Extremist Enviros Wage War on Colorado Coal Jobs

May 15, 2015

This federal judge could stop local coal in Colorado

By   /   May 12, 2015      

 Wachdog Arena

MOFFAT, Colo.—Moffat County in western Colorado is run on fossil fuels, and local jobs in the coal industry comprise one of its key economic drivers. On May 8, a federal judge ruled in favor of the environmentalist organization, Wild Earth Guardians (WEG), which filed lawsuits against the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) on the basis that it was out-of-compliance when it approved the plans for the Colowyo and Trapper coal mining projects.

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COAL COUNTY AT STAKE: A federal judge has sided with a powerful environmental group whose mission is to wipe out coal economies in the Mountain West.

The OSM is a branch of the Department of the Interior, and oversees leasing processes for various surface mining operations on federally-managed lands. Lawsuits against the OSM, such as those filed by WEG, can impede, and even stop, coal exploration and extraction processes altogether.

The full withdrawal of OSM leases could potentially devastate Moffat County. According to a Craig Daily Press article, the Colowyo mine employs around 250 people and adds $12 million annually to local and state economies. With an entire population of less than 13,000—which is shrinking— the loss of 250 good-paying coal jobs poses a real threat to all sectors of the economy in Moffat County.

The federal judge in this case, R. Brooke Jackson, granted the effected companies a 120-day window in which to review and revise current plans, but the ruling leaves little room for error and will bring a close to all mining operations by Colowyo if full compliance is not met. According the Craig Daily Press:

The court has provided the Office of Surface Mining with 120 days to “take a hard look at the direct and indirect environmental effects of the Colowyo mining plan revisions and provide public notice and an opportunity for public involvement before reaching its decisions.”

If this process has not been completed within the 120-day window, an order to halt mining operations will be issued immediately.

In reference to the potential mine closures, Judge Jackson said, “I find that the benefits of immediate vacatur do not outweigh the potential harms.” His position seems to favor the scenic “view” from nearby recreational areas over human and economic concerns. The article goes on to say:

Jackson supported Guardians standing argument, stating that members of the organization, specifically Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for Guardians, suffered a verifiable injury.

‘Using lands within view of the affected area may establish injury-in-fact when the aesthetic and recreational value of the lands would be harmed by the challenged activities,’ he wrote.

According to U.S. Census data, per capita income in Moffat County, at $24,577 per year, is well below the average in Colorado, which is $31,109. Mineral extraction, agriculture, and a small tourism industry provide the basis for the local economy.


But out of those economic sectors, jobs in the mining industry far outweigh the others in income and benefits. The average Colowyo job pays $44,000 per year.  And, according to one study by the National Mining Association, the indirect job creation for a typical coal miner is 1:3, so for every one coal job, there are three additional jobs created to support the mines themselves and the housing, schooling, and other needs of the miners and their families. The ruling by Judge Jackson could result in the loss of 1,000 jobs in Moffat County.

Unfortunately for the coal community in Moffat, and other regions of the country, WEG is relentless in their efforts to shut down mining operations. The Craig Daily Press article says:

The claim against Colowyo and Trapper mines was originally part of a larger complaint from [Wild Earth] Guardians regarding mines in New Mexico, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming.

The WEG website discloses their goal to eliminate all forms of coal mining in the Mountain West:

Wild Earth Guardians is challenging every new Interior Department plan to sell coal. We are forcing a new paradigm that will make coal more expensive and thus, clean energy more competitive. At every turn we will fight the coal industry to keep coal in the ground.

With the ruling in Moffat County by Judge Jackson, local coal companies face regulatory complications that will certainly make it more expensive to mine in the area, and if WEG has its way, it will become impossible.

This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.

reposted with permission of the author  5/15/15


New Colorado Law Bans EBT Cards at Strip Clubs, Pot Shops

May 12, 2015

By Arthur Kane |

DENVER —A bill intended to block ATM welfare withdrawals at strip bars, liquor stores, pot dispensaries and casinos, which was introduced after a series of stories exposed thousands of tax dollars taken out at those locations, passed the Colorado Legislature last month and Gov. John Hickenlooper signed it Friday.

House Bill 1255 sponsored by state Rep. Tim Dore, R-Elizabeth, and Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver was signed with about 30 other bills Friday, according to a news release.

In March, Dore told fellow lawmakers the legislation was prompted by a series of stories.

Photo Courtesy Colorado Legislature

FIGHT FRAUD: State Rep. Tim Dore, R-Elizabeth,  successfully got his bill that would require ATM owners to help stop welfare abuses at their shops signed into law.

“The Watchdog group that monitors issues throughout the nation (revealed this) and as soon as one organization looked at this, others verified it,” he said.

House Bill 1255 allows the Colorado departments of Human Services and Revenue to write rules requiring businesses to block their ATMs from accepting welfare-benefit cards. The bill also requires regular reports to lawmakers about illegal withdrawals, which have been banned under state and federal law for years, but found continued despite of lawmakers’ intent.

CDHS has opposed changes to welfare ATMs in the past but this year came on board after finding about $500,000 a year was withdrawn at locations prohibited by state and federal law — that’s about 1 percent of the total welfare withdrawals.

“It’s unusual for me as a social worker to support limiting access for people struggling with poverty,” CDHS executive director Reggie Bicha told the committee in March. “Colorado needs a balanced way to deal with this.”

The bill passed the House in March, the Senate two weeks ago and was sent last week to Hickenlooper.   

Arthur Kane is an investigative reporter who covers Colorado and Oklahoma. You can follow him at @ArthurMKane. If you have tips or investigative ideas, email him at

reposted with permission by  5/13/15


What really empowers a woman?

May 10, 2015

Though I can’t change any of it, and I know it can work for my good, sometimes I wish I had never made the stupid, disastrous choices that have impeded my progress and broken my heart. But the one thing I will never regret is the blessed choice I made to be a mom.

I’ve climbed slick rock monoliths without ropes and gear. I’ve run whitewater rivers in rafts, and body-surfed in the ocean. I’ve flown in tiny airplanes, to get a glimpse of my Western Colorado home from the intimacy of the sky. I’ve traveled here and there to conferences and commemorations and parties and just to hang out with friends, but the most adventurous thing I will ever do is be a mom.

I’ve been on stage, as the star of a play, as a character actor, or a member of the chorus. I’ve traveled as an entertainer, singer, done summer-stock theater, danced and emoted my little heart out. I’ve directed plays and worked behind the scenes on movies and television commercials, but the most creative thing I have ever done is to bring my kids into the world.

I’ve written books, and a gozillion articles. Sometimes I speak my words to a group–although I prefer the written word because, for me, the spoken word can be a struggle. I can write a prospectus, or a compliance matrix, or a grant, a short story or a silly skit, but the most important words I will ever write or speak, are those addressed to my children, in love, and testimony, and “what’s up?”

I’ve had jobs cleaning motels, serving in restaurants, in laundries and orchards, show business, schools, and in the halls of State Government, but the most important job I have had, or will ever have, is to be a mom.

I’ve enjoyed the company of dear friends, laughed ’till my face cramped up, goofed off, pulled pranks, quipped, punned, and imbibed in general silliness all of my life, but the most fun I have ever had is as a mom to four smart, funny, slightly off-beat kids.

I’ve influenced many people and used my words to influence the outcomes of important political causes and candidacies. I’ve used my network of friends and acquaintances to sway opinions and win hearts to the right side of an issue, but the most empowering thing I can imagine is being a mom.

I’ve suffered unspeakable regret, sorrow for my errors, pain for my wrongs, suffering for my sins, and spiritual estrangement for my defiance. Though I can’t change any of it, and I know it can work for my good, sometimes I wish I had never made the stupid, disastrous choices that have impeded my progress and broken my heart. But the one thing I will never regret is the blessed choice I made to be a mom.

I know little about eternity, or the mind of God, but one thing I do know about my Eternal Father and His plan, is that he has blessed me–a faulty, fragile, rebellious brat of a daughter–with the most precious gift mortality can offer. God has endowed me with the privilege of having four amazing, bright, loving–and a little rebellious–people in my life who call me “Mom.”

by Marjorie Haun  5/10/15

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If you didn’t vote for Romney because he’s a Mormon, do you regret it?

May 8, 2015

Mitt Romney, though an imperfect candidate with a mixed history, would not have allowed (through intent, mismanagement, neglect, and malice, as on the part of Barack Obama), the Middle East to become a chaotic, dangerous, bloody mess, and the American economic system to teeter on the verge of collapse.

If you opted NOT to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 because he’s Mormon, or was too “moderate” as the governor of Massachusetts, I want to ask if you are now prepared to set aside your prejudices and unite with various factions of the Republican Party in order to win the White House in 2016?

Ask yourselves, if Romney had been elected in 2012 would…

  • …ISIS have taken over large regions in Iraq and Syria, and be spreading into other areas of the Middle East in a genocidal crusade against civilization?
  • …we be negotiating with Iran to form a treaty that will legitimize and facilitate their creation of nuclear weapons program that will threaten the existence of Israel, and create a 21st nuclear arms race between Muslim nations in the Middle East?
  • …Christians be persecuted, driven from their homes, and murdered by the thousands by rogue jihadi groups from Iraq to Africa?
  • …massive waves of illegal aliens from Mexico, Central America, African nations, and other unstable countries across the globe, introducing disease, terrorism, and millions of potential government dependents, be surging across our southern border?
  • …cities like Ferguson and Baltimore be in the process of ruination caused by riots and vandalism engendered by race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Eric Holder?
  • …legitimate journalists like Sharyl Attkisson and James Rosen be the targets of minions in the Administration and the Department of Justice, who want to shut them down and punish them for exercising their rights to free speech?
  • …medical costs soar and treatment options decrease under the socialized medical program called Obamacare?
  • …the IRS get away with targeting conservative and TEA Party organizations?
  • …92,000,000 Americans be non-participants in the workforce?
  • …nearly half of Americans be receiving some kind of government assistance?
  • …we have a national debt that is continuing to skyrocket, and is currently over $18,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo?
  • …we have an out-of-control NSA spying on countless billions of phone calls and emails transmitted by ordinary Americans?
  • …the Veteran’s Administration be in an utter shambles, cheating thousands of wounded heroes out of their deserved benefits and medical treatment?
  • …hundreds of executive actions designed to sidestep the rule of law and implement a radical progressive agenda be enacted?
  • …incompetence and corruption in our federal agencies, from the Secret Service to the State Department, be the status quo?
  • 65% of Americans believe the country is headed down the toilet?

Folks, the list of disasters that have occurred under the direction of the Obama Administration is too long to detail here. But you get my point; Mitt Romney, though an imperfect candidate with a mixed history, would not have allowed (through intent, mismanagement, neglect, and malice, as on the part of Barack Obama), the Middle East to become a chaotic, dangerous, bloody mess, and the American economic system to teeter on the verge of collapse.

Perhaps NOT voting for Romney was a sort of revenge against the Establishment GOP. Perhaps it was drawing the line in the sand against a Mormon as the leader of the nation. Those matters are up for debate. What is not up for debate is the fact that when disgruntled Conservatives, harboring irrational prejudices, refuse to engage in the process because they don’t have what they believe is the perfect candidate, America suffers, the world suffers, and the future becomes very dubious and bleak for our children.

I hope and pray that for the future of free people and free nations, that a lesson has been learned, and 2012 will not be repeated.

by Marjorie Haun  5/8/15


Stoners vs the Environment

April 30, 2015

Earth Day and 420 marijuana festivities clash in Colorado



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A SURPRISING CONFLICT: Colorado’s marijuana industry is at odds with Earth Day, whose environmental movement initially brought about the marijuana culture.

By Marjorie Haun | Watchdog Arena

In Colorado, Earth Day, which arose from the 1970s environmental movement, coincides with the “420” Marijuana Festival. The era that gave us Earth Day also brought the marijuana culture into the public consciousness, which has evolved into a movement to decriminalize recreational marijuana use in many states.

In 2015, two years following the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana, there is a surprising clash emerging between the marijuana industry and environmental concerns.

Marijuana is a water-intensive crop, and one plant can require up to six gallons of water per day. Since marijuana was legalized in 2012, Colorado has awarded over 600 licenses to medical marijuana growers and nearly 400 to recreational marijuana growers.

Marijuana plants are grown in warehouses with capacities up to 3,600 plants, green houses with a capacity of 1,800 plants, home basements with a capacity up to 6 plants, and outdoor farms, which can hold thousands.Though there is currently no precise data on water usage, marijuana cultivation facilities in Colorado could be using hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per day, and millions per week.

Parts of Colorado are currently in what the National Climatic Data Center classifies as asevere drought.  The state has struggled for decades with regional water shortages, and Gov. John Hickenlooper’s water plan threatens to divert even more water from Colorado’s thirsty western regions. Complicating the issue for the marijuana industry is the fact that federal water cannot be legally used to cultivate the crop.

About 1.6 million acre-feet of Colorado’s agricultural water comes from federal resources, leaving marijuana growers with only private wells or municipal water as alternatives. Whether the water comes from federally managed water or municipal resources, there is still the problem of supply, and Colorado may be headed in the disastrous direction of California.

Recreational marijuana is currently illegal in California. Nevertheless, great attention is being paid to the amount of water going to illegal indoor and outdoor marijuana growing operations. California’s historic drought has impacted the state’s agricultural interests, threatening essential food crops, fisheries, and other industries.

A recent research article entitled “Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California Watersheds” explains:

..that water demand for marijuana cultivation has the potential to divert substantial portions of streamflow in the study watersheds, with an estimated flow reduction of up to 23% of the annual seven-day low flow in the least impacted of the study watersheds.

The marijuana culture has historically been associated with the environmental movement, but available science indicates that the growing industry is environmentally problematic. Not only does the cultivation of marijuana require massive amounts of water, but the energy requirements for indoor warehouse and green-house growing operations are vast as well. A UC Berkeley study says:

The most significant environmental effect of cannabis production, and the one that varies most with different production practices, is energy consumption, especially fossil energy use with climate effects from release of greenhouse gas. Indoor-grown marijuana is an energy-intensive product by weight, using on the order of 2000 kWh per pound of product (for comparison, aluminum requires only about 7 kWh per pound).

It’s estimated that Colorado growers produce 287,259 pounds of marijuana per year, which requires 574,518,000 kWh of electricity, most of which comes from fossil-fuel generated resources. By one estimate, for every pound of marijuana produced, 4,600 pounds of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. Earth Day celebrants concerned with greenhouse gases should note the significant carbon footprint of Colorado’s marijuana industry.

California, which is rife with illegal outdoor grows, suffers from the denuding of the country side, soil loss and erosion as a result of poor marijuana farming practices. A form of water and soil pollution called “nutrient pollution” is also associated with marijuana cultivation. Fertilizers meant to enhance growth of the cannabis plants flow out with water that feeds the growing operations, whether through hydroponics or irrigated fields. The nutrient pollution from marijuana cultivation can be significant.

Colorado is currently struggling with problems stemming from a lack of information about what fertilizers and pesticides can be safely and legally used on marijuana plants.

The California Fish and Wildlife department reports that illegal stands of marijuana are the source of pollution in many of the state’s rivers and streams. In another story from California, illegal marijuana growers used rat poison to stop weasels from raiding their plants. The damage from this practice to wildlife and the environment was devastating and long-lasting.

Colorado’s legalized recreational marijuana, “pot tourism,” and a growing “edibles” industry, are celebrated each April 20 in downtown Denver, but as the environmental problems of marijuana farming become more apparent, it makes one take pause and wonder if those Earth Day “flower children” of the 1970’s might be on the verge of a new war with themselves.

This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.


Colorado Kill Blog IV

April 26, 2013

The Colorado Kill Blog is the good news of the Limited Government Gospel. Here, we chronicle, with gratuitous glee, the death of bad bills.


HB15-1024–The “Expand Colorado Preschool Enrollment” bill–Sponsors, Pettersen (D), Kefalas (D), Todd (D) 

This bill sought to increase  Colorado preschool funding by over 50 percent, with the goal of adding 11,200 kiddies to the 20,160 now attending state-run preschool or kindergarten. This bill was driven on the assumption that all Coloradans want to put their wee tots into school at 2 or 3 years of age, to be digested and processed by the nanny state before they’re even potty trained. The Democrat sponsors of the bill are probably of the mind that wee ones do better in the clutches of government-run day care than they do under the loving hand of parents and family. Fortunately, this unnecessary big government day care scheme was killed in the House Appropriations Committee, saving the State of Colorado a mere $11,310,548.00 in the first year alone.

HB15-1133 the “Continue the Colorado Pay Equity Commission” bill–Sponsors Danielson (D), Ulibarri (D)

This bill would revive the Colorado Pay Equity Commission for the foreseeable future. The role of the commission, created in 2010, was to ensure that employees in Colorado would be paid equitably and fairly. The bill purports that the commission would educate employers about the practices that contribute to pay inequity, and “monitor the status of pay inequity in Colorado.” This unnecessary commission would be an arbitrary weapon to be used against businesses it deemed inequitable. Based on nebulous standards such as “equity” and “fairness,” this bill was deserved to be killed since there are hundreds of laws already in statute which govern fair wages, equity, and discrimination. It died while waiting for a raise in the Senate State Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, saving the state $876,000.00 in the first two years alone.

HB15-1091 the “Use of Restraints on Juveniles in Court” bill–Sponsors Lontine (D), Merrifield (D)

This bleeding heart bill would require each Colorado judicial district to develop and implement policies surrounding the shackling of juvenile criminals in court appearances. Based on the premise that shackling the hands and feet of young criminals is traumatic due to the public nature of appearing in court, this bill was designed to reduce the instances of shackling. The sponsors of this bill failed to recognize that shackles are for the protection of incarcerated youth as well as detention and court staff. Juvenile criminals, by definition, have little impulse control, so this form of added security literally helps maintain order and safety in the court. Although this bill added no fiscal burden to the state, the burden to judicial districts of reviewing shackling policies for each and every juvenile offender would be unquestionably heavy. This bill was sentenced to a humane execution in the Senate State Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

SB15-140 the “Regulation of Home Inspectors” bill–Sponsor, Todd (D)

It’s true that Democrats have never met a profession they wouldn’t like to regulate. This 20 page bill–which is exceedingly involved for a state bill–would have created the Home Inspector Licensure Act, adding undue bureaucratic burdens and costs to Colorado’s housing market, and the private entities that keep it afloat. Fortunately, the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee found SB15-140 hopelessly defective, and killed it, saving the state nearly $300,000.00.

SB15-079 the “Increased Document Recording Fee” bill–Sponsor, Ulibarri (D)

Democrats love to regulate and tax, and this bill is really a tax increase disguised as a fee. It would raise to $2 the “surcharge” aka tax, imposed by county clerks and recorders for each document received for recording or filing. The collected fees, aka taxes, would go to grow the nanny state by creating a “statewide affordable housing investment fund.” In classic Leftist redistribution style, SB15-079 would rip-off one segment of the population in order to provide freebies for another. And in classic Republican “gridlock,” this confiscatory bill was killed in the Senate State Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

HB15-1265 the “Transgender Birth Certificate” bill–Sponsors Moreno, (D) and Ulibarri, (D)

Colorado already allows “transgender” folks to change the gender on their original birth certificate through a court order if they supply valid evidence that they have undergone procedure(s) that changed their natural sexual identity. This bill, introduced by several LGBT activist legislators, would allow people to change their gender designation simply with a written statement from a mental health professional indicating that they feel or believe they are transgender. This bill would open the door to massive identity fraud, complications with criminal investigations and law enforcement, not to mention a nightmare for the state records division. Regardless of what sex a person deems his or herself to be, the law must have a standard for personal identification, and gender is the foundation of human identity and family history. This dangerous bill was surgically removed by the Senate State Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

HB15-1175 the “Ban on Conversion Therapy” bill–Sponsors Rosenthal, (D) and Steadman, (D)

This bill was also introduced by two openly homosexual activist legislators, and was intended to make illegal a type of counseling that addresses unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction. A blatant assault on the First Amendment rights of professional therapists, the ban on “Conversion Therapy” was a bill designed explicitly to keep self-identified homosexual youth trapped in a sexual identity which might bring great anxiety and unhappiness. Other progressive states have passed similar bans, but to prohibit a type of therapy that is beneficial to those who seek it, and which has no documented bad side-effects, is an obscene legislative overreach. Luckily, for the sake of the counseling profession in Colorado and those youth who may be experiencing sexual identity confusion and want help, this offensive bill was put down by the Senate State Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

These dead bills equal a savings of $12,486,548.00.

by Marjorie Haun  4/26/15





Democrats’ Illogical, Hypocritical Position on Crimes Against the Unborn

April 24, 2015

Welcome to Radical Colorado, where marijuana is legal and celebrated as a civil right, and homosexuals can “marry” one another, but unborn babies killed in the commission of a crime are not recognized as persons.

Most Coloradans were horrified on March 18 of this year, by the news that a young woman from Longmont, Michelle Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant, became the victim of an attack in which she was stabbed, cut open, her baby then removed and stolen. Dynel Lane, the deranged perp who met Wilkins through a Craig’s List ad for baby clothes, took the pre-term baby girl out of Wilkins, and then transported her to Longmont United Hospital, where she was found to be dead, with no evidence that she was alive following the stabbing. Lane was arrested and after weeks of legal wrangling, the Boulder County District Attorney filed 8 counts against her, none of which were for homicide.

Colorado has no law which protects pregnant mothers from assaults which harm or kill their unborn babies. Frankly, the radicals who wield political clout in the state have prevented any and all efforts to give unborn victims of crime any recognition at all. Following the repugnant attack on Michelle Wilkins and her baby daughter, Aurora, Republicans in the Colorado State Senate undertook to craft a bill that would offer protection to unborn crime victims without threatening so-called “abortion rights.” SB15-268, “Aurora’s Law,” deals specifically with the criminal code and defines an unborn crime victim as a “person” only insofar as it is applicable in criminal charges in the case of a homicide.  Thirty-eight other states have laws prosecuting fetal homicide, twenty-nine of which protect the unborn at all stages of gestation.

Aurora’s Law specifically indicates that legal abortions, as constitutionally defined, are not impacted by the bill, and despite the use of the word “person” for prosecutorial purposes, it does not establish blanket “personhood” for unborn babies in Colorado. Nevertheless, Democrats in the State Legislature and their surrogates; ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc., have been hyperventilating in attempts to discredit Aurora’s Law as an assault on women and their “reproductive rights.” They seem to ignore the fact that in abortion, women choose to end the lives of their, and under current law, there is no crime–except, of course, the moral crime of taking an innocent life. But in cases of crimes committed against unborn children, there are ALWAYS two victims, the mother AND the baby.

One witness representing the ACLU testifying in opposition to Aurora’s Law set forth the scenario that, (paraphrased) “If a woman who is beaten by her husband loses the baby due to violent trauma, this bill could prosecute the woman for staying with the husband and not protecting the baby from him.” This witness, and others like her, seem to forget that in such a scenario, THE WOMAN IS ALSO A VICTIM, and existing laws, in concert with Aurora’s Law, would hold the abusive husband accountable for the beating of the wife and the death of the baby.

The Democrats have chosen to couch their arguments against Aurora’s Law in such a way that it seems they’re saying fetal homicide and abortion are the one and the same. They are essentially arguing that there should no law punishing crimes against unborn children because such a law would threaten abortion rights. Do Democrats realize that in doing so, they are also admitting that abortion IS the equivalent of fetal homicide?

There is a breathtaking gap in the logic of those who oppose Aurora’s Law who also say they are for “women’s rights.” The truth is that Aurora’s Law is a protection for women, because no unborn child can be harmed without its mother being harmed first. You cannot separate the life of a pregnant mom from the life of her yet-to-be-born child. Ironically, abortion-rights progressives have always agreed with this premise.

Sadly, this generation of Colorado Democrats has been radicalized, and they always circle the progressive wagons around their most holy icon of abortion, giving nary a thought to how their obstruction of a good law, such as Aurora’s Law, ultimately harms women, and little girls, and little boys.

by Marjorie Haun  4/23/15



Colorado: The Right to Flop

April 22, 2015

I believe that homelessness, the causes for which are many and complex, should be addressed before the fact, with policies and social norms that encourage strong families, moral conduct, and personal accountability. Let’s start with NOT MAKING MARIJUANA LEGAL, ABUNDANT AND CHEAP!

Colorado Democrats introduced a bill into the State Legislature titled, “The Colorado Right to Rest Act.” I’m not kidding. But before I eviscerate this silly piece of legislative drivel, let’s have some background and analyze why Denver has become a magnet for “homeless” folk.

  • Recreational marijuana was legalized via citizen initiative in November of 2012.
  • The law went into effect in 2013.
  • In late 2013 and throughout 2014, homeless shelters in the Denver-metro area saw a significant spike in the number of homeless people seeking beds.
  • During that time correlations were made between the influx of homeless people into the region and the legalization of recreational pot.

It is clear that legalized marijuana exacerbates homelessness for a number of reasons:

  • Many homeless people are drug-addicted, and marijuana in Colorado is A-B-U-N-D-A-N-T, especially if you have a medical marijuana card.
  • Marijuana is an appealing way for transients to find some sense of relief from anxiety.
  • The marijuana industry creates jobs that are attractive to those enamored with the pot scene.

The summary of the “Colorado Right to Rest Act,” also known as the “Homeless Persons Bill of Rights,” reads:

“The bill creates the “Colorado Right to Rest Act,” which establishes basic rights for person experience homelessness, including, but not limited to, the right to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination, to rest in public spaces without discrimination, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one’s property. A person whose rights have been violated may seek enforcement in a civil action, and a court may award relief and damages as appropriate. The bill does not create an obligation for a provider of services for persons experiencing homelessness to provide shelter or services when none are available.”

Yes people, this bill would give homeless people the RIGHT to sue your butt for just about any reason. Restaurants, bars, theaters, public buildings, garages, stairwells, hallways, would be turned, overnight, into flop houses, with little or no recourse for people patronizing such commercial establishments or just walking about the city.

As for occupying a “legally parked vehicle,” this bleeding heart mishmash fails to say whether or not the vehicle has to be the property of the homeless dude occupying it. One has to ask whether or not kicking a homeless person out of the back or your F-1050 would expose you to a lawsuit!

And, accepting and eating food “in any public space where food is not prohibited” may be interpreted just about anyway an ACLU lawyer can imagine. Libraries and government offices are public spaces. Court houses and police stations are public spaces. It’s possible that, under this bill, homeless people could brownbag it in the Capitol Rotunda, or the atrium of the library, or the steps of the county courthouse. Pigeons would be ecstatic, but those using public buildings, not so much.

And let’s not forget that a significant percentage of Denver’s homeless are unabashed potheads. It is currently illegal for ordinary citizens to smoke marijuana in open public spaces in Colorado. But, since the “Right to Rest Act” creates special rights for homeless people, it is likely that requiring a homeless guy to douse the doobie he’s smoking on the steps of the Capitol, will be deemed discriminatory, and therefore punishable under this stupid law.

I encourage you all to read the “Right to Rest Act” in its entirety here:

Carving out special rights for homeless folks in Colorado will inevitably attract more homeless folks to the state, and since legalized recreational pot is already a massive hobo magnet, this problem will surely become more unmanageable. Long story short, the “Right to Rest Act” aka “Homeless Persons Bill of Rights” is stupid and doomed to failure.

I believe that homelessness, the causes for which are many and complex, should be addressed before the fact, with policies and social norms that encourage strong families, moral conduct, and personal accountability. Let’s start with NOT MAKING MARIJUANA LEGAL, ABUNDANT AND CHEAP! Homelessness is often preventable because the causes of homelessness usually result from personal choices. Much of the time, substance abuse, alcoholism, criminality, mental illness, illegitimacy, human sex trafficking, unemployment, and illness can and should be be addressed before involuntary homelessness occurs.  Homelessness is not something that just happens to otherwise decent people. And the more homelessness is made to be comfortable and empowering, the more the problem will grow.  The unfortunate circumstances of homelessness do not obligate citizens to accommodate their needs by making outdoor mess halls of our public spaces, and flop houses of any place they may choose to bed down for the night.

As a thought exercise, just imagine that HB-1264 is passed through the Colorado Legislature, and you’re standing in line at City Grille to get a 1,400 calorie steakburger. Milling about on the sidewalk are some homeless people, panhandling, playing their ukuleles, smelling like old socks and Gorgonzola cheese, and there is nothing you nor the proprietor of the restaurant can do to prevent them from begging for money or food or crowding the entrance to the place, because to do so could expose you to charges of civil rights violations. Thus, your rights as a citizen are diminished, as are the rights of the owner of City Grille, to create a safe, clean, pleasant public space for his patrons. Are you thinking about this? Good. Then let’s get real, people. Perhaps a more appropriate name for HB-1264 would be “The Colorado Right to Stink Act.”

Posted by the callous Marjorie Haun  4/22/15






Why Progressive Radicals want to Ban “Conversion Therapy”

April 19, 2015

It is possible, however, that the true driving-force behind bans on Conversion Therapy, is that the “born that way” lie is threatened as individuals abdicate former homosexual lifestyles, and abandon that which radical progressives insist, is a fixed and immutable homosexual identity.

There’s a part of me that has great pity for the radicals on the progressive Left. They spend all their time trying to deconstruct the essential institutions of marriage, family, education, religion, etc., with the goal of recreating them in their own nihilistic image. But like Sisyphus, their effort is futile. They make a little headway, causing societal destruction, broken families, confusion and chaos, but in the long-term, Progressivism never works because truth, reason and reality cannot be deconstructed.


Earlier this month, the Colorado Senate Veteran’s and Military Affairs Committee killed a bill that would have made illegal the practice of “Conversion Therapy” by mental health professionals in the State. Similar bans on such therapy have been passed in the progressive states, California and New Jersey. Advocates of such bans, including President Obama, assert that such therapy is harmful and cruel, despite the lack of evidence, other than anecdotal stories, that Conversion Therapy has ever harmed any of its participants.

The Colorado “Ban on Conversion Therapy” bill, introduced by two LGBT Democrats, Representative Paul Rosenthal and Senator Pat Steadman, was sold on the grounds of compassionate acceptance of the “natural” identities of LGBTQ children. There was no consideration given to the facts that sexual identity confusion is not unusual during adolescence, and that there is evidence that many self-identified homosexual children have been victims of early sexual abuse.

“Conversion Therapy” is an inaccurate and somewhat derisive name for the type counseling that individuals beset with homosexual questioning may obtain in a quest to reconcile unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction. Typically there is no “conversion,” coercion, or other heavy-handed methodology, in this form of therapy. It consists mostly of guided conversations that help an afflicted individual explore his or her authentic goals and aspirations, aligning them with the sexual identity that makes those goals and aspirations possible. The bill in question, HB15-1175, would prohibit all counselors, therapists, and mental health professionals from talking to patients under the age of 18 about the possibility that their same-sex attraction might not be a permanent characteristic, and could be changed through behavior modification and exploration of thoughts and self-conceptions.

The errant premise behind the effort to ban therapies which address distressing feelings of same-sex attraction, is that all homosexuals, lesbians, and transgender people are born that way, and comprise a normal subset within a given population.  Despite the fact that the “born that way” idea is not biologically provable, folks like the Democrats behind HB15-1175 are attempting to remake our entire culture based upon that lie.

Though the bill is an offensive assault on the First Amendment, that’s not the only reason it’s dangerous. If passed, this type of law could trap young people suffering from identity confusion, or the emotional trauma of sexual assault, from obtaining the help they need to lead happy, productive lives.  It is possible, however, that the true driving-force behind bans on Conversion Therapy, is that the “born that way” lie is threatened as individuals abdicate former homosexual lifestyles, and abandon that which radical progressives insist, is a fixed and immutable homosexual identity. On a sinister level, banning Conversion Therapy shores up the homosexual agenda by closing a potential escape hatch for those who want a way out.

Even with politically-correct pseudo science siding with radical homosexuals and progressives, many studies have called into question the “gay gene” theory.  Also, one cannot ignore the studies correlating homosexuality with early sexual abuse. Finally, former homosexuals and lesbians are becoming bolder in speaking out against the lie that homosexuality is a fixed human feature, and cannot be addressed through loving counseling and guidance.

Common sense tells me that the desire to “ban” a form of counseling–which is a ban on a certain form of speech–indicates that someone has something to hide. If radical Progressives and LGBT activists are confident that they are correct in all their dogmatic assertions, why are they so uncomfortable with the free speech of doctors who might help people discover that they were not “born that way” after all?

 by Marjorie Haun  4/19/15


Nothing Elevating about a Rocky Mountain High

April 18, 2013

There is nothing elevating about getting high in the state of Colorado.

I overheard this conversation in a downtown Denver restaurant yesterday, the day before the big 420 Marijuana event.

Man 1: (to waiter) Since we’re here for the weekend we need somebody to help us navigate the whole dispensary thing.

Man 2: Yeah, my buddy and I are here from Michigan, and we want to get some pot, but we both realized our driver’s licenses are expired. What can we do?

Waiter: No problem, just hang out around the entrance of the dispensary and, you know, people are always glad to sell you a bud. It happens all the time.

Man 1: Thanks, man.

To put this into context, a young couple three booths down from me were tweaking their brains out, and pot, undoubtedly, was their gateway drug to the harder, brain-eating substances.

But folks, this is the shameful position that amending our state constitution to make recreational marijuana a “right” has put Coloradans in. Recreational marijuana is a social evil. There is nothing good that comes from it. Getting stoned does nothing to enhance human functioning, but is proven to do great damage to the human body, adolescent brains, family ties, memory and motivation.


There is nothing virtuous or good about legalized recreational pot. It is both a cause and symptom of progressive moral and social decay. Do those who tout tax dollars from pot realize that the cost to this and future generations will far outweigh any perceived fiscal benefits? Do they realize that the children caught up in the pot culture today will be the broken souls of tomorrow? Is it worth it folks, to welcome and embrace a known evil into Colorado, opening the door to addiction, crime, and broken relationships with a wink and a nod and a bill from the state Department of Revenue?

I’m sure those guys from Michigan found a dispensary with folks willing to sell them a bud. Our tourists now come here to break the law, lie, and get stoned. There is nothing elevating about getting high in the state of Colorado.

by Marjorie Haun 4/18/15

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