12/14/23 Blog: The King of Christmas Lights, Plus Dems Ditch Troublemakers

WALT HAZARD LOVES SOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS And the Highlands Ranch man was recently featured on "The Great Christmas Light Fight" and though he didn't win, it was the fulfillment of a dream for Walt. He joins me at 12:30 to talk about his love for Christmas lights and yes, I'm going to ask how much his power bill is each year. Watch the great story about Walt on Denver 7 here.

TWO TROUBLEMAKING DEMOCRATS GET THEIR HANDS SLAPPED Elisabeth Epps and Bob Marshall, two Democratic members of the Colorado House, have been removed from the Judiciary committee by House Speaker Julie McCluskie. Why? Because they are troublemakers. She didn't say that when announcing the change, but did say:

“Serving on a member’s top choice of committee is a privilege — not a right,” McCluskie, D-Dillon, said in a written statement to The Colorado Sun. “I took this step to address frustrations that the Judiciary Committee needed a reset due to the level of acrimony in the personal relationships on the committee and to help deliver the progressive outcomes our caucus is looking for. My decisions on where to appoint members depend on their respect of their colleagues, ability to collaborate and adherence to decorum, which was clearly violated during our special session last month.”

The Colorado Sun reports here on how McCluskie is not happy with Epps's outburst and carrying on during the Special Session, and how Bob Marshall, along with Epps, has created havoc by filing a lawsuit alleging violations of the Open Meeting rules by their own party. Bob Marshall loves to sue about everything, just ask the DougCo School Board. The two will remain on other committees but they won't be a part of the Judiciary committee anymore.

COLORADANS HAVE LOST FAITH IN THE AMERICAN DREAM And by that I mean the home, picket fence and all that. A new poll from the Colorado Polling Institute says likely voters are very worried about housing affordability and the overall cost of living. From Westword:

Researchers found that 59 percent of people surveyed believe a good standard of living is unattainable in Colorado, even if you work hard and play by the rules. Only 32 percent believe that if you follow this mantra you'll attain a good standard of living in the state.

The Colorado Sun has put together a pretty stunning graphic showing how little Coloradans trust various institutions. Check it out here, but the one that grabbed me was the only group trusted less than local journalists is Large Colorado corporations and the Federal Government. Heh. We will dive into this today.

HOW LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN LOWER PROPERTY TAXES This is a great column and you need to read it and start advocating for this in your area.

CHERRY CREEK SCHOOLS HAS A RACISM PROBLEM And the school district needs to get a handle on this as students are posting racist rants on social media and the local chapter of the NAACP is demanding answers. All that being said, can we talk about the N-word for a second? This line from a CBSDenver story caught my eye:

"It is a psychologically damaging and a traumatic thing to be called the N-word and people need to know it," expressed Portia Prescott, president of the Rocky Mountain NAACP chapter.

But is it though? I hear young black men call each other the N-word ALL THE TIME. Constantly. Like every other word. Now what she left off here is "by white people" which is important context. I'm not saying it's not traumatic but can we all move beyond this toxic word? I will never understand why black people continue to use it at each other but then get the vapors when someone else uses it. Unless it's simply now a weapon to be wielded as a power move, which I get. As a society we should all move this word to the dustbin of history and treat each other with dignity and respect regardless of color. I know, I know, I'm just being a Pollyana But is it really though? I hear young black men call each other the N-word ALL THE TIME. What she left out here is "by white people" and that is important context. The word needs to be relegated to the dustbin of history by EVERYONE. Stop using derogatory language at your peers and then pretending that it's only derogatory when white people use it. It's a word that needs to go and everyone should treat everyone with the respect and dignity that other humans deserve. I realize this is a Pollyanna view, but why can't we get there? These idiot kids didn't grow up in the era where black people were regularly referred to by these slurs and to them it probably seems edgy and taboo to use them because their favorite rappers use it all the time. Let's make this word die for everyone.

"JUSTICE INVOLVED" YOUTH STILL ARE ACCUSED OF CRIMES This article is so frustrating because though the mission being pursued, making sure young people who have started a life of crime have better options is a good one, the push to dumb down what they did is not helpful. From the Denver Gazette:

For months, organizers with the network have been working to draft what they’re calling a “Justice Engaged Student Bill of Rights.”
The effort first began in 2021 with a grant from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and a two-year pilot program to connect students, families and educators while collecting information on academic disruptions caused by interactions with the legal system.

The "academic disruptions" were caused because a student made a dumb choice and has been arrested. Let's be clear on the cause and effect here. When you try to shift the blame to the "interactions with the legal system" you completely absolve the student WHO COMMITTED A CRIME or at a minimum put themselves in a position to be charged and that is NOT helpful. For someone to make better choices they MUST take responsibility for the crappy choices they already made. But that's not where the flowery language ends:

The local effort seeks to help students who have had encounters with the legal system graduate high school by eliminating barriers and creating pathways to school re-entry.
A bill of rights is necessary, supporters say, because earning a diploma is correlated with financial attainment and the graduation path for these youth is not often a straight one.
Simply put, "justice engaged" or "justice involved" students are youth who have come into contact with the criminal justice system either as victims, offenders or witnesses. Advocates and school officials alike use this language to describe students who may or may not be adjudicated.

Stop it. Just stop it. You're not helping these kids even when you're trying to help these kids. And stop putting victims and witnesses in this category, they do not deserve to be used to try and polish the image of kids making bad choices.

THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SIDES WITH BULLIES This is a great editorial about a recent move by a Colorado Board of Education member to get the Board to weigh in on the side of parents and students concerned about sharing accomodations with a student of the opposite biological sex. Not only did the Board not support such students, it refused to have the discussion. Read it here.

INFLATION IS FINALLY COOLING IN COLORADO But we're still spending another $1200 a MONTH more than we were spending pre-pandemic. And our inflation here is still higher than the national average. Read more here.

MENTAL HEALTH IN COLORADO AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM This story is very familiar to me and it doesn't happen just in Colorado. We so thoroughly dismantled out mental health facilities when the drug companies convinced Congress that drugs could save everyone that now people only get the help they need when they are locked up for a crime. Read this here, it's very important and I hope you never find yourself in these situations.

A YOUNG WOMAN IS SUING OVER HER TRANSITION At the age of 14 Isabelle Ayala was given testosterone after a 45 minute meeting with a doctor to begin transitioning to male. She says there was no mental health evaluation, no one took her previous diagnoses of ADHD, autism and PTSD from a childhood sexual assault into account. At 17 she decided to detransition and is still dealing with the negative ramifications of testosterone now so she is suing the doctor who prescribed for her along with a group of adults who she says put political ideology over sound medicine. Watch her story below.


CAN WE TALK ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS DRUGS AND CELEBRITIES FOR A MINUTE? Oprah is coming under fire for finally admitting that she just lost 40 pounds using Ozempic. The part owner of Weight Watchers says she wants to do away with the shame around using the drugs once and for all, and you know, SHE'S RIGHT. To be clear, I have had great success on the SOTA Weight Loss plan and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to lose weight while learning how to have a healthier relationship with food. But I know many people who have tried everything and they can't keep the weight off so they turned to these drugs and they are working. There are downsides to the these drugs, not the least of which is you can't really ever stop taking them without regaining weight. For some people that is just a fact they have to live with in order to keep from regaining weight but I don't even see the shame in that either. From that article:

“We wouldn’t give someone a blood pressure medicine and be like, ‘Great, your blood pressure’s better, you should go off it’,” said Dr. Michelle Hauser, obesity medicine director of the Stanford Lifestyle and Weight Management Center. “Somehow people have this magical thinking around obesity, like you’re going to take this drug and it’s going to cause weight loss and just stay that way.”

Some people struggle to keep the weight off for a variety of reasons. This is just another tool in the toolbox to help people get to and maintain a healthy weight. Stop shaming people who are trying to do something to be healthier. Now other celebrities need to fess up so real people know it's not just "watching what I eat and working out more" which we all know is a big fat lie that is very discouraging for real people who watch what they eat and work out more and don't lose anything.

LUKE COMBS IS AN ALRIGHT GUY Celebrities have a right to protect their brand and likeness from people trying to profit off them so I'm not mad at Luke Combs for having his lawyers go after companies doing it. But when Luke found out that his attorneys went after a disabled woman who sold 20 tumblers she made with his likeness on it he was NOT okay with that. He not only told his lawyers to cease and desist he forgave the $250,000 settlement she was ordered to pay and GAVE HER $11,000 for medical bills instead. He's also going to be selling his own line of tumblers with the proceeds going to pay her medical bills and flying her and her family to a concert to see him. This is a great story.

THIS CREEPY GROOMER IS WHY GAYS AGAINST GROOMER EXISTS Okay they didn't spring up BECAUSE of Jeffrey Marsh, but he's the guy trying to separate young confused kids from their families and not even subtly so. Watch this creep show.

THE REAL PRIVILEGE IS HAVING TWO PARENTS The best part about this story is this is AN ATTAINABLE PRIVILEGE. It doesn't depend on your skin color or some other characteristic you can't control. It depends on a couple realizing that staying together and working to have a happy marriage in which to raise kids is a thing we should all aspire to. Read this interview with the author of a new book on the two parent privilege here.

NO THE COCHRANE REVIEW WASN'T WRONG ON MASKING I'm back to beat the "dead horse" some more. The Cochrane Review put out a pretty definitive rebuttal of the notion that masks helped at all during covid, and the latest rebuttal to their rebuttal argues that Cochrane was wrong because it was TOO rigorous in it's standards. Read more here.

A FIVE POINT PLAN TO SAVE ACADEMIA This column is about Harvard but it could be applied to any university in the throes of Anti-Western hatred. In it the author gives five actionable items which could bring balance back to the conversation, but I highly doubt the people in charge have the stones to implement them. How about you, CU?

IF OUR TOILETS ARE SO DEADLY WHY AREN'T WE ALL DEAD? Researchers from CU Boulder have shown that when you flush a commercial toilet you are releasing a "toilet plume" filled with bacteria and nasty stuff like e coli. So why aren't we all dead yet? Are we better off knowing this? I'd argue no. Read more here.

BARBIE AND KEN ARE PLAYING GEORGE CLOONEY'S PARENTS In the new Ocean's 11 prequel. Read about it here.

NO, HACKERS DIDN'T ADD AN AMAZON LOCKER TO YOUR ACCOUNT Amazon did by accident. Read it here.

KUNG FOO PANDA IS BACK With the fourth installment. Trailer below.

I MAY WATCH THIS ROAST Of Tom Brady because what are they going to pick on him for? Being too good looking? Marrying a super model? Winning a bunch of Super Bowls? I'm genuinely curious. Read more here.



ANYONE KNOW WHO OWNS THIS MASSIVE COMMERCE CITY PROPERTY? It's for sale for a cool $12 million. Watch below or click here.

HOW TO FIND ANYONE ANYWHERE USING A SHORT VIDEO Keep this in mind if you go on the lam someday. Watch below or click here.

BILL CLINTON HAD LESS THAN FLATTERING THINGS TO SAY ABOUT HILLARY'S CAMPAIGN And I can't repeat the phrase on the radio but it has to do with sales or a particular item on a train full of soldiers. Read it here.

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