Daily Archives: November 6, 2015

Mayor de Blaisio apes Venezuela

imagesPuerto Rico’s problems are the fault of greedy hedge funds, NYC’s mayor declaims.

Never, ever blame the collapse of the socialist dream on foolhardy welfare schemes, when there are capitalists available.

Is de Blasio any different from his late hero, Hugo Chavez, who blamed all his country’s ills on “evil capitalists”? 

Interesting that Dannel Malloy understands that he needs the hedge funds around to tax them and keep his post in Connecticut, while de Blasio doesn’t care. I assume that’s because the communist next door has his eye on a national role, having worn out his welcome in New York.

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I’d be curious to see how much Saudi and Russian money is behind these useful idiots

Kill the world, save an Arab

Kill the world, save an Arab

Environmentalists rejoice at killing Keystone, turn to their next goal: shutting down all drilling on federal lands.

A couple of days ago I posted on the IMF’s conclusion that Saudi Arabia and the rest of its Middle Eastern oil neighbors will run out of cash in less than five years if prices don’t climb back up.

And Russia, which derives half its revenue from energy sales, is being crushed by the drop in prices.

If these leftists are convinced that the evil Koch brothers can, and are, influencing United States policies with a modest amount of money, surely the Saudia and Ruskies, with literally hundreds of billions of dollars at their disposal aren’t leaving the shutting down of US oil production to chance and CNBC.

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(Almost) back country contract

27 Doverton Drive

27 Doverton Drive

27 Doverton Drive, technically mid country because it’s a bit south of the Merritt, but way up there, reports a pending sale, asking price $7.8 million. It’s they typical Mariani house, which may or may not be to your taste but obviously was to both the sellers,once, and these new buyers.

Mariani built it in 2007 – wrong timing – and tried for $11.750 million before giving up and renting it. He finally sold it for $8.1 million in 2012 and now those buyers are getting out at around $7.8 million. It will be interesting what it fetches next time.

The Mariani signature pool is here, with its checkerboard surround. Never understood that.

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Cos Cob contract

70A sinawoy70A Sinawoy Road, $1.725 million. Seems pricey, even for new construction, but I suppose that’s what your dollar brings these days.

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Price cuts

21 Walsh Lane

21 Walsh Lane

21 Walsh Lane, down to $3.850 million from an original ask of $5.175 in 2007 (it’s been rented out since then, off and on). Built in 2006 by a noted, or notorious, modular home contractor, the listing repeatedly emphasizes that it was “stick built”. Since the builder has spent his career preaching that modular homes are as good or better than stick built, this seems an odd concession, but that’s his business; viewing it with other agents back in the day, most of us came away with the impression that it was finished to modular standards.

In any event, beware his listing’s description of its location as “In Belle Haven. Walsh Lane Association”. To be on the Belle Haven peninsula is not necessarily to be within the Belle Haven Association boundaries. Which is why the listing agent put a period between the two phrases.That seems a bit sneaky to me, but again, not my business.

97 Shore Road

97 Shore Road

Down in Old Greenwich, 97 Shore Road has been cut to $2.765. I remember this as a nice,if extremely dated home in 2004, wen it was priced at $1.695. I was less impressed with its 2006 price of $2.895, after i had been renovated, sort of, and flipped, but others disagreed and a bidding war broke out, with these owners declared the “winners” at $2.950 million.

The house is not in the flood zone, so it’s hard to explain why there was such demand for it in 2006 and no demand, in the past six months, now. Unless 2006 marked the high water mark for Old Greenwich property, of course.

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How does this place keep renting?

The Stanwich Institute for the criminally insane

The Stanwich Institute for the criminally insane

229 Stanwich Road, for its size (9,000 sq.ft.) about the ugliest house in Greenwich, has been rented out again, this time for $12,500. Admittedly that’s a substantial decline from its 2002 rental of $16,000, but the house is slowly showing its age, so the decline is understandable. But I can’t believe that our rental market is so tight that anyone would choose to live in this monstrosity, even for a year, at this price.

It’s also for sale, by the way: $6 million. So far, no one’s bit in 9 years.

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North Stamford bargain

111 Farms Road

111 Farms Road

Woodworker (and son of the Leatherman) Peter Dooney has cut the price of his incredible house at 111 Farms Road from its $2.895 2014 starting point to $1.849. I love this house, from its antique original to the wide open spaces he added by consolidating a barn. The woodwork and trim is almost yacht-like, and, while certainly not for everyone, is truly beautiful to my eye.

It’s off Taconic, in Stamford, so that explains its failure to sell, but at this price I’d put up with the drive, put my kids, if I had any of the appropriate age, in private school and enjoy the place.

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Not much of a house but for Greenwich, not much of a price

1 Carriage Road, Cos Cob

1 Carriage Road, Cos Cob

One Carriage Road, off Cat Rock, reports a contingent contract. Asking $895,000, owners paid $805,000 in 2000.

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Fox Butterworth, call your office

The Dannel Malloy Waiting Room

The Dannel Malloy Waiting Room

Connecticut DMV wait lines triple, “despite installation of new computer system”.

The headline, no doubt written by a Democrat, says “wait lines unaffected by new computer system”, but I’d think a waiting time that increases on average, from 30 minutes to 91, with 7-hour waits not uncommon, rises above the term, “unaffected”.

The obvious solution is to privatize the system, as other states have done with success, the equally obvious reason it won’t be done in Connecticut is that the DMV is staffed by unionized state employes. Thank you, Hartford.

The public face of government is most frequently seen by citizens when they are forced to undergo the DMV torture. It gives government a bad name, and raises the suspicion that the government, particularly Connecticut’s government, can’t do anything right.

And that’s not only a justifiable suspicion, it’s a confirmed fact.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 9.08.24 AM

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Another “the science is settled” difficulty.

Warp drive

Warp drive

NASA tests replicate earlier ones demonstrating that fuelless rockets are possible, defying basic law of physics that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

An ‘impossible’ fuel-free engine, which could take a humans to Mars in just 10 weeks, is still defying science after another batch of tests by Nasa suggested the thruster does work.

The so-called EM Drive creates thrust by bouncing microwaves around in an enclosed chamber, and uses only solar power.

When the concept was first proposed, it was considered implausible because it went against the laws of physics – and subsequent tests of the engine have shown that the idea could revolutionise space travel.

Now Nasa has provided the first update on the test in months, and it seems to suggest that the futuristic engine does, in fact, work.

Whether the engine ultimately proves out or not, at least scientists are still permitted to challenge some scientific laws that “everyone knows are true”. As the story below concerning the criminalization of such challenges shows, there’s a narrowing scope of permissible thought. Remember, say, Larry Summers being driven out of his post of president of Harvard for suggesting that we study the question of whether girls’ minds might work differently than boys, thus explaining the discrepancy in numbers of each majoring in the sciences?

Like that.

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