Telluride Free Press by TellurideFreePress
Rational thinking for an irrational community
Nov 21, 2010 | 3990 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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CBO: Longest Period of High Unemployment Since Great Depression
by TellurideFreePress
Feb 17, 2012 | 7004 views | 1 1 comments | 530 530 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

CBO: U.S. enduring the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression

February 16, 2012 

After three years with unemployment topping 8 percent, the U.S. has seen the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, the Congressional Budget Office noted in a report issued today.

And, despite some recent good news on the economic front, the CBO is still predicting that unemployment will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The report also notes that, including those who haven't sought work in the past four weeks and those who are working part-time but seeking full-time employment, the unemployment rate would be 15 percent.

The CBO made its comments in a report examining the long-term effects of joblessness, and possible policy options to boost employment, including unemployment insurance reforms and job training programs. The report came at the request of Democratic Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, but Republicans quickly jumped on the chance to bash President Obama's stimulus program, which is also reaching its three-year anniversary today.

"The stimulus is a stark reminder of how the president got the policies he wanted, and how those policies have failed the American people and are making things worse," said Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling.

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May 21, 2013

...and this is what we have to choose from?
by TellurideFreePress
Nov 03, 2011 | 1433 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Okay...let's do the score card here. Obama is pretty much a failure and Hillary is out. Bachman is like some robot with a titanium spine who uses Rave #5 hair spray, Cain is cool but has an economic plan (999) that is the mark of the beast standing on its head doing yoga and eating hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less. Romney is a Mormon and well....we all know they do not even drink ice tea or beer and they live in like of the hottest places on Earth. Then there is Sarah Palin and she won't run cause her TV show is more fun to watch than Deadliest Catch, Bill Mayer and Bill O'Reilly all put together. Newt...well, Newt is a salamander with a bad hair cut who is too white and wierd. And that leaves Paul (who looks like Kervokian on a GOOD hair day) and the absolutely nutty Saturday Night Live skit actor, Rick Perry (see video here). Soooo, now I am thinking these crazy Occupy Wall Street folks protesting and peeing in city parks might have a point. America is really screwed up. 
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Don't let them fool you. Obama has been the GREATEST President EVER!
by TellurideFreePress
Sep 20, 2011 | 1438 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Telluride residents are getting ready to proclaim their undying love for the amazing and honest President Obama once again. They will quickly tell you about obscure unproven accusations about GW and ignore the additional wars and crimes commited by the Obama administration. 

The most mind boggling thing is that the Telluride lemmings will wake up on election day, snort a line of coke, stumble down to the voting booth and check every box that has a D next to it cause everyone knows that Democrats are the peace party and they are the only ones that can keep us from a serious economic depression.

Now let me ask you? Who is the failure? Obama or the fools that voted for him only because he shared the hate felt for the other side. Now, although they can't stand the arrorgant failure, they will hand over hard earned money and campaign for him. Why? Stupidity and hate. You get what you pay for folks.

Now the worse part. If it ain't the failure Obama in the White House, we will get just another lying politician, only it will be a Republican.  

Two videos from my favorite Angel Producer.

Soul Shine

Revolution Whispers

This is not about the genuine convictions of the left or the right. It is about unbelievably stupid people voting over and over for a political party instead of solutions and progress. How stupid do you have to be?  Look to Telluride or Boulder or any partisan Republican stronghold. Idiots abound.



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How's that Hopey Change Thing Going?
by TellurideFreePress
Sep 20, 2011 | 1453 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Telluride partisans continue to "party down" with their candidates whose only qualification is that they choose to place a D or R next to their name.

In the meantime, America is collapasing under the weight of corruption, incompetence and the amazingly ridiculous two party system.

The following are 30 signs that the U.S. economy is about to go into the toilet….

#1 An increasing number of unemployed Americans have become so desperate that they have started to look for work overseas.  For example, the number of Americans that are submitting applications for temporary work visas in Canada has approximately doubled since 2008.  Other Americans are willing to learn foreign languages and travel to the other side of the world if that is what it takes to land a decent job.  Just consider the following quote from a recent USA Today report….

Job placement firms are reporting a surge in American worker interest in booming economies such as Hong Kong, Singapore, China and, increasingly, India. Hunt Partners, an executive search firm, estimates that it’s getting 50% to 100% more unsolicited résumés from Americans looking for Asia-based positions today than before the recession.

#2 When Barack Obama first took office, the official U.S. unemployment ratewas 7.6 percent.  Today it is 9.1 percent.

#3 The number of Americans that are concerned that they will lose their jobs continues to hover near record highs.  According to Gallup, 30 percent of all employed Americans are worried that they will soon be laid off.

#4 After three straight years of very high unemployment, you can feel frustration and desperation in the air almost everywhere that you go.  Many unemployed Americans are now at the end of their ropes.  The following is from a testimonial that was recently posted on The Atlantic….

The most difficult part of the job search is:

1. that I don’t live near a factory or outsource outlet in China, India, or Malaysia.

2. trying not to appear desperate for a job when I am, in fact, quite desperate for a job.

3. that I am subject to everyone’s advice on how to get a job, but no real job leads.

4. that I am reminded that having a good job is not an entitlement.

5. that when I become depressed from my job search, I’m told told to cheer up or else give a bad vibe to prospective employers … yet when I become happy through non-search related activities, I am reminded that I should be looking for work

7. that when I confide to friends and family that I have “given up” to pursue more fruitful interests,  it elicits a crushing look of disbelief, disappointment, and disgust

8. waiting for permission to give up.

#5 The percentage of American men that are employed continues to plummet.  In July, only 63.5 percent of all men in the United States had a job.  Since 1948, that number has only been lower one time (63.3 percent in December 2009).

#6 Back in the 1950s, manufacturing accounted for about 28 percent of U.S. GDP.  Last year, it accounted for just 11.7 percent.  Meanwhile, manufacturing now accounts for about 25 percent of GDP in China and they now actually have more factory production each year than we do.  Sadly, Barack Obama is pushing for even more trade agreements that will send millions more of our jobs overseas.

#7 The percentage of Americans that are working low paying jobs continues to relentlessly march upwards.  Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#8 According to John Williams of, after you add in all short-term discouraged workers, all long-term discouraged workers and all Americans that are working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, the real unemployment rate should be approximately 23 percent.

#9 We are starting to see another huge wave of store closings and layoffs.  For example, the parent company of Payless stores has announced that it will be permanently closing 475 stores.  Borders is in the process of closing every single one of its 399 stores.  Also, Bank of America has just announced that it will be closing about 600 branches, and that could result in the loss of about 30,000 good jobs.

#10 Median household income has fallen for three years in a row.

#11 Americans are really starting to rack up consumer debt once again.  According to Time Magazine, U.S. consumers are on pace to collectively add 54 billion dollars in credit card debt in 2011.

#12 Student loan defaults are rising very sharply. Just consider the following excerpt from a recent New York Times article….

The share of federal student loan defaults rose sharply last year, especially at for-profit colleges and universities, where 15 percent of borrowers defaulted in the first two years of repayment, up from 11.6 percent the previous year.

#13 According to a chart in The Economist, whenever the number of newspaper articles in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal that mention the word “recession” goes over 1,500 in a particular quarter, the U.S. economy almost always goes into a recession.

#14 The U.S. housing crash just continues to get worse.  The index of home builder sentiment put out by the National Association of Home Builders fell once again during the month of September.  With such a glut of unsold foreclosed homes on the market, it is making things really hard of home builders.  Things have gotten so bad that even the U.S. government now owns nearly a quarter of a million foreclosed homes.  The impact of this housing nightmare on families has been absolutely devastating.  Just check out what a recent Time Magazine article had to say about what has been going on in California….

The impact on children has been brutal: since 2007, 7% of the state’s children have had a foreclosure process started on their homes, the fourth-highest level in the nation, according to a study released this month by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

#15 Many believe that due to much tighter lending standards, it is now harder to be approved for a mortgage than at any other time since World War II.  This is absolutely crushing the housing market.

#16 Most Americans don’t seem to expect housing prices to recover for an extended period of time.  One recent survey found that 54 percent of Americans believe that there will not be a housing recovery until “2014 or later“.

#17 The combined debt of the largest GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) has increased from 3.2 trillion in 2008 to a whopping 6.4 trillion in 2011.  If that debt goes bad, U.S. taxpayers will be left holding the bill.

#18 There are now nearly 50 million Americans that do not have health insurance, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.  Meanwhile, Americans now spendabout 3 times as much on health care as they did back in 1990.

#19 The Postal Service has publicly announced that it is “on the verge” of financial collapse.

#20 The number of small businesses continues to fall.  I recently noted this fact on The American Dream Blog….

The number of “self-employed” Americans continues to rapidly shrink.  According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.  Even though we have 14 million unemployed people in this country and jobs are incredibly difficult to come by, the number of people trying to work for themselves continues to decrease because the environment for small businesses in this country has become so incredibly toxic.

#21 American consumers have become tremendously pessimistic.  According to one recent survey, 61 percent of all Americans believe that they will not return to their “pre-recession” lifestyles until at least 2014.  According to a different recent survey, 39 percent of Americans actually believe that the U.S. economy has now entered a “permanent decline”.

#22 Many U.S. investors certainly seem to believe that trouble is coming. According to CNN, last month the number of bets against the S&P 500 was the highest that we have seen in about a year.

#23 The number of U.S. households that are “doubling up” continues to grow.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of combined households has increased by 10.7 percent since 2007.

#24 When Barack Obama moved into the White House, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States was $1.83.  Today it is $3.58.

#25 The number of Americans living in poverty grew by 2.6 million last year.  That was the largest increase since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

#26 Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty.  Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.

#27 On Barack Obama’s first day on the job, there were about 32 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps.

#28 If there is a financial collapse in Europe, that will definitely plunge us into another recession.  Right now, things do not look promising.  At this point, headlines all over the world are proclaiming that Greece is dangerously close to defaulting.

#29 At some point soon, investors all over the globe may decide that it is time to start dumping U.S. government debt.  For example, Chinese officials are now openly talking about the need to “liquidate” their holdings of U.S. Treasuries.

#30 The U.S. national debt continues to explode in size and spiral out of control.  According to Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, the U.S. “fiscal gap” increased by about 6 trillion dollars last year.  In fact, Kotlikoff makes a compelling argument that Greece is actually in better shape financially than the United States is.

Do you now understand how much trouble we are in?

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72% See U.S. Economy on Wrong Course
by TellurideFreePress
Sep 14, 2011 | 1509 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

The poll results show the public is running out of patience with political leaders after months of protracted negotiations over the national debt ceiling that brought the country to the brink of default and signs that the economy is weakening. Seventy-two percent say the country is on the wrong track. read more from Bloomberg at

...yet, partisan Democrats will vote straight Democrat and partisan Republicans will vote straight Republican YET again. 

An angel friend of mine has the uncanny ability to know these things ahead of time (as she predicted much of the economic turmoil back in July of 2008) and made this video for those that still feel that allowing a political party to tell you what you stand for is a sign of high intellect. 

 I hate to break the news to all the rabid partisans out there but you are the ones who have destroyed America, not the politicians you voted for. Its not the other side of the aisle or conservatives or progressives or liberals.  It is the sheep that worship the mantra of their respective parties without question, like the Nazi youth movement, who are to blame - the screaming delegates dressed like a cross between Uncle Sam and a drunk Krusty the Clown - the lost souls begging for your hard earned money so "we can put the RIGHT man in office" - and slick politicians promising honesty and a voice of the people while attacking everything the "other side" stands for.  

In short...partisans just plain suck.

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Rape a Child - Pay $240.00 and Get a Vacation
by TellurideFreePress
Aug 26, 2011 | 3073 views | 0 0 comments | 139 139 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

After our new District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller's appointment (he was not elected as his website states) he made a trip to Telluride to meet with his buddies in the San Miguel County Democratic Party. During his speech he promised that the days of pleading down sex offender charges was over and that the practice of overcharging crimes to force plea agreements would end although he praised assistant D.A. Keri Yoder - "she shares my values" he stated.

I guess those values include continuing to plea bargain down serious sexual assaults.

DUI convictions get harsher penalties than repeatedly raping a 15 year old girl.

Dan is a partisan Democrat with no understanding of the level of corruption that he has waded into. Let's pray that Democrats or Republicans find someone who understands exactly what justice is and who understands that a District Attorney's job description does not include partisan convictions, protecting his party and minimizing raping children.....and please don't use the excuse "a trial would just hurt the child more. Trust me, going to court (even with the bozos in the Seventh Judicial District) is a lot less painful than having a slobbering pig repeatedly rape you.

The child rapist in the story above will be out in a year with good time and rape again. 

Next time it could be your child. Remember this when you vote in 2012 and don't forget, corruption knows no political bounds. If State Attorney John Suthers refuses to clean up the Seventh Judicial District, throw his Republican butt out of office too.

Read more about the Seventh Judicial District in "Exodus of Angels - The Murder of Harry Force" available at Amazon, your local bookstore and at the Wilkinson Library.

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...but at least prairie dogs and politicians are happy.....
by TellurideFreePress
Jun 28, 2011 | 1501 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Note: Reprinted from Bloomberg. Regardless of the hope of local Realtors (as voiced last month), positive spin by the Telluride Town Council and "opinions of a rebound" by Telluride Consulting, this report shows a different story that  has serious impacts that does affect our local economy and will for years to come.

Subnote: Notice the only city with an increase in prices was Washington DC. Sure looks like the best way to survive in America these days is to work for the Federal Gov't. 

 Home Prices in U.S. Cities Fell 4% in April

Home prices decreased in the year ended April by the most in 17 months, showing the housing market remains an obstacle for the U.S. recovery.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from April 2010, the biggest drop since November 2009, the group said today in New York. From March to April, prices fell 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the smallest decline since July 2010.

A backlog of foreclosures and falling sales raise the risk that prices will decline further, discouraging builders from taking on new projects. The drop in property values and a jobless rate hovering around 9 percent are holding back consumer sentiment and spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.

“There’s no sign of any real recovery in housing yet,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global Inc. in New York, said before the report. “There won’t be a significant turn until the labor market shows sustained improvement. The level of foreclosures is still high and a lot of people are delinquent on their mortgages.”

The decrease matched the median forecast of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from declines of 4.9 percent to 3.5 percent. The year-over-year drop in March was revised to 3.8 percent from a previously reported 3.6 percent decline.

Before adjusting for seasonal variations, prices climbed 0.7 percent from March, today’s report showed.

Better Gauge

The year-over-year gauge provides better indications of trends in prices, the group has said. The panel includes Karl Case and Robert Shiller, the economists who created the index.

Shiller told a conference in New York this month that a further decline in property values of 10 percent to 25 percent in the next five years “wouldn’t surprise me at all.”

The Case-Shiller gauge is based on a three-month average, which means the April data was influenced by transactions in March and February.

“This month is better than last,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P, said in a statement. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the spring-summer home buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.”

Nineteen of the 20 cities in the index showed a year-over- year decline, led by an 11 percent drop in Minneapolis.

Washington showed the only increase, up 4 percent from April 2010.


Compared with the prior month, 13 of the 20 areas covered showed a increase on an unadjusted basis, led by Washington.

Reports earlier this month showed the housing market is yet to gain momentum. Sales of previously owned homes, which comprise about 94 percent of the housing market, were down 3.8 percent last month from April, the National Association of Realtors said.

Purchases of new houses dropped 2.1 percent in May, the first decline in three months, according to Commerce Department data. Competition from foreclosed homes is hurting demand for newly built dwellings.

The 1.8 million of inventory of distressed homes nationwide that may reach the market would take about three years to sell at the current pace, Daren Blomquist, communications manager at RealtyTrac Inc., said this month.

As house prices decline, owners feel less wealthy and home equity shrinks, making borrowing more difficult.

Builder Outlook

Some developers expect demand may stabilize following a poor selling season. Lennar Corp. (LEN), the third-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, last week said second-quarter sales fell from a year earlier and home orders were little changed, while the average price climbed. The 2010 orders were boosted by a federal tax credit for homebuyers that required contracts be signed by April 30.

“While it’s now well-documented that the expected spring selling season of 2011 simply did not materialize, it is beginning to feel like the worst days of the housing market are getting behind us,” Chief Executive Officer Stuart Miller said during a conference call with analysts on June 23.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shobhana Chandra in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at


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Does This Explain Telluride's Lack of Tolerance?
by TellurideFreePress
Jun 08, 2011 | 1586 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Read how and when Telluride lost its intellect and tolerance in "Exodus of Angels - The Murder of Harry Force" available on Amazon and in your local book store.

reprinted from Bloomberg

Our political system is so plagued by polarization, it’s difficult to move any legislation forward. In the late 1960s, significant overlap existed in votes cast by the most conservative Democrats in Congress and those cast by the most liberal Republicans. (See accompanying chart: Polarization in Congress.) By the late 1980s, the common ground had diminished. Today, it has virtually disappeared.

What’s causing this? Many people have said the problem is that Congressional districts have been redrawn to be as partisan as they can be, to keep politicians from each party in office as long as possible. (Optimizing the district lines in this manner is a harder problem than it may initially seem, as research by two Harvard economists has shown.) Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, for one, has blamed “the gerrymandering of political districts,” which made each one permanently Republican or Democratic, for “erasing the political middle.”

So, presumably, we could solve the problem by simply changing the rules on how congressional districts are drawn. A closer look at Congress, however, shows that redistricting isn’t a major cause of our polarization at all.

Compare, for example, historical trends in the House and the Senate. Senate districts are states, so they aren’t continually redrawn as congressional districts are. And yet the polarization patterns in the House and Senate have broadly tracked each other. (See accompanying chart: History of Congress.) Polarization between the two parties was relatively high in both houses for the first three decades of the 20th century. It dipped in the House and Senate alike from the mid- 1930s until the late 1970s, and then began climbing to record highs today.

Residential Segregation

If redistricting isn’t the primary force behind polarization, what is? One crucial cause, as documented in “The Big Sort,” a path-breaking book by Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing, is increased residential segregation by political party. We are voluntarily separating ourselves into Republican and Democratic neighborhoods. Today’s media and blogosphere, which increasingly filter news according to their point of view, exacerbate and reinforce the effect.

Two maps (see accompanying maps: 1976 Election and 2008 Election), taken from a recent paper by James Thomson of the RAND Corp., show the U.S. broken down by county (county lines have also not been redistricted). The dark-shaded counties are those that have swung hard one way or another in a presidential election, and so are considered polarized, while the light counties are politically mixed. The difference from 1976 to 2008 is striking: The number of light counties has fallen sharply. Roughly 25 percent more of the U.S. population now lives in a landslide county than did in the 1970s.

Losing Objectivity

The consequences are far-reaching. The social psychology literature clearly shows that when like-minded people are put together, they move to extremes -- both because they rarely hear opposing viewpoints and because each person is at least somewhat inclined to prove he is the true believer in the group.

The behavior is observed even among people who otherwise strive to be quite objective, such as judges. Cass Sunstein, the legal scholar who is now administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, documents in his 2006 book “Are Judges Political? An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary,” that judges appointed by Republican presidents are more likely to vote in extreme ways if they are grouped with other Republican-appointed judges than if they are grouped with Democratic-appointed judges, and vice versa.

Red and Blue Neighborhoods

Why is this residential segregation happening? “The Big Sort” argues that when families choose where to live, they look for subtle signs that a neighborhood includes other people like them. The consequences of this manifest in a variety of ways. For example, certain cities now have growing concentrations of highly educated families. As my Bloomberg View colleague Ed Glaeser has shown, cities with a large proportion of college graduates in 1990 later experienced more rapid increases in the number of residents with college degrees than other cities did.

So Americans are voluntarily creating red and blue neighborhoods, and their divergent perspectives are reinforced by the right-left divide found on television (Fox News versusMSNBC) and online (Huffington Post versus Hot Air). The polarization that results makes our political system, which was never particularly good at dealing with any problem before it became a crisis, suffer even more inertia.


The best bet on what will happen in Washington is, therefore, nothing -- until and unless it has to. The Big Sort generates gridlock, making it increasingly difficult for lawmakers to tackle anything from climate change to budget balancing.

Clearly, redistricting reform won’t help us much. Instead, we should try to create a new set of rules and institutions that can use legislative inertia to our benefit -- just as a growing body of tools in the private sector, such as automatic- enrollment 401(k) plans, are using inertia there to produce better outcomes.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board, created to constrain cost growth and improve quality in Medicare, without new legislation, is one example of trying to leverage legislative inertia. The key is that inaction by Congress allows the IPAB’s recommendations to take effect.

Another example is the backstop fiscal trigger currently being discussed as part of the debt-limit negotiations. With this mechanism in place, congressional inaction would lead to automatic spending cuts and/or revenue increases (and, by the way, the trigger should include both). Here again, legislative inaction wouldn’t mean failure to address a problem.

The era of gridlock government is unlikely to disappear overnight. We might as well figure out how to function with it.

(Peter Orszag is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the author of this column: Peter Orszag at

To contact the editor responsible for this column: Mary Duenwald


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The Green Thing
by TellurideFreePress
May 28, 2011 | 1608 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the 'green thing' back in my day." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment." He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. They didn't have the green thing back then.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks. But she was right. They didn't have the green thing back then. 

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. They didn't have the green thing back then.


Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. Isn't it sad that some, in other generations, lament about how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then? 


Thanks Gary for sharing this.

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by TellurideFreePress
May 24, 2011 | 1765 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Why Exodus of Angels - The Murder of Harry Force?

Harry Force, the owner of O'Bannon’s Irish Pub in Telluride, Colorado, died on August 19th, 2010 after showing signs of being beaten twice within seven days. He was 67 years old.

My friendship with the “old man” dates back nearly two decades and we both watched as Telluride destroyed itself with greed, addiction and hate. I allowed these same destructive forces to infect me and my relationships, turning a heavenly dream into a hellish nightmare. This is that story.

I wrote this book for several reasons.

First and foremost was that Harold LeRoy Force was a friend of mine. He deserved better than being called “just a drunk” after his murder. He deserved better than being harassed by a local barfly, the Seventh Judicial District and the Telluride Marshal’s Department. He deserved better from his Elk brothers who turned against him in his death and he deserved better from a town government more concerned with “marketing Telluride” than a human being’s life. Harry Force deserved better, plain and simple.

Another reason I decided to write this book is that I believe it is important for all of us to see that when we fail to do and live by what we know is right, we often set in motion a series of events that destroys reputations and lives.

I do not believe any of the people mentioned in this book are evil, but I do believe that unchecked power, poor decisions, personal grudges, alcohol, and pride can fan the flame of hate in the best of people if you allow it to take root. I speak from experience.

It is important for the reader to understand that this book is based on my own personal experiences and is therefore a fundamentally biased account. My efforts to try to get the other side of the story were rebuffed at every turn.

Many of the people mentioned refused to speak with me or to offer their accounts of the events. This included the members of the Telluride Marshal’s Department, the Seventh Judicial District and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; all who refused to even answer my requests for contact. There is a widespread belief in Telluride “that if you just ignore it, it will go away”. I hope this book changes that misperception.

This was a difficult book to write and not just because I am not a writer. The creation of this book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions as I looked back on friends who have turned to enemies and how my own actions fueled hate in so many good people, eventually leading to the unsolved murder of my friend. 

Contributing to the difficulty was the personal tug-of-war I experienced between trying to spread the truth and avoiding the perception that this book was a vendetta against those who have inflicted so much pain on so many. 

I decided to change the names of the people who might be embarrassed by their actions, including the people we have put our trust in to protect us. They must be held accountable but humiliation is not a path to justice. Good people often do bad things and it is always better to judge events and let God handle the people. 

I also chose not to identify the woman who filed sexual assault charges against Harry, or to use the real names of those who were questioned during the botched murder investigation. There is a reason for this.

This book can heal many wounds within the Telluride community. It has the ability to bring Telluride together and in essence, save itself. Telluride cannot move forward until we, the residents, take a long hard look at our hidden failures; failures that have quietly eroded the foundation of our community. 

Sam Walton once told me something I have never forgotten. We were driving through rural Arkansas in his old red pickup and we had just visited one of my Walmart shoe departments that was performing below par. Sam pointed out the many reasons why it was failing and I, as a young inexperienced manager, found excuses. Sam interrupted me as I cleverly came up with reasons on how none of the bad stuff was my fault.

“You know Albert, a man’s character is not defined by how many mistakes he makes, it is defined by how that man takes ownership of his mistakes”. 

I believe it’s time for Telluride to take ownership of our mistakes, and how we correct them will define our community character for decades to come. We cannot fix what we refuse to admit is broken.

This is not a biography of Harry or a murder mystery, it is a story of what once was and how it was all taken away. It’s about Telluride, but it could just as well be about any town in America. Failure knows no geographic bounds.

It is also a call to action. Change is needed to insure what happened to Harry is never allowed to happen again. 

Telluride is a glorious place and it would seem that living in paradise would quell prejudice, anger, intolerance and all the other destructive emotions that have woven themselves into the fabric of our community. Sadly, it does not.

This book will not bring my friend back, clear his name or even clear my family name, but it may help spread the truth to the few who cared enough to stand by both Harry and me through hard days – days that saw the weak flee, the cowardly hide and the brave shine.

Why Exodus of Angels - Feast of Transgressions?

As I was writing the first book, trying to get information from Rebekka Hall and the Telluride Marshal's Department through the Freedom of Information Act, I was simply ignored. I found out that Blair Richardson's mother had been ignored as well - for more than three years.

Please understand, I am not saying they responded with a letter or phone call explaining why the information that was requested was unavailable, they just refused to respond and changed the policy (and price they charge for the information) on the town website. The same was true for all attempted contact with the District Attorney's Office. Folks with money can hire lawyers to force these entities to abide by the federal law, but struggling single moms and working people are S.O.L.  Our public servants know this.

Unfortunately, there is no viable Ethics Committee at town hall and no procedure for filing a complaint against the TMO. The Chief Marshal handles all complaints which are never acted on and the D.A. is hesistant to alienate local law enforcement. After exhausting all options within the town of Telluride (including attempted contact with the town attorney, mayor, and town manager), publicizing the situations that have tormented the families and friends of the deceased was the only avenue left. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not.   Will the residents of Telluride care that justice in the Seventh Judicial District is so out of kilter that unless you hire an expensive local attorney, you are doomed to the whims of personal prejudices of law enforcement and the judicial system? Probably not until it happens to one of their family or it begins to affect their livelihood. Not exactly the definition of community.

How did a community of once caring people become more concerned about plastic bags, roundabouts and prairie dogs than justice and accountability of those living off the taxpayers dime? 

I would have loved to have not written a book showing the world our warts and troubles, but eventually those who have been wronged have three choices: live with it, write about it or weld a tank out of a bulldozer in the back yard and pull a Granby. I decided to write about it hoping that those who we pay to make our lives better would come to the realization that honesty, caring, and justice are a better way to build a community than selective enforcement (and prosecution).

Is there hope? You tell me. Until our "home rule" town begins to treat all residents the same as they treat the wealthy, I and others will continue to demand a Grand Jury and sadly it will affect our reputation as the paradise we once were.

In closing let me say that nobody wants to see resignations and "retirements" in this economy. All we are asking is that someone care.



 P.S. It is also available at Between the Covers Book Store in Telluride.

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