Daily Archives: December 17, 2013

The new Rome

 

Last days

Last days

Washington D.C. per capita income soars above that of the rest of the country.

The District’s total personal income in 2012 was $47.28 billion, or $74,733 for each of its 632,323 residents, according to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s Economic and Revenue Trends report for November.

The U.S. average per capita personal income was $43,725. The highest of the 50 states, Connecticut, fell 25 percent short of D.C.

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Oh, there’s so much that’s right in this story

I'd say so

I’d say so

Britain continues its decline into madness; leading the way for us. “Transvestite” moved from women’s prison because he kept screwing the ladies.

Murderer Paris Green, 22, who was previously known as Peter Laing, was allowed to serve his 18-year sentence in Cornton Vale women’s prison, in Stirling, because he says he is transgendered.

But today it emerged he has been moved amid suspicions that he was involved in casual-sex relationships with other convicts there.

Green was sent to the prison only five weeks ago after he was found guilty, alongside Kevin McDonagh, 23, and Dean Smith, 20, of the murder of Robert Shankland in March this year.

The trio had invited Mr Shankland, 45, to a party in Green’s flat in the central Scotland town of Glenrothes. There he was tied up, beaten and tortured for hours before finally being murdered. [No wonder he got a full, 18-year sentence – the she/it/he is a very bad girl/boy/thing – Ed]

Despite a campaign by Mr Shankland’s parents, Mary and Ian Bell, Green was told he could serve his sentence in a women’s prison prior to taxpayer-funded gender realignment surgery.

Now after his dalliances with fellow convicts at Cornton Vale, he is to be kept in [another]  women’s section of Edinburgh’s Saughton jail.

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Well HIS world has certainly ended

 

See ya

See ya

Pastor Fruitcake, who prophesied the end of the world would arrive May 21, 2011, has died at 92.

Camping’s most widely spread prediction was that the Rapture would happen on May 21, 2011. His independent Christian media empire spent millions of dollars – some of it from donations made by followers who quit their jobs and sold all their possessions – to spread the word on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message.

When the Judgment Day he foresaw did not materialize, the preacher revised his prophecy, saying he had been off by five months. The preacher, who suffered a stroke three weeks after the May prediction failed, said the light dawned on him that instead of the biblical Rapture in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens, the date had instead been a “spiritual” Judgment Day, which placed the entire world under Christ’s judgment.

But after the cataclysmic event did not occur in October either, Camping acknowledged his apocalyptic prophecy had been wrong and posted a letter on his ministry’s site telling his followers he had no evidence the world would end anytime soon, and wasn’t interested in considering future dates.

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Explain again why the entire top levels of NSA management are still employed

Spy_poster_ww_IDepartment of Defense official: Snowden stole everything – literally everything.

Last month British and U.S. intelligence officials speculated Snowden had in his possession a “doomsday cache” of intelligence information, including the names of undercover intelligence personnel stationed around the world.

“Everything you don’t want the enemy to know, he has,” the official said. “Who we’re listening to, what we’re after — they’d shut us down.”

The damage would be “of biblical proportions,” the official said.

Director of the NSA Gen. Keith Alexander is being permitted to retire in March,  but there must be hundreds of people at NSA who let this happen – using the Director as a scapegoat doesn’t touch the problem.

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Had ’em stumped

Swimming pool evacuated after artificial leg is mistaken for a pedophile.

It wasn’t Merle, I don’t think

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Call in the dozers

hardly a slam dunk

Hardly a slam dunk

Michael Jordan’s 56,000 sq. foot Chicago home fails to sell at auction. He once asked for $29 million, then dropped it to $21, but Jordan is slowly learning something about high-end real estate: people with this much money to spend want something that exactly fits their taste, not yours. The failed auction probably has less to do with the 15 bathrooms, 9 bedrooms and  a basketball court than it does with the demand for a personalized house. Greenwich mansion builders, take note: above $10 million, buyers who can afford your place can afford to build their own, and many of them will.

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“Hey look, a squirrel!”

 

Nope - not gonna talk about it. Nope nope

Nope – not gonna talk about it. Nope nope

Obama agrees to meet tech leaders to hear their complaints about NSA spying, turns discussion to healthcare.

During a White House meeting called to brief America’s largest tech companies today about government overreach in electronic surveillance, President Barack Obama changed the subject – angering some meeting participants by shifting gears to address the failed launch of healthcare.gov.

‘That wasn’t what we came for,’ a vice-president of a company whose CEO attended told MailOnline. ‘We really didn’t care for a PR pitch about how the administration is trying to salvage its internal health care tech nightmare.’

One executive said that meeting participants were dead-set against straying from the principal focus of the meeting – the uncomfortable and legally untenable position they are in when the National Security Agency demands access to their digital records.

The White House said in advance that the meeting would include a discussion of healthcare.gov, but the company executive said the only subject that mattered to the participants was the NSA.

‘He basically hijacked the meeting,’ the executive said. ‘We all told the White House that we were only there to talk about what the NSA was up to and how it affects us.’

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Looking for that perfect stocking stuffer for Walt? Look no further

Sir Perky“Sir Perky” corkscrew, from Amazon.Looks ideal, but this concerns me:

  • Please for your safety, only use Sir Perky for intended purposes only
If there’s some other use for this tool other than opening  wine bottles I don’t think I want to know what it is.

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My guess? There never was a field test, as claimed

A cop who'll stoop to deflating  schol bus's tire will stop at nothing

A cop who’ll stoop to deflating a school bus’s tire will stoop to anything

Pennsylvania jails two hispanics one Hispanic, one Jew for a month after trooper claims field test proved positive for cocaine. Turns out, the substance really was 4 lbs. of homemade soap, just as the driver said.

Daily Caller:

A Pennsylvania state trooper arrested two suspects after he found a bag of cocaine in their car that they claimed was just soap. After languishing in jail for a month, the suspects were released–because the substance was indeed just soap.

The officer pulled over Annadel Cruz and Alexander Bernstein for speeding on a highway in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The pair had come from New York City, and Cruz admitted to smoking pot before beginning the drive. She also consented to a search of the car, where the officer found two strange bags with a white substance inside them.

The suspects insisted that the bag contained only homemade soap, but the trooper performed an on-site drug test that wrongly identified the substance as cocaine.

Cruz and Bernstein were arrested for drug trafficking and sent to prison for a month. Later, a police laboratory determined that the substance inside the bags was soap after all, and they were released, according to The Morning Call.

Attorneys for Cruz and Bernstein believe the initial test was either improperly conducted or skipped altogether. They also suspect that Cruz, who is Latina, was racially profiled.

There are two possible alternatives here: the drug field testing procedure used by Pennsylvania troopers is fundamentally flawed or the trooper lied. I’d say “both”, but if I had to choose one, I’d go with experience and lay it on the trooper.

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A Cambridge, MA mother asks

tis-education-forms-the-common-mindjust-as-the-twig-is-bent-the-trees-inclined-education-quote Does my daughter’s school have the right to brain wash her?

For my daughter’s high-school biology class, the students are required to take a public action addressing climate change. They have a wide range of options of what they can do: write a letter to a public official, design a website, develop a public-service announcement or organize a flash mob. They are required to submit proof that they presented their work publicly — that is, that they mailed the letter, launched the website, etc. Is it ethical for the school to require students to speak publicly on a specific issue? Or even to give extra credit for doing so? Does the students’ right to free speech also give them the right not to speak publicly on this topic?

KATHARINE LONDON, CAMBRIDGE, MASS.

Tar, feathers.

Suicide bomber training kit

Suicide bomber training kit

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Oh to live on, Sugarloaf Mountain

 

Room with a view

Room with a view

Snowden begs Brazil for asylum.

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Hey, Peg,is that you?

Realtor bus stop ads “recreated” by someone who’s bored in Minneapolis

Next step, shopping cart placards?

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Real estate conditions

 

 

Come back!

Come back!

Nationally, USA Today says that homes “underwater” have decreased 40% this year.

Locally, there are either 518 active single family listing (per GMLS) or 436, according to Shore & Country. I’m not sure why there’s such a discrepancy but Surf & Turf’s numbers are always solid, so there must be a different method of calculation going on here.

Either way, it’s the USA figures that interest me because they reflect what’s going on in Greenwich by way of short sales – there aren’t many. Those owners who fought off the banks for the past four years turn out to have been wise to do so, because the market has come back. I recently spent a fair amount of time in the Town Hall records checking out pending foreclosures on behalf of some clients and I concluded, looking at the amounts owed and comparing them to what I thought each house might sell for, that there’s enough equity in most of them to bail out the owner.

This is what it used to be like in past years, when foreclosures in Greenwich were rare; the homeowners would kick and fight to keep their homes but when all litigation options were exhausted, they could usually just sell the home and get out, usually with cash in their pocket.

Last week, for example, I looked at the encumbrances on a house a client was interested in – $1.3 million first mortgage, $90,000 in state and federal tax liens and a $45,000 judgment from a credit card judgment. Three years ago or so that would have been a prime candidate for a short sale; today, I estimate the house could sell for $1.750 (ish), more than enough to get out, if not whole, at least without having to bring cash to the closing table. The owner fights on, I’m sure to save his original 20% down and because he likes living where he does, but if he runs out of all other options, he can now sell it, and end the drama. He has no interest in a short sale,nor should he.

I’m not alone in having clients who want “a bargain”, and I, and other agents I talk with have to break the news that “bargains”, especially in the under $2 million market, are gone. Want a house once priced at $5 million for $3.5? I can probably find you one. But a $1.8 house for $1.3? Not a chance, not in Greenwich, not now. You can wait and see whether the economy collapses again, which I think it will, eventually, or look in places like Redding, Weston, even New Canaan, towns whose real estate markets have not noticeably improved. But for now, for bargain shoppers, Greenwich represents only a missed opportunity.

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Just in time for Dollar Bill’s Kwanzaa gift

It’s come to this: WalMart offers a nostalgic poster from that defunct “Occupy Wall Street” media movement. $42.75 plus shipping, the greedy bastards. When you’ve made it to WalMart, you’re made it in America.

They'll be back, but not just now

They’ll be back, but not just now

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We’re in the best of hands

Say what?!

Say what?!

Secretary of State John Kerry unaware that North Korea has nuclear weapons.

 “To have a nuclear weapon, potentially, in the hands of somebody like Kim Jong In — Jun — just becomes even more unacceptable.”

Ah, Mr. Secretary? It’s Kim Jung Un, and he already has the weapons in his hands. The appropriately named Hot Air adds:

Furthermore, Michael Warren notes that the State Department briefed Kerry on the last nuclear test in advance, calling him “well-prepared.” Well prepared is not the same as well informed, in this case.  The issue in North Korea isn’t “denuclearization” as it is in Iran by demanding the closure of breeder reactors and centrifuge farms for weapons-grade enrichment of fissile material, but nuclear disarmament of weapons Pyongyang already has built.

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‘Tis the season

Santas frolic in the snow

Fun video. As the video’s narrator says (1:21) “That was a great fight. When you talk about a Santa fight? – that’s what you want.”

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And Greenwich is just a little bit safer

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 6.47.43 AMGun surrender day yields a fencing foil, a ceremonial sword and a starter’s pistol.

But the weapons of choice to surrender were knives and billy clubs.
There were 22 folding knives, five hatchets and five machetes turned in.

I’m surprised no one dumped off his wood pile – nothing more dangerous than a solid billet of oak, delivered smartly upside the head.

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Wrong people, wrong time, wrong continent

 

Kill a commie for Christ!

Kill a commie for Christ!

Juan Williams says Jesus, born in Palestine, was probably a Moor

Or a chink – anything but white, please. Next up for Mr. Willams: “Santa was a black dude”.

The Gateway Pundit points out:

For the record… The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Morocco, western Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, the Iberian Peninsula, Septimania, Sicily and Malta.

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ObamaCare website designers moonlight for Egypt!

A billboard promoting the new Egyptian Constitution has a few problems.

screen shot 2013-12-17 at 5.30.42 am

On Sunday, Egypt presented the draft for its next constitution under a huge “All Egyptians Constitution” banner showing five people — three of which were Westerners found on basic Internet searches.

The doctor on the left appears on an English-language website that sells stretch marks cream.

The only woman appears on a Irish business networking site.

And the man with Down’s syndrome – Patrick Kingsely of The Guardian notes that it’s a nod to the new charter’s provisions for people with disabilities – can be found on this Arizona business website.

To top it all off, netizens point out that the top of the banner spells “Egyptians” wrong in Arabic.

Reached for comment, HHS head Kathleen Sebelius told FWIW, “we used these incredibly talented web designers to handle the most important web site ever imposed on the American people; why wouldn’t Egypt want that same level of expertise? Yes, there are a few glitches, but those will be corrected by the next election in 2016 and in the meantime, statistics show that an ever-increaing number of Egyptians are using the billboard for entertainment every month. It’s a total success.”

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