After the lefty Aspen Times fired me, their readers and Karma voted me “Best Columnist” of Aspen

I was the token conservative columnist for seven years at the Aspen Times, the local lefty newspaper of Aspen, Colorado.

Despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Aspen by about a three-to-one margin, the clicks on my column dwarfed the pack of liberal columns and their predictable progressive pusillanimous pattering. In fact, my column was often the most popular thing in the entire newspaper, sometimes drawing more clicks than frontpage news.

I was occasionally picked up by national outlets like Real Clear Politics, Powerline, Lucianne, American Thinker and Instapundit. I drew clicks to the little Aspen Times from around the country.

But I was supposed to be a token, not a success. Last Christmas Eve without warning or discussion, they fired me via an email. They said my “values” were contrary to theirs. They also took some parting potshots at my writing, apparently forgetting that without complaint they’d published hundreds of iterations of that very writing.

They offered no thanks for my service, nor for my performing that service without compensation (the Aspen Times ordinarily paid its columnists, but I’d always declined any compensation).

Readers flooded the newspaper with letters objecting. It made no difference. The newspaper published only a small fraction of those letters.

It all worked out fine for me. My blog at theAspenbeat.com took off and I increased my readership nearly ten-fold. National outlets now link to my site more than ever.

Meanwhile, the Aspen Times is being smacked around by a sassy bitch named Karma. The internet is undermining their biggest source of revenue, namely real estate ads. Layoffs loom. They’ve been reduced to begging for charitable donations. They may need to change their name to Aspen Hard Times.

Karma still wasn’t done with them. The Aspen Times holds an annual “Best of Aspen” competition each fall where locals and visitors cast votes for their favorites in various categories. One category is “Best Columnist.”

Guess whom the readers decided was “Best Columnist” for 2020. Yep, even though the Aspen Times technically fired me as a columnist back in 2019 and so I wrote only a blog in 2020, their readers voted me “Best Columnist” of 2020.  (See page 8 here.)

A friend suggests that the newspaper should throw out those turkey leftovers. They have a full plate of crow to eat.

Best Columnist of Aspen!

Yeah, the votes are in, the recounts are completed, and the Electoral College hasn’t gone rogue. Over 7,000 locals and visitors, many of which are not illegal and not dead, together with essential help from colluding Russians of course, have named me “Best Columnist of Aspen.”

It’s on page 8 of the Aspen Magazine.

I admit to a certain satisfaction. This lefty outfit that conducted the contest is the same one to which I donated columns twice a month for seven years (I always declined compensation), only to be informed by a Christmas Eve email that they were terminating our relationship because my “values” didn’t comport with theirs.

Biden should pardon Trump

After four years of “resisting” President Trump with meaningless recounts, rogue electoral voters, groundless impeachment and specious claims of Russian collusion, not to mention unending name-calling and harassment of him and his family, the Democrats now urge the country to heal, to come together, to unify.

Behind them, that is.

In fairness, that’s what the winner always does in politics. The winner smears his opponent right up to election day. Then he forgives the target of his smears for being smear-worthy, and graciously invites him and his supporters to unify behind the smearer. This is politics, after all, where hypocrisy is an art form.

At least they’re mostly competent and honest about their hypocrisy, unlike their intellectual and ethical inferiors in what used to be called journalism.

This time, however, a unique opportunity presents on the political stage. But it will require elements that are missing from both journalism and politics. It will require compassion, cleverness and courage.

Joe Biden should pardon Donald Trump. You say Trump has done nothing to be pardoned for? Fine, I agree. But it would be compassionate, clever and courageous for Biden to pardon him anyway. Here’s why.

It would be compassionate because it would spare Trump and his family the angst of being unjustly prosecuted in the criminal justice system for what are really political matters. Prosecuting one’s vanquished opponents is what they do in banana republics, not in the United States of America.

I know there’s an element on the left that aspires to banana republic status, complete with Mao jackets, bread lines and firing squads. But most of us don’t.

If Biden wants us to unify behind him, what better way than for him to offer the first step? I’m old enough to remember when sports involved sportsmanship. The winner always offered his hand to the loser. It’s what ladies and gentlemen do, or at least they used to.

A pardon would be clever because it would put Trump in a difficult position of accepting or rejecting the pardon. Accepting implies that he did something wrong. But rejecting means he might then suffer a prosecution by politically motivated people. After the bias of the Mueller team which at the time of their appointment were highly regarded professionally, and the incompetent pettiness of Michael Flynn’s judge, no one doubts the existence of such creatures.

And it might indeed serve to unify some Trump supporters behind Biden, or at least serve to convey the message that Biden wants a respected and effective presidency, not distraction, vengeance and blood.

But a pardon would also require Biden’s courage in resisting the clinical hysteria of the hard left. They would protest in the streets, mostly peacefully of course, by setting fires in what used to be called arson, collecting reparations in what used to be called looting, and destroying property in what used to be called riots.

College classes would be cancelled because students would think they’re too distraught to attend, or at least that’s what their lefty professors would tell them to think.

Denied the blood of Trump and his family, the left would go after the blood of his supporters, and they’ve already put together lists. Hell hath no fury like a compassionate liberal who’s angry that he’s been denied his pound of flesh and equally angry that he’s been forced to admit that he wants it.  

The old empty suit that is set to assume the presidency of the United States is a lot of things, or used to be, but courageous is not one of them. He won’t stand up to the leftist mob that now constitutes the Democrat base.

But what a compassionate, clever and courageous move that would be.

My Congresswoman is packin’ heat and a lot more

Lauren Boebert is a petite 33-year old wife and mother of four boys. She gave birth to the third in the front seat of their pickup. She holds a GED in place of a high school diploma. Until last week, she’d never been to Washington, DC. She carries a Glock sidearm. (It’s a very fine piece, though I personally prefer my Beretta 9 mm, in stainless of course).  

She’s also the newly elected congresswoman representing us here in Aspen and the rest of western Colorado. To get elected, she first had to beat a five-term GOP congressman in the primary. There was nothing wrong with that congressman.

But there’s a lot right about Ms. Boebert. In fact, the New York Times calls her “hard right” which is good enough for me. (To the Times, of course, anyone who votes Republican is “hard right” in contrast to their “moderate right” columnists who vote for Democrats. By the way, when’s the last time they called anyone “hard left”?)

Boebert’s occupation has been to help run the family business in a town called, naturally, Rifle. That family business is a small restaurant called “Shooters Grill” where guns are worn by not just Boebert but also the waitresses.

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News reporters should not be partisan Tweeters

Walter Cronkite

Can you imagine Walter Cronkite on Twitter? Neither can I.

Twitter is of course that vulgar platform where people send cryptic messages to their followers. The average length of a Tweet is 33 characters – one short, ungrammatical sentence. The platform was specifically designed for superficiality. It’s a place to be snide, snarky and self-promoting, not a place for reasoned debate or reliable information.

Twitter hosts “commentary” by the likes of Kim Kardashian who has 67 million followers and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has 10 million followers. And CNN anchor Jake Tapper who has three million followers and has posted 227,000 tweets.

Huh?

Yes, that’s right. An anchor of what used to be America’s most trusted news source promotes himself hundreds of times a day with cryptic, snarky Tweets. Many of those cryptic, snarky Tweets seek successfully to provoke cryptic, snarky Tweets in response by President Donald Trump.

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My Pfizer vaccine is 90% effective, but why weren’t we told sooner?

Along with 40-some thousand other people around the world, I’m enrolled in the clinical trials for the Pfizer COVID vaccine. All has gone well for me, and I’ve had no side effects. Of course, I’ve followed closely the progress of the trials, and I occasionally receive updates from Pfizer.

Pfizer announced yesterday that its early review suggests that the vaccine is astonishingly effective – over 90%. The FDA has previously said that it will approve a safe vaccine that exceeds 50% efficacy.

These early Pfizer results are based on 94 COVID cases that have been identified in the tens of thousands of trial patients. The company’s 90% efficacy determination suggests that all or nearly all those cases occurred in the 50% of the patients who received the placebo, and hardly any or perhaps none at all occurred in the other 50% who received the actual vaccine.

Pfizer plans to manufacture over a billion doses in 2021. A dozen other companies are also in final testing of vaccines. Scientists say the Pfizer results bode well for the other vaccines.

The end of the pandemic is in sight. The stock market soared and scientists rightly congratulated themselves.

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Election post-mortem

Democracy is not necessarily the best, fairest or most effective form of government. Bear in mind that two and a half millennia ago in the first democracy, Socrates was sentenced to death by 500 Athenians.

In our own representative democracy, we just had an important election. Here are some observations on the state of our democracy. Spoiler alert: It’s better than in Athens, then or now.

First, most of the media and pollsters are both biased and incompetent. This is a very serious problem. If people don’t trust the media, and they don’t, for good reasons, where are they supposed to get the news? If they don’t get the news, on what basis are they supposed to vote?

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Trump will win again, then comes the hard part


The polls are wrong again, and this time we have advance evidence beyond Trump’s say-so.

Polling has always been an inexact science, and now it’s harder than ever. It’s hard to get a representative sampling of actual voters by making random telephone calls to people whose willingness to participate and trust of media pollsters are skewed politically.

Look at an example separate from the presidential race. In Maine, four-term Senator Susan Collins is up for re-election for her fifth term. In her last two elections, she won by 23 and 37-point margins. Yet polls show her behind this time by about 5 points.

Those polls cannot be right. She’ll win by at least 4 points, suggesting a huge error in the polls – an error of at least 9 points.

Other factors are uniquely Trumpian. First, Trump’s approval ratings are higher than his polling numbers. If both are accurate, then many people who approve of his job performance nonetheless want to fire him.

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The triumph and tragedy of Trump

First, the triumph. Against all odds, he won the presidency with promises to shake up a sclerotic Washington establishment. He did that and more.

He moved the U.S. embassy to the ancient capital of Israel over objections from the establishment who predicted a violent reaction from the culture of complainers that passes for Palestinian people. That move proved the first step toward an outbreak of Mideast peace.

Along the way, he put out of business the beheading barbarians called ISIS, cancelled the agreement that would have made Iran a nuclear power within a few years and coordinated with our ally Israel in thwarting belligerents throughout the region.

While the left was figuratively canceling good Americans who said politically incorrect things decades ago, Trump was literally canceling terrorists who were torturing, raping and murdering Americans.

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Jeffrey Toobin is the face of modern journalism

There once was a man named Toobin,

Whose fondest delight was in Zoomin’,

As he wiped off his screen,

After makin’ a scene,

He asked, “How did you like my oozin’?”


The New Yorker has or had a “legal analyst” named Jeffrey Toobin. He was a participant in a recent Zoom videocall with several other people. The conversation evidently didn’t interest him. He pulled his pants down and found something that did. A lot.

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