Monthly Archives: February 2016

New Construction sells in Old Greenwich

105 SHORE road

105 Shore Road, Old Greenwich

105 Shore Road, still being finished, has sold for $4.825 million, on an asking price of $4.950. I guess that proves that, despite what I’ve always believed, location is not everything.

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In ten years, this sort of inaccurate filmmaking will be gone

Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina looked at 32 films, many of them from Disney, that were rated G … They put the characters into classes based on their job. At the top are upper class characters – royalty, chief executives and celebrities.

The working class have jobs like soldiers, sailors, miners and sweeps. The lowest category is the jobless poor.

Their analysis showed that in most cases the main character is wealthy and the majority of the cast are either upper or upper-middle class, meaning that poorer sectors are under-represented.

The depictions of working-class people are also unrealistic, the researchers said, as nearly all ‘perceive their jobs as invigorating, fun’. In Mary Poppins, Bert sings that ‘as a sweep you’re as lucky as can be’.

The study says: ‘Bert, like other characters, frames working-class jobs as devoid of difficulties.’

Many children’s films, it adds, ‘suggest that social class inequality is benign, as those at the bottom of the class ladder suffer little, lead relatively stable lives, and experience many advantages’.

Disney’s Aladdin is taken to task because of a scene in which Princess Jasmine and the impoverished title character compare their different backgrounds and conclude they both have hard lives.

Working-class lives in children’s movies are often portrayed as so fun and cosy that rich people will voluntarily go down the class ladder to join them, the researchers say. Poor people are portrayed as happier too – in The Sound Of Music, humble former nun Maria teaches her upper class employer how to love his children.

The study concludes that, overall, children’s films make poverty and class distinctions seem like a case of the lower orders getting their ‘just deserts’. It says the films make class divisions seem ‘legitimate by erasing, downplaying, and sanitising their effects – by portraying poverty and inequality as benign’.

It adds that this ‘erases, downplays or sanitises poverty and class inequality, implying that poverty and inequality are not particularly problematic as few people suffer from them’.

I wonder whether the Dukes will tackle North Korea next? This video, “Excellent Horse-Like Lady” from the People’s Paradise depicts some really cheerful textile workers – of course the star, Hyon Song Wal, was Kim Jung’s girlfriend at the time, and was probably doing okay in the material goods department.

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I’m pretty sure this pattern will repeat itself throughout the primaries

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Dancing for Bernie: It’s all fun and games, until somebody twists an ankle

Bernie admits that he lost Nevada because Hillary’s machine can churn out supporters while his can’t.

Sanders has been a seemingly-viable candidate because of large numbers of college students showing up at his rallies, but nothing could be more spoiled, entitled, and self-centered than the modern liberal collegian, so they just can’t be bothered with voting.

So large crowds where you can hang with your friends and do little a dope, but after that, it’s off to the beach.

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Good for the Tennessee Public Library – if only public universities were so law abiding

whites-only-paul-mashburn

A place for everyone, and everyone in his place

Library tells Black Lives Matter chapter that meetings restricting those who attend by race aren’t allowed on public property: it’s the law.

Professional colored person Joshua Crutchfield expressed outrage at the enforcement policy and blamed it on “white supremacy”.

Thankfully for the BLM, the group found another meeting place at the Dixon Memorial Methodist church, whose website proclaims,

“Together we can open hearts, open minds and open doors.”

Someone in Nashville ought to announce a KKK meeting at the library, just to see Mr. Crutchfield’s reaction to real white supremacy oppression.

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Gosh, even Will Ferrell reads this blog!

Mere hours after FWIW calculated how much of his annual income Will Ferrell would have to turn over to the People’s Committee of Victims of Oppression (ans: $95,700,000, out of $96 million), the actor and avowed Bernie Sanders supporter has appeared in a video supporting Hillary Clinton.

“I’d like to thank your publication for alerting me to this near-disaster,” Ferrill told FWIW in a phone call this evening. “I mean sure, I’m willing to maybe up my tips to the homeless, maybe give the bums a buck or two more when I see em, but ninety-five-million-fucking-dollars? Are you shitting me?! The guy’s a goddamn commie,you ask me, so fuck him – I’m free enterprise, all the way.”

 

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The trouble the Republicans have with stopping the Donald is that he keeps saying things that are true

Davidson-Michelle-Obama-Saudi-Arabia-1200

Hey, it got us out of Washington, didn’t it?

“Obama wouldn’t have skipped the funeral if it’d been held in a mosque”.

Know to be true, and want to hear said.

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Hillary captures the ugly woman vote out west, waddles to victory in Nevada

Hillary

Calories DO count!

Sanders ran out of rich white pseudo-intellectuals.

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So far, only in California, but coming soon to a theatre near you

see-the-gruesome-vintage-special-effects-from-paris-murder-obsessed-horror-theater-324185

Audibilize this, you dumb twat

Walt sends along this latest evidence of our world gone mad: Blind Californians sue movie theaters under their states’ disability act for failing to provide audio descriptions of the action.

Last I checked, moving picture shows were just that; not listening libraries. Television is not radio nor, at least in a normal world, is a continuous stream of images intended to be a passive listening experience. But once you accept a  self-contradictory, and thus impossible premise, you’ll go mad trying to follow its logical extensions.

Walt recommends that the deaf sue the record companies, but that’s just the beginning. The deaf must surely be owed a sign language interpreter standing to the side (one hopes) of the movie screen, the retarded are entitled to scripts comprised of only one and two-syllable words and simple, easy-to-understand plot lines, college students and graduates entitled to trigger warnings in all movies advertising and bags of peanuts sold in the lobby will have to have warning labels cautioning that the bag may contain nuts – oh, wait, that one’s already in place.

If you want a hoot, or a mind-exploding experience, try taking Connecticut’s continuing ed exam section that covers “equal rights” – you’ll be asked to decide whether your landlord client is permitted to refuse to rent to certain classes of people, only one of which is unprotected, and your choices will include a mother of one who works at a strip bar, an unemployed homosexual, a black ex-con, fresh from jail, and a transvestite cripple who’s deaf, dumb, and blind. Remember, four are protected, one is not. Ready? Go!

My father liked to say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity”, but even he would be distressed to see where that stupidity has gotten us to in the years since his death.

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It’s almost worth seeing Sanders elected just for the pleasure of hearing on the east coast the squeals from Hollywood – in fact, maybe it IS worth it

musicians_for_bernie_sanders_mini_button

Red badge of idiocy

Yesterday I posted portions of Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Party of America’s platform, in which the lunacy of his ideas are made clear, but I’m still thinking about it, particularly their demand that total income for individuals be capped at 10X the national average: that would be $300,000 (Minimum is $15 an hour, 30-hour workweek but paid at 40, so 2,000 hrs. X $15 = $30,000).

The preamble to the party states:

THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own  control – a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society… where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically-controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups.;  where full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work; … [emphasis added]

That’s all very nice, if Venezuela or Cuba is your cup of tea, and many in Hollywood give lip service to the notion that it is, but wouldn’t it gall them just a wee bit if all their income above $300,000 were confiscated and redistributed to those people who, say, choose not to work?

Sanders supporter Will Ferell made $96 million in 2015. Imagine the good use to which the country can put an extra $95,700,000! Danny DeVito, who earned $46 million in 2013, supports Barry, as does Jackson Brown “The Highest Paid Musician in the World”, according to Peoples, who last year pulled in $96 million, tied with his friend Will. Here’s a list of “Artists for Bernie” – assuming folks like David Crosby haven’t stuffed all their wealth up their noses, there’s a tidy sum to be seized out west.

So can Bernie really balance his books by taking all these individuals’ money? Nah, they only have billions, he’ll need trillions, but wouldn’t it be fun to listen while they burn?

And I’d love to hear Jackson Brown’s reaction when a democratic people’s committee tells him what songs to write and perform.

UPDATE: I should have known. I was wondering where that $300,000 salary cap came from; I mean, how’d they decide on that specific figure and not, say, $235,000, or $427,312.012? Then I looked up Harvard’s professors’ pay, and bingo! Average salary, $274,005. Guess they wanted to leave themselves a little room in case they wanted to buy another Prius.

 

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Here’s another funeral our leader probably won’t attend

bush obama

I’ll just say goodbye now

Family, friends and campaign workers gather in South Carolina as Jeb faces final primary.

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And speaking of drawn out foreclosures

45 Doubling

45 Doubling Road

I’ve been following the progress of a foreclosure action on 45 Doubling Road, now barely getting warmed up after three years. I signed up to receive a notification from the court each time something happens on the case, and today I learn that, after one filing for bankruptcy and a lifting of the stay after that delay maneuver failed, a new filing has occurred.

The client who first asked me to monitor this house because he was interested in bidding on it has long since moved on; the house, and its owner, remain.

There’s nothing morally wrong with staying in your house as long as you possibly can, but if you want a view of why Connecticut is still struggling to clear the market of houses laid low in the 2008 debacle, go to the docket for this case and see all the dozens of motions, orders, appeals, defaults, and so on that have been going on.

This is a typical foreclosure case in Connecticut. Down in Florida, where foreclosures take, on average, 6 months, the market’s digested the foreclosed home supply and returned to normal. In the Nutmeg State, those 2008 homes are still years away from being sold.

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Abandoned project on Meeting House finally hits the market

CCF Meetin House

24 Meeting House Road, circa 2008

24-28 Meeting House Road, Jimmy Licata’s failed two-house undertaking partially built back in 2000, has finally cleared foreclosure and the foreclosing lender has put it up for sale, asking $4.995 for the two, 4-acre lots. It’s a large meadow, and you could indeed put up two nice homes here, but I don’t know about $2.5 for each building site; homes on Meeting House have had trouble selling in the higher range, and so this much for a building site may discourage spec builders. On the other hand, Regis Philbin’s house, further down at the end of the street, did sell for $3 million and was promptly razed, so I understand listing agent Joe Barber’s thinking here.

Of course, part of that difficulty can be attributed to the twin Licata disasters flanking the street, this one on the east side of the road, and his former wife’s on the west (Greenwich Time ran an article on the wife’s difficulties at 21 Meeting House in 2011, but mistakenly illustrated it with pictures of 24 – hehehe). I myself wrote about the (correct) location in 2008, and you can read that here.

In any event, the property’s available, and if the neighbors on Meeting House are lucky, it will soon be sold to someone who’ll do something productive with it.

meeting house

Circa 2011 – not aging gracefully

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Why do they so hate the poor?

Mohammed Ullah

Mr. Mohamed Ullah holds affidavit attesting that neither dogs nor humans pissed on his produce while it spent the night outside on the sidewalk

Weepy coverage of a NYC store keeper who, as he has in the past, stacked fruit and produce up on the sidewalk in front of his store and had to watch as the sanitation department tossed it out.

No sympathy for the storekeep – he’s already accumulated $60,000 in fines for doing the same thing, repeatedly, but the media and the “man in the street” are outraged that the “food” was sent to the landfill instead of being fed to soup kitchen patrons.

What, I ask, have the homeless done to deserve being served food that’s been left out in the open 24 hours in New York City?

Would you trust that food? Then don’t serve it to others.

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Obama views Scalia’s casket “Just to make sure the son of a bitch is really dead.”

Justice Antonin Scalia

Should I ask them to open the damn thing? I still don’t trust the bastard.

Wednesday the White House said the president would not be attending Justice Scalia’s funeral, but could not supply the reason for his refusal, and wouldn’t rule out his golfing during what’s forecast to be a balmy weekend.

On Thursday,  with the president under fire even from (some) liberals, it said that the reason Obumski would be a no-show was that Joe Biden was actually the guy who had some kind of relationship with the conservative judge, so it’d be more appropriate to send him.

Today, it’s been explained that Obama is in such a rush to replace Scalia that he’ll be spending the next 48 hours perusing resumes and simply, gosh darn it, just doesn’t have time to take off for funerals. He did, however, manage a brief appearance (25 minutes) at a memorial service at the court today, for reasons explained above.

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Bidding war in December, closing today

derilct train

3 Juniper Lane

3 Juniper Lane, on the train tracks in Riverside, came on the market back in early December (I was in Maine), priced at $895,000 and was gone in 4 days via bidding war. The winning price, it was reported today, was $1,020,000.

The links are all mostly down now, but it was strictly a land deal: 12,000 + sq. ft. in the R-12 zone, so 3,979 sq.ft. above ground permissible. While I make fun of Juniper’s close location to the tracks (hence the photo), the houses are on the other side of the road from them, so that’s a bit more attractive than those on Militates or Summit, maybe, which have trains s backyard neighbors.

In any event, I’m sure a builder will do well here paying this amount for a building site.

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Greenwich DTC’s Trini Lopez: “I did NOT call my fellow Dems racist pigs”

I didn’t understand Housecat’s comment that even Democrats read this blog until I found this story in Greenwich Time relating to my previous post about the Greenwich Town Committee’s sole candidate for chairman withdrawing his name from nomination.

Lopez upset many of his party colleagues and other community members when he wrote an email to DTC leaders announcing the end of his campaign for chairman, a missive that also blasted Democrats for their alleged indifference to major issues in the town and a lack of diversity in its ranks.

The email lambasted the mostly white DTC for a “sickening lack of diversity” and appearing “not just resistant to diversity, but wholly inoculated from it.”

“I do not believe that anyone in this room is racist,” said Lopez, who is black. “I have seen things where it has been said that Lopez has called the DTC members racist pigs, with pictures of the KKK next to it. That is ridiculous. That is not how I feel. Those people don’t know me, and they don’t know my heart.”

God, I love this stuff.

Now, just to show that I’m a good guy, I’ll drop all further comments on the clear implications of Mr. Lopez’s attack on his peers, and instead show what’s in his heart. Here he is from some years ago, expressing his love for all of God’s creatures even, presumably, fellow Greenwich Democrats:

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(Another) price cut on Pintail Lane

11 Pintail

11 Pintail Lane

11 Pintail has dropped another $200,000, and is now priced at $1.995 million. It started off last spring at $2.850. That’s just about exactly what the Fountain clan has experienced over at our mother’s place, so I am (no longer) making fun of a mispricing like this. Instead, I compliment the owners and their agent for not ditzing around when they discovered that they’d priced it too high. They dropped it $500,000 within three weeks of hitting the market, then took two more price cuts of $200,000 each. That’s what we’ve done too – at this price level, a cut of, say, $75,000 isn’t going to lure back a buyer who’s looked at the place and rejected it. Big cuts can, plus they shorten the time a property sits overpriced on the market.

Will this be, finally, the right price for Pintail? I have no idea, but we’ll find out.

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Yes he’s an idiot but ….

bernie-sanders-rally

While it’s true that I failed at every single job I held in the private sector, and only got off welfare when I found politics, that doesn’t mean I know nothing about running a company or the largest economy in the world – trust me on this.

Maine’s colorful Governor Lepage is in the news again: just a few weeks after complaining that black drug dealers were coming north and impregnating Maine’s “white women” (specifically, he said.

“These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty – these types of guys – they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home,” LePage told a large crowd. “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”), he’s now turned his attention to refugees- he’s against them, and the troubles they bring to our shores.

.   “And what happens is you get hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, the ‘ziki fly,’ all these other foreign type of diseases that find a way to our land.”

The Governor has a point about the drug dealers, but his theories on the the diseases refugees bring and indeed, even the existence of a “Ziki fly” are probably not as accurate as those with a passion for scientific accuracy might want. Nonetheless, I was struck by the media’s reaction to this rather irrelevant politician in contrast to their unblinking acceptance of the most errant nonsense spouted by politicians on the left.

For instance, the platform of  Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Party of America makes lots of demands, from “worker-controlled” production to lifetime unemployment benefits to the elimination of banks, insurance companies and all other financial institutions. It wants a cap on incomes no greater than 10X the average American’s salary (Leonardo Dicaprio, are you listening?) elimination of free trade and the cancellation of third world debt.

But wait, there’s more!

• We stand for unconditional disarmament by the United States.
• We call for an immediate 50% cut in the military budget, followed by additional cuts, with the aim of rapidly reducing the military budget to less than 10% of its current level, with the “peace dividend” directed to essential social services and to the cost of cleaning up contaminated military sites.
• We call for the disbanding of NATO and all other aggressive military alliances, and the closing of all overseas bases.
• We call for the U.S. to pay off its debt to the United Nations [done long ago, but never mind], an end to veto power in the UN, and an end to permanent membership on the UN Security Council.
• We call for a constitutional amendment requiring a binding vote of the people on all issues of war or military intervention.
• We support the right of soldiers to form unions to represent their views and interests.

The Socialist Party stands for worker control of industry through the democratic organization of the workplace, for the social ownership of the means of production and distribution

• We support militant, united labor action including hot cargo agreements, and boycotts, factory committees, secondary and sympathy strikes, sit-down strikes, general strikes, and ultimately the expropriation of workplaces. 
• We call for the repeal of …  all so-called “right-to-work” laws.
• We call for the same benefits for part-time workers as for full-time workers.
• We call for a 30 hour work week at no loss of pay, with six weeks annual paid vacation. 

And so on. Which is more ditzy, and more dangerous to our country: a presidential candidate committed to a communist revolution or a backwoods governor who doesn’t know an Italian pasta fro a tsetse fly? Yet Sanders is never confronted with his nonsense, (nor Hillary hers). No one has asked him to explain how a worker-controlled factory will determine production of, say, shoes: quantity, style, sizes, and so forth. No one’s asked what a 90% cut to our military budget would look like, and the consequences. No one’s asked the affect of a 30 hour workweek at 40-hour pay, 10 1/2 months work at 12 months pay would have on the economy. Instead, the media focuses on the circus clowns at the periphery of the ring.

This is no accident.

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NYT: Scalia ends; women, minorities hardest hit

Some blacks see delay in filling the Supreme Court vacancy as racist.

Obviously not one of those articles where ‘read the whole thing” is urged, but a small, early morning amusement.

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When government attacks

USS Minnow

USS Minnow at berth on Ole’s Creek

Brother Gideon and I received this email inquiry from a neighbor being harassed by the Connecticut DEP. For those of you unfamiliar with Ole’s Creek, the dock in question is down a nook in the creek, far away from navigable waters, and was certainly there when I was a young boy using the creek to access Long Island Sound. So why, after all these long decades, is the Department of Environmental Protection [sic] trying to tear it down?

Because it can, and that’s what bureaucrats do.

I live on  [XXX ] in Riverside. Our lane jointly owns a shared ‘beach’ and stone/concrete dock. We Have been put in the position by DEEP to prove that it was built before June 24, 1939, otherwise we must remove it (at a significant cost – and loss of a lot of wonderful memories). Of course, getting proof from 80 years ago has been a challenge.

The ‘dock’ was built and believe was part of the Palmers oyster business. We have a definitive photograph from Craig Walters from 1947 (where the dock looks quite old). Examination of 1929 and 1934 aerial maps show faint possibilities, but the resolution is terrible and the dock is so small it is too hard to see definatively. I was wondering if you know of anyone who is still living who might be able to provide anecdotal evidence (or of course a photo!) of the dock at that time. (The Hurricane of 1938 would be a memory trigger perhaps for them?)

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