The Aspen Times encourages crisis gifts — to itself

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The Aspen Times is on hard times and wants a bailout.

In case you’re not a gazillionaire, or in case you’re an unwoke one, Aspen is a rich ultra-left resort in the Colorado Rockies. Democrats outnumber Republicans about two or three to one.

Apart from skiing, the main sport in town is to make a show of detesting the money of moneyed visitors, and detesting the moneyed visitors themselves, while inventing ways to separate the detestable moneyed visitors from their detestable money. Such as $965/day ski lessons.

Which brings us to the newspaper, the Aspen Times. They’re woke for sure. They overtly promote local leftish politics such as the town’s taxpayer-subsidized housing system where insiders making up to $250,000/year get multimillion-dollar slope-side housing for dimes on the dollar. It happens that those insiders include editors and writers for the Aspen Times.

They also protect and promote their big advertiser, Aspen Skiing Company. When the epidemic was breaking in Aspen, the Aspen Times assisted them in burying the story of the decade – the names and daily whereabouts of infected visitors who, it turns out, were circulating in and out of a posh hotel owned by Aspen Skiing Company.

When Aspen Skiing Company refused to close the ski mountain until the governor ordered them to – while comically claiming that it constituted a “vital public service” – the newspaper conspicuously went along.

The Aspen Times of course milks a cash cow in the form of real estate ads. With in-town condos going for over $4,000/square foot – or upwards of $20,000,000 a unit, a little of that money spills into the Aspen Times.

All the while, the editors of the Aspen Times live in a beautiful mountain town. It’s a great little gig they got.

Disclosure: I was the token conservative columnist for the Aspen Times for seven years, and became the most-clicked columnist in the history of the newspaper (all while declining any monetary compensation). And so last Christmas Eve with no discussion they fired me by email for having “values” contrary to theirs.

OK, even if your source of news is just the Aspen Times, you’ve heard about the virus going around. It started with the Chinese eating raw bats (although you won’t see that part in the Aspen Times). About 100,000 new cases a day are recorded worldwide, and about 5,000 a day are dying. The world is locked down. Travel has all but ceased. Stock markets are crumbling. Retirement savings are evaporating. Schools are closed. Layoffs are rampant.

Grandparents who are extra-susceptible to the virus are separated from their children and grandchildren, all of them hoping that it’s not forever.

But here’s what’s really tragic.

The Aspen Times is having financial woes. Seems the market for $20 million condos in Aspen has ebbed, and so has the market for ads for the same in the Aspen Times.

And so, the Aspen Times is selflessly encouraging charitable giving – to itself.

The publisher explained that the virus “came in like a wrecking ball” right after admitting that “for at least the past year” they’ve been seeking “sustainable business models.” By the way, “they” is a Nevada corporation that owns a couple dozen newspapers around the country.

The business model that they, or at least the Aspen part of they, have settled on is begging. They’ve added a “Donate Now” button to their online masthead. There you can make a one-time donation of $25, $100, $500 or “Other” where you type in an amount.

I chose “Other.”

You can also make a monthly donation. I considered making my one-time donation every single month, but then realized that doing so would not produce a larger number. And  while I’m human and find this Schadenfreude enjoyable, I don’t need a monthly dose of it.

The publisher characterized the gifts they seek as support for quality local journalism. But this corporation is not local. It’s a Nevada corporation and there’s no guarantee that the gifts won’t go straight to Nevada.

And it’s not a charitable organization like public television to which gifts are tax-deductible, as the publisher implies. It’s a for-profit business to which the gifts are not deductible.

Most importantly, the newspaper is not quality journalism at all; it’s biased. I’m not aware of them ever – ever! – endorsing a Republican candidate for any office whatever. Their news stories are slanted and their opinion pieces are unwaveringly to the far left.

They fired their token political conservative last Christmas Eve for being too successful. They pander to the left, while now panhandling to everyone. Maybe they should recognize that “quality journalism” is, firstly, unbiased journalism, and if you want a gift from someone it pays not to call them “deplorable.”

Sooooooo, I made my gift to the Aspen Times commensurate with the quality of their journalism.  Please consider doing the same.

What if Obama were president now?

It’s a fair question, given the criticism directed at Trump in this viral election year. The short answer is, we’d have more American coronavirus deaths.

Here’s why.

The infection rate in America is much lower than in most developed countries. In America, it’s currently about 400 cases per million population. In Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and France, it’s 1,500, 1,600, 1600, 700 and 600, respectively.

(Yes, I’m aware that, to Hillary Clinton’s apparent delight, the total number of cases is now highest in America. But that’s because even though the infection rate in America is low, the total population of America is much higher than most other countries. Sorry, Hillary, but America is still doing relatively well.)

It’s not just the infection rate that’s much lower in America. Continue reading

Please don’t destroy the country for me

I’m 64 and have a congenital blood disorder. It causes pulmonary emboli – blood clots, especially in my lungs. Twice, it almost killed me. I have what the docs call “an underlying respiratory condition.”

Since I was diagnosed and began treatment with daily blood thinners years ago, this condition is manageable (so long as I avoid skiing into a tree which would likely cause me to bleed to death). In fact, I’ll probably live another 20 years. I’m not asking for sympathy, and I don’t need it.

Save your sympathy for our country and our world, especially for younger people like my daughters.

You know the story. Continue reading

Can we rope-a-dope the virus?

The “Rumble in the Jungle” was the 1974 boxing match in Zaire between two of the greats: An aging, slowing Muhammed Ali and the younger, stronger, harder-punching George Foreman.

Ali repeatedly let Foreman back him into the ropes. There, most of Foreman’s blows were deflected or absorbed by Ali’s arms which were bruised black and blue the next day. Ali allowed his body to recoil against the ropes like shock absorbers to absorb much of the rest.

That continued into the seventh round when Foreman landed a knockout punch to Ali. Except it failed knock him out. Ali leaned into Foreman and whispered, “That all you got, George?”

Foreman later said he thought to himself, “Yeah, that’s all I got.” He was exhausted. Continue reading

Aspen Skiing Company is infected and the Aspen Times assists in the coverup

Aspen Skiing Company, a certifiable progressive and green company affectionately called “SkiCo” by the local progs of Aspen, boasts of their concern for people over profits, even as they uncannily make lots of the later at the expense of the former.

SkiCo operates the four ski mountains on National Forests around Aspen, where they charge people $175 a day for transporting them up the mountainsides on lifts powered by electricity generated by burning fossil fuels (elsewhere, of course) so that the people can slide back down. They do so while simultaneously decrying the use of fossil fuels by others, in order to buy indulgences from the global warming priests.

SkiCo’s sliding-down-the-mountainsides gig is a feeder for an adjunct hospitality gig. They operate a hodgepodge of restaurants on the mountains where you can get a half-decent hamburger for, well, if you have to ask then you can’t afford it, and also get a bottle of wine to bolster your confidence if not sharpen your skill for the descent on crowded snowy slopes.

The hospitality gig also includes running a Five Star hotel called The Little Nell, conveniently located at the base of a gondola that takes skiers up the mountainside. At the Nell, you can enjoy New Years Eve but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Turns out, you can also enjoy a night in early March but it might cost you your life. Continue reading

What if they had a pandemic and nobody came?

The Coronavirus has infected over 100,000 people worldwide, and a few thousand have died from it. Cruise ships have been quarantined, some nursing homes have become death zones, and people have put down their pets for fear that the pets are infected and might infect their owners.

The stock market is down over 10%, producing a paper loss on the order of the U.S. budget for a year – a loss in the trillions.

That’s bad, especially for the cruise ship passengers, the dead nursing home residents, the pets who’ve been put down, and the shareholders who need to sell before the market recovers.

We’ve been warned of an impending “pandemic” which is something like an epidemic, but worse.

But let’s put it all in context. Continue reading