That bon mot comes from Pundit Press, which reports that the Socialist Workers Party, a loud proponent of a $20 minimum wage, is advertising for a web site developer to work for them at $13 per hour – (“no telecommuting allowed!”)
Daily Archives: October 16, 2014
Right house, wrong address.
A Florida home builder has a million-dollar problem after constructing a luxury vacation mansion on the wrong lot.
Mark and Brenda Voss’ three-story, five-bedroom, 5.5-bath home has ocean views and luxury amenities, from a theater and game room to a pool. Just one problem: The $680,000 construction was built on the lot next to the one owned by the Vosses.
“The buck stops with the builder. We know that,” builder Keystone Homes VP Robbie Richmond told the News-Journal. “We are in the process of trying to schedule a conference call and find a fair resolution without the lawyers. I have built about 600 homes in Flagler County and this has never happened to me before. It does happen, but it’s rare.”
Legal Insurrection reports:
What possibly could go wrong? As the Washington Post reports (via Ithaca Voice), just about everything, Trying to limit the number of deer, with surprising results:
A few years ago, the central campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., was facing a problem familiar to the Washington area. An infestation of white-tailed deer had pushed the community to the limits of its tolerance. Without natural predators, the deer reproduced until their numbers were limited only by the availability of food….
Typically, a deer boom is dealt with through hunting. Often, sharpshooting riflemen or archers are brought in to bait the animals into zones where shots can safely be taken. Cornell’s administrators took a different approach: They chose to experiment with sterilizing many of the wild deer on campus while allowing periodic hunting on nearby land — and the result was something that nobody anticipated.
Let’s stop right there.
Basically, if you were a deer on campus, you got so much free birth control it would make Sandra Fluke jealous; if you were a deer off campus, you got served for dinner.
The method of contraception chosen by Cornell was tubal ligation, in which a doe’s fallopian tubes are either blocked or severed. This prevents egg cells from reaching the uterus. Unlike chemical forms of birth control, tubal ligation is typically permanent and avoids the expense of capturing the same deer each year to maintain their infertility. At a cost of roughly $1,200 per deer, 77 does were captured and sterilized though tubal ligation. (Without the help of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the costs would have been higher.)
No, this is not The Onion. This is my world. Deer get tubal ligations at a cost of $1200 per pop, and I can’t even get good coffee in the faculty lounge.
Wapo goes on, result was fewer does, but more bucks looking for does:
… Initially, the results looked promising: The birth rate went down. Yet the total number of deer remained steady over five years. Something strange was going on.
“Sterilization definitely did decrease fawn numbers, and doe numbers also declined,” Curtis said. “However, these population reductions were offset by increasing buck numbers. There were about 100 deer on campus when we started, and there were still about 100 deer [five years later].”
Something was attracting an abnormal number of mature bucks. Cornell’s biologists realized that the reproductive cycle of the ligated does was to blame.
Under normal conditions, all female whitetails go into heat within several weeks of each other and become pregnant at around the same time. This annual event is called the rut. However, if a doe is not impregnated during the rut, it will enter heat again the following month and again the month after that. Because the ligated does were unable to become pregnant, they continued to produce chemical signals of readiness to reproduce — signals that can attract bucks from miles away.
Cornell found a quick solution. The one that every single Legal Insurrection reader would have suggested at the get-go, without any cost:
After examining Curtis’s data, Cornell’s administration rethought its nonviolent approach to deer population control. The tubal ligation program was halted, replaced by a program of nuisance deer removal using a combination of professional trapping and hunting by volunteer archers.
“In winter 2013, our camera survey indicated there were 100 to 105 deer on campus. After the nuisance deer removal in 2014, the camera estimate was about 58 deer remaining on campus,” Curtis said.
“Because the bow hunters are volunteers, this program is essentially cost-neutral,” Blossey said.
But remember, this is the Ivy League. So we’re always looking for complicated, expensive replacements for effective, lost cost solutions
It’s Noah Webster’s 256th birthday today and in his honor, Paul Anthony Jones has collected some great words, many coined by Webster himself, that ought to still be around.
The perfect name for “an insignificant fellow” — Webster described this word as “vulgar and not used.”
On the rare occasions when hugger-mugger appears in modern English, it’s typically used to describe a state of noisy confusion or uproar. According to Webster, however, it was a “low cant word” synonymous with privacy or clandestineness — doing something in hugger-mugger, he explained, meant doing it in absolute secrecy.
A formal word for “the act of ensnaring; a catching or entrapping.”
A jackpudding is a “merry-andrew” or “a zany” according to Webster — in other words, a joker who acts the fool to make other people laugh.
As loaves of bread expand in the oven as they’re cooked, a kissing-crust forms when they spread so far that they touch.
Derived from the Latin word for distance, longinquity is a formal word for remoteness or isolation, or for any vast distance in space or time.
To stammer or stumble on your words. To faffel means the same thing.
If something is nuncupatory then it exists in name only. The word can also be used to describe a verbal rather than written agreement.
Literally means “to walk about.” The horseback equivalent, incidentally, is to obequitate — or “to ride about.”
“A vile, dissolute wretch” — also known as a rampallion, a scroyle, a runnion, a pander, a cullion and (if they seem destined to a life of crime) a crack-rope.
To sheep-bite is “to practice petty thefts” according to Webster. Some of his other criminally underused S-words include scantle (“to divide into small pieces”), scranch(“to grind with the teeth”), stalactical (“resembling an icicle”), squabbish (“thick, fat, heavy”) and stramash (“to beat,” “to destroy”). Less useful is sniggle, defined as “to fish for eels by thrusting the bait into their holes.”
“Slow-paced; moving or stepping slowly.”
To uptrain is “to educate” — literally “to train up.”
Derived from the Latin word for the spring, to vernate is “to become young again.”
To wrangle is “to dispute angrily” or “to involve in contention,” according to Webster. So if you’re wranglesome, then you’re “quarrelsome and contentious.”
Xerophagy is “the eating of dry meats,” according to Webster, who described the practice as “a sort of fast among the primitive Christians.” In all, he listed just 13 words under X in his dictionary – which is 13 more than Samuel Johnson, who instead stated that “X is a letter which, though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language.”
The author makes no mention of “Snoutfair” or “Spermologer“, but I like those, too.
34 Miltiades Avenue, Riverside, is under contract, just days after being listed for $1.250 million. It’s on 0.34 of an acre, and will surely be torn down.
One of the things my father liked best about Riverside was that the head of the Dime Savings bank lived directly across the street from the house of the local alcoholic, Joe Meany, who repaired storm windows when he could manage it. Similarly, my friends in the three-block area of Gilliam Lane included the sons of the chairman of The American Tobacco Company, the senior partner of a very large NYC law firm, and the guy who emptied parking meters for the town of Greenwich, who lived in this house on Miltiades.
Those sons all went on to different careers – the American Tobacco kid went to Princeton and is now a potter in Oregon, the Miltiades boy is a hugely successful head hunter (in Borneo, I assume), and then there’s … me, but that’s not my point which is, instead, that the economically heterogeneous culture we had in Riverside back in the 60s is long, long gone: parking meter attendants need not apply nor, for that matter, mere lawyers and bankers.
There’s no complaint here: change is inevitable, but it’s still worth commenting on.
Tom Gorin (Sotheby’s) has listed 46 Bedford Road, five acres, for $1.1 million. That sounds like a reasonable price but regardless, he manages to make the property sound enticing, while still describing its warts. Consumers want information, not bullshit, and Tom does a good job of this.
Remarks: Very deep, level lot offered for first time since 1947. Eastern portion, nearly level, is developed with a single-family residence, paved driveway and grassed lawn. The western portion of this very deep 5.5 acre lot is wooded, with some upland meadow grasses, and is steeply sloping, falling to the west. There are extensive wetlands on this property. September 2014 Soil Scientist report available. Lovely, natural views of open and wooded property for the nature lover.
Nothing exotic or exciting here, but, to me, it conveys all the information needed to make a decision whether or not to go look at it (of course I’ll go look at it, it’s my job; but I mean as a consumer). I say “simple”, but writing clear, short copy is actually quite difficult, or I find it so, and judging from what I see on the MLS, so do most other agents.
Two Yale doctoral students returning from research in Liberia on Saturday have agreed to sequester themselves for three weeks, even though they are not exhibiting symptoms of the Ebola virus that they traveled to West Africa to study.
[Dean of Yale School of Public Health] [Paul] Cleary said that the two Yale students, who are studying the epidemiology of microbial diseases, consulted with the military and the CDC and registered with the university’s travel service. They made the trip to help the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare monitor the disease on computers that were donated to the cause. They worked “directly and solely with administrative officials,” Cleary said, and “had no patient contact or activities in clinical settings.”
Marc Abrams has officially quit the race for state representative, leaving Livvy Floren to run unopposed. That’s good for Florin, but I keep hearing rumors that she and her husband filed under the Florida Homestead Exemption Act three years ago. If so, wouldn’t that make her a resident of Florida? I don’t think Floridians are allowed to hold public office in Connecticut.
So another case of Ebola, this time in New Haven, another instance of panicked authorities spewing false reassurances. The only thing surprising about today’s news poll showing many Americans don’t trust their government to tell them the truth about Ebola* is that there’s anyone who still believes them at all. So far, the government’s record of incompetence and duplicity on this subject is zero.
You can’t lay this distrust entirely at the feet of Obama, of course; the political class has been lying to the rest of us since Cain ran for public office, but our current president has helped the process along, with his coverups and lies and scandals piling up until there’s no reason to believe a word he says.
Yesterday, Time Magazine reported that Angies’ List is failing. The company is failing for a number of reasons, but here’s the key:
Perhaps an even bigger problem is that the trustworthiness of Angie’s List is increasingly being called into question. Critics point out that a growing portion of Angie’s List revenues come from service providers paying for advertising on the site—the same service providers that are supposed to be rated in non-biased fashion by members. “Almost 70 percent of the company’s revenues come from advertising purchased by the service providers being rated,” a 2013 Consumer Reportsinvestigation explained.
With trust gone, Angie’s List is no more likely to survive than, say, a large oppressive government. And then won’t we have fun?
*Nearly half of U.S. voters think the government is hiding information about Ebola, according to a new Fox News poll. They also “are concerned the Ebola virus will spread throughout the United States, support banning flights from countries where the virus has broken out, and think media coverage on Ebola has been appropriate rather than sensationalized.” Fox News.
Yale student being examined for Ebola in New Haven. The Mayor of New Haven has reassured her citizens that “the only thing you have to fear is flu itself”, and that’s been the mantra from the White House operatives with by-lines:
- “If you are worried about contracting Ebola, I have two suggestions. First, stop. Second, get a flu shot.”—Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, Oct. 15
- “Do me a favor. Turn away from the ceaseless media coverage of Ebola in Texas—the interviews with the Dallas nurse’s neighbors, the hand-wringing over her pooch, the instructions on protective medical gear—and answer this: Have you had your flu shot? Are you planning on one?”—Frank Bruni, New York Times, Oct. 15
That may be so, it may not be so, but hospital emergency rooms are probably going to be a mess in the coming weeks.
UPDATE FROM THE COMMENTS: It’s confirmed.
Turkey bombs the Kurds. Certainly, the Kurds and Turkey haven’t been getting along these past few decades, so Turkey dropping a bit of armament on them shouldn’t be surprising, but it must have come as a shock to our own government who just yesterday claimed the Turks as members of the coalition against ISIS.
President Obama is sometimes beyond parody — especially when he plays the populist.
Last week, Obama headlined a $32,000-a-plate fundraiser at the $26 million Greenwich, Conn., estate of a real estate mogul. During that dinner I noticed an email from Obama in my inbox warning me that “If Republicans win, we know who they’ll be fighting for. Once again, the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class.”
Obama has played this populist game unceasingly since he began his presidential run in 2007. He spoke as if he were being outspent while demolishing John McCain in fundraising. He declared war on lobbyists before hiring more than 100 of them and recruiting many as his top fundraisers. His top adviser at the White House — millionaire Valerie Jarrett — proclaimed that their administration was busy “speaking truth to power.”
It would go too far to declare Democrats the “party of the rich.” Both parties are the parties of the rich. Wealthy donors have too much sway over Republicans and Democrats. Both parties pursue the interests of the elites too much, to the detriment of the regular guys.
But slice it any number of ways and there is at least as much reason to tag Obama’s party — as opposed to the GOP — with the “party of the rich” label.
The richest county in America, according to IRS data on mean household income, is Teton County, Wyo., home of Jackson Hole. It’s the only Wyoming county Obama won in 2012. And Obama won it big — by 12 points, while losing the rest of the state by more than 40 points.
Seven of the 10 richest counties in America voted for Obama, from Manhattan to Marin. Three sparsely populated counties in Texas made the top 10, and all three voted for Mitt Romney.
Divide up the country by congressional district and you get the same story. Of the 10 richest congressional districts, Democrats represent seven in the House of Representatives. As with counties, congressional districts can be rich in different ways: maybe everyone who lives there is wealthy; maybe the few rich people are extremely rich; maybe there’s just not many poor people.
Obama’s [Greenwich] host Rich Richman shouldn’t feel too inadequate — his district is second richest with a mean household income of $142,933. Democrat Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District. Himes, who took the seat in 2008, was a Goldman Sachs banker before the people of Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien, and surrounding towns sent him to Washington as their representative.
By this measure, seven of the nation’s 10 richest congressional districts are represented by Democrats. (That number 7 is a theme here.)
Here’s another way to count an area’s wealth: What portion of a district’s households earn over $150,000? Take the top 10 districts and you see the same thing: Seven of 10 are Democratic seats. It’s the same if you make the cutoff $200,000.
Here’s another measure: Ten members of Congress have a net worth more than $40 million — and seven of them are Democrats.
While the people of Northern Virginia get rich off of stimulus, and the people of Greenwich bank their bailouts and government loan guarantees, they can sleep well at night knowing they contributed to Obama. They may still be rich, but they’re different rich.
634 North Street, a spec house that failed to sell for $8.750 in 2007, $8.950 in 2008, $7.950 in 2009, is back on the market, asking $7.850 million. The architecture hasn’t changed, so the builder better hope that they’ve rerouted the Merritt away from the backyard.
3 Jofran Lane, which asked for $1.995 and sold in a bidding war for $2.057 back in 2004, is now asking $2.295. Its listing says it was renovated in 2005 but either way, this seems like a good price for a home in this location.
41 Tomac Ave, Old Greenwich, is listed at $2.995. It sold for $2.970 in 2005 and as I recall, it was a terrific house.
And finally, just to circle back to unwanted spec houses, 123 Doubling Road has returned back to the $6.795 million that was so unsuccessful in 2010, and a tad higher than the $6.495 it couldn’t sell for in 2011. Perhaps the market for 11,000 sq. foot homes has improved since then.
When scientists are co-opted on social issues, and global warming is a social issue, the public’s trust in them erodes. That won’t stand the country in good stead as the Ebola panic spreads.
As news helicopters swarmed over Dallas’ Love Field this evening to watch the second U.S. nurse to contract Ebola board a private plane bound for Atlanta, one lone mysterious man stood out from the pack.
Holding a clipboard and directing the transfer, the unidentified man seemed to be the only person on the tarmac without protective clothing, wearing just a button down shirt and trousers.
While Ebola is not an airborne disease, his presence so close to patient Amber Vinson’s medical team sparked fears after he was seen grabbing a container and hazmat trash bag from one of the workers’ in full-protective gear and later boarding the flight.
It is believed he flew with Vinson and the other hazmat-suited medical staff to Atlanta and local television crews spotted him with the stricken nurse as she disembarked at the airport in Georgia to be transferred to Emory University Hospital.
When the plane landed in Atlanta, the man had still not donned any protective clothing and was seen openly interacting with Vinson and the other medical professionals caring for the nurse.
While the CDC did not return MailOnline’s calls for comment, a spokesman told KTVT that they didn’t think anything was wrong with the interaction since he ‘kept a safe distance’.