Daily Archives: September 26, 2014

Public education

NY State flag, with weapon

NY State flag, with weapon

New York high school bans National Guard T shirts 

The T-shirts in question say “National Guard” across the top and then show the silhouette of a solider holding a gun in front of the American Flag. The school district says it has a very strict policy forbidding students from wearing any clothing that has a weapon on it….

Superintendent of RCS Schools, Alan McCartney says rules are rules and if an exception is made for one shirt with a gun on it, where do you draw the line? “One of the problems you have in school during this period in our history is that the weapon becomes the focal point for some people,” McCartney says…. “[T]his has nothing to do with patriotism, nothing to do with anybody disliking the military, it has nothing to do with the recruiter himself, it just has to do with the fact that there was a weapon on the shirt and that just doesn’t have a place in a high school,” he says….

“A couple of teachers realized [the T-shirt] showed a silhouette of a rifleman on it,” McCartney told me in a telephone interview. “I realize some students look at the t-shirt and all they see is the National Guard. And that is a good thing. Others look at the shirt and all they see is the rifle.” …

Too scary (or despicable) for teachers to bear

Too scary (or despicable) for teachers to bear

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Black is the new granite

Coffin not included

Coffin not included

Megan McArdle says black kitchens are the “new” new, and she’s dubious

Now Your Kitchen Can Match the Food You Burned

The Wall Street Journal reports that black kitchens are on the rise. Why black? I’m reading between the lines here, but the consensus of designers seems to be that “all the other colors were taken.” Glowing natural wood has been done. Bright primary colors? HGTV seems to have cycled through all of them over the last decade. White? Every 30-something family in every detergent commercial seems to be glowing in a dazzling white kitchen mysteriously unmarred by the cherubic toddlers dashing around its oversized island. What’s left is black, color of death, funerals and, apparently, Cameron Diaz’s kitchen floor.

If you’re sick of scrubbing splashes off your white cabinets, just wait until your surfaces are all a gleaming stream of ebony, showing every spill, every puff of flour, every speck of dust — to ghastly effect. The merest puddle of water will leave a ghostly cloud of minerals on your midnight granite counter, and every flat surface will quickly become a fingerprint collection facility that rivals the FBI’s. Eventually you will have a sponge manufacturer on retainer and earnest conversations about whether you couldn’t convert the hall closet into a bedroom for a full-time maid.

You will also quickly notice that it’s a bit … dark. Guests may compliment you on how chic and modern and stunning it all is, but they don’t have to brave the gloom in the grisly light of morning. There’s nothing like trying to make yourself a smoothie while your reflection leers back from the dark half-world of your glossy enamel cabinets.

The last time black cabinets were in vogue, in my formative years, all of these disadvantages rapidly became obvious, and black kitchens fell out of fashion as quickly and thoroughly as they had come in. So as soon as you walked into an apartment and saw all that black enamel, you could practically pinpoint the month of the renovation. As “fashion forward” rapidly downshifted into “Pity they can’t afford to do something about that eyesore,” people became frantic to get rid of the stuff. You can walk into probably millions of kitchens in the greater New York City area and still find the pebbly white melamine that was fashionable around the time of the Great Glossy Black Craze of 1985. But the black is practically a collector’s item, because most of it was ripped out scant years after it was put in.

Truly, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But it’s hard to see why, in this case. “People don’t like dark, enclosed spaces” is not the kind of insight that should require a trained archivist to ferret out.

 Glenn Reynolds adds the cynical coda:

Well, stainless steel, granite, and natural wood have been the style for a long time now. Planned obsolescence isn’t working, so we need to give people a reason to redecorate, or move. They’ve tried this on several fronts with no success over the past few years — getting rid of granite, getting rid of stainless steel for “polar white” — but nothing’s budged people much. Money remains tight, and the old kitchens still look good.

Reynolds doesn’t live in Greenwich, where money is not tight, so he may miss his chance to see black sweep into our kitchens, but we won’t.

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Enough!

He's out of here, already.

He’s out of here, already.

I was trying to catch a bit of the Yankees – Red Sox game just now and the narrative on TV is nothing but some broad going on and on about the wonderful, warm feelings expressed towards Jeter last night. Terrific; before I turned it off, there were two singles, an error by Chris Young (naturally) a run scored and an out, and nothing was said about any of it. We did learn, however, that Cici Tapioca dumped a barrel of Gatorade on the former shortstop, that Joe Giradi wept, and that a little cripple girl was cured when Jeter sold her one of his cleats, tossing in a dirty sock for free.

Jete’s was a fabulous ballplayer and a true class act, recognized and honored by all baseball fans and Derek’s own peers, but the game goes on, and I wish the Yankee announcers understood that. I’ll stick to watching football, and hope that he doesn’t appear in the stands.

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Old fashioned Wall Street analyst

Old style analysis in the days of Ma Bell

Traditional analysis in the days of Ma Bell

Tired of the hoopla over Apple’s iPhone plus “bending issue”, 6’4″ analyst Walter Piecyk walked over to an Apple store and tried bending one himself. He couldn’t.

Wall Street’s always thrived on rumors, of course, but it seems to me that there used to be at least some effort devoted to trying to discern the actual facts of a matter. How many billions of shares of Apple stock were traded these past few days by gamblers who couldn’t have cared less whether the story was true or not? How many even bothered Googling the issue and found that the same claim went around the world when the iPhone 5 was released?

The market down there is just about indistinguishable from Vegas.

 

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And yet another Ole’s Creek sale

14 Cove Ridge

14 Cove Ridge

14 Cove Ridge, Old Greenwich, $2.850, 14 days on market. Land sale, 1/2 acre.

Like the home at 30 South End Court, this overlooks two of the Fountain shacks, so I’m sure they were sold with a promise that our hovels won’t be long for this earth. That’s almost certainly the case.

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Ah, property disputes: love ’em!

(portion of) Nygard Cay

(portion of) Nygard Cay

Billionaires proves that they can be as petulant as the great unwashed.  Although, with so much more money available to fund the fun, their creativity is unleashed.

A battle over beachfront property in the Bahamas is heating up — and this time it’s billionaire hedge fund mogul Louis Bacon who is getting sand kicked in his face.

Bacon, caught in a nasty spat with Canadian clothing magnate Peter Nygard, his neighbor in a tony Bahamas neighborhood, told an employee to find a way to burn down Nygard’s house*, according to explosive court papers filed in a Los Angeles courthouse.

The founder of New York hedge fund Moore Capital Management was moved to torch the extravagant estate five years ago after Nygard refused to sell him the prized parcel, court papers allege.

In a fit of pique, Bacon ordered an employee to “find a way to burn Mr. Nygard’s ‘****ing house’ down,” according to the lawsuit, which cites a conversation between employees of the two testy tycoons.

Those include allegations that Nygard orchestrated an elaborate campaign to smear him as a racist before local residents in the Bahamas.

In July, for example, Bacon alleges that Nygard paid dozens of protesters to march through the streets of Nassau carrying signs that linked Bacon to the Ku Klux Klan.

Bacon also says Nygard used his private jet to fly Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to the Bahamas, where he spoke at a rally denouncing Bacon as a racist.

Human Sacrifice Night, Nygard Cay

Human Sacrifice Night, Nygard Cay

While the two were firing off claims in a Bahamas court, Bacon installed four “large, military-grade” speakers at the property line and pointed them at Nygard’s bedroom nearby, blaring “ear-piercing noises” whose aim was “solely to annoy Mr. Nygard and embarrass him in front of his guests,” court papers allege.

“There, that’s a message from Mr. Bacon,” one of the hedge fund mogul’s assistants yelled after one punishing noise session, according to the suit.

He then shouted: “Don’t ** with Louis.”

* A “house” that, even by Greenwich standards, might be considered largish:

This modern Mayan masterpiece is a 150,000 sq. ft wonderland of excess. There are waterslides, a human aquarium and countless Jacuzzis. Hundreds of craftsmen from Hollywood and Canada used tons of stone to create this colossal pre-Columbian structure. There is a 32,000 sq. ft grand-hall with a 100,000 pound glass ceiling. The Cay is inspired by the Mayan civilian which had some of the finest architecture throughout the history of the world.

All that is considered to be a selling point for potential renters.

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If you haven’t enough to share with the whole class ….

Bring one for teacher, too and avoid trouble

Bring one for teacher, too and avoid trouble

Student graciously brings enough pot-laced lollipops for all her classmates to enjoy, cops nab her anyway.

What kind of message does this send to our children?

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What would Seagram’s do without the Irish?

Study: 10% of the adult population consumes more than its fair share of liquor.

“Based upon beer and liquor company advertising, you might imagine that the US booze industry primarily sells its products to suave, attractive 20-somethings on the beach. In fact, it primarily sells its products to alcoholics.”

Do you drink a glass of wine with dinner every night? That puts you in the top 30 percent of American adults in terms of per-capita alcohol consumption. If you drink two glasses, that would put you in the top 20 percent.

But in order to break into the top 10 percent of American drinkers, you would need to drink more than two bottles of wine with every dinner. And you’d still be below-average among those top 10 percenters.

The top 10 percent of American drinkers – 24 million adults over age 18 – consume, on average, 74 alcoholic drinks per week. That works out to a little more than four-and-a-half 750 ml bottles of Jack Daniels, 18 bottles of wine, or three 24-can cases of beer. In one week.

Or, if you prefer, 10 drinks per day.

These figures come from Philip J. Cook’s “Paying the Tab,” an economically-minded examination of the costs and benefits of alcohol control in the U.S. Specifically, they’re calculations made using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) data.

If you consume 10+ drinks per day, for instance, you almost certainly have a drinking problem. But the beverage industry is heavily dependent on you for their profits.

“One consequence is that the heaviest drinkers are of greatly disproportionate importance to the sales and profitability of the alcoholic-beverage industry,” [Cook] writes. “If the top decile somehow could be induced to curb their consumption level to that of the next lower group (the ninth decile), then total ethanol sales would fall by 60 percent.”

drinking

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Foreclosure completed, 45 Baldwin Farms South goes to contract

45 Baldwin Farms S.

45 Baldwin Farms S.

Last price, $4.895 – there was a brief spell when it was listed at $4 million even, but I believe that was an attempt to pull off a short sale, and there was no guarantee that the creditors would accept it. Back when it was new in March, 2008, Ogilvy listed this property for $9.750 but unfortunately, the lender didn’t have the patience for Ogilvy’s estimate of value to be realized.

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Creek neighbor is selling

30 South End Court, Ole's Creek, OG

30 South End Court, Ole’s Creek, OG

30 South End Court, Old Greenwich, $2.195 million, reports a contract. Nice house, but significantly lower elevation than Chez Fontaine across the creek in Riverside. Always like to see that $2 million mark breached, however.

Speaking of Chez Fontaine, it’s now rented: Sarah was home alone when there was knock on the door and discovered a very nice couple from Darien standing on the porch. They lived on a tidal creek in Darien, they explained, but wanted to move down here. Although there was no mention of  our house on the Internet, they were driving by and the wife (the husband, Sarah reports, remained in the background, shaking his head, saying, “she’s crazy”) wondered whether by any chance the house was for sale. “Not right now,” Sarah said, but alertly added, “but it is for rent.”

Real estate’s a funny business.

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Kristallnacht creeps closer

Latest Parisian fashion

Latest Parisian fashion

PR firm Burson-Marsteller refuses Israel as  client but accepts the Moslem Brotherhood.

They can do what they want, but when the largest public relations firm in the world, a firm of “liberal Jewish heritage” is scared to represent Israel, less-liberal Jews might want to worry. I would.

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That’ll learn him

Charles Bowman, fish monger, poacher

Charles Bowman, fish monger, poacher

Yesterday, I heard back from the NY State Department of Conservation regarding the complaint I filed against Charles Bowman, the NYC restauranteur who was profiled in the NY Post for catching striped bass off Montauk and selling them in his restaurant. A DEC official visited the restaurant, “explained state regulations concerning commercial fishing and issued him a summons”. Works for me, even if I had originally suggested he be hung by a treble hook through the lips and fastened to his ceiling.

Some of my fellow libertarians among the readership questioned my objection to Mr. Bowman’s piscatorial activities when I wrote about them last August, but I don’t see why; nothing in  limited government philosophy requires an inalienable right to pollute the water or, in this case, overfish a species. Besides being a violation of hunters’ ethics, keeping, let alone selling multiple numbers of a rare species is  slap in the face to those who’ve been working so hard to restore their numbers. “Catch and release” is common sense, as well as sound, self-interested policy, and something I strive to practice when shooting deer, albeit so far, without success. Must be those zombie bullets.

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Doesn’t surprise me

I want MY piece!

I want MY piece!

Obama coming to Rich man’s house in Conyers Farm to rail against the 1%.

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Democrat’s war on women

Katleen Kane: 'yo,slut - don't wear tight skirts!"

Katleen Kane:
‘yo, slut – don’t wear tight skirts!”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Democrat, claims prison worker raped by inmate was partly to blame for her own misfortune.

This story is really about the incredible stupidity of lawyers who thoughtlessly toss in a “contributory negligence defense” to rape suits (remember the uproar when the Stamford Marriott did it to a mother of three, raped in their parking lot while her children looked on?), leading to headlines like this:

Pennsylvania attorney general says female prison worker who was knocked unconscious and raped was partly to BLAME for attack

The AG should be tossed from office for sheer incompetence, let alone her  misogynistic attitude  towards rape victims.

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