Daily Archives: March 13, 2014

Slow down on the internet

Don’t know why, but sites are loading sluggishly this evening and the GMLS not at all. So I’m shutting off and will go finish a book I’ve been reading (we’re taking a break from heavy history and bios, and this week it’s an all-spy-novel diet).

More real estate news starting, probably, at 5 tomorrow morning. Good night.

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Addiction is an equal opportunity affliction

Jon Corzine’s 31-year-old son is dead. No cause given but he was a drug counselor, which often implies a personal knowledge of addiction. I work with a number of young adults struggling or recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and I know that, here in Greenwich, they come from homes from Conyers Farm to Byram, Old Greenwich to North Mianus, and have attended schools like Western, Greenwich Academy and Brunswick. Some parents still believe that only “bad” children succumb to addiction but that’s just not so. It’s an awful curse, but parents should know that Greenwich has one of the most active young-people’s recovery groups that I’m aware of anywhere.

Lots of help for your children here, should they want it.

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Even a Harvard drop-out can figure it out

Robot invadersBill Gates sees massive replacement of low skilled humans by bots in the next two decades, and worries that raising the minimum wage will hasten that process. As has been suggested here and elsewhere. Dollar Bill is still in denial, of course, and his Democrat masters don’t care, just so long as they have an election theme to stave off disaster next fall.

Speaking at Washington, D.C., economic think tank The American Enterprise Institute on Thursday, Gates said than within 20 years, a lot of jobs will go away, replaced by software automation (“bots” in tech slang, though Gates used the term “software substitution”).

“Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing. …  Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set. …  20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model.”

He’s not the only one predicting this gloomy scenario for workers. In January, the Economist ran a big profile naming over a dozen jobs sure to be taken over by robots in the next 20 years, including telemarketers, accountants and retail workers.

Gates believes that the tax codes are going to need to change to encourage companies to hire employees, including, perhaps, eliminating income and payroll taxes altogether. He’s also not a fan of raising the minimum wage, fearing that it will discourage employers from hiring workers in the very categories of jobs that are most threatened by automation.

He explained:

“When people say we should raise the minimum wage. I worry about what that does to job creation … potentially damping demand in the part of the labor spectrum that I’m most worried about.”

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Two more contracts reported

48 Winthrop Drive, RVSD

48 Winthrop Drive, RVSD

48 Winthrop Drive, 0.36 acre, with house, asking $1.975, has a contract after seven days. I’m guessing that this is being purchased as a building site but if so, the buyer is either a private end user who doesn’t need to factor in a profit and overhead margin, or a wildly optimistic spec builder headed for bankruptcy.

Or the buyer might intend to, you know, live here. It’s a nice house on a great street.

7 Calhoun (no snow here!)

7 Calhoun (no snow here!)

7 Calhoun Drive, asking $5.295, also has a contract, but that took almost a year, probably attributable to its first being listed at $6.450. It’s a great house, but if it’s going for around $5, that extra $1.5 must have repelled buyers.

Chatting with a couple of agents at today’s open houses (report forthcoming), we all agreed that the $5 million market is all the rage these days, in both eastern Greenwich and mid-country. All three of us have separate, pending deals in that range and word is afoot of several more. That’s a change from a year ago, when anything much above $3.5 was lingering.

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Did I mention that the market is heating up?

 

2 Fairgreen

2 Fairgreen

2 Fairgreen, in Shorelands, Old Greenwich, has a contract just a week after hitting the market. Asking $2.299, it sold for $2.200 in 2002. Out of the flood zone, great neighborhood, nice house.

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Judge Judy sues Ct personal injury lawyer for using her image

 

The genius of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence

The genius of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence

And boy is she pissed.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Television’s Judge Judy filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a Connecticut personal-injury lawyer, alleging that he used her image without authorization in advertisements that falsely suggested she had endorsed his firm.

The lawsuit filed in federal court seeks more than $75,000 in damages from Hartford attorney John Haymond and his firm.

Judith Sheindlin, a retired Family Court judge who has starred in “Judge Judy” for 18 years, said this is the first time she has filed a lawsuit against anyone. She said the unauthorized use of her name and image is “outrageous” and requires action.

The lawsuit said that without Sheindlin’s permission, Haymond’s firm aired television advertisements combining footage from “Judge Judy” along with clips showing Haymond and his daughters. It said the advertisements aired in Connecticut and Massachusetts during broadcasts of her show, and continued even after Sheindlin’s producer told the firm in March 2013 that use of her image was not permitted.

Anything negative to be said about ambulance chasers might be found at Attorney Haymond’s website. I seem to recall that this guy used to have his kisser emblazoned on Stamford buses years ago – very much like real estate agents do today.

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College bars whites from attending “Diversity Cocktail Hour”

No Indians Community College ‘s Diversity and Equity Center hosts a happy hour, but only for “persons of color”

OLYMPIA, Wash. — An attempt to fight racism at a community college may have backfired.

A group of employees at South Puget Sound Community College sent out an invitation to all 300 staffers.

The “Staff, Faculty and Administrators of Color” encouraged employees to reply to the invitation to find out the confidential date and time of what was being called a “happy hour” to “build support and community” for people of color.

The invite made it clear white people were not invited.

The email read: “If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that.”

Head of the Diversity Center Karama Blackhorn, a self-proclaimed member of the Kahosadi tribe of Oregon, defended the exclusionary invitation: “That space is not for white people. That space is for people of color.”

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Watch your tounge

MTW-Postcard-CrazyMinnesota college bans “oppressive” words and phrases like “crazy” and “you guys”.

The More Than Words: Inclusive Language Campaign was created by Macalester College’s Department of Multicultural Life in order to “raise awareness about the importance of using inclusive language.” The campaign includes a series of YouTube videos and post around campus.

“I don’t consciously do it, but I’ll say ‘You guys!’ or ‘We should do something together, guys!’ and I don’t even consciously…like, usually I’m addressing a group of all girls,” a Macalester College University student said in a video in August.

“I joke around with my friends like ‘Don’t be a wuss, don’t be a girl,’ come on just do this,” another student said. “I never really took the time to think about what that meant, and how loaded that phrase was.”

Though there initially were only a handful of posters instructing students not to use certain words, they quickly multiplied, Macalester senior Daniel Surman told Campus Reform in an interview Monday.

“The first wave was [words] like ‘gay,’ ‘girl,’ ‘retarded’,” Surman said. “Then they had a second wave where suddenly the posters increased in number remarkably … that showed all of these other words that weren’t included before.”

The posters instruct students to avoid words such as “crazy” or “derp” and replace them with “person with a mental health condition” or “person with a learning or cognitive disability.”

The More Than Words: Inclusive Language Campaign was created by Macalester College’s Department of Multicultural Life in order to “raise awareness about the importance of using inclusive language.” The campaign includes a series of YouTube videos and post around campus.

“I don’t consciously do it, but I’ll say ‘You guys!’ or ‘We should do something together, guys!’ and I don’t even consciously…like, usually I’m addressing a group of all girls,” a Macalester College University student said in a video in August.

“I joke around with my friends like ‘Don’t be a wuss, don’t be a girl,’ come on just do this,” another student said. “I never really took the time to think about what that meant, and how loaded that phrase was.”

Though there initially were only a handful of posters instructing students not to use certain words, they quickly multiplied, Macalester senior Daniel Surman told Campus Reform in an interview Monday.

“The first wave was [words] like ‘gay,’ ‘girl,’ ‘retarded’,” Surman said. “Then they had a second wave where suddenly the posters increased in number remarkably … that showed all of these other words that weren’t included before.”

The posters instruct students to avoid words such as “crazy” or “derp” and replace them with “person with a mental health condition” or “person with a learning or cognitive disability.”

The campaign’s website lists even more words, such as “lame,” which have an “oppressive impact in our society.” Other posters instruct students not to use the phrase “illegal alien” or “handicapped.”

The college also released multiple videos, one of which featured comments from a professor.

“Our culture is heterosexist, it’s racist, it’s patriarchal. It’s transphobic, homophobic, ageist, ableist,” SooJin Pate, a Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies, said in another video.

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Bizzarre

WSJ: Engine data sent to Rolls Royce show that Malaysian jet continued to fly for at least four hours after transponders were turned off. Curiouser and curiouser.

AI-CH295_MALMAP_G_20140313035406

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