Category Archives: Totty

Who doesn’t love pretty girls?

Rule Five Flaming Hypocrite Friday

Now we find out that loony Californey Governor Gavin Newsom was not only given a $3.7 million mansion, he also took out a tax-free $2.7 million mortgage payout on the property he was given.  And that’s not the end of the Governor’s disgusting hypocrisy.  Excerpt:

  • Gavin Newsom’s $3.7 million, 12,000 square foot mansion, on 8+ acres along the American River in Sacramento, was the area’s most expensive home sale in 2018
  • The gated estate consists of a 6 bedroom/10 bath home, a guest house, a pool, a tennis court, and a wine cave
  • An LLC registered to Newsom’s cousin, long-time business partner, and Co-President of PlumpJack, Jeremy Scherer, paid cash for the estate in December 2018
  • Newsom’s spox, though, claimed in Jan 2019 that it was Newsom who’d paid cash for the home – puzzling, since Newsom still carried a $3.2 million mortgage on his prior home
  • In Oct 2019 the LLC gifted the home to the Newsoms free and clear, claiming Newsom was a member of the LLC to avoid a $4,000 Transfer Tax
  • In January 2020 the Newsoms received $2.7 million tax-free when they obtained a cash-out refinance
  • Newsom’s financial disclosure forms don’t mention the LLC or the gifts, which far exceed the $500 limit
  • In 2003, Newsom was cited for failing to disclose $11 million in real estate and business loans

One thing that’s become extraordinarily clear to Californians in 2020 is that there’s one set of rules for Gov. Gavin Newsom, and there’s another set of rules for the rest of us. He preaches that we’re all in this together and that we have to sacrifice to “meet this moment,” yet he’s not missing a paycheck.

As California businesses struggle, he sends a $1 billion contract for masks to a Chinese company. When he shut down wineries throughout 80 percent of California, he kept his open.

While the dream of owning a home is increasingly out of reach for California’s families, it appears that Newsom received a $3.7 million estate from an LLC owned by his cousin then, a few months later took out a $2.695 million (tax-free) cash-out mortgage on it — and didn’t report the gift on any of his financial disclosure forms.

Yes, it’s clear that Gavin Newsom doesn’t live by the same rules the rest of us do. It’s good to be king.

What.

An.

Asshole.

In any sane universe, Newsom would be impeached, removed from office, and facing criminal charges.  But not now, not this Governor, not in California; he will certainly get away with this, and will probably be re-elected into the bargain, because in California, as we continually see confirmed, some animals are more equal than others, and “progressive” Democrat governors are obviously the most equal of them all.

The article linked here concludes:

If the $3.7 million used to purchase the home came from another source — donors, friends, or whomever — then Gavin and Jennifer Newsom were “gifted” the home, received $2,695,000 cash tax-free, and retain title to the home, that looks a lot like money laundering and/or concealing donations or improper gifts. Since it’s on record that he failed to report two “loans” Gordon Getty gave him, totaling $2.1 million, to purchase luxury real estate in the early 2000s, it’s not exactly against type for him to take money from benefactors then “mistakenly” omit that funding from financial disclosure records.

The more one examines all of the circumstances around Newsom’s Fair Oaks estate, the more questions arise. Gavin Newsom needs to provide real answers, not the kind he’s given in the past.

But we all know he won’t.  Nobody in the legacy media will ask any uncomfortable questions about this; nobody in the legacy media will write a single syllable about it.  Newsom has the one item of sure-fire armor against having any of these shenanigans investigated:

A “D” after his name.

Congratulations, California.  You’re getting the government you want, good and hard.

Rule Five Grand Theft Auto Friday

Only yesterday I reminded all you True Believers that today’s problems are solved with tomorrow’s technology.  Here’s another example of that happening in the last few years.  Excerpt:

Technology has made it very difficult to steal cars made after about 2000.  The old cars that can be stolen are not very valuable.  If it wasn’t for old Hondas retaining some of their value, auto theft would be down even further.  From the New York Times:

. . . 1990, the city had 147,000 reported auto thefts, one for every 50 residents; last year, there were just 7,400, or one per 1,100. That’s a 96 percent drop in the rate of car theft. . . .

The most important factor is a technological advance: engine immobilizer systems, adopted by manufacturers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These make it essentially impossible to start a car without the ignition key, which contains a microchip uniquely programmed by the dealer to match the car.

Criminals generally have not been able to circumvent the technology or make counterfeit keys. “It’s very difficult; not just your average perpetrator on the street is going to be able to steal those cars,” said Capt. John Boller, who leads the New York Police Department’s auto crime division. Instead, criminals have stuck to stealing older cars.

You can see this in the pattern of thefts of America’s most stolen car, the Honda Accord. About 54,000 Accords were stolen in 2013, 84 percent of them from model years 1997 or earlier, according to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a trade group for auto insurers and lenders. Not coincidentally, Accords started to be sold with immobilizers in the 1998 model year. The Honda Civic, America’s second-most stolen car, shows a similar pattern before and after it got immobilizer technology for model year 2001. . . .

Josh Barro, “Here’s Why Stealing Cars Went Out of Fashion,” New York Times, August 11, 2014.

Making it hard to steal cars undoubtedly matters a lot, but the drop in auto theft from 1991 to 2000 or 2001 is much larger than the drop from 2000 or 2001 to 2012.  However, the percentage drop from 2001 to 2012 (46%) is somewhat greater than the drop from 1991 to 2000 (37%).

Some years back, while I was working in Utah, I left the inestimable Rojito parked at the Salt Lake City Airport to fly home for a weekend.  On my return, I discovered I had left my keys at the house, and had to phone a locksmith.  The locksmith was able to make a physical key from a blank to open the door, but it didn’t work in the ignition; he ran the VIN number and discovered that my 1999 Ranger had an encoded key of the type described above.  Fortunately he had the right equipment to make such a key (it wasn’t cheap!) and his shop had the necessary licenses to get the required code from Ford with the VIN number.

Our newer vehicles, of course, all have such keys.

This isn’t something that it has occurred to me to look into in the last few years.  The fact that some cars are still being stolen, I think, we can probably attribute to carjackings or the opportunistic theft of a car left running with the keys in the ignition, which I have to say is a pretty dumb thing to do if you live in one of our major cities.

Read the original story, and look at the charts.  Larceny of all types has dropped in the time frame described, but auto theft has dropped dramatically more so.  And a big part of that is due to this technology.

Solving yesterday’s problems with today’s technology.  Ain’t it a wonderful thing?

Rule Five What Makes A Nation Friday

What makes a nation?

A nation is a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.  That’s a pretty good working definition.  But what makes a nation last?  Let’s kick that around some.

There are four things a nation has to have to remain a nation:

  • Commonality
  • Cohesion
  • Trust
  • Liberty

Now let’s take a look at each of those and apply them to the United States today, now, in July of 2020.

Commonality

We’ve always been a nation built of parts.  But the national motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) no longer seems to apply.  Our nation is fractured along partisan lines.  As recently as the Eighties, the two major political parties could find common ground on at least a few issues, but today?

Refusal to accept the outcomes of elections is now the order of the day.  The political Left is particularly to blame; if they can’t achieve goals through the usual means, they resort to judge-shopping or, recently, outright intimidation and violence.  As recently as the Eighties, we were all Americans.  Now there are voices calling not to reform our nation, but to tear it down – and some of them are in Congress.

Cohesion

The United States is probably more fractured than it has been at any time since 1865.  The divide then was along geographical lines, North v. South; now the divide is largely along cultural lines, urban v. suburban/rural.

And, yes, some of this is along racial lines as well.  Major cities tend to be more “diverse” in skin tone, although not so much in ideology.  Small towns and rural areas tend to be populated by people of pallor.  And there is now a distinct tendency for urban denizens to automatically assume “racism” on the part of the small-town/rural dwellers, even though the term “racist” has been so over-used as to be meaningless; any disagreement, now, with radical progressive viewpoints is labeled as “racist,” even as nobody points out the actual racism involved in viewing whites as fundamentally flawed and evil, due not to the content of their character, but rather the color of their skin.

Trust

I remember when I was a young man in the Seventies and Eighties, I operated on the assumption that almost everyone I met was probably a pretty decent person, and tended to view strangers as friends I hadn’t met yet.  That may have been my rural farm-boy upbringing, and probably involved a little naivete even then.

Now, though?

I’ve always been more comfortable out in the boonies than in a city.  But now our major cities are descending into chaos.  I’m not just talking about riots and arson; look at the feces-laden, discarded-needle messes that San Francisco and Los Angeles have descended into.   People venture into some of these places at their peril, because a plurality of the people in those cities, based on all available evidence, are not decent people, and should probably be avoided.

Liberty

Are you kidding?

We now live in a country where you have to beg permission from the government to cut someone’s hair or paint their nails.

Various levels of government confiscate a portion of our income every year with the threat of force (try not paying your taxes, and see how long it is before they send men with guns out looking for you.)  The average American now labors until sometime in April every year just to pay taxes.

It has even come to the point where, in many states, you have to beg the government for permission to exercise a Constitutionally defined right.  And I’m not talking just about the Second Amendment, but increasingly in the post-Kung Flu world, even the First.

And So:

Someone once said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  Our house is becoming increasingly divided, to the point where these four qualities, the ones that make a nation, no longer apply.

As I’ve said before and will say again, I’m hoping I don’t live to see the whole thing come apart.  I’m afraid my children and grandchildren will.  And, after the events of this year, I’m afraid I will as well.

Rule Five Climate Fraud Friday

A prominent environmentalist has an apology he’d like you to read.  Excerpt:

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. 

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30. 

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

  • Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction” 
  • The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”
  • Climate change is not making natural disasters worse
  • Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003
  • The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska
  • The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California
  • Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s 
  • Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level
  • We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter
  • Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change
  • Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels
  • Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

But here’s the real kicker; after the author, Michael Shellenberger, described how he didn’t speak out because he was afraid – yes, afraid – of his colleague’s reactions, he adds this:

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.” 

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.” 

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened. 

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence. 

 And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

I’ve bought my copy.  Will you?

Read the entire article, of course, as I always encourage.   Environmentalists like to claim their activism is based on science, but what Mr. Shellenberger describes is the precise opposite of science; it is a near-religious set of dogma, from which dissent is no allowed.

Science doesn’t work that way.  Science is much more akin to Mr. Shellenberger‘s thesis; that he had a hypothesis, but on learning the facts did not fit the hypothesis, instead of tweaking or ignoring the data he changed his hypothesis.

I understand that Mr. Shellenberger is a liberal Democrat, but that matters not a damn in this moment.  He has an important message, that facts matter, that the truth matters, and he’s working to get that out.  Activists lying to us for a variety of reasons, that’s nothing new.  Former activists admitting they were wrong and seeking to make things right – now that’s unusual.  Mr. Shellenberger will no doubt come under vicious attacks from his former fellows.  Let’s do what we can to support him – including buying his book.

Full disclosure:  Because of Colorado’s laws regarding internet sales, I am not an Amazon affiliate and receive no profit or other consideration from promoting this book.  I do it solely because the truth should be spread.  Widely.