Monthly Archives: October 2013

All the house that’s fit to print

 

You want a roof? Yeah, we can do that.

You want a roof? Yeah, we can do that.

AJ sends along this article on manufacturing homes with 3D printers. This process is amazing and is transforming manufacturing, from dropping the cost of prosthetic limbs down to $5, to tools to guns to cars to … houses.

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A pyrrhic victory

Three-judge appeal panel overturns judge’s “stop-and-frisk” ruling and throws her off the case for violating the Judicial Code of conduct. Sadly for New Yorkers, their next mayor has promised to drop the appeal.

Nothing more enjoyable than seeing people get what they deserve, and New Yorkers will deserve everything they get.

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If you wondered what the BOE fight’s about, it’s about preserving the status quo

Fatal attraction

Fatal attraction

Outgoing Democrat BOE Chairman  Leslie Moriarty has endorsed any and all Republican opponents of incumbent member Peter Sherr. This despite the fact that Democrats in Greenwich have traditionally declined to get involved in internecine Republican politics, despite the fact that she was requested by her party’s chairman not to do so, and despite the fact that it was Peter Sherr whose vote put her into the BOE Chairman’s position and placed Sherr beyond the pale so far as his fellow Republicans are concerned.

So if Moriarty is incapable of personal or party loyalty, to whom does she pledge allegiance? It seems to me that she’s sworn fealty to Republicans Jim Campbell and Ed Dadakis, the architects of the “go-along-to-get-along” school of governance that embraces Republicans and lickspittle Democrats alike. Everybody gets along, no one is rude to the school superintendent (no matter how brief his tenure) and proper deference to education experts and Hartford morons is paid, always.

Good riddance to Moriarty. As she leaves, cast one vote, and one vote only in the Republican BOE race and mark it for Peter Sherr. Something needs shaking up over there at the school board, and Sherr’s the only one who holds even the slightest promise of doing so.

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Amateur hour: Obama now attacks Germany

Not content with his calf in a china shop performance in the Middle East, Obama has turned his attention to one of our few remaining allies and told the Germans how they should run their domestic economy.

Considering that Germany’s unemployment rate is 5.2% while the Eurozone’s is 12% and Spain’s a whopping 22%, it can come as a surprise only to a megalomaniac like Barry that our former ally has rejected his advice and called his demands “incomprehensible”. 

There may be something a community organizer can run, but as we’ll soon see with deBlasio, their skill set doesn’t cover running a large city let alone, as has been demonstrated over the past five years, an entire country.

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Desperate, Obama discovers the virtues of private enterprise

drobama-lrgCalls in Oracle, Google and other, you know, people who know something to fix ObamaCare portal. Don’t worry; once these minor glitches are resolved, our president assures us that big government is fully capable of running 17% of our GDP. Okay, we weren’t so good at that first part,  he admitted today, but once the greedy profit seekers fix things up we’ll do what we do best, and that’s running a very large organization that will manage the individual  health care needs of 300 million Americans.

Feel better now?

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One more sale reported

5 Blanchard Rd

5 Blanchard Rd

5 Blanchard Road, in Bailiwick, was a June contract that just closed for $2.425 million on an asking price of $2.695. Not my cup of tea, but I suppose the design is appropriate for Bailiwick. A lot of house for under $2.5.

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The country’s gone mad

 

Racist pig!

Racist pig!

Pottery Barn pulls sushi-chef and kimono Halloween costumes after pressure group labels them “racist”.

In Kentucky, all 750 employees of a medical services firm are ordered to undergo “diversity training” after someone wears an Obama mask to a company party.

In Philadelphia, a 2 1/2 -year-old is suspended from nursery school for singing (or trying to) the Philadelphia Eagles team song which mentions “fight” three times. 

And, mentioned here yesterday, in Providence, Ivy League students close down a speech by NYC’s Police Commissioner because they don’t even want to hear what he has to say about crime prevention.

It’s all as one, and none of it’s good.

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So what are they planning for us?

DHS arms for war.

In an announcement of a no bid contract posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the federal agency signals its intention to purchase nearly 240,000 pepper spray projectiles, 100 pepper spray launchers, as well as 36 “riot expansion kits”.

The PepperBall TAC-700 pepper spray launcher “features full auto, semi-auto, or 3 round burst providing up to 700 rounds per minute,”according to the company which will provide the DHS with the weapons. It is also “accurate to 60 feet with area saturation up to 150 feet.” The weapon is routinely used in riot control situations around the world.

According to a video demonstration, the TAC-700 has a “strong psychological influence” on the people it is being used against because it is so loud and sounds like an automatic machine gun.

Although the weapons are being purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the document makes it clear that they will be used to train Federal Protective Service (FPS) agents.

The total cost of the contract amounts to $498,970 dollars and mandates that delivery of the weapons will be made within 60 days of the award.

Although the contract states that the pepper spray projectiles will be used for “training purposes,” 117,000 of them are inert compared to 120,000 “Live X Projectiles,” which are the most powerful projectiles available on PepperBall’s website, and are designed to be used during riot control situations.

The “riot expansion kits” being purchased by the DHS are holsters that accompany the PepperBall products and can be used to store projectiles. According to one website, they represent, “the perfect non-lethal crowd management tool for gaining compliance over rioters, organized protesters, and unlawful assemblies,” and can be used to, “Gain psychological advantage over unruly crowds.”

The purchase of these items sends another clear signal that the DHS is preparing for some form of civil disorder.

In June it emerged that the DHS was purchasing top of the range body armor and helmets for FPS guards as part of preparations for “riot control situations.” This followed a controversial drill last year dubbed “Operation Shield,” during which FPS agents armed with semiautomatic guns were posted outside a Social Security office in Florida. The unannounced exercise centered around “detecting the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.” Residents were forced to show identification papers to the guards during the drill.

Back in May, FPS guards were stationed outside an IRS building in St. Louis during a Tea Party demonstration, and the DHS has also used its sub-branch to spy on protesters.

As we reported last week, Homeland Security is spending $80 million dollars on hiring armed guards in New York to be used during “public demonstration(s),” as well as “civil disturbances, or other unanticipated events on an as-needed basis.”

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Riverside waterfront keeps selling

4 Pilot Rock LaneLatest is Ann Simpson’s listing at 4 Pilot Rock Lane in Harbor Point. One acre, direct waterfront, $5.495, September listing. People with the money to build what they want seem to be perfectly willing to pay what’s necessary to get the land they want. This asking price is right in line with what similar Riverside waterfront acres have been going for during the past five years, so while there may not have been huge appreciation during that period, neither have prices dropped.

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The brick and mortar crowd should be careful what they wish for

Amazon bulldozer: "reach out and crush someone."

The Amazon bulldozer: “reach out and crush someone.”

Amazon will start collecting Connecticut’s 6.35% sales tax tomorrow, November 1st. In part, this effort was spurred by Connecticut’s insatiable appetite for new revenue, but traditional, land-based realtors have been demanding a level playing field and they think this will achieve that. They should think again.

Amazon’s giving up the sales tax battles across the country because it wants to move to same-day delivery, and the best way to do that is to establish warehouse / distribution centers in the same neighborhood as its customers. By December, 2014, just in time for the Christmas shopping season, it expects to have a 1,500,000 sq. ft. distribution center operating in Windsor. Once that happens, retailers with limited inventory and high prices will discover that the sales tax disadvantage was the least of their problems.

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A real Democrat would take it all

Glornt sends along this Halloween card

Trick or Treat

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Steve Forbes nails it: Obama is weak abroad by choice, and he’s power-mad at home

Obamaites occupy Oakland

Obamaites occupy Oakland

Nothing that’s not been  said here before, but Forbes says it better.

Barack Obama is weak internationally by choice. At home he’s amassing immense, unprecedented powers over the economy. If Congress won’t pass one of his desired pieces of legislation, he’ll try to achieve his ends through decrees, a.k.a. executive orders, or unprecedented and sweeping regulatory rulings. The niceties of the law have never stopped this White House from doing what it desires. The Obama Administration routinely ignores adverse court rulings. Brazenly lying to the public is no barrier, as the President’s oft-repeated pledge that people could, if they wished, keep their health insurance policies and doctors demonstrates. From the get-go ObamaCare wanted to destroy the market for individual medical-care policies and to obliterate the practices of sole medical practitioners. Hardcore socialists have long understood that it’s much easier to regulate people when they’re herded into collectives.

Internationally, however, Obama is the weakest President of the post-World War II years…. Diplomats are still astonished, for instance, at how little prep work Obama engages in before international conferences. He doesn’t arrive with much of an agenda, nor does he interact with other leaders in advance to line up support. He more or less just shows up.

This is deliberate. The President truly believes the U.S. has been a malignant force in the world and therefore wants to reduce our footprint on the world stage to something the size of Belgium’s or Albania’s, which is why Britain and France took the lead on Libya and the U.S. “led from behind.” When massive, anti-government demonstrations erupted in Iran in 2009, Obama gave no support to the dissidents. The perception that the world’s superpower is fecklessly passive is what led Saudi Arabia, a rich yet vulnerable state that has relied on close relations with Washington to preserve its existence for over half a century, to publicly distance itself from Uncle Sam. China is now convinced that the U.S. is a declining power, which could lead to serious miscalculations by not only Beijing but also its neighbors, specifically Japan and South Korea. If Tokyo and Seoul believe the U.S. is withdrawing from the world stage, they will start preparing to build nuclear arms.

And this gets to the real danger in President Obama’s deliberately weak overseas-power posture. He may wish he could take the U.S. off the world stage, but the world won’t let him; events will erupt that will force U.S. action. One such possibility is Iran reaching nuclear-bomb capability. Do you think Israel today, after Obama’s red line to Syria and his groveling before Iran, really believes that this White House has its back?

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No open houses to visit

There are officially 30 homes to see today, but weed out the rentals, and all that’s left are retreads or houses being returned to the market at the same failed prices they suffered from earlier. There are still buyers out looking, but nothing to see.

That’s a wasted opportunity because a new listing at a reasonable price would be guaranteed the market’s full, focused attention. As it is, it looks like they’ll be no new inventory until mid-January. Fortunately, hunting season throughout the country extends through that period so there’s no particular reason to stick around.

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One weed’s evil, the other has the Mayor’s and the President’s personal seal of approval

Off to the big city

Off to the big city

NYC bans sale of tobacco products to under-21-year-olds, but not bongs and other dope paraphernalia. Alcohol and tobacco no, marijuana si!

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I’m sure Yankee fans everywhere join me in extending warmest congratulations

Red Sox win, 2013The Red Sox win! The Red Sox win! Thhaaaaaa, Red Sox win!

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I’ve bookmarked this page and we’ll return to it two years hence

As brought to you by Occupy Wall Street

As brought to you by Occupy Wall Street

Predictions on what deBlasio’s election next week will mean to NYC from the WSJ’s editors

Mr. de Blasio’s agenda threatens that achievement, and before next Tuesday’s vote any serious New Yorker, Democrat or Republican, should understand what his intentions are. Herewith, a summary:

• Daily security. The city’s murder rate is at its lowest since the 1960s. This plunge is the direct result of police reforms begun under Mr. Giuliani, including current police commissioner Ray Kelly’s stop-and-frisk program to reduce violent street crime. Mr. de Blasio repudiates these police practices, and he says he won’t appeal the August ruling by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin that called them unconstitutional. This threatens public safety.

• Taxes. Incomes above $500,000 in New York City are subject to city, state and federal taxes that take the combined top marginal rate to more than 50%. Mr. de Blasio wants more. To finance a new pre-K education program, he wants to raise the city’s income tax rate of 3.876% to 4.41%. Given his spending agenda, he’ll have to raise property taxes, too.

• Philanthropy. New York is the philanthropy capital of the world, supporting everything from the arts to food-distribution networks. Bill de Blasio wants even charitable money to start flowing through him, too. He’s proposing that private park conservancies with operating budgets over $5 million give 20% of it for redistribution to other parks. The conservancies were established precisely because the city didn’t maintain the parks. Many donors would stop giving.

• Schools. Under Mayor Bloomberg, the mayor’s office took control of public schools from the union-dominated school board and the cap on independent public charter schools expanded to 200, most in the poorest neighborhoods. Aligning himself with the teachers union, Mr. de Blasio will reverse this growth. “There is no way in hell that Eva Moskowitzshould get free rent, okay? They should have to pay rent,” he has declared.

Eva Moskowitz is a leading reformer who has helped charter schools “co-locate” in public-school buildings to avoid New York’s sky-high rents. When Mr. de Blasio charges them rent, the charter schools in New York, slowly but without doubt, will start to wither. Some 20,000 inner-city parents and their children recently marched across Brooklyn Bridge in opposition to the de Blasio schools agenda.

• Union contracts. Nearly all of the city’s major union contracts have expired and need to be renegotiated, a major Bloomberg failure. Mr. de Blasio says unions deserve at least partial retroactive pay increases (which would reward union recalcitrance) and he has laid out no reforms in pensions or work rules. As pensions grow as a share of the city budget, this would lock in spending commitments for years and increase pressure for higher taxes.

• Jobs. Mr. de Blasio wants a mandated “living wage” of $11.75 an hour on all city or city-subsidized projects, including retail stores. And he wants to make New York the first city in the U.S. that mandates paid family leave of 12 weeks. The most left-wing city council in years will pass both. Job creation will decline.

• Housing. He promises to build or preserve 200,000 affordable-housing units by various means, including mandates on developers, a policy that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock recently called a failure there. Mr. de Blasio also proposes to tap the city’s pension funds to invest in this housing, and he wants to strengthen rent controls. These policies would cause the city’s housing stock to diminish and deteriorate.

***

[W] hat’s striking about Bill de Blasio is how unreconstructed a man of the left he remains.

In the 1980s he romanced the revolutionary Marxism of Nicaragua’s Sandinistas, Castro’s communism and even Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Even now he praises their idealism, including that hoariest of clichés that Cuba has a model health-care system. South Bronx residents would picket City Hall if they had Cuba’s health care.

The city’s Public Advocate has held no real job, but Mr. de Blasio purports that he can run the most complex city in the U.S. guided by a wish list that would make Al Sharpton blush to propose it. It’s a sign of his Occupy ambition that New York optimists say they are counting on Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to rein in Mr. de Blasio. You know you’re out on a limb when you’re counting on Albany for rational governance. New Yorkers are resilient, and if they elect Bill de Blasio the odds are they will have to be.

The scary part of all this is that, for now, productive people can just leave New York and escape; Obama and his crowd are working to impose deBlasio’s “progressivism” nationally so there will be no way out.

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Liar, liar, pants on fire

I did not have sex with the American people!

I did not (have sex with) the American people!

Jonah Greenberg on Obama’s big lie (well, his latest one).

“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people,” he told the American Medical Association in 2009. “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

No matter how you slice it, that was a lie. As many as 16 million Americans on the individual health-insurance market may lose their insurance policies. Just in the last month, hundreds of thousands have been notified by their insurers that their insurance will be canceled.

Ah, but they’ll get better ones!

That appears to be the new rationalization for Obama’s bait-and-switch. “Right now all that insurance companies are saying is, ‘We don’t meet the requirements under Obamacare, but we’re going to offer you a better deal!’” explained Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday.

A better deal according to whom? Say I like my current car. The government says under some new policy I will be able to keep it and maybe even lower my car payments. But once the policy is imposed, I’m told my car now isn’t street-legal. Worse, I will have to buy a much more expensive car or be fined by the IRS. But, hey, it’ll be a much better car! Why, even though you live in Death Valley, your new car will have great snow tires and heated seats.

This is what the government is saying to millions of Americans who don’t want or need certain coverage, including, for instance, older women — and men — who are being forced to pay for maternity care. Such overcharging is necessary to pay for the poor and the sick signing up for Obamacare or for the newly expanded Medicaid.

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Obama talked at great length about the middle class and not once about the poor. His critics on the right said he was lying, that he was really more interested in income distribution. Such charges were dismissed as paranoid and even racist. But the critics were right. Obama was lying either to himself or to the rest of us — because he was playing the game to win.

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Going through the motions

Sebelius not only joined her boss in flatly lying about what’s happening with Obamacare, she can’t even be bothered to use a different speech writer than other administration figureheads. Today’s opening statement to the Senate hearing was word for word, identical to that of her subordinate Marilyn Tavenner’s.

Their end game has aways been a single-payer system, so what do they care about “glitches”?

Do your remember when there was such a thing as “major medical” insurance, that paid for the big things while leaving it to individuals to cover routine medical expenses? Today Obama called that “underinsurance”, sold by “bad apples”. Our leader has now forbidden that approach, and required all Americans to buy insurance for themselves and their neighbors that will pay for routine doctors visits, birth control and day care for the stranger down the block’s autistic child.

The bill for all this is scheduled to arrive immediately after next fall’s elections.

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Another Biden defense victim

bidenTeen shotgunned while toilet papering principal’s house. Our Vice President, you will recall, urged exactly this response to crime. Too bad someone was dumb enough to listen to him.

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We’re doomed: the rot’s spread as far as North Dakota

 

Drop the Snickers bar and return to your bedroom

Drop the Snickers bar and return to your home

 Fargo woman passes out warning notes to fat Trick-or-Treaters.

The woman told the radio station that parents of chubby children are being “irresponsible” by sending them out trick-or-treating to collect lollies and chocolates door-to-door.

“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight,” Cheryl told the radio station. “I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just because all the other kids are doing it.”

Giving overweight children more treats is “contributing to their health problems and really, their kids are everybody’s kids.”

No they are not your children, you stupid, stupid woman. Turn off your television and rid yourself of the modern conception that we’re all busy little bees in the colony.

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