In Lieu Of Flowers, Cancel Your Subscription To The New York Times

Leonard M. Smith, 1927-2013. Greenwich resident, served in two wars, all-around great guy.

Leonard M. Smith, 1927-2013. Greenwich resident, served in two wars, all-around great guy.

That’s my favorite line, among some great ones, in this Greenwich Time obituary for Leonard M. Smith. Another one is, “He liked just about every dog he ever met”. That reminds me of me, but I can only aspire to live the life this guy did.

He grew up in New Rochelle, New York, went to Iona, graduated from MIT, degree in engineering, joined the army in WW II, then the air force, for the Korean war, then worked for a wide range of companies, solving tough problems. Five kids, same wife for 58 years.

So how did this obviously decent guy end up disliking the New York Times so much? I can guess it wasn’t because he changed, it was the newspaper that changed. It stopped being an honorable purveyor of news, and moved completely into the realm of pro-government propagandist, seeking to “teach” its readers how to think.

I’d say the paper’s demise really began in earnest when the Sulzberger family allowed Arthur Ochs “you-can-call-me-Pinch” Sulzberger to take over the reins as publisher. That was 1992, and it’s been all down hill since then.

Leonard’s wife, Mary Penelope Smith, died in 2012. She sounds wonderful, too.

Greenwich Says No To FEMA

"Storm preparedness", Old Greenwich style. And guess what, it works!

“Storm preparedness”, Old Greenwich-style, and guess what, it works! (photo shows air conditioner compressor, sitting up on its own little 3-foot high platform). This Old Greenwich waterfront house is still standing after 60 years and around four MAJOR hurricanes. No FEMA payments needed, thank you.

Wouldn’t that be great if we actually did? Why, after all, are we bending over backward to adhere to FEMA rules that offer so little reward?

We had insurance guy Steve Shepard in the office today to lecture us on the sorry state of the flood insurance market. Do you know what the maximum payment from FEMA is for a destroyed home? $250,000 for the house, $100,000 for the interior. In many parts of the country, that’s probably quite helpful, but for Greenwich, practically meaningless (particularly with an annual premium of $8,000+/yr.!)

So why are we participating? Because “global warming” is supposedly causing the sea levels to rise. Except, it’s not. But don’t take my word for it, use your own eyes. If you’ve spent any number of years here in Greenwich, CT, you can observe that the same amount of exposed beach sand still exists, the same high-water marks on sea walls are clearly evident, the same waterside property boundaries (trees, fences, etc.) are all in their usual places.

Everything’s the same! Hooray, we’re saved! Now let’s opt out of FEMA’s idiotic agenda, shall we?

Finally, A “Real” Scandal!

(Above, Casablanca”s Capt. Renault, playing the part of an incredulous American media: Shocked, shocked, to discover a politician using his powers to punish political enemies!)

Meanwhile, the media bends over backwards to ignore these obviously phony scandals:

Using the IRS to persecute political enemies….yawn.

Mysterious order to Benghazi rescue party to “stand down”…ho hum.

Justice Dept. running guns to Mexican drug cartels….sigh/groan

NSA data-mining every single American’s phone line…blah, blah, blah

E-mail evidence White House knew all along you wouldn’t be able to “keep your insurance plan”…z-z-z-z-z-z-z

But finally:

Traffic cones placed on the George Washington bridge, causing 4-day traffic jam?…Stop the presses! Start the investigations! Divert all media resources to Fort Lee, New Jersey, until further notice!

The only good part of this story may be the lesson finally taught to liberal Republicans: The media absolutely love you “mavericks” until the day comes when you are thrown under the bus because, no matter how liberal you may be, ultimately, you will never be forgiven the sin of being Republican. Sorry!

Joe Lhota’s Mom Endorses de Blasio

Telemundo's Jorge Ramos asks: "What reasons would you give to [illegal immigrants] to vote for you?" Guess what? They both happily answered the question!

Mayoral candidates, Mutt & Jeff.  Telemundo’s Jorge Ramos asked both: “What reasons would you give to [illegal immigrants] to vote for you?” and guess what? They both happily answered the question!

Well, I wouldn’t be surprised, if she had watched tonight’s pathetic “debate” between these two very liberal candidates. There’s barely a difference between the two!

5’4″ Lhota stood shoulder to shoulder with 6’8″ de Blasio as they competed to tell us how much each would do for the City’s growing population of illegal immigrants:

“Driver’s licenses!”, shouted the giant de Blasio.

“Library cards!”, countered the diminutive Lhota.

“I’ll make sure they have free health care!”, promised de Blasio.

“Access to all educational resources, including City universities!”, answered the midget.

(I’m serious, those are actual quotes)

The only time they both declined to take the bait from Telemundo reporter Jorge Ramos, was when he asked them whether they favored letting illegals vote “in local elections”. Amazingly, both these knuckle-heads drew the line on that one. But don’t worry, they’ll vote anyway.

What a travesty.

ObamaCare Victims Begin To Speak Out

Here’s a sad little story from a hard-working couple in Stamford, CT. They voted for President Obama, thinking that putting the federal government in charge of providing health insurance would make things better. It didn’t.

Big government at work! But not to worry, it's not real money, it's just taxpayers' money.

Big government at work! But not to worry, it’s not real money, it’s just taxpayers’ money.

“Mayor de Blasio” Is Coming, Time To Sell NYC Real Estate?

Future Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio (ok, not really, that's his son, "Dante", but if you went by Bill de Blasio's TV ads, you'd swear it was his son running for office!

Future Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio (ok, not really, that’s his son, “Dante”, but if you went by Bill de Blasio’s TV ads, you’d swear this kid’s the one running for office!

A life-long, committed leftist*, who’s never held a real job, is about to assume the mayoralty of New York City, should you sell your New York City real estate now, before it’s too late? And what about Greenwich? We’re the ultimate “bedroom community” of NYC, will the coming downturn of the City drag us with it?

To the first question, I would answer yes, now would be a good time to unload your New York apartment, if its re-sale value is an important part of your investment holdings, and I think you’ve probably got at least 12 months to get it done. Crime and taxes, the hallmark of all US cities run by Democrat machines, will begin their increase gradually, beginning around, oh, June, 2014.

The first folks to feel the tax pinch will be the “wealthy” ($500K+/yr.), but the new Mayor will quickly run out of their money, so the definition of “wealthy” will be adjusted downward accordingly.

As for crime, I think city residents are already seeing the increase, thanks to Judge Shira Scheindlin’s decree that “stop & frisk” is unconstitutional. It’s clear this ruling has had a chilling effect on the NYPD, and we can expect that to get worse under the new Mayor.

“But wait”, I hear you say, “We’ve had a committed leftist who’d never held a real job, sitting in the White House for 5+ years, and real estate’s done fine, so has the stock market!” All true, I admit, but the US is a huge, vibrant, country that can endure amazing self-imposed obstacles and disasters, yet keep on thriving. New York City, unfortunately, cannot make the same claim. Mayors Lindsay, Beam, and Dinkins nearly destroyed the City and its boroughs, and de Blasio is cut from identical cloth. Sell that real estate now!

As for Greenwich, I think we’ll survive the coming NYC disaster just fine. It would be nice if it didn’t have to happen, but the city’s importance to our economy is simply not what it once was.

So New York voters will put their city under the care of a man who has no conception of how money is made, profits earned, investment decisions determined. All he learned at Yale was that there is a “gap” between the rich and the poor, and the only salvation is a continuous, never-ending expansion of government. As the “gap” grows ever wider, the justification for even higher taxes, even higher spending, becomes all the more urgent
to the de Blasios of this world. The more they fail, the harder they try.

*According to the New York Times, which ought to know a leftist when it sees one!

The Market’s Great! No, Wait…The Market’s Terrible!

21 Winthrop Drive, $3.450M, Riverside's hottest address?

21 Winthrop Drive, $3.450M, Riverside’s hottest address?

No sooner had I pronounced the Greenwich high-end on its way to full recovery, then this happens. That link will take you to today’s story from TheStreet.com, where we learn that “pending homes sales” continue to drop*, blamed on a number of factors. And, I’ll admit, right here in Greenwich, there has been an undeniable drop in reported “accepted offers” lately, hmmmm.

On the other hand, we have this

21 Winthrop Drive came on the market Tuesday, and by late afternoon, had already gone to sealed bids! Holy %#@&!

What do you make of this? Is Riverside once again blazing its own trail, or is this just over-excited builders who haven’t yet heard the news that Hartford Democrats (and their liberal Republican enablers) are going to bust up the “racially un-balanced” Riverside School?

The Winthrop property is also listed as separate lots…

21 Winthrop, lot 1 (with house)

21 Winthrop, lot 2 (raw land, aka trees, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons)

* Except in the Northeast, where they’re reported up 4%, go figure.

Larry Kudlow On Saturday Morning Radio

Larry Kudlow, talking about the morality of capitalism vs. the immorality of socialism. Saturday mornings WABC radio, 10:00 AM, 770 AM dial.

Larry Kudlow, talking about the morality of capitalism vs. the immorality of socialism. Saturday mornings. WABC radio, 10:00 AM, 770 AM dial.

If you’re driving around this morning, tune in 770 on your AM dial at 10:00 AM, and listen to Larry Kudlow’s Saturday morning show on WABC radio. Kudlow and his guests, mostly economists and financial people, are an antidote to all the left-wing blather that poured over you during the week.

You may not even be aware of the pro-government slant of the usual news program, so Kudlow’s show might shock you, but I don’t think you’ll disagree with any of his conclusions. This week, I expect him to opine on Greenwich’s own David Stockman, among other things.

Re-Thinking David Stockman

Mr. Stockman was interviewed this morning on the John Gambling radio show (WOR, 710 on your AM dial, or listen on your i-Phone) and he sounded almost… reasonable. Perhaps I was the victim, yet again, of New York Times “selective editing”?

At least, I think I’m the victim of sneaky Times editing; it’s possible Stockman himself constructed this excerpt from his newly released book, but I suspect a Times editor cherry-picked the book for anti-GOP material.

On the other hand, that Times piece also links to a different “Great Deformation” excerpt, something Stockman calls his “Economic Heroes/Villians” list, where we find he’s put Bill Clinton on the &%#@ing “heroes” side of the ledger (Roosevelt and Obama are on the “villians” side)!

You remember Clinton, he was the US president who went so far to the left that, two years into his first term, Americans voted both houses of congress Republican for the first time in 40 years. Those Republicans held the President’s feet to the fire and the result was several years of balanced US budgets, for the first time in 30 years.

But Clinton also orchestrated the ramping up of the Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks to abandon all lending criteria for borrowers, which eventually led to a 7 trillion-dollar melt-down of the housing market. He’s no hero. Stockman thinks he is. That makes me question everything else Stockman believes.

Ol' Dave Stockman: In reality, it appears that his book slams both political parties equally.

Ol’ Dave Stockman: In reality, it appears that his book slams both political parties equally

David Stockman Loses His Mind

If you were tempted to plow through Mr. Stockman’s latest multi-thousand word jeremiad on the causes of our coming economic collapse, appearing this week in the New York Times, I will summarize and spare you the trouble. Ready?

The whole thing was caused by, in order of importance, Milton Friedman’s theories on Federal Reserve money-supply manipulations and equations, Ronald Reagan’s tax-cuts, and…and….wait for it….George Bush and his un-funded wars!

Oh, and Nixon…and the GOP’s “war on the 99%” (That last line explains why the New York Times jumped at the chance to publish this thing. Possibly, former Enron advisor/Nobel laureate, Paul Krugman, was unavailable to write his regular column on why government spending needs to be doubled?).

So there you have it, the root causes of America’s decline into bankruptcy have finally been identified by economic genius, David Stockman. Never mind President Obama’s doubling of the national debt, to $16 trillion in a mere four years, and his creation of an entirely new entitlement, “free” health care, that will cost tax-payers trillions and trillions. None of that concerns Stockman.

And that 10-year effort by the Clinton Administration, dozens of Democrat senators, representatives, Justice Department lawyers , and bureaucrats, throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, to force all types of lending institutions to reduce or even eliminate credit standards for mortgage borrowers? All in the name of ending “discrimination”? This effort to vigorously expand and enforce the benignly titled “Community Re-Investment Act”, that led to the complete collapse of the US housing market and almost the world economic system? Sorry, no, this barely appears on Stockman’s radar (and besides, it was Wall Street’s fault!)

So, for the lazy, here’s the Cliff Notes version of Stockman’s brilliant explanation of who’s to blame:
Friedman, Nixon, Reagan, Bush. Got it?

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Just like Mayor Bloomberg! Fabulously wealthy and economically illiterate at the same time!