Daily Archives: February 5, 2015

Perhaps it will prove to be the Dandy Drive of central Greenwich

18 Perry Ridge Rd

18 Perry Ridge Rd

A reader brought to my attention that, in my absence from town, 18 Perry Ridge Road sold, for $3. 1 million.It’s a decent house, despite its lack of a back yard, its cheek-by-jowl proximity to the hospital’s ambulance route and the FARport instead of a real garage, but it far surpasses other recent sales on this street, by a factor of 1.5, at least. My bet is that the buyer’s done well: it’s a nice house. The other bet is that he or she was lulled into thinking it was a deal because of its original 2010 asking price of $4.650.

Time will tell.

UPDATE: Publius wins the “Guess that Price”contest. If only there was a prize to go with that honor …

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This year’s flu shot’s a bust

Or not

Or not

97% ineffective. The vaccine is put together on a best-guess analysis of what a particular year’s virus will be made up of, and that best guess usually yields a 60% success rate – those odds have kept me from bothering to get one all these years, but today’s announcement (buried for weeks) comes at an unfortunate time, given the publicity being given to the anti-childhood vaccine movement. Different issues, but the two will be inevitably conflated.

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And the idiots cheer

It's the government calling

It’s the government calling

Over at Business Insider, a Page Six sort of e-mag standby children, they’re cheering the FCC’s announcement that they will now regulate the Internet as a utility. I was around – on the cutting edge, actually – when the telephone industry was deregulated, and I sold incredibly sophisticated (for 1976) computerized phone systems that had been heretofore unavailable to U.S. businesses thanks to the government-protected monopoly granted to AT&T. Our systems even provided touch-tone dialing, by golly, instead of rotary dials. AT&T had all the technology of the Japanese, German and Canadian companies we represented, of course; had mostly invented it decades before, but the bean counters at the company saw no reason to release it while they were still making so much money selling 1930’s technology.

Imagine, if you will, how a start-up that threatens the upcoming monopoly will fare, when it has to gain regulatory approval to hurt the business interests of major political donors.

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Time to see who runs Connecticut’s Democrats

The People's Car

The People’s Car

Tesla is driving for an end to Connecticut’s car dealer franchise monopoly. No one else has been able to overcome the power of car dealers here, but perhaps the “green” argument will provide the charge to jump that barrier. My money’s on the money of the car dealers.

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I thought that all snooty American boarding schools aspired towards this – a life nasty, British and short

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Please, sir, may I have some more?

The Hotchkiss School sued for permitting its faculty and older boys to sodomize youngsters.

The lawsuit, which refers to the plaintiff only as “John Doe,” a New York resident, claims

He was a slight 14-year-old when he was ritually sexually hazed and assaulted by groups of older students. The ritual was well-known to Hotchkiss officials, and had been going on at the school for many years, the suit states. Although the plaintiff reported the assaults to staff, they did nothing other than to ask him “if his bottom was feeling better,” it alleges.

“Hotchkiss knew and should have known that it employed and exposed young vulnerable children to a teacher who sexually desired pubescent schoolboys,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III of the Bridgeport-based firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder. “The victim reported the rape to the school health services counselor and to his faculty advisor, both of whom did nothing to protect him.”

When the plaintiff was 15, a faculty member, Roy G. Smith, Jr., known at the school as “Uncle Roy,” drugged him “into semi-unconsciousness with a pill that he misrepresented as an aspirin” and then raped him, the lawsuit states. The plaintiff wrote an article for the student newspaper about the failure of the school to appropriately respond to complaints. The headmaster forbade publication and even “conspired to prevent John from informing the students, their parents and the school community about Smith’s sexual assault and his aberrant and predatory propensities and behavior,” the suit says.

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So far, I’m disappointed in the inventory coming on

Very, very little of interest, either to write about or, better, to show my clients. I’m hopeful that it’s the snow that’s delaying things, rather than people deciding to stay put, for now.

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This explains it

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 1.16.18 PM

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February 5, 2015 · 1:17 pm

Sales reported

27 Dandy Drive

27 Dandy Drive

504 Indian Field Drive

504 Indian Field Drive

27 Dandy Drive, $2.2 million. Nice house, but, though the seller bought it new in 2008 for $2.542 million, the house next door, same builder, sold for around $2,000,000 later, after the crash,and that hurt the one’s prospects.

504 Indian Field Road, the old gate house for Mead Point, sold for $2.501 million. Back when it dropped from $3.475 to $3.1, I opined that it was a pretty good deal – obviously, I was wrong, by half-a-million. It happens.

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One last post on my mother, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain

My nephew on the left cost, David Prior, weighs in:

I still haven’t figured out what to say about my beloved Grandmother Leatrice who died two weeks ago, and it may take the rest of my life, but she was the gravitational center of my childhood. My fondest memories are of the times spent with her in Greenwich, of summer lightning storms on Gilliam Lane, of watching the Sound swell and ebb behind the house on William Street, the way she inhabited the Platonic essence of grace and goodwill. She was the curator of my sense of what is fine and beautiful and worthy, and now, in light of all the plans unfulfilled and visits unmade, she is the custodian of my regret. She was a rare creature, unsnobbish as a happy child, princess, butterfly, Japanese lantern. Her book about her father, the silent film star John Gilbert, is perhaps the greatest gift a daughter could give. Somewhere now, I hope, he is thanking her for it and smothering her with kisses. I love you Gram. You mean more to me than you knew.
David Prior's photo.
David Prior's photo.
David Prior's photo.
Like ·  · 

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I blame global warming

The "Hockey stick hoax"

The “Hockey stick hoax”

Anti-vax crowd represents a breakdown of the faith in science.

That’s the most tragic and terrifying thing about the anti-vaxxer movement: These parents trust their guts more than scientific studies, and that’s mostly because of fear and distrust. If science can’t win here, where the evidence is strong and clear, where will it win? And what does that say about people’s confidence in facts?

I trust in the efficacy of (childhood – not the flu) vaccines, and if my own children were still of age to receive them, I’d do it again. But two decades of lies about global warming, all based on “settled science”, all subsequently debunked as lies, distortions and part of a political agenda, have done more to destroy the public’s trust in the objectivity of scientists than anything else I can imagine.

 

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A reader asks …

3 Gisborne Place

3 Gisborne Place

“What’s a one-third acre on a cul-du-sac worth?”

Well 3 Gisborne Place, in Old Greenwich, is exactly that size and location, and sold for $1 million in 2013. The purchaser has built a new house on the property and has now listed it for $4.795 million. If he gets his price – a big “if” – look for small building lots to increase in value.

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Well, he could always run for the Senate in Connecticut

Dan Rather still respects me

Dan Rather still respects me

Managing Editor of NBC News, New Canaan resident Brian Williams, admits that he lied about being shot down in Iraq, a lie that he’s been feasting on for 12 years.

“Hey, we all make mistakes,” Vietnam combat veteran, Harvard varsity captain dorm-squad swimmer Richard Blumenthal told FWIW, “so let’s move on.”

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Obama’s foreign policy explained: it all makes sense

I'm so sorry

I’m so sorry

As long as you understand what that policy is, then complaints about the “chaos” he’s unleashed are unfounded: he has a plan, and he’s sticking to it.

Victor Davis Hanson explains the four tenets of Obama’s Smart Diplomacy™:

So far from being chaotic, current U.S. foreign policy is consistent, logical, and based on four pillars of belief.

1. Readjustments in the global order are long overdue. 

The exceptional postwar influence of the United States did not result in a fair and just world and is thus in need of major recalibration. The use of military force abroad in recent decades has almost always been mistaken, proving a waste of lives and money, as it either has promoted the status quo rather than aiding the deserving and needy, or has promoted only the interests of those who mouth U.S. platitudes and falsely claim they are legitimate. The role of an all-powerful United States is not always beneficial, as it sets global norms according to our privileged tastes. For America to quietly recede and give other nations a chance to direct their own affairs and become global actors would be far more equitable, leading to a world that far better represents heretofore unrepresented billions of people. ….

2. All nations and interests act rationally — if given a chance.

….[I] f we reduce our military profile and show other nations that what we are really interested in is fundamentally transforming U.S. society into a more equitable and fair place, our erstwhile enemies will begin to appreciate that we too are human and thus share their common aspirations. Ideals, persuasion, feelings, and intent are now the stuff of foreign policy, not archaic and polarizing rules of deterrence, balance of power, military readiness, and alliances.

3. Do abroad as we try to do at home.

…. Nobel Laureate Obama logically sees that history’s positive verdict on his tenure must come from abroad. He will normalize relations with Castro’s Cuba and let others worry whether there is any reciprocity on issues of longstanding disagreement. History will record the fact of normalization, not transient details concerning human rights. Obama will bring Iran into the fold of nations — its nuclear-weapons program soon accorded the status of Pakistan’s. He will work with Islamic radical groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, acknowledging their legitimate grievances and helping them to forge a new generation of Middle Eastern leaders. He has not given up on Erdogan’s Turkey as a logical bridge between Islamic and Western nations. He has tried to reset relations with Putin and will try again, as he stealthily promised President Medvedev before the 2012 elections. Israel will be accorded the status of Switzerland or Belgium, a minor entity deserving of normal U.S. relations, but not of extraordinary American commitments.

4. Don’t sweat the details.

Did Nelson Mendella worry about NATO? Ghana about the proper place for Israel in world affairs?

Keep these themes in mind, and the last six years will make better sense. The Middle East is not a mess, but a place in a needed stage of transition as it frees itself from Western domination and a new order slowly emerges. To the degree that we need a large military, it is preferable to envision it as an executive agency for enacting social change without the clumsy impediment of Congress, especially in terms of race, women’s issues, and gender preferences. It can do the best work for stability abroad by shrinking itself. Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder and always a relative concept that Westerners pathologically insist is absolute. As far as the world abroad goes, China is a more authentic enterprise than Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, which are the products of U.S. Cold War nation-building in our own image, not of indigenous revolutionary self-creation. U.S. Cold War culpability — in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, South America, Cuba — is a burden that must be addressed through various means. The rules of nuclear proliferation are a Western construct. Israel is an abnormality, a Western outpost of capitalism and privilege where it has never really belonged, an irritant that should be treated like any other country as much as politically possible. Latin American grass-roots socialism is not Stalinism, but rather an extension of what Obama is trying to do at home.

I think the world now seems a chaotic place only if you assume that the Obama administration wished to be like its predecessors.

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