Daily Archives: October 9, 2013

Taking police protection private

Oakland residents use crowd sourcing to fund their own security patrols. Next, forest rangers.

Oakland has an understaffed police department and is the city with the highest robbery rate in America.In the last few weeks three separate campaigns have been started on Crowdtilt in order to fund four months of private security patrols in three different section of Rockridge. Near $35,000 have been raised so far, and two of the three projects have raised enough funds to ensure they will move forward.

“We shouldn’t have to do this,” says Steven Kirsh, who is running the last of the three Rockridge campaigns, “but we need to do this.” He doesn’t see the Oakland Police Department suddenly getting more resources, so in order to protect his belongings, family and property value, the $82 per household doesn’t seem like much to ask, for 12 hours of patrolling five days a week. For a four month trial it will work out to less than a dollar a day.

Krish is also hoping that the relative cheapness of private security in Rockridge might opens the door to “educate other people if they’re not aware of this sort of model.”


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Adapt, die, or just shut up about it

Church of the Holy Gaia

Do I hear five trillion?

Those are all good options for the latest “this time we really, really mean it!” doomsday deadline for global warming. Today it’s 2047 (bumped from 1999, 2001, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2019, etc.) for NYC, 2029 for the poor bastids in the tropics. But there’s hope,claim these alarmists: if we spend trillions of dollars shutting down the world economy and handing over shitloads of money to the UN for redistribution to their friends, we can put off doomsday until 2069! Surely we can find a better use for our money.

The article isn’t worth reading, but it’s a classic hysteria piece from Bloomberg that even manages to blame non-hurricane Sandy on global warming, a theory that has been completely debunked even by climate “scientists”. Oh well.


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Obama’s war on America, continued

Cry-Baby-Seal3Spiteful little bastard, ain’t he? Here’s his latest outrage.

Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.

Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.

The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.

When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.

“We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control,” said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. “It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, ‘we’re sorry,’ it was all like — ” as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.

The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.

“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.

The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

“They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside,” she said. “Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.”

The bus trip made headlines in Livingston, where the local newspaper Livingston Enterprise interviewed the tour guide, Gordon Hodgson, who accused the park service of “Gestapo tactics.”

Abusing oldsters, veterans and foreign tourists. Heck of a job, Barry.


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Real estate news

A sale, a contract, and more

48 Hettiefred Drive

48 Hettiefred Drive

48 Hettiefred, over off King Street in King Merritt Acres, sold for $750,000 after asking $949,000 432 days ago. A good acre for $750,000 seems like a decent deal.

530 North Street

530 North Street

530 North Street has an accepted offer, asking $2.795. Owners paid $2.495 million for it in 2002 and put some money into it. They tried for $3.350 490 days ago, without success. I know that the clients I showed it to were no more impressed than I was, but perhaps this lower price made it more attractive.

16 Grant Avenue

16 Grant Avenue

Are we finally seeing a ceiling to Old Greenwich price escalation? I have no idea, but 16 Grant Avenue, which sold for $3.310 in 2005 has just cut its price from $3.495 to $3.2 million.



28 Heusted Drive

28 Heusted Drive

And from the muck and ruin of the Sandy debacle, a builder who bought a demolished house at 28 Heusted Drive has apparently given up plans for developing it and offers it to the next – ah, “adventurous” ? – soul for $1.2 million. According to the tax card the builder paid $475,000 for it in April of this year, so either the tax card is wrong – it happens – or these guys think they got a steal. Stilt house.


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Washington’s booming while the rest of the country contracts


BOE member Ramadamadingdong Tamm demands D.C. be closed permanently

BOE member Ramadamadingdong Tamm demands D.C. be closed permanently

2000-2012: Median income up 23.3% in Washington D.C., down 6.6% across America.

John Stossell explains why politicians are so alarmed at the shut down: America might notice that we don’t need most of our federal employees.

Republicans and Democrats both assume that shutting some government is a terrible thing. The press concurs. “Shutdown threatens fragile economy,” warns Politico. “Federal workers turn to prayer,” laments The Washington Post.

If the public starts noticing that life goes on as usual without all 3.4 million federal workers, we might get dangerous ideas, like doing without so much government. Politicians don’t want that.

They’d rather have us worry about how America will cope.

President Obama gave a speech where he actually said we need to keep government open for the sake of people like the person working for the Department of Agriculture “out there helping some farmers make sure that they’re making some modest profit,” and the Department of Housing and Urban Development “helping somebody buy a house for the first time.”

Give me a break. Farmers don’t need bureaucrats to teach them how to make a profit, and Americans can buy first homes without HUD helping a chosen few. Americans would make more profit and afford better homes if they didn’t have to spend a third of national income on federal taxes.

Bureaucrats, acting like bullies, protest the partial closures by doing things like cutting off access to public parks — even privately funded ones. Federal cops block access to outdoor war memorials and much of Mt. Rushmore. They block access to motels and order people out of private homes that happen to sit on federal land. The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation.”

This is shutdown theater.


The government hasn’t cut spending — it never does. After the last shutdowns, politicians even voted to award retroactive pay to government workers who didn’t work. Bet they do it again this time. The federal government remains the biggest employer in the country. President Obama says so with pride.

Compare this to what happens in the private sector in tough times: AT&T cut 40,000 workers. Sears cut 50,000. IBM: 60,000. They weren’t easy decisions, but they enabled the companies to stay profitable. With fewer workers, leaner companies found more efficient ways to get things done.

And the rest of us barely noticed. We expect change and adaptation in free-market institutions. But it doesn’t happen in government. Government just grows.



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News to him

A-Joe-BidenWhite House Dossier’s quote of the day,October 8th.

“The Grand Canyon is closed? That’s incredible. I mean, it seemed so wide.”

– Vice President Joe Biden



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Coming our way?


A progressive vision for us all: time to share.

A progressive vision for us all: time to share.

Shipping containers serve as low-income housing for London poor. 

They are more commonly seen being transported on ships and at ports around the world.

But with the addition of flatscreen TVs, en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning, these shipping containers are now being billed as a solution to London’s housing crisis.

The containers come from China and are transformed into studio apartments in Britain which can be stacked on top of each other – and are available to rent for only £75 a week.

The scheme looks set to take off after the council granted planning permission to the Forest Young Man’s Christian Association (YMCA) to establish two sites in Waltham Forest, north-east London.

“Of course we’re looking into the concept for use here in Connecticut,” Governor Dannel Malloy told FWIW, “especially for Greenwich, where the toffs have for too long ignored the needs of the poor in neighboring towns.”

The Governor’s Lotto Commissioner and former Planning and Zoning member Francis Fudrucker chimed in: “remember, under Democratic rule, low-income housing can be put anywhere we like; our commands override local zoning laws. I see these as perfect for Field Point Circle, maybe by that silly gatehouse they still maintain.”

“Beats having to rely on the kindness of strangers to pay my mortgage,” Peter Tesei conceded; “can I fit my whole family in one?”


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