Monthly Archives: February 2014

Staging to sell

Sotheby’s England brings reality to the market. (Okay, maybe it isn’t Sotheby’s). Either way, I’ve seen as bad in Greenwich, over the years.

kitchen

bedroom

bath

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The science is settled

Not gonna happen

Not gonna happen

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society have jointly put out a publication concluding that it’s too late – cutting CO2 emissions to zero will not stop global warming.”

Calls from environmentalists and lawmakers to cut carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming would do nothing to stop global temperatures from rising, according to American and British climate scientists.

In fact, completely stopping all man-made carbon emissions would do nothing to stop the Earth from warming.

The publication, entitled “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes”, adds that scientists are more certain than ever that the continued, unabated burning of fossil fuels could warm the planet by as much as 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.

“Even if emissions of greenhouse gases were to suddenly stop, Earth’s surface temperature would not cool and return to the level in the pre-industrial era for thousands of years,” according to the joint publication.

Global surface temperatures would stay elevated for a thousand years and sea levels would continue to rise for centuries — even after temperatures stopped rising. There would need to be lots of cooling to reverse glacial melting and to reform the Greenland ice sheet.

In summation, U.S. and UK scientists say, “The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales.”

Bjorn Lombard has argued since 1998 that global warming, man-made or not, was irreversible, and that the world would be far better off addressing its consequences than spending hundreds of billions of dollars attempting to hold it back. He’s been attacked, suppressed, ridiculed and slandered by the global warmest community. I’m sure he’ll appreciate receiving their apologies.

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Chickens return

storymaker-nero-palace-rome-archaeology-slide-show-1104151-515x388Rome to go bankrupt within days, mayor warns. Surprised it took so long.

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More statistics

Courtesy of Shore & Country

(Adjust back 60-90 days for contract date)

Closing volume  (Adjust back 60-90 days for contract date)

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Listing data

From the GMLS

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 11.42.21 AM

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Uh huh

 

Dollar Bill vows to stop shoplifting and honor store owners' property rights

Dollar Bill vows to stop shoplifting and honor store owners’ property rights

Barbara Boxer: Keystone Pipeline causes cancer. Her demand for a new study to explore that possibility has nothing to do with a desire to erect still another roadblock in the path of energy independence and everything to do with a newfound concern for the health of people four states away from her own.

Next thing you know, Dollar Bill will discover the virtues of private property rights – oops! He just did:

Dollar Bill: Submitted on 2014/02/19 at 6:57 pm

Great news for the rights of property owners in Nebraska and bad news for Canadian purveyors of the dirtiest and most poisonous glop of tar sands coming our way from Alberta, as judge says no dice to Keystone XL pipeline route!

Our friends to the north know very well that the Canadian oil companies trying to push this death funnel down our throat are playing us for suckers. Oil companies lie. Pipelines leak, when they don’t explode. These things are true. Why is this so hard to understand?

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Not much new on today’s open house tour

Which is too bad, because there’s a lot of demand out there, especially up to, say, the $3.5 range. Sellers who wait until April to list their homes will miss out on a large number of buyers who are out looking now – those who couldn’t find a place last year want to commit now, so that they’re settled in by June or over the summer. Yes, you can still sell your house if you list it in April, but many of the potential buyers will have settled on something else before then and you may well miss out on the incredible advantage of having multiple buyers competing for your house. You can use that position of strength to shorten or eliminate mortgage contingency waits, ignore the results of the bad building inspection reports (“live with it”) and set a closing date that suits your needs, not the buyer’s. Wait until April or May, the advantage shifts to the buyer.

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The great divide

 

Though police

Though police

University president apologizes after referring to “human nature”.

IOWA CITY (AP) –

The University of Iowa president has apologized for a remark she made to the student newspaper about sex assaults on campus.

In an interview published Feb. 18 in The Daily Iowan, President Sally Mason said she was dismayed by the reports of sexual assaults. She said “the goal would be to end that, to never have another sexual assault. That’s probably not a realistic goal just given human nature, and that’s unfortunate. …”

Criticism erupted over the phrase that includes “human nature.”

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says Mason apologized during a President’s Forum on Tuesday.

Mason said she’s been told by several people in the campus community that her remark was hurtful. She said she was “very, very sorry for any pain that my words might have caused.”

Realists Conservatives believe that the natural state of man allows room for wicked acts, and so support laws that will protect us from wicked people, while liberals believe man is capable of perfection, and needs only some progressive laws, regulations and speech rules to achieve that state of bliss. When the progressive ideas fail, they just double up. The entire politically correct censorship movement, as well as zero tolerance policies enforced against kindergartners, are based on the theory that one can change human nature.

Hasn’t happened yet.

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Works for me

 

Ship of dupes

Ship of dupes

Ann Coulter: “Raise the Minimum Wage to $14 an Hour Using this One Weird Trick!” Excerpts:

Democrats believe they’ve hit on the perfect issue to distract from the horror of Obamacare in the 2014 elections: the minimum wage.Apparently, increasing the minimum wage was not important for American workers during the first five years of Obama’s presidency — least of all his first two years, when Democrats controlled Congress and could have passed anything. (And did!)

To most people, it seems as if the Democrats are giving workers something for nothing. But there are always tradeoffs. No serious economist denies that increasing the minimum wage will cost jobs. If it’s not worth paying someone $10 an hour to do something, the job will be eliminated — or it simply won’t be created.

The minimum wage is the perfect Democratic issue. It will screw the very people it claims to help, while making Democrats look like saviors of the working class, either by getting them a higher wage or providing them with generous government benefits when they lose their jobs because of the mandatory wage hike.

Of course, the reason American workers’ wages are so low in the first place is because of the Democrats’ policies on immigration. Republicans might want to point that out.

Since the late 1960s, the Democrats have been dumping about a million low-skilled immigrants on the country every year, driving down wages, especially at the lower end of the spectrum.

Or, as the White House puts it on its website promoting an increase in the minimum wage, “Today, the real value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly one-third since its peak in 1968.”Why were wages so high until 1968? Because that’s when Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act kicked in, bringing in about a million immigrants a year, almost 90 percent of them unskilled workers from the Third World. 

Our immigration policies massively redistribute wealth from the poorest Americans to the richest. It’s a basic law of economics that when the supply goes up, the price goes down. More workers means the price of their labor plummets.

Having artificially created a glut of low-wage workers, now Democrats want to artificially raise their wages.Democrats show how much they love the poor by importing a million more of them to America each year. But then they prevent the last batch of poor immigrants from getting decent, well-paying jobs by bringing in another million poor people the next year.

You want a higher minimum wage? Turn off the spigot of low-wage workers pouring in to the U.S. and it will rise on its own through the iron law of supply and demand.

In response to the Democrats’ minimum wage proposal, Republicans should introduce a bill ending both legal and illegal immigration until the minimum wage rises naturally to $14 an hour. 

Australia has a $15 minimum wage for adults — more than twice the U.S. minimum wage. Meanwhile, their official unemployment rate is lower than ours: 6 percent compared to 6.6 percent in the U.S. — and that’s with a lousy $7.25 minimum wage.

Sound good? Try immigrating there. Australia has some of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world. Their approach to immigration is to admit only people who will be good for Australia. (Weird!) Applicants are evaluated on a point system that gives preference to youth, English proficiency, education and skill level.

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And one more

Man who eats pizza every meal is fit as a pig.

“I understand that this is a disgusting diet,” he said. “You expect me to be overweight and have no energy, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Whenever I see a new doctor, I tell him, ‘I have a terrible diet, and I only eat pizza.’ With three different doctors, they have done bloodwork and my cholesterol levels and blood pressure are great, and I am fit and energetic.

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And another

The English Midlands, as depicted by The Independent, 2000

The English Midlands, as depicted by The Independent, 2000

Reports from England:

March 20, 2000, The Independent: Because of Global Warming, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”.

February 27, 2014 The Daily Mail:  Up to 8″of snow expected to fall across England.

And from Scotland, this:

Hamish MacInnes, former leader of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team, said yesterday: ‘This winter is the heaviest snowfall I can recall since I first went climbing in  the Highlands in 1945. It’s Alpine-like.’

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It’s an evening of exploding myths

 

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Dogs aren’t really sorry.

Dogs may look guilty when they are being told off by their owner for eating the mail or emptying the trash, but they don’t feel shame, according to animal behaviorists.

The guilty look – head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy – is a reaction to the tantrum the owner is  throwing now over the damage they did hours earlier.

‘Just get over it and remind yourself not to put temptation in the way next time,’ Dr Bonnie Beaver, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, said.

‘I don’t think dogs actually feel shame,’ Lemire said. ‘I think they know how to placate us with this sad puppy-dog look that makes us think they’re ashamed of what they’ve done.’

‘My guess is that their thinking is, “Oh man, my owner is super mad about something, but I don’t know what, but he seems to calm down when I give him the sad face, so let’s try that again”,’ she said.

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Good Lord, next we’ll learn that echinacea won’t cure colds

Useless and uselesser

Useless and uselesser

Study: Breast milk is no better than formula, and actually increases risk of developing asthma.

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Chicagoland Justice

 

Jan. 2, 1925: Senate Pages train for a life of crime

Jan. 2, 1925: Senate Pages train for a life of crime

Police charge thirteen-year-old with felonious assault after he throws snowball at officer and hits him on the arm (or misses – stories differ).

According to police, a 13-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with felony aggravated battery against a police officer Wednesday after he hit the officer in the arm with a snowball while the officer was parked in his vehicle in the 4900 block of West Congress Parkway about 3:20 p.m.

A cop, a person not entirely unlike anyone else ever hit by a snowball, found the impact of snow against his arm to be nearly unbearable. The main difference between Joe Citizen and Officer Snowball is that the Chicago police officer has the power to toss the offending person into the gears of the criminal justice system. Which is what he did. Obviously, this has provoked plenty of negative reaction.

“I think that’s ridiculous — it’s such a big charge,” said Latanya Powell, a construction worker on the block. “It’s just going overboard. I can see if it were a weapon and harm was done, but it was just a snowball.

“This is a case of kids being kids.”

Boys will be boys, but that’s only acceptable if they don’t extend their natural mischievousness to include this particular uniformed manchild. Once you cross that line — a line only a cop can see — you’re finished. Say goodbye to childhood and hello to a criminal record that will affect you for years to come.

Not everyone was as nonplussed as Latanya Powell. Local idiot educator Ray Fields felt this was a totally appropriate response to snowball-throwing.

“If [the boy] had gotten away with it, who’s to say what they’d do next? If it doesn’t stick to them now, they’ll be 16 or 17, and they’ll have a gun,” Fields said, adding that he has experience with local teens as a teacher and was the victim of a home burglary by neighborhood teens in 2010.

Hmm. Well, if we follow Fields’ reasoning (and that of the unnamed cop), we arrive at a couple of conclusions, both equally asinine.

A. Throwing snowballs at authority figures is a gateway drug to a life of crime. (Because snowballs magically become guns when the snowball thrower hits “age 16 or 17.”)

B. If a kid hitting a cop with a snowball is felonious battery, then kids everywhere are committing this crime — repeatedly — after every snowfall (with the attendant “snowballs lead to gunplay” concerns nowhere to be seen).

Conclusion A is a dead end. It’s not unlike the assertion that because criminals play video games, playing video games leads to criminal acts. Many criminals threw snowballs at their friends and authority figures (adults, teachers, cops) during their formative years, therefore snowball throwing leads to criminal acts. Rather than punish criminal behavior, those deploying this stunted logic want to crack down on non-criminal behavior in the deluded hope of preventing future criminal acts. All the way wrong, all the way down.

Conclusion B just exposes the fact that there are multiple sets of rules in play at any given time: one for citizens, one for cops and one for when the two intersect. Johnny hits Timmy with a snowball and it’s “playing.” A cop hits another cop with a snowball and it’s “playing.” But Johnny hitting a cop with a snowball is a felony.

Hanging a felony charge on a kid for snowball throwing is not only completely absurd, it has a much greater chance of converting him to a criminal than his cop-targeting snowball throwing does. Way to go, law enforcement (and enablers like Ray Fields): you’re generating scofflaws just as fast as you can trump up charges against them.

 

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They’ll market it as offering “instant, permanent relief”

One is all you'll need!

Take one: you won’t be calling in the morning

Doctors say new pain pill will kill people as soon as it’s released.

Whatever works.

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What, he’s not good enough for the Nobel Peace Prize?

 

Play with me, little boy,I'll get you the big one

Play with me, little boy,I’ll get you the big one

Mia Farrow’s kid gets the “Walter Cronkite Excellence in Journalism” Award after three days on the air. I think it took Barry three months to get his gong, so I suppose Master Farrow has time.

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Cos Cob contract

 

28 Meadow Drive

28 Meadow Drive

28 Meadow Drive sold for full price: $799,000,in 2012 in just a matter of days. The new owners appear to have slapped down some granite counters in the kitchen and put it back on just two weeks ago for $875,00, with a contract reported today. That’s a slow way to become a millionaire, I suppose, but it does provide evidence how thin the under-one-million inventory is. I’m referring to the speed it went, not in any way denigrating the street (very nice) or even the architecture (God-awful).

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Nothing to see here, move along, move along

 

More likely, it will be Russia and China that free us from the tyranny of oil, by shutting off our supply

More likely, it will be Russia and China that free us from the tyranny of oil, by shutting off our supply

Russia announces expansion of navy across the world

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia says it plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday in remarks carried by Russian news agencies the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore.

He said that it was essential for the Russian navy to be able to call at their ports to service its ships.

Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries asking them to allow long-range bombers to use their air bases for refueling.

President Vladimir Putin has launched a massive military modernization program and sought to demonstrate Russia’s global reach by sending navy ships to the Mediterranean, Latin America and other areas.

NYT (2010) : China expands its naval strength

China calls the new strategy “far sea defense,” and the speed with which it is building long-range capabilities has surprised foreign military officials.

The strategy is a sharp break from the traditional, narrower doctrine of preparing for war over the self-governing island of Taiwan or defending the Chinese coast. Now, Chinese admirals say they want warships to escort commercial vessels that are crucial to the country’s economy, from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca, in Southeast Asia, and to help secure Chinese interests in the resource-rich South and East China Seas.

U.S. Navy continues to shrink.

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Canadians retaliate for invasion of 1812

Native Canadian prepares poutine

Native Canadian prepares poutine

Still smarting after 202 years over our sending troops across their border to offer them Christianity and salvation, Canadians have finally struck back and opened the first “poutinerie” in the United States – or Chicago, which is close enough. 

For readers fortunate to have avoided the Canadian national food, “poutine”, from which the word ptomaine is derived, is a combination of soggy Quebec Fries, cheese curd, flour gravy and lard, cooled to room temperature and served on a greasy  paper plate. John Candy remains its spokesman in the frozen north and has yet to lose weight on the diet, 12 years after his death.

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Unknown talents

Cos Cobber sends along this story of George Bush putting some of his paintings on exhibit at his library. Jealous White House aides immediately claimed that they, too have a painter-president in residence and have released their own picture to prove it. As always, I blame Bush.

Highest and best use

Highest and best use

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