Monthly Archives: May 2015

Uh oh, 60 day shut down.

heading out of town-in fact I’ve already left, won’t be back or resuming blogging until July 15. Offensive comments won’t be monitored during that period, so behave yourselves.

Back stronger and better in 60 days – see you then


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Ha – modern life

I’m off to NYC just now and as I backed out of my driveway I remembered I had some weapons in the truck from turkey hunting and whatever. Found 3 rifles and a shotgun, none of which, I’m sure would be welcome in the big city.

So, disarmed, I’m off.


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Smart Diplomacy™

As the direct result of Obama’s Iranian policy, Saudi Arabia is now joining the nuclear club.


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The Puritans are still here

Safe again

Safe again

Hartford pols vote to ban e-cigarettes.

There is absolutely no evidence that the water vapor emitted from e-cigarrettes poses any – any –  public health hazard, but Puritans live in constant angst that someone, somewhere, is having fun. Or, worse, as in this case, is trying to quit smoking, which would deprive the politicians of their tax money.


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I’m off again, but this time, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Once again, off to Litchfield to hunt the wild turkey. These aren’t our own Greenwich turkeys who, secure in the knowledge that suburbanites would  never hurt them, are tame little bastards, but genuwine wild, wily turkeys, accustomed to caution. Despite my killing a couple of deer last fall, Walt continues to mock me, so I’m doing this to shut him up. If I fail, I’ll shoot a couple of squirrels to relieve my blood lust and give Walt, that nasty bastard, more material to degrade my manhood,

So back tomorrow afternoon, when I’ll catch up on real estate news from the past two weeks.


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Maybe they could use gay wedding cakes as depth charges

All we need is love

All we need is love

Swedish peace group launches “gay deterrent” to invasion of the country’s borders by Russian subs.

The group is urging the Swedish government to resist calls for re-armament after a weeklong hunt in October for a suspected Russian submarine, saying “love and peace across boundaries is more important than ever.”

Putin’s not known for his sympathy towards homosexuals, and they were one of the first groups to be rounded up and exterminated by Hitler, but why study history or pay attention to current events when magic beans and ostrich-thinking are so much more pleasant.


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Greenwich: Hartford, Washington writ small

Greenwich Republican Party: the voice of fiscal responsibility

Greenwich Republican Party: the voice of fiscal responsibility

Our local government has whooped through the Byram pool project – full funding, regardless of ultimate cost. The whole idea of local government, designed by the founders of this republic and advocated by present-day Tea Party types, was that local politicians are closer to their voters and thus more likely to be held accountable. Hell, even our “representative” town meeting is as eager to spew its neighbors’ tax money as the most grasping politician in D.C.

Magic thinking – the road goes on forever, and so does other people’s money.

Tesei was one of many speakers at the RTM in favor of the full pool allocation and said he was pleased with the results as well as the way the debate was conducted.

“It was a very positive sign to see people endorsing the pool as a community priority and I was very happy with the tenor of the debate,” Tesei said. “It was good and respectful and it focused on the merits of the projects not on the personalities of the people.”


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Another Doubling Road house to hit the market?

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 12.57.41 PMJoseph “Chip” Skowron, will be released from prison tomorrow.  No word whether he’ll be returning to his Doubling Road residence,

Chip Skowron leaves court

Chip Skowron does the perp walk

but his Ferrari collection has been confiscated, his house liened to the tune of tens-of-millions of dollars, and his career in the financial services industry pretty much gone, so look for moving vans soon.

The Chipster screwed his partners at a Greenwich hedge fund, pulling down the entire company and costing hundreds of employees their jobs. From what I understand (and from the tip I received just now from one of those former employees), there are plenty of people around who still don’t feel much sympathy for the guy.


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Blogging hasn’t felt so entertaining recently, but the world continues to be inspirational.

Green Acres

Green Acres

Barbara Streisand, who urged her fans to air-dry their clothes during 2002’s energy “crisis” and was then discovered to have kept her own electric dryers going full time (when asked if Streisand herself was using a backyard clothesline, her spokesman said: “She never meant that it necessarily applied to her.”) is back in the news again, this time for keeping her Malibu mansion lush and green while the little people are being told to “if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down”.


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Okay, I’m back

John’s as well as can be expected, I spent a while in the woods (futilely) chasing turkeys , and I’ve returned to find that nothing’s changed. I’ll catch up on real estate new shortly, but here’s news that should surprise no one: Congress claims exemption from insider stock trading laws. Who says Republicans and Democrats can’t unite when thievery is on the agenda?

In a little-noticed brief filed last summer, lawyers for the House of Representatives claimed that an SEC investigation of congressional insider trading should be blocked on principle, because lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from such inquiries given the nature of their work.

The legal team led by Kerry W. Kircher, who was appointed House General Counsel by Speaker John Boehner in 2011, claimed that the insider trading probe violated the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branch.

In 2012, members of Congress patted themselves on the back for passing the STOCK Act, a bill meant to curb insider trading for lawmakers and their staff. “We all know that Washington is broken and today members of both parties took a big step forward to fix it,” said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, upon passage of the law.

But as the Securities and Exchange Commission made news with the first major investigation of political insider trading, Congress moved to block the inquiry.

The SEC investigation focused on how Brian Sutter, then a staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee, allegedly passed along information about an upcoming Medicare decision to a lobbyist, who then shared the tip with other firms. Leading hedge funds used the insider tip to trade on health insurance stocks that were affected by the soon-to-be announced Medicare decision.

Calling the SEC’s inquiry a “remarkable fishing expedition for congressional records,” Kircher and his team claimed that the SEC had no business issuing a subpoena to Sutter. “Communications with lobbyists, of course, are a normal and routine part of Committee information-gathering,” the brief continued, arguing that there “is no room for the SEC to inquire into the Committee’s or Mr. Sutter’s purpose or motives.”

Wall Street investors routinely hire specialized “political intelligence” lobbyists in Washington to get insider knowledge of major government decisions so that they may make trades using the information. But little is known about the mechanics of political intelligence lobbying, which falls outside the scope of traditional lobbying law, and therefore does not show up in mandatory lobbying disclosure reports.

There are occasional hints, though.

Personal finance forms reveal that from July of 2011 through May of 2013, David Berteau served as a consultant to Height Analytics, the political intelligence firm at the center of the SEC’s current probe. At the time of his work for Height Analytics, Berteau simultaneously worked as a vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent think tank in Washington. Berteau is now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness.

Congressional travel forms show that on December 12, 2012, Emily Porter, at the time an employee of Boehner’s office, traveled to New York on a sponsored trip to meet with JNK Securities for a group lunch with business clients. According to the Wall Street Journal, JNK “has emerged as one of the most aggressive” political intelligence firms on Capitol Hill.

This is hardly the first time Congress has moved to undermine its own ethics rules. In 2011, congressional Republicans quickly abandoned their promise to post the text of bills online “for at least three days” before


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And here’s an old nugget, finally shuffling off the stage

14 Martin Dale14 Martin Dale, a pretty-much-vanilla spec house when it failed to sell for $5.995 in 2008, dropped its price, eventually, to $4.350 and has a buyer. At the new price, given the street and location, I suppose it makes sense; if the buyer can avoid dying of boredom inside.


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Quick sale on Parsonage

145 Parsonage145 Parsonage Road, $5.495, reports a pending deal just a week after hitting the market. The sellers paid $4.995 for it a couple of years ago, added a generator (what, $20,000?) and otherwise added a few years of wear to it, so they’re making out well.But a grand old house, on a fabulous street, so I’m not surprised.


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At long last, love

30 Sherwood Avenue

30 Sherwood Avenue

30 Sherwood Avenue, $2.495, listed as both land and residence, has a buyer. The sellers bought this  house and guest cottage on 7.5-acres from Elie Weisel in 2004 for $2.5 million, totally renovated it, added 1,000 square feet to it, and placed it back up for sale in 2010 for $3.850 million. Five years and a lot of price cuts later, it’s on its way to being sold. I wasn’t wildly happy about the renovations:they kind of destroyed the writer’s feel of it, and it has some Merritt exposure, but the house was much more livable after its changes, and it does have a separate building lot, so $2.5 would seem like a bargain on almost any other street. Unfortunately, Sherwood Avenue is one of our “fringe areas”, and it seems that everyone who’s bought here in the pst couple of decades has lost money. The current buyers will probably do okay – the sellers, obviously, lost their shirts.


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Say goodbye to Smith College, I hope

Transgender freak

Transgender freak

Will now admit boys who identify themselves as girls (but not the other way).

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — Smith College, the largest of the all-female Seven Sisters schools, is changing its policy to accept transgender women.

The new policy, which takes effect for those applying this fall, followed a year of study. The women’s college had previously asked undergraduates to have consistently identified as female since birth.

Smith President Kathleen McCartney and board Chair Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard said in announcing the change on Saturday since Smith’s founding, “concepts of female identity have evolved.

Smith will not admit students who were born female but identify as male.

Other women’s colleges, including Mount Holyoke and Wellesley, also have changed their policies to admit transgender women.

The advocacy group GLAAD said it worked with Smith alumnae for the change. GLAAD President and CEO Kate Ellis said Smith joins a growing number of colleges that “respect and afford equal opportunity to all women.”


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And thank you, Walt

I’m only sorry that you chose to dress as a waitress- I’m sure that none of the FWIW crowd recognized the fat lady in the cheap red wig passing around pigs in a blanket as the seer of this blog and, although I know that that was the way you wanted it, I’m sure that they’ll regret not meeting you.

Nonetheless, I do thank you for making the effort to appear. Hope the club paid you for your service.


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Party is today: 1-3:30, Riverside Yact Club. Breton reds, Topsiders and silly caps optional


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So come to the party!

Fun fun fun

Fun fun fun

Busy today, so limited blogging, but all readers are invited to my mother’s memorial party at the Riverside Yacht Club,Club Road, Riverside, from 1:00 – 3:30 tomorrow. This site averages 3,000 individual readers per day, with 16,000 views ( I really should cash in on that, no?), so if a bus caravan shows up we may have to lock the doors but otherwise, come one, come all.

Mickster has said he won’t attend, but I’ll bet he doesn’t know of RYC’s handicapped policy, where the Irish are given wheelbarrows, so they can stand on their hind legs, and the already-relaxed dress code (jeans and a collared shirt are fine) has been eased even farther for the bog trotters: for them, no shoes are required.

I’ll have blank name tags available in order that commenters can label themselves as “Anonymous” – lots of non-drinking friends will also be there, and if they too sign up as Anonymous, the confusion will be complete; you can sort yourselves out at the bar.

In any event, do come; my mother always insisted on a party after her demise, and we’d be honored by your presence.

No gloomy Irish dirges, Mickster, I promise.


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Cry me a Tigris

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - we'll  miss him

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – we’ll miss him

ISIS caliph in Iraq was paralyzed by drone strike,”may not be able to resume his leadership.”


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Poor little chickens

Animal cruelty

Animal cruelty

Fowl fed vegetarian diets suffer.

Many of the largest U.S. sellers of organic eggs boast that their hens are vegetarian, and for an increasingly food-curious public, this may be great advertising. . . .

Yet for the chickens, who are natural omnivores that readily devour bugs and small animals when they’re available, the forced vegetarianism can be a disaster.

Chickens on an unsupplemented vegetarian diet typically fall short of an essential protein-based amino acid known as methionine, and without it, they fall ill. Worse, the birds will also turn on each other, seeking nutrients by pecking at each other, and these incidents can escalate into a henhouse bloodbath, farmers say.

“They’re really like little raptors – they want meat,” said Blake Alexandre, the owner of a 30,000 chicken operation in far northern California that keeps its birds on pasture. “The idea that they ought to be vegetarians is ridiculous.”

“This is one of those problems caused by the fact that most Americans are so far removed from their food supply,” said Tracy Favre, a farmer and organic inspector who serves on the federal advisory board for organic products. “When I see eggs in the supermarket being advertised as vegetarian this and that, I cringe.”


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