Bruce Finley at The Denver Post has some great reporting on an upcoming move by the Bureau of Land Management to open up some of Colorado’s wildest land near the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and The Great Sand Dune National Park to oil and gas interests. Part of a larger effort by the BLM under the Trump administration to open up protected, preserved lands to corporate energy entities, similar fights have also opened up in Utah’s Zion National Park and the Bear Ears National Monument. Despicably but predictably, much of the BLM’s moves directly target sites sacred to indigenous communities, untouched by industry, and in many cases, previously surveyed and determined that the potential wealth extracted isn’t worth the environmental consequences. The 18,000 acres of public lands slated for oil and gas industrialization in Colorado is home to two spiritually important mountains for the Navajo people and residents in the area overwhelmingly want to preserve the area for future tourism, one of Colorado’s largest revenue generators.
Governor Hickenlooper, characteristically wishy-washy, responded to the issues raised by conservationist groups and tribal leaders in a fashion fit for a typical soulless buisnessman:
“We take the concerns regarding mineral leasing seriously and will address new concerns as they are raised.”
The article further notes that Hickenlooper, in contrast to his Utah Republican counterpart Gary Herbert who has barred BLM efforts to drill on protected land, is declining to intervene on the sale despite having the power to do so. State lawmakers opposed to the development are relying on Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Corey Gardner (R), to protect vulnerable fauna as well as crucial watersheds, which is a little like hoping your crackhead neighbors talk their own friends out of burglarizing your apartment and shitting in your bathtub. Continue reading “Hickenlooper Dithers On The Great Sand Dunes Oil & Gas Lease, Navajo Nation Vows to Protect Land”
Writing about Boulder, Colorado without coming off like an alt-right douchebag is a tall order, doubly so if you’re trying to extrapolate the city’s recent unanimous council vote to ban all high-capacity magazines and so-called “assault weapons”. Really, trying to have a conversation at all about gun bans and private citizen’s access to firearms without sounding like a mouthbreather splitting hairs has become a doozy, thanks to a racist gun lobby that looks morally and ethically compromised as well as the general debating skill-level of your average online firearms enthusiast. I’d hope it goes without saying that listening to a milquetoast Facebook mommy of three with dishwater hair state “I want the boom-boom murder sticks to be put in HOT LAVA” is about as intellectually thrilling as dissecting the finer points of magazine terminology.
Boulder takes about six weeks off of my life for every three hour period I remain within the city limits. The stereotypes are true, South Park is right on the money: it really is a Trustafarian, Birkenstock-wearing NIMBY paradise. It’s both-sides-of-the-mouth liberalism at its finest, highlighted perfectly by its benches preventing the homeless from sleeping and vigilant camping ban while they promote an “entry and transition program”. Boulder is Colorado’s experimental gentrification-condo-hell microcosm, where they find out which new mixed-use developer concept could take root in other surrounding metropolises. Areas of Denver and Fort Collins have taken on eerie Boulder essences, radically changing the character of a variety of neighborhoods to an aesthetic only a sleazy Aspen coke dealer could find appealing. Smoking in public, particularly on Pearl Street, can get you a ticket and if CU is in session, every guy from Ohio that wore a Spiccoli sweatshirt and got into Bob Marley in eighth grade is roaming town trying to put molly in somebody’s drink. Boulder fucking sucks and everybody in Colorado that doesn’t live there or already think of it as some kind of hippie cultural Mecca hates it.
Unsurprisingly, Boulder loves virtue signaling. Maintaining a level of smug self-satisfaction and know-it-all moralism is a bipartisan pastime in this country, and nobody understands that better than Boulder. These are Kucinich voters, ladies and gentleman, but they all live in $1 million homes. Virtue signaling is all the political vitality these people have. That’s an empty tie-dye shirt. What the Boulder City Council accomplished by unanimously passing a blanket firearms ban only hurts their cause, costs taxpayers money, and ultimately usurps the oh-so-sacrosanct democratic process for a brief moment of bullshit political posturing. Continue reading “Boulder City Council Unanimously Passes Assault Weapon Ban, Verifying How Much Boulder Sucks”
As both a longtime Northwestern Denver resident and a self-sabotaging, economically disadvantaged proletarian, public transit development in Colorado is something I pay a lot of attention to. I’m on my second car and I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 19, which was almost ten years ago, and I didn’t own a car until I was almost 21. From about 15 on, I rode Denver’s buses and trains for work, play, and everything in between. One conclusion I think many of my fellow riders can agree on is that RTD, Denver’s Regional Transport District, is fucking horrible.
Much of my early usage with Twitter was primarily to antagonize the intern running the RTD account. Buses very rarely run on time or don’t come at all. More often than not, a trip with more than one transfer is going to get screwed up, and that makes using public transit as a way to reliably commute almost impossible. Unless you’re planning on leaving an hour earlier, which compounds how horrific RTD’s metro transit routing network actually is: an accurate anecdotal estimation is that for every 10-15 minutes it might take to drive somewhere, you can count on at least an hour on a bus. My commute is about a thirty minute drive. Once you factor in the walking, due to the fact that both my destination and my home don’t have have any direct bus service, using public transportation for my commute takes nearly three and a half hours. One way. Inclimate weather? Go fuck yourself. Continue reading “The G-Line is Really Coming This Time, Guys”
Connotations as to what being a “news junkie” is have changed in the last few years. To me, it used to mean there was a drive to stay informed and get ahead of stories. Now, I fear it’s the territory of rubberneckers watching a constant train wreck that never stops and civic sadists waiting for their next embarrassing, shameful pain fix. Some of them are scared to death, I suppose, trying desperately to find information that doesn’t make them regret bringing children into the world or not immigrating to Australia in their mid-twenties.
A lot has been made of a “return to normalcy” and if that’s even something that’s possible to do. What’s your definition of normal? When was that? Was it when you didn’t feel like you had to watch the news coverage of purportedly mad men with their fingers on the throat of existence? It was when it was easily ignored. Whether it was Obama’s drone strike program or massive numbers of deportations that surpassed levels during the Bush administration, or the latter administration’s illegal renditions program and massive expansion of domestic surveillance, most regular folks might think Trump’s regime ushered in this authoritative, bumbling totalitarianism. There’s nothing new about it. They’re just doubling down on it. Continue reading “FYI: The First Woman(!) to Head the CIA Tortured People At Secret Black Site Prisons”