Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living in Colorado. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
I remember 9/11 well. People were shocked and angry, but also brave and compassionate. Police and firefighters ran into the burning World Trade Towers to save office workers. Many of those police and firefighters were still there trying to save lives when the buildings collapsed over and under them.
On a hijacked flight over Pennsylvania, passengers heard by telephone of the collapse of the Trade Towers and surmised that their hijackers planned a similar strike. Some of the passengers huddled, plotted and made a pact to overcome the terrorists.
The terrorists had already murdered the pilots, and so the passengers knew their actions would crash the plane and end their own lives. But they figured that by crashing the plane before reaching the building that the terrorists had targeted (we now know it was the Capitol Building) they could save people.
A passenger pictured above named Todd Beamer said the Lord’s Prayer. Others joined in. At the conclusion he said, “Let’s roll.” And they did. All aboard died, but thousands on the ground were saved.
According to a friend at a Christmas party, “obscene” wealth is the kind that’s unneeded. His example was a 100-foot yacht. “Nobody needs a 100-foot yacht,” he intoned.
I agreed that nobody needs a 100-foot yacht. But nobody needs a glass of expensive chardonnay either. I kindly offered to relieve him of the one he was holding.
The only things that are truly needed by humans are food, shelter, simple clothing and occasional medical treatment. Everything beyond that is unneeded and, therefore, under my friend’s definition, obscene.
So “obscene” wealth must mean something other than the unneeded kind. But what?
Note: I first wrote and published this a few years ago. I occasionally revise and republish it.
Two thousand years ago, a carpenter lived a conventional life for 30 years in a tiny village in the Middle East. Then he somehow became as they might say today, “radicalized.”
Historians agree that Jesus did exist. There are reliable ancient records of him. But most of what we know are opaque and contradictory accounts written decades after his death in what we now call the Gospel of the New Testament.
In one sense, those Gospel accounts are profoundly simple. They say Jesus was the Messiah prophesized in the Hebrew Bible. As such, he performed miracles to save those needing saving. He came back from the dead. That’s the word.
But in a personal sense, the Gospels present a more complicated man than the one presented in Sunday School or even adult church services.
The Democrats need every single Dem Senator in order to pass their “Build Back Better” bill. That’s the $1.7 trillion social-spend-a-palooza that really costs more like $4.9 trillion according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
Several Dem Senators have reservations about BBB behind the scenes, but the one with the guts to stand up to it publicly is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Manchin publicly objected to the bill on the grounds that it pumps too much money into the economy at a time when inflation is rocketing, that it contains numerous provisions unrelated to the budget process such as illegal immigrant amnesty (where the Senate Parliamentarian has agreed with him, three times), that it is larded with too many social handouts that aren’t “means tested,” meaning they are welfare for people who don’t need it, and that the true cost of the bill is deliberately hidden by accounting gimmicks – and the CBO agrees.
No, that mostly happened with the election of somnolent, senile, drowsy, sleepy, lazy, sluggish, lethargic SlowJoe Biden (in Joe’s case, one such adjective is just not enough) and an ex-bartender called “AOC” which may stand for Auditory Out of Control.
In the old days, by contrast, the Democrats used to say some wise things. For example:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Today’s Democrats say that statement is racist. They say it’s not only permissible to judge people by the color of their skin, but mandated.
Those having white skin must be judged evil-doers, and those having black skin must be judged their victims. Skin color is real, while “character” is a white construct. That’s the thrust of the Critical Race Theory that is indoctrinating our children.
The Dems promote this divisive victimology because they think it keeps blacks on the Dem plantation. It works only so long as blacks stay there.
Store theft is now done openly. People load their arms or shopping carts with stuff they want and simply walk out the door. After closing, mobs of them smash the storefront and grab what they want. I’m reminded of stores in Mexico where padlocked steel curtains cover the glass storefronts each night. After closing, the store become a little fortress.
The left explains that this isn’t looting because . . . reasons. One reason is that it’s really a protest for social justice, whatever that is. Another reason is that stores have insurance, dontcha know, and so stealing from them isn’t really stealing. Another reason is that the looters are jobless due to COVID, and so their theft is excused by their hunger.
In other words, the left contends that stealing a Prada bag to feed their greed is just like Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s children.
For seven years, I was the conservative columnist for the Aspen Times. Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one in Aspen and about twenty to one at the newspaper, where I was the one.
Despite the liberal leanings of the Aspen Times and its readers, my conservative column became the most-read thing in the newspaper. It often garnered more clicks than front page news and, I suspect, even the real estate ads for $4,000/sq ft condos.
But I evidently wasn’t hired to be a conservative success. Rather, I was hired to be a conservative token. On Christmas Eve in 2019 after savoring the clicks I had generated for seven years, they fired me in an email taking potshots at my writing. Their email culminated in the observation that my “values” did not comport with theirs.
About that last point, they may have been right.
That was a few weeks after my column again took aim at the Aspen establishment for soaking the public by giving themselves taxpayer-subsidized housing for dimes on the dollar. Those houses are sometimes adjacent the ski mountain and worth millions.
The liberal establishment that treats itself to this exorbitant housing at taxpayer expense includes, coincidentally, some of the editors, reporters and other columnists at the Aspen Times, the company that fired me after I reported on it. Small world, huh?
But Karma has a long memory.
The Karma that came my way was the good kind. I continued writing my blog after the Aspen Times fired me, and it took off. This was partly because I became more candid about my conservative sentiments when I no longer had to worry about being muzzled, partly because my firing became a national story which drew attention to me, and partly because I began writing about three times as much.
The website host of my blog, WordPress, tells me I recently passed the half-million mark in readers. To put that in perspective, the Aspen Times circulation is a few percent of that.
The Karma that came to the Aspen Times was different but equally fitting. They conduct a “Best of Aspen” contest every year where readers vote on “best” this and that. One category is “Best Columnist.”
For year 2020 when I was only writing a blog rather than a formal column after being fired by the Aspen Times back on Christmas Eve in 2019, the winner of “Best Columnist” was . . . yours truly.
It gets better. I’ve continued to write my blog and it continues to draw new readers. This year the Aspen Times once again held its annual “Best of Aspen” contest. For the second year in a row, I won “Best Columnist” even though I’m only writing a blog. The link is HERE at page 24.
And it gets even better than that. The marquee category in the Aspen Times’ contest is “Mr. Aspen.” (Don’t worry, they’ll surely have a “Mx. Aspen” soon.) In addition to voting me “Best Columnist” again, the readers of the Aspen Times in this year’s contest voted me “Mr. Aspen.” The link is HERE at page 22.
I demand a crown and the keys to the city. Or at least the keys to some of those taxpayer-subsidized slope-side digs.
One last thing. The Aspen Times is being purchased in a few weeks by a family-owned newspaper company out of West Virginia. The head is a registered Republican.
For all this, I thank my readers. You’re the best. I may or may not have those bad values for which the Aspen Times fired me. That judgment is beyond my pay grade, at least in this world. But in any event, I’m in good company with readers like you. Thank you.
Join my readers with a free subscription HEREor just send an email to theAspenBeat@gmail.com.
The Supreme Court this week heard oral argument on the Mississippi law that limits abortion after 15 weeks from conception.
As someone who practiced law at the Supreme Court, I listened to the arguments. I think they’ll uphold the Mississippi law. I have a few observations.
Keep in mind that oral argument at the Supreme Court is typically more theater than jurisprudence. The Justices usually already have their minds made up from reading the briefs. But it’s worthwhile theater because it connects the public to the judicial process. Also, it gives some insight into the likely decision which won’t come till next Spring.
My first observation is that much of the public is confused about what the Court is deciding and what it is not. Blame the media for that. Clicks are generated and fires are stoked not by the media presenting cases, but by presenting parades of horrible.