Daily Archives: November 9, 2015

What I said about the degrading of an Ivy League diploma

Co-ed Julia Allen anxiously awaits delivery of her care bear cuddly

Co-ed Julia Allen anxiously awaits delivery of her care bear cuddly

No one really cares about the president of Missouri State being forced from office for being insufficiently supportive of 350 lb black linemen who felt threatened by assorted micro-aggressions – no one’s ever heard of MSU, at least outside of Missouri, and the very fact that those black snowflakes are referred to as “student athletes” is so laughable that the entire fracas will be buried under derisive laughter.

But how about Brown University? Admittedly, it’s the MSU of the Ivies, and also unheard of beyond its state’s borders (Delaware, I think), but it is included on the roster of the Ivy League, and so what happens there affects the prestige of the entire little elite clan.

And so what is happening there? According to the NYT, it’s puppy dogs, cookies and soft music to sooth the feelings of the little girls who stay there. In response to an announcement of a pending debate on the claim that there’s a “rape culture”on the nation’s campuses, female students went into swoons, claiming that just hearing that a debate was taking place was too distressing to bear. Brown responded immediately.

Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

There’s a proper response to this, naturally, and here it is:

MIZZOU AND YALE SHOW WHY IT’S TIME TO BURN UNIVERSITIES TO THE GROUND, Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist. Bertolt Brecht famously advised overly harried socialist governments to simply dissolve the people and elect another. The university system is the assembly line that performs the transformation, as Tracinski writes:

The most prescient thing said about this kind of student protest culture was an observation made by Ayn Rand back during the first go-around, in the 1960s. The purpose of all the marches and sit-ins and riots, she wrote, was to condition students to accept mob rule. Here we are fifty years later, and this is quickly becoming the openly declared purpose of universities.

This is higher ed’s time for choosing. If this is the new purpose of the universities—to nurture a crop of activists trained at whipping up angry mobs, and a generation of college graduates conditioned to submit to those mobs—then there is no longer any purpose served by these institutions. There is certainly no justification for the outrageous claim they are making on the economic resources of the average family, who sends their kids to schools whose tuition has been inflated by decades of government subsidies.

The universities have done this to themselves. They created the whole phenomenon of modern identity politics and Politically Correct rules to limit speech. They have fostered a totalitarian microculture in which conformity to those rules is considered natural and expected. Now that system is starting to eat them alive, from elite universities like Yale, all the way down to, er, less-than-elite ones like Mizzou.

They created this Frankenstein monster, and it’s up to them to kill it before it kills them.

I agree – it’s time for the rest of us to stand back and remember the sage advice frequently attributed to Napoleon: Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.

60 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Well thank God De Blasio’s put a stop to it then

How DARE you watch us!

How DARE you watch us!

Egyptian bombing raises security people’s “worst nightmare”: an inside job.

The strategic security firm The Soufan Group noted in a brief Monday that “the nightmare scenario for aviation experts is the inside job; a trusted employee who can bypass the multiple layers of security enveloping international air travel.”

These types of attacks are “almost impossible to stop if the terror cell is not penetrated ahead of time,” according to the group.

One of the first things NYC Mayor De Blasio did after taking office was to end all monitoring of Muslims.

“Our administration has promised the people of New York a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair,” New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This reform is a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys.”

How, exactly, De Blasio intends to “go after the real bad guys” if the police don’t know who they are has never been explained, but no matter: De Blasio’s base had urged, even demanded that he close up the cop shop, so of course, he did. For example, here was the NYT, long before De Blasio had even begun his mayoral campaign:: NYT: Police monitoring and a climate of fear

So now our Muslim terrorists friends are free from living in “a climate of fear”, while the rest of us have switched places with them. That’s exactly how the left wants it, although why that should be is a mystery.

If the chimerical “moderate Muslim” leadership ever shows up and begins monitoring its craziest co-religionists and turning them over to the cops, I suppose we could relax a little. Until that happens – right after unicorns appear in Central Park – we’re up the creek.

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

New listing on Cognewaugh

360 Cognewaugh

360 Cognewaugh

360 Cognewaugh, to be exact, asking $1.445 million. The price history for the place shows a sale in 2004 for $1.085, a resale less than two years later, to these owners, of $1.215, and now this extra $230,000 bump. I don’t think we’ll see the price hit this, even though it has been ten years, and even though the owners have done some remodeling. The listing, by the way, states that an “addition” was put on in 2010, but both the 2006 listing and this one show the identical square footage of 2,558 sq.ft., so I’m not sure how that works.

No pictures posted yet – check back tomorrow to see if the broker’s added them – but this one from the 2006 listing is sort of alarming: I hate houses downhill from rock ledge, which usually collects water and sends it along its impervious surface to whatever’s below it, like a house. I’m not saying that this one gets damp: I haven’t seen it yet, just that the set up makes me nervous.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 5.11.22 PM

22 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

They might get it, I suppose

One Doverton, going up

One Doverton, going up

BSF Construction is offering its latest 11,000 sq.ft, 7 bedroom, 6 fireplace project, located at One Doverton Drive, for $11 million. 

This house was discussed here back when it was still a teardown priced in the $3s. It sold as land for $2.650 million and now it’s back, suitably altered. BSF makes a solid, high quality home, although I’ve always found their plans to be a bit boring. That doesn’t matter, both because who cares what I think?, and boring sells better; nothing offensive to put people off, just like this blog.

The listing does promise “a Hamptons style contemporary interior” – I have no idea what that means, but I find it scary.

One Doverton going (gone) down

One Doverton going (gone) down

WTF?

WTF?

UPDATE: I Googled “Hamptons style contemprary design and got this: “The Hampton style is an eclectic design of both sophisticated and simple looks.”

I still don’t get it.

60 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Pending in mid country

30 Butternut Hollow

30 Butternut Hollow

30 Butternut Hollow Road, asking $3.6 million. Nice house, good location (it’s way down Butternut towards Lake Avenue, not pressed up against the Merritt like houses at the other end are).

The house shows the slowdown in appreciation (if any) for this area, though. It sold for $3.4 in 2002, $3.5 in 2004 and, after some extensive renovations, was put up for sale this year at $4.150 and, obviously, didn’t get it. In fact, even at $3.6, this house is fetching a good deal less than what’s been put into it.

Not that $3.6 is chump change, mind you, but ….

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

On the other hand, right around the corner from Lake, there IS a bargain

51 Glen Road

51 Glen Road

Or I think so, anyway, at 51 Glen Road, which reduced its price today to $1.3 million. Owners paid $950,000 for it when it was a pretty rundown 1,796 sq. feet, hired a great local architect to expand it to 3,282 feet in 2010. They originally priced it at $1.487, which doesn’t strike me as absurd, but it hasn’t sold, so now it’s $1.3. Glen Road is about as convenient to central Greenwich as Lake Avenue is, but the traffic is much, much lighter, and no heavy construction traffic that Lake Avenue endures.

Well worth a look, if you like this neighborhood.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

When is a bargain not a bargain?

153 Lake Avenue

153 Lake Avenue

When you pay too much. 153 Lake Avenue has cut its price to $1.395 million. Owners paid $1.650 for it in 2007, after the seller had come down from $1.9. It must have seemed like a good deal at the time.

Is it too mean to point out that the buyers let the listing agent collect a full 5% commission, rather than make her split that with an agent who represented their interests? How’d that work out?

What is the point of this picture? Wee KNOW the house can hold a table!

What is the point of this picture? Wee KNOW the house can hold a table!

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Captain Renault goes to the Olympics

Growth hormones? In Russian decathloners? No! Impossible!

Growth hormones? In Russian decathloners? No!
Impossible!

Investigation reveals that Russia’s been doping its athletes for years, recommends barring them from the Olympics. That’s not gonna happen.

Sebastian Coe, president of track and field’s global governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, said the findings of the commission’s report are alarming, and that he has asked the sport’s leadership council to immediately begin considering sanctions against the Russian track and field federation.

A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee called the report “deeply shocking.”

Too much money at stake for this to cause the Russians to be banned. Look for lots of noise and blather, then …meh.

Reached for comment, Greenwich resident and NBC Olympics producer Jim Bell told FWIW, “we’ve proposed wrapping Lance Armstrong in a Russian flag and setting it afire as a kind of purging sacrifice, but we haven’t heard back from the IOC yet on that one. Either way, advertisers can be certain that there will be an Olympics, with the hated Russians enjoying full participation – we’re talking huge bucks here, and NBC stands ready to help you spend them.”

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Riverside sale

41 Leonard Avenue

41 Leonard Avenue

It took a couple of years, but 41 Leonard Avenue (Riverside) cheek by jowl to the thruway, has sold for $1,297,767. Shows that, at the right price (see, contra, 33 Pleasant Street, supra), even I-95 can’t stop true love.

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

When a street’s name can’t hide the obvious

33 Pleasant Street

33 Pleasant Street

33 Pleasant Street, on the market in 2009 priced at $3 million and again for the past year at $2.749, has dropped to $1.999. Convenient to I-95; too convenient.

Comments Off on When a street’s name can’t hide the obvious

Filed under Uncategorized

House of the living dead

634 North Street, Zombie Row

634 North Street, Zombie Row

634 North Street, unsalable since it was built in 2007, is back, price unchanged from its last attempt, $7499 million. Its spec builder has always taken an unusual approach to this house, from its unconventional design (for New England  there are many of this design down south, usually and euphemistically referred to as the “New Orleans “fun house” look”). to its pricing: from $7.495 originally, up to $8.750, up agin to $8.950, then down to $7.950 and $7.499, where it seems to have settled, for the nonce.

Unfortunately for the builder, neither the design, the location of the Merritt Parkway – directly behind, nor the location of North street – directly in front, has changed in the past 8 years, so his pricing may still be a tad optimistic. What buyer wants to be the laughingstock of his social circle, unless he can shut down that laughter by pointing to an incredible bargain he negotiated. So far, he won’t be able to do that.

30 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

32 Lower Cross takes another price hit

32 Lower Cross Road

32 Lower Cross Road

New price, $7.1 million, down from its 2012 ask of $11.750 million, Absolutely stunningly gorgeous house, in a killer location.

Killer in its literal sense, unfortunately. The back country is not your friend.

21 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Just when you think Old Greenwich is cooling off …

25 Lockwood Avenue, new construction priced at $4.195 million, went to contingent contract status last October 6 six days after hitting the market, and has now been moved to “pending”, meaning all contingencies have been met and a closing date set. Lockwood’s a busy street, and I’m not sure about this plain design – its simplicity may wear well over the years,  so I’ll reserve judgment (in fact, thinking about it, I’ll bet it looks positively classic a decade from now, rather than old and dated like the neb-victorian-whatevertheycallit style so prevalent in town).

25 Lockwood Avenue

25 Lockwood Avenue

But certainly a beautiful house inside.

Still, six days!

Note: The listing says, “5,000 square feet, does not include the finished 1,700 sq. feet in basement”. That’s how the above ground/below ground issue ought to be handled, in my opinion, and hooray for listing agent Joan Epand for being so forthright.

39 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Since it’s already got a toe hold in CT and is expanding, we might as well remember what busing did

A vision for you

A vision for you

Minnesota liberals sue to bring back forced busing of school children

Power Line:

It is often said that American liberals haven’t had a new idea since the 1960s. That is true, actually. No bad idea, apparently, is ever permanently dispatched; they just keep getting recycled. (See: socialism.) This time it is busing. Here in the Twin Cities, a lawyer who brought a lawsuit to compel busing decades ago is at it again, with his son as co-counsel. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Civil rights attorneys suing the state of Minnesota for failing to educate poor and minority children called Thursday for a metro-wide integration plan and other remedies to address increasingly segregated schools. …

In St. Paul and Minneapolis, the lawsuit alleges, the districts have drawn school attendance boundaries that place a large number of minority and poor children in certain schools, while other schools in the districts have large concentrations of mostly white and wealthy children. …

Charter schools also have “promoted and exacerbated segregation,” the lawsuit said, by marketing themselves to parents as providers of a “racially-oriented education, appropriate only to a particular racial group” or by attracting white students in districts with shifting demographics.

The lawsuit alleges that children do better in integrated classrooms, and therefore asks the court to “order[] the defendants [the State of Minnesota] to provide the plaintiffs forthwith with an adequate and desegregated education.” All right then! So let it be written, so let it be done.

What this means is that the lawyers want the state to, in effect, take over the various school districts in the metropolitan area and redistribute students among the schools according to formulas based on skin color. So kids would be bused for many miles, to schools far from their homes, so that “proper” ratios among children of various skin tones can be achieved.

Busing–because it worked so well the first time! Busing was one of the great liberal disasters of recent times. Federal courts around the country took charge of local districts and dictated educational policy. As a practical matter, this amounted to nothing more than busing children to distant schools for no reason other than skin color. This achieved nothing, and turned out to be highly destructive. After 20 or 30 years of court tyranny over local schools, liberals gave up and beat a retreat.

Why would anyone want to re-live this experience? Well, if liberals knew how to learn from experience, they wouldn’t be liberals.

The liberals here in Greenwich, including Peter Tesei and school superintendent McKersie, have refused to stand up to Hartford’s claim that it has the power to integrate Greenwich schools as it sees fit. In Tesei’s case, it’s because he’s hoping he can stall the state until he finally leaves office and the problem becomes someone else; in McKersie’s, it’s because he agrees with the state.

Watch your real estate values.

20 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

They may not be allowed to legally carry guns, but at least De Blasio has ended the stop and frisk program so they can still exercise their constitutional right to do so

Eliminate the surplus population - unleash our sons on each oher

Eliminate the surplus population – unleash our sons on each other

Three shot outside methadone dispensary near Penn Station.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What Bill Whittle loves about Donald Trump – surprisingly, there are some reasons

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized