Weekly Roundup: The Skater, The Father, And The Hydroxychloroquine Effect Edition

There were five of them. Five children, between the ages of nine and eleven. The court document uses bland phrasing that nonetheless sickens you as you read it. “(REDACTED) was anally penetrated by the Defendant on March 27, 2002, as was his twin.” To prevent the children from telling on him, to increase his power over children he had repeatedly sodomized, “the Defendant” would burn them. The Defendant’s own mother knew the Defendant was broken in some way; she turfed him out as soon as he turned eighteen. The Defendant used the sympathy of others in the community to get access to their children. Five of them, between the ages of nine and eleven. He went to prison for a while. He was released. He met a woman and impregnated her. Something happened — nobody appears to know — and he fled the state away from the woman and child, jumping bail for existing domestic abuse and battery charges on the way out.

The Defendant had an associate. This associate was designated a repeat domestic abuser by his local court. Several times he beat his female partner to the point that the police got involved. He strangled her. He suffocated her. He used weapons against her as well as his fists. At one point, this associate was convicted of false imprisonment, which doesn’t make any sense to the average reader in but in court-speak means, “the victim tried to leave but he kept her in the house so he could keep beating her”. He was given mild conditions of probation — like stay away from that woman — but he couldn’t follow those conditions, so he was locked up several times as a consequence.

I don’t think anyone deserves to be described or defined in terms of the worst thing they ever did. Nor do I think that people are unable to change for the better. That being said, both of these people had long-demonstrated histories of sexual violence towards children and/or women. They weren’t rookies. They weren’t making tragic, but singular, mistakes. They had established patterns of behavior. Calling them “abusers” or “sex criminals” would be like calling your humble author “ugly” — unkind, but adequately supported by the evidence. The media of this country repeatedly referred to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a “rapist” and “predator” based on much less evidence and no admission of guilt. So what could these two people, the man who raped nine-year-olds and the man who trapped a woman in a house so he could suffocate her, do to be described, glowingly, as a father, and a skater?

You already know, of course. It’s The Hydoxychroloquine Effect.

Matt Taibbi coined the phrase this week in a fervent argument against Donald Trump:

American politics has become an interminable clash of off-putting pathologies. Call it the hydroxychloroquine effect. Trump one day in a press conference mutters that a drug has “tremendous promise” as a treatment of coronavirus. Within ten seconds a consensus forms that hydroxycholoroquine is snake oil, and the New York Times is running stories denouncing Trump’s “brazen willingness to distort and outright defy expert opinion and scientific evidence when it does not suit his agenda.”
Then you read the story and find out doctors have been prescribing the drug, that “early reports from doctors in China and France have said that [it] seemed to help patients,” and moreover that the actual quote about it being a “game changer” from Trump included the lines, “Maybe not” and “What do I know? I’m not a doctor.” In response to another Trump quote on the subject, “What do you have to lose?” journalists piled on again, quoting the president of the American Medical Association to remind audiences “you could lose your life” — as if Trump had recommended that people run outside and mainline the stuff…
All of which is insane, but so is rooting for a drug to not work in the middle of a historic pandemic, the clear subtext of nearly every news story on this topic dating back to March. Rule #1 of the Trump era is that everything Trump touches quickly becomes as infamous as he is, maybe not the biggest deal when talking about an obscure anti-malarial drug, but problematic when the subject is America itself.

We’re still in the middle of this Trope Namer. Recently, the Henry Ford health system released a study that was very positive about hydroxychloroquine. That didn’t stop Forbes from describing the medication this week as “A Dubious Coronavirus Treatment Endorsed By Trump”. One gets the feeling that if Donald Trump spoke positively about drinking water, half of the media would run a headline like

Trump’s Reckless Endorsement of Dihydrogen Monoxide, A Substance That Kills Thousands A Year, Raises Concern — Two Children Die At A Beach After Ingesting It

This sort of guilt-or-exoneration-by-association has a long history in politics. When I was a child I still regularly heard adults refer to Tippecanoe and Tyler too!, a song from 1840 meant to sway an election in favor of William Henry Harrison. President Harrison had defeated Tecumseh in 1811 at Tippecanoe, a battle which did quite a bit to establish European-American hegemony in the country. If you liked the victory at Tippecanoe, you’d obviously like the fellow who made it happen! As it happened, President Harrison did not live long enough to enjoy his inevitable meme-assisted triumph, dying on his thirty-first day in office. But you get the point.

I don’t think any sane person would attempt to suggest that the American media does not have a strong leftward tendency, although my friends in the Adbusters crowd would no doubt respond that the media has a corporate-leftward tendency rather than a genuine affinity for socialism. It’s certainly true that the media is eerily silent on matters like “how the iPhone is made” or “how Goldman and Blackrock print money using federal backing”, but in general it leans left to a truly staggering degree. JFK started the Vietnam War, LBJ turned it into a nightmare, and Richard Nixon ended it — but you’d be hard-pressed to infer that from the way they were treated by the media at the time. George W. Bush, a man lionized in retrospect for painting portraits of immigrants, was “Bushitler” in his day. Mitt Romney, a feckless corporate raider fully and completely devoted to the modern Gospel of social-liberalism-combined-with-economic-feudalism, was given the Hitler treatment and then some when he ran against Obama. The media has been left-leaning for a long time, possibly as long as a century.

The election of President Trump unleashed something more than that. For the first time in American history, the media gave up even the pretense of impartiality. The daily Presidential press briefing became a sort of theatre-in-the-round where various journalists attempted to buff their brands by louder and ruder hectoring of the press secretary. R&B singer John Legend was praised for calling Sarah Huckabee Sanders fat. A series of bizarre narratives, most of them concerning Russia, were given front-and-center treatment by the press every single day — for years on end.

Inevitably, this led to The Hydroxychloroquine Effect, in which all things are now judged by how they relate to Donald Trump. It seems certain now that an unknown, but not zero, number of people have died because Trump’s muttering aside about hydroxychroloquine made left-leaning medical authorities undermine its validity as a treatment. New York’s mayor actually asked people to eat in Chinatown in response to Trump’s travel restrictions back in February, almost certainly accelerating the spread of COVID-19. As Taibbi points out, the Republican Party’s platform is now “whatever Donald wants” and the Democratic Party’s platform is now “whatever Donald doesn’t want”.

In the grip of That Effect, the media has no trouble obscuring, conveniently forgetting, or deliberately choosing not to learn anything that might possibly give aid or comfort to Donald Trump or his supporters. Which leads us to Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who were promoted from “child rapist” and “serial abuser” to “father” (of a two-year-old daughter he abandoned in another state while fleeing charges for assaulting that child’s mother) and “skateboarder” (who apparently liked to wrap up a day of skating by beating some women). Why? Because they were shot in the Kenosha protests by a kid with an AR-15. (The kid, by the way, has been promoted to “white supremacist” although he never expressed an opinion on the subject and, indeed, didn’t shoot any black people.) They died for The Cause and therefore they received a martyr’s courtesy. Given that the 4chan crowd had Rosenbaum’s history in hand about an hour after the shooting, the media must have had access to the same information and more. They knew he raped children. Instead, we got this:

A friend and local business owner described the three activists as peaceful demonstrators who reportedly rallied against police brutality and systemic racism while condemning the use of violence during protests.
“They came out here every time with us. Sweet. Loving. They were the sweetest hearts, souls. I called Anthony my hippie guy,” Porche Bennett told the Kenosha News. “They were sweet guys. We knew all three of them, but (Huber) was the one who would always come up to me. Always would be right by me.”
A GoFundMe campaign set up to help Huber’s family pay for funeral expenses described him as a “witty and awesome skateboarder.”

A GoFundMe campaign set up for Rittenhouse, naturally, was removed. And why not? He’d removed the “sweetest hearts, souls” from this mortal coil. A father and a skateboarder. To use the infamous phrase from the “Charlottesville hoax”, described in the video that heads this article, they were “fine people”.

It should be noted that the Republicans have their “NeverTrumpers”, so-called tradcons whose disgust for Trump is almost as strong as their love of cheap labor and getting paid to be the Washington Generals of politics, but the Democrats don’t appear to have anyone who can be bothered to stand up against The Hydroxychloroquine Effect. Except, that is, poor Matt Taibbi. He despises Trump, but he is unwilling to burn the village to save it. How silly of him. Can we end this post with a parody take on “The Rainbow Connection”, just to emphasize that silliness? Yes, we can.

Why are there so many
Stories ’bout Hitler
The guy on the other side
Trump has his visions
They’re only illusions
Hydroxy must be a lie
So we’ve been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they’re wrong wait and see
Someday we’ll find it
The Hydro Effect-ion
The fathers, the skaters and Taibbi

* * *

For Hagerty, I drove an open-wheeled race car, informed readers about the new Ghost, and considered the validity of Rolls-Royce as a brand.

51 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: The Skater, The Father, And The Hydroxychloroquine Effect Edition”

  1. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    Coherent, thoughtful, relevant…

    …unfortunately it just doesn’t matter anymore. This disorienting nightmare… created by our media with a “left-leaning tendency”, amplified by the rise of a rabidly propagandist social media, condoned and urged by the Democratic party… is a resounding success for the culture war they waged. Think about it: even if you support Trump, which many here do, you have to admit the reality that his re-election would produce a more disastrous effect than his defeat… simply because of what our culture war conquerors will do to us and the country to make us pay….

    The US is lost and unrecoverable. Everyone, across the spectrum, knows it one way or the other. Sorry for all those who have kids…

    • AvatarScottS

      “you have to admit the reality that his re-election would produce a more disastrous effect than his defeat… simply because of what our culture war conquerors will do to us and the country to make us pay….”

      Only if we continue to allow them to “do to us and make us pay”. If there is truly a disaster waiting in the wings it will end much more horrifically for them than for us. The tolerance of mainstream American is not limitless.

      • AvatarNewbie Jeff

        Of course we’ll continue to allow it… the only American with the moral clarity and backbone to shoot back at the domestic terrorists who have violently taken America’s city streets is a 17-yr old kid… and he’s in jail, the media is spinning a dizzying web of lies against him while the violent extremists run free…

        There should be massive demonstrations in support of this kid… millions of us should be in the street, to tell the sick, authoritarian urban political class that this was the last straw, that as much as they’ve destroyed so far, they’re not going to destroy this kid with their lies, manipulation, and Doublethink. And yet, there’s nothing… despite the overwhelming evidence Kyle Rittenhouse should be completely exonerated of “1st degree murder”, we’re all going to allow this shitshow to keep going…

        And why is that? Because, like myself, we’ve still got it good for the moment, in our respective bubbles… we’ll hope beyond hope that it’s not as bad as we suspect, the country has seen tumultuous times before, everything will work out. So of course we’ll continue to allow it… just like we’ve allowed it for decades…

        • Avatarrambo furum

          “There should be massive demonstrations in support of this kid…”
          If the usual modern means of free assembly and organization, aka social media, offered free and equal access to all points of view instead of harshly prejudicial censorship, this would have already been done. But the ministries of truth have us all isolated into our own little prisoner’s dilemmas.

          If there is a prime failure of Trump’s, beside allowing his son-in-law to have any influence, it is that he allowed his supporters to be squelched and eliminated from Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. They are blatantly guilty of civil rights abuses worthy of thorough federal criminal investigation. Instead, we got half-assed hearings where the villains brazenly lied and walked off. Why were they not all given Roger Stone style public arrests?

          • Avatarstingray65

            “They are blatantly guilty of civil rights abuses worthy of thorough federal criminal investigation. Instead, we got half-assed hearings where the villains brazenly lied and walked off. Why were they not all given Roger Stone style public arrests?”

            Because 99% of the Justice Department are Democrats, as are the permanent bureaucracies of almost all Federal and Blue State/City agencies. Laws don’t apply to swamp dwellers and their supporters.

        • AvatarKevin Jaeger

          “There should be massive demonstrations in support of this kid… millions of us should be in the street, to tell the sick, authoritarian urban political class that this was the last straw, that as much as they’ve destroyed so far, they’re not going to destroy this kid”

          Indeed, that is exactly what should be happening. If the country’s founding documents have any residual meaning at all, it is that as a last resort free citizens have a right to grab a rifle and defend themselves, their property and their community from a mob. Every individual and organization with a supposed mandate to defend the constitution or individual rights should be standing behind this kid and ensuring he isn’t sacrificed to the mob. The NRA and similar organizations may as well surrender right now if they aren’t prepared to stand up and be counted at a time like this.

        • AvatarScottS

          I think if Kyle Rittenhouse, the “17 year old”, is given a fair trial he will likely be acquitted of most charges being brought against him. I have a lot of questions as to why a 17 year old is out at night in the middle of a riot carrying an AR15? What the hell were his parents doing? Please note, I’m not going to cast blame or give an opinion based on little fact, but this is the stuff that will be dragged out in court.

          If it is massive protest that will fix this situation and send a message that average citizens expect our elected officials to maintain law and order we should be protesting the treatment of Mark and Patricia McCloskey at the hands of St Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. Here is a situation where these people did not go out looking for trouble, but rather trouble forcibly came to there home.

          The first response is flight. Decent people don’t protest. People with assets don’t put those things at risk unnecessarily. If they live in large urban centers, they are now fleeing if they have the option to do so. If these organized and well funded anarchist decide to bring chaos to the suburbs and small towns after the cities are abandoned they will face people who will not easily be bullied, intimidated and injured. They will also find deputy police and sheriffs who must answer to the voters, not a mayor or city council.

          • AvatarNewbie Jeff

            “…we should be protesting the treatment of Mark and Patricia McCloskey at the hands of St Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner”

            Great point, agree completely.

      • AvatarLynnG

        Just read the Matt Taibbi article and could not stop laughing, guys and gals you have to click on the link Jack provided, the author is rabbidly against Trump but he falls victum to his own distain of the President. It is a funny read because he can not see he the author is a parody of his own writting.

        The RR article was really informative as one would have thought that the post-war auto industry problems of all the British brands would have not effected RR but Jack points out that they were.

  2. AvatarGene

    You’ll never be invited to pen for carbuzz.

    This should be seen by so many more than the learned few who will read it here. Actually it should be printed on very heavy stock, perhaps a plank of some sort, and used to beat the right sort of people.

  3. AvatarCliffG

    This reminds me that believing in “Russian Collusion” only required two things: ignorance of Russia and ignorance of Trump voters. Other than that, it was a completely sound theory.

  4. Avatarhank chinaski

    Other bits of interest:

    HCQ, a generic for decades, is pennies a dose. The much touted alternative, costs over 3K per. You can bet your ass that several Congresscritters own mucho shares in Gilead.

    Rittenhouse apparently earned the ire of the Antifa by extinguishing the cars they were firing in a nearby parking lot.

    During his ten year stint, Mr. Rosenbaum earned over 40 serious disciplinary infractions, presumably for violent and or sexual offenses in prison.

    The third, assailant, Gaige Grossrkeutz, aka ‘Lefty’, also had previous felony weapons charges, and possibly burglary as well.

    Speaking of, how are John’s groupings at 100 yds? Don’t answer.

    • Avatarstingray65

      Big Pharma is pulling lots of strings in the media to make sure HCQ gets only negative coverage as a possible WuFlu treatment, and since about 90% of media revenues seem to come from drug advertising they have lots of string to pull. What is absolutely hilarious, however, is that HCQ is being criticized as untested and potentially unsafe even though it has been used by billions of people for malaria and other maladies for decades with virtually no complaint, and many are suggesting that the low number of WuFlu cases in tropical malaria prone areas of the world is because so many are taking HCQ for malaria.

      On the other hand, the Democrats are claiming it won’t be safe to reopen the economy until there is a vaccine, and big Pharma has pulled out all the stops to develop one in record time, which means it won’t be properly tested for either effectiveness or safety. And if it would be available before Nov 3, 2020, or after that date if Trump wins you can be sure that the Democrats and the media will be promoting how potentially unsafe it would be to widely a distribute an untested drug, but if Biden wins the same sources will be encouraging mandates to force everyone to take the vaccine and giving Biden and the Democrats full credit for their quick and effective response to the crisis.

  5. AvatarDuong Ngyuen

    I cannot agree with this article more.

    If Trump had recommended/pushed mask wearing at the beginning of the pandemic there would have been hundreds of liberal think pieces on why “masks are problematic” or “what the science actually says about masks” that would contradict everything they’re saying now.

  6. AvatarJohn C.

    On the Ghost, do you think that getting it off the 7 series platform is a sign that Rolls might be sold off? Other theories are worry that the 7 series will end leaving Rolls a dead platform as happened with the Jag XJ. Or perhaps leaving room, for a cheaper Rolls sedan below, say LS500 size.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Rolls-Royce appears to be highly profitable so I don’t think there’s any chance of it being sold soon. The 7-Series probably has one more generation left to go before it is terminated in favor of an upscale X7, but the Ghost/Wraith will continue because there is a social messaging to a Rolls-Royce sedan (not to mention a seat height) that doesn’t exist with a 760iL.

  7. Avatarbjarnetv

    The Rolls Royce piece was a very good read, and and i had to chuckle at the closing line, even if i knew it was coming.

    Personally, i think the newer Phantoms will be bought and maintained by pretty much the same kind of crowd as the old one.

    As a millennial, i grew up hearing that no one would take care of 90s cars, as they were too digital and pretty much unrepairable in a few years, not to mention soulless and disposable.
    just the though that a 90s car would one day turn 30 years old and achieve classic car status was enough to get the older car guys foaming.
    (we have a 30 year classic car rule over here in Norway, with cheaper insurance and road tax)

    Nowadays, 90s cars are finally becoming classics, and to many people of my generation, it truly feels like a short goldilocks period when cars were modern, but still well proportioned and fun to drive (with good visibility)

    I recently picked up a nice low milage 95 Jaguar XJR, just to have one before scarcity makes the prices soar out of my reach, and there is just something about cars from the era that feel right to me.

    I’m sure the same thing will happen to cars from the 2000s – the hot Renaults like the Clio v6, the Bangle era BMWs, Golf Rs, ACTUAL GOOD LOOKING AUDIS!

    The current generation of cars, with their bloated cybaroque styling and horribly fast but uncharismatic turbocharged engines dont appeal to me at all, but i’m sure there is a young generation of fans who cant wait to grow up and buy the lumpy overstyled car of their dreams.

    Who knows for how long that kind of hobby will be mainstream though, as we are fast approaching general electrification and obsolescence of ICE engines (as long as there is fuel available i guess people will keep wrenching)

    As a short digression on RR – Growing up close to a Rolls Royce Marine factory, i have always let the heavy industry arms of Rolls Royce colour my impression of the brand in a good way, even if they are not the same company.
    There is just something extra trustworthy in a brand that has an association with heavy industries.
    Why, oh why did Subaru abandon its Fuji Heavy Industries name – it sounded so good!!

    (sorry if the text is a bit unorganized, but i wrote it while enjoying a nice, refreshing, cold and soothing beer, so it turned out a bit stream of consciousnessy)

    • Avatarstingray65

      I’ve seen several videos on YouTube showing do-it-yourself maintenance and repairs for the 2003+ Phantom. By exotic car standards it seems to be pretty straight forward and reasonably reliable and durable, and greatly helped by sharing lots of bits with cheaper BMWs. On the other hand, Hoovies Garage has featured an early 90s Turbo R Bentley that has spent 6+ months in the garage to get some reliability problems diagnosed with no success so far due to some funky obsolete fuel injection and hydraulic system issues.

      • Avatarbjarnetv

        Yeah, pre OBD fuel injection can be a pain, as fault finding includes whipping out the trusty old voltmeter and measuring tons of sensors with cryptic readings. (looking at you Renix)

        Luckily, aftermarket ECU’s are a thing, so you could always just replace the entire system if parts become unobtainable.

      • Avatararbuckle

        I think they got the Turbo R rolling recently. Something with a bad distributor belt or pulley (that the already replaced once) seemed to be the issue.
        I’m not sure how much actual work hours were spent on it versus just sitting time (hopefully he’ll say), but at least it was actually repairable compared to the Alpina B7 which I think was just sent to the boneyard.

        • AvatarCarmine

          Did they? I quit watching him 4 months ago, I just could not anymore….”look how stupid I am I just bought blah blah”…….that shtick just got really old.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Let’s hope you’re right — and yeah, I remember Satch Carlson griping about how the 1992 BMW would be impossible to maintain.

      Effective 3-D printing and fast-fab of Megasquirt-style universal modules would make it possible to maintain the current cars.

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        There is a new line of printing filaments that is highly infused with metal, so much so that the print can be sintered with heat and produce a relatively solid metal part (there’s some porosity). It’s available with copper, brass, steel, aluminum, and titanium and it will work with most filament printers. Unfortunately, it’s more than $300 for a spool of just 500 grams. The printers that directly sinter metal powder are six and seven figures. In time, prices will come down but your average restoration shop isn’t going to be able to print usable metal parts in-house for a long time.

    • AvatarCJinSD

      “Why, oh why did Subaru abandon its Fuji Heavy Industries name – it sounded so good!!”

      Maybe all those head-gaskets, all that rust, and all those half-shafts were destroying their credibility with their equipment and shipping customers.

    • AvatarJMcG

      My son drives a 96 Ford F-150. A short bed two wheel drive with a three inch lift and moderately big tires. It has the straight six and a five speed. That truck will never leave this family. Everywhere he goes, people want to buy it. It’s the most pickup looking pickup ever. My ‘16 is much more comfortable and capable, but I know which one has my heart.

  8. Avatarstingray65

    How about the guy who started it all in Kenosha? Jacob Blake had a long rap sheet for violence. His former girlfriend and baby mom had a restraining order against him because of sexual/physical abuse and she called the police when he showed up at her house. The Kenosha police dutifully showed up and he resisted arrest and physically abused the police, who tazed him twice to no effect – he then proceeded to get in a stolen car with “his” kids locked in back ignoring police commands to stop – he either had a knife in his hand or was reaching in to get it when he was shot 7 times by the police. Without waiting for any facts, investigation, or giving the police any benefit of the doubt, the governor, mayor and every Democrat and mainstream media in the country condemned the shooting and made a hero out of Blake who was “shot in cold blood in front of his kids”. Kenosha went up in flames.

    I have yet to see any editorial that considered what might have happened it the police had let him grab a knife and start slashing away or perhaps put a knife to the neck of one of the children, or allowed him to drive away in the stolen vehicle and perhaps kidnap or kill the children in a fit of rage or recklessness. The children are likely scarred by the shooting, but wouldn’t they also be scarred by seeing their father fight with police, abuse their mother, and forcibly take them away in a stolen car? And what is the solution when force cannot be used to capture criminals who decide they don’t feel like cooperating – send him a ticket in the mail? And Kenosha burns and taxpayers are no doubt paying for Mr. Blake’s hospital bills and he will no doubt sue the city using hate laws for a nice cash settlement.

    And what about shooting survivor Gaige Grossrkeutz who was seconds away from putting a magazine worth of bullets into young Rittenhouse when the boy put a bullet into his shooting arm holding the gun. Mr. Grossrkeutz was not legally authorized to have a pistol, and in fact had previously been arrested for illegal possession of a firearm. I thought Democrats wanted “common sense” gun control, so why isn’t Mr. Grossrkeutz in jail for illegal possession and use of a firearm, attempted murder, and parole violation – as far as I have heard he hasn’t even been charged.

    The United States is done as a nation when laws only apply to white male Republicans, because as young Mr. Rittenhouse demonstrates – you don’t want to get into a gun fight with that demographic. Speaking of which, why is Pelosi not in jail?

  9. AvatarPaul M.

    I read the article on history of Rolls Royce. It resonated and for some reason made me think back to the Grand Wagoneer reveal this past Thursday. It seems the new owner of Jeep wants to make sure we know this new vehicle, this monstrosity, comes from Detroit. To that effect, they have a map of Detroit painted on that moon roof (Mustang Vista roof?). And it is American, so picture of American flag, you know.

    Yet, here was a French man trying to explain what a Grand Wagoneer is supposed to be. It was almost surreal. Like a German trying to explain what a Rolls is supposed to be. The Frenchman tried to talk about how Grand Wagoneer is supposed to be about cabins in the mountains in expensive places in Colorado(something to that effect), yet Wrangler is about Rubicon. As though somehow Jeep was trying to stay away from the RUGGEDNESS THAT IS THE BRAND. Separating Grand Wagoneer from Wrangler and Jeep. No Jeep names on the concept. How crazy is that?

    I hope Jeep doesn’t forget what made it popular. It is authentic. Stay true to your roots and you will shine. Try to be something you are not (Hi new 8 series that is a pig that is no BMW) and people can see right through you.

    As is the Grand Wagoneer has no chance of displacing the dynasty that is the GM triplets in the large SUV segment.

  10. AvatarCJinSD

    Formula First sounds like a dream series to me, but what you left out was whether or not your competitiveness suffered from the go-kart/Danica Patrick-IndyCar effect as a 6’2″ and 240 pound man. Are the cars ballasted? Could you change the handling balance mid-corner with your hips like Michael Schumacher ruining the dreams of the Brazilian karting community? Enquiring 6’2″, 240 pound racers want to know.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I would have no trouble fitting in, and making weight for, this series. Even 40 pounds heavy in someone else’s car I was competitive. That being said, I didn’t have even a spare half inch to move my hips!

  11. AvatarJoe

    Nicely done! This would be well received on Parler where it would be read by hundreds if not thousands.

    Good luck with your Roller acquisitions, I’m thinking more Bentley.

    It seems the grapes were not sweet on the day you wrote about the Good Morning America T.50?

    Kyle Rittenhouse should be exonerated, given a medal & a parade and sent all expenses paid to Gunsite Academy for a weeks worth of training. (he could have had a hat trick with “Lefty”) [but try shooting on your back and under attack] {never bring a skateboard to a gun fight}

    When the looting starts, the shooting starts.

    Newbie – well named, I perhaps along with Jack, Bark and others will meet the anarchists with bullets. Our Founders never gave up (and could have, read the history). Be like Our Founders.

    Remember, No One expects the Spanish Inquisition. (a line never in a rap song I hope)

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I think the T.50 is a stunning piece of work and I’m glad it exists. I just wish we hadn’t managed to create a situation in the automotive world where there were very few high-quality driving experiences available to middle-class people. The current ND2 Miata is probably the best four-cylinder sports car in history but it stands essentially alone.

      • AvatarKevin Jaeger

        Hmm. I look in my driveway and I see a Miata, a Mustang GT and my wife’s grocery getter VW GTI. If any of them are not sufficiently exciting in stock form all three have a vast aftermarket offering all of the track-oriented bits one could want. I’m not rich but I own three pretty interesting cars that could easily be modified to smoke supercars from the 70s or 80s on a track.

        I’m just not sure things are as dire as you say, or were ever as rosy in the past. Yes, the current auto market is dominated by bloated SUVs and there are great number of absurdly expensive hypercars that a guy like me can’t afford. So what? Does that really make my track days with my Miata or Mustang less enjoyable?

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          This is a boiling-frog situation; you just haven’t felt the heat yet.

          There have been just three popular-priced enthusiast cars introduced since the turn of the century — the Fiesta ST, Scion/Toyota/Subaru GT86, and the Veloster N. Two of these were effectively replacements for other cars — the Toyota Celica GT-S and the Scoupe/Tiburon/Genesis Coupe. Now here’s what we’ve lost, just offhand:

          * CRX, Civic coupes, civic 2-door hatches
          * Escort GT/Focus SVT/Focus ST/Focus RS — in fact, all fast Fords beneath the Mustang
          * Mazdaspeed 3 and 6
          * All performance Chevrolets beneath Camaro
          * All performance Nissans with the exception of a lukewarm Sentra Turbo and the ancient 370Z
          * All performance Mitsubishis
          * Two-door GTIs
          * All performance Chryslers below Challenger
          * All stick-shift BMWs, Benzes, and Audis

          Yes, you can still go into a dealer and buy a stick-shift Miata or Mustang GT. But the ecosystem in which they competed is all but gone.

          • Avatarstingray65

            To take a glass half-full perspective – yes we have lost many affordable sporty car alternatives in recent times because people aren’t buying them, but there are still a lot interesting choices out there that are in the new popular formats: CUV and pickup. Just to take BMW – the X2M35 and X3M40 will beat a E46 M3 around most tracks and are inflation adjusted cheaper to buy and operate with 8 speed automatics are faster and more economical than any possible manual option, and the same is true of equivalent CUVs from Mercedes, Audi, and Volvo. Hot versions of the F-150 or RAM pickups are faster than any hot Ford or Chrysler Corp. pony car from the golden age of the 1960s and 70s, and spank a modern Miata or GT86. Sure these hot CUVs and pickups would likely melt their brakes and burn through tires very quickly in very few hot laps around a track, but how many sporty cars get used on tracks?

          • AvatarArbuckle

            I don’t much care for utility vehicles myself and I’d say there’s more to a performance car than just “does it outdrag XX from 2 decades ago”, but if you’re into a CUV go for it. The market is yours, you’ve won in a rout.

          • Avatarstingray65

            During 40 years of car ownership I’ve never owned a car with an automatic transmission and never owned an SUV/CUV or pickup. I have owned many sports/sporty cars, but the performance gap between enthusiast cars and sporty versions of pickups/CUVs are far smaller today than it was only a few years ago so there is less reason to give up the AWD, higher seating position, utility, and automatic transmission of a utility vehicle that so many people seem to want.

          • AvatarArbuckle

            People can buy what ever works best for them but if they declare that their X2 or whatever is equivalent to an M3 or historical sports car then they deserve an eye-roll. They bought a utility vehicle, just one that happens to be not slow.

          • AvatarKevin Jaeger

            The loss of manual transmissions really is significant for those of us who have driven nothing but manuals for decades, there’s no denying that. This is somewhat offset by the huge improvement in the automatic transmissions available, assuming you avoid a CVT. A modern 8-speed automatic really is a world away from the older slushboxes.

            But yeah, if I can’t get a manual S5 I’m not sure I’d actually buy one.

          • Avatarhank chinaski

            A word on one of those casualties, if only because I happened upon one yesterday:
            Why did Honda own-goal by putting a hybrid powertrain in the CR-Z? Perhaps it was released too soon to capitalize on the nostalgia factor to aging X’ers? It would have ticked a lot of boxes with a regular Civic mill.

            As for the stick shift Miata, I say, ‘from my cold, dead, left foot’.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I was contracting for Honda at the time and the company had made a big deal of an internal policy that every new car would consume less fuel than its immediate successor. In order to get there with the CR-Z, which was succeeding what at one point had been the most fuel efficient car in the United States, they had to pull out all the stops. The fact that the car didn’t sell worth a damn and that many owners have swapped out with other powertrains shows the wisdom, or non-wisdom, of that strategy.

          • AvatarJoe

            The CRX was a traffic scalpel! Honda could/should do it again tomorrow.

            What’s your take on the Velostar N Jack? (is there a review I missed?)

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I drove one at Grattan earlier this year. An utterly brilliant car, and one conceived nose-to-tail with the enthusiast in mind. The problem is that it’s priced awfully close to the Civic Type R, which is a bit of a giant-killer and certain to retain 3/4 of its value until the heat death of the universe.

        • AvatarCJinSD

          Hi Kevin. Would you be upset if Trump wins the election in a landslide in November and the political establishment pretends its is meaningless while they take back the country as they count main-in ballots? Asking for a friend.

          • AvatarKevin Jaeger

            Are you asking me? I live in Quebec and only rarely comment on American partisan matters.

            In 2016 there was sporadic rioting, a celebrity-led pressure campaign to influence the electoral college and a coordinated effort by the FBI, CIA and others in the ruling class to undermine president starting even before he took office. Emoluments clause, 25th amendment, impeachment efforts and judicial resistance to every presidential order have been a constant for four years and only a fool would think they’ll stop just because some peasants cast some ballots. They’ll continue to engage in resistance with every institution controlled by left – which is almost all of them.

            Conservatives need to do much more than elect a president. The left has spent decades gaining control of practically every institution in the western world and it will be a decades-long effort to reclaim them, an effort that has not yet even begun.

  12. Avatarsilentsod

    Taibbi is generally well researched and sharp which is why it amazes me that he has such a blind spot with Trump to this day.

    Oh well.

  13. Avatarstingray65

    Didn’t see it in the mainstream media, but some alternative sites have been reporting large numbers of Trump supporter boat parades in various lakes, rivers, and coastal areas around the country – often featuring hundreds of boats decorated with Trump and US flags and manned by cheerful and patriotic Trump fans. Reminds me of the Tea Party rallies featuring cheerful and patriotic citizens who were peacefully protesting Obama era policies they considered unconstitutional and unAmerican, where they left the protest areas cleaner than they had been prior to the gathering and with no body count of bloody or dead in their wake.

    Contrast to the BLM/antifa “protests” or the Occupy Wall Street protests where the Democrats and media do all they can to avoid reporting the burned buildings, looting, rape, assaults, and murder have been commonly used to promote the overthrow of the Democracy, Capitalism, meritocracy, and equal treatment in favor of Socialism, Fascism, and Anarchy. The censorship and selective reporting on the stark contrast between the tactics and goals of each side would almost suggest that the tech giants, mainstream media, and Democrats don’t want an informed electorate – I wonder why?

    • AvatarArk-med

      In Austin’s Lake Travis, a number of boats sank in choppy waters, while participating in such a parade, due to their operators’ bull-headed insistence. Made headlines and Reddit schadenfreude.

    • AvatarNewbie Jeff

      “– I wonder why?”

      As always, Stingray is precisely on point… but again, the “why” simply doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are doing this, they are effective at it, and they are getting the desired results from it.

      How many otherwise functioning, reasonable people do you know are able to process reality right up to the point that “Trump” is introduced to their thought process? And then, like some corrupted program that locks up the computer once it’s opened, their ability to reason and think critically is literally disabled… A few here have noted Matt Taibbi’s otherwise logical conclusions – except when it comes to Trump. I myself loosely follow the podcasts by Sam Harris, who is an atheist and liberal but has my respect for using logic and reason to effectively unpack what he calls “the Regressive Left”, skewer their ideology, and spotlight their many failures… Harris can talk for hours about how Democrats’ failed policy has resulted in war zones in major American cities… he’ll talk at length about how the Left’s obsession with “racism” is flawed and counterproductive to any of their stated goals… he just put out a podcast expertly breaking down the shooting in Kenosha, how the cops had no choice but to act the way they did, and that the many calls for police “reforms” will clearly make everything worse… he even said, at the beginning of the podcast, that while he once trusted the content of the NYT, he can almost “count on the NYT to get crucial things wrong with respect to what’s happening with protests and police violence… and wrong in a way that just amplifies political partisanship and hysteria…”

      Does Harris not sound like someone who, although he may personally dislike Trump, at least be able to conclude that Trump stands in between all of this chaos and what’s left of the country? Shouldn’t Harris be able to at least admit where Trump has been right, like for example, Trump calling the NYT “fake news” when Harris himself admits it’s essentially fake news? But somewhere in Harris’ circuitry there’s a defect… a blind spot.. and in the same podcast Harris is almost pleading when he says that he’ll “compare his anti-Trump bona fides with just about anyone else…” Harris is pretty clear that he thinks Trump is causing the chaos, not that the chaos is something orchestrated to undermine his administration and punish his supporters…

      All of this is the result of the culture war… the media’s disinformation campaign to fabricate reality… the Democrats’ agenda to literally burn the country down to defeat Trump. The “why” simply doesn’t matter anymore… not with violent left-wing extremists running free and those who have the integrity and courage to do something about it ostracized, “canceled”, coerced, and imprisoned. Everyone knows this is happening, but a clear majority of the country will still excuse it, support it, and vote for it. The only question is how the rest of us coexist with such a corrupted majority who control the news, social media, corporations, bureaucracies, and city governments… how do we coexist within the same country? Simple answer: we can’t.

      • Avatarstingray65

        The best comment I’ve seen to explain the irrationality of Trump Derangement Syndrome goes as follows: Voting for Biden because you don’t like Trump’s tweets/personality is like eating a dog turd because you don’t like broccoli. Was Harris wearing a shit eating grin when he was podcasting his anti-Trump bona fides?


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