Thursday, December 02, 2004

Business2.0.com: Only on AOL Big Story - Page 1: "For Clif's marketing staff, this was close to the perfect storm: a smallish gathering with lots of young, left-leaning trendsetters, a chance to associate Clif with a socially responsible message -- and a surefire means of coaxing people to try the product. "

This is why more multi-millionairs support Dems than GOP... Young market segment mostly Dem. Who was it that said: "If you aren't a liberal when you are young, you have no heart. If you aren't a conservative when you are older, you have no brain." That's why only grassroots organization can win elections for the GOP. We've proven now in Colorado that a mass market appeal to the young voter with a very attractive candidate along the lines of Clif Erickson (Pete Coors) and a Dem-style get out the vote effort (96-hour campaign) just doesn't work. What we need are grassroots county chairs, hard working district captains who fill every precient with trained leaders and block workers, culminating in 1) well attended neighborhood caucuses, and 2) support of every GOP candidate from nomination to get out the vote on election day. At least that's what I think. Do you agree?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Naomi Klein: Hand-to-brand-combat (part two): "'This is not a consumer issue; it's a political issue. There is a way for us to respond as citizens that is not simply as consumers. Over and over again, people's immediate response to these issues is: what do I buy? I have to immediately solve this problem through shopping. But you can like the products and not like the corporate behaviour; because the corporate behaviour is a political issue, and the products are just stuff. The movement is really not about being purer-than-thou and producing a recipe for being an ethical consumer. That drains a lot of political energy.' "
Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Review: Fences and Windows by Naomi Klein: "The fences are a metaphor for the barriers erected by the multinational corporations, para-governmental institutions and superstates to contain and separate people from what were previously public resources, thus 'locking them away from much-needed land and water, restricting their ability to move across borders, to express political dissent, to demonstrate on public streets, even keeping politicians from enacting policies that make sense for the people who elected them'. The windows are for us to open so that we may 'breathe deeply and taste freedom'." One fence here in Colorado: the attach on our neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot.
Fighting the Wrong Enemy: Antiglobal Activists and Multinational Enterprises: Institute for International Economics Bookstore: "'[Graham's book] demolishes many of the [antiglobalist] arguments, including the claims that foreign direct investment results in job losses at home and drives down labor, environmental, and wage standards everywhere.'
Time Magazine"
TIME Europe | Books: Gaining Street Cred | 1/22/2001: "Klein is not seeking a meeting of minds with her opponents. Nor is there any sign the antiglobalization backlash is waning. Yet facts remain out there, and some seem irrefutable � for example, that a half-century of growing international trade has helped send per capita income up by 150%, even though there are 3.5 billion more people alive than in 1945.

Perhaps older generations should abandon this line of argument. No Logo represents one of those totemic, defining works that ultimately transcend fact and acquire a reality of their own for a generation or a sex or a minority. However misguided, this is a book that should be read by all age groups to understand why rioters trash McDonald's and Starbucks. The immediate target � the corporate culture that substitutes image (brand) for substance (decent jobs and conditions) � is only half the story. For Klein, the child and grandchild of activists, what matters ultimately is the political awareness of her generation. Modern corporate 'imperialism' is her target, but one suspects that what she really despises is the political system that allows some people to get rich. "
frontline: the persuaders: watch online | PBS Correspondent Douglas Rushkoff sets out on his tour through the modern machinery of selling. His first stop: The marketing blitz underway for the launch of a new, stylish low cost airline - Song. Andy Spade, creator of Kate Spade company. How much did this guy get paid? Pitch aimed at the heart instead of the head. Creating the overwhelming clutter in today's culture.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Democrats May Use Results in Colorado as Political Primer (washingtonpost.com): "When Democratic state chairmen gather in Florida next month to lick their wounds from the Nov. 2 election, their agenda will include a careful study of one bright spot in a generally sorry performance: Colorado, a solidly red state that went almost completely blue this year. "

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I just got this from my friend George Parker. He knows as more than anyone I know about what it takes to build a successful club:

Analyzing Your Clubs Success –Attracting New Members

I still believe that the core reason people join and stick with any group is because of one or more of these things:

1. The attendees have found something to believe in--- "One man with a belief is worth 99 without." It has been said that we do not motivate others, they motivate themselves based upon information they receive. "Truth is all powerful," ... if a person perceives information as truth it may be a motivator.

2. They have been welcomed and found a hospitable, friendly atmosphere. "Enthusiasm is catching like a disease." Sincere greetings and friendliness makes people feel welcome.

3. They have been invited, not in a "pushy" way, but kindly, softly, to serve as a greeter or some appropriate way---invited to select a committee of their choice--- in other words some club member (usually an officer or leader capable person) in talking with a new member can find out what his or her interests are-- slowly, at the new member's own pace, let him or her know you are interested in him or her and he or she is welcome to participate as desired in the club. Detect and respect the level of what the new member is willing to do. He or she may want to start out at a low level. If they sense a "pushy" atmosphere, they may rebel or just not show up again.

4. None of us are perfect, but we can measure our successes ---in a club, for example, when we have new people join us for a meeting, look at how many come back . If a person does not come back it may mean we did not impress him or her -- we did not sell our selves & the club purpose. Or it could be that no one is good enough to attract that particular person. But, on average, we can certainly get a feel as to how we are progressing. If a large percentage are not returning after seeing our club in action, then we better try and analyze why and see if we can improve.

5. A simple way to succeed is to look around at others doing the same things and try and find our why they are successful--what are they doing that we are not doing? Or, are they doing the same things we do only they are better at doing it.

6. Every club president, with the Board members, needs to be aware of what happens to prospective new members. "The room for improvement is the room that is never filled."

Friday, November 12, 2004


"Because communities of practice are voluntary, what makes them successful over time is their ability to generate enough excitement, relevance, and value to attract and engage members. Although many factors, such as management support or an urgent problem, can inspire a community, nothing can substitute for this sense of aliveness."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

BBC NEWS | Programmes | State Of The Union: The Evangelical vote: "Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, famously said that the key to this election was turning out four million evangelical Christians who did not vote in the year 2000.

"Well, this year - unlike four years ago - Mr Bush won the popular vote. And his margin was just short of four million voters.

"Now, it would be foolish to assume that all those 3.5 million voters were evangelical Christians. They were not.
Mr Bush got some defections from the growing Hispanic vote - which usually trends Democratic - and he made gains among Catholics and in the Jewish community.

"But the core of the president's support was Christian conservatives. "

Thursday, November 04, 2004

All the GOP candidates in Denver lost again Tuesday.
Here are the vote totals for the Colorado House District races
(I ran for House District 5).

My question to you, friends who care enough to read this blog,
is "what do I do next"?

Your comments to me via email to me at JohnSWren@aol.com
would be appreciated.

I'll post a summary here in the next day or so with my goals for
2006-- as of this moment it is to seek the GOP nomination again for
Colorado House District 5, here in the Heart of Denver.


HOUSE DISTRICT 01

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

ARAPAHOE 03 897 1,245 1,232 6 0 1 0 0 0 3,381
DENVER 16 10,481 13,580 12,376 64 37 9 0 1 5 36,553
JEFFERSON 30 4 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 11,382 14,825 13,611 70 37 10 0 5 0 39,941


HOUSE DISTRICT 02

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

DENVER 16 5,092 15,246 11,454 81 86 14 0 1 2 31,976
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 5,092 15,246 11,454 81 86 14 0 2 2 31,976


HOUSE DISTRICT 03

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

ARAPAHOE 03 7,695 6,319 7,500 48 31 4 5 5 0 21,607
DENVER 16 8,258 12,360 11,945 85 99 15 0 0 6 32,768
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 15,953 18,679 19,445 133 130 19 5 6 6 54,375


HOUSE DISTRICT 04

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

DENVER 16 5,999 20,194 12,513 82 81 10 0 0 2 38,881
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 5,999 20,194 12,513 82 81 10 0 2 2 38,881


HOUSE DISTRICT 05

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

DENVER 16 7,389 20,918 18,756 182 188 17 0 2 2 47,454
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 7,389 20,918 18,756 182 188 17 0 2 2 47,454


HOUSE DISTRICT 06

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

ARAPAHOE 03 812 1,106 1,604 19 8 2 0 1 0 3,552
DENVER 16 14,915 22,784 17,793 102 115 19 0 1 4 55,733
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 15,727 23,890 19,397 121 123 21 0 4 4 59,285


HOUSE DISTRICT 07

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

DENVER 16 6,901 21,482 14,302 79 48 12 0 3 1 42,828
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 6,901 21,482 14,302 79 48 12 0 1 1 42,828



HOUSE DISTRICT 08

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

DENVER 16 6,113 26,733 17,236 100 166 25 0 3 2 50,378
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 6,113 26,733 17,236 100 166 25 0 2 2 50,378


HOUSE DISTRICT 09

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

ARAPAHOE 03 739 798 614 2 3 1 0 0 0 2,157
DENVER 16 13,897 16,115 15,518 100 60 16 0 3 4 45,713
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 14,636 16,913 16,132 102 63 17 0 4 4 47,870


HOUSE DISTRICT 10

COUNTY NAME ## REP DEM UNAFF LIB GRN NAT REF ACP COP TOTAL

BOULDER 07 10,755 20,369 23,467 190 443 15 2 2 1 55,244
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE TOTALS 10,755 20,369 23,467 190 443 15 2 1 1 55,244

So the question is, what do we do next?

I got an email

Monday, November 01, 2004

When (R) Loves (D), There's No Room for 'I' (washingtonpost.com): "bipartisan couples aren't common, says Lindon J. Eaves, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies human behavior. 'If you look at spouses for social attitudes,' he says, 'on the whole they tend to be fairly significantly alike.' In fact, social attitudes, which include political traits such as liberalism and conservatism, are much more important to people who are choosing mates than physical appearance or personality traits such as extroversion or neuroticism. "

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Catholic Votes for George W. Bush by George Weigel , America: The Catholic Weekly Magazine: "Democracy and the market are not machines that can run by themselves. If free politics and free economics are going to promote genuine human flourishing, the tremendous energies they set loose have to be tempered and directed by a vibrant public moral culture. The culture is the key to the entire edifice. A culture that teaches freedom-as-license is going to wreck democracy and the free economy, sooner or later. A culture capable of sustaining the high adventure of democracy over time is a culture that teaches and celebrates freedom for excellence and freedom as the way we choose the good as a matter of habit."
The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Is Kaiser the Future of American Health Care?: " 'To have a real market for quality in health care, you need a product,' Mr. Halvorson said. 'And that means reliable, timely information about outcomes, clinical-trial sorts of databases that show things like, for example, 50-year-olds in our system have fewer heart attacks.
'With the right information and the right incentives,' he added, 'capitalism creates very good solutions.' " George Halvorson, CEO, Kaiser

Friday, October 29, 2004

Crisis Magazine: "In living our Faith and in living our citizenship, we need to begin with the end in mind. Where do we want to spend eternity? Because we won't spend it here. We're citizens of God's kingdom first. That's our homeland. That's the citizenship we need to be faithful to, because if we serve God well then we serve our nation well. If we live as faithful Catholics, we live as faithful Americans.

"But if we try to separate our Catholic convictions from the political and other decisions we make, then we're no better than thieves because we steal from American public life the most important gift we have to offer: The truth of Jesus Christ and the wisdom of His Church.

"St. Thomas More, who knew exactly what he did and didn't owe Caesar, said, 'I am the king's good servant, but God's first.' He had his priorities right. We should follow his lead."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Sacred Space - the prayer site run by the Irish Jesuits: "The contrast between Pharisee and tax collector has entered so deeply into our culture that it is sometimes reversed, and people are more anxious to hide at the back of the church than to be in the front pews. Pharisee, a term of honour in Jesus' society, is not something we want to be called. To place it in our culture, for tax collector read convicted rapist, paedophile, or those found guilty of wholesale robbery or fraud against the public, the hate-figures of the yellow press.

How does the story hit me? I hate to be the object of people's contempt. But Lord, if they knew me as you do, they might be right to feel contempt. I have no right to look down on those whose sins are paraded in the media. Be merciful to me."
Declaration Foundation: Restoring America: "'The two Americas ... are two nations of different faiths. One is observant, tradition-minded, moralistic. The other is unobservant, liberation-minded, relativistic.'"

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Declaration Foundation: Restoring America: "The cultural fault line is taking on San Andreas proportions. As Michael Barone observed in his essay 'The 49 Percent Nation' published in the National Journal in June 2001, not long after the divisive 2000 presidential election: 'The two Americas ... are two nations of different faiths. One is observant, tradition-minded, moralistic. The other is unobservant, liberation-minded, relativistic.'" I made note of this when it was published in the Denver Post last March. The author is Carl Raschke is professor of religious studies at the University of Denver. He is co-director of Res Publica, a national group of scholars and citizens exploring the role of faith and American public life. Why has this been deleted from the Denver Post archives?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

News Release
For Release: Oct. 21, 2004
Contact: Jim Berscheidt, (303) 871-3172

Bridges to the Future at DU returns with a focus on money
Panel discussion to include three Denver Mayors

DENVER—A panel discussion featuring former Denver Mayors Federico Pena and Wellington Webb and current Mayor John Hickenlooper is one of the events planned for Bridges to the Future 2004—05 at the University of Denver. This year’s Bridges to the Future theme is “Money: Where does it come from, what does it do, where does it all go?” It will examine the role of money and wealth in our economy—locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
“Economic issues are a high priority in the minds of Coloradans,” says University of Denver Chancellor Daniel L. Ritchie. “Through Bridges to the Future, citizens in our state have a unique opportunity to critically examine these issues, stretch our minds and, as a community, embrace the challenges and opportunities before us.”
The first panel discussion for this academic year—“Can Colorado Afford Its Future”—will be held on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Gates Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 E. Iliff Ave. The panel will feature Colorado State Treasurer Mike Coffman; Colorado State Sen. Peter Groff; Maria Guajardo Lucero, Ph.D., executive director of the Mayor’s Office for Education and Children; Colorado State University President Larry Penley; and DU economics Prof. Matt Wilson.
To expand upon the Oct 27th panel discussion, three community discussions will follow: Nov. 4 at the Hebrew Educational Alliance, 3600 S. Ivanhoe St.; Nov. 10 at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St.; Nov. 17 at the Colorado Muslim Society, 2071 S. Parker Rd. All community discussions are from 7–8:30 p.m.
On Jan. 6, 2005, DU will host the mayors at Magness Arena to discuss the Federal Reserve, global markets and the economic impact of the worldwide growth of democracy and terrorism.
All Bridges to the Future events are free and open to the public. The general public can RSVP for the Oct. 27th panel discussion by calling 303-871-2357.

The University of Denver and Colorado State University partnered in 2002 to create Bridges to the Future, a series of public events designed to engage Coloradans in an exploration of American history, values and expectations in a post-9/11 world. Last year, Bridges to the Future focused on nation building, examining issues related to the separation of church and state, access and national security.
Colorado State University is currently developing programming for its Bridges to the Future events.
More information about Bridges to the Future is available at www.bridgestothefuture.us.

-30-

Monday, October 18, 2004

Archdiocese of Denver - Welcome: "The motto of The New York Times is, 'All the news that's fit to print.' On October 6, 2004, David Kirkpatrick, a reporter for The Times, conducted an extensive interview with Denver's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., on issues surrounding this year's national elections. In the interests of accuracy, archdiocesan staff recorded the interview. A heavily truncated and framed version of the archbishop's views appeared in an October 12 New York Times story.

"A transcript of the full interview appears below. Readers are invited to compare the published New York Times story and the actual interview transcript, and then decide for themselves whether the October 12 Times story is slanted or fair; complete or misleading. "

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Claremont Institute: About the Claremont Institute: "The Claremont Institute believes that informed citizens can and will make the right choices for America's future. Through its books, policy briefings, conferences and seminars, and now through the new electronic media of the World Wide Web, the Institute engages Americans in an informed discussion of the principles and policies necessary to rebuild our civic institutions. " Sen. John Andrews told us at the Pachyderm Club meeting Friday he will be the Colorado representative for the Claremont Institute.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "'When politics doesn't involve our deepest convictions, it is only about money, only about power, only about ego.'
'On Judgment Day, there will be only one question, 'What did you do for the least of these?' '"

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bush's Remarks at Colorado Springs Rally: "And after the war, Harry S. Truman, president of the United States, believed in the transformational power of liberty to convert an enemy into an ally. That's what he believed. So did a lot of other Americans. But there was some great skepticism of what that could mean. You know, remember we were working for democracy in Japan. A lot of people in this country said, 'Why do it? Why bother? Why should we care? They're the enemy.' You could understand. Families' lives had been turned upside down because of the death of a loved one during that war.

People were questioning whether or not it was worthwhile.

But fortunately, they believed in the power of liberty, and today I sit down at the table with Prime Minister Koizumi, the head of Japan, talking about the peace, talking about how the United States and Japan, former enemies and now allies, can work together to achieve the peace we all want for our children and our grandchildren."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Long Way Home Project: "During the period 1964 until 1975 over 2.59 million American servicemen and women served their country in the Vietnam War. 58,202 made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Long Way Home Project is dedicated to their families and to all those who have risked everything for the cause of freedom and democracy."

this documentary series is being shown here in Denver on KBDI Channel 12 this Saturday Oct 16th at 8:00PM. Please pass this notice on to all that you think might be interested.
Inc.com | The Origin of the Entrepreneurial Species: "Inc. : So much of your research focuses on the difference between ordinary start-ups and those gazelles, or 'promising companies,' that go on to achieve significant levels of success. Could you give us an overview of how successful companies get started?
Bhide: Here it is in summary: Most successful entrepreneurs start without a proprietary idea, without exceptional training and qualifications, and without significant amounts of capital. And they start their businesses in uncertain market niches."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS AT A VICTORY 2004 RALLY October 11, 2004 Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater Morrison, Colorado

GENERAL FRANKS: Thank you. What an absolute honor to be here in this beautiful, beautiful place. And, you know, I guess I'd have to say,from the level of enthusiasm that you people are showing right now, I think victory is headed our way. (Applause.)

And I am so honored to introduce my former boss, President George W.Bush. (Applause.) You know, George W. Bush is the real thing.(Applause.) I have seen this President close in his eyes when it was notconvenient to be the President of the United States. I have seen thisPresident, this Commander-in-Chief, when the nights were long and themornings were early and the decisions to be made were hard. And you knowwhat I saw? I saw character, I saw courage and I saw consistency.(Applause.)

I saw the character that is necessary. I saw the character in hiseyes that is necessary not to tie, but to win against the terrorists.(Applause.) And ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, this is goingto be a close election, and every vote matters. And it matters more to young men and women who wear the uniform of service of our country.(Applause.) It means more to them then at any point in my lifetime. And I will do everything I can to be sure that the Commander-in-Chief who is giving the orders to our sons and daughters is the Commander-in-Chief we have enjoyed over three tough years in this country, and that's George W.Bush. (Applause.)

It is my honor and it is my privilege to introduce the next Presidentof the United States, George W. Bush. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. (Applause.) Thank you all for being here. (Applause.) Go ahead and be seated. (Applause.) Thanks for coming; it's nice to be in a part of the world where the cowboy hatsoutnumber the ties. (Applause.)

Tommy and I were both raised in Midland, Texas. He went to AlamoJunior High, and I went to San Jacinto Junior High. So we're standinghere, and he says to me, this doesn't look like where we were raised.(Laughter.) What a beautiful part of the world. Thanks for coming out to say hello. (Applause.)

I've come back to this beautiful part of our country to ask for the vote. (Applause.) And I'm here -- I'm here to ask for your help, as well. We're getting close to voting time here in America. And I'm asking you toget your friends and neighbors to go to the polls. I'm asking you to find people from all walks of life to vote. As you get people to go to the polls, don't overlook discerning Democrats. (Laughter.) Like you, they want a safer America, a stronger America, and a better America.(Applause.) There is no doubt with your help, we'll carry Colorado again and win a great victory in November. (Applause.)

The world's smallest political flier!
The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Religion: Group of Bishops Using Influence to Oppose Kerry
The Rev. Andrew Kemberling, pastor of St. Thomas More Church near here, said he agreed with the archbishop (Chaput), but he acknowledged that parishioners sometimes accused him of telling them how to vote. He said his reply was: "We are not telling them how to vote. We are telling them how to take Communion in good conscience."

Monday, October 11, 2004

A physician proposes a solution for the excessive use of alcohol on Colorado's university campusesRocky Mountain News: Opinion: "Treatment must start early and intensively in the academic year. It must focus on the population most at risk: freshman and sophomores. But rather than tinkering with the content of courses, the serious changes would be these: Move up both the timing of the initial assessment of students, and hold students accountable for their performance.
We are creatures who focus on short-term consequences. The game is lost if we wait until mid-terms to introduce a survival ethos. Launch the testing and grading process in the first two weeks. Make it clear - make it unmistakable - that there will be consequences and accountability.
Send the early grades to the student's parents. No doctor would wait until the patient was ready to leave the hospital before giving the family a progress report. Every freshman student should have a faculty adviser, and those assuming the burdens of this job should include the president and vice- presidents, chancellor and vice-chancellors."

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Rocky Mountain News: Election: "Why are you running for this office? The theme of my campaign is the prodigal son, the fact we can all choose to serve. In my campaign I will: 1) Talk about my friend Stephen Meyer's (Rationally Right) new Robin Hood Republican political movement (see www.RobinHoodRepublican.com), the idea that people of differing political mindsets are often unable to understand each other; and 2) Encourage people to prepare for their neighborhood caucus in 2006 through participation in Socrates Cafes (www.philosopher.org.) and Franklin Circles."
Post Modern Christianity: The Future of the Church and Post Modern Ministry in the 21st Century: "Though each group fervently believes the other has 'missed it'--though each group believes they are history's 'chosen ones'--though each group plots the destruction of the other ('in the name of love and compassion,' of course), both groups have been firmly rejected by the postmodern world.
The unchurched masses, for example, are not impressed by 'hypocrisy in religious poses.' They are not moved by 'money and power in pious garbs.' And they are not affected by 'empty pieties within worn-out traditions.' Their disinterest has even turned menacingly toward a dislike of the church. The more rebellious ones, for example, insist that 'faith in God is not only out of date, but (even) dangerous.'(1)"

Friday, October 08, 2004

FasTricks? I just received this from my friend Dan Kopleman:

Not only do the FasTax Yes people have $3 million to spend on supporting a 67% tax hike, but they feel the need to cheat on the voter information guide too. If it is such a great idea, why does it take lies and coercion to getpeople to support it?

If you'd likeke to save a few thousand dollars in taxes over the nextdozen years, make a contribution to Taxpayers Against Congestion athttp://taxpayersagainstcongestion.org. A small contribution will to a longway.

Please read this brief article. This is outrageous. http://news4colorado.com/topstories/local_story_281182336.html
Lawsuit Filed Over FasTracks Planhttp://news4colorado.com/topstories/local_story_281182336.html
news4colorado.com - Denver,CO,United States... in Golden, said voters were mailed booklets with arguments against themeasure that were submitted by Rebecca Barnes, deputy campaign manager of"FasTracks Yes ...

Top Ten Reasons to Vote "No" on FasTracks, Measure 4A

10. Because FasTracks is corporate welfare. Why should Denver increase a regressive sales tax whose only real impactwill be to make wealthy businesses even richer?

9. Because it won't relieve congestion.DRCOG says FasTracks will take only 1/2 percent of cars off the road, only1.4 percent of rush-hour traffic off the road, and increase rush-hourtraffic speeds in FasTracks corridors by less than 1 mile per hour.

8. Because FasTracks trains will be slow.FasTracks light-rail trains will average just 24 miles per hour, whileDiesel trains will average just 41 miles per hour. That's why so few peoplewill ride them.

7. Because buses are faster, better, and need no new taxes.RTD says bus-rapid transit can go 51 miles per hour, operate more frequentlythan any rail line, and still cost less per passenger.

6. Because you shouldn't mortgage your children's future just to take anoccasional train to the Rockies game.DRCOG says the average Denver-area resident will ride FasTracks just 6 timesa year in 2025. Yet taxpayers will pay $24 to subsidize every new ride,partly because of the $3.65 billion in finance charges on the debt requiredto build Fastracks.

5. Because "we have to do something" is not a reason to do something stupid.FasTracks supporters point out that the Denver area is expected to gain 900,000 more people by 2025. But DRCOG says FasTracks will attract only72,000 new transit rides a day in 2025, which (since most rides are roundtrips) means just 36,000 people.

4. Because a world-class folly does not make a world-class city.New York is a world-class city and has rail transit. But people go to NewYork to see a Broadway play, Rockefeller Center, and the Empire StateBuilding, not to ride the subway. Do you think millions of tourists willcome to Denver just to ride a 24-mile-per-hour light-rail train?

3. Because the most important lesson of 9/11 is "Don't bunch up."The most significant terrorist act of the last two years was the bombing ofa train. Do we really want to make Union Station a target for terrorists?

2. Because a choice you can't afford is no choice at all. FasTracks supporters will reluctantly admit that FasTracks won't do much toreduce congestion, but say it will give people a "choice." But that "choice"will require billions of dollars of capital subsidies plus tens of millionsof dollars of annual operating subsidies. A fraction of this money could domore to reduce congestion if it were spent on things such as traffic signalsynchronization, bus-rapid transit, and high-occupancy/toll lanes -- leavingthe rest in the taxpayers' pockets.

1. Because it costs too much and does too little.Is it really worth $8.3 billion -- enough money to buy every Denver-area family a new car -- just to get 1.4 percent of cars off the road during rushhour?
I’d love to be able to get around Denver without a car, wouldn’t you?
So I want to be for FasTracks.
But after spending lots of time researching it as part of my campaign (I’m on the ballot for House District 5), what becomes clear is that FasTracks won’t really help the average person like me get around, it help traffic congestion, and it certainly won’t help the poor. And it continues the upward spiral of our out of control sales tax. “I’m with Daddy Bruce,” someone said to me. “If they are going to put on more for FasTracks, they should have to take something off.”
Gov. Bill Owens recently came out against FasTracks. The Rocky Mountain News has called it “an ugly tax-and-spend initiative…the Regional Transportation District’s plea for a major hike in its sales tax.” Everyone from my barber to my former finance professor at D.U. is against it. Any objective person who takes a close look at the facts will vote no.
If it is such a bad idea, why is it ahead in the polls? Because those supporting FasTracks are highly motiviated by the economic or political payoff for themselves. Landowners along the proposed lines, developers, financers, consultants, government bureaucrats and politicians, along with those who like to go to their parties, have pumped big-money and time into a slick campaign.
Unless we citizens become energized, this kinds of sledge-hammer, direct democracy cons will keep getting pulled.
One-sided initiatives like FasTracks are no different than robbing a 7-11; the criminals just dress better and they use TV commercials instead of pistols.
I helped fight back against one of these cons a couple of years ago, and perhaps my experience then will be useful to us now.
Here is what I learned in the elections of 2002:
Colorado’s unique caucus-assembly system, one of the ways we Coloradoans nominate to the primary ballot, has a long and distinguished history.
One of the most interesting episodes, at least to me, was in the fall of 2002 when a power-grab to destroy it was thwarted by a group of our finest citizens.
I’ve been given far too much of the credit for the defeat of Amendment 29. An editorial in the Rocky Mountain News said, “Despite having virtually no money to spend, John Wren helped lead the successful opposition to a well-funded Amendment 29, which would have abolished Colorado’s caucus system.”
Here are the facts about how that citizen effort, Save the Caucus started and how it beat back the forces that tried to Squash the Caucus. For information about what some of us from that effort are doing today, see www.orgsites.com/co/cocaucus.)
Jo Anne Gray, a former Republican National Committee Woman, called me soon after the Denver County convention in May, 2002.
She and Sharron Klein, then and current Denver Democratic Chair, had both written letters to the editor about the initiative to squash Colorado’s neighborhood caucus. This was the initiative Rutt Bridges was then threatening to get on the state-wide ballot, and that he ultimately did in the form of Amendment 29. Jo Anne and Sharron both had written letters to the editor after seeing Bob Ewegen’s editorial in the Denver Post April 20, 2002. (To see the text of their letters and the editorial, go to www.orgsites.com/co/cocaucus)
After seeing Sharron’s letter, Jo Anne had called her and they had agreed something would need to be done to stop the Rutt Bridges’ initiative if it made the ballot.
With that conversation fresh on her mind, Jo Anne took note of a flier I distributed. The flier was a reprint of the same Bob Ewegen editorial in the Denver Post in support of the caucus with the question, “Should we do anything about saving our Colorado caucus system? Read this, and if you think we should, contact John Wren” and it gave my phone number.
When Jo Anne called me we conferenced on Sharron, and the three of us agreed to have an organizational meeting. At the first meeting Polly Baca and Jo Anne agreed to act as temporary Co-Chairs as we got started along with Frank & Sylvia Sullivan, Phil Perington, Darryl Eskin, and Dick Wadhams.
After our first meeting Amendment 29 made the ballot.
We quickly had a second meeting and decided to call ourselves Save the Caucus. Committees were formed, and we began our work. Darrell Eskin agreed to create a Save the Caucus website which I really do believe was one of the keys to our success. Phil Perington and myself were the media contacts, and we made a news release announcing the formation of the group. The Colorado Statesman featured the release in the issue that was distributed to the State Assemblies of both the GOP and Dems on June 1st, 2002.
Under Phil Perington’s and Ruth Prendergast’s able leadership, and with a very strong core of volunteers including Jo Anne and Sharron, Frank & Sylvia Sullivan, Dick Sargent, and many many others, the committee was able to engineer the ultimate defeat of Amendment 29 60% to 40%, a crushing victory against the overwhelming disadvantage of being outspent 1400 to 1!
With today’s technology, common, everyday, ordinary citizens like me and you can fight back. If fax machines could bring down the Berlin Wall, we can bring down FasTracks! Contact me today if you’d like to help! It is only too late if we don’t act now! (Clip, photocopy and distribute this to your like-minded friends and neighbors!)

John Wren is the GOP nominee for Colorado House District 5. He recently helped start the Socrates CafĂ© that meets each Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at Heidi’s, 32nd & Lowell. Contact him at JohnSWren@aol.com, (303)861-1447, or 960 Grant St. #727, Denver, CO 80203.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

JibJab.com Take a look at Jibjabs new "Good to be in DC", very funny!

George and Marylynn Rock received the Sobriety House award for outstanding service tonight.

Mary Clement and I after our 2nd Race for the Cure together last Sunday.

Archbishop Chaput talked about the importance of Faithful Citizenship in a talk at Regis University.

David Aitken and Bill Robinson announce their Libertarians for Wren at the University of Denver, joined by Mike Nelligan, Denver County GOP Chair, Barbara DeGrote, Bush 2004 Denver Chair, and Steve Meyer, author of Rationally Right. After the announcement we all heard Hernando de Soto talk about his new book, The Mystery of Capitol."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Full text: Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech "How do you know if you are a Republican? I'll tell you how.

"If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government - then you are a Republican! If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group - then you are a Republican!

"If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does - then you are a Republican! If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children - then you are a Republican!
If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world - then you are a Republican! And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism - then you are a Republican!

"There is another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people and faith in the US economy. To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie men!

"The US economy remains the envy of the world. We have the highest economic growth of any of the world's major industrialised nations. Don't you remember the pessimism of 20 years ago when the critics said Japan and Germany were overtaking the US? Ridiculous!

"Now they say India and China are overtaking us. Don't you believe it! We may hit a few bumps - but America always moves ahead! That's what Americans do!"
The New York Times > Business > Your Money > At Lunch With | Rosabeth Moss Kanter: If at First You Don't Succeed, Believe Harder As Ms. Kanter sees it, talent, intelligence and knowledge are nice, but confidence is essential. Not arrogance or conceit, mind you: those traits lead people to be complacent, or to overshoot. But she believes that someone with confidence, defined as a belief that persistence and hard work will yield results, will win out most every time over equally talented but insecure people.

Ms. Kanter, who is a consultant and Harvard Business School professor when she's not writing books - "Confidence'' is her 16th - parses the idea even further. She believes that self-confidence is less important than confidence that things will work out, and that the most lasting form of confidence is often not self-generated, but nurtured by others. She posits that sports teams win because coaches instill a belief that they will, and that children succeed when parents and schools create an environment that encourages them to do their best.

"Confidence is contagious, but so is failure,'' she said. "Even the Yankees will lose if you persuade them that they will.''

Friday, September 17, 2004

The Long Way Home Project
During the period 1964 until 1975 over 2.59 million American servicemen
and women served their country in the Vietnam War. 58,202 made the
ultimate sacrifice.

The Long Way Home Project is dedicated to their families and to all those
who have risked everything for the cause of freedom and democracy.

From Bob Martinez, Republican National Committee Man from Colorado:
"We have just been informed that the award winning four part
documentary series entitled, The Long Way Home Project", will be shown
in Denver on Channel 12 KBDI on Saturday October 2nd at 8:00PM and in
Albuquerque on Channel 5 KNME on Sunday October 17th at 4:00PM.

"We encourage you to pass this email along to all those you believe should
see this most important series about the Veitnam War. It is the story that
hasn't been told."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The New York Times > Magazine > How to Reinvent the G.O.P.: "As you look out at the delegates to this year's G.O.P. gathering, remember that these folks have fallen down a chute, and they have no idea where it lets out. When they nominated George Bush in 2000, they had no idea that Mr. Small Acts of Compassion was going to be transformed into Mr. Epic War Against Evil. They had no idea they were nominating a guy who was going to embark on a generational challenge to transform the Middle East.

They had no idea they were nominating a guy who would create a huge new cabinet department for homeland security, who would not try to cut even a single government agency, who would be the first president in a generation to create a new entitlement program, the prescription drug benefit, projected to cost $534 billion over the next 10 years.

They had no idea that a Republican-led government would spend federal dollars with an alacrity that Clinton never dreamed of, would create large deficits, would significantly increase the federal role in education, would increase farm subsidies, would pass campaign-finance reform and would temporarily impose tariffs on steel. ..

(What is needed is a new GOP philosophy)

"This sort of conservatism measures its success not by how big or small government is but by the habits it encourages in its citizens. Does it encourage dependence or self-reliance? Does it sap individual initiative or give it new forums to exert itself? As Jonathan Rauch wrote in The National Journal: 'Conservatives have been obsessed with reducing the supply of government when instead they should reduce the demand for it; and the way to do that is by repudiating the Washington-knows-best legacy of the New Deal. Republicans will empower people, and the people will empower Republicans.' "


Pres. Bush and our other current GOP leaders have a chance to articulate this "conservatism of the common caucus" at the convention this week.

Conservatism of the common caucus, empowering people, the grassroots, the common person, is what many of us here in Colorado have been talking about since our 60/40 defeat of Amendment 29. This week will determine what we here in Colorado (and specifically me here in District 5--The Heart of Colorado) need to do between now and November to advance the cause of the common man. John Wren

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Seth Godin (author of "Unleashing the Ideavirsus" and many other fine marketing books) has started a website called "Change This". It's not a pulishing company, but rather is a vehicle for distributing what Seth calls "Manifestos". These are thought-provoking documents that address issues ranging from marketing to politics to computer programming.
If you have a moment, review my own proposal ("2nd Edition, Daring Mighty Things" at http://www.changethis.com/proposals). If you like it, please vote for it! The more votes my idea gets, the more likely it will be distributed as a ChangeThis Manifesto. Thanks!
And while you're at the website, the Art of the Start Manifesto (by Guy Kawasaki) is quite excellent. I agree with what he says about the early startup process, but while he focuses of the "Think Big" approach to startup, usually with the help of venture capitalists (like himself), my focus is on the "Think Small" approach, the "ready, fire, aim" that most entrepreneurs use to get to their first sale. The venture capital apporach preached by the Small Business Administration, SCORE, and others usually leads to paralysis from analysis; the Daring Mighty Things "think small" approach helps avoid that problem, while keeping risk to a minimum.

Friday, August 20, 2004

DenverPost.com - National Politics: "'Anyone who wonders what women are capable of need only look at American women business owners,' Bush said, speaking before about 80 people on the 84th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. 'Women are working hard to strengthen their communities and their country. ... President Bush knows that empowered women are vital to democracy.'"
DenverPost.com - LOCAL NEWS: "'For nearly 50 years, people's quality of life had been capped by a zoning ordinance that assumed they would disappear,' Montero said. But these families didn't leave. North Denver neighborhoods are occupied by third- and fourth-generation families who have stayed in the family home."

Thursday, August 19, 2004

IDEA Cafe helps students build a strong foundation - UCD Advocate - News: "More and more aspiring entrepreneurs hungry for knowledge and thirsty for help are finding their way to a Capitol Hill bakery every Friday afternoon for discussion tips on pursuing the American dream. Led by Denver businessman and political activist John Wren, the IDEA Cafe is a weekly forum for people starting a new project, business, or career. With guest speakers like Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown making regular appearances, the function usually draws several young professionals, businessmen, students, and people just looking for new ideas. At the March 7 meeting Brown offered advice for mixing business and politics."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Unfairenheit 9/11 - The lies of Michael Moore. By Christopher Hitchens: "With Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11... an entirely new note has been struck. Here we glimpse a possible fusion between the turgid routines of MoveOn.org and the filmic standards, if not exactly the filmic skills, of Sergei Eisenstein or Leni Riefenstahl.

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of 'dissenting' bravery."

Monday, August 16, 2004

ChangeThis :: ChangeThis: "Welcome to our new kind of media. A form of media that uses existing tools (like PDF files, blogs and the web) to challenge the way ideas are created and spread. Poke around, give it a spin and share the best parts with your friends. And don't forget to subscribe.
13-August | The Art of the Start
Guy Kawasaki | A former Apple Fellow and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Guy talks about up-starting a start-up. ... more "

This looks like a great idea. You won't agree with some of the manefestos that have already been posted. So respond with your own!

I'm going to start recommending that all my consulting clients and those who attend the IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop read Kawasaki's very short, very powerful The Art of the Start. Best way you could spend the next 20 minutes, in my opinion. I'm building my business model today!
Garage Technology Ventures: "we're looking for 'two guys/gals' in a garage who are building the next great technology company."

Guy is the author of The Art of the Start, after reading it this morning through ChangeThis I'll be recommending it to my startup consulting clients and everyone who attends an IDEA Cafe. I think the spirit of The Art of the Start applies to starting everything, political campaigns, projects, new hobbies, groups, etc. Especially helpful is are the first three concepts of mission, mantra, and just do it, avoiding the paralysis of planning.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Daily Camera: Insight: "Instead of getting hassled by election workers and belittled by officials, Al Kolwicz should be thanked by all voters for his determined, relentless and detailed work to demand that voting be truly secret, accurate and verifiable. "

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Welcome to H2CARSBIZ - Hydrogen Cars Business :: ZEES A/S! Powered by DreamAccount.: "The Hydrogen Cars Business Special Design Issue 2004 features the most innovative hydrogen and fuel cell powered cars, world leading initiatives on building hydrogen infrastructure, and leading architects visions of the future hydrogen economy. "

This special design issue of H2Cars just came out. These may be a better alternative to solve the energy problem, you can subscribe by clicking the button to the right here on my blog.
denver fitness, denver athletic club, denver personal trainer, personal trainers training athletic clubs, physical fitness nutrition counseling Tom and Dawn Terwilliger told their very romantic startup story at the IDEA Cafe yesterday. Tom had a TV show on Fox and covered a competition in Boulder, Colorado. "I saw Dawn and instantly knew she was the one. Why she was interested in me, I don't know," Tom laughed. "Since then we've be joined at the hip in everything we do," added Dawn.

Tom's decision to become a professional trainer came just as quickly. "I was working in a gym making $6/hour. I won the Mr. America competition in 1986 and was invited on the Regis Philbin show. He became my first client. I'd been working with individuals in the gym, but not charging. Others were doing the same thing, but no one else had the knack and joy for it that I did. I charged Regis because I knew he had the money. I don't think he came in expecting to pay!"

The Fox TV show also came quickly. "I was invited to participate because of being Mr. America. We made a demo in about 20 minutes and sent it to Fox." That lead to a 16 year run, until he met Mrs. Terwilliger.

"We worked at another studio as independent contractors and were happy until it changed hands. That lead to a kitchen table decision to open their own facility. It took about a year to find the right location and put it together. In 1999 they opened Definitions in Larimer Square, and 3 years ago they opened this.

Looking at their life together, their business, and the fact that a TV producer and actor who wants to start a fitness TV show that I'd met months ago by accident finally decided to attend the IDEA Cafe, Dawn said, "Every thing happens for a reason. I really believe that."
Kerry On Iraq: "'I urge Ed to show to every American because I think every American should see this...' -- Fmr. NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani"

Friday, August 13, 2004

Silicon Valley Biz Ink :: The voice of the valley economy: "Mayor John Hickenlooper today left the
first message on a voice mail system designed to help homeless people
communicate with potential employers, healthcare services, child care
providers, landlords and family. Homeless people are given their own personal
voice mail telephone number which takes messages. They can retrieve those
messages 24/7 from any phone or pay phone totally for free."
The new Highlands Socrates Cafe met for the first time last night at Common Grounds, 3484 W. 32nd here in Denver, about 5 minutes West of I25 & Speer. We had a very large turnout because of the front page story in the North Denver Tribune. Elisa Cohen, editor of the paper, will be joining us each week. She received a round of applause for her support.

Denver Socrates Cafe continues to meet each Friday at Panera Bread, 1350 Grant here in Denver, near the Capitol. For more about Socrates Cafe and how you can start one in your neighborhood see www.philosopher.org. If you start a new group in metro-Denver, I'd love to attend your first meeting and help you get the word out about it. Please send me an email at JohnSWren@aol.com. I think a network of independent Socrates Cafes across Denver could have a dramatic impact on the attendance at our 2006 neighborhood caucuses, see www.orgsites.com/co/cocaucus and could precipitate giant leap forward for the grassroots.
VSAC HomeAccessibility brown bag talk
VSA arts Colorado | http://co.vsarts.org/
Where: Access Gallery
2256 Larimer St., Denver, CO
When: Tue. Aug. 17, 11:30 - 1:00
Price: Free
Tix/Info: 303-777-0797
Hannah Kahn Dance Company: "?The Hannah Kahn Dance Company will present a Free Outdoor Peformance at the Denver Botanic Gardens, on Monday, August 16, 2004 at 6:30 p.m. In case of rain we will perform indoors. "
Denver Municipal Band: "Founded in Denver, Colorado in the 1860s,
the DMB is the oldest professional concert
band in the continental United States. " Free concert this coming Sunday August 15, 7:30 P.M. The Concert Band at Washington Park

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

SchmoozeIt!�: "'SchmoozeIt!' was created out of the need to connect those folks - whether it was for VC funding, new business partners, new clients or just building brand awareness - SchmoozeIt! quickly became one of the most anticipated networking events in Denver.



The 5th Annual SchmoozeIt! will be held on August 20, 2004 at the Westin, Westminster as a collaborative effort with Colorado Company Magazine's 1st Anniversary event - The Bold & The Bankrolled! "

The Mariott at I25 and Lincoln south of Denver was the site of the Schaffer for Senate election watch. Sen. John Andrews (shown here), Mike Coffman, Sen. Bill Armstrong, Ted Halaby, and many other GOP leaders gathered to watch the returns.

Everyone kept expecting the early results to change, they never did.

Scott and Bill await the election results.

Bob Schaffer and his family took the stage once the loss was conclusive. He thanked everyone for their efforts and congradulated Pete Coors who he said will be a good U.S. Senator. "We all now have to work just as hard to make sure Pete is elected," Bob said.

Rep. Nancy Spence and Bob.

Bob walked through the crowd thanking everyone for their hard work.

Primary election day! Here is my name on the ballot here in Denver District 5 for the Colorado House of Represenatives. I'm the GOP nominee from our district meeting, there is no one else on the primary ballot, so I'm heavily favored!

Monday, August 09, 2004

Inc.com | The Origin of the Entrepreneurial Species: "Inc. : So much of your research focuses on the difference between ordinary start-ups and those gazelles, or 'promising companies,' that go on to achieve significant levels of success. Could you give us an overview of how successful companies get started?
Bhide: Here it is in summary: Most successful entrepreneurs start without a proprietary idea, without exceptional training and qualifications, and without significant amounts of capital. And they start their businesses in uncertain market niches."

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Mel Hilgenberg, candidate 2 years ago for the 1st Congressional District State Board of Education seat, and Randy Swan debated this morning (Wednesday) at the Denver GOP 1st Wednesday breakfast. Both are candidates for next Tuesday's primary election of the GOP nominee for CU Regent from Denver. Comment heard after the debate, "neither of them seems to understand that we have one on the best college presidents in the nation, Ruth Hoffman, and that the CU Regent's role is not to manage the University but to support her." Mel and Randy will debate again this Friday, 7a.m. at the Denver Pachyderm Club meeting at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant near the Capitol.

Tim Jackson, National Federation of Independent Business gave Rep. Ramey Johnson the groups "Guardian of Small Business Award" at a recent Denver Pachyderm Club meeting.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

DenverPost.com - National Politics: "It was the smallest post-convention boost enjoyed by any challenger since George McGovern was nominated in the middle of the night by a divided Democratic Party in Miami in 1972, said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll."
Wichita Eagle | 08/01/2004 | EDITORIAL: DREAM: "What kind of community will Wichita be 20 years from now? What kind of values do we want to live? What kind of improvements do we want to see?
The Visioneering Wichita process now under way seeks to answer these and other questions, and thereby create a master plan for Wichita's future.
Is that possible? It's hard to argue with the results in the scores of towns and cities across the nation that have conducted visioning exercises -- cities such as Memphis and Chattanooga, Tenn., and Spokane, Wash.
It makes sense: Individuals, households and businesses routinely take stock, brainstorm and develop long-range goals -- why not towns and cities?
Why allow something as important as our city's future to be left to the mercy of events or a handful of politicians?"
A nod to blogs: "As veteran Associated Press correspondent and beginning blogger Walter Mears puts it: 'Blogs are pamphleteers of a new age.'

These virtual pamphlets are a great equalizer, allowing recent college graduates 'with no connections' (as Taylor describes himself) as well as a cadre of other ordinary, articulate citizens unprecedented access to the national political proceedings...

'The presence of the Internet is changing democracy,' says Doc Searls, senior editor of Linux Journal and co-author of 'The Cluetrain Manifesto,' a book on Internet commerce. 'It's a place where the citizens actually have a chance to be involved,' he says, referring to the heated discussions that take place on blog message boards. 'You can't be involved in television.'"
CCA Grants Workshop: "Welcome to this online course in grant-writing . The Colorado Council on the Arts has partnered with the University of Massachusetts Arts Extension Service to provide this course free to the first 1,000 Coloradoans to use it. "

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Contents: "9-11 Commission Report Online Searchable version provided by askSam Systems, Inc" Really helps use the report, which was published without an index.
JibJab "This Land is Your Land" with Pres. George Bush and John Kerry. Takes a few minutes to load, but worth the wait!

Saturday, July 31, 2004

I just sent this to Nathan, in response to his invitation to poetry reading (see his invitiation posted below): Can poets hear Republicans? Would that be a change? Can the party of Jefferson (I claim him) and Lincoln and Regan be heard? Or will the secret Boston handshake be required? I woke this morning with a poem on my mind "Pefect Life". Would that be allowed?

I just came across this: "Ray Flynn (Pro-Life Democratic Congressman) who was a sports star in his college days, once said that his experience as an athlete was a great preparation for politics: 'You practice, sweat, there's pain. You go out on the court and lose. And you pick yourself up. You look for the next game. You don't dwell on the losses. You move forward...you get hit in the nose with an elbow, you take the towel, wip away the blood, and get back out in the field.'" The Human Life Review, "Democrats for Life." http://www.democratsforlife.org/

I've just posted your notice on my blog, Nathan. I'll hope to be at the reading...
http://wrensjournal.blogspot.com. Let me know if only dims, I mean Dems, will be allowed.

What would you think of some sort of topic about all this being the topic at our first Highlands Socrates Cafe? (Each Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at Common Grounds on 32nd just West of Federal, starting August 12). What would the topic be? Something around poetry and politics? Of course, I'm open to that being the topic. But in keeping with Chris Phillips www.philosopher.org and our experience over the last two years at Denver Socrates Cafe, it is probably best if the topic not be announced in advance. But you could bring it up August 12, or 19 or whenever, if you want to.
I just got this from my friend Nathan:
Young and Growing, Older and Wiser:
Denver Poets for Change in America
Sunday August 22, 2004, 1:30 to 6:30
Mercury Cafe, 22nd Street and California, Denver

Beloved Friends,
That's the whole project, the mission statement, which came to me in the shower one morning recently. I need your help and support. I'll tell you the whole long story if you wish--another "God-job"--but suffice it to say we hope to get poets (including great-grandmothers and school children) together for a "feed-and-read" community gathering at the Mercury Cafe, two or three professional portable video cameras and recording equipment, to produce a thirty minute DVD we will send to every public-access television station. No ulterior motives here, no negatives, no vitriol, no partisanship; just positive hope for the future. We need to participate openly at the community level for the sake of our country and the world.
Marilyn McGinnity stood in the mist outside the Mercury Cafe last week as I walked up the sidewalk with Tony Wagner; like a full moon just rising over the far horizon, her serene pale visage framed in a big black picture hat about it, storm clouds receding dark behind her, she nodded greeting to you. We repaired to the bar to have a glass of tea, chose an open space in the Mercury's schedule, agreed to meet then, feed us all and read for the cameras and recorders of Joe Lyon, Steve Flanders and Ivan Suvanjieff--Young and Growing, Older and Wiser: Denver Poets for Change in America, Sunday August 22, 2004, 1:30 to 6:30 Mercury Cafe, 22nd Street and California, Denver.

There is pure harmony here, I assure you. There is hope. There is whole positivity. Change for us is growth only (for degeneration and dissipation need not be expressed; despair is not growth, not art). Each of us and all of us are poets, making music, making art with words. You will come together to read the rhythm and the image of America's growth. No one will tell you what to say; they cannot, for this is America and our speech is free, our imaginations unlimited. All of us are artists: this is for great-grandmothers and grade school children, workers and wanderers, small boys and tall girls of any age--especially for those of us who may have been silent until today. Walt Whitman will swell with pride.

Thank goodness I have been relieved of the burden of my own ego daily for the last fifteen years and more, and thank goodness I have a day job (for no one ever made a living as a poet). I can underwrite the basic expenses of the food and of the technical costs of production of our DVD of this American spiritual communion. Those of you who have day jobs also are welcome to contribute modestly toward the expenses (not so much as to threaten to inflate your own egos to the bursting point, but perhaps enough to deflate my own). This is a We project, We the People.

You will likely want a copy of the finished product, the DVD which includes the edited 28 minute artwork in words and images, sounds and color which we will send gratis to all the public access television broadcasters in the country. Whatever proceeds come from the sale of these DVDs will be used toward the technical expenses of production.

We all will volunteer in different ways, especially to spread the word. Tony will put out posters or flyers with your help. One of you artists should sketch a poster or DVD cover design; until then the attached flyer will be a start. You all will carefully select and forward this very message to those in your e-mail address books who need to know, who do write and should read. Readers will be paid handsomely with hugs and kisses and applause.

Poets in other communities are welcome to gather as Young and Growing, Older and Wiser: Poets of New York and Santa Fe and San Francisco and Seattle and Tulsa and Cleveland... This doesn't belong to Nathan or to Denver but to America. It's our growth, our future.

Just come on Sunday, August 22nd at 1:30 with your text (so we can display your very words on DVD), your friends and family and your appetite for joy.

Thanks for your help.

Peace and Love.

Nathan

Young and Growing, Older and Wiser:
Denver Poets for Change in America
Sunday August 22, 2004, 1:30 to 6:30
Mercury Cafe, 22nd Street and California, Denver

Friday, July 30, 2004

Pay the lawyers in coupons, too
Class-Action Excesses
July 25, 2004 Rocky Mountain News
Hill & Robbins, a well-known member of Denver's plaintiffs' bar, is back in the news with yet another class-action lawsuit, this time on behalf of AT&T Wireless customers who were allegedly overcharged on bills which claimed they had exceeded their monthly allowance of minutes. The proposed settlement is a plaintiff's lawyer's dream, if not representative of much that's gone wrong with the nation's tort system.
Under the settlement proposal, AT&T subscribers would receive a maximum of $20 million in calling cards, air time and discount coupons on telephone accessories. Parceled out among 3 million eligible subscribers, that comes to a paltry $3 to $10.50 worth of benefits.

Hill & Robbins, on the other hand, stands to rake in a cool $3 million in cash, plus $750,000 to cover expenses. The proposal must still be approved by Denver District Judge Herbert Stern.
We wouldn't dream of advising Stern on how he should rule. But we don't mind addressing the larger issue of whether there isn't something terribly wrong with a legal system in which class-action lawyers can win settlements for their clients in the form of coupons while collecting hefty fees for themselves in cash.
We can think of several remedies to this problem. Some of them in fact are included in a class action reform bill that, no thanks to the plaintiffs' bar, is having no luck getting through the lawyer-heavy U.S. Senate.
The first thing we'd do is require the lawyers to be paid in the same specie as their clients. A Florida judge turned these tables in 2002, when he slashed a $1.4 million class-action legal-fee request by the New York law firm Zwerling Schachter & Zwerling to about $294,000 and ordered a quarter of the fees be paid in $10 to $60 travel vouchers - the same vouchers awarded to the 80,000 plaintiffs. The suit had accused Renaissance Cruises Inc. of padding port charges. But in his blistering 27-page ruling, Broward County Circuit Judge Robert Lance Andrews assailed the plaintiffs' attorneys for greediness, saying "Too often, lawyers use class actions as cash cows that ultimately don't yield much for plaintiffs . . ."
Another solution is to peg lawyer rewards to actual plaintiff payouts instead of to some pie-in-the-sky maximum. There's no way AT&T Wireless customers are going to avail themselves of $20 million worth of discounts. Why not wait and see how many sign up before compensating the lawyers?
Another alternative particularly applicable in this case is to prohibit class-action suits altogether against companies in regulated industries such as telecommunications. If customers are billed incorrectly or unfairly, shouldn't the Federal Communications Commission mandate rebates or adjustments, just as the Colorado Public Utilities Commission does for the customers of local telephone, electric and gas services? After the requisite hearings before the regulatory body, why shouldn't AT&T Wireless be able to credit your account in the same way Xcel Energy does?
As state Sen. Mark Hillman, R-Burlington, points out, "Consumers are paying taxes to support the Federal Communications Commission." Having it deal with billing disputes "is a much more efficient way of dealing with the problem than giving attorneys an incentive to always be looking for a big payday."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Tuesday Roland Chicas, Randy Swan and myself were invited to a candidates forum sponsored by the Downtown Denver Residents Organization. Each of us and our Democrat opponents were given 4 minutes, there was an hour of question and answers, and then we each had 2 minutes. Roland had relatives there who, although they are Democrat, thought I came across very well. One very active Democrat came up to me after the meeting and said she thinks I have a very good chance of winning, despite the low GOP registration. I was very encouraged.

Yesterday and today I've been distributing my newsletter through out the district, and I've emailed it out to several hundred people and encouraged them to pass it along. If you are one of the few people in Denver who did not receive a copy, please email me at JohnSWren@aol.com and I'll send one to you!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

True Success: Start Now; Teach to Win!: "Welcome to Poor Richard's Website... the official website for Franklin Circles and Free IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops, both of which are part of CoCaCoP (Colordo Caucus Community of Practice, see www.orgsites.com/co/cocaucus).
Benjamin Franklin formed his first Circle, a group of like-minded adult learners, in 1727 with his 'more ingenious acquaintances.'
Training Magazine in June, 1995 cited that first Franklin Circle as the embodiment of what we now know are the best techniques of modern self-directed learning. It may have been Franklin's best invention!
I organized what is now called the IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop in 1993. In Denver we now meet each Friday(see details to the right)to share startup experience, do brainstorming, and to explain more about how to start or join a Franklin Circles."
Welcome page: "The Pachyderm Club movement is one of the most practical means by which broad citizen participation in politics may be achieved.
Over 60 Pachyderm Clubs are located in 16 states around the U.S. and are growing every day. We are actively looking for individuals to help start additional clubs in new areas. Please enjoy our home page as you browse around to learn more about Pachyderm Clubs. "

George Parker, the founder of the Pachyderm Club movement has been helping us get our new Denver Pachyderm Club started. We meet each Friday from 7 to 8 a.m. (open for early birds at 6 a.m.) at Panera Bread Cafe, 1350 Grant St. here in Denver. Join us!
The Society for Philosophical Inquiry: "Our fundamental desire is to encourage and support people who are curious and perplexed and filled with a sense of wonder, so they can dialogue for discovery and dialogue for democracy. And we are here for those who would subscribe to the Socratic ethos that the examined life truly makes for a richer existence. "

Christopher and Cecilia Phillips maintain this website to help people start Socrates Cafes for "seeking truth by our own lights."

We started the Denver Socrates Cafe, by coincidence, the Friday after 9/11 and the group has been meeting ever since at Panera Bread, 1350 Grant here in Denver, each Friday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

A new Highlands Socrates Cafe is starting Thursday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Common Grounds, 3484 W. 32nd here in Denver. Hope you will join us!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Porn Plague / Has porn's proliferation desensitized us to its power?: "(T)here comes a point when it's reasonable to do a little hand-wringing, usually on behalf of 'the children.' We saw it in the aftermath of the 2004 Super Bowl, when the skin-movie trope of a man ripping away a woman's top became a little too real due to the unheeded appearance of Janet Jackson's breast. We see it every time Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera mounts a new, more sexually charged tour to entertain our tweens. I see it when I go shopping with my 14-year-old niece, who represents the audience consumer Nation writers Alison Pollet and Paige Hurwitz had in mind when they wrote a January 2004 piece called 'Strip Till You Drop,' indicting the 'cute and tawdry' stripper-chic clothing and accessories that have become a mainstay of teeny marketing. "
HBS Working Knowledge: Entrepreneurship: Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice:
"1. Design for evolution.
2. Open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives.
3. Invite different levels of participation.
4. Develop both public and private community spaces.
5. Focus on value.
6. Combine familiarity and excitement.
7. Create a rhythm for the community. "
News from USJFCOM: Combatant commands, Services, DoD Agencies and Allies attended Worldwide Joint Lessons Learned Conference: "Due to Sept. 11, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom the conference marked the first time in more than two years that lessons learned teams from the various regional combatant commands, military services, and USJFCOM have met collectively as a 'community of practice.' "
Colorado Delegation-2004 Democratic National Convention Home Page: "This website is reserved for the Colorado delegation to
the 2004 Democratic National Convention to be held
in Boston from July 26 thru July 29, 2004.
Participating delegates will be uploading photos they
have taken during each day's activities and some
will be posting blogs that will detail their experiences."

Follow the National convention through local eyes, thanks to my friend Darryl Eskin.
The New York Times > Week in Review > What's the Presidential Tipping Point?: "when you are the incumbent the election is, fundamentally, about you."
The New York Times > Magazine > Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy: "In March of this year, Rappaport convened a meeting of wealthy Democrats at a Silicon Valley hotel so that they, too, could see Stein's presentation. Similar gatherings were already under way in Washington and New York, where the meetings included two of the most generous billionaires in the Democratic universe -- the financier George Soros and Peter Lewis, an Ohio insurance tycoon -- as well as Soros's son and Lewis's son. On the East Coast, the participants had begun referring to themselves as the Phoenix Group, as in rising from the ashes; Rappaport called his gathering the Band of Progressives. More recently, companion groups have come together in Boston and Los Angeles.
What makes these meetings remarkable is that while everyone attending them wants John Kerry to win in November, they are focused well beyond the 2004 election. The plan is to gather investors from each city -- perhaps in one big meeting early next year -- and create a kind of venture-capital pipeline that would funnel money into a new political movement, working independently of the existing Democratic establishment. The dollar figure for investment being tossed around in private conversations is $100 million. "

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The New York Times > Theater > News & Features > The Perils of Marital Honesty: "Though the Denver-born Mr. Dietz, now 46 and with a home in Seattle, has been making a living from his plays since he was 23, only four of them have been produced in New York until now, and to mostly lukewarm reviews.
This is odd, considering how well-received his work has been by regional theaters like the McCarter in Princeton, N.J., where 'Fiction' had its premiere in April, the ACT Theater in Seattle, the Actors Theater of Louisville and the Arizona Theater Company, among others.
Mr. Dietz, a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and the son of a railroad conductor, now believes it was a good thing he didn't become a New York playwright. 'You could have never told me that then, when I was desperate to have my plays come to New York,' he said by phone from his home 'in central Seattle, where `Frasier' was set, though no one in Seattle really has his view,' and where Mr. Dietz lives with his wife, Allison Gregory, also a playwright, and their 4-year-old daughter, Ruby. 'But instead I got to write plays that worked, and, more importantly, I got to write a bunch of plays that didn't work, and it didn't matter.' "

Saturday, July 24, 2004


The 1st Annual Orthodox Food Festival was held today and will continue tomorrow (Sunday, July 25th) sponsored by Holy Transfiguration of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, 349 East 47th Avenue. Since 1898 the Cathedral has played an important role in the history of one of the largest ethnic neighborhoods in the State, as well as having imporance as a center of the Carpatho-Russian and Serbian ethnic immigrant communities, and as the earliest Orthodox Church in Colorado. See http://www.transfigcathedral.org/

Fr. Hirsh oversaw the final preparations before people started arriving.

Gabriel Hayman is the pricipal artist for the Holy Images contained in Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. He has samples of his work and gives demonstrations of the various techniques and processes prescribed in the ancient Icon Painters' manuals.

Hayman's latest work is The Trinity, shown here above a photo of the original. "I've been a pilgrim all my life, hospitality is very important to me," he said to me when I asked him how he was inspired to start this particular icon.

Delicious Greed, Romanian, and Russian food at very affordable prices. Beer and mixed drinks are also available.

Les Bouffons (Ukranian Band), Planian Singers, and Barbell Fish Band (Balkan Band) played Saturday afternoon, the Tom Allen Band with Polka and Old Time Dance Band from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. on Saturday. There will also be live music from 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Sunday...

wonderful music plays through out the weekend:

While John Kerry spoke in Denver Friday afternoon, supporters of President Bush held a rally on the West steps of the State Capitol.

There was lots of enthusiasm for Bush despite the rain.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Colorado General Assembly - Representative Rob Fairbank Rob Fairbank, Majority Caucus Chair, gave the Denver Pachyderm Club an overview of the House races around the state. There are many open seats this year, and that creates a lot of uncertaintly. It is much more difficult for House candidates to raise money this year because of the restrictions created in 2002 by Amendment 27, so if you can Rob suggested you give the $400 maximum to your Republican House candidates. A 527 committee has been formed, and it will be supporting key House races with independent expenditures. The GOP has a 37-28 advantage now, after the election GOP seats could go up to as high as 40, or it may drop to 34, but in no realistic case should we loose the majority.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

DenverPost.com - LOCAL NEWS: "I pledge to you today, as we embark on the second year of our administration, that we WILL move mountains to get the job done."

The mayor mentioned many projects that were undertaken during his first year: FasTracks, a Saturday morning tutoring program at a middle school, etc. But he fails to make a clear statement about: 1) his vision of the role of government vs. the role of private non-profits and business; and 2) given that vision his agenda for the next 3 years.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

UNSTUCK - Diagnosing You're Stuck: "Do you think you might be stuck? Maybe it's only been for a day. Maybe it's a sneaking suspicion you've had for a while.
You've come to the right place! You've started to admit that you might be stuck.
So, what do you do with that admission? How can you cut through the fog, the politics, the loss of optimism that comes from hitting a wall? How can you move forward when everything seems to be heading in reverse?"

As I read through this interesting new book, realize this is what we've been doing at the IDEA Cafe since 1994, helping people get unstuck who are starting a new project, a new career, business, or campaign. Everything new starts from a stuck position!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

U.S. Entrepreneurial Activity Increased in 2003 but Job Growth Lags, According to Babson College/Kauffman Foundation Study;: "These are the findings of the 2003 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), according to researchers at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, who compiled the data from this unique study on entrepreneurial activity around the globe. The study was sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City.
After two years of decline, entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. is bouncing back, increasing from 10.5 percent in 2002 to 11.9 percent in 2003, according to GEM."
Breaking Ranks - The Purpose of This Site: "Is pulling rank human nature? Sure it is. But history shows us, through changing attitudes toward racism and sexism, that opposing rank-based discrimination is not hopeless. If anything is human nature, it is the will to democracy, that is, the will to curtail abuses of rank by acting together to create systems of governance that circumscribe authority.
The first step is to become aware of rank as an excuse for abuse. As we become adept at distinguishing between the legitimate and illegitimate uses of rank, collective opposition to rank's abuses becomes possible."
The Golden Rule: "The golden rule is endorsed by all the great world religions; Jesus, Hillel, and Confucius used it to summarize their ethical teachings. And for many centuries the idea has been influential among people of very diverse cultures. These facts suggest that the golden rule may be an important moral truth.
Let's consider an example of how the rule is used. President Kennedy in 1963 appealed to the golden rule in an anti-segregation speech at the time of the first black enrollment at the University of Alabama. He asked whites to consider what it would be like to be treated as second class citizens because of skin color."

Monday, July 19, 2004

Millions Switch to Internet for More Diverse and Graphic News - Insight on the News - National: "Millions of U.S. residents are increasingly using the Internet as a source of news and images that are not available in the mainstream media, according to a recent report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The study found that this switch to more diverse and sometimes more graphic information largely came about after the events of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and the war in Iraq.

'In certain circumstances for certain populations, the Internet has its appeal because it is seen as a more abundant source of information, and in some sense a source of information that you can't get in the mainstream news,' said Lee Rainie, director of the project."