Interesting Items 02/19

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue –

1.  Engoron
2.  Campaign
3.  Aloha
4.  Rare Earths
5.  Tires
6.  Girlfriend
7.  Gerrymandering
8.  EW

1.  Engoron.  The political hack installed by democrats as a state judge in NYC raised his regal hand and smiteth former President Trump with a whopping $354 million fine for illegalities in real estate valuation.  He also prohibited Trump from doing business in NY for three years.  Engoron levied fines of $4 million apiece on Trump sons Donald Jr and Eric. 

  • All fines fell out of civil fraud conviction for the prosecutor called false financial statements, something Engoron intentionally refuses to understand.  Note that Engoron found Trump guilty months ago without benefit of a trial (issuing a summary judgment in favor of the State) or talking to any witnesses other than NY Attorney General Letitia James, who was elected on a promise to get Trump.  This phase of the trial was to determine damages.  James requested $370 million, so I suppose $15 million less was a small victory.  The heart of charges was a dispute over what Trump claimed his property was worth.  James’ position is that Trump committed fraud by intentionally overvaluing his the worth of his property, something every single person nationwide has done or tried to do when selling anything.  In the NY real estate world (and in the greater world of commercial real estate), banks and other lending institutions do their due diligence and issue loans based on their valuation rather than whatever the seller is claiming.  The banks involved with Trump were all happy with the loans, considered the process normal, and were pleased when Trump paid off the loans early and in full.  Trump got convicted for a victimless crime.
  • While Trump is expected to appeal, he will likely need to put the balance of the fine into escrow during appeal.  Note that interest penalties will also accrue during the time of appeal.  The intent here appears to be an attempt to tie up all his liquidity for the balance of his presidential campaign.  It would be ironic if he comes up with liquid cash for escrow via another loan.  And there are probably banks that would issue that loan to Trump given his history.
  • The simple wrongness of this is difficult to overstate, as the justice system is systematically being perverted in multiple states and in federal court to target a single citizen.  I am reminded of the scene from A Man for All Seasons, when Sir Thomas More defends the law also applying to the Devil.

In their Ahab-esque pursuit of all things Trump, democrats are busily destroying the rule of law, happily so, completely oblivious to Round 2 (and there will be a Round 2).  Over the weekend, a WSJ editorial blasting the ruling and fine triggered a whopping 4,000+ comments overnight.  They broke 75 – 80% in favor of the fine.  But there is a bit of consternation in Mudville, as NY Governor Hochul went public with a statement to investors, business owners, and other property owners that NY was still a great place to do business, and the Trump fine was a special case.  Yeah, right.  A special case right up until the next effective political opponent on the right puts his (or her) head above the board and becomes the next nail that must be hammered down.  Bang.  Bang.  Bang.

  • With the Mattis caution that the enemy gets a vote in mind, what does the political right and any other law-abiding citizen have in mind for NY and to a lesser degree, Delaware which used the judicial system to financially assault a business owner?  Nothing organized as yet, though the marketplace is starting to act.  In Delaware’s case, a fully owned and operated subsidiary of the Biden Crime Family, businesses are no longer incorporating in the state, moving to more business-friendly locales.  We’ve seen none of this as yet in NY, though Hochul doesn’t make her public comments unless she and her people have gotten phone calls.  A few truckers are discussing rejecting loads to NY.  I would caution against doing this, as once they self-identify, they will be targeted for economic destruction for daring to do what the leftists have managed to turn into a cottage industry. 
  • The key to all of this ends up being the appellate NY judiciary, the appeals courts and the NY Supreme Court.  All are democrats.  All are intensely partisan.  All hate Trump to varying degrees.  We will see if they are smart enough to throw out both this and the Carroll defamation award and save the economy of their state.  From here, my guess is that the possibility of that happening is less than 50-50%.

2.  Campaign.  Several campaign-related bits of news this week follow.

  • First is the different treatment of Secret Service security protection for presidential candidates.  On one hand, Mayorkas and his henchmen denied RFK Jr’s request for Secret Service protection on several occasions.  Senator Ted Cruz took them to task for the denial after the RFK campaign issued a 67-page analysis detailing personal threats to the candidate.  As of this writing, it is my understanding that Mayorkas personally rejected previous requests.  On the other hand, a bipartisan congressional advisory panel requested Secret Service protection for Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and sent the request to Mayorkas for final action.  Should he approve it, he demonstrates the double standard running rampant in the Dementia Hitler regime.  Should he deny it, RFK Jr is in much larger danger than Haley, as the leftist crazies have been loosed on him.
  • In an attempt to save his crashing support among young voters, the Dementia Hitler reelection campaign decided to join Tik Tok, the CCP propaganda tool that is not publicly available within China.  Note that this is the same Dementia Hitler who has banned Tik Tok on government devices. 
  • Final campaign story has Janet Yellen’s Treasury asking banks to surveil their customers for transactions with the words MAGA, Trump and Kamala (among others).  This surveillance was originally done around Jan 6 dates to flag targets for the FBI.  Today it is apparently being used to flag targets for debanking and future politically based harassment.  If dementia Hitler is so popular, why do they need to intimidate Americans who don’t support them?  Imagine what Saddam could have done with this sort of institutional surveillance structure.

3.  Aloha.  The word Aloha in Hawaii is used as both a greeting and a goodbye.  The Hawaiian Supreme Court found a third use, as a vehicle, an excuse used to strip Hawaiians of their second amendment rights.  The unanimous opinion found that so-called Sprit of Aloha, enshrined in the state constitution overrides both the US Constitution and the recent SCOTUS Bruen opinion.  The Hawaiian Supremes specifically went after Bruen, accusing it of snubbing federalism.  It is always cute when the left demands or rejects federalism based little more than on whatever it is they want to do to their citizens at the time.  Appealing this outrage ought to be festive.

4.  Rare Earths.  Good news, at least for a little while, out of Wyoming, with the discovery of a massive, rare earth find SW of Wheatland.  The exploratory company controls 367 mining claims on some 25 km2 of land.  Most exploratory drilling for mineral finds tend to find less minerals the farther out they explore.  This one is working the other way, finding more minerals the more holes they drill.  This already moved the estimate of recoverable minerals from 1.2 million metric tons to 2.34 billion metric tons.  Worldwide rare earth mineral demand today is around 60,000 metric tons/year.  In normal times, this would be great news.  Sadly, not so much with a democrat regime in charge.  Anyone else remember the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument created by Bill Clinton?  That national monument locked up a mineral find in Utah and was apparently done at the behest of then Clinton friends, Indonesian businessman James Riady.  Another example would be the Pebble Mine here in Alaska, a green cause celeb for decades, that took the EPA to finally kill (at least for a while).  Pebble is a rare earths mine in addition to copper and gold.  Pebble is also on state land, not unlike the new find in Wyoming.  Don’t be surprised if an orchestrated effort isn’t made to lock this find up in another national monument sometime in the not-so-distant future.

5.  Tires.  One of the long-range green goals is the eventual elimination of all private vehicles.  The technique is to make them as expensive as humanly possible while doing everything humanly possible to block any and all affordable replacements.  Last week’s example of this is legislation proposed in Washington state that attempts to outlaw the most popular auto tires.  The technique is to mandate low rolling resistance tires on all passenger vehicles.  Violations will be enforced by a $10,000 fine for each occurrence.  The legislation was snuck into another bill without benefit of going through the normal legislative process where people actually have to read what they vote on. 

6.  Girlfriend.  From the world of is better to have bad morals than no morals at all, we have MA Gov Maura Healey, celebrated as the first gay governor in MA, who nominated a former girlfriend to an open seat on the state supreme court.  The open seat was filled by a previous Republican governor, meaning Healey will get a double tap, shoving the court majority nicely to the left, all in the name of diversity, I’m sure.  Democrats get to do this sort of nepotism all the time with impunity.  I expect the nomination to be approved by the MA Governor’s Council.

7.  Gerrymandering.  Gerrymandering, the art of drawing legislative districts to favor one side over the other in the political wars, is something that has been around as long as the nation.  It is normally an intractable issue, these days solved by judge shopping and outlawyering the other side.  Perhaps there is another approach, at least theoretically.  This approach comes out of the old kid’s problem of equally dividing a piece of pie or cake.  If one person gets to cut the pie / cake, there are endless arguments about which one is larger.  OTOH, if the agreement is for one person to cut it, while the other gets to select which piece they want, the squabbles tend to be minimized.  The technique is essentially self-enforcing.  Is there a way to do this with Gerrymandering?  There might be.  The game in Gerrymandering is played by cracking (splitting a party’s votes among several districts to dilute its power), and packing, (concentrating a party’s voters in a single district so as to minimize its influence elsewhere).  What if we apply the pie / cake cutting technique and allow one party to define a map of equal population contiguous districts and the other party to then combine pairs of contiguous districts to create the final map?  As I said earlier, this has never been done in the real world, but would seem to be a theoretical solution, or something to at least look into. 

8.  EW.  Electronic Warfare (EW) comes to home security, with the use of WiFi jamming to disable cameras in nine MN burglaries.  This technique has been suspected for several years.  Its expansion to MN, which is not known as a high-tech state is an indication that the jamming tools are getting cheaper and easier to acquire.  Most surveillance systems today are wireless, which requires some sort of WiFi, either central in the home, or local in the devices that wirelessly interconnect among one another.  There are detectors that can be downloaded into smart phones that allow you to scan for WiFi signals.  And if you can see them, you can hack or jam them.  The EW world is growing and changing just as fast as any other computer-enabled business.  If it hasn’t arrived in your locale yet, it is on the way and will be there sooner rather than later. 

More later –

  • AG

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