Daily Archives: December 23, 2015

This wouldn’t have helped me – my mother taught me to drive

It’d probably be popular in West Virginia, though. Holland okays exchanging driving lessons for sex.

The so-called “Ride for a Ride” regulation from Dutch ministers enables driving instructors in the country to accept sex as reimbursement for lessons as long as the student is of legal age.

“In this country, a woman must give her consent before you have sex.” “What?!” (starts at 1:20)

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Nothing like perspective

Malloy beer

Anything for a buck

Liquor company announces move to Stamford, and Malloy cheers the 100  jobs it will bring.

“We continue to attract and retain companies like never before – and this is another example of our progress,” Malloy said, in a news release. “We’d like to welcome Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits to Connecticut.”

Malloy’s effusive comments struck me as at odds with his previous statements concerning gun manufacturers leaving the state: “good riddance”, essentially, so I thought to look up who exactly are our merchants of death here in the Nutmeg state, and whether Malloy welcomes their continued presence.

There were an average of  94  gun homicides in Connecticut in the years 2006-2010. 

During that same period, 2006-2010, 835 people died of alcohol-related diseases in Connecticut. Nine times as many deaths as caused by guns.

As for Connecticut’s largest export, Oxycodone, manufactured by Stamford’s Purdue/Pharma, “How the American opiate epidemic was started by one pharmaceutical company” it’s a national blight, killing tens of thousands of Americans per year.

The prescription narcotic painkiller oxycodone killed more Floridians in 2009 than ever before, according to a report from medical examiners under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

The examiners’ report says oxycodone caused 1,185 state deaths in 2009, a 26 percent increase from 2008 and a horrifying 249 percent increase in just the past four years.

Small wonder that demands for more effective Florida oxycodone detox and OxyContin treatment have never been higher. Oxycodone is the active opioid ingredient in the notoriously addictive and deadly narcotic painkiller OxyContin, which has been implicated in record-high death statistics not just across Florida, but across the nation.

Far from shunning this pill peddler, Malloy has joined it – he appointed  its corporate counsel as his first chief of staff, and has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Sackler family (Field Point Circle)’s old Pharma money – Jonathan Sackler, for instance, is a director of the company.

There’s nothing particularly wrong about favoring some merchants of death over others based on their campaign contributions, I suppose, but it would be nice if our governor weren’t quite so sanctimonious about it.

UPDATE: New data from the CDC show alcohol causes 9.6 deaths per hundred thousand (that’s over 30,000 deaths, and doesn’t include another 14,000 lost in drunk driving accidents). Guns are at 2.7 per 100,000.

 

 

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Campus lunacy: it’s like shooting fish in a barrel

Terri Susan Fine

“Does this picture make me look stupid?”

If they keep this up, the Onion will soon be out of business.

Professor calls on students and her peers to wish each other “Happy Federal Holiday”.

A professor for political science at the University of Central Florida recently wrote an opinion piece for UCFToday calling for students to begin wishing one another a “Happy Federal Holiday” salutation instead of others that may be too selective and inclusive.

Terri Susan Fine wrote in “A Holiday Greeting That Applies to Everyone” that, “In our efforts to be inclusive, we show cultural insensitivity both by equating one major holiday with a minor holiday and failing to recognize that diversity includes those who celebrate neither holiday.” She notes that the typical greetings of “Merry Christmas” “Happy Chanukah” and even “Happy Holidays” only “cover most of the bases”. Her solution?

I would suggest that we take a new approach that observes “the holidays” we all have on our calendars, no matter our religion.

My friends and I wish each other a “Happy Federal Holiday.”

Fine argues that the distinction of wishing someone well during this time of year is not limiting if it’s done through the officially federal recognized point of view. She continues, “As long as we live in the United States, these federal and state holidays impact us equally so we might as well celebrate them equally, too.”

Fine ultimately says that we can use this opportunity to get to know one another through this change of holiday rhetoric — “about each other’s religious and cultural beliefs and practices because we will not treat people as if we already know what those beliefs and practices are,” she writes — so that we are not “culturally insensitive”.

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Maybe we should try a modified Trump, and just bar Muslims from Syria and Iraq to start

Muslim Passport

Well of course it’s me!

WSJ:  Their passports have been compromised by ISIS.

PARIS—Western security officials are struggling to respond to the threat that Islamic State can make authentic-looking Syrian and Iraqi passports, which could be used to hide operatives planning attacks in Europe or the U.S. among refugees.

Islamic State has likely obtained equipment and blank passport books needed to make Syrian passports when the group took control of the Syrian cities of Raqqa and Deir Ezzour, those officials said. It has also gained control of materials to make Iraqi passports when it occupied the Iraqi city of Mosul, a Belgian counterterrorism official disclosed for the first time. But the near-absence of communication with the Syrian government means Western officials are lacking key information that could be used to identify the passports, according to a confidential analysis by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Nov. 13 Paris attacks, which killed 130 people, have shown that the proliferation of Syrian passports amid the chaos of war poses a serious security threat to the West. At least one of the suicide bombers who attacked Paris had been registered as a refugee at the Greek island of Leros using a fraudulent Syrian passport.

On the other hand, this development probably can’t make our border security worse, because it turns out we’re already letting in 4X as many suspected terrorists as we’re keeping out.

The State Department admitted to Congress last week that it had revoked the visas of 9,500 individuals since 2001 who were believed to have either engaged in terrorist activities or were associated with a terrorist organization.Worse still, after officials caught their mistake and revoked the visas after the fact, they lost track of the visa holders. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, pressed Michele Thoren Bond, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, to explain what had happened to the 9,500. She replied: “I don’t know.”

We don’t know where these 9,500 individuals are, or how many of them — if any — are in the United States today.

That’s bad enough. But the story gets worse.

[S]ince 2001, the State Department had denied visas to just 2,231 individuals because the applicant was suspected of terrorist ties or activity. Yet during that same period, the State Department granted U.S. visas to 9,500 people who it later figured out posed a terrorist threat — and had to go back and retroactively revoke those individuals’ visas.

The means our screening system is so bad, it let through more than four times as many suspected terrorists as it stopped. If a National Hockey League goalie let in more than four times as many goals as he blocked, he would be fired.

And of course, those 9,500 terrorists are just the ones the State Department has finally discovered are in fact terorists. How many thousands more, like the San Bernadino shooter or the underpants bomber, were never noticed at all?

So what difference are a few thousand more bombers  entering with faked passports going to make?

Enjoy your holiday travels and remember: if you see something, don’t say anything, you Republican Islamophobe,  you.

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Is this judge really so lonely that she’ll order someone else’s son to visit her over Christmas?

stock-photo-lonely-middle-aged-caucasian-woman-with-santa-hat-sitting-against-the-table-with-microwave-food-67495615

Home alone

Judge Deborah Kaplan forces Madonna’s son to spend holidays with her

I think the judge is abusing her position and power, but that’s just me.

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‘Tis the season

9/11/2001: Muslims celebrate news from America

9/11/2001: Muslims celebrate news from America

Screaming “Allauh Akbar!”, French Muslim runs down 11 pedestrians.

The driver, who was in his forties, hit groups of pedestrians in five parts of the eastern city before being arrested, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said on French television. Eleven people in all were injured, two of them seriously, officials said.

According to testimonies on the scene, the driver also invoked “the children of Palestine”‘ to explain his actions, the ministry’s spokesman said. France’s Interior Ministry Spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said “the man acted alone,” and that the suspect was known to police for crimes committed in the 1990s. A day earlier, French police in a Tours suburb shot and killed a man also shouting “Allahu Akbar” who had stabbed and wounded three officers in a police station.

 

Disgusted with all this violence, American Muslims have responded: They’re Organizing a “Million-Muslim Voter Drive” to make sure politicians don’t pick on them.

A coalition of U.S.-based Muslim groups claiming that anti-Muslim backlash is on the rise in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino hopes to register one million people to vote before the 2016 election as part of a “civic empowerment initiative.”

One speaker, ISNA vice president Atlaf Husain, urged local, state and federal politicians who “aspire to political victory” to engage Muslims.

He also cautioned: “If you as a political candidate choose to spew hatred, bigotry and to vilify Muslim-Americans, you do so at your own political risk. We will use every democratic — small ‘d’ — democratic means political strategies to ensure that your candidacy never succeeds.”

“Let it be clear to all political candidates, be it Donald Trump, or whoever else, that if you engage in Islamophobia, if you engage in demagoguery and bigotry, you will pay a political price because we’re going to register our people and we’re going to take our souls to the polls and make sure you’re out of there.”

Nice to know that our Islamic citizens are on the job.

UPDATE: Greenwich/Stamford Muslims meet with Jimbo Himes and Stamford police to voice concerns about violence towards Muslims.They concede that they’ve heard of no such attacks being directed at Muslims in the area, but insist that there probably are, they just aren’t being reported. No worries about attacks going in the other direction being reported, that’s for certain.

 

 

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Steamboat road luxury condos sell out

HarborWe’ve discussed this project before, but what the heck, it provides a good insight into where the luxury market is going: downtown and downsized.

Which makes sense: the Conyers farm pioneers and other back country residents built huge homes to accommodate their large families and staff, and now that the children have grown, who needs 15,000 sq. feet to heat, and a $1 million-a-year maintenance budget? So they’re moving.

What is surprising, perhaps, is that new young families aren’t moving north to replace them. The preference now seems to be for smaller lots and close, or closer to town locations. That’s not good news for downsizes hoping to sell the big house before moving; either they’re going to have to take a hit, or stay put.

Another depressing trend for those owners is that the wealthy types who might have constituted a market for their homes are, according to Investors’ Business Daily, moving out of state.

You may remember a 2014 Gallup poll that had Connecticut as the new Dodge City, the place that half the residents wanted to get out of. Well, many are leaving, eroding the tax base. And the next may be Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric.

Companies and people are leaving the state because taxes have been jacked up steeply in recent years under the one-party rule of Democrats. Further hikes are inevitable, given looming budget deficits, driven primarily by escalating annual contributions to the state’s overgenerous and seriously underfunded public-sector employee pension fund and unfunded health care obligations.

The Yankee Institute, a policy think tank in Hartford, just published “$60 a Second,” a study documenting a $3.8 billion erosion in the individual income tax base from 2011 to 2013 as emigrants took more out of the state than immigrants brought in.

Connecticut is about 50% more reliant on high earners than the nation as a whole. Residents with annual adjusted gross income in excess of $2 million contribute 25% of the state’s total individual income-tax revenue, in contrast to only 17% of total federal individual income-tax revenue.

The higher earners are departing. Connecticut is the only state where the adjusted gross income of emigrants exceeds the AGI of remaining residents.

Between 2011 and 2013, about 95,000 taxpayers left the state. Their average AGI was $112,000, versus $101,000 for the remaining 1.4 million taxpayers. Only 78,000 taxpayers moved into the state, bringing an average AGI of only $86,000. Data are not yet available for 2014.

The outlook is dire. Connecticut’s budget is about $18 billion. Just four months into this fiscal year, it fell into a deficit, requiring a special legislative session to adopt $350 million in short-term fixes.

It’s getting worse, with projected deficits of $550 million and $1.7 billion in the next two fiscal years. Even wider gaps lie beyond, as official estimates of annual employee pension fund contributions escalate from $1.5 billion today to twice that amount by 2025 and quadruple by 2032. That doesn’t include retiree health care benefits.

[T]he death spiral of increasing taxes and increasing flight will continue. With its heavy reliance upon mobile high earners, Connecticut is especially vulnerable, but other states are at risk too. Connecticut is the canary in the coal mine.

Why do voters in this state continue to keep Democrats in power? Because, like every bubble before them, from the Dutch Tulip Bulb craze in the 1630s to the .com frenzy, no one wants to believe that the music will end. But it does; as Herbert Spenser observed, “when something can’t continue, it won’t.”

Allegory-upon-the-Tulip-Mania-by-Jan-Breughel-the-Younger

Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds.

 

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1,948 days on the market and still counting

23 Cliffdale Road, off Riversville, has been relisted after its last listing expired last week. It’s still asking $5.595 million, which at least is an improvement on its first price, way back in 2007, of $9.995 million.

I’ve shown this property several times over that period, to potential buyers interested in building on its beautiful 9 + acres. Two problems, besides its location on the western side of town: the price, and the 9 car “car barn” the current owners erected in 2007 smack dab in the best location for a house, killing a magnificent view. The barn could be moved, but the prospect of doing that, or tearing down such a huge structure that must have cost a small fortune to build (it has a basketball court, guest accommodations, fireplace, and so forth) just seemed too wasteful.

So here it sits, still. It will eventually sell, surely, but when?

23 cliffdale

Car Barn at 23 Cliffdale Road

 

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Seattle City Council taxes exercise of the First Amendment and a judge backs them up

Savage Boys Facebook_1402069829816_6014501_ver1.0_640_480

Demonstrating their right of free speech, The Savage Boys pose on their Facebook page.

$0.05 per word, $25 fee for flyers, petitions.

Actually, it’s the Second Amendment they’ve gone after, but same thing.

One thing to understand (well, lots of things, but here’s one): a tax on “bullets” affects no one but target shooters, who buy ammo by the thousands, because they (and I) can easily shoot 500 rounds in one session at the range. A gang banger or potential suicide, who together comprise 95% of all gun deaths, is unlikely to be deterred by an extra couple of bucks  tax on a box of cartridges-this is a measure solely aimed at harassment of responsible, legal gun owners.

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There was a time – during Barack Obama’s reign, for instance, when politicians’ children were considered off limits to the press

But that was before a “white Hispanic” like Cruz was available as a target. The Washington Post, which should know better, published this earlier this week:

WAPORACISTCARTOON

Ted takes Malia and Natasha for a walk

 

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