unless policies undermining economic freedom are reversed, the future annual growth of the U.S. economy will be half its historic average of 3%.”

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54 Cathlow Drive, Riverside

View from 54 Cathlow Drive (Rat Island, background)

View from 54 Cathlow Drive (Rat Island, background)

$18.225  million if you want all 4.4 acres, or just $16 if you’ll settle for 3.72. I assume that means that you can pick up a building lot for $2.225 million, which, for Cathlow Drive, is a good deal – I’ll ask at its open house tomorrow.

Cathlow is a wonderful street off Indian Head with some great houses. I won’t pretend to know what this one will sell for, though my hunch is, “less”, but it’s a fabulous location.

UPDATE: Reader “Riverside” (pseudonym of Peter Tesei’s, presumably) points out that the building lot is the land on Highgate discussed here a bit earlier today). So it is.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Riverside, Uncategorized, Waterfront

Heh

BUcrGESCMAAQR0V

20 Comments

September 18, 2013 · 5:57 pm

Who knew? CBS still has a genuine reporter on staff

Mark KnollerMark Knoller actually remembers what Obama said, and retrieves it.

Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 18, 2013

In remarks on the Senate Floor on March 16, 2006, Sen. Obama said the need to raise the Debt Limit was “a sign of leadership failure.”—
Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 18, 2013

Obama said the need to raise the Debt Limit was another reflection of the “Government’s reckless fiscal policies.”—

The, Sen Obama also denounced the rising National Debt as “a hidden domestic enemy” robbing cities & states of “critical investments.”—
Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 18, 2013

Denouncing the ever-increasing National Debt, then-Sen. Obama told the Senate he would oppose an increase in the Debt Limit.—
Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 18, 2013

Seven years later, Pres Obama denounces those who oppose raising the Debt Limit – or try to link it to defunding ObamaCare.—

“Let’s pay our bills on time,” says the president these days in defense of raising the Debt Limit and avoiding default.—
Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 18, 2013

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She wore an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie, yellow polkadot …

Price advisor

Price advisor

After nearly six months on the market, 45 Hillside Drive has dropped its price $100,000, and now asks $4.495 million. I suppose the idea behind taking such an itsy bitsy teenie weenie price cut is to signal that the owner is finally willing to at least listen to a lower offer, but the message I get is that, if he wouldn’t budge for six months and is barely budging now, he’s intransigent.

Which would be fine, if the entire market hadn’t been telling him since April that his price was wrong. I’ll pass.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Mid Country, pricing, Uncategorized

Former First Selectman Tom Ragland is moving

His home at 2 Spring Street, Riverside, just came on, asking $2.395. No pictures posted yet but it’s always been a very pretty house and looks extremely well maintained. I always thought more of his house than I did his services and talents as our First Selectman, but when he and another First Selectman, the late Bill Lewis (whom I greatly admired) both lived on Spring, there was one street in Riverside you could count on being plowed, no matter how large or unexpected the storm. That was before Cos Cobbers reclaimed the town government, of course, and the decline began.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Greenwich Politics, Riverside, Uncategorized

$2.225 for an undersized building lot in Harbor Point?

Harbor Point Association Mutual Aid Society, Hurricane Sandy, 2013

Harbor Point Association Mutual Aid Society, Hurricane Sandy, 2013

11 Highgate Road, in Harbor Point, is 0.67 acres (R-1 zone), with a house on it that “was damaged by Sandy and must be repaired.” It’s probably safe to say that a house flooded almost a year ago and left untouched since is not a prime candidate for restoration, so we can treat this as a land sale. Is $2.225 million too much? Probably, but Harbor Point, with its private beach and small, traffic-free network of roads, is one of Riverside’s prettiest neighborhoods, and someone might bite the bullet and build a stilt house here. However, I think there’s at least one other house in this price range that is on higher ground and a much larger parcel, and I’d want to look at that, too, before deciding.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Neighborhoods, Riverside, Uncategorized

Riverside land for $9.5 million? Maybe

View from 73 Club Road (representative)

View from 73 Club Road (representative)

73 Club Road, which sold for $8 million in 2010, is back on the market, unchanged, for $9.5 million. This is very nice land with Cos Cob Harbor frontage (and Mianus Bridge highway noise, but that’s a quibble). Its 2.67 acres comprise two separate building lots but to split this parcel would, I think, be a mistake; you’d end up with two narrow side-by-side rectangles and neither would be anywhere nearly so nice as the whole.

2010 was not a great year for real estate, so it’s possible that in this recovered market this price will stick. On the other hand, Club Road sold well even during that period and $8 million struck me then as a very high value.

One way to find out: wait and see.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Riverside, Uncategorized, Waterfront

See if you can spot the one Republican town in this list of Democrat funding

Man, Greenwich is so screwed!

Man, Greenwich is so screwed!

Dan Malloy and the Democrat kleptocracy have announced the divvying up of loot seized from the productive citizens, and here’s the breakdown:

The first round winners include Bridgeport, receiving $1 million, second only to Hartford, which is receiving $1.5 million. Other area recipients include Danbury, $55,401; Derby, $267,873, Greenwich, $1,918; Norwalk, $29, 305, Shelton, $168,537; Stamford, $136,537; Stratford, $135,334 and Westport, $261,083.

I checked on Westport just to make sure and yes, Westport is a “Democratic Stronghold”.

Which leaves just us holding the shitty end of the stick.

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Filed under Greenwich Politics, Uncategorized

And they’ll multiply as the UAW extends its unionizing efforts

 

Walter Reuther visits South Carolina to talk shop

Walter Reuther visits South Carolina to talk shop

Robots now working alongside autoworkers on the assembly line.

BMW has taken a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots in automotive manufacturing by having a handful of robots work side-by-side with human workers at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

As a new generation of safer, more user-friendly robots emerges, BMW’s man-machine collaboration could be the first of many examples of robots taking on new human tasks, and working more closely alongside humans. While many fear that this trend could put people out of work (see “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs”), proponents argue it will instead make employees more productive, relieving them of the most unpleasant and burdensome jobs.

Robots have been a part of automotive manufacturing for decades. The first industrial robot—a hulking 4,000-pound arm called the Unimate—attached die castings to car doors at a GM production line in 1961. Such manufacturing robots have been powerful and extremely precise, but it’s never been safe for humans to work alongside them. As a result, a significant number of final assembly tasks, in auto plants and elsewhere, are still performed almost entirely by hand.

At BMW’s South Carolina plant, robots made by the Danish company Universal Robots have broken through this barrier and are helping workers perform final door assembly. The robots are working with a door sealant that keeps sound and water out of the car, and is applied before the door casing is attached. “It’s pretty heavy work because you have to roll this glue line to the door,” says Stefan Bartscher, head of innovation at BMW. “If you do that several times a day, it’s like playing a Wimbledon match.”

According to Bartscher, final assembly robots will not replace human workers; they will extend their careers. “Our workers are getting older,” Bartscher says. “The retirement age in Germany just rose from 65 to 67, and I’m pretty sure when I retire it’ll be 72 or something. We actually need something to compensate and keep our workforce healthy, and keep them in labor for a long time. We want to get the robots to support the humans.”

Extend the careers of older workers, maybe, but will it make sense to hire younger ones?

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Peter Tesei finds an ally – unless this is His Honor in drag

An intellect lighter than air

An intellect lighter than air

The last time he was allowed out in public, our first selectman Tesei sought to blame this blog and its anonymous commenters for the suicide of Bart Paloscz and said,

“I think our media locally has been irresponsible…when you provide a platform for adults to make anonymous comments…you fuel a behavior that is deemed acceptable. In a sick sort of way people get off on it because they get, ‘Well, I can say what I want but I don’t have to say who I am.’ They say things that are inflammatory, inaccurate, andthey are allowed to get away with it...I’m all for freedom of speech, but I think freedom of speech means you have to know who is saying what. Anonymity is cowardice and I think bullies are cowards…I would call upon the local media outlets, Hearst and all the others…to cease that practice.”

Tesei seems to have no respect for either the Second Amendment or the First. Fortunately for the universe he’s merely a small town mayor with no particular general appeal, but he is rumored to have higher political ambitions. Should he somehow achieve that ambition, here’s a logical choice for his running mate:

Anonymous Cop Pens Bizarre Editorial Calling for ‘End of Anonymity on the Internet,’ Says All Internet Posters Should be Forced to Register with the Government for ‘Public Safety.’

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And back for another try…

45 Husted Lane

45 Husted Lane

45 Husted Lane, now at $6.895 million. Brother Gid tried selling this for them back in 2006 for $7.995 and it’s been on and off the market since, at various prices and with various brokers. This was built by Hobbs, according to the listing, so there can be no question as to its quality. Is there anything else, except its price, that’s preventing its sale?

I don’t remember seeing this, although I’m sure I have sometime in the past seven years, so I can’t say what the problem is with the place, if a problem there is. One clue, perhaps, is that in all its listings, even when it was new, there are no pictures of its yard. It’s on two acres (two separate, one-acre building lots, in fact), so there’s certainly room for a yard unless the topography prevents it. Swamp? Cliffs? Maybe.

But that’s just a guess. I’ll check it out next time there’s an open house and report back. Or I could just ask Gideon.

UPDATE:  Another agent reports “zero yard”. No pictures: the dog that did not bark.

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After Greenway’s $50 million cut, a mere $2 million doesn’t sound like much.

This one won't last!

This one won’t last!

Nonetheless, that’s what the owner of 918 North Street has shaved off his price, so what would have cost you $13.9 million yesterday can be yours today for $11.9 million. This property has been on the market since 2009, when it asked $16.9 million and so far, it’s proved to have the attractiveness of a junked Corolla. Perhaps this latest reduction will fix that.

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Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, pricing

Deep pockets

6 Meadowcroft: should be a $1,350,000 negotiating buffer now.

6 Meadowcroft: should be a rather generous negotiating buffer now.

Two days ago I mentioned that 6 Meadowcroft Road, priced at $13.750 million, was back on the market after reporting a fully executed contract back in June, and I wondered whether, as there were no contingencies, the defaulting buyer had forfeited his 10% deposit. I now hear that indeed he did; he found another house he liked better. As a product of the “new math” curriculum of the late 60s, I’ll have to leave it to you math wizards to calculate ten percent of $13,750,000, but it’s a lot.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Mid Country

Often, the more I like a house, the longer it takes to find a buyer. Here’s an example

335 Valley Road

335 Valley Road

335 Valley Road has finally reported an executed contract. (link now fixed)

I loved this house when I saw it four months ago and predicted it would sell within two weeks. Off by 127 days (well technically, subtract 14 days from that number) and it had to take a price cut, from $2.375 million to $2.250.

Oh well. I’m delighted that it has found a buyer in any event, and I hope the new owners will like it as much as I do. And I still think, given what’s out there in this price range, it’s one of the best. Obviously, a number of other buyers disagreed, but that’s why houses come in different styles. How boring it would be to live in one of those modern, built-on-a-cornfield developments you find in northern Virginia, for instance, where the only variation, house after house, row after row, is which side of the house the garage is on.

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Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Cos Cob, Neighborhoods

Speaking of imaginary weapons, what about banning handgun ammunition and shutting down all American gun manufacturers?

That’s what the next mayor of New York, Bill de Balasio is demanding, and he’s been joined by the supposed parents of murdered Sandy Hook children, the  “Newtown Action Alliance”.

Check out their accompanying illustration of what they seek to ban: the 9mm pistol round, used by almost every police force in the country (as well as our military). The rationale, according to these people, is that a pistol was used to kill people in Colorado. Of course Monday’s killer used a shotgun so that, too is on their agenda. When you hear that “no one wants to confiscate guns, we just want ‘common sense regulations’,”  think, “we want to confiscate all guns and disarm the nation”.

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And the liberal outrage is … where?

Designated Democrat Intellectual, Dollar Bill

Designated Democrat Intellectual, Dollar Bill

IRS specifically focused on Tea Party because of its anti-Obama rhetoric.

USA TODAY:

WASHINGTON — Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about “anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.

The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”

Reached for comment, Greenwich Democrat spokesman Dollar Bill explained his party’s position to FWIW: “Bushchaneykochbrothers!Bushchaneykochbrothers!Teabaggersteabaggerteabaggers!” Our interview was ended by the appearance of Democrat BOE member Ramadamadingdong Tamm and party chairman, Kaptain Keno, who hugged DB in a loving embrace and gently led him away. “This guy’s a fucking lunatic”, Tamm said.

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The lies continue at the NYT

"All the News That's Fit to Fabricate"

“All the News That’s Fit to Fabricate”

We’ve seen the Daily News (and dozens of other media outlets) focus on the gun that was never used, the dreaded “AR-15”; we’ve seen CNN invent a new weapon, the “AR-15 shotgun”, and here’s the NYT, falsely claiming that Virginia’s strict gun laws actually prevented the shooter from buying one: (you may remember that the mainstream press, since the time when Bloggers exposed Dan Rather’s lies about George Bush’s military service, has distinguished itself from bloggers by touting the “many, many layers of fact-checking and verification procedures” they employ. That claim is no longer – never was – operative):

NYT:  “State Law Stopped Gunman From Buying Rifle, Officials Say.”

The first line says: “The gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday test fired an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week but was stopped from buying one because state law there prohibits the sale of such weapons to out-of-state buyers, according to two senior law enforcement officials.”

Apparently neither the reporter nor his editors took the time to fact check their vague “law enforcement officials” sources.

“Virginia law does not prohibit the sale of assault rifles to out-of-state citizens who have proper identification,” Dan Peterson, a Virginia firearms attorney, told me Tuesday night. The required identification is proof of residency in another state and of U.S. citizenship, which can be items like a passport, birth certificate or voter identification card.

John Frazer, also a firearms attorney in the Commonwealth, told me that, “State law in Virginia — like most states — allows purchase of rifles or shotguns by residents of other states. Virginia simply requires some additional forms of identification.”

Federal law is clear on this residency issue. A quick glance at the ATF website would have informed the New York Times journalists that a person may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a federal firearms licensee’s premises in any state, provided the sale complies with state laws, which it would in this case.

So is the NYT merely guilty of gross incompetence and laziness, driven by its anti-gun agenda, or is it deliberately fabricating news stories in order to feed its readers’ delusions? To quote one of that paper’s favorite politicians, “what difference does it make?”

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Thank you, Bill Clinton

Official Bill Clinton Marine Paintball Brigade

Official Bill Clinton Marine Paintball Brigade

When Clinton disarmed military bases and declared them “gun free zones”, the ostensible reason was to increase the safety of our troops (it was, of course, just an expression of his animus towards weapons). That didn’t stop the Ft. Hood rampage by a muslim fanatic, and was responsible for the deaths of most of those killed Monday at the Navy Yard. Marine: If we’d had ammunition, we could have cleared the building”.

“My son was at Marine Barracks — at the Navy Yard yesterday – and they had weapons with them, but they didn’t have ammunition.   And they said, ‘We were trained, and if we had the ammunition, we could’ve cleared that building.’ Only three people had been shot at that time, and they could’ve stopped the rest of it.”

So much for “gun-free zones”: all of the recent mass shootings that took place at civilian locations occurred in such zones: Aurora, Columbine, Newtown, and now we know, twice-over, they don’t work on military bases.

UPDATE: A reader says it was George Bush I who first disarmed the military and provides the relevant regulation. The regulation I link to is apparently a change made to that regulation by executive order of William Jefferson, but the essential disarming is Bush’s, and subsequent administrations, burden to shoulder.

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