Denver will pay you $1,000/month to be a transgender vagrant

Denver has its share of vagrants. The rule is evidently that you can illegally camp on the sidewalk and poop in the gutter until a lot of people complain. Once dozens or hundreds of people complain – they don’t publish what the requisite number is – the city will tell the vagrants they have two weeks to shuffle down the road to trash some other site.

What the vagrants then do, naturally, is leave for a few days and then come back to the same place again, where they stay again until enough people complain again and they get the two weeks’ notice again and then they leave for a few days again. I’d say it’s a case of rinse and repeat, except these feral humans have not seen a rinse in months.

The vagrants are offered shelter in several vagrant shelters, but typically refuse to go there unless it gets very cold, which in Denver it fortunately sometimes does.

The city council sees this as a problem, but not in the way you would assume. The problem they see is not that there are too many vagrants panhandling and pooping up the downtown. It’s that there are too few.

So they’re addressing that problem. They formally approved a plan to pay people $1,000/month to be vagrants. This is in addition to the $40,000 to $100,000 per year per vagrant that they’re already spending on vagrancy according to a non-partisan research organization. (The number is inexact because it’s hard to get a fix on how many vagrants there are.) To put that figure in perspective, it’s two to six times what Denver spends per pupil per year on schools.

I should pause to mention that the city council wokesters don’t call the vagrants “vagrants” because that word connotes dirty, panhandling, substance-abusing, mentally ill drifters. For a while, they instead called them “homeless people” but they dropped that phrase when it came to connote dirty, panhandling, substance-abusing, mentally ill drifters. The nom du jure is now “people experiencing homelessness” which I expect to last only until that phrase comes to connote dirty, panhandling, substance-abusing, mentally ill drifters.

Back to the incentive program to recruit additional vagrants. City council will pay vagrants $1,000/month but there’s a condition. The vagrant must be either a woman, a transgender, or a “gender non-conforming” person, which is apparently a person who does not conform to his/her true gender (but doesn’t that impermissibly admit that people have true genders?). Straight white and black men need not apply.

It’s a little like Harvard’s reverse discrimination in admissions, except at Harvard it’s whites and Asians who need not apply. The Supreme Court will strike down Harvard’s racial discrimination in a case this term, but that will only make Harvard sneakier with it.

Like Harvard’s program, Denver’s program is obviously illegal. City council probably knows that, but the approach of the left these days is to knowingly and delightedly commit illegalities in the name of justice until a court orders them to stop, and maybe after then as well.

The theory behind Denver’s sexual discrimination is that the chosen groups are especially vulnerable. So why don’t they use the free shelters? And since they don’t use the free shelters, what makes anyone think that they’ll use the free $1,000/month to get shelter?

As for their vulnerability, women living on the street are indeed vulnerable. But what about transgenders and gender non-conformists? Is there any data suggesting that they’re more vulnerable on the street?

By the way, since when is the left concerned about the vulnerability of people on the street anyway? If they are concerned about that, why did they defund the police?

I once played around with vagrancy because I was curious who these people were and what their lives were like. I made a sign saying “Survived Cancer but Lost my Job.” (The sign was technically true, but misleading.) I stood with my sign outside the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. After an hour of being studiously ignored and just before I was about to quit for the day to go into the hotel for a nice single malt, sans sign, a person stuffed a bill in my hand. “Thanks,” I said. As he walked away, I saw that it was a Benjamin.

I tried to return the $100 to him, but he refused to take it back, saying “I’m just sorry to see you in this predicament.” I sheepishly walked down the block and donated the money to the local Catholic Church, asking that it be used for their vagrancy services. (I’m aware of only one vagrant in Aspen apart from the Aspen city council. Everyone called him “the homeless guy.” I haven’t seen him in a while.)

In the course of my investigation, I learned that even the shelters – maybe especially the shelters – urge people not to give cash handouts to vagrants. That’s because it enables their life of destructive vagrancy. They ask that you give money instead to the shelters so that it can be used for shelter, food, counseling and rehab rather than for alcohol and drugs. That sounds self-serving, but it makes sense.

Denver seems not to recognize that paying people money to be vagrants with no strings attached, other than to claim that they are a woman or a cross-dresser, will not cure them of their vagrancy, but will instead enable them to continue it, perhaps with a new dress.

This program undoubtedly makes some virtue signalers feel good about themselves, but it’s all at the expense of both the taxpayers and the vagrants. Shame on Denver city council.

The Aspen Times censors are literally crying about their new owner “censoring” them

Readers will remember the Aspen Times. They’re the little but old – venerable, we’re told – newspaper of Aspen. These days it’s a hard left rag in a hard left town of limousine liberals who are screwed, swindled, salved and soothed by the local Stalinists in an obscene spectacle something like a Mexican donkey show.

One of the frequent perks for Aspen Times editors and reporters, as for many other members of the ruling Aspen establishment, is housing subsidized by the limo-libs for dimes on the dollars – often slopeside.

I was the token conservative columnist with the Aspen Times for seven years. But I grew a little big for my britches. Over that time, I became the most-read columnist in the newspaper. Then I started to become more-read than even front-page news. I was occasionally the very most-clicked item in the newspaper.

Ah, but that wasn’t their goal. I was hired not to succeed in offering a viewpoint contrary to the Aspen leftwing establishment, but to be a token. So, on Christmas Eve in 2019 they fired me. By email.

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Aspen conservative voted “Mr. Aspen” and “Best Columnist” after the liberal Aspen Times fired him

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.

Merry Christmas!

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 HERE or just send an email to theAspenBeat@gmail.com.

America’s taxpayers give half a mil to Aspen’s vagrants

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A fawning “report” in the Aspen Daily News breathlessly announced more federal COVID funds for Glitter Gulch, otherwise known as Aspen, Colorado. To be exact, $538,073.

You know the place. It’s where the house pictured above just sold for $72 million, and houses routinely go for $3-5,000/sq ft. Where insiders such as newspaper reporters and city council members get slope-side multimillion dollar homes for dimes on the dollars under the taxpayer-subsidized housing program.

The fed money this time is for Aspen’s vagrants. Er, I mean “homeless.” Er, I mean “persons experiencing homelessness.” Whom, we’re told, are camping on the sidewalks and pooping in the gutters because they’re afflicted with something called “shelter-resistance.”

Pity the left’s Sisyphean task in the dictionary of euphemisms. Once they find and roll up the hill a suitable euphemism for “vagrant,” such as “homeless,” the euphemism rolls back down the hill because it becomes associated with people who behave like vagrants.

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Aspen Journalism uses riots for self-congratulatory money solicitations

Last summer, criminal mobs stormed federal buildings in an attempt to intimidate our elected officials and overturn our democratic republic. “Burn it down” and “No USA at all” were their frequent chants. Some demagogic politicians egged them on. People died.

Fast forward to last week. Another criminal mob stormed another federal building in another attempt to intimidate our elected officials and overturn our democratic republic.  “Stop the steal” was their frequent chant. Some demagogic politicians egged them on. People died.

The media accurately reported last week’s riot as a riot, but they reported last summer’s riots as “mostly peaceful protests.” The reason for the disparate reporting is of course that the media sympathized with last summer’s criminal mob but not with last week’s criminal mob.

Never willing to let a crisis go to waste, an outfit here in Aspen called Aspen Journalism promptly sent out an email yesterday congratulating themselves for their “truth telling and the free exchange of ideas.” They went on to portray themselves as victims of the DC riot 2,000 miles away: “As journalists we were alarmed by the violence and menacing rhetoric directed at the media.”

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Beaton by the Potholes

The Managing Editor of your fine newspaper, Joanna Bean, invited me to write a column or two about the old days.   Those days and I are about the same age, you see.

In fact, I knew the Gazette when it was called “The Gazette Telegraph.”  And I knew Colorado Springs when it was called “The Springs” and not “The Potholes.”  I’ve been gone for 42 years, but now I’m back for a spell.

I attended Harrison High School – home of the Panthers — where I was shaken down daily for my lunch money.  I was famous there for being the younger brother of Mark Beaton, a terrific baseball pitcher who dominated the Gazette’s sports page as thoroughly as he dominated opposing batters.  A pitching Panther, was he.  A typical Gazette sports page headline from spring of 1970 was “Beaton Strikes Out 15.”  (Look it up!)

As for me, well, Continue reading

Return Downtown to the People

Aliens visiting earth would think initially that the dominant life form on this planet has four wheels and owns two-legged slaves who feed and care for it.

In a sense, they would be right. In the developed world, we have more cars than people. People love their cars.

I love my cars too, and have owned four BMW’s to prove it. At one point, my family of four humans owned five cars (or maybe that family of five cars owned four humans).

But there’s a place for cars and a place for people. Downtown Aspen should be a place for people.

In other towns on this planet, the human slaves have revolted. Zermatt has prohibited cars Continue reading

More Fear and Loathing

Hunter S. Thompson — gonzo author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and keeper of dynamite in the basement and toxins in the refrigerator — was the last of the Aspen undomesticated types.

In my recent column, I lamented the substitute poseurs who are more interested in conventional socialism than unconventional socializing.

Indeed, as I noted, we’re now so lacking in fearsomeness and loathsomeness that the sane and sanitized readers of Travel + Leisure voted Aspen their “favorite town.” Ugh. Readers emailed me, called me and even stopped me on the street to add names to my growing list of extinct and endangered exotica. So here are a couple more:

Meet Claudine Longet. Born in Paris, this winsome woman danced in Las Vegas well before Thompson arrived. One day, she had the good fortune of her car breaking down — because her rescuer was one Andy Williams. They married a year later when she was 19.

By age 21, Continue reading

Fear and Loathing in Aspen

Hunter S. Thompson was a gritty character. He was a member of the National Rifle Association. He accidentally shot a person while attempting to scare a bear away. In his house near Woody Creek, he kept dynamite.

He never graduated from high school. He worked for Time magazine till it fired him for insubordination. He once was charged as an accessory to robbery.

His breakthrough novel was about the Hells Angels. For that, he lived with the Angels for a year till one night they beat him almost to death. He later wrote a series of deviant “Fear and Loathing” novels beginning with the classic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

He once said, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

Whatever you think of how he wrote (well) or lived (less well) or died (badly), say this for the guy: He was a true character.

I thought of Thompson when I saw that the buttoned-down readers of Travel + Leisure magazine recently voted Aspen their “favorite town.” What’s next? Will Aspen be Continue reading