12/11/23 Blog: Tales From Israel From A Doctor, Plus Fox New's Guy Benson

DR. NIKOLAJ WOLFSON IS JUST BACK FROM ISRAEL Where he has been doing three week stints helping Israel since the war broke out. He will share with us what he's seeing on the ground and what is really going on from his perspective. He joins me at 1.

GUY BENSON IS A FUNNY GUY And the Common Sense Institute is having they Fox News Radio host fly in for a big event tomorrow honoring a bunch of people for their commitment to making Colorado better. Common Sense will be releasing their Free Enterprise report and honoring several people with awards, like:

  • Former Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers (Visionary for the Future)
  • State Senator Rachel Zenzinger (Visionary for the Future)
  • The Colorado Association of REALTORS (Champion for Prosperity)
  • Buz Koelbel (Trailblazer Award)

 Guy joins me at 2:30 for a chat.

RENT CONTROL IS A FAILURE WHEREVER IT'S TRIED And this column does an EXCELLENT job of laying out the failures and explaining why this is a fantasy land when it comes to actually addressing the lack of affordable housing in Colorado. I had an exchange with a home designer via email that shows why housing is so expensive and it's not builder greed, it's because government has made it too unprofitable to build starter homes here. Read the column here, and then check out this email for more details:

I work as a residential designer / project manager for a small family owned firm in the front range. Our main body of work has been custom residential, remodels and additions. They range in size from a small decks to a 16,000 sqft. home we did in (Boulder County)  
I have had a couple builders tell me flat out, the can't build small homes because they are a loss. There is no profit in them, the insurance required to complete a small 1500-2000 sqft. home eats up any profit that could be made, and most likely they would be a loss creator. From what I can see, 3500+ homes are where they can start to make some money when doing spec homes. IE homes that are built to be sold, they do not come with a client already attached. There are very few spec homes in the custom to semi-custom being built these days. About 95% of them are going to have a client wanting to build.  
When it comes to dealing with and getting a set of plans through to permit. There are some cities / jurisdictions that are very easy to work with even with the "extra" stuff like some of the new codes in Louisville for example. They are very easy to work with. They truly want people to build, but want to be more energy efficient, which I can understand.  And then you have jurisdictions that are very hostile to anyone wanting to build ANYTHING. Of course you can guess which are two of the worst. Boulder and Denver. I rarely do anything in Denver, but have a good friend of mine that does. Some of his stories with projects he does are so idiotic that you can do nothing but laugh.  
A couple of examples. Back around 2008-2009 a man did a big custom in Boulder. When he finished his home a couple years earlier he left part of his basement unfinished. From the time he finished his home, to the time he wanted to finish that part of the basement the codes had changed. In most circumstances the existing home is grandfathered in with codes unless they are being modified. He was told that in order to get a permit to finish the small 200sqft. basement room, he would have to spend the money to update his entire 6000 sqft. home to the most current energy codes, which would cost a VERY pretty penny. At the time, in order to meet the codes they wanted him to meet he would have to update his house to be a "Net zero" home. Meaning he would have to use no energy from the grid. This home was never designed to be a "Net Zero" home, and to do so would have cost him several hundred thousand dollars, all for that 200 sqft. room.  
 Another project finally finished and is being built after 4 years of fighting with Boulder County. It started off with the client buying an existing house with plans to scrape and build new. The lot is pretty remote, and large acreage. Things moved well at first, but then when a couple neighbors complained the city council put a branch in the spokes. This was a project managed by a friend, so I don't know the small details. The project started involving lawyers, tons and tons of revisions over the course of the 4 years. And what was originally approved (11,500 sqft.) turned into a 4500 square foot with tons of compromises. Most normal people would have given up after the first couple times the city changed what they would approve, but these clients were up for the fight. I am sure it cost quite a bit to get to the point where they could build anything. 
The processes in Boulder starts by asking permission to do anything with land you already own. Time is spent developing a basic floor plan, elevations and site plan, and a ton of paperwork describing what you are wanting to do with your land. You need to provide basic specifications for materials, energy efficiency reports etc.  These are all submitted to do an SPR (Site plan review). Right now SPR meetings are several months out. We are getting ready to submit one in a couple weeks and will probably not hear back until the end of February or March. The goal of the SPR is to get a size number and scope of project that the county will allow you to do with your own land. If the house is of a large size, and the site you want to build on is not approved for that size you can buy TDR credits from another homeowner to increase the size you are allowed. This decreases the other lots potential build size, and increases the build size of the lot that our clients want to build on. TDR's are not cheap. Once you get all those ducks in order the County will give you a yes or a no, and a max. size they will allow you to build on your own land. Then you get to go forward with the whole design phase and work that maze of energy efficiency, bulk planes, solar shadow analysis, etc.  

Is it any wonder we have an affordable housing crisis? Government is the problem, government needs to admit it and fix their processes to make this easier for things to get built. Period.

ANOTHER WAY DEMOCRATS ARE MAKING HOUSING MORE EXPENSIVE This is a perfect example of what I JUST talked about in the above entry. The new Green Energy Boondoggle requirements on big buildings is being pushed back on by apartment complexes which will be forced to make expensive upgrades for very little result when it comes to greenhouse gases. The owners of 350,000 apartment units are now suing and they say the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division delayed release of the proposed "Building Benchmarking and Performance Standards" rule by two years and then rushed it through without giving time for public comment during the process. Why does this matter? The regulation requires owners of all buildings larger than 50,000 square feet in floor area to make changes or improvements to those buildings to achieve a 7% reduction in energy use by 2026 and a 20% reduction by 2030 from a 2021 benchmark for a specific building. The regulation doesn't specify how building owners must achieve those goals. And apartment owners are crying foul because none of their issues or prior improvements were taken into consideration. Every one of these improvements will cost money and every bit of that will be passed on to the renter, raising prices even more. Read about the actual lawsuit here.

NO, SECRET BALLOTS ARE NOT GOOD FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Starting in 2019 Colorado Democrats, who control everything totally and completely, started using a system of secret balloting to create a priority list for the legislative session. Lawmakers used a computer program to "rank" potential bills and the results were used to decide what bills would be heard and what bills would be sent to kill committees never to be heard from again. By using a secret ballot, the lawmakers could NOT be held accountable for supporting or blocking any legislation because there was no record of that vote every taking place. Now there is a lawsuit about it and good news, the judge seems to think it's hinky too. Read it here.

IDIOT STUDENTS HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY ARE CHANTING This story from Reason.com shows just how gullible and stupid the students shouting "From the River to the Sea" really are. First off, most of them have no clue what river and what sea they are yelling about. A professor hired a survey team to ask students about it, and only 47% of the students who supported the slogan even knew what river and what sea was being discussed. Further, when it was explained to them that if this chant were fulfilled it would lead to the subjugation of 7 million Jews and 2 million Arabs 75% of them changed their mind. This is about the crappy education and brainwashing these kids are getting in schools. Period.

AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FOREVER A Denver couple (but were they ever REALLY a "couple"?) has now produced the second shortest marriage in "Married At First Sight" history, clocking in a whopping two weeks. I've never watched one episode of this show but in a cursory review of some articles in Westword it seems that the "husband" here is an overly sensitive namby pamby beta male who needs to get a dose of masculinity before he can make a woman happy. Just my thoughts.

WHY I HATE ALEX JONES, PART #8997 Alex Jones gives talk show hosts a bad name. He makes crap up, lies about everything and even though he's been caught and lost several lawsuits about that, he continues to try and paint HIMSELF as the victim. It's just gross. His latest Poor Me came during Elon Musk's show on X, where Jones tried to sell the line of goods that he was just playing Devil's Advocate and "reporting" on "stories" that said Sandy Hook was a drill. He's a liar who made up those "stories" and then spread them. You're a fool if you give this man any credence.

HEY GUESS WHAT? MASKS ON KIDS DIDN'T WORK EITHER A new systematic review of studies of kids wearing masks during Covid shows they didn't work for kids either. From the study, which you can find here:

Conclusions Real-world effectiveness of child mask mandates against SARS-CoV-2 transmission or infection has not been demonstrated with high-quality evidence. The current body of scientific data does not support masking children for protection against COVID-19.

Just thought you should know.

YES, COLORADO CAN DO AWAY WITH THE INCOME TAX And unlike our Governor who loves to say he wants to do this but literally provides ZERO leadership to make this happen, the Independence Institute has a plan. Ben Murrey has it written out here and you should not only read it, but you should demand it be made a thing. Too bad our Governor just wants to talk about instead of lead on it. If we had a serious Republican party this would be the #1 plank in the platform, but we all know we don't.

COACH PRIME SAYS HE WANTS TO RETIRE IN BOULDER And this is refreshing but I think we all know how this type of talk has gone in the past so I'll take it with a grain of salt. However, since Deion has already achieved so much financially and notriety This is refreshing for CU Buff fans, although we've heard this sort of talk before *coughMelTuckercough* so I take it with a grain of salt. That being said, he has already achieved so much that maybe he really means it. Here's hoping.

THE GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS ARE OUT And again, I've not seen most of these. I've got to get out more. Read them here.

NIKKI HALEY BEATS BIDEN BY 17 POINTS And I wish the GOP would pay attention to winnability instead of idol worship but that's not the party we have today. A new Wall Street Journal poll shows Nikki Haley beating Joe Biden by a whopping 17 points. How did Trump do? He beat Biden but only by 4 points. I sure hope her team is going to be blasting this out across Iowa and New Hampshire relentlessly in the next few weeks.

HARVARD MAY KEEP CLAUDINE GAY TO AVOID GIVING A WIN TO A REPUBLICAN And you may think I'm kidding, but I most certainly am not. Read it here. It may get more challenging as reporter Christopher Rufo has unearthed some serious plagiarism in her doctoral thesis, which is a big no-no at Harvard.

COLORADO'S PRESCRIPTION DRUG AFFORDABILITY BOARD ADMITS IT'S MISSION IS HARMFUL By deciding NOT to cap the price on a very expensive but very effective treatment for cystic fibrosis. In doing so they tacitly admit that price caps will limit access to drugs for Coloradans who depend on them to live. This actually gives me hope that this Soviet style central planning board won't do much damage. Not yet, anyway.

POLITICAL LEADERS BLAME SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THEIR OWN TOXICITY And this is the biggest copout EVER. In a meeting with the legislative leadership of the two parties where they discussed a bunch of stuff they said today's social media was to blame as people are chasing clicks and it's harmful for civility. No, ladies and gentlemen, please blame the POLITICIANS whose egos are chasing those clicks for the current environment. If we did that there would be some hope of change, as social media is not going anywhere. Call them out and point out that they are acting like narcissistic children wanting approval from their followers, perhaps that will work?

NOW COUNTY CLERKS ARE CALLING OUT IDIOT REPUBLICANS And this Executive Board is DOMINATED by Republicans so this isn't a partisan issue. They are pushing back against the Ron Hanks lead garbage narrative that elections in Colorado are inherently compromised, as well they should. Read it here.

HOMELESS PEOPLE IN COLORADO MAKE UP A HUGE PART OF DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS This year alone 477 people have died of drug overdoses in Colorado, and a whopping 181 of them have been homeless people even though they make a tiny fraction of our overall population. This article which says they just need a tiny home or safe injection sites is wrong. They need treatment and help rebuilding their lives.

SCHOOL OF MINES IS HEADED TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP and here's hoping the Ore Diggers can pull off a Divison II win!

THINGS WE ALL DID AS KIDS OMG I did all these and still a few.

MARIAH IS THE QUEEN OF CHRISTMAS As her song is STILL the most popular Christmas song almost 30 years after its release. Oh, and she's made an estimated $100 million off that bad boy.

WINNING BEATS LOSING EVERY TIME And you can see it on Cortland Sutton's face.

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