Random stuff 4/20/2017


By Max R. Weller

1) Another wildfire last evening, which was very quickly contained. I watched it from my campsite: Fire burning west of Boulder holding at 2 acres. I smelled smoke about the same time I heard the sirens of many responding firefighting crews. Not a chance it was lightning, and no word that a downed power line due to high winds was the cause, so it looks like another BUM CAMPFIRE out of control:

Spot fires are visible from a wildfire fire west of Boulder just above Lee Hill Road on Wednesday.

Spot fires are visible from a wildfire fire west of Boulder just above Lee Hill Road on Wednesday. (Paul Aiken/Staff Photographer)

2) Speaking of the BUMS, all they could talk about in Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning was going to Denver for the big 4/20 celebration there — or as Mitt Romney might say, the big Marijuana Makes People Stupid party.

3) As I left the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 yesterday afternoon, a woman met me at my spot in front of the Mexican restaurant. She introduced herself as an artist, and wanted to take my photo as a guide for painting my portrait. When she asked me for some info about my homeless experience, I referred her to this blog; she was surprised to learn that the Homeless Philosopher actually embraces the ascetic lifestyle. But, I don’t think I want to see a painting of my current Sasquatch-style hair and beard . . .

4) I understand from a Facebook message that the churches who have been supporting Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow are NOT planning to continue doing so next winter; no surprise there. The same source also indicates that Bridge House may be closing; they’re rolling in $$$, so I find this hard to believe . . . If both things happen, I’ll shout HALLELUJAH!!

5) Counting tonight, only 11 more nights are left for the emergency overnight dorms at BSH to remain open. It’s a completely different world during the summer — quiet and relatively clean. I’m looking forward to it!

Update 4/21/2017: Ridge Fire in foothills west of Boulder under control. Excerpt copied below:

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Haverfield said investigators have determined the fire was human caused but it is still under investigation.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office announced early Thursday morning that deputies made contact with a woman and a juvenile boy in the immediate area of the fire.

The woman had to be evacuated from the area by Rocky Mountain Rescue Group because of the steep terrain. She was taken to an area hospital because she appeared to have been suffering from a medical condition.

“It sounds like they were near where the fire started, so of course we want to talk to them,” Haverfield said. “But the boy is a juvenile and the woman has a medical condition. So the folks we want to talk to we are not able to talk to them right now.”

She added that the woman and boy are not transients. A transient campfire was blamed for the Sunshine Canyon Fire, which prompted hundreds of homes to be evacuated. 

Just in time for the flood of transient campers, when Boulder Shelter closes emergency overnight dorms on May 1st

Read the report in the Daily Camera here: Mountain lion seen hanging out in north Boulder. Copied below in its entirety:

A mountain lion on the deck of a home in the Wonderland Lake area of north Boulder

A mountain lion on the deck of a home in the Wonderland Lake area of north Boulder (Frank Barrett / Courtesy photo)

A mountain lion has been spotted hanging around the Wonderland Lake area in north Boulder, but wildlife officials said the animal is close enough to open space that they have not needed to relocate the animal.

The mountain lion was most recently spotted on Monday, hanging out on the deck of a home, where the resident was able to get a photo of the lion lounging around.

Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly said the animal was not bothering the homeowner, so it was left to its own devices.

An officer who responded noted the mountain lion — which appeared to be a young adult — had been spotted several times by residents over the past month, according to police radio traffic.

Because the area is so close to Boulder open space, and the mountain lion’s visits to populated areas were likely brief, officials said the animal would not need to be relocated.

North Boulder is no stranger to mountain lion activity. In January, a resident on Orange Lane took a photo of three mountain lion cubs on his deck.

For tips on what to do if you encounter a mountain lion, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. 

A mountain lion lounges on a deck at a home in the Wonderland Lake area.

A mountain lion lounges on a deck at a home in the Wonderland Lake area. (Frank Barrett / Courtesy photo)


I would counsel my wild friend to BITE THE BUMS IN THEIR BUTTS, and chase ’em back to Denver . . .


Enablers to transients: Come to Boulder, die for dope . . .

Providing all of life’s necessities for FREE is NOT compassion; it only makes it easier for substance abusers to continue their self-destructive behavior.

By Max R. Weller

Read the story in the Daily Camera here: Body of transient woman found in Boulder on Saturday; foul play ruled out. Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder police are investigating the death of a female transient whose body was found Saturday morning as drug related after they were able to rule out foul play during an autopsy Monday.

Officers were called about 8 a.m. Saturday to the area of 19th Street and Upland Avenue about a possible death, Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly said. When officers arrived, they discovered the body of a woman in an area where she and two other transients had been camping.

Cordingly said a preliminary investigation shows there is a “strong possibility” that the death was drug related.

Cordingly said there were signs of trauma on the body that caused investigators to initially not rule out foul play. But by Monday afternoon, Cordingly said the initial results of an autopsy provided enough information for investigators to rule out foul play.

Police did not say what the signs of trauma were.

Investigators have asked for toxicology tests.

Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office was notified of the case, though they will wait for the results of the autopsy and the police investigation before they determine if they need to get involved.

“My office is always on call to consult with police as they investigate any sort of death,” Garnett said.

The Boulder County Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. The name of the woman will be released once she has been identified and her next of kin have been notified.

Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars


I won’t publish her name, but I knew her from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this season. Like almost all of the out-of-state transients who come to Boulder, the availability of “legal” marijuana was the primary motivation in her case. Although she didn’t seem to me to be someone into hard drugs like heroin, this is where the homeless drug culture can lead you, and in that sense marijuana most certainly can be a so-called gateway drug.

This is also why I consider the concept of a “homeless community” absolutely harmful to homeless people themselves; isolation from the rest of society is NEVER a good thing for anybody, and the Homeless Philosopher has always made a point of seeking out friends and acquaintances in what I call the Real World.

Ultimately, of course, the individual who dies from a drug overdose (not yet confirmed in this case) is responsible for their self-destruction . . . However, when Boulder, CO has an entire homeless shelter / services industry which operates by the creed of More Homeless People = More Money, and provides life’s necessities — FOOD, CLOTHING, EMERGENCY SHELTER, MEDICAL CARE, CAMPING GEAR, ETC. AT NO COST — the homeless person is able to spend their own meager resources on worthless stuff like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and hard drugs. It’s an unintended consequence of inappropriate compassion which has contributed to the deaths of many transients, and those who support it belong in a Hall of Shame:

Addendum: Boulder, CO’s do-gooders enable misery and death of the homeless originally published in the summer of 2014.

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

‘Liberals have to avoid Trump Derangement Syndrome’

Read the commentary by Fareed Zakaria from the Washington Post here. Copied below in its entirety:

I didn’t really believe that there was such a thing as Trump Derangement Syndrome — hatred of President Trump so intense that it impairs people’s judgment. It’s not that I didn’t notice the harsh, unyielding language against him — I’ve said a few tough things myself — but that throughout the campaign, Trump seemed to do things that justified it. Once elected, instead of calming down and acting presidential, he continued the stream of petty attacks, exaggerations and lies. His administration seemed marked by chaos and incompetence.

And then came the strike against Syria. On that issue, Trump appears to have listened carefully to his senior national security professionals, reversed his earlier positions, chosen a calibrated response and acted swiftly. I supported the strike and pointed out — in print and on air — that Trump was finally being presidential because the action “seems to reflect a belated recognition from Trump that he cannot simply put America first — that the president of the United States must act on behalf of broader interests and ideals.” On the whole, though, I was critical of Trump’s larger Syria policy, describing it as “incoherent.” My Post column was titled, “One missile strike is not a strategy.”

From the response on the left, you would have thought I had just endorsed Trump for pope. Otherwise thoughtful columnists described my views as “nonsense” and a sign that the media has “bent over backward” to support Trump. (Really?) One journalist declared on television, “If that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it.” A gaggle of former Obama speechwriters discussed how my comments were perhaps “the stupidest” of any given on the subject.

White House speechwriters must have written the lines that President Barack Obama spoke on Sept. 27, 2013, announcing the U.N. deal in which the Syrian regime agreed to give up its chemical weapons stockpile. “This binding resolution will ensure that the Assad regime must keep its commitments, or face consequences. We’ll have to be vigilant about following through.” (My emphasis.) In other words, the Trump administration watched a violation of Obama’s 2013 deal and enforced it in precisely the manner that Obama had implied. Which is why virtually every major Obama foreign policy official — Hillary Clinton, Thomas Donilon, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus — has supported the Trump administration’s action, as did U.S. allies in the region and beyond.

The strikes were discreet, measured and intended to convey a signal, and yet at the same time were designed to ensure that the United States did not descend further into the Syrian civil war. In other words, they were very Obama-like. Two senior Obama officials I spoke with told me that, were Obama still president, he would have likely ordered a strike similar if not identical in scope. Presumably, those former speechwriters would then have used different words to describe the same strikes.

Conservatives seem to understand Trump’s about-face better than liberals. Many of Trump’s strongest backers — Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham — are distraught by Trump’s embrace of Obama-like policies. Andrew McCarthy wrote in National Review, “When it came to foreign policy, I was worried that the 2016 election would be a case of Clinton delivering the third Obama term. Instead, we have Trump giving us the third Clinton term.”

Liberals have to avoid Trump Derangement Syndrome. If Trump pursues a policy, it cannot axiomatically be wrong, evil and dangerous. In my case, I have been pretty tough on Trump. I attacked almost every policy he proposed during the campaign. Just before the election, I called him a “cancer on American democracy” and urged voters to reject him. But they didn’t. He is now president. I believe that my job is to evaluate his policies impartially and explain why, in my view, they are wise or not.

Many of Trump’s campaign promises and policies are idiotic and unworkable. It was always likely that he would reverse them, as he has begun to do this week on several fronts. Those of us who opposed him face an important challenge. We have to ask ourselves, which would we rather see: Trump reversing himself or Trump relentlessly pursuing his campaign agenda? The first option would be good for the country and the world, though it might save Trump from an ignominious fall. The second would be a disaster for all. It raises the quandary: Do we want what’s better for America or what’s worse for Donald Trump?


I started listening to Fareed Zakaria on CNN last summer, when I was stuck in Boulder Manor. I don’t agree with him very often, but indeed it would be good for the country if the Left would try to act in a rational way. The Democrats, already seriously wounded at every level of government, do themselves no favors by giving in to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

BTW, I still despise President Trump personally, but it seems that wiser heads can persuade him to do the right thing — at least in some cases.

— MRW 

Bravo, Mr. President!

Read the Associated Press report carried by the Denver Post here: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb, Afghanistan government says. Copied below in its entirety:

By Amir Shah, The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — The attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military left 36 Islamic State group fighters dead and no civilian casualties, Afghanistan officials said Friday.

The attack was carried out in a remote mountainous area of Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border where there had been heavy fighting in recent weeks between Afghan forces and IS militants. The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that several IS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed by the giant bomb, which terrified villagers on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with its “earsplitting blast.”

“This is the right weapon for the right target,” said U.S. Gen. John W. Nicholson, NATO commander in Afghanistan, at a news conference.

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives.

Gen. Daulat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense, said the death toll of IS fighters could rise. He said the bombing was necessary because the tunnel complex was extremely hard to penetrate, with some as deep as 40 meters (43 yards).

“It was a strong position and four times we had operations (attacking the site) and it was not possible to advance,” he said, adding that the road leading to the complex “was full of mines.”

Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by U.S. warplanes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.

“I was sleeping when we heard a loud explosion. It was an earsplitting blast,” said Shah Wali, 46, who lives in the village of Goor Gari, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Nangarhar. “I jumped from my bed and came out of my home to see what has gone wrong in our village.” 

Wali said dozens of other villagers also came out of homes and later he went near the border, where he met with other residents. He said he could see smoke in the sky.

The U.S. estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The U.S. has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban. President Donald Trump called Thursday’s operation a “very, very successful mission.”

“I want a hundred times more bombings on this group,” said Hakim Khan, 50, a resident of Achin district, the site of the blast.

Inamullah Meyakhil, spokesman for the central hospital in eastern Nangarhar province, said the facility had received no dead or wounded from the attack.

District Gov. Ismail Shinwari said there is no civilian property near the airstrike location.

There was no immediate comment from the Islamic State group on the attack.

The Site Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist organizations, reported Friday on a statement from the Afghan Taliban condemning the U.S. for its “terrorist” attack. The statement said it is the responsibility of Afghans to remove the Islamic State group from the country not the U.S.

Associated Press writers Anwarullah Khan in Khar, Pakistan, Munir Ahmed in Islamabad, and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.


Also watch the CNN video here.

— MRW 

Former 1175 Lee Hill Housing First resident pees in front of passersby in the 4900 block of N. Broadway


By Max R. Weller

almost couldn’t believe my eyes as I was playing the role of Humble Beggar on the corner of U.S. 36 yesterday afternoon. This chronic alcoholic, who wasn’t content with boozing it up every day in a brand new $250,000+ apartment managed by Deacon Chris Byrne and the other enablers of Housing First, was evicted after he became violent and smashed a window. Yesterday, he stood right there on the sidewalk in front of the Mexican restaurant and urinated into the roadside ditch.

Of course, Urinating in Public by one of their pet BUMS doesn’t count as bad behavior that damages the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood — not in the mind of the MORON who made this statement in a Daily Camera commentary, Housing First programs work, last December:

In its first year of operation, the program took 31 chronically homeless individuals off the streets, including seven people who were on the municipal court high-utilizer list. After one year, 75 percent of these individuals were still housed. Of the 49 emergency-service calls made from the Lee Hill facility, 82 percent were for medical assistance and there were no calls to the police regarding Lee Hill from the surrounding neighborhood. Also, Lee Hill occupancy was 97 percent and five residents rejoined the work force. These results are consistent with other Housing First programs around the country. They are also consistent with a large body of research that shows Housing First programs save communities between $20,000 to $40,000 a year per client in reduced jail time, court appearances and emergency room visits.

Max may not see this success. But we see it every day; and that is why we will continue to provide meaningful help and hope to the vulnerable and poor in our community.

There are two reasons that Mr. Harms has always discounted incidents like those that occurred yesterday: 1) The chronic alcoholic I saw is no longer a resident of Housing First (shouldn’t this be regarded as a FAIL?), and even if he had still been living at 1175 Lee Hill his gross misconduct occurred away from the facility so it doesn’t count by their crooked standards; and 2) It’s BAD PUBLICITY and hurts fundraising efforts.

Consider the BIG LIE Mr. Harms tells in his published opinion copied above: . . . there were no calls to the police regarding Lee Hill from the surrounding neighborhood.” In fact, because I don’t own a phone, I had to ask other people who do to call 9-1-1 on several occasions due to a different Housing First resident (in good standing at that time) passing out drunk in the same ditch in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. True, I directed the emergency services dispatcher to that location — NOT to 1175 Lee Hill — but it was in fact one of the enablers’ pet BUMS misbehaving in the neighborhood, as we all knew they would when this Wet House was first proposed. Now, I don’t know if Mr. Harms was trained as a lawyer, but he surely can mislead his readers with his slick use of words.

He is right about one thing: I don’t see this success they tout, but I’ve lived in that neighborhood continuously for nine years and I see all the bulls*** which has only gotten worse since 1175 Lee Hill opened.